<p>Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson share a laugh during an interview for their new film 'Hall Pass,' opening everywhere this Friday</p>

Jason Sudeikis and Owen Wilson share a laugh during an interview for their new film 'Hall Pass,' opening everywhere this Friday

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis tell the truth about their 'Hall Pass'

How do you become best friends on the first day of shooting?

One of the hardest things in playing best friends in a movie is finding a way to create the shorthand that exists between people who have genuinely known each other for years or even decades  And as an actor, you're required to create that sort of chemistry out of thin air sometimes, during the time when you're just getting to know this other person.

In the case of "Hall Pass," much of the film hinges on the friendship between Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis), and I thought they did a great job of playing off each other.  Wilson always seems like he shows up ready to play, but with Sudeikis, this could be a calling card for him as a leading man in movies. 

I've always had a hard time trying to figure out what the niche would be for Sudeikis in film, since he's a sort of average guy type, not as outrageous as someone like Will Forte or Bill Hader, his peers on SNL.  Seeing him in this film, I get a real Phil Hartman quality, and like Phil, I think Sudeikis could really play to his average-guy looks and be charmingly subversive with the right material.  He and Wilson together strike me as very real suburban dads, normal and average, with all their inner weirdo lurking just below the surface.

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<p>Somehow, war seems a little less scary when it's staged like this by Zack Snyder and the largely female cast of 'Sucker Punch'</p>

Somehow, war seems a little less scary when it's staged like this by Zack Snyder and the largely female cast of 'Sucker Punch'

Credit: Warner/Legendary

Watch: Final 'Sucker Punch' trailer unleashes hot girls, crazy mayhem

Zack Snyder's first original film is almost here

Next week, I'll finally be able to talk about my time on the set of "Sucker Punch."  Right now, nothing I say is going to sway people one way or another about the film since there's a new trailer for the movie that is going to pretty much seal whether or not you think you're going to go see the film in the theater.

I can't imagine someone who loves genre films and fantasy filmmaking in general who doesn't think this looks like a visual treat.  The story to the film is a tough one, and I remember thinking that even when Zack and Deb Snyder both described it to us, it seemed like they were struggling to fully sum it up.

What this trailer really does is establish that Snyder's signature is here in full force, but unleashed to just wander and do anything it wants instead of in service to someone else's vision.  I've been reading the gorgeous "Art of" book that Titan is putting out, full of Clay Enos photos from the set, and if nothing else, I am dazzled by the scope of Snyder's unfettered imagination in this one.

When I see someone complain about Snyder's visual work, I honestly don't see the same thing they see.  Snyder plays with time during scenes and during action because that's the way time feels during certain moments, thick and slow and then suddenly fast again.  It communicates something, and it allows for something akin to a comic book panel, a frozen highlight from a larger series of motions.

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<p>Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, and Justin Timberlake take a field trip together in this summer's comedy 'Bad Teacher'</p>

Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, and Justin Timberlake take a field trip together in this summer's comedy 'Bad Teacher'

Credit: Sony/Screen Gems

Watch: Funny, filthy Cameron Diaz in very R-rated 'Bad Teacher' trailer

Jason Segal, Justin TImberlake, and Lucy Punch also strong in first look

Jake Kasdan should be much bigger than he is.

And, no, I don't mean he's a leprechaun.  He's not miniature.  But he is far more talented than his "place" in the industry would indicate.  His work on "Freaks and Geeks" alone should make him a big name.  "Zero Effect" is one of those great small movies that seems to be timeless, totally not part of any trend, and with a huge voice.  "Orange County" is a low-key charmer, and "The TV Set" is an acutely-observed look at the madness of the entertainment industry, revealing and without sentiment.  I think people dismissed "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" without really seeing it, lumping it in with lesser parody work, and it's probably the best comedy about musicians since "Ishtar."

Yes, I meant that as praise.

Maybe the tide has turned for Kasdan.  Maybe this is his year finally.  Screen Gems had a fun smart late-summer surprise last year with "Easy A," and I'm hoping "Bad Teacher" is that for them again this year, only with a much fouler mouth.  Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have a very short track record.  They wrote "Year One," they write for "The Office," and they're working on "Ghostbuster III." 

