My highly esteemed colleague Will Harris has been right on top of the huge small screen stories that seem to be breaking right and left at the TCA conference this week. Still, it’s not like there hasn’t been any news in movieland. It’s almost hard to know where to start.
* The Hollywood Reporter as well as Nikki Finke and new stablemate Mike Fleming (more on that below) are carrying the news that, in the wake of ongoing script problems, the kibosh has been put on Sam Raimi’s “Spiderman IV” with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and a 2012 reboot, written by James Vanderbilt (“Zodiac“) announced. The new film will feature a once-again teenage Peter Parker, so Taylor Lautner is no doubt already in touch with his agent.
THR says the script problems had something to do with a disagreement over supervillains between Raimi and Sony and/or Marvel Studios. Finke also notes that the fourth installment would probably not have been in 3-D and it seems reasonable that that might have been a factor, given the current mania for the process.
* In another apparent scoop for new Deadline team member Mike Fleming, Tom Hanks is returning as a writer-director for the second time since making his 1996 charmer, “That Thing You Do!” A comedy, “Larry Crowne” will reteam him with his “Charlie Wilson’s War” co-star, Julia Roberts. Like “Up in the Air,” according to Fleming it’s somewhat topical in that’s it’s about a middle-aged guy forced to reinvent his career at a time when past generations where just starting to settle down.
While he’s at it, Fleming also has the word on Shia LaBeouf not going agentless after all and signing with CAA. Agents around the world can all breathe easier now.
* With “The Lovely Bones” starting to look like a disappointment — and that’s definitely true so far in terms of award nominations and reviews, Peter Jackson may be starting to look ahead to his other projects. Among them, via the Playlist, is WWI and the devastating Battle of Gallipoli. The 1915 battle was the subject of a terrific Peter Weir film from 1981 that starred the young Mel Gibson, but Jackson adds that it only covered a few days of the battle, so there’s plenty of story left to tell. Weir wants to get the film ready in time for 100-year anniversary of the bloody episode, which helped define the national identities of both New Zealand, Australia, and Turkey. If you’re counting, I guess that gives him four or five years to ready the film
* Speaking of upcoming projects involving Peter Jackson (and Steven Spielberg), it’s time to start boning up on your Tintin knowledge before 2011, and if you live in L.A. and have time to get over to West Hollywood’s Meltdown Comics over the next day or so, here’s one cool opportunity to do just that.
* A suddenly agent-less Shia LaBeouf has decided a manager and a lawyer is enough. Nikki Finke deems this a “SHOCKER!”
* Adrian Curry selects the decades greatest posters over at the Auteurs. Personally, I think poster making is a lost art. Things are usually way too literal these days, but Curry’s choices are strong.
* Would you want to face Alec Baldwin in a real-life court of law? How about prosecuting? “ABC…Always be convicting.” Still, it’s possible he might need a seasonal gig at some point to help him work his way through law school…
I don’t care about the upcoming “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which comes out one week from today. I’m a bit too old to have watched the original cartoons as a kid or played with the toys. I literally walked out of the 2007 movie, which I had used a hard earned frequent movie-watcher free ticket too see.
Nevertheless, I know a lot of you liked “Transformers” and are looking forward to “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” So, instead of raining on your parade, I’ll keep my personal critic hat mostly off and simply report that some of the early reviews are out already. Variety’s Jordan Mintzer has a fairly positive review up and, the word is, if you dug the first one, you’ll probably dig this one. THR’s Ray Bennett says somewhat the same thing, but on the negative side (and sounds a lot like what I said after I saw the first one). IGN UK’s Orlando Parfitt confesses to Michael Bay love, but thinks it may all just be a bit too much of a good thing. And so it goes at Rotten Tomatoes.
Also, in the spirit of yesterday’s post on celebrity oddness, via Anne Thompson comes that Parade interview with “Transformers” star Shia LaBeouf you might have seen excerpted. Assuming he actually said everything he’s supposed to have said, this wasn’t a profile but a cry for help, which begs the question: If Steven Spielberg and company can’t find the right shrinks/clinics to get a talented young actor’s head on straight, who can? I suppose it’s like the old joke asking about how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb. (Only one, but the light bulb really has to want to change.)
It’s a little weird considering he’s pretty much the hottest young actor in Hollywood, etc., but I actually feel sorry for the kid. That is not like me.
But forget all that, here’s a “Transformers” trailer. Stuff blows up good — but for some reason, not the Eiffel Tower.