Monday, March 21, 2005

Monday Lethargy makes way for Monday Movies

Check Out Wonka's "Chocolate Factory"
Like an Easter egg on a DVD, by clicking on the the WONKA INDUSTRIES icon on the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" poster located on Warner Bros.'s site, you can see a few images that aren't available elsewhere along with a tour around the Wonka's Factory (opens July 15th) and you can learn more about careers with Wonka Industries: Camera Operator, Grounds Keeper, Waste Management, etc.

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Not all of the features and extras are available now but it looks promising. EDITOR'S NOTE: ALREADY SOME FUNNY STUFF. IF THE MOVIE HAS THE SNARKY WIT OF THE WEBSITE (AND IT'S DEPP AND TIM BURTON, SO ODDS ARE GOOD), THE MOVIE IS GOING TO ROCK. to check it out.

SUPERMAN Picks Up Posey
Warner Bros. Pictures and Bryan Singer have hired Park Posey to play Kitty Koslowski, Lex Luthor's villainous henchwoman.

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The cast already includes Brandon Routh as Superman, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, Hugh Laurie as Perry White, James Marsden as Richard White and Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen. Kevin Spacey is playing Lex Luthor and Kal Penn will portray Stanford, Luthor's right-hand man.

Aghdashloo checks mail for 'Il Mare'
Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, John Corbett and Ebon Moss-Bachrach have joined the cast of "Il Mare" (working title) for Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow.

They join Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Christopher Plummer in the picture, which is based on the 2000 Korean romance/sci-fi feature, "Siworae."

The story revolves around two people (Reeves and Bullock) who fall in love via a mysterious mailbox. Aghdashloo is set to play Bullock's medical colleague and confidante. Corbett will star as Bullock's former fiance. Moss-Bachrach will play Reeves' younger brother.

From hobbit to 'Hooligan'
A vastly different role for Elijah Wood
Before he ever threw a punch in "Hooligans," Elijah Wood had to fight just to get the movie made.

The "Lord of the Rings' star helped secure financing for the film by Lexi Alexander, which made its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival (the weeklong Austin, Texas, annual film and music bash that ends today), about the violent gangs — or "firms' — associated with England's soccer teams.

"I read the script and loved it and then we met, and this is before it had any financial backing, before it was greenlit to go — quite some time before — and then we met, hit it off really well," Wood said. "In meeting her and seeing her vision and her passion, it was kind of infectious."
And the reaction from Alexander, a former world karate and kickboxing champ turned writer-director?

"First of all, the fact that he wanted to meet on this, I was blown away. And then we met and not only that but I actually like hanging out with him," Alexander said. "And because it was before financing, the fact that somebody like Elijah said, 'I want to do this," and then met with the potential financiers, sat down at the lunch table and said, 'OK, we have to do this, I'm as passionate about it as Lexi," my God."

Wood stars as Matt Buckman, an aspiring journalist who moves to London after being kicked out of Harvard. While staying with his sister (Claire Forlani) he falls in with a wild crowd of fervent football fans led by Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam) and transforms from mild-mannered student to butt-kicking thug.

It's a vastly different role for Wood, who's been etched in the pop culture consciousness for the ethereal presence he brought to the role of Frodo Baggins in the "Lord of the Rings' trilogy.
But having the 24-year-old star on the set also meant having the rabid British paparazzi. While shooting outdoors in London's Sloane Square, several photographers pulled up one day and ambushed the production.

"It was like an attack, like all of a sudden, black car drives up and it was ch-ch-ch-ch," Alexander said, simulating frenzied flashbulb noises. "In the middle of our shot! They're very aggressive. Like, I was always worried. Obviously, he's used to it, but I was so worried."

"At certain locations, too, they would literally go on the roofs of buildings close to us. And they would come on the set!" Wood added. "They walked on the set and, like, talked to people and hung out. Oh, it was so bizarre." EDITOR'S NOTE: NOT TO SOUND LIKE A GRANDMA, BUT DO THEY REALIZE HOW SILLY IT READS WHEN THEY PEPPER EVERY OTHER INTERVIEW LINE WITH 'LIKE'?

Being swarmed was something Wood didn't have to worry about while shooting the "Rings' films in New Zealand, and he said he refuses to change his life to avoid it now, despite being instantly recognizable worldwide.

