Friday, May 30, 2008

"I thought you might be worried about the security of your..."

Great first trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading, the Oscar-winning freres' screwball spy caper, starring George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Brad Pitt -- the latter wearing some weird blond streaked 'do. Check it out here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Shot the Sheriff, But I Didn't Shoot No Marley Doc

Never mind the big news that Martin Scorsese will be making the authorized Bob Marley documentary slated for a February 6, 2010 release -- which would have been the reggae superstar's 65th birthday. Scorsese, whose Rolling Stones concert doc, Shine a Light, is at the Franklin Institute, and who has committed to making a George Harrison doc, too, has bowed from the Bob doc because of scheduling conflicts. (Scorsese is in the throes of Shutter Island, from a Dennis Lehane novel, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer and Michelle Williams, right now.)

Anyway, no Marty, no cry. Jonathan Demme has been picked to replace Scorsese on the Marley bio, and in many ways he's better suited for the project. Demme has a history of music pics, from the groundbreaking Talking Heads title, Stop Making Sense, to the Robyn Hitchcock concert pic Storefront Hitchcock to catching Neil Young in Heart of Gold. Demme, who is in the process of editing a new Neil Young concert film, has directed a bunch of music videos (Bruce Springsteen, New Order, The Pretenders) and has shown fine, and eclectic, musical tastes in the soundtracks to his fiction features.

"I am thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity to participate in fashioning a motion picture that can serve as a worthy vessel for the spiritual and musical brilliance of Bob Marley," Demme said in a statement.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Iron Man 2 -- and 3? Downey talks!

Caught on the phone in Paris the week before Iron Man exploded on screens with a worldwide opening weekend take of $200 million-plus, Robert Downey Jr. was already talking about sequels, about the kick he got playing the playboy industrialist superhero in the titanium flying suit.

"It's really weird, it’s very strange how engaging it is, and Jon [Favreau, the director] and I find ourselves sitting around dreaming up storylines for making a couple more of these," Downey says. (And this is before Marvel Entertainment announced that there would, indeed, be an Iron Man sequel.) "And you see the pitfalls, too, you see what historically happens: Usually, the first one’s the best one, the second one goes `bigger,' and the third one falls apart.

"So, that, to me, would be the real Zen of it -- it would be to actually make three movies that stood up on their own."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Downey the New Depp?

Jon Favreau, the actor (Swingers, Daredevil) and increasingly successful director (Elf, Zathura and now the whopping Iron Man), had this to say about casting Robert Downey Jr. in the role of billionaire arms manufacturer Tony Stark, aka Marvel Comics' heavy metal superhero dude.

"Iron Man was always a very important figure in the Marvel universe, and to have Robert play him really brought dimension and character to the role. As a filmmaker, quite honestly, it relieved me because I knew that Robert would elevate the project, and his involvement ended up attracting a very, very good cast."

That would include, of course, Jeff Bridges, shorn of locks and sporting a beard, Terrence Howard, looking fit in Air Force officer's uniform and Gwyneth Paltrow, as Stark's girl Friday, the all-business Pepper Potts.

Favreau had only met Downey once at a premiere before they started the Iron Man discussions, but "I knew his body of work, of course." However, "it wasn’t until we sat down and I saw how good a shape he was in and how healthy he looked and how enthusiastic he was that I realized that he was entering into a phase of his life where it would be really wonderful to collaborate with him.

"He was really ready to play this guy, and I thought that he could bring a certain depth to the role and a level of interest, publically. The way I presented it to Marvel [Studios] was this could be like when they cast Johnny Depp in Pirates.”

So look out for Iron Man II. Favreau and Depp -- I mean, Downey -- are already plotting sequel scenarios.