So here I am semi-live-blogging the Ender’s Game trailer. Why? Call it the triumph of hope against my surefire knowledge that Hollywood would love to do nothing more than transmute every childhood memory I once held dear into a printing press that coughs out diamond-studded dollar bills. If you have no idea why I’m so worked up, just know that the Hugo and Nebula award-winning young adult Ender series is basically the gateway drug to science fiction. After blasting through its labyrinthine story lines, true junkies quickly move onto Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Frank Herbert’s Dune, as well as significant statistical increase in death-by-wedgie. Notwithstanding Orson Scott Card's stomach-churning homophobia and its creepy-eugenicist justifications, Ender’s Game inspires a cultlike fanaticism when read at that delicate age where you’re just developing a taste for thorny morality and secretly hope there’s something mytho-poetic to all those hours you waste on video games.
It's a week of mysteries, conundrums — conundra? Conundrae? — and confusion this week, as Wesley Morris and Alex Pappademas examine the career (lost?) arc of Harrison Ford and struggle to get a handle on Upstream Color, the new film from writer/director/actor/distributor/pig-wrangler Shane Carruth. So basically it's a special theme week and the theme is Things That Get Really Weird In The Third Act. Plus: major, major What Lies Beneath spoilers. You've been warned.
My gosh, the back-and-forth over who's going to be back for Star Wars: Episode VII. Earlier this week, Carrie Fisher told the Del Boca Vista Newsletter or wherever "yes" when asked whether she was going to be back for Episode VII. But yesterday, her representatives were sweeping the web, making sure everybody knew that Fisher was TOTALLY KIDDING and nothing was in stone yet.
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
And of course they're all coming back. I's might not yet be dotted, nor T's crossed, nor (and this is what I would bet is the actual point of swatting down rumors) official press events scheduled, but obviously they're all in. These movies are going to be the last significant paydays of Mark Hamill's and Carrie Fisher's careers, at least until Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn remake Postcards From the Edge, and while Harrison Ford is arguably flush enough (and grumpy enough) to say no, he won't. How significant the roles of Luke, Leia, and Han will be in the new trilogy IS a question, but the fact of Hamill, Fisher, and Ford's participation isn't worth all the sweat these publicists are putting into it.
Bottom line: George Lucas just said so. And if there's anything that a Star Wars fan should put his faith in at this point, it's the thoughts and ideas of George Lucas.
[*Disclosure: Disney owns Star Wars, Grantland, and pretty much everything else.]
Between now and 2015, when the first new Star Wars movie is slated to drop, we will be privy to a moderate-to-gushing torrent of tidbits, reminiscences, rumors, innuendo, and, every once in a while, actual news from the galaxy far, far away. And this week's most pressing development? Harrison Ford — the one original Star Wars principal who, as you may recall, became a full-fledged movie star after Return of the Jedi — is not totally against the idea of returning as your favorite smuggler's favorite smuggler, mf'ing Han Solo. Hell. Yes.
Christina Aguilera: Xtina "is still a boozing mess!" At Spago she "drank so much wine and champagne that she couldn't even walk to her car." Boyfriend Matt Rutler supported her on the way out to the car. "Christina loves to drink and has a problem with knowing when enough is enough. Matt has told Christina that she should slow down on the alcohol when they are at dinners, but she gets mad and tells him she'll do what she wants." She hates dieting and "lives off champagne and pasta. But she still believes she is healthy and doesn't think that she needs to work out." All she wants to do is drink her rosÚ!
Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama has an official name: The Newsroom. Originally known as More As The Story Develops, then as 'TBA,' the show’s title was debuted via HBO’s 2012 teaser reel and confirmed by Deadline. Other titles rumored to be in contention: On the Hour, This Just In, Extra! Extra!, [60 Minutes Ticking Noise], The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, and Tyler Perry Presents Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. Grade: A [Deadline]
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]
Earlier today, Empirereleased an excerpt from an upcoming Steven Spielberg interview in which the movie legend revealed some less-than-fond feelings for 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. “Of course he did,” you might be say to yourself. “That movie was terrible!” And yes, it certainly was — but Spielberg directed the film, and you’d think he’d keep quiet, especially since the movie made like a billion dollars despite its crappiness. But Skull-bashing has actually become something of a trend among the film's principal participants. So, which of the people who made Indy 4 hate it the most?
Or, rather, will it be a supporting vampire, or a supporting werewolf? With its plentiful stock of wolfcake and bloodsuckers, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is a bonanza for a category that’s often among the Razzies’ most predictable. Due to a fluke of scheduling, though, the name-brand Supporting Actors the Razzies typically love — Burt Reynolds, Marlon Wayans, Verne Troyer, Jon Voight, and (of course) Rob Schneider — have zero movies due to be released in 2011. That means some fresh Razzie meat come January 23!
Will Jackson Rathbone follow up his shocking Razzie win last year with another nomination? Might Taylor Lautner have better luck in Supporting Actor than he did in Worst Actor last year, when he lost to Ashton Kutcher? What about Kellan Lutz as vampire Emmett, the most bloodless of the bunch? Or Michael Sheen as Aro, who seems prepared to devour the scenery like so many shrieking coeds? Or Jamie Campbell Bower, who … uh … we can’t remember who “Caius” is. At any rate, they’re all front-runners, so let’s put them there.
Despite a premise that fused two once-reliable genres and a cast featuring both Indiana Jones and James Bond, Jon Favreau’s $163 million Cowboys & Aliens got smurfing smurfed at the box office over the weekend, opening to a measly $36.2 million — well below even the modest $45 million its makers had predicted. As Harrison Ford scrambles into the nearest refrigerator, we at Grantland are left to wonder just what happened. We asked an agent, a producer, and a publicist for insight on why C&A bombed so badly — and what the fallout might be for its makers and Hollywood at large.
In predicting who might be nominated for Worst Actor, first you have to ask: What does the Golden Raspberry look for in its leading men? It’s a question that drives Razzie gurus crazy. Sometimes the winners of the Worst Actor award are megastars like Eddie Murphy, John Travolta, and Adam Sandler. Sometimes the winners barely qualify as actors at all: the Jonas Brothers, George W. Bush, Roberto Benigni.
Occasionally, an actor will dominate an era, as Kevin Costner did the 1990s, a decade in which he was nominated six times (and won three Razzies). But sometimes an actor will leap from obscurity with a performance for the ages, as Tom Green did when he won the Razzie for Freddy Got Fingered in 2001. (He’s still the only Worst Actor winner to accept his award in person at the ceremony.)