Friday, October 27, 2006

Is there life after "A.D."?

For the longest time, it has seemed like the answer might just be no for Mitchell Hurwitz and Richard Day.

Almost a year after the cancellation of "Arrested Development," however, it now seems series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and writer Richard Day are finally getting back in the TV game.

They've apparently signed on with Sony Pictures TV to adapt the BBC4 series "The Thick of It." Now, before anyone whines about why we keep copping so many Brit shows for American TV, remember there's at least one, "The Office," that works extremely well. And I have high hopes this one will too.

The British series centers on a put-upon member of Parliament who is continually harassed by inept bureaucrats working for the prime minister and other politicians and civil servants. I haven't seen it, but it sounds a lot like the old "Yes, Prime Minister" (at least that's what I think it was called) with Nigel Hawthorne, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

It also sounds like the perfect mix of ineptitude and privelege for Hurwitz and Day to set their sights on. The Hollywood Reporter didn't make it clear, but I can only assume this will, assuming it is picked up by a network buyer, be transported from Whitehall to Capitol Hill.

And, if this actually works, we may even be able to take the sitcom format off life support for at least a few more years.

Baron Cohen's next coup

Even before Sasha Baron Cohen's "Borat" hits movie screens in the U.S., his next potential project, "Bruno," has sparked a Hollywood bidding war.

By early evening Thursday, Universal Pictures had made an offer of more than $42 million for worldwide rights to the film and was believed to be the leading contender to snare the movie. Other contenders believed to be eying the project included DreamWorks, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures.

Wow. All this attention for a very strange comedian who has yet to even prove he can fill movie theater seats.

In "Bruno," for which he will again collaborate with Jay Roach and most likely begin filming next summer, Baron Cohen will call upon another of his comic alter egos, Bruno, a gay fashionista from Austria. Bruno fancies himself as "the voice of Austrian youth TV." If anything, judging from his appearances on "Ali G," he might even be more offensive than Borat. I say bring it on.

Is Roman really that hard up?

This one made me laugh before I wanted to cry. It seems Ratboy has persuaded Mr. Polanski to appear in "Rush Hour 3," currently shooting in Paris.
Polanski's been cast as a French police officer who harasses Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in several scenes while the stars battle a wing of a Chinese organized-crime family.

Now, I realize that the inability to set foot on American soil would limit Mr. Polanski's choice of roles, but this is kind of pathetic.

Ratboy apparently told Daily Variety that he persuaded Polanski to appear after a chance encounter while in pre-production in Paris.

"Roman is my favorite director and my favorite actor, so I asked Jeff Nathanson to write him into the movie," he added.

I can't even think of how to respond to that. I just hope Mr. Polanski is getting well paid for this, and laughing all the way to the bank.


Anonymous said...

I hope they change the title to "The Thickes of It" and it stars Alan Thicke and his dreamy soul singin' son Robin.

Reel Fanatic said...

Alan Thicke is indeed a very funny man, Jeremy

carrie_lofty said...

Wow. All this attention for a very strange comedian who has yet to even prove he can fill movie theater seats.

Sure, but he did get Madagascar II a greenlight just because he agreed to return. I mean, if you can please 3-yos with dancing lemurs, how hard can adults be??

Reel Fanatic said...

He was also easily the funniest thing about "Talladega Nights" too, lovelysalome ... Just hearing him enunciate "Formula Un" had me laughing out loud heartily

Lori said...

I dunno...somehow I have a hard time believing that Ratner's even SEEN a Polanski movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you there, Lori ... Just like I'm sure he didn't actually read any of the X-Men comics before making that abysmal movie

Anonymous said...

I think it could be important to remember while a lot of adaptations of Britcoms have failed (namely, Coupling), historically there have been quite a few that have succeeded. All in the Family and Sanford and Son are two examples. And The Office is still proof that adaptations of British shows can still work. The Thick of It does sound a lot like Yes, Prime Minister. Given how much I like that show, it could be a good sign.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had forgotten all about Sanford and Son, Mercurie .. It's hard to believe that the Brits could have imagined what Redd Foxx was going to do with it!

Chris said...

I saw "Borat" last night at a free preview and the place was packed and everyone left saying that they would be back again to pay for the movie on opening night. The movie was that good.
However, it is not for the faint of heart. While Borat is up to his usual "Ali G" antics, there are several scenes that had the audience yelling "Oh God, make it stop!" Not a bad thing, mind you, just that off the wall and shocking.
I can't recommend it enough and welcome a big screen Bruno film.

marina said...

The news about Sasha Baron Cohen's is great news indeed. I just can't belive that the distributors are jumping on the bandwagon this early on.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the good word, Chris ... I'm almost impossible to offend with a comedy, given that it's actually funny, which Borat certainly seems to be ... This had damn well better open wide enough to hit my little corner of the world on Nov. 3.

Divinity said...

Since I haven't become hooked on "The Office" yet my favourite cross-Atlantic conversion show is (and may always be) "Three's Company".
And I'm proud to say Alan Thicke is Canadian, but I don't say it very loud usually. :)

Reel Fanatic said...

I had no idea "Three's Company was a transatlantic import, Divinity ... Shows you learn something new every day!

Divinity said...

Yep, it was based on the British sitcom "Man About the House" which later spun off into "Robin's Nest" (known in N. America as "Three's a Crowd) as their Jack Tripper character was named Robin. In fact, I think John Ritter's character was originally named Robin in the (first) Three's Company pilot. The episodes of "Man About the House" that I caught in England made it clear that all the American writers did was replace popular culture references. The rest of the script was copied word for word. They even had their own Ropers - George and Mildred - who got their own show later (which lasted a lot longer than "The Ropers")
Now that I've achieved full geek status, I'll stop. :)

Vasta said...

Borat will fill movie theaters, guaranteed. And to tell you the truth, I always thought Bruno was a better character than Borat, so when I first heard about the Borat movie in production, I was surprised he did that and not Bruno first.

Of course, Bruno's not for everyone. Borat is definitely more accessible.

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