Ahh yes….that magic time of the week. Was feeling in the mood for a laugh and as we just recently passed another sad anniversary – John Belushi’s birthday was January 24th – were he still with us he would be 64. That is hard to believe. Well, I will always think of him as the seventh year sophomore from this brilliant, classic comedy. (clue – its the one where his grade point average was 0.0….if you actually needed a clue.)
I just learned earlier today about a film in production that has two things going for it. First off, the “star” is Kevin Kline who is great in everything he ever does. Second, the film is a bio-pic about the legendary Errol Flynn – no fan of genre entertainment can dismiss Flynn’s importance or IMHO greatness. Even if Robin Hood wasn’t your thing, The Sea Hawks, They Died With Their Boots On and the legendary Captain Blood all equal greatness. Next year though, we will not see a movie about how great Flynn was, but rather how human, flawed and ultimately unhappy he was near the end of his life.
The Last of Robin Hood, is a film that stars Kline as Flynn – age 50, his career all but over, lonely, health failing and lost. 18 year old Fanning will be playing would be actress and Flynn’s last “girlfriend” 15 year old Beverly Aadland who was with the actor for the last few years of his life. Yes, this was a major scandal in the late 1950’s as even back then this was not acceptable social behavior. Kline, now 60ish, will be playing Flynn and frankly, he looks better now than Flynn did in his final years as drink and other unhealthy habits dimmed his bright light. At once point in his life, Errol Flynn found himself charged with statutory rape for his relationship with another under age girl and again at the end of his days, he took up with Ms. Aadland in a torrid romance that certainly made the rounds of 1950’s tabloid newspapers. Part of the plot of this movie will be Flynn’s real life pursuit of starring in Stanley Kubrick’s film Lolita opposite Aadland as his leading lady. A dream that did not come to pass. The idea behind the film is to find a sense of love and humanity in what to most people was an epic tabloid fail that followed the once great actor to his grave. I for one am excited at this new brand of big screen biography we are seeing and it makes me want to go see Hitchcock in theaters. If you haven’t seen Ms. Fanning recently (those crappy Twilight films don’t count) here is a recent shot of the newly “legal” and very regal 18 year old. The Last of Robin Hood is expected to go into production in about one month (March 2013.)
This has been reported on several times in recent years – a plan to compete with Marvel’s outstanding franchising by combining some of DC Comics greatest heroes in a team based film. Naturally, The Justice League is the perfect candidate. Talk has been rampant about a JLA movie since before The Dark Knight Rises was released. Warner Brothers owns the rights to film the property and given the love fans have for Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and the fact that Warners is rebooting Superman for the second time in less than a decade are strong indicators the studio wants to pull this feat off. Back in 2011 talk was of a major super hero smackdown involving legendary DC villain Darkseid and an invasion of our universe or some such thing on a scale similar to what we saw in The Avengers last summer. Marvel comics has a decided advantage in pulling off their team based epic because A: Joss Whedon wrote and directed it and B: They had a series of films show-casing each individual member of the team prior to the big dance. DC comics has not been so successful across the broad front. Superman Returns (not a bad film at all) was not the success Warners had hoped for. While Batman is riding high, last year plans for a Wonderwoman feature film fell flat and following the filming of a Wonderwoman TV pilot, the show was scrapped before any more work was done. A sign that the finished product was something of a turd. So now looking at the JLA situation, Warners is confident that Man of Steel will be the Superman movie fans have been screaming for since Superman 2 came out in 1981. The Green Lantern did okay at the box office but wasn’t the major hit that Iron Man, Thor or Cap America turned out to be and you can imagine Warners was disappointed. Now, the studio still intends to see the film made but they are going to cut down the number of heroes involved in the project to just a core of five. Fans of Aquaman be warned….he has been scrapped from the production. Warner Brothers has decided the “final five” of the JLA will be: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (giving her yet one more chance) The Green Lantern and lastly, The Flash. No Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Hawkman or Shazam (Captain Marvel) as was the original hope. The rumor currently being reported is, Warners hopes to “speed up” the story of their JLA film by not having a bunch of unneeded origin stories. The rumor is that the only origin story you will really see in this movie is that of The Flash, and that his story brings him to the other heroes as world events unfold in the film. The hope is to bring Ryan Reynolds back as Green Lantern and Henry Cavill as Superman, assuming that Man of Steel lives up to our hopes and expectations. In any case, the plan is to have The Justice League (of America) in theaters in 2015 to compete against a little Disney movie…something called Star Wars episode 7 I think. Here’s to Warner Brothers for thinking big. Let’s hope they can make it happen!
