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San Francisco Earthquake Movie & Dracula Returns + Colin Farrell Poor Box Office & Elvis Presley-Andy Warhol Artwork

Clark Gable Jeanette MacDonald San Francisco earthquake
San Francisco with Jeanette MacDonald and Clark Gable
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Brad Bird’s film adaptation of James Dalessandro’s novel 1906, about San Francisco at the time of the 1906 earthquake, will definitely not be coming out in 2012. It’s not that the editing or the score isn’t ready. The screenplay is yet to be written, according to an interview with Bird posted at Bird explains:

“I mean, in a movie like Titanic, there’s a certain amount of healthy limitation in the fact that it’s one ship in the middle of the ocean. With 1906, it’s a city, and it becomes exponentially harder to sort of rein in the storylines and take advantage of all the amazing things that were happening in this place at that particular moment in time. The script and the story is what’s elusive on 1906 more than it is any hesitations with me as a filmmaker.”

Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was a major worldwide hit. And so were his animated features The Incredibles and Ratatouille. If it ever gets made, 1906 may turn out to be a big one as well, though it may face competition from New Line’s San Andreas 3D movie – about a rival earthquake that destroys all of California (and, who knows, perhaps several adjacent states as well and much of Mexico).

As for the San Francisco earthquake, it has been dealt with before on film, most notably in W.S. Van Dyke’s San Francisco (1936), one of the biggest blockbusters of the ’30s. Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy starred.

Colin Farrell vampire Fright Night
Colin Farrell, Fright Night

Colin Farrell ‘Arthur & Lancelot’: Box-Office Guarantee?

Due to budgetary concerns, the Warner Bros. project Arthur & Lancelot has been lying in studio-induced coma for the last couple of months or so. That may come to an end in the near future, as according to The Hollywood Reporter Warners has been “in talks” with Colin Farrell to play Lancelot in the fantasy-adventure comedy. (I had no idea this was supposed to be a comedy à la the Robert Downey Jr / Jude Law Sherlock Holmes movies.)

Farrell’s appearance in the picture apparently means the departure of the two initially announced leads, Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington and The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman. It’s unclear if director David Dobkin could possibly be a goner as well.

Now, will Colin Farrell be much more of a box office guarantee than either Harington and Kinnaman to a project expected to cost over $100 million? Surely Farrell has a much bigger name, but … his latest big-studio release, Disney/DreamWorks’ Fright Night, was one of last year’s major flops, collecting a mere $41 million worldwide. And The Way Back, Ondine, Pride & Glory, and In Bruges were hardly what one would call box office hits.

In fact, apart from Seth Gordon’s ensemble comedy Horrible Bosses, which grossed $117 million (and also featured Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, and others), Farrell hasn’t had a movie earn more than $50 million (adjusted for inflation) at the domestic box office since Miami Vice in 2006.

Also, only one Colin Farrell vehicle has earned more than $100 million in North America: Clark Johnson’s S.W.A.T., with $116.93 million back in 2003. Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil and Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report also managed to pass the $100 million mark, but those were vehicles for Ben Affleck and Tom Cruise, respectively.

True, the United States and Canada aren’t the world. But even looking at the international market, the only Colin Farrell movies that have grossed more than $100 million abroad are Miami Vice and, somewhat surprisingly, Oliver Stone’s Alexander back in 2004. (Horrible Bosses, S.W.A.T., and Daredevil were bigger hits in North America; thanks to the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise combo, Minority Report earned well over $200 million overseas.)

In other words, even if Farrell gets cast in the Middle Ages “comedy,” Warner Bros. should still be concerned about Arthur & Lancelot‘s budget if they want their venture to be profitable.

Colin Farrell / Fright Night photo: DreamWorks Pictures.

New Dracula Movie: Hammer Films

Christopher Lee Dracula Caroline MunroDracula Resurrected. That would be a good title (methinks) for a new Hammer Films release starring Jean Dujardin as Count Dracula. What? Hammer and Dracula together again? Well, read on…

Thanks to the success of the Daniel Radcliffe vehicle The Woman in Black, the recently resurrected Hammer Films may try its hand at another Dracula movie, says Jonathan James in The Daily Dead. During a recent interview with Hammer historian Marcus Hearn, The Daily Dead learned that Hammer is planning a Dracula movie set in the 21st century. Said Hearn:

“The company’s chairman, Simon Oakes, is talking about making a new Dracula, and setting it in present-day London. It’s fun to speculate who could step into Christopher Lee’s shoes. Just last year I would probably have dismissed the idea of another Hammer Dracula as quite far-fetched, but I think the success of The Woman in Black has opened up all sorts of possibilities.”

