The Avengers actor Samuel L. Jackson, whose self-righteous Nick Fury looks like an amateur next to Tom Hiddleston’s brilliantly wicked Loki, has gone the James Cameron way. It’s “either you like my movie, or you have no job writing about movies.”
In response to an unenthusiastic The Avengers review by the New York Times’ A.O. Scott, a couple of hours ago Jackson tweeted to his 823,000 followers: “#Avengers fans,NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”
In his review, Scott opines that The Avengers’ “best scenes are not the overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences – which add remarkably little that will be fresh or surprising to devotees of the Transformers franchise – but the moments in between, when the assembled heroes have the opportunity to brag, banter, flirt and bicker.”
Scott then goes on to compare The Avengers’ word-play among Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, et al. to the repartee among John Wayne, Angie Dickinson, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson in Howard Hawks’ classic 1959 Western Rio Bravo. Summing it up, Scott says that “while The Avengers is hardly worth raging about, its failures are significant and dispiriting. The light, amusing bits cannot overcome the grinding, hectic emptiness, the bloated cynicism that is less a shortcoming of this particular film than a feature of the genre.”
Obviously, comparisons to Rio Bravo aren’t enough for Samuel L. Jackson. Or the fact that The Avengers has an 84 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics. Perhaps a comparison to High Noon would have been more to his liking? And nothing short of 100 percent approval rating?
Really, is Jackson afraid that The Avengers’ domestic box office prospects will be hurt by Scott’s review? He shouldn’t. Ask yourself: do the vast majority of people who’ll pay to watch The Avengers in North America next weekend read movie reviews? And really, how many of those people are able to read anything longer than a 140-word tweet?
Samuel L. Jackson: Top-Grossing Actor
So, Samuel L. Jackson, the actor whose film oeuvre the Guinness Book of World Records has (absurdly) named as the most lucrative ever, wants – even if in jest – a film critic out of his job. This at a time when most movie critics are indeed losing their jobs. Cool.
Just as cool as when James Cameron demanded in a 1998 letter to the editor that Kenneth Turan be fired from the Los Angeles Times because Turan dared to dislike Titanic. “Forget about Clinton,” Cameron ranted, “how do we impeach Kenneth Turan?”
The Avengers, which cost a reportedly $220 million, has earned $280 million after opening in about 40 territories last week. Box-office prognosticators are expecting that The Avengers will open to the tune of $150+ million in North America. We should all feel sorry for Samuel L. Jackson.
Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers features The Iceman‘s Chris Evans as Captain America, Sherlock Holmes’ Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Shutter Island‘s Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, and Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
Also: The Bourne Legacy‘s Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, War Horse‘s Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The Storm Awaits’ Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Django Unchained‘s Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Country Strong‘s Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Much Ado About Nothing‘s Clark Gregg as agent Phil Coulson, and Mamma Mia!‘s Stellan Skarsgård.
And finally: Powers Boothe, Alexis Denisof, veteran Jenny Agutter (Walkabout / Logan’s Run), and Deep End director / Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski, in addition to the voices of Paul Bettany and Lou Ferrigno.
Kellan Lutz Tarzan 3D Movie
Kellan Lutz Tarzan Movie. Kellan Lutz, Twilight‘s Emmett Cullen, and Resident Evil actress Spencer Locke will star in a performance-capture 3D movie version of Tarzan, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic “ape man” tale.
Animals United‘s producers / directors Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe will direct the new Tarzan, starring Lutz in the title role. Locke will play Jane.
Kellan Lutz Tarzan: updated, predecessors
The screenplay for the Kellan Lutz Tarzan was written by Klooss, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ Yoni Brenner, and Jessica Postigo, whose sole listed credit on the IMDb is Harald Zwart’s The Mortal Instruments, currently in pre-production.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new screenplay updates Burroughs’ story by having Tarzan’s parents killed in a plane crash, the CEO of Greystoke Energies as the film’s chief villain, and Jane as an environmentally conscious heroine. Now, the first “update” isn’t something really new: Boy’s parents are killed in a plane crash in the 1939 Tarzan sequel Tarzan Finds a Son.
Previous movie Tarzans include the silent era’s Elmo Lincoln, MGM’s Johnny Weissmuller, and RKO’s Lex Barker, in addition to Gordon Scott, Miles O’Keeffe, Casper Van Dien, and Christopher Lambert in Hugh Hudson’s prestigious Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Previous Janes include Louise Lorraine, Maureen O’Sullivan, Brenda Joyce, Eve Brent, Bo Derek, Jane March, and Greystoke‘s Andie MacDowell.
Kellan Lutz movies
As per the IMDb, Kellan Lutz has a handful of movies in the post-production stages.
- Bill Condon’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, in addition to Twilight regulars Peter Facinelli, Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Michael Sheen, Daniel Cudmore, and Billy Burke.
- Aram Rappaport’s comedy-drama Syrup, with Amber Heard and Brittany Snow.
- Conor Allyn’s Java Heat, with Mickey Rourke and Rio Dewanto.
Additionally, Kellan Lutz is currently filming Stephen Herek’s Bumped, opposite Camilla Belle and Katie Cassidy.
