12 items from 2013
Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. "Desert Migration" Tweetable Logline: The story of men who rolled back the stone of AIDS and came out of the cave, into the desert. Literally. Elevator Pitch: After medications improved in the 90s, many HIV positive gay men realized their imminent demise may have been postponed. Retiring to California’s Palm Springs was a viable decision. Health services were great, housing was affordable, the gay population was large, and the weather was fabulous. It promised a 'Lost Horizon' where age, illness and sins were a thing of the past. But being left to your own devices in a town where the sun always shines exposes who a person really is. »
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ sequel could get killed by Paramount (photo: James Stewart and Donna Reed in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’) What would the world be like if any one individual human being had never been born? In most cases, the world would quite possibly be an infinitely better place, but the overwhelming majority of (delusional) humans want to feel good about themselves and their place on our overpopulated, fast-rotting planet. Hence movies such as Frank Capra’s 1946 sentimental fantasy drama It’s a Wonderful Life, released the year after the end of World War II — which reportedly left about 60 million human beings dead (plus countless other non-humans), in addition to millions more maimed, homeless, and/or psychologically destroyed. Starring James Stewart as Small Town America family man George Bailey, who almost kills himself but is prevented from doing so by an angel with way too much time in his hands, »
- Andre Soares
"He is a great individual singular character, Feige said about "Doctor Strange".
"He's got a great personality. He's got a great origin story. And he's very, very different than any of our other characters.
"Doc Strange, as I've been saying for years, is a movie I believe we should make -- we're just figuring out how to make it a great movie.
"It is in active development right now.
"And, you know, we could find a great, great actor to bring that role to life.
"And a lot of people have been calling us, for years, about that. And he is a section of the Marvel universe -- like 'Guardians', is cosmic, and 'Thor' and 'The Avengers' sort of tease into that cosmic realm.
"He deals »
- Michael Stevens
“If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.”
When Holden Caulfield makes that declaration on the second page of “The Catcher in the Rye,” most readers assume he was channeling his creator, author J.D. Salinger. But as Shane Salerno, director of the new “Salinger” documentary, discovered over 10 years of research, Salinger’s relationship to Hollywood, especially the movies, wasn’t so dour.
In a never-before published letter written by Salinger that Salerno provided exclusively to Variety, the reclusive author repudiates the widely held belief that he disliked all film. It turns out Salinger communicated cordially with several Hollywood producers during the peak of his career. Contrary to industry lore, the writer was also open to translating a few of his short stories to the bigscreen well after he published his magnum opus, “The Catcher in the Rye.”
(Click here to view full-size image. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
A never-before-published letter -- provided to Variety by "Salinger" documentary director Shane Salerno -- reveals that Salinger's dislike of Hollywood was a myth. In reality, Salerno said that Salinger "loved movies" and that the reclusive writer was open to movie adaptations of some of his short stories.
The letter reads, "It isn't true, at all, that I 'hate' or dislike all films, and it's always more than a little offputting, not to say irritating, to hear that I do. The fact is, I like certain kinds of films inordinately, and even own a 16mm sound projector and a few old prints."
Salinger corresponded with a few directors about potential adaptations, but was against getting involved in movie-making in any way himself. »
- Kelly Woo
Faye Dunaway in ‘Mommie Dearest’ — Joan Crawford portrayal ‘Greatest Bad Performance’? Clint Eastwood Best Picture Oscar nominee among ‘Greatest Bad Movies’ See previous post: “From John Travolta to Bob Dylan: ‘The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time’: Q&A with Phil Hall.” (Photo: Mommie Dearest, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford.) I noticed you have included some Bad Movies that were well received upon their release, e.g., Clint Eastwood’s Best Picture Oscar nominee ‘Mystic River’ (2003) and Henry King’s ‘In Old Chicago’ (1937) — another Best Picture nominee. Why are those movies not only Bad Movies, but also Great Bad Movies? I need to begin my answer by insisting that my new book is strictly about opinion. I don’t pretend to be the author of a be-all/end-all encyclopedia on the subject. Many people may disagree with the selection of films, both from an inclusive viewpoint and from »
- Andre Soares
This documentary portrait of the reclusive Catcher in the Rye author manages to come up with some interesting new titbits, but doesn't radically change our view of the author
• Five new Salinger books on the way
• Read Tom Shone on summer blockbusters
"If there's one thing I hate, it's the movies," declared Holden Caulfield. Not so his creator who nursed youthful dreams of being an actor and liked nothing better, later in life, than to curl up in front of John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, or his personal favourite Frank Capra's Lost Horizon, in which Ronald Colman crash-lands in the Himalayas and stumbles across the secret of eternal youth. The perfect Salinger combination: enlightenment plus milkshake.
