<p>'The Fighter,' directed by David O. Russell, has become one of the year's most awarded films, and we had Russell on this week to talk about his own remarkable career rebound</p>

'The Fighter,' directed by David O. Russell, has become one of the year's most awarded films, and we had Russell on this week to talk about his own remarkable career rebound

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Listen: Oscar nominee David O. Russell talks 'Fighter,' and 'Uncharted' on this week's M/C Podcast

Plus 'Enter The Void,' Zack Snyder and bad buzz, and this week in home video

In the last six to eight weeks, I've listened to a lot of other podcasts.  I've been curious to see what I like, what I don't like, what aesthetic choices other people make.  I've also gotten mail from many of you about what you don't like and what you do, and I'm taking all of this information and trying to incorporate it into a better podcast each time.

I think it's pretty much set in stone at this point that Scott Swan is my co-host on the podcast, but I like treating him like a special guest each and every week because it makes me laugh.  Scott is my oldest friend that I'm in constant contact with, and at this point, after 21 years of working together, there's no one I have a better rapport with.  That's what makes him the perfect sounding board for me as we have these loose and free-wheeling conversations.

And I think "loose" is a good description for this week's show.  We were a little rusty, so the show ended up running long this week.  It's worth it, though, for two segments in particular.

First, there's my interview with Oscar-nominee David O. Russell.  As long as I've admired his work, I've never had the opportunity to chat with him, and I can think of no better time to do so.

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<p>'I Am Number Four' could have used a whoooooole lot more of this.&nbsp; That's all I'm sayin'.</p>

'I Am Number Four' could have used a whoooooole lot more of this.  That's all I'm sayin'.

Credit: Dreamworks

Review: 'I Am Number Four' is familiar, safe Sci-Fi fare

DJ Caruso turns in another professional but impersonal film

Young adult literature, as a broad, overall genre umbrella, confuses me.

It's a huge business these days.  It's taken over giant swaths of the chain bookstores, and it seems like every time I turn around, there's a new sensation, a new series that kids are crazy about, and Hollywood's chasing those audiences like Boy Scouts on a snipe hunt, catching dozens of "Eragon"s or "City Of Ember"s for every "Twilight" or "Harry Potter."

James Frey, the writer who was humiliated on Oprah Winfrey's show after the truth about his "memoir" came out, has rebounded into a new career as the manager of a young adult literature sweatshop of sorts, where he manages a lot of young writers on a bunch of different ideas at once, and "I Am Number Four" is the result of one of those collaborations with a guy named Jobie Hughes.  The movie, in theaters and IMAX today, was adapted from the book by "Pittacus Lore" by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and Marti Noxon, and it should be little surprise that a TV dream team like that has put together what feels like a very expensive pilot for a series I doubt we're ever going to see.

It's familiar fare.  Alex Pettyfer stars as "John Smith," a teenager who is perpetually on the run, moving from town to town with Henri, played by Timothy Olyphant.  Henri is his bodyguard, and the two of them are fugitives from a distant planet called Lorien.  They are being hunted by the Mogadorians, big creepy dudes with sharp teeth and funky tattoos on their heads.  There are others like John and Henri, but they're scattered, all hiding on their own.  And each time the Mogadorians catch and kill one of them, another tattoo on John's leg lights up and burns him and tells him that they're one step closer, and they're coming for him as well. 

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<p>Sean Daniel has signed on to produce 'Dead Island,' based on the upcoming survival horror game</p>

Sean Daniel has signed on to produce 'Dead Island,' based on the upcoming survival horror game

Credit: Techland

'Wolfman,' 'Mummy' producer Sean Daniel acquires 'Dead Island' rights

Two days after the trailer goes viral, a movie deal is set

Well, that was quick.

Sean Daniel has been producing movies for 20 years now, and before that, he was a studio executive at Universal, having supervised films like "National Lampoon's Animal House" and "Do The Right Thing."  He's a guy who has fairly broad taste as a producer, having worked on films like "Dazed and Confused," "Tombstone," "The Mummy," and "The Wolfman."

