You know what’s great about this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet? Instead of using the information for office or school conversation-starters, you can take it to your Labor Day celebrations.
Let’s just hope your holiday weekend is better than Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D‘s. While The Help continues its box office domination, those two prove that the majority of moviegoers know the difference between campy horror fun and sheer garbage. In other troublesome news, both Napoleon Dynamite and The Hangover Part II are in the midst of courtroom battles, the Napoleon Dynamite production company duking it out with Fox Searchlight and Warner Bros. facing a lawsuit from an injured stunt double.
Rather skip the drama? How about some fun superhero updates? A slew of fantastic photos from the New York City set of The Avengers has arrived as has a hilarious parody video of Captain Planet from Don Cheadle and the folks from Funny or Die. Cheadle’s Captain Planet is clearly no Avenger, but he could make for an excellent spoof movie villain. Trust me; you’ve got to see it for yourself.
Scroll right down to get the goods from the past seven days and have a great holiday weekend!
1. From the Set of The Avengers: The Avengers have landed in NYC and so have the photogs. Super Hero Hype has two absolutely stellar galleries of photographs, one showing the group working on the Central Park set and another focusing on just Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) doing some green screen work and making their way through some NYC wreckage. Spoilers? No, not really. Most certainly not along the lines of the material coming out of The Dark Knight Rises set. Here the thrill comes from not only seeing the gang all together, but seeing them together in professional quality. Some of these images could pass as official stills.
2. Napoleon Dynamite vs. Fox Searchlight: You’d think everyone would be happy when a $400,000-budgeted film like Napoleon Dynamite goes on to amass $44.5 million at the domestic office, but apparently there’s some bad blood between the film’s production company, Napoleon Pictures, and Fox Searchlight because the former is suing the latter for “underreporting royalties and taking improper revenue deductions from the hit 2004 indie comedy.” According to THR, the film opted to go with Fox Searchlight for distribution because of a $4.75 million up-front offer as well as the promise of high royalties for home video sales. Fox Searchlight said they’d pay 31.66% of the net profits on those sales, but only wound up giving up 9.66%. Check out the official complaint filed by Lavely & Singer on THR right here.
3. Another Lawsuit for The Hangover Part II: The Hangover Part II suffers from yet another legal woe. Scott McLean, Ed Helms’ stunt double, claims he was injured while shooting a scene on December 17th, 2010 that involved cars traveling at high speeds. According to the plaintiffs, the film’s stunt coordinator, Russell Solberg, “Commanded to the driver of the automobile in which plaintiff Scott McLean was a passenger, that the speed of his vehicle be increased significantly to a speed unsafe for the stunt, thus resulting in a major collision.” McLean was airlifted to a nearby hospital and now likely suffers from “permanent brain and physical injuries, including ongoing seizures, speech impediments, physical impediments, and brain trauma.” In an official statement, Warner Bros. said, “We were shocked and saddened by this accident and have been working closely with Scott and his family throughout his treatment and recovery,” and assured they are working to resolve the issue. (via THR)
4. The Hunger Games – Soderbergh Speaks, The Viral Site Goes Live and the Teaser Trailer Arrives: Is The Hunger Games in trouble? Is Lionsgate lining up Steven Soderbergh to direct the second film? Nope, Soderbergh merely joined the crew to lend a hand to his good friend, Gary Ross. Soderbergh told Moviefone, “When he got the boards for the shoot in April called me and said, ‘Hey, first week of August, I got these two days of second unit. Is there any way you can come down and help me out? Because I’d rather have you do it than hire somebody who I don’t know.’ I said, ‘Actually, that works out.’ We’ll just be finishing Contagion and prepping Magic Mike and, yeah, it could be fun.” Now that that’s out of the way, how about some interactive fun? Well, it actually isn’t that much fun as it stands, but it looks as though the film’s viral site, thecapitol.pn, could grow into some sort of community. Head on over to that URL, sign in via your Facebook or Twitter account and get assigned a district. Lastly, you probably don’t need me to tell you this, but the film’s very first teaser trailer premiered during the MTV VMAs. The super short video features our heroin, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), dodging fireballs in the arena. It’s exciting and, in true teaser fashion, leaves us desperate for more.