Not much to report this week. Fact is I’m tired and physically beat. On the third week of a new diet but on the 8th day of the “overkill” portion which includes Cincinnati Fit Body Boot Camp. I’ve lost 8 pounds in 7 days and every bone in my body aches. Even those I don’t much use. Nevertheless, no big story I feel like reporting on but I do have a screen grab for you. Today I celebrate Arnold. With Last Stand actually getting above average reviews and Arnold back again in the action movie fold, I salute him with this iconic image from one of his earliest works. I won’t even ask if you can name the movie. If you can’t you really need to get out more.
The forty five long-slide with laser sighting…..Hmmmm.
I’m a couple of days tardy. Sometimes I forget how many days there are in a week. Maybe this week’s entry can help me remember. Recognize this scene?
I haven’t had much time to report this past week and frankly, not much worth reporting on! I have however, learned that Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills is in the can and has finally, after many long months, been given a release date! Folks might not care, but it is in fact very cool that Machete made it to the big screen, let alone a sequel when you consider it was a 3 minute faux movie trailer at the beginning of Tarantino / Rodriguez’s Grindhouse feature. Incidentally, Grindhouse only made about $25 million at the box office when it was released which given its budget of around $70 million would make it a complete flop. It found life (as so many cult films do) in DVD and rentals which made it possible for Rodriguez to go ahead and turn his 3 minute movie trailer into a full blown feature, even later incorporating images from the trailer, into the finished film as plot elements. Frankly, it was a wicked cool idea. Machete was never in any danger of being nominated for an Oscar (although I think….THINK…it was nominated for a Razzie) but it was violent, gory, self deprecating, completely aware of its own flaws and and an absolute blast to watch.
Open Road Pictures who will be distributing Machete Kills have worked a deal that the film will release September 13th, which is almost 2 years to the day since Machete came out back in 2011. What makes this interesting is that for some reason, big plans are underway (I see them as big) for September to be a HUGE month for genre entertainment. Kids are back in school, things will be winding down with the big “event” films, yet a massive line up of hard core action/genre films are being released in September. I don’t have details on it all yet, but I am told that the new Vin Diesel lead Riddick picture, which is just about finished, will be released on September 6th and Lionsgate is going to release a big action/horror combo called I, Frankenstein also on September 13th. Could be a huge month for genre fans!
In any case, Machete Kills has us catching up with our favorite Federale turned landscaper teaming up with a special unit of U.S. Operatives to stop a global arms dealer who is attempting to launch a devastating weapon into space. As an aside, expect plenty of cool and interesting cameos and appearances in the sequel. The film will star: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen (Yes! Charlie Sheen) Vanessa Hudgens, Lady Gaga if you can believe it and who is the notorious arms broker? None other than Mel Gibson. Its true!
One of my sources is reporting tonight that there is trouble with the Equalizer project that I reported on in my very first post in this revamped Scoop. According to Collider, (another online source for dirt) Nicolas Winding Refn has walked away from the movie in pre-production. Reasons why the young director left the project have not been announced and this is indeed troubling as Denzel Washington is STILL attached to star in the film. Sony Pictures, which is making the film are INTENT (they say) on seeing it come to life so the project is not dead according to a brief statement they made earlier. All Sony would say at this very early stage is, with Denzel possibly poised to garner Oscar attention for his role in Flight this past year, the studio is very eager to make this his next film so beginning tomorrow they will search for a replacement director with hopes that the film can begin filming in May of 2013 as they originally hoped. As more information becomes available I will certainly post it here!