And now Sean Daniel is the producer of "Dead Island," based on the video game that became a buzz sensation based on the animated trailer that premiered a few days ago.

For most of his career, Daniel was partnered with Jim Jacks in Alphaville, but he recently established The Sean Daniel Company, and they're the ones who bought the rights to the game.  It's really no wonder the rights sold this quickly.  When something blows up like that, there's a momentum that can push things over, and this is a case where the heat was so instant, and so widespread, that it was a matter of who, not when.

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<p>Someone just told Liam Neeson how 'Unknown' ends.&nbsp; 'Wait, I'm a what?&nbsp; Really?&nbsp; And you want me to try to play that with a straight face?!'</p>

Someone just told Liam Neeson how 'Unknown' ends.  'Wait, I'm a what?  Really?  And you want me to try to play that with a straight face?!'

Credit: Warner Bros/Dark Castle

Review: Liam Neeson kicks some butt in the implausible but hilarious 'Unknown'

Could Jaume Collet-Serra be the biggest prankster in movies today?

I think we're being punked.

I've never met Jaume Collet-Serra.  Never spoken with him.  All I can judge is the way he approaches his films, and so far, he strikes me as a prankster.  It's sort of like with Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant, two very funny guys who also write movies like "Night At The Museum" and "The Love Bug."  It feels like they're writing these films almost as a dare to studio executives.  "Go ahead.  Tell me I'm not taking this seriously.  Tell me you understand comedy well enough to explain why something does or doesn't work."  And when no one calls them on it, people actually make these movies and treat them like they're meant to be good.

With Collet-Serra, he has made a grand total of four movies now.  One of them, "Goal II: Living The Dream," is part of a trilogy of soccer movies that all pretty much look and play the same, so you can't really judge it as his.  With "House Of Wax" and "Orphan," though, I got the same feeling watching both movies.  He's obviously skilled with a camera, and there's a playful sense of style to what he does.

But the movies themselves?  Totally bats**t crazy.

And the feeling I get as I watch these films is that Collet-Serra totally knows that.  I think he reads a script and decides, "Oh, this is obviously written by a crazy person.  OF COURSE I want to direct it."  I know David Johnson, who wrote "Orphan," and while David seems like a perfectly charming, intelligent, sane person, I would say "Orphan" proves that there are great churning seas of madness just below that surface.  That is one wackadoo thriller.  It's fun because it is so unapologetically loony.

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<p>Shane Black, seen here on the set of 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' is set to reunite with Robert Downey Jr. for 'Iron Man 3'</p>

Shane Black, seen here on the set of 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' is set to reunite with Robert Downey Jr. for 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: Warner Bros.

No more speculation... Shane Black is directing 'Iron Man 3'

Robert Downey Jr. must be just as happy as I am right now

Remember about a week ago, when I was all, "OMG, Shane Black might direct 'Iron Man 3'!" and you were all "No way, dude," and I was all "Yuh-huh!" and you were all "He's not gonna get that job." and I was all "Yuh-huh he totally should"?

Well, guess what?  HitFix can now confirm that Shane Black is in final negotiations to direct "Iron Man 3"  Although Marvel Studios will not confirm the negotiations at this time, sources have confirmed to HitFix that the deal is moving forward and should be finished soon.

Exciting, no?

I'm still seeing some indifference or even outright dismissal of Black as a director as I watch reactions stream by this afternoon, but the first thing that you have to keep in mind is that Marvel needed to find a filmmaker who would make Robert Downey Jr. happy for this third film, and if he brings nothing else to the table, Black's got that covered.  "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was a crucial movie in Downey's filmography, the right film at the right time to prove to studios that he was still able to turn up the charm.  You could argue that everything Downey has today started with "KKBB," and that he owes Black a return of that sort of career boost.