Other Kellan Lutz movie credits include Tarsem Singh’s Immortals, opposite Henry Cavill and Freida Pinto; Michael F. Sears’ A Warrior’s Heart, with Ashley Greene and Gabrielle Anwar; Samuel Bayer’s domestic underperformer A Nightmare on Elm Street, with Jackie Earle Haley; Mikey Hilb’s Deep Winter, with Eric Lively; and the four previous Twilight movies: Bill Condon’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1, David Slade’s Eclipse, Chris Weitz’s New Moon, and Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight.
Guillermo del Toro: ‘Prometheus’ Movie Doomed ‘At the Mountains of Madness’
Guillermo del Toro won’t go to At the Mountains of Madness and, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like At the Mountains of Madness will go to Guillermo del Toro, either. At least not any time soon. Blame it on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus movie, which apparently has numerous key elements in common with H.P. Lovecraft’s 1931 sci-fi novella.
Officially because of budgetary issues, Universal pulled the plug on At the Mountains of Madness a while back. Del Toro then embarked on another project, the futuristic monster vs. robot movie Pacific Rim, though At the Mountains of Madness remained in the distant horizon. Until 20th Century Fox’s Prometheus, that is.
Comingsoon.com reports that Guillermo del Toro wrote the following on Del Toro Films’ message board:
“I have been interviewed about this lately and wanted to post my two cents about this:
Prometheus started filming a while ago – right at the time we were in preproduction on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause – knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.
This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the greek [sic] metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause – if not the demise – of ATMOM.
The sad part is – I have been pursuing ATMOM for over a decade now – and, well, after [the box office disappointment] Hellboy II two projects I dearly loved were not brought to fruition for me. [Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was the other one.]
The good part is: One project did… And I am loving it and grateful for the blessings I have received.”
Regarding the similarities between At the Mountains of Madness and Prometheus, del Toro added (in two different posts):
“Same premise. Scenes that would be almost identical.
“Both movies seem to share identical set pieces and the exact same BIG REVELATION (twist) at the end. I won’t spoil it.”
Now, correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like del Toro is basically saying that Prometheus is a rip-off of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella. And if Scott’s film is that close to the novel, could it still be considered an “original screenplay”?
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus movie stars The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, Shame‘s Michael Fassbender, Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Charlize Theron, Luther‘s Idris Elba, and Mildred Pierce‘s Guy Pearce, in addition to Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Kate Dickie, and Patrick Wilson.
Prometheus movie photo: 20th Century Fox.
Roman Polanski Movie: ‘D’ (The Dreyfus Affair)
Roman Polanski’s next movie will be D, described as a political thriller based on the infamous Dreyfus Affair. Polanski (photo), 79 next August 18, will once again work with The Ghost Writer‘s novelist / screenwriter Robert Harris.
The Dreyfus Affair revolved around French army captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish man who was sentenced to life in prison for passing military secrets to the Germans in 1894. Though eventually proven innocent, Dreyfus languished for several years in solitary confinement on Devil’s Island.
Partly as a result of the efforts of progressive novelist Emile Zola and others outraged by widespread corruption and bigotry within the ranks of France’s military establishment, Dreyfus was pardoned in 1899. Seven years later, he was officially exonerated of all charges.
“I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,” Polanski was quoted as saying in a statement. “In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s world – the age-old spectacle of the witch-hunt of a minority group, security paranoia, secret military tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, governmental cover-ups, and a rabid press.”
It’s clear that here Roman Polanski is referring not to Jews, but to another group that has been vilified in France: Muslims. Polanski and Robert Harris indirectly tackled the post-Sept. 11, 2001, world in The Ghost Writer, which featured a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) embroiled in a nasty coverup. Though generally well-received by North American critics, The Ghost Writer earned a modest $15.54 million at the domestic box office in 2010. The political thriller fared better overseas, collecting $44.68 million.
Additionally, The Ghost Writer earned Polanski best director honors at the Berlin Film Festival and the César Awards. The Ghost Writer also won six European Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenwriter (Robert Harris, Roman Polanski), and Best Actor (Ewan McGregor).
Polanski’s Carnage, released in 2011, was less lucky. Reviews were mixed, and this adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s play Gods of Carnage took in only $27.6 million worldwide, including a paltry $2.54 million in North America. A trio of Oscar winners – Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz – starred along with John C. Reilly.
There were fewer awards-season mentions for Carnage as well. Foster and Winslet were shortlisted for the Golden Globes, while Polanski and Reza shared the César for Best Adapted Screenplay – the film’s sole César nomination.
Roman Polanski won the Best Director Oscar for The Pianist in early 2003. His previous credits include Knife in the Water (whose screenwriter, Jerzy Skolimowski, has a cameo in The Avengers); Repulsion, with Catherine Deneuve; Chinatown, with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway; Tess with Nastassja Kinski; and Frantic, with Harrison Ford and Polanski’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner.
Production on D should begin in Paris by the end of the year.
A previous cinematic take on the Dreyfus Affair, Warner Bros.’ 1937 melodrama The Life of Emile Zola, won that year’s Best Picture Oscar. Academy Award nominee Paul Muni played Zola; Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Joseph Schildkraut was Dreyfus. William Dieterle directed.
Samuel L. Jackson / The Avengers photo: Zade Rosenthal / Walt Disney Studios.