This week On the Radar Michael Bay does his part to help take down the American car industry, MGM loses a bidder as it struggles to stay afloat, and in completely contradictory fashion James Cameron, of all people, advocates against 3D.
Maleficent finds a writer in Wonderland
Long before Alice in Wonderland stormed the box office there were rumblings about director Tim Burton tackling one of Disney‘s best baddies, Maleficent. Well, the success of Alice has only bolstered this film’s development and Alice in Wonderland writer Linda Woolverton has been tapped to write t script. While there were some Alice detractors out there, it’s hard to argue the success of the film.
For better or worse I think we’re witnessing the beginning of the fairy tale phase in cinema. I’m sure the studios couldn’t be happier. Most fairy tales, in their original iteration, are in the public domain which means the whopping cost of zero to use the stories. Sorry, Disney, but you couldn’t be the sole exploiter of classic children’s tales forever.
Bryan Singer off X-Men: First Class?
When word came out about Bryan Singer returning to the X-Men franchise fanboys rejoiced. Well, the excitement certainly didn’t last too long. It seems Singer has to choose between X-Men: First Class and Jack the Giant Killer. Unfortunately, he can’t do both:
“Before Singer can dive into casting, he has a rather large problem — the fact that Warner Bros. has the filmmaker on the hook to direct ‘Jack the Giant Killer.’ Fox, flush with money from ‘Avatar,’ is eager to move forward with its mutant franchise in all of its permutations, so there are negotiations that need to be done.
With Singer contractually obligated to Warner Bros. it means Fox has begun searching for other directors to reignite the X-Men films.
Michael Bay taps Ferrari for Transformers 3
For a long time Michael Bay’s Transformers films were the saving grace of the American auto(bot) industry. Sadly, it seems Bay has decided even he’s not immune to overseas manufacturers. Bay broke the news, much to the dismay of General Motors I’m sure, while attending a charity function:
“I also was at a Ferrari charity event this week raising money for a hospital being built by Ferrari in Haiti. I announced that night the newest Autobot to join Transformers: the Ferrari 458 Italia.”
Way to go, Autobots! We help you defeat Devasator, save your precious Optimus Prime and let you hang with Megan Fox. Now you repay us by off-shoring your manufacturer. Not cool, ‘Bots…not cool.
John Malkovich joins Transformers 3
…and in more Transformers news, the cast continues to expand. From Michael Bay himself:
“On the talent front, we just locked in Frances McDormand and John Malkovich. Both amazing actors I’ve always wanted to work with. We also just got Ken Jeong, he is the super funny actor stuck in the trunk from ‘Hangover’ and the Doctor from ‘Knocked Up.'”
Alright, I haven’t been a fan of the Transformers films so far, but even I’m intrigued by Malkovich’s presence. Further, all Bay’s sins for these movies could be erased in my opinion of Ken Jeong actually jumps out of Bumblee’s trunk naked. We’ve already seen Devastator’s “balls”, how much worse could this be?
On a side note, be sure to check out Ken Jeong in the TV show Community. He, and the entire show, is simply brilliant!
Boba Fett joins The Clone Wars
There were a lot of disappointments throughout the Star Wars prequels. One in particular was the lackluster way they used future galactic bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Sure, he was only a kid…but to sit there and do nothing when your *spoiler* Dad’s head gets chopped off. Come on. Fortunately, Boba may get a do-over when he appears next month in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Time to pick up a blaster kid and get some vengeance on those Jedi.
Robert Downey Jr. ready for Iron Man 3
In what falls under my “no surprise” category, Robert Downey Jr. seems to be up for a third Iron Man film. While there’s not an exact quote from Downey himself, The Associate Press stated, “…while Downey said he aims to suit up for a third ‘Iron Man‘ flick“. No word on when a third film may be released, but if I had to guess it would probably be after the upcoming Avengers film. Regardless, more Iron Man is never a bad thing.
Spy Hunter finally riding onto the big screen
Video game adaptions are all too common in Hollywood, but few have been kicked around as much as Spy Hunter. Having picked up the rights after scooping up Midway Games for a cool $33 million, Warner Bros. is moving forward on the film. For those who don’t know, “The story follows a highly-trained spy hunter whose job it is to eliminate rogue spies when they become liabilities to their governments.” Finally, oil slicks and headlight Gatling guns will be cool again!
Robert Culp passes away
Speaking of spies, sad news coming out of Hollywood with the loss of I Spy actor Robert Culp. While I never saw much of that show, Culp starred in another series I watched with great excitement growing up, The Greatest American Hero. Culp died after collapsing during a walk and hitting his head.
King of 3D says no to 3D?
James Cameron may have been the one to make 3D mainstream but that doesn’t mean he encourages the somewhat rabid adoption of it. Speaking at a press event to promote the upcoming release of Avatar on DVD, Cameron spoke about the recent 3D resurgence:
“The problem is these decisions should be made by filmmakers, they shouldn’t be made by studios, because if it was up to studios they’re going to sacrifice quality for lower cost,”
Interestingly enough, Cameron plans on converting his 1997 hit, Titanic, to 3D but says he has no plans of doing a “slapdash conversion.” Funny, cause that’s kind of what I thought he did on the Avatar script. Zing!
Lionsgate drops out of running for MGM
Even with rights to The Hobbit and James Bond on the block, Lionsgate has pulled out of the auction for troubled studio MGM. Unwillingly to up their $1.4 billion bid, MGM considered the bid insufficient. As such, Lionsgate walked.
In what could prove to be a bizarre turn of events one bidder, Access Industries, operated by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik has put forth an all cash bid of $1.5 billion. Oh the irony if they were to secure the deal. All those years fighting Russians during the Cold War and James Bond himself ends up working for one.