The Morning Read: Raimi makes it official and 'Oz' is next
Welcome to The Morning Read.
It's raining in Los Angeles, I've already interviewed Jason Schwartzman today, and I've got "Grindhouse" on the Blu-ray player. Sounds like it's time to see what's going on out there today.
You guys haven't had a chance to see "Rabbit Hole" yet, and I still haven't gotten around to reviewing it, so we haven't really begun singing the hosannahs for David Lindsay-Abaire here on the site yet. We will. And it looks like Sam Raimi's also in Lindsay-Abaire's fan club. He had the writer working on "Spider-Man 4" for him before he dropped out of it, and now he's got him hard at work on "The Great And Powerful Oz," which Raimi is now officially set to direct for Disney in the spring. Raimi appears to be the winner of the great "Oz" scramble of 2010, in which everyone in town simultaneously realized that Frank L. Baum's books are public domain, and if he really does secure Robert Downey Jr. as the Wizard, something that's not set in stone yet, then Disney might as well go ahead and break out the champagne, 'cause they can't lose.
When I was in Austin for Fantastic Fest, I stayed with my friends Aaron and Kaela, and he's an avowed "Halo" addict who was firmly in the grips of "Halo: Reach" the entire time I was there. That series has a hold on its fanbase that is truly impressive, so I'm not shocked to read that Hollywood is still sniffing around the game, trying to figure it out how to turn it into a film franchise of the same size. I would, however, be shocked if all this talk of Spielberg adapting the spin-off novels actually amounted to anything more than a big fat game of "What if?".
Guillermo Del Toro is living the dream these days, and I love how frank and revealing he is in interviews. There's a piece over on io9 right now that features some great Guillermo quotes, including my new favorite quote of the month: "Adapting material is like marrying a widow. You have to be very respectful of the late husband's memory, but at some point you've gotta f**k."
Twitter was a-flame yesterday with people arguing about the reason behind AMC dropping "Hatchet II" from theaters after all the advance publicity about how proud they were to support the unrated release of a horror film. There was a lot of speculation about AMC's motivation, very little of which was backed up by any actual information. What's most important about the incident is that it points out just how little progress we've made in the last 20 years in regards to unrated or adult-rated material. Movieline did a piece to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the NC-17, the MPAA's failed attempt to create a way to release serious, non-pornographic films that aren't appropriate for younger viewers. It doesn't matter if you like or dislike "Hatchet II". What matters is that we are treated like children as a culture, consistently allowing one group of people to decide what is or isn't appropriate for us to watch. It's pathetic. There was a time when I was consistently angry about it and vocal about that anger, but at this point, I don't believe the studios will ever allow for any alternative for the MPAA to work. It just doesn't make financial sense for them. I admire Adam Green and Dark Sky for trying, but I'm numb about the oh-so-predictable outcome.
So let me see if I've got this straight... Paul King, the director of "The Mighty Boosh," has a new six-episode sitcom he's directed with David Walliams and Matt Lucas of "Little Britain" fame playing something like 30 roles? Can someone just send this to me right this minute? Please?
The scary thing is, they'll sell out of these in the blink of an eye. If they doubled the price, they'd still sell out. The fandom of Burton/Elfman is almost impossible to overestimate. Gotta say, that's some impressive packaging.
The idea that John Landis has a new film finished is very exciting in theory... so how about in practice? Now that there's a trailer for "Burke & Hare," it's time to see how Landis is looking these days:
Okay... I'm in. I like that Hammer is trying a comeback with their logo on the front of "Let Me In," and now Ealing is also getting its name back out there, in what looks like an absolutely appropriate fit. And Simon Pegg in a film with Jessica Hynes? Sold.
I really liked Michael Winterbottom's new film "The Trip," and will definitely review it soon, but the one thing I'll say about it first is that it played into my desire as a fan to see something new from Alan Partridge, the character that Coogan and Winterbottom helped make famous. Particularly all the conversations about ABBA and how seriously Coogan takes them. Hearing there's some actual new Partridge on the way is very good news indeed, and I love that Coogan still feels like there's more to say with the character.
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is coming. Resistance is futile.
And finally today, because it's just pure sweet nerd bliss:
Plenty more for you tonight and this week, so keep reading.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except when it doesn't.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Let Streaming Genie help you.