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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Bradley Cooper is Warners’ latest choice for ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

    Posted: 21 Oct 2011 04:23 AM PDT

    So many names have been bounced around for Warner Brothers’ potential action franchise, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” For some reason, the studio is certain that a film based on the ’60s TV show about gadget-guru spies fighting international gangsters is a hit waiting to happen, and for some reason, actors like George Clooney and Matt Damon (both pals of the un-retiring Stephen Soderbergh, slated to direct) can’t seem to fit it in. Other names that have been floated — Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

    I mean, who wouldn’t want to play a dapper agent named Napoleon Solo of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement? Robert Vaughan, the epitome of ’60s TV cool (short, dark, chiseled, mysterious), had the title role on the TV show.

    Now Warners is turning to its recent go-to guy, Bradley Cooper, to see if he can be talked into playing the American paired up with an Eastern Bloc partner, Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum TV).

    Will Cooper bite? He’s got a full dance card, and he’s flirting around with that Jennifer Lopez woman. Where does he have the time or energy?

    Will ‘Paranormal’ improve weak box office activity?

    Posted: 21 Oct 2011 04:14 AM PDT

    It’s been a down fall at the box office, with “Real Steel” turning up as that rare film that performs up to expectations. The kid audience has more reliable than dating gearheads (“Drive”) or monster movie lovers (“The Thing”) or teenage girls (“Footloose”).

    Will the horror crowd turn out in toto for “Paranormal Activity 3?” If they do, it could scare up what the Box Office Guru is predicting -- $36 million.

    But judging from recent horror hits, even the biggest ones don’t do much better than $20 million, so $36 seems way high. I’d say $25 is more like it, though with an established brand, you never know.

    Is anybody looking forward to “The Three Musketeers 3D?” It’s the return of the not late/not great Orlando Bloom. I am detecting ZERO interest in this one, and 3D has been a turnoff all year. The Guru’s $13 million prediction seems high.

    “Johnny English” wasn’t a hit here in his previous life, so suggestions that this one will hit $6 million seem on the mark.

    “The Mighty Macs” is in 1,000 theaters, has zero buzz, but it could do a million or two.

    “Footloose” won the week, besting “Real Steel,” and they’re still advertising the heck out of it. “Steel” benefits from the weekend family audience, so it should still come in ahead of the dancing teens.

    Movie Preview: All’s Faire in Love

    Posted: 20 Oct 2011 08:47 AM PDT

    This is the first film that Regal Entertainment Group, the nation’s largest theater chain, is releasing to its theaters without relying on Hollywood to provide them with product. I like the idea of that. Studios are always trying to screw over the theaters, now the theaters are fighting back by picking up films no major Hollywood operation thought worthy of releasing.
    “All’s Faire in Love” opens Friday Oct. 28.

    Renaissance Faires and Christina Ricci. I’ll bite. Ahem.
    “All’s Faire in Love” seems very indie — it has several decent names, Ricci, Cedric the Entertainer, Ann-Margret, but the romantic lead? Owen Benjamin? Not, um, familiar with his work.

    EXCLUSIVE: Rhys Ifans on ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

    Posted: 20 Oct 2011 07:54 AM PDT

    I’ve been a fan of Rhys Ifans since watching him steal scenes from Hugh Grant in “Notting Hill,” and (as an imported Euro-kicker) in “The Replacements.”

    He’s done period pieces (“Vanity Fair,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”) and comedies, straight dramas (Enduring Love,” with Daniel Craig, is his best) and big budget films.

    He had a small but crucial role, as Luna Lovegood’s journalist dad in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” But his immersion in big budget blockbusters came from the film we will see him in next year. Ifans, 44, is Dr. Curt Connors, “The Lizard,” in “The Amazing Spider Man.” He’s the main villain.

    “I dipped my toe into 'Harry Potter,' but I put my whole body into 'Spider-Man.' It was a thrill to work with Marc Webb [ of "(500) Days of Summer). He's like Roland Emmerich (his "Anonymous" director, famed for spectacles like "Independence Day" and "2012"). He's doing blockbusters, but he has an 'indie' heart, an indie character-oriented sensibility.

    "That was a very telling thing on the set. We knew it would be action-packed and epic and all that. But Marc made sure that the human dynamic was paramount, and that's going to elevate the film possibly to a place that the other [ Spider Man] films got to.”

    Like everyone else, Ifans was blown away by Emmerich’s painstaking and spare-no-expense efforts to recreate Elizabethan England for “Anonymous.”

    “Often period films have budgets that keep us from seeing London in full. There are several helicopter-like shots which Roland, the master of CGI, made sure our film has. It liberates the film to see that. I really got a sense of London, a very old city that becomes a character in the film, as it was in Elizabethan times.

    “Roland does paint with a big brush. But what separates him from blockbuster film contemporaries is his attention to the emotional dynamics between characters. It's FORENSIC. Very detailed. In his films, the strand you see running across these huge canvases, through these huge universes he creates is that they're populated by very real human relationships. That's the ace in his deck of cards.”

    One oddball question I posed to Ifans was the connection between playing an artist in the shadows — he is Edward De Vere, whom “Anonymous” says is the “true author” of Shakespeare’s plays — and the last thing we heard him in, as narrator of “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” the documentary about underground artist Banksy.

    “It's purely by chance, that. But there is high irony in that I guess Banksy is that rare artist working today in near total anonymity is Banksy. Perhaps there was some sort of subliminal marriage there that I made.”

    “Anonymous” opens Oct. 28, nationwide. More from Rhys on the movie and Shakespeare this weekend.

    Matt Damon Directs! John Krasinski Writes!

    Posted: 20 Oct 2011 06:47 AM PDT

    Matt Damon has a well-earned rep as one of the smartest cookies in Hollywood, especially for an actor.
    It’s surprising to me that he hasn’t directed before now. But Warners has signed Matt and his pal John Krasinski to co-write a drama which Matt will then direct.
    They”ll co-star in it, too.

    It is based on something Kraskinski came up with involving writer Dave Eggers (“A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”), IndieWire reports. Krasinski’s not too shabby in the smarts department, either.

    “The story will center on a salesman (Damon) whose whole life is called into question after he arrives in a small town,” and reports that it will have an “Erin Brockovich” tone.