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<p>I'll bet you money the film isn't going to look like this</p>

I'll bet you money the film isn't going to look like this

Credit: Ashley Wood/IDW Comics

Sony and Michael Bay team up for 'Zombies Vs Robots'

Despite the title, there just might be something to this one

Sony and Platinum Dunes are set to team up in bringing the IDW series "Zombies Vs. Robots" to the bigscreen, and all over the world, aspiring screenwriters commit suicide out of pure existential fear that there is no reason to even try anymore.

I like JT Petty, who evidently turned the IDW comic into a spec script called "Inherit The Earth," and I think he's an underrated screenwriter.  And Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood actually did create something pretty cool with the original series.  It's lean and mean as a book, focused on a sort of philosophical war between three mad scientists who are responsible for the zombie apocalypse and the creation of sentient robots, and the one baby left, a little girl, is the thing they pitch their struggle over.  The artwork in the book was beautiful and strange, and worked as a sort of expressionist take on genre.

Platinum Dunes being involved makes me think this is going to be a whole lot less expressionist and a whole lot more conventional when and if it does make the jump to the bigscreen.  That's just the nature of the thing.  It wasn't until later, after the initial book, that Ryall and Wood expanded the world and started telling more human-centric stories.

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<p>If I had the &quot;Word Of God,&quot; I would order Hollywood to stop wasting their time with a book that will, by its ver nature, be watered down by any attempts to adapt it.</p>

If I had the "Word Of God," I would order Hollywood to stop wasting their time with a book that will, by its ver nature, be watered down by any attempts to adapt it.

Credit: Vertigo Comics

Can DJ Caruso finally get 'Preacher' made as a movie?

Is the director of 'Disturbia' going to do what the director of 'American Beauty' couldn't?

I will say it clearly and without equivocation:  "Preacher" will not work as a movie.

"Preacher" will not work as a series of movies.  "Preacher" will not work on TV.  "Preacher" will not work anywhere you have a series of people making decisions based on advertisers, sponsors, subscribers, or demographics.  "Preacher" exists right now in the one form that can fully handle what "Preacher" is, and any attempts to translate it to another form of media will end in bitter, bitter tears.

On that note, congratulations to DJ Caruso for being the latest person attached to "Preacher," which he will allegedly direct for Sony.

I say "allegedly" because this has been in the works for a while, and it's been through a lot of hands already.  I remember reading drafts of the screenplay back with Rachel Talalay (the director of "Tank Girl") was going to direct it, and I still remember seeing the Arseface make-up for the first time. It was hideous, directly out of the documentary "Dream Deceivers," and so dead-on accurate to the character design from the book that I thought, "Wow, I wonder if they might actually pull this off."

Oh, sweet young naive me.

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<p>Johnny Depp is a giant movie star.&nbsp; How can I tell? &nbsp;Because if I wore that to my interviews, the Four Seasons wouldn't let me in the front door.</p>

Johnny Depp is a giant movie star.  How can I tell?  Because if I wore that to my interviews, the Four Seasons wouldn't let me in the front door.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Johnny Depp discusses 'Rango,' Hunter, and 'The Lone Ranger'

What does his new film have in common with his next film?

Johnny Depp is, if I had to sum him up in one word, elusive.

He does press, but he does it like he's being chased by assassins.  No matter how much the publicity teams on his films over the years have been helpful or reached out to me, actually scheduling time to sit down with Depp has never happened.

I'm actually glad that when it did finally happen a little over a week ago, it was for a movie I really liked, and one that is slightly left-of-center for a leading man movie star.  I was a Depp fan during the days before "Pirates," when he was just "that guy who appears to be completely allergic to movie stardom," when he made interesting choices that seemed designed to please only him.  As a result, the first film I had to ask him about as we were settling in for the interview was "Dead Man," the unconventional western he made with Jim Jarmusch in 1995.  I told him that he was the only man with enough clout to get Disney/Miramax to release the film on Blu-ray.  I've actually learned since that someone else has picked up the rights and that the Blu-ray mastering is being done right now, so Depp doesn't have to lean on the Mouse anymore. 

