Inversion of the Body-Switchers in L.A.
A low-cost way to tell a fantastic story, body-switching goes back way before "Freaky Friday" in the '70s; with "The Change-Up," director David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers") brings the sub-genre into the age of the R-rated "bro-mance" with the help of "Hangover" writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Stars Jason Bateman (playing a harried husband to Leslie Mann, father and lawyer) and Ryan Reynolds (playing a slack, single screw-up) met the press in Los Angeles.
Would you really want to switch bodies, just for a day, to see what it would be like?
Reynolds: I'd do terrible things to his body.
Bateman: And to my wife. He's been after my wife for years.
Reynolds: Years. Amanda (Anka, Bateman's wife of 10 years)? She would be mine.
Tell us a little bit about your preparation: Did you actually study each other?
Reynolds: A little bit. I first met Jason 15 years ago, so we've known each other a long time. I think I speak for both of us unilaterally when I say neither of us are good enough at our jobs to do an impression of each other.
Bateman: How dare you.
Reynolds: No, we didn't really work on that specifically. We really went with the essence of the other guy. We have a pretty high level of conceit right up at the get-go on a movie like this, so we didn't want audiences picking apart our performances as a spot-on imitation of each other. It didn't seem really necessary.
Bateman: You're not going to R-rated comedies to get a study in acting. You want to go in there, have a good time, laugh your ass off, maybe get offended a couple of times and get the hell out. We're not trying to win Oscars here, or teach anybody any lessons. Having said all that, this movie is about as high-quality -- if I do say so myself -- as you can get with an R-rated comedy, a comedy absolutely pushes all boundaries and barriers and happens to sneak in quite a bit of heart and relatability -- if that's possible in a concept where people switch bodies. It's the reason that Ryan and I jumped at the chance to be in the film: The quality of the script, what Lucas and Moore did with what is obviously a concept that people are more than familiar with, that there's no reason to do another body-switching movie unless you're going to do something different -- and we do here. It's an R-rated body-switching movie, and it hasn't been done before. You put the director of 'Wedding Crashers' on that, and I'm already in. We were lucky to be a part of it, and we couldn't be prouder of it.
Reynolds: He said all that on one exhalation. Do you have gills or something? It's incredible.
Maybe more than your average lurking-fin thriller?
Talented young actor adds weight to troubled production
Despite having a somewhat solid pedigree behind it, Barry Levinson’s “Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father” has been plagued with bad press that has verged on just plain weird press. The film currently has John Travolta, Al Pacino, and Kelly Preston signed on for roles (including Travolta as the elder Gotti), but it’s the announcement from Variety that Ben Foster will play John Gotti, Jr. that is the most positive bit of buzz for the film yet. The film will chronicle the relationship between father and son, one fraught with tensions due to their very different outlooks on life, particularly a life of crime.
Foster has built himself an impressive resume of well-chosen roles over the span of his career, though he has yet to crack into the big leagues. His upcoming slate, however, should change that, as he has no less than five films currently in production, including Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” and a rumored role in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.” But his past work in films such as “The Messenger” and “3:10 to Yuma” prove how talented he is and that his joining the cast of “Gotti” is a huge boon for the project.
“Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father” has been dogged by wacky news reports since director Nick Cassavetes dropped out of the film in April. Most recently, Joe Pesci sued Fiore Films, the project’s production company, for $3 million. Why? Pesci claims that Fiore Films used his name to gather interest in the film without officially signing him on for it. Believing he was set for the role of Gotti enforcer, Angelo Ruggerio, Pesci gained thirty pounds. Pesci says that Fiore Films went back on their offer, though the production company now says it was Pesci who pulled out.
In other casting debacles, Lindsay Lohan was once rumored to play Victoria Gotti, with her role then changed to that of Kim Gotti, wife of Gotti, Jr. Lohan is reportedly not officially signed for the film yet, despite months of speculation around her name, and it remains to be seen if the actress will be available or insurable for the production, which is set to start shooting on January 3.
The film is also saddled with that hefty title, which was previously the equally-as-wordy “Gotti: Three Generations,” before taking on this “Shadow” bit, which still feels too long and a touch movie-of-the-week-ish. The story of the Gotti family is inherently cinematic, rife with drama and true crime tales, so here's hoping the film gets away from bad buzz and keeps rolling with more solid choices.
Character is editor-in-chief of Metropolis' 'Daily Planet'
Laurence Fishburne recently raised some eyebrows when he failed to renew his contract for CSI this year, after taking over as male lead from William Petersen, but now we know why the veteran actor left the popular show. As EW reports, Fishburne is set to play Perry White, editor-in-chief of Metropolis’ Daily Planet newspaper, in Zach Snyder’s upcoming take on the Superman property, “Man of Steel.” The film is already set to star Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, and Diane Lane.
The character of Perry White is a consistent and popular one in Superman history, and he’s been present in nearly every incarnation of Superman, from page to radio to screen. White is a former journalist himself, and his tough standards and ideals carry over to his managerial style. And while those are the defining characteristics of the editor, modern Superman comics have filled out his own backstory a significant amount, including a personal history with Lex Luthor. It will be interesting to see how much of that is present in Snyder’s film.
Perry White has previously been played on screen by Jackie Cooper in “Superman: The Movie” and its three sequels, Lane Smith in the television show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” Michael McKean on “Smallville,” and Frank Langella in Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns.” This is not Fishburne’s first role in a comic book property, as he’s appeared in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (as the voice of the titular Silver Surfer) and narrated “TMNT,” but it will be his first live-action appearance.
(We don't actually have an envelope to open here. Just read on to find out.)
The legendary singer's only dramatic film role is one he'd like to forget
One of the greatest singers this country has ever known, Tony Bennett, turns 85 today. But the multiple Grammy Award winner shows no signs of slowing down. He has released over 70 albums during his amazing career. His latest, “Duets II,” comes out next month and includes the last performance by the late Amy Winehouse (they sing “Body and Soul” together). Bennett also performs on this recording with artists such as Mariah Carey, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, and Lady Gaga.
In the movies, Bennett’s tunes have been featured in countless films including “The Last Picture Show,” “Raging Bull,” “Casino,” and “War of the Worlds.” He has appeared as himself in such hits as “Analyze This,” “The Scout,” and “Bruce Almighty.” But did you know that at one time, over 40 years ago, the legendary singer tried to become a movie star in his own right?