Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Three - or four - of the weirdest things you'll hear today, I guarantee

Well, actually, the first isn't terribly weird, but it certainly is (with some reservations, of course) good to hear that the first big-screen installment of Tintin, to be called "Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn," is moving forward with huge names attached.

Paramount Pictures and Sony on Monday announced the start of principal production on the 3D motion capture animation film. Even better is that Billy Elliott himself, Jamie Bell, will be Tintin, and he'll be chased down by Daniel Craig as the evil Red Rackham.

For anyone unfamiliar with Tintin, he was the main character - a reporter, huzzah! - in Hergé's series of 24 comics. I have a couple of them on my shelf, and they're my favorite way to see if I can still navigate my way through anything in French.

Some other details from Monday's release (new and old) included that Steven Spielberg is directing the first installment in this planned trilogy, with Peter Jackson set for the second and a director-yet-to-be-named for the third. The movie, rather remarkably, is being written by veryfunnyman Edgar Wright, "Doctor Who" scribe Steven Moffatt and some dude named Joe Cornish.

And if Edgar Wright's on board, that means Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are too, to play the bumbling detectives Thompson and Thomson. They'll be joined by Andy Serkis, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Gad Elmaleh.

But enough about a movie that's not set to come out until 2011. As promised, here are the three weirdest things I encountered this morning, two of which fall squarely in the category of "a man's gotta eat," and the third of which just makes me ill.

First up, and I missed this because I didn't bother to tune in to any but the last 10 minutes of the Screen Actors Guild Awards show, much less anything from the red carpet.

Somewhere in that three hours or so, Golden Globe winner Mickey Rourke (who lost out that night to Sean Penn, which is how the Oscars will probably break down too) revealed that he has agreed to follow up "The Wrestler" by actually becoming one at Wrestlemania 25, in a showdown with former WWE champion Chris Jehricho.

While I've never been to a live Wrestlemania event, at some point in the '80s I did score what is still my favorite baby-sitting gig, getting a free ticket to watch one year's extravaganza on closed-circuit TV as long as I agreed to take my two young neighbors with me. I have no idea what the card was, but I do know Hulk Hogan was there, and that I had a blast.

But could it possibly be a wise move for Mr. Rourke to jump into the squared circle? Well, I can't see him getting any serious movie work out of the deal, but I can't imagine he much cares either. I'd have to assume he's 1)having a lot of fun and 2) getting paid more than I make in an entire year, so why not?

Next up, and as an avowed enemy of any reality TV, I must say much sadder news, the great Mike White will be appearing on the next installment of "The Amazing Race."

Remember Mike White? Before deciding to run around the world for our "entertainment," he was (and surely still is) a very funny writer and director, responsible for penning "School of Rock" and "Nacho Libre" (which, yes, I do like quite a bit) and directing "Year of the Dog." He's also written a screenplay, "Them," about the fact that giant ants are somehow our real rulers, that will hopefully someday be directed by the aforementioned Edgar Wright.

Well before that, of course, he wrote three episodes of the simply perfect "Freaks and Geeks" and even appeared on one episode as Kim Kelly's water-headed brother, Chip. I had been hoping he would return to TV again after his short-lived Fox sitcom "Cracking Up," but I certainly wasn't expecting it to be like this.

For CBS' reality show, he'll be racing with his pop, Mel White, described as a writer, filmmaker, professor, pastor and gay-rights activist.

The Whites will be seen racing against a deaf guy and his mom, a pair of dwarf sibling stuntmen, a pair of sibling Harvard Law grads, a pair of hot redheads, a pair of blonde flight attendants and a pair of twentysomethings from The Bronx.

Oh well. I guess it could be worse. Here's hoping this is just a fun diversion with dad rather than any kind of permanent career move into TV's alternate reality.

And finally, saving the worst for last - and, really, I can't believe I'm typing this - Hilary Duff is set to play Bonnie Parker in a new take on "Bonnie and Clyde."

Just stop for a second and try to take that in, and then I'll continue ...

OK, here goes ... writer/director Tonya S. Holly says she was inspired to create this sure-to-be abomination - which she says is a "new adaptation," of course, rather than a "remake" of the 1967 film, which finds a home on the list of my top 10 films whenever I bother to compile them - after she found newspaper clippings about the gangster duo in an abandoned house on her family's property.

The big question is, however, how do you get from there to casting Hilary Duff in the role made famous by Faye Dunaway (and some joker I've never heard of named Kevin Zegers as Clyde Barrow)? I used to have a co-worker, Dan Maley, who said he was OK with his kids being infatuated with Ms. Duff since she didn't swear, take her clothes off or do anything else terribly harmful to younguns. But does that mean she can act? (For full disclosure, I've seen her in exactly one thing, a single episode of "Joan of Arcadia," so I guess I really can't be the judge of that.)

I do know that if Bonnie Parker heard this, she'd shoot young Ms. Duff right in the face, but since I'm slightly less prone to extreme violence, I guess I'll just have to sigh and start getting ready for work. Peace out.


Vance said...

How can you not have heard of Kevin Zegers? He was excellent against Felicity Huffman in Transamerica (which I still contend, she was robbed an Oscar of). (but Duff? WTF? Bonnie?)

I get the reality TV rant but like everything else, there's good reality TV (Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway, SYTYCD) and bad (almost everything else), so it's exciting to see the White's do TAR. Seriously, you gotta give it a try and let go of your pretensions.

Tintin sounds awesome already! Bell? Craig? Moffatt!? Can't wait!

Reel Fanatic said...

Perhaps you're right there, Vance .. The main reason I don't watch any reality TV is that I already watch so much with the comedies/dramas I like, and I don't want to turn into a total vegetable ... Maybe the time is right to give "Amazing Race" a chance to watch the Whites compete

Mercurie said...

Good to hear the Tintin film might finally be off the ground. It feels like decades (actually I think it has been decades).

And Hilary Duff as Bonnie Parker? What's next Miley Cyrus as Ma Barker?!