Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. Those are the names included in a Deadline.com piece about performers who have been “considered” for the roles of the surely-to-be-renamed Tetsuo and Kaneda in the live-action, English-language adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's series of graphic novels, Akira.
Pattinson, Garfield, and McAvoy were lumped together as potential Tetsuos, the friend-turned-enemy who develops creepy psychic powers; the other five actors are in the running for Kaneda, the biker who will try to save the day.
Well, at least that's what an unnamed source told Deadline's Mike Fleming. This roster, of course, could be merely a publicity ploy to heighten the buzz for Akira, a major Warner Bros. project that a while ago lost Black Swan's Mila Kunis to Oz: The Great and Powerful. Zac Efron and James Franco had been mentioned as possibilities as well, in addition to Brad Pitt. Somehow, Josh Hutcherson, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Dev Patel, Taylor Lautner, Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, and Julia Roberts have been left out.
Albert Hughes has been named director of the revamped Akira; the screenplay is currently being rewritten by Steve Kloves.
Directed by Otomo himself, an animated version of Akira came out in 1988.
Jodie Foster-Mel Gibson 'The Beaver' Early Reviews: SXSW Film Festival
Jodie Foster's drama – with comedic touches – The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson as an unbalanced executive who communicates through a hand-puppet beaver, had its world premiere on Wednesday night at the SWSX Film Festival.
“This is not a comedy,” Foster told the audience. “The film reflects the struggle of one man in the midst of a spiritual crisis.” Referring to her effort to portray “sensitivity without sentimentality,” Foster then added, “This was the biggest struggle of my professional life.”
Following a few postponements, Summit Entertainment will release The Beaver in the United States on May 11. In addition to Mel Gibson, The Beaver also stars Foster, Jennifer Lawrence, and Anton Yelchin.
Below are snippets from a couple of early The Beaver reviews.
As directed by Jodie Foster from the screenplay by first-timer Kyle Killen, the story takes an irreverent plot and makes it uniformly familiar, if not entirely unpleasant. Gibson demonstrates a staunch commitment to his role as an emotionally damaged man driven to excise his troubles by speaking through the titular hand puppet, but the subdued tone brings him down to earth. Eric Kohn, indieWIRE.
It's very easy to imagine a less gifted filmmaker producing a train wreck of a film using an identical script – exaggerating the highs, compartmentalizing the lows and casting a mawkish eye on everything … . Foster finds the script's subtleties instead, and grounds the film with just enough pain to make it work. Viewers who can shake off tabloid preoccupations as they settle into the film will likely be surprised by a picture that (in a way reminiscent of Lars and the Real Girl) turns a crazy-sounding premise into something moving and sane. John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
As The Beaver moves into its second half it gets decidedly bleaker, making it clear that mental illness is not something that can be cured with a quick fix. Gibson's performance is front and center the whole time, and deservedly so. His “Beaver” persona is spirited, but it alone doesn't get laughs. It's more sad than anything else, and the moments where Walter cracks through are, indeed, heartbreaking. Jordan Hoffman at Ugo
Jodie Foster quote: The Hollywood Reporter
Photo: The Beaver (Ken Regan / Summit Entertainment)
Charlie Sheen's $100 million Lawsuit Against Warner Bros., Chuck Lorre
By now, the whole world knows that Charlie Sheen, son of veteran actor Martin Sheen, and the star of Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning Platoon and Wall Street, has filed a $100-million lawsuit against Warner Bros., the studio that curtly fired Sheen a few days ago from the hit television series Two and a Half Men.
Following rehab stints and much-publicized scandals involving drugs and porn stars, Sheen had recently made headlines after launching a series of blistering tirades, some of which directed at Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre, who has also been named in the lawsuit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sheen's lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court “claims Lorre has a financial incentive to de-prioritize Men in favor of his other Warner Bros/CBS shows The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly because his deals for those shows are more lucrative.”
Also of interest, the lawsuit has been filed not only on Sheen's behalf, but also on behalf of the cast and crew of Two and Half Men, whose paychecks will stop coming in after they get paid for four of the eight canceled episodes this season.
“Chuck Lorre, one of the richest men in television who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, believes himself to be so wealthy and powerful that he can unilaterally decide to take money away from the dedicated cast and crew of the popular television series, Two and a Half Men, in order to serve his own ego and self-interest, and make the star of the Series the scapegoat for Lorre's own conduct,” states the lawsuit as per the Reporter.
Warner Bros. had purportedly claimed in their dismissal of Charlie Sheen that because of his drug problems the actor would be unable to perform his duties on the Two and a Half Men set. The released statement from the studio and CBS read:
“After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen's services on Two and a Half Men effective immediately. No decision has been made on the future of the show.”
Sheen's attorney Matt Singer, for his part, says Warner Bros. had no justifiable reason to fire his client.
“When a production company and network are willing to hire someone who is a convicted felon and accused of putting a knife to his wife's throat, and they know that this person has substance abuse problems, it's obvious that their position in this dispute is ridiculous. What Warner Bros. is really saying is you can't mess with the 900 pound gorilla showrunner [Lorre] or you will get tossed.”
Chuck Lorre's attorney, Howard Weitzman, has responded to Sheen's lawsuit with the following:
“The allegations in the complaint against Mr. Lorre are as recklessly false and unwarranted as Mr. Sheen's rantings in the media The accusations are simply imaginary. This lawsuit is about a fantasy 'lottery' pay-day for Charlie Sheen. Chuck Lorre's concern has been and continues to be about Mr. Sheen's health.”
According to the Reporter, it's unclear whether Sheen's lawsuit will ever go to trial. As per their sources, “arbitration is the most likely forum for this dispute, but it's hardly a sure thing.”
Note: Quote from Chuck Lorre's attorney via EW.com.
Oliver Stone's Jim Morrison Biopic 'The Doors' U.K. Blu-ray Release
The Doors frontman Jim Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Morrison's death, Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic The Doors has been restored and is being released for the first time on blu-ray in the United Kingdom on April 18. The Doors, which features The Doors' music in the soundtrack, stars Val Kilmer as Morrison, in addition to Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Billy Idol, and Michael Madsen.
The information below is from the Optimum Releasing press release:
The Doors were a distillation of their time. The music they made was raw yet poetic, angry yet seductive. The stage show at its best was dramatic, brilliant theatre - artistic expression transcending all form. Jim Morrison's sensual stage presence, charged with strength and energy, capable of projecting a sense of danger, spoke to young audiences' fantasies and became a catalyst for an era.
- Jim Morrison, a poet in Paris
- Back to the roots
Blu-ray tech specs:
Region B / Total Running Time: 140 mins approx / Co lour PAL / Feature Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 / Video: BD50 / 1080"24p / Feature Audio: English DTS HD Master 2.0 / English Language / Catalogue No: OPTBD1402 / RRP: £24.99
Photos: Optimum Releasing.