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<p>Spoiler alert:&nbsp; things do not go well for that little girl in the already-infamous game trailer for 'Dead Island'</p>

Spoiler alert:  things do not go well for that little girl in the already-infamous game trailer for 'Dead Island'

Credit: Axis Animation

'Dead Island' trailer a sensation, but is a movie next?

Is Hollywood seriously ready to start optioning 45-second video game commercials?

Yesterday, waaaaaaaaay down at the very bottom of The Morning Read, I ran a video that is a trailer for a new video game called "Dead Island."  I thought it was a nifty little mood piece, and that's about all the thought I gave it.

It is genuinely amazing to me, then, to see just how much impact one dialogue-free video game ad can have.  If you look at Twitter, "Dead Island" has been trending for the last 24 hours.  If you go to Google and search, there are hundreds of news articles in the last 24 hours.  Axis Animation, the Scottish production house that made the trailer, has become a big story today.  I'm even hearing that the film rights to "Dead Island" have become a hot property based entirely on that one short spot.

Here's how you know it's huge:  Devin Faraci has written a strongly-worded editorial dismissing it.

All of this for something that is essentially a zombie version of a Coldplay video.  Why?  What is it about internet culture that allows something that brief and, honestly speaking, inconsequential, to suddenly become an overnight phenomenon?  I think the next big talent pool for feature film directors is not going to be from music videos or short films, but from video game cut scenes and from these moody sort of announcement videos that have become increasingly common in the gaming industry.

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<p>It pains me to describe any photo of Lynda Carter as 'part of the problem,' but costume issues are one of many reasons it's been tough to get a big-screen 'Wonder Woman' made</p>

It pains me to describe any photo of Lynda Carter as 'part of the problem,' but costume issues are one of many reasons it's been tough to get a big-screen 'Wonder Woman' made

Credit: ABC TV/Warner Bros.

Will Hollywood ever get 'Wonder Woman' right?

A look back at the many failed attempts to bring the Amazon princess to life

Ivan Reitman.

That's the name you'd think of first when you're thinking of filmmakers to get a "Wonder Woman" feature film off the ground, right?

That was the first name I remember hearing attached to it.  That was when I was working on the Universal lot, and Reitman, along with Michael Gross and Joe Medjuck, was set to produce the film for Warner Bros.  They had their offices for Montecito Films there at Universal, part of their overall deal.  Reitman worked on the film for something like six years, going through several treatments and scripts and writers in the process.

By the time I started contributing regularly to Ain't It Cool News, "Wonder Woman" was starting to heat up again, and the word I heard was that Reitman had one more shot to get it right.  That was around 1998.

Didn't happen.  So Warner Bros. gave the project to Jon Peters.

Didn't happen.  So Warner Bros. gave the project to Joel Silver.

And Joel Silver started hiring writers.  Jon Coen, one of the guys who worked on "Minority Report," ended up doing a few drafts, and that same era, Silver seemed bound and determined to hire Sandra Bullock to play the character.  Her name ended up tied to the role for several years, and not just by fanboys, but by Silver himself.  Todd Alcott ended up writing a few drafts, and I remember reading a few of them around 2000 or 2001, and not really recognizing the character.  She was a spy who could fly around the world like Superman, and there was a lot of action, but it didn't strike me as being "Wonder Woman" in any specific way.

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<p>It may have seemed outrageous when Frank Miller first aged Batman and Superman for 'The Dark Knight Returns,' but now it could well turn out to be the sort of idea that the mainstream is ready for when Matthew Vaughn makes 'The&nbsp;Golden Age'</p>

It may have seemed outrageous when Frank Miller first aged Batman and Superman for 'The Dark Knight Returns,' but now it could well turn out to be the sort of idea that the mainstream is ready for when Matthew Vaughn makes 'The Golden Age'

Credit: DC Comics

Matthew Vaughn wants Nicholson, Beatty and Eastwood to suit up for 'Golden Age'

Will the Wossy comic about retirement home superheroes attract an A-list cast?

