Casting & Misc. News: FlixChatter’s Highlights

Happy Friday, folks! Let me start off with some updates to a couple of news items I’ve mentioned in the past, so let’s get on ’em, shall we?

  • Back in November, I talked about Danny Boyle’s mountaineering-gone-wrong tale 127 Hours about an American adventurer who had to amputate his own arm stuck under a boulder in order to survive. James Franco is reportedly set to portray Aron Ralston (I still think Ryan Gosling would be a great fit in the role), and the film begins shooting sometime in March. The British director is re-teaming with his Slumdog Millionaire‘s writer Simon Beaufoy. Not sure how they’ll will handle the flick though, I imagine it’s pretty challenging to do a ‘one man show’ type a la Tom Hanks’ Castaway, and it remains to be seen if Franco can hold our interest being the only screen presence.
  • Contrary to circulating rumors amongst movie sites (according mine :)), James McAvoy apparently is NOT going going to be playing Ian Flemming after all. CinemaBlend recently interviewed the actor whilst promoting his new movie The Last Station, where he dispelled the rumor about his involvement in movies such as The Hobbit). The one project he is set to do is a cancer-themed drama formerly titled I’m With Cancer along with Seth Rogen about a young guy who finds out he has cancer. Fresh out of the positive buzz on Up in the Air, Anna Kendrick has joined the cast as well. Sounds like a decent project for McAvoy, not sure about Rogen though, what’s with him and cancer flick?? Back to the The Last Station, the movie centers on War and Peace author Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his wife Sophia (Helen Mirren). McAvoy’s real-life wife Anne-Marie Duff also has a small part in the movie.
  • Speaking of dame Helen, her upcoming movie Red recently nabbed John Malkovich to join the already eclectic cast that include Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, Julian McMahon, Mary Louis Parker and Richard Dreyfuss. According to EMPIRE, Malkovich replaced John C. Reilly in the retired CIA agent role. He and Bruce Willis are former black ops agent who discovers that a group of younger, better-equipped assassins are out to off them both.
  • Not to be outdone by The A-Team’s feature film adaptation, 21 Jump Street will soon get its own big-screen treatment. Jonah Hill is said in this EMPIRE article that the film is expected to start shooting this year yet. He also revealed that “.. this version won’t be a parody. It’s a John Hughes movie with Bad Boys style action. I really love the Back to the Future aspect of getting to relive a certain period of your life. But we’re not doing something serious like Miami Vice! It’s a funny movie, [but] with a real story. I wouldn’t make it if it wouldn’t be awesome.” He neither confirmed nor deny Johnny Depp’s involvement, as I mentioned a long while ago, director Edgar Wright has written a cameo role for the popular actor. But one thing for sure, Hill WON’T be playing Tom Hanson (thank goodness!)
  • Now, even if you haven’t seen the movie, some of you might’ve heard the racism debate surrounding Avatar that centers on its depiction of the Na’vi and how they are saved from extinction. You can read more about it here. Well, as a non-white person myself, I find that whole notion ridiculous. I mean, when you think about it, you can find faults in just about any movie, but since Avatar is such a massive success, it just becomes an easy target. I found this blog post through wordpress which I thought summed up my thoughts about the whole racism accusation better than I ever could. He looked at three other possible options to depict the two races in the movie, and basically concluded “… that whatever depiction Cameron chose, he would still have been skewered. The PC brigade would have been out to get him no matter what. So, unless he had made Avatar with robots as characters, or as an animated film with tigers and lambs, these people would have found it racist, no matter what.” My point exactly! Read the whole amusing article at the source.
  • Poster pic courtesy of FusedFilmIt seems like Hollywood movie news won’t be complete without a superhero-related project being announced. Besides Green Lantern‘s villain casting rumors (with the latest involving Peter Sarsgaard & Watchmen‘s Rorshach’s Jackie Earle Haley), the biggest ‘shocker’ to fanboys everywhere is Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 4‘s cancellation. But it doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing Peter Parker and his alter ego for a while, as Sony has already been planning a reboot to the franchise. Deadline Hollywood reported that the (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb just might be the man for the job, despite the studio’s wish list that include ‘king of the world’ James Cameron, David Fincher and Wes Anderson. But like the article mention, despite his lack of action hero experience, Webb might do just fine as Raimi had no prior experience in superhero stuff before Spiderman, and neither did Christopher Nolan before Batman Begins. It’s planned for a Summer 2012 release, which gives ample time for it to jump into the 3-D bandwagon.

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