A Jackie Robinson movie is in development at Legendary Pictures, with Chadwick Boseman playing the man himself; Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey, the Dodgers exec that signed Robinson; and Brian Helgeland, who wrote L.A. Confidential and Mystic River, writing and directing. This is a big break for Boseman, who was previously best known for a bunch of TV cameos and the football movie The Express. It also should do wonders for Ford, who is still, sadly, best known, of course, for marrying Ally McBeal. Grade: A- [Deadline]
Dane Cook has landed a development deal at NBC, and will produce and star in a half-hour comedy with an eye on a fall 2012 premiere. The ever-divisive Cook’s movie career has mostly fizzled, but he’s still a huge stand-up pull, and, despite whatever personal aversion you may have, there’s no reason why Cook shouldn't be allowed to take a crack at a TV show. If this fails too, though, Dane should probably move to a small village in Southern Italy and start a new life as a kindly cobbler. Grade: D [Deadline]
Yesterday, the news about Antoine Fuqua was that he was directing a Suge Knight documentary for Showtime. Today, the news about Antoine Fuqua is that he’s in talks to direct Hunter Killer, an adaptation of George Wallace and Don Keith’s novel Firing Point, in which a Navy SEAL team has to rescue a Russian president, taken hostage during a coup, and stop a rogue general from starting international war. And with that, we bring to a thrilling conclusion the latest edition of our beloved feature, News About Antoine Fuqua. Grade: B+ [Showblitz]
Last week, while seeking evidence of how quickly Academy Awards campaign rhetoric can hit bottom, I came across the following Huffington Post headline. I know it’s still early, but we may have already found, in five words, the perfect storm of hysteria, prematurity, and inaccuracy. Here’s the headline:
“Madonna Bombs; Oscar Hopes Dead?”
Let me offer a word-by-word translation, since unless you are dangerously fluent in awards hyperbole, this announcement should be completely incomprehensible to you. “Madonna” is Madonna. She has made — meaning directed, but not starred in — a movie called W.E. “W” stands for Wallis Simpson; “E” stands for King Edward VIII, so in historical terms, this is a movie about the romance that caused the British abdication crisis in 1936; in movie terms, this is a spinoff of The King’s Speech that’s all about Colin Firth’s sneering Nazi-symp asshole brother, except now he’s a good guy. Even though Madonna has enough psychic power to have successfully mind-wiped the world’s population 10 years ago into believing that she is the descendant of a lovely old-money family from Sussex instead of a crabby Italian lady from Michigan, this particular piece of image alteration may be too tall an order.