When I first read Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns," it felt revolutionary to see someone imagine Batman and Superman at the other end of their lives, after decades on the job had worn down their bodies and their souls, and ever since then, we've seen any number of superhero tropes bent and broken for fun by all sorts of creators.  At this point, it's silly to call anything in the genre "post-modern," because the entire superhero world has been turned inside out so many times that it's hard to tell where the deconstruction begins anymore.

Which is not to say there's no room for a good idea, and it sounds to me like Jonathan Ross, the TV host and comic book addict who is married to Jane Goldman, has come up with a pretty cracking good idea.  Matthew Vaughn, Goldman's frequent creative partner, evidently feels the same way because he's starting to discuss his plans to bring "The Golden Age" to the bigscreen.

There's no guarantee at this point that Vaughn will direct the film, but he's definitely involved in developing it for the bigscreen.  The comic isn't even in stores yet, but that didn't stop Vaughn when he signed on to bring "Kick-Ass" to life before it was on comic shelves, and that worked out pretty well for him.  In this case, the book deals with a retirement home for superheroes, and a group of them who decide to help out their grandchildren when the world is threatened. 

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<p>'If we're lucky, no one will remember any of this by the time 'Men In Black 3' comes out.&nbsp; Now look into the little red light, please...'</p>

'If we're lucky, no one will remember any of this by the time 'Men In Black 3' comes out.  Now look into the little red light, please...'

Credit: Sony Pictures

The Morning Read: Gondry tackles Philip K. Dick's 'Ubik' and 'Men In Black 3' takes a break

Plus 'Sherlock 2' gets a title and Devin Faraci goes 'Supernatural'

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Holy cow… Michel Gondry adapting "Ubik" as a film is one of those things I wouldn't even dream of asking for, because I'd figure there's no way anyone would actually pony up the money to make that real.  Yet that's the word this morning, and if Gondry really does end up making that film, it could be the Phillip K. Dick adaptation that Dick deserves.  His literary legacy has been deeply abused by Hollywood over the years, and if you only know him from the movies that are loosely based on his work, you'd think he was a guy who had big ideas and wrote a whoooooole lot of stupid action scenes.  The truth is that movies have rarely done well by his work.  There's a spiritual component to his books and stories that is often intentionally overlooked, and the surreality of his best work is often abandoned in favor of empty explosions.  Gondry would be a perfect filmmaker to adapt "Ubik," one of the headiest of all of Dick's novels, and I can honestly say that it sounds like such a perfect marriage of filmmaker and material that I can't believe it will ever come to pass.  Please, Gondry, prove me wrong.

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<p>Nicolas Cage, like the honey badger, does not fear the explosion in this new still from 'Drive Angry 3D'</p>

Nicolas Cage, like the honey badger, does not fear the explosion in this new still from 'Drive Angry 3D'

Credit: Summit Entertainment

7 movies that made Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer 'Drive Angry' with Nicolas Cage

The writer and director of the new Nicolas Cage action/horror film name some influences

I've seen "Drive Angry 3D" twice now, and I'll say it plain:  it's fun. 

It is big and silly and badass and fun.  Nicolas Cage is so totally in on the joke from the moment he appears onscreen and William Fichtner is commanding, to say the least.  Amber Heard is Amber Heard, as preposterously sculpted as ever, and she does indeed play an archetypical Last Girl with a great deal of gusto.

In building their muscle-car mythology, Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer spoke fluent film nerd to each other, as they do in any conversation you have with either of them, and especially when they're together.  I find I'm speaking a lot of the same particular language as them, which may be why I enjoy their work.

They sent over something just for you today, a back-and-forth look at seven movies that left unmistakable fingerprints on "Drive Angry 3D."  Just reading the way they digested these movies, I think you'll get a real clear idea of whether or not you're interested in what they've done.  They make a case for their film better than I can, so check this out and see if you're in tune with them, too:

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