Monday, May 07, 2007

Mann and DiCaprio going noir

Well, apparently my concerns about "Spider-Man 3" did nothing to stop the webslinger's path to world domination, but I've decided not to take it personally. Besides, there's news out there about movies that could definitely be better than Sam Raimi's latest.

First up, if I have my French translated right from the froggy site, is news about Michael Mann. It seems he will be putting his signature imprint on a film noir, set to star Leo DiCaprio.

The movie, which doesn't yet have a title, is being written by "The Aviator" scribe John Logan. DiCaprio is set to play a 1930's private eye hired by MGM to keep track of the scandalous lives of its stars and starlettes, and chiefly to determine whether or not one particular young lady is implicated in the murder of her husband.

It all sounds terribly familiar, but noir is the one genre where I can forgive that if the flick has the right style, and Mann definitely has the skills to deliver it. Stay tuned.

Foster as Leni Riefenstahl

If you can make countless biopics about the most evil man in world history, why not one about his favorite filmmaker? In more news from Cinempire, it seems there will indeed soon be a Leni Riefenstahl flick in the works, with Jodie Foster set to play her.

Well, maybe not soon, but someday. Apparently producer Gabriele Bacher has been working on this off and on for seven years. A script has finally been assigned to Rupert Walters, with filming tentatively scheduled for next year, though no director has been attached.

I have to imagine that, if the script is strong enough, Martin Scorsese would gladly drop whichever project he's flirting with at the moment to sign on with something as potentially fascinating as this.

For anyone who may not know, Riefenstahl is the director of "Triumph of the Will," easily the most beautiful piece of Nazi propaganda ever set to film. And it seems like Jodie Foster has been coasting through forgettable flicks for years now, so if she indeed stars in this it should be a welcome return to form.

Darla and John Rambo?

I try to keep up with the stars of my favorite TV shows ("Freaks and Geeks," "Buffy," Arrested Development," etc.), and I have to say this is the oddest alumni report I've come across yet.

It seems that Julie Benz, who played the seductress Darla on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and, more memorably, "Angel," will play the female lead in the 57th Rambo film, now filming in Thailand. No matter how ridiculous the finished product turns out to be, a hearty huzzah anyhow for Julie.

And, in case anyone possibly cares, "John Rambo" will have Sly coming out of retirement as a boat repairman in Bangkok to track down missionary aid workers who have disappeared in the jungles of impoverished Myanmar. Not sure what Ms. Benz will have to do in all of this, but I hope for her sake it doesn't entail making out with our 80-year-old-or-so hero.

R.I.P. Ian Richardson

The great Mr. Richardson died back in February, but I just found out about it this weekend, so had to take note. I never would have known if it weren't for a profile of James McAvoy in Sunday's New York Times that talks about his new film, "Becoming Jane."

The movie stars Anne Hathaway as the young Jane Austen, and McAvoy as one of her suitors. Near the end of the article, it also mentioned that the flick features the final performance from Mr. Richardson.

Though he starred in, according the IMDB, 99 movies and TV shows, he's best known to me as the deliciously evil Francis Urquhart (a k a F.U.) of the "House of Cards" trilogy. As the whip who to rises to British prime minister by any means necessary, he was just a delight to behold. You can still get this epic miniseries on DVD through Netflix (the titles are "House of Cards," "To Play the King" and "The Final Cut"), and I can't recommend them highly enough.

Rest in peace, Mr. Richardson.


kookie said...

Good heavens, I do NOT want to see Julie Benz kiss Rambo! NO! I only know her from Showtime's 'Dexter' where she is super. I might need my imagination scrubbed now.

I saw Spiderman and I agreed with your review so much that on my blog I just told everyone to come over here and read what you said. What a disappointing movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the linkup, kookiejar ... I don't get Showtime, but I've only heard great things about Julie Benz's work on it .. and you're definitely right about the grossout factor of her co-mingling with Sly

Terence Towles Canote said...

I was truly saddened by Ian Richardson's death. He was truly one of the greats.

Reel Fanatic said...

Looking through his IMDB list, Mercurie, it seems he had to work in a lot of bad movies over the years, but he did plenty of outstanding work too

Jim Marquis said...

I love Julie Benz on "Dexter". You have to rent the DVDs when they come out.

Reel Fanatic said...

I definitely will, Mr. Marquis .. I currently get HBO so I can watch the Sopranos, but it seems Showtime would be just as good a bet for its current original programming

Divinity said...

57 Rambo movies? And I thought I fell behind in watching the Rockys...

Eaglewing said...

Sign me up for a Michael Mann Noir. Even with Leo - kidding, the guy can act. He was great in The Departed.

I hope "Darla" isn't playing the love interest. That doesn't belong in a Rambo movie. Kudos to her for getting to the big screen though.

Reel Fanatic said...

I used to be pretty hard on Leo, Eaglewing, but I've been converted ... The Aviator and The Departed have managed to make me a solid fan of his

Nell Minow said...

If you have not seen Richardson's performance in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," please add it to your Netflix queue. In my opinion, the best miniseries ever (maybe tied with Hanks' "From the Earth to the Moon"), and Richardson is magnificent.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have not, Nell, so thanks for the head's up ... Anything he starred in was made better by his presence, so I'm gonna go ahead and add that right now

Miffed67 said...

Ohhhh, film noir! I'm jonesing now.....DiCaprio's a great actor, he's shaping up to be one of the best of our time.

Darla rocks, I'd watch her reading the phone book.