That the famously retiring author was engaged in a lifelong pursuit of the same, whether in his work or with women, is the contention of a new documentary, »
- Tom Shone
Conception, a supernatural mystery drama from writer John Glenn (Eagle Eye) and producer David Janollari, has been set up at NBC with a put pilot commitment. The project hails from Universal Television where Glenn’s and Janollari’s companies, John Glenn Entertainment and David Janollari Entertainment, are both based, and marks a rare put pilot commitment for NBC’s sibling studio. Co-written by Glenn and Lars Jacobson, Conception tracks a modern-day immaculate conception on a large scale. The show follows those few children that survived and how they’re destined to change the world. Glenn and Janollari executive produce. This is Janollari’s third sale to NBC in his first development season at Uni TV, adding to comedies Gifted from writer David Bickel and a romantic half-hour from writer Paul Ruehl. Glenn wrote two drama projects for NBC last season, the modern-day Hatfields & McCoys, which went to pilot, and Lost Horizon with M. Night Shyamalan, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Exclusive: Writer John Glenn (Eagle Eye) has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television to develop new shows for the studio. The pact comes on the heels of Glenn writing two high-profile projects for NBC this past development season: the modern-day Hatfields & McCoys, through ABC Studios, which went to pilot, and modern-day Moby Dick drama Lost Horizon, a collaboration with M. Night Shyamalan through Sony, which had a put pilot commitment and I hear is now being discussed as a potential event series. Glenn also created Fix It Men, which is being put together as an international co-production/direct-to-series project with Sonar Entertainment, ABC Studios, and producer Mark Gordon. “John Glenn is a great writer with the ability to tap into different worlds and create layered and distinct characters,” Universal TV Evp Bela Bajaria said. On the film side, Glenn, repped by Wme and manager Brian Lutz, recently delivered »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
In the book Hollywood Unknowns, author Anthony Slide tackles a little-known side of Hollywood moviemaking: the aspirations and travails of the movie extras and bit players (in addition to "side" chapters on actors' stand-ins and stunt doubles). [Image: Book cover featuring -- possibly -- short filmmaker Pete Smith.] Slide's Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players and Stand-Ins covers the history of the movie extras from the very dawn of cinema -- when, say, someone like future "star" Florence Lawrence could be the focus of one film and mere "atmosphere" in another -- to the current crop of movie extras. Among the sujects discussed in Anthony Slide's highly entertaining tome are the history of Central Casting; union battles involving the Screen Actors Guild, the Screen Extras Guild, and splinter groups; and a look at former silent-era performers, including Clara Kimball Young, King Baggott, and William Farnum, who finished their days as Hollywood extras. So, next time you watch Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, »
- Andre Soares
"'Doctor Strange,' I've been talking about for years," said Feige.
"He's a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he's totally different from anything else we have (and) totally different from anything we've done before...which keeps us excited."
Written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko, 'Doctor Strange' debuted in Marvel Comics' "Strange Tales" #110 (July 1963), with Ditko fashioning the physical look of the character after creator Lee Falk's 1930's hypnotic comic strip character "Mandrake The Magician".
'Dr. Stephen Strange' was an arrogant, womanizing world-renowned neurosurgeon, until a Chappaquiddick-like car accident damaged his hands, preventing him from conducting surgery.
In bitter desperation, he seeks out »
- Michael Stevens
M. Night Shyamalan has become such a laughingstock in many moviegoers’ eyes that his name gets left out of previews for his own movies now (see: the After Earth Trailer). However, as illustrated by the 2010 suspense/horror film Devil – which Shyamalan produced and wrote the screen story for – he remains a capable storyteller, especially while collaborating with others to craft entertainment with a deeper artistic significance.
That’s exactly what Shyamalan is doing with After Earth, in addition to developing sci-fi television projects for networks like SyFy (Proof) and NBC (Lost Horizon). We can add one more entry to the roster of developing small screen ventures from the filmmaker, with the announcement that Fox has inked a deal for his Wayward Pines adaptation.
- Sandy Schaefer
12 items from 2013
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