"In Los Angeles, I live in Venice, and it's not a real problem unless you're in certain areas or unless you're at an event. I mean, there's paparazzi around Los Angeles but I don't really go to the places that the paparazzi hang out," said the diminutive, blue-eyed actor. "A lot of these people hang out in areas where there are, like, expensive shops, restaurants that are kind of known for having celebrities go to them."

Wood appears next in "Sin City," based on the Frank Miller graphic novels, which opens April 1. He also stars in the upcoming "Everything is Illuminated," the directorial debut of actor Liev Schreiber.

But first, he'd planned to stay in Austin for the South by Southwest music festival, which started Wednesday and runs through today, in part because he's starting his own record label.

"It just comes from loving music and wanting to release things that might not necessarily get released," Wood said. "My taste is pretty eclectic so I wouldn't say that my label would have a specific sound."

"Butterfly" To Take Flight Again
FilmEngine & New Line have approved a pitch for the sequel to "The Butterfly Effect." John Leonetti will direct the film which will be written by Michael Weiss. Ashton Kutcher is not expected to return.

The sequel will follow a new character who finds he can travel through time. As he changes past events, though, they have unexpected consequences in the present.

The film's producers hope to start shooting by this fall. EDITOR'S NOTE: I'M BETTING I STILL WON'T CARE THEN, EITHER.

"Killraven" Soaring to Big Screen
Sony Pictures is in talks with Marvel Entertainment to turn comicbook character, "Killraven," into feature film. Sony is in discussions with playwright Robert Schenkkan to adpat the comicbook into a script.

The comic's story is set in a future where mankind has been enslaved by an alien race, storyline follows a man who, though born in captivity, rises through gladiatorial battles to become the leader of a group of revolutionaries. EDITOR'S NOTE: I FEEL A VAGUE SENSE OF HAVING SEEN THIS BEFORE. IN MANY MANY DIFFERENT PERMUTATIONS. (FROM "TANK GIRL" TO "GLADIATOR", HUH?) Called the Freemen, his warrior-slaves unite in an attempt to drive the invaders off the Earth.

Marvel's Avi Arad and Angry Films' Don Murphy will produce.

Casting Underway for "Final Destination 3"
New Line has hired actors Mary Winstead and Ryan Merriman to star in "Cheating Death: Final Destination 3." The creators of the "Final Destination" series, James Wong and Glen Morgan, are back once again. Wong will direct from a script he wrote with Morgan.

The story centers on a high school senior (Winstead) who has a premonition of a fatal amusement park accident and then tries to help a her surviving friends avoid death's designs.

The film begins shooting April 4 in Vancouver. "Destination 3" is scheduled for a 2006 release. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHO KNEW PREMONITIONS OF DEATH COULD BE SO...WELL...DEADLY DULL?!

"Fantastic" Cast and Crew Dream of Real Powers
At the ShoWest, the cast and crew of FANTASTIC FOUR told the AP about the superpowers they wish they had.

Ioan Gruffudd and Julian McMahon dream about the power to fly. Director Tim Story wishes he had healing superpowers. Producer Avi Arad craves telepathic abilities.

Arad said, "It's a big responsibility to have it, but reading one's mind interests me." EDITOR'S NOTE: SOUNDS LIKE HIS MIND WOULD BE MORE A SHORT STORY? (GIGGLE)

Story stated, "I don't need much. I don't need to be able to fly. That's not a big deal to me. I just think it's pretty interesting to have a body that heals itself." EDITOR'S NOTE: WELL, OKIE DOKIE THEN.....

Blair Heads Into "Fog"
Selma Blair, DeRay Davis and Rade Serbedzija have all signed on for the remake of the horror-thriller "The Fog."

Blair will be playing the role originally portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau.

Rupert Wainwright is directing the film for Revolution Studios. Cooper Layne wrote the script.

The story is set in a Northern California town near where a ship sank about 100 years earlier under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. The ghosts of the deceased mariners return from their watery graves to seek revenge. Tom Welling and Maggie Grace also star. EDITOR'S NOTE: TEENS DYING IN REVERSE ORDER OF BILLING? (SNAPPY SUBTITLE, EH?)


Van Sant Boards "Time Traveler"
New Line Cinema is in negotiations with Gus Van Sant to direct "The Time Traveler's Wife."

The story centers on a man with a time-traveling gene that allows him to appear to his true love at different points in her life.

Jeremy Leven adapted the script from the book by Audrey Niffenegger.


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