Who’s ready for a desperate attempt to spin this intro to make it Mother’s Day appropriate? Here it goes; without all the great mamas out there, we wouldn’t have all these talented filmmakers and, therefore, no good movies to catch at the theater. But really, that lame connection was really just an excuse to wish my very own mother a very happy Mother’s Day because without her, I would never have the strength and motivation I need to try to succeed in the film industry and, therefore, you wouldn’t have a Movie News Cheat Sheet.
So, what film news are we celebrating this Mother’s Day? Spoof duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are working on a Hunger Games-centered parody and the Kick-Ass sequel actually might happen. In casting news we’ve got a few notable announcements; Django Unchained lost Kurt Russell, but gained Walton Goggins, Lee Daniels added a number of big names to The Butler including Oprah Winfrey and Jessica Chastain passed on Iron Man 3, but Rebecca Hall snatched up her role.
And, on top of all that, guess what? The Avengers had yet another killer weekend. Read about all that and more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer Go After The Hunger Games: According to Variety, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have targeted another movie to spoof, The Hunger Games. It all began back in 2000 when the writing-directing duo’s Scary Movie hit theaters and since, they’ve completed a total of nine features that poke fun at Hollywood favorites. Friedberg and Seltzer’s longtime producer Peter Safran is back and K5 is vying to sell international rights at Cannes. The German rights to The Starving Games have already been purchased by Wild Bunch while Falcon will handle distribution in the Middle East. Not only will this one likely continue to bank on The Hunger Games’ popularity, but The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter, too.
2. Django Unchained Cast Shuffle: Production is currently underway and the film is due in theaters on December 25th, but both Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell have dropped out of Django Unchained. News of Baron Cohen’s exit came during his appearance on the Howard Stern Show while Variety unveiled Russell’s decision. On the bright side, Ain’t It Cool News is reporting that Quentin Tarantino has already found a replacement for one of his lost cast members and he’s none other than Walton Goggins. Goggins is set to fill Russell’s shoes and take on the role of Ace Woody, one of Calvin Candie’s (Leonard DiCaprio) minions. As for Baron Cohen’s slot, The Playlist labels Scotty Harmony a cameo, so that one seems far less urgent to refill.
3. Lee Daniels Gets Alan Rickman, Matthew McConaughey and More: With The Paperboy on its way to the Cannes Film Festival, director Lee Daniels is already loading up the cast of his next feature, The Butler. According to THR, Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack and Jane Fonda are all joining Forest Whitaker in the film based on a Washington Post article about Eugene Allen (Whitaker). Starting in 1952, Allen worked in the White House, seeing firsthand how a total of eight presidents handled various affairs during monumental events including the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and more. The article notes that Winfrey will play Allen’s wife, but also mentions that many of the other parts will only be cameos.
4. Kyle Chandler to Take on The Wolf of Wall Street: Leonardo DiCaprio has met his match, Kyle Chandler. As reported by Deadline, Chandler is taking on the role of Coleman, the FBI agent responsible for building a case against Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), a white-collar criminal who enjoyed his millions by spending them on an excess of booze, pills and other luxuries. Chandler joins DiCaprio and Jonah Hill who recently signed on to star as Belfort’s good friend and eventual business partner, Danny Porush. Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland of Red Granite Pictures are producing for director Martin Scorsese who is working from a script by Terence Winter based on Belfort’s own memoir.
5. Gary Busey Being Gary Busey: Sure, we all know Gary Busey is a little off the wall, but wait until you see this Piranha 3DD blooper reel. Regardless of whether or not Piranha 3DD is any good, the film’s publicity team knows what sells, so they assembled a two-minute piece comprised of Busey’s odd and wildly amusing antics during his interviews. You know what happens if you don’t watch this? You’ll see piranhas at your house dressed as however they want to dress. “Just watch the damn movie.” (via HitFix)
6. Kick-Ass 2, Finally! Maybe: After months and months of talk, according to Deadline, Universal Pictures really is discussing whether or not to bring Kick-Ass back for round two. Should the project get the go-ahead, Jeff Wadlow will direct his own script with hopes of having cameras rolling by August. Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are all confirmed to return while Matthew Vaughn is merely giving the sequel his full support because he’s locked into X-Men: First Class 2.
7. Luke Evans for Fast & Furious 6: Luke Evans first hit the Hollywood circuit in 2010 with Clash of the Titans and the guy’s been busy with a number of the biggest productions the industry has to offer ever since. After The Three Musketeers and Immortals amongst others, Evans looks to be taking on the role of the villain in Fast & Furious 6. According to Variety, Evans was able to work out The Hobbit scheduling issues and is currently in talks for the role of the head of another heist crew trying to pull off the same job as Dom and O’Conner. Justin Lin is set to direct franchise veterans Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson.
8. Rebecca Hall for Jessica Chastain: Remember when word got out that Jessica Chastain might take on the role of a scientist in Iron Man 3? Well, the fast-rising star opted out of the production due to scheduling conflicts, but Marvel Studios and Disney had no problem moving on, already entering talks with Rebecca Hall to take the part instead. Variety describes the role as “a scientist who plays a pivotal role in the creation of a nanotechnology, known as Extremis, that winds up being sold to terrorists.” Director Shane Black begins production this month in North Carolina and, later on, will make the move to China. Iron Man 3 is due in theaters on May 3, 2013.
9. Trailers: The Campaign, Gangster Squad, Argo: Sadly, I’m not as enthusiastic as I should be when it comes to politics, so even though the new trailer for The Campaign isn’t absolutely hilarious, it does look a lot more entertaining than presidential debates. We’ve also got the very first trailer for Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad and while it’s packed with stellar imagery and a lot of fire power, the story doesn’t strike enough of a chord to raise much intrigue. On the other hand, Ben Affleck’s Agro is wildly stimulating and looks to offer up an incredible range of material, too. The trailer as a whole is quite suspenseful, but while the first portion has a particularly serious undertone, the second half approaches the problem from a somewhat hotshot Hollywood perspective.
10. Box Office: The Avengers continues to collect box office records. Not only did its $103 million second weekend total earn it the best second weekend ever, far exceeding Avatar’s $75.6 million total, but The Avengers is also the fastest movie to $300 million, the fastest movie to $350 million, the highest eight-day gross, the highest nine-day gross and the highest ten-day gross. Sadly for Dark Shadows, The Avengers didn’t leave much cash to go around. Tim Burton’s $150 million production only opened with $28.8 million on a $7,671 per theater average. As for Think Like a Man, The Hunger Games and The Lucky One, they took such rough hits last weekend courtesy of The Avengers that this weekend, they just didn’t have much more to lose. Think Like a Man dropped just 22.3% for $6.3 million in weekend four, The Hunger Games fell only 21.3 % for a $4.4 million weekend eight total and The Lucky One lost just 24.5% of its weekend three profits for another $4.1 million. (via Box Office Mojo)