Friday, September 14, 2007

What's next for your favorite director?

Next for easily one of mine, Terry Zwigoff, will, thankfully be another collaboration with funny-book writer Daniel Clowes.

For my money, this duo has one sure hit, "Ghost World," and one truly disappointing mess, "Art School Confidential." My love for "Ghost World," however (and, frankly, for Thora Birch - what in the world ever happened to her?) is so high that any news of them working together again is welcome to me.

Their next collaboration will be on the spoof "The $40,000 Man" for New Line. Clowes and Zwigoff will rewrite the script about a legendary astronaut who gets horribly injured in a car accident and rebuilt to be a bionic man - but only on a $40,000 budget. Sounds fairly promising, and in the hands of these two I have rather high hopes. (And just in case you have any doubts about the talents of Terry Zwigoff, rent "Bad Santa" and "Crumb" along with "Ghost World" and then get back to me.)

And, for news (or at least snippets) about many more renowned directors, there's a memo which was kind enough to post this morning. They claim, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt them, that it's a list that is being circulated around major talent agencies in Hollywood which includes all the movies that the studios are making a priority before the impending Writers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild strike next year.

I encourage everyone to click here for a truly delightful way to waste time on your otherwise dreary workday, but here are a few highlights that I took note of:

"Trial of the Chicago Seven": This should just be tremendously good. Steven Spielberg (heard of him?) will direct and Aaron Sorkin will script this flick about the notorious rabble-rousers who disrupted the 1968 Democratic Convention. Sorkin, when he puts his heart into something, can deliver something a damn sight better than "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and definitely should here.

"Life of Pi" Now I've found the next book I'm going to read after finishing C.D. Payne's painfully funny "Youth in Revolt," which will be made into a movie starring veryfunnyman Michael Cera. Jean Pierre Jeunet is attached to direct this flick based on the novel by Yann Martel described as a "magical adventure story about the the precocious son of a zookeeper," and it just gets crazier from there. His family apparently decides to hitch a ride on a freighter from India to Canada, but after the freighter gets shipwrecked, young Pi finds himself adrift on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a Bengal Tiger. Sounds perfect for Jeunet, and for me.

"A Serious Man": My multiplex actually showed a trailer for "No Country for Old Men" the other day, so I'm hopeful that the Coen Bros. flick will make out here to the stix. Next for them will come the CIA comedy "Burn After Reading" with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, but the Comingsoon memo then has them listed for this. Empireonline says only that "it's a dark comedy in the vein of Fargo," but that's enough to get me intrigued.

"L.A. Riots": When he puts his mind to it, Spike Lee can still make some incredibly compelling movies, as witnessed by his painful-to-watch but still beautiful "When the Levees Broke." He's been toying with a number of projects lately, but if the Comingsoon memo has it right he'll thankfully turn his attention to this flick based on a script by "Undercover Brother" creator John Ridley.

"Little Game": With Ang Lee sticking to his guns (unless he's given in) and releasing "Lust, Caution" with a NC-17 rating, that pretty much guarantees it won't make it out to my little corner of the world before DVD. Next for him will be this flick based on a play by Jean Dell, which had this rather bland plot summary at the IMDB: "A picture-perfect couple fake a break-up, only to learn their friends never thought their union was a good idea in the first place." It's got to turn out better than that premise promises.

"Piano Tuner": I have no idea what this, but it's got Werner Herzog's name on it, so I'm certainly curious. If anyone knows just what this is, please let me know!

"Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging" Like "Youth in Revolt," this book is based on the fictional diary of a 14-year-old, but this time it's a young lady in London who's extremely curious about, among other things, kissing. With Gurinder Chadha of "Bend It Like Beckham" attached to direct, this is definitely worth keeping your eyes on.

There are a lot more (and bigger) names in that memo, so definitely take the time to give it a look, and have a great weekend. Peace out.


Bob said...

I'm looking forward to "$40,000 Man" as I loved "Ghost World" too. I'm even one of the few who loved "Art School Confidential." I loved that movie because in my college experience I had to deal with all of those people. Almost every class I had had an Eno in it. I just thought it was great seeing those people get skewered. It was good for the soul :).
Apparently Clowes was working on the script for the movie about the "Raiders" kids too. There were these kids who from 1982-1989 made a shot for shot remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in Mississippi. I was fortunate enough to see a screening of it in Seattle a couple of years ago and it's amazing. They did all but two scenes. It's incredible what they did. Basement on fire, truck dragging, the submarine, essentially everything but the big Nazi getting chopped up by the propeller blades. Paramount had commissioned Clowes to write a screenplay for a movie about those kids. Hopefully it'll get made so that "Raiders: The Adaptation" will get a DVD release.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've heard about that crazy project, Bob, but haven't been fortunate enough to see anything they came up with ... At the very least you have to admire that level of dedication to geekiness!

Chalupa said...

I'm so glad to hear that somebody else loved "Ghost World" as much as I did. Thora Birch, Steve Buscemi and Scarlett Johansson were all amazing. It was a movie I had wanted to see for a couple years. People told me it sucked, but I just blindly bought it one day and it proved to be a good gamble.

Do you see any similarities between Ghost World and Lost in Translation? I really hated the later the first time I watched it, but I watched Ghost World again and then gave Lost in Translation another chance and things magically made sense through the lenses of Ghost World. It's really hard to explain, but it was pretty awesome.

Linda said...

I loved the book Life of PI! A great read. Be interesting to see how it is interpreted on the screen.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll have to watch Lost in Translation again with the similarities in mind, Chalupa, because I didn't pick up on them so far ... Actually, since I own them both, maybe I should watch them back to back, and in fact, I think I will very soon

Kimberly Nichols said...

The Piano Tuner is a book by Daniel Mason (pub. 2002). I have it on my shelf but haven't read it yet. Here's a brief synopsis:

"Set in Victorian England, a tuner of rare pianos is commissioned to repair the instrument of an eccentric major, leading him to a journey of self-discovery in war-torn Burma."

So many remakes on that list. Yawn.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the head's up, Kimberly ... I'll have to add that one to my potential reading list too .. and you're right, as to be expected, Hollywood will continue to make far too many remakes!