The unlikely pair will face off in R-rated comedy
Deadline reports on one of the most head scratch-inducing comedic pairings in quite some time with the news that Universal Pictures is closing a giant deal to pick up a comedic pitch that already has Zac Efron and Seth Rogen on board to co-star. The outlet reports that the deal will cost somewhere in the 7-figure range, which is still a hefty price tag, even when it comes with such attached talent.
The untitled film "has the tone of 'Old School'" and will feature Rogen as an average guy who (unfortunately) lives in the same neighborhood as an "alpha male fraternity house." Efron will play one of those alpha frat bros "whose raucous behavior wreaks havoc" on the lives of Rogen and his family. This is somewhat unexpected casting - while Rogen has oftentimes played the schlubby role in the past, we've never seen him as a regular family guy. It's an interesting pick for him, but should still allow him to deliver some trademark humor. And, as far as Efron playing a frat boy, that seems like a decidedly okay pick, as the R-rated film will likely require Efron to play his role with a bit of a demented edge. But Efron has recently beefed up his production schedule with some mixed roles in stuff like the Nicholas Sparks adaptation "The Lucky One" and Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," so it looks like he's looking to spread his acting wings.
The film will be written and executive produced by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O'Brien who, like Rogen, come out of the Judd Apatow school o' production (both served as producers on "Funny People" and share writing credit on the Funny or Die short "Acting with James Franco"). It will be the first feature screenwriting job for both. Rogen and his production partner, Evan Goldberg, will also serve as producers on the project. Cohen and O'Brien came up with the idea and pitched it to Goldberg, who then brought in Efron and Rogen to star.
It sounds like the film will be a real proving ground for much of the talent - can Efron be funny? Can Rogen be regular? Can two crazy Apatowians deliver on a feature?
Oh, Matt Damon's manic mouth...
Candy-colored costumes and inventive sets are director's calling card
Though most audiences might not be familiar with Tarsem Singh’s highly visual, energetic, and color-saturated films, the director will soon see two projects hit the big screen. The first, “Immortals,” is the director’s take on the Greek mythology of warrior Theseus, and boasts a cast packed with fresh talent, including new Superman Henry Cavill and other hot young actors Luke Evans, Frieda Pinto, and Isabel Lucas. The film will open on November 11 of this year. But it’s the director’s other in-production project that is just starting to reveal some of its secrets – his spin on the Snow White fairy tale.
Up top is our first look the film’s star, Lily Collins, gussied up for the project. She makes a breathtaking Snow White, but what’s most interesting about this look is how true to form it stays to Tarsem’s (as he sometimes likes to be called) trademark aesthetic; it doesn’t look like he’s toning his style down for this anticipated release, and that’s comforting to fans of his work. Tarsem only has two features to his name, but they are both incredibly original works with a distinct style, flair, and worldview. 2000’s “The Cell” still stands as Jennifer Lopez’s most gutsy cinematic choice, and 2008’s “The Fall” was criminally underseen and lushly beautiful.
Tarsem’s Snow White project (which was once billed as “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White” and is now without an official title) is not to be confused with next year’s other Snow White project. That other project is Rupert Sanders' “Snow White and the Huntsman” (the one with Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron). Tarsem’s project has Collins as Snow White, Armie Hammer as the Prince, Julia Roberts as the wicked Queen, with Sean Bean recently rumored to be on board as the King. Though “Huntsman” will take the story in a darker direction (with rumors that said darkness could spread into a trilogy), Tarsem’s film is billed as “comedic” and “family-friendly.” That’s certainly a change for the director, but one I am quite anxious to see.
The film opens on March 16, 2012.
What do you think of this first look at Collins? Are you a fan of Tarsem’s work? Thanks to the folks over at Relativity for sending over this gorgeous first look.
Jack Black and Nicolas Cage to play 'Frank or Francis'
Also in the news, courtesy of Deadline, is Drake Doremus, whom we can only assume spends his days slaying dragons, taming unicorns, unearthing pirate treasures, making exotic women (and men) swoon, and exploring fantastic new worlds. Such is the power of his uniquely evocative name. Apparently he doesn't do any of those things, however, as he is actually an acclaimed film director.
With his Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence-starring "Like Crazy" creating a stir at Sundance this year, anticipation for Drake's next project is high. Even more so now that he has cast Guy Pearce (pictured), Amy Ryan, and Felicity Jones in the film. Unfortunately, details remain scarce as to the plot of the as-yet untitled picture. Could it be an autobiographical tale, elucidating a rapturous public as to how his clearly prophetic parents gave him such a spectacular name? And could Drake one day be up for the Imogen Poots Award? Only time will tell.
The actress joins a gaggle of Oscar winners in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming film
I’ve been following Kate Winslet’s unconventional career ever since she burst onto the scene as the charismatic Juliet Hulme in Peter Jackson’s 1994 film, “Heavenly Creatures.” Now the Academy Award-winning actress is starring in Steven Soderbergh’s global thriller, “Contagion,” about a deadly virus that threatens to annihilate the population.
A team of international doctors become the unlikely heroes in this race-against-the-clock story filmed in a variety of international locales and penned by Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Informant!”). Kate is joined by a massive dose of star power including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, and Bryan Cranston. The subject matter of this tense drama may cause panic in the streets, or at least prevent Howie Mandel from ever leaving his house again. Personally, I’d infect myself with the virus if I could get treated by Winslet’s Dr. Erin Mears.
“Contagion” will open across the country on September 9th. While Tea Party activists may blame the film’s worldwide health crisis on Obamacare, Soderbergh’s film is expected to have a highly infectious appeal.