In addition to Christopher Lee (who was not that long ago busy as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy), previous incarnations of Dracula (under various guises and aliases) include Max Schreck (in F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu), Bela Lugosi, Klaus Kinski, and Frank Langella. Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen doesn’t count, as despite what Uma Thurman said, The Twilight Saga couldn’t be considered one of those “Dracula movies.”

Personally, I believe a French-sounding dracula would work as well as an English-sounding or a Hungarian-sounding one. As a plus, Jean Dujardin has a couple of very prominent canine teeth.

Dark Shadows poster Johnny Depp Tim Burton
Dark Shadows 2012 poster

Johnny Depp-Tim Burton ‘Dark Shadows’ Trailer/Poster

Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, a film version of the popular television series of the late ’60s/early ’70s opens on May 11. Please scroll down for the special-effects-laden, uncontrollably campy trailer.

Now, are you old enough to remember Dark Shadows? No? Neither am I. All I can tell you is that Dark Shadows has nothing to do with The Munsters or The Addams Family – though don’t feel bad if you get Burton’s Dark Shadows reboot confused with either comedy series. Looking at the above poster, my first impression was: “Oh, Johnny Depp will be playing Morticia … in Dark Shadows? Something is off.”

The white-powdered faces also made me think of the Cullen Clan in the Twilight movies. I’m assuming that was intentional, so as to make clueless moviegoers think they’ll be watching a sneak spring preview of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Or maybe not.

Warner Bros. will be distributing Dark Shadows. In addition to Depp’s Morticia-like character, Burton’s movie about an 18th-century vampire who comes out of the coffin in the hip ’70s features New Year’s Eve / Dangerous Liaisons’ Michelle Pfeiffer (who co-starred in the similar-looking The Witches of Eastwick a quarter century ago), The Wings of the Dove / The King’s Speech‘s Helena Bonham Carter, Casino Royale‘s Eva Green (who has a Faye Dunaway in Network / Mommie Dearest-moment in the trailer), Little Children‘s Jackie Earle Haley, Endgame / Byzantium‘s Jonny Lee Miller, In Time / Killing Them Softly‘s Bella Heathcote, Hugo / Kick-Ass’ Chloë Grace Moretz and Lincoln / The Long Night‘s Gulliver McGrath.

The original Dark Shadows, which was not a comedy, ran from 1966 to 1971. Jonathan Frid starred as the vampire, along with veteran Joan Bennett (The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street) as the family matriarch, Oscar nominee Grayson Hall (The Night of the Iguana) as the psychiatrist, plus Nancy Barrett, Alexandra Isle, Louis Edmonds, David Selby, and Kathryn Leigh Scott. Directed by the TV series’ own Dan Curtis, the feature House of Dark Shadows was released in 1970.


Elvis Presley Double Elvis Ferus Type
Elvis Presley: Double Elvis (Ferus Type)

Elvis Presley-Andy Warhol Portrait Auction

Elvis Presley as a cowboy as seen by Andy Warhol. Warhol’s Presley Portrait “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” will be sold to the highest bidder at Sotheby’s on May 9. The 1963 portrait, owned by a “private collector,” is expected to sell for anywhere between $30-50 million.

As per Sotheby’s, this is the first “Double Elvis” to appear on the market since 1995. And to think I had no idea there had ever been more than one Elvis despite his myriad imitators. In truth, Warhol painted 22 images of Elvis Presley, nine of which belong to various museum collections.

Presley starred in about 30 films, mostly flimsy musicals (e.g., Blue Hawaii, Harum Scarum, Kissin’ Cousins) featuring minor leading ladies as his love interest. Exceptions include the Westerns Love Me Tender (1956), with Richard Egan and Debra Paget, and Flaming Star (1960), with Barbara Eden and Dolores del Rio; the romantic melodrama Change of Habit (1969), with Mary Tyler Moore as a nun who falls in love with him; and the musical melo Loving You (1957), in which former Paramount star Lizabeth Scott falls for the younger Presley.

In Double Elvis (Ferus Type), Elvis Presley looks quite a bit like the young Presley of Love Me Tender.

Among Andy Warhol’s directorial efforts are The Closet (1966), Imitation of Christ (1967), Lonesome Cowboys (1968), and Blue Movie (1969), in which Viva and Louis Waldon discuss politics, talk about their personal lives, and have sex.

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1 comment

Ron Delby -

I believe there are a lot of handsome men to play Count Dracula but they must have the same magic as Christopher Lee. I submit an actor that played on PBS series. I looked at him and he was handsome but yet mystic in appearance and he played Mr Barrow a servant. The series is called Downton Abbey. This film would have to have the James Bernard scores. I’m sure there are composers who could do them. I’m not too keen on a present day Dracula but in the Victorian era would be superb. Lee’s last present day Dracula films were bombers. Keep it gothic, Victorian era and the Bernard type music scores.


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