Thursday, August 09, 2007

Brad Bird's live-action project? It's gonna be epic.

The list of books I have to read before seeing upcoming movies just keeps getting longer and longer.

Near the top of that list you can add "1906," the novel by James Dalessandro that interweaves fact and fiction in telling several stories that revolve around the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Why? I've just learned that Brad Bird's long-rumored next Pixar project, which will mix CG animation with live action, will indeed be based on Alessandro's novel.

Mr. Bird, of course, has already directed three of my favorite animated movies, "Ratatouille" (still the best movie I've seen this year), "The Incredibles" and "The Iron Giant" (if I'm forced to pick, my single favorite animated flick of all time - just ahead of "Kiki's Delivery Service.")

This, however, is clearly a huge leap forward, even for him. The novel, apparently narrated by a newspaper music critic, is all about big-city corruption that revolves around a fictional character, Adam Rolf, who runs the city's corrupt political syndicate and the city's "puppet-mayor." There's a ton more going on and, of course, then the earthquake, so this definitely sounds like my kind of read (if anyone has read this already and has an opinion on it, please do share!)

Coogan lands truly looney role

Anyone remember Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards? When I first saw the name associated with this story, I confess I had to look it up because I had completely forgotten this lovable loser.

Mr. Edwards was Great Britian's first Olympic ski-jumper and, rather predictably I suppose, he indeed managed to finish dead last in the 1988 Winter Olympics ski-jumping events. Now, however, his story will be told by easily one of my favorite comic actors.

Steve Coogan, definitely best up to this point when he's playing the prick, will try being the good guy for once as the lead in a movie about "Eddie the Eagle" to be directed by Declan Lowney, who until now has worked mostly in television. And Coogan, judging from this quote, is definitely into the spirit of this crazy project:

"His story is a very British story, and he is a very British kind of hero," Coogan said. "When I read the story, I found it funny but, more surprisingly, quite moving. Quirky, dysfunctional, slightly nerdy, but his balls must be made of titanium."

Titanium balls indeed. Mr. Coogan got his biggest exposure mugging it up with Owen Wilson as Octavius in "Night at the Museum," but if you want to see him in full comic bluster do yourself a favor and rent "Tristram Shandy" (a k a "A Cock and Bull Story.") I can virtually agree you'll thank me afterward.

Carla Gugino is Sally Jupiter

I'm surely more than a little late with this, but in my universe at least, any news about Carla Gugino is good news. And I'd have to call this great news.

In what is quickly becoming the best ensemble cast ever for a comic-book flick, Gugino has joined Zack Snyder's "Watchmen" as Sally Jupiter, the burlesque dancer-turned-superhero as the Silk Spectre, a member of the Watchmen-preceeding Minutemen.

And in case you're keeping track, that brings the announced cast so far to: Patrick Wilson (Night Owl), Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach), Matthew Goode (Ozymandias), Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian) and Malin Akerman as the new Silk Spectre. That list was already enough to get me jazzed, but if you really want to get my attention, just add Carla Gugino to anything and you've got me hooked.


* (asterisk) said...

Coogan was great in A Cock and Bull Story (good recommendation, too), but I see no value in an Eddie the Eagle flick. Oh well.

Carla Gugino... [koff, clears throat, goes back to his business]

Reel Fanatic said...

You may be right that Eddie the Eagle is just too silly a subject to make a good flick, Mr. Asterisk, but with Coogan on board I'll at least give it a rental

Mercurie said...

It seems hard to believe Brad Bird is doing a live action flick. But given I love his films (Iron Giant is my favourite animated film of all time), I am definitely anxious to 1906. And I have no doubt he will do it well.

It does look like The Watchmen cast has turned out pretty well, although I am not familiar with Malin Akerman. Given the most of the cast, I wonder why they didn't go with a bigger name for the new Silk Spectre?

Reel Fanatic said...

True enough, Mercurie .. I had to look her up at the IMDB, and let's just say that purely on the aesthetical level that suits a comic-book flick, she definitely looks the part

J. Marquis said...

I LOVE Carla Gugino. I think she may be part angel.

Bob said...

I remember Eddie the Eagle! With Coogan I HAVE to see it. "Tristram Shandy" is one of the funniest movies of the last several years and "I'm Alan Partridge" was a great show too. And "1906" sounds amazing.
P.S.: I loved "Hot Rod" too.

Niall said...

Gugino in the new 'Watchmen' flick! Have to say I'd watch Carla Gugino in paint, drying (actually that is a wonderful concept), so I'm fine with that announcement. I'm also glad to hear 'Watchmen' is finally off the ground. But why couldn't they have given the project to Gilliam like he wanted. He's been talking about it for years.

Reel Fanatic said...

That would indeed have been amazing, Niall, but knowing Mr. Gilliam, he probably made so many crazy demands that they had to give up on him

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