5. Don Cheadle is Captain Planet: How has there not been a live action Captain Planet adaptation yet? As tacky as it was, I certainly had a soft spot for the environmentally conscious TV show as did many back in the early 90s. Well, an official Captain Planet movie isn’t in the works, but that isn’t stopping Don Cheadle from rocking the blue skin, green hair and saving some trees – to the extreme. Okay, so maybe a straight Captain Planet adaptation isn’t the way to go, but I could certainly watch 90 minutes of this hero’s adventures spoof-style. (via Funny or Die)
6. Taylor Lautner and Dwayne Johnson Could Be David and Goliath: Back in January, Deadline first broke the news of Relativity’s plans to bring the biblical tale of David and Goliath to the big screen 300-style, and now Twitch is reporting the studio is pushing forward with casting. Apparently, Relativity is in talks with Dwayne Johnson to assume the role of the monstrous Goliath while an offer has been sent to Taylor Lautner for the role of David. Visually speaking, this seems like appropriate casting, however, if director Scott Derrickson is aiming for a 300 appeal, I prefer the way that production handled casting, by recruiting a cast of semi-unknowns. However, this is a big studio production we’re talking about; a no-name over Lautner? Yeah, right.
7. Hilary Duff Paid to Quit The Story of Bonnie and Clyde: Tonya S. Holly’s The Story of Bonnie and Clyde has been waiting in the wings for quite some time. Either Holly finally realized Hilary Duff doesn’t have a chance at delivering a comparable performance to that of Faye Dunaway or this is a move to finally get the project going, but Holly and crew have opted to send Duff packing – with $100,000. According to TMZ, Duff snagged the cash for agreeing not to star in the movie. Apparently this was part of her initial contract; should production opt to cut her loose, a six-figure pay-off would be part of the deal. Duff’s original axing came as a result of her pregnancy, which would have clearly pushed production back a bit. However, after hearing Duff’s reaction to TMZ’s question about the film, I get the sense that in addition to Duff’s bun in the oven, there was some tension brewing between the actress and the filmmakers.
8. Josh Brolin Confirmed for Spike Lee’s Oldboy: The rumors have been floating around for a while now, but, according to Deadline, it’s a done deal; Josh Brolin will star in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake. The new script comes from the pen of Mark Protosevich and will still focus on a man who’s kidnapped, held prisoner for 15 years, is released and hits the streets hell bent on getting revenge. As one of few who didn’t flip for the 2003 Korean film, I’m less than thrilled about news of a remake, but I can’t deny that Brolin is an excellent man for the job and even peaks my interest just enough to make me the slightest bit curious. With production set to begin in March, it looks as though Brolin will be squeezing this one in between Gangster Squad and Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, which shoots in June.
9. Trailers: American Reunion, The Double, Martha Marcy May Marlene: One of the best parts about promoting a fourth film of a franchise? Moviegoers already know and love the characters. American Reunion knows it has a loyal following and puts that idea to use, delivering a teaser trailer that merely consists of a photo booth montage. Short, sweet, simple and all that’s necessary to get fans pumped for round four. On the other hand, the first trailer for The Double is especially telling, perhaps a bit too much. For lack of better terms, the piece comes with one heck of an “OMG” moment that should be reserved for the final cut. Conversely, the new trailer for the Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene poses dozens of questions and leaves them unanswered, guaranteeing the viewer will be left desperate for more.
10. Box Office: Ouch. It doesn’t look as though the extra long weekend will do much for the box office newcomers. However, The Help continues to hold strong, amassing another $14 million in three days and easily snagging that top spot yet again. Surprisingly, The Debt comes in at number two with $9.7 million, posting a far stronger per theater average than the week’s wider releases, Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D. Even with about 1,000 more locations each, Apollo 18 only took $8.7 million while Shark Night posted just $8.6 million after three days. Rounding out the top five is Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which celebrates an incredibly minimal 12% loss with another $7.8 million haul. (via Box Office Mojo)