But still, starting with "Dead Man" felt appropriate in many ways, since "Rango" is absolutely a western.  And since Gore Verbinski always described the "Pirates" movies as westerns when we spoke, and since Verbinski and Depp are gearing up to reunite for "The Lone Ranger," that genre was the main point of interest in our conversation.

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<p>How is it possible for one image to be simultaneously this silly and this awesome?&nbsp; It'll be interesting to see if we finally get an American version of 'Star Blazers'.</p>

How is it possible for one image to be simultaneously this silly and this awesome?  It'll be interesting to see if we finally get an American version of 'Star Blazers'.

Credit: Toho Company

The Morning Read: Is Christopher McQuarrie suiting up for 'Star Blazers'?

Plus 'Tree of Life,' Argento's 'Dracula 3D,' and more

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Why am I not friends with David and Megan Ellison?  Last week we ran the story about Megan Ellison stepping in to help finance two upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson movies, "The Master" and "Inherent Vice," and now there's news of her brother possibly stepping in to help finance "Star Blazers," with a script by Christopher McQuarrie.  Harry at Ain't It Cool says the rights still aren't pinned down, and that Lucasfilm might also be in the race at the moment, which leads me to ask "Why are the rights to 'Star Blazers' a hot commodity all of a sudden?"  There's a live-action version of the series that's in theaters now in Japan under its original title, "Space Battleship Yamato," but the property's been bouncing around Hollywood for years.  The Ellison kids are both wealthy thanks to their billionaire father, and so far, they've been making very strong choices.  Skydance, David Ellison's company, is partnered with Paramount on "MIssion Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the proposed "Top Gun" sequel, and the Jack Ryan reboot, so there's at least a small chance that if Skydance does end up with the rights to "Star Blazers," it could end up with a home at Paramount.

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<p>Kevin Costner, seen here at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, is up for a role in Zack Snyder's new 'Superman'</p>

Kevin Costner, seen here at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, is up for a role in Zack Snyder's new 'Superman'

Credit: AP Photo/Phil Klein

Who could Kevin Costner play in Zack Snyder's 'Superman'?

Is it too late to reinvent the 'Untouchables' star as a bad guy?

I wonder if he'd look good bald.

Strange thought to kick off a Monday morning, but a natural question to ask after hearing that Kevin Costner is in talks with Warner Bros. to join the cast of Zack Snyder's "Superman" project.

Since the report everyone's using as their source for this doesn't specify what role Costner will be playing, speculation is already kicking in, and the easiest guess seems to be Pa Kent.  Certainly, Costner's got the easy Midwestern charm and "aw shucks" charisma to play that part, but is that really where his career is these days?

Unless this movie is structured with a whole ton of Smallville material, something I highly doubt, then Pa Kent's going to end up being a smaller role.  I guess the day of Kevin Costner headlining a major studio movie is officially done, but it still seems  to me like a waste of Costner if you're just hiring him for that sort of role.  Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet, sounds like another fairly easy fit for Costner, but again, that's traditionally a smaller role.

Besides, isn't it time for someone to reinvent Costner and rescue him from the wilderness?

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<p>This is why I don't go to Black&nbsp;Friday sales... so not worth it.</p>

This is why I don't go to Black Friday sales... so not worth it.

Credit: Deep Silver/Techland

'Dead Island' publisher denies reports of sale as the plot thickens

If one party is sure they bought the rights another party is sure they didn't sell, what happens?

Now the plot thickens.

When we published our piece on Friday about the sale of the rights to the game "Dead Island," I remarked on how fast it had all come together.  Our story, which we had multiple sources on, was that The Sean Daniel Company had purchased the rights to the game and was already planning to develop it.

We were offered one small correction from a separate but unimpeachable source, which was that Union Entertainment was also onboard as a partner with the Sean Daniel Company.  To be fair, other outlets reporting the sale of the rights had included Union Entertainment as part of the story originally.  Union is a broker of sorts for the rights to a number of videogame properties, an important partner right now in putting this sort of IP-based material together.  It's fascinating that Deadline's story, which appeared after The Wrap published their story, echoes much of the same language and specific reporting, claiming that Daniel has actually had the rights under option for a full year already, a very strange and particular detail, especially considering this next part.

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<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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