So, what to talk about while you’re enjoying your fancy, romantic, red rose-packed Valentine’s Day dinner this week? How about the Han vs. Greedo debacle? That’s charming, right? Or what about what’s sure to be a gruesome new film from Eli Roth, Aftershock?
Those might not be the best options, but there’s also the news that the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 trailer is set to premiere in front of The Hungers Games. We’ve also got some rather glamorous casting news to report – Naomi Watts assuming the role of Princess Diana and Angelina Jolie officially taking on Maleficent.
Looking for something a little edgier? How about Marc Webb’s darker take on Spider-Man or Jeremy Renner taking over the Bourne series in the brand new trailer for The Bourne Legacy?
We’ve got a little something for everyone this time around. Catch it all in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Eli Roth Rocks Distributors with Aftershock: Eli Roth looks to hit it big yet again. His $1.8 million film The Last Exorcism went on to earn $67.7 million worldwide and now, according to Deadline, several distributors are out to snatch up his latest project, Aftershock. Roth penned the script with Nicolas Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo, which Chilean director Nicolas Lopez is bringing to life. Lopez’s last two films were the highest grossing films of 2010 and 2011 for Chile adding to the magnetism of Aftershock. Apparently the Weinstein Company and Relatively Media are amongst the group out to get the earthquake thriller that supposedly focuses on the inmates of an insane asylum on an island. Deadline speculates the dealmaking will go down in Berlin. At the moment, Aftershock is four weeks into production with Eli Roth leading the cast, which also includes Selena Gomez in a cameo-sized role.
2. The Hunger Games Lana Del Rey-Style: A few weeks after Lana Del Rey’s dismal Saturday Night Live performance, the taunts continue to come in, the latest of which is a piece that uses The Hunger Games to poke fun at Del Rey’s “Video Games.” The video comes from Second City cast member Holly Laurent and basically sets the story of The Hunger Games to the tune of “Video Games.” Not only is the piece downright hilarious, but Laurent’s a pretty talented singer and songwriter, too. With lines like, “This District smells like rat piss./My name is Katniss,” and “A pita is a pouch of bread, but that’s his name,” this tune is absolutely unforgettable.
3. Han vs. Greedo: Yes, we’re back to this debacle. In 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, it’s quite clear that Han Solo shoots the bounty hunter Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina without Greedo ever firing a shot. However, in a number of versions of the films since 1997, there’s been a little tweaking, tweaking that lets Greedo get off one shot before being blasted away by Han. Just recently, George Lucas sat down with THR and had this to say about the scene, “It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.” Wait, so he’s insisting that regardless of his extra cutting, Greedo always shot first? I beg to differ. Check out the clip from the 1977 version. Did Greedo ever even motion to pull a trigger? I don’t think so.
4. Jean Dujardin, The Ultimate Villain: You know what happens when a fresh face gets a Best Actor nod? Folks scramble to figure out what he’s doing next. Sure, Jean Dujardin plays the super suave and charming George Valentine in The Artist, but how about turning on the villain inside of him for his next role? Funny or Die explores the options and it’s pretty hilarious, ranging from Dujardin taking down James Bond and Thor to blowing away some Smurfs. Even though I bet he could pull off a real villain role if he gave it an honest shot, clearly here the guy’s just messing around. So while this might not be a good calling card for snagging a bad guy role, how about proof that Dujardin would make an incredible Saturday Night Live host?
5. Naomi Watts is Princess Diana: Straight out of Berlin 2012 comes the news that Naomi Watts is confirmed to star as Princess Diana in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s film Caught in Flight. Ecosse Films is currently on the hunt for buyers while Tim Haslam is working on solidifying worldwide sales via Embankment Films. Caught in Flight is being called a portrait piece focusing on the Princess of Wales’ final two years. Stephen Jeffreys’ script touches on her state of wellbeing as she becomes an iconic international campaigner and humanitarian. Watts explained, “Princess Diana was loved across the world, and I look forward to rising to the challenge of playing her onscreen,” while Hirschbiegel noted that Watt’s ability will help her convey “the warmth, humanity and empathy of such a global icon as Princess Diana.” (via THR)
6. Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trailer Rings in The Hunger Games: Oh, the power of the Summit/Lionsgate merger. As if anticipation for The Hunger Games wasn’t high enough, according to the LA Times, the trailer for the final Twilight movie, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 will play exclusively in front of The Hunger Games come March 23rd. While the odds are certainly in The Hunger Games’ favor, the LA Times points out that the film is still a big risk for Lionsgate, having cost the studio $100 million, making it its biggest film to date. However, should everything go to plan and The Hunger Games make a killing, it could mean a successful changing of the guard as Twilight bows out. Then again, when asked about the continuation of the Twilight series, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman said it was up to Stephenie Meyer, but if she did opt to write another book, they’d certainly be behind her with an adaptation.
7. Really, Maleficent Is Next For Angelina Jolie: During a press conference at the Berlin International Film Festival, Angelina Jolie finally confirmed that Disney’s Maleficent is next on her to do list. Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey is screening out of competition at the festival and the first-time director noted, “I haven’t acted in two years, and I haven’t done anything else since this [Land of Blood and Honey]. The next thing I am looking at is a Disney movie.” Robert Stromberg just recently boarded Maleficent to direct and there’s a chance he could get behind the lens by the end of the year. (via THR)
8. Selena Gomez for Miley Cyrus: E! recently reported that Miley Cyrus was forced to exit the Sony Pictures Animation film Hotel Transylvania. Okay, maybe not forced. Some folks were speculating Cyrus’ partying habits had something to do with the departure, but the article notes she’s simply just using the extra time to figure out her moviemaking schedule. Regardless there’s many more Disney tweens turned young Hollywood stars that could fill the role. How about Selena Gomez? Also from E!, Gomez is stepping in to assume the role of Mavis, the daughter of Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), a Count who runs a resort secluded from the human world, but runs into trouble when a human boy stumbles upon his top-notch operation and falls for Mavis. The flick is expected to arrive in theaters in September.
9. Trailers: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Bourne Legacy, Seeking a Friend at the End of the World: Director Marc Webb confirmed that the Spider-Man we know and love is on his way back with the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, but this time around, he brings us a promo that highlights what makes his film different from Sam Raimi’s trilogy, a darker look, web shooters, The Lizard and more. Speaking of reborn trilogies, Matt Damon might be out, but the Bourne series continues. Jeremy Renner is front and center in the very first trailer for franchise writer turned writer-director Tony Gilroy in The Bourne Legacy. And on a lighter and less action-packed note, we’ve got the trailer for the Steve Carell and Keira Knightley-starrer Seeking a Friend at the End of the World. If you’ve had enough with the end of the world genre à la 2012, this one most certainly looks to put a different spin on it with a lot of laughs, but also some honest emotion.
10. Box Office: And you thought last weekend was a solid one for the box office. All four new wide releases hit it pretty big. The Vow topped the group with a whopping $41.7 million, but Safe House wasn’t far behind with $39.3 million. Even with the well-performing competition, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island still snagged $27.6 million while the Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D re-release accumulated $23 million. Chronicle is the sole veteran to sneak into the top five. It lost about 44.1% of its week one profits for a $12.3 million week two haul. (via Box Office Mojo)