Adam Shankman

All right, all you great big, bright, shining stars out there. It’s time to hear what Paul Thomas Anderson has to say. With recent movies like There Will Be Blood and his latest, The Master, the director is smack in the middle of a stretch in his career in which he’s defining a new genre called Discomfort. Boogie Nights looks downright cheerful by comparison, so it’s nice to go back and listen to the writer/director discuss his great, early achievement. And here we have it, all 37 things we learned listening to PT Anderson talk about Boogie Nights. You got the touch…!

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Broadway shows haven’t always made the smoothest of transitions to the big-screen, but Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages delivers an adaptation that’s bizarre and its own sexually-suggestive summer feature: from showcasing star Tom Cruise’s bare ass to backing Cruise’s choice of venue for an out-there rendition of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Malin Akerman’s posterior – Shankman takes the material and stuffs as much as he can into it. These choices represent the work he hopes to keep making – distinctive and not what most would consider to be the norm, box office be damned. Shankman’s been enough of a commercial hitmaker throughout his career to earn the freedom to make those oddball choices, having cranked out a series of box-office success, from Bringing Down the House all the way to The Pacifier. As Shankman tells us, those gems are the type of learning experiences which led him to making Rock of Ages and Hairspray. Here’s what Adam Shankman had to say about the journey from Juilliard to Rock of Ages, how a work for hire can be more informative than a passion project, and highlighting how enthusiasm can make up for – or even overshadow – hard-won experience:

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Being a child of the ’80s and a pre-adolescent product of rock n’ roll’s most fashion-concerned era (you would, in no way, find pictures of me at age six with self-slit blue jeans) Rock of Ages should have been a warm-hearted nostalgia trip for me to a time where bad boys wore girl’s aerobic outfits underneath leather jackets with sapphires and rhinestones, girls had poodle ‘fros and chewed lots of bubble gum, and we both bonded over our love for all songs that just said rock a lot; and the more often the word was repeated in the song the more it was good. Having been adapted from a popular stage production, and helmed by a director who did a splendid job with Hairspray, I expected a tongue-in-cheek romp that would have me struggling to refrain from jumping out of my seat and throwing my fists in the air chanting that I wasn’t gonna take it. After about ten minutes I really was struggling to refrain from jumping out of my seat and throwing my fists, because I really wanted to stop taking it.

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So, Dear Reader, you’re totally pumped to see Rock of Ages when it opens this weekend? You think it’s going to be pretty rad? Oh, that’s excellent. Good for you. Have a blast. I’m staying home because it looks like the kind of moronic twaddle that I can’t even enjoy on an ironic level. I’ll just kick back and watch me some Born on the Fourth of July because there’s only one kind of Tom Cruise I enjoy and that’s the balding, scruffy, three-sheets-to-the-wind, blubbering-like-a-toddler and lamenting-his-permanent-erectile-dysfunction kind. Hold up. Did I hear you say…Bazelli? As in Bojan Bazelli? As in one of the greatest DPs of our time? He shot Rock of Ages? Hmm. Well…I’m still not interested, although I’m sure Rock of Ages will look fantastic. Yep. I’ll just stay home, sippin’ on my jug of butterscotch schnapps and reveling in my favorite Bazelli-lensed memories. For instance, how about:

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Author Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel, “This is Where I Leave You,” is all set to become a feature film over at Warner Bros., and the production is getting the cast to prove it. The book, which details a down-on-his-luck man’s week of insanity as he’s forced to live in the same house with his estranged mother and siblings for seven days, has been adapted into a screenplay by Tropper himself, and is set to be directed by Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman. The main character, Judd, has a wife who has just cheated on him with his boss, a boss who has just slept with his wife, a mother who has just lost a husband, and three neurotic siblings that he must spend a week with, due to his dying father’s last request. Needless to say, this one is going to be an ensemble piece, and Shankman has just kicked the casting process off with a bang. Deadline New Rochelle reports that Jason Bateman has signed on to play the lead role, Zac Efron and Leslie Mann have come on as two of his siblings, and Goldie Hawn is set to act for the first time since 2002’s girl power dramedy The Banger Sisters as the family’s matriarch. If you’re keeping track, that means that there’s still one sibling, a wife, and a boss that’s left to be cast, so before everything is all said and done this movie could become even more star-studded.

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There must be some people somewhere looking forward to this, but Rock of Ages looks like the grandiose celebration of all things shoulder padded and hairspray covered. It looks like the movie version of “Now! That’s What I Call Music Volume -14.” There was a reason that the empty decadence of 80s music took a boot to the face in the form of The Ramones and was finally left to bleed out by Nirvana, but there must be people somewhere anxious to relive acid washed days of yore. Adam Shankman takes a break from judging So You Think You Can Dance to direct this musical starring a bunch of one-liners from Alec Baldwin, the offensive-to-no-one Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise as Aldous Snow/Axl Rose (which is weird because Russell Brand is also in this thing), and the font from Rock Band. It’s a bunch of wealthy people playing karaoke. Check it out for yourself:

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UPDATED: Hello, musical theatrics! Director Adam Shankman‘s take on Broadway hit Rock of Ages will undoubtedly be slick, highly produced, loud, melodramatic, and positively crammed with toe-tapping song-and-dance numbers (did you see Hairspray?) – essentially, it’s a film that will likely upset fans of the stage musical while also becoming a big commercial hit with a bizarre kitsch sensibility. That’s not just me guessing – that’s information hardily reinforced by the film’s first trailer. The film stars Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ackerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston (really?!), Alec Baldwin, and Tom Cruise as (very different) people who populate and influence Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip music scene in the 1980’s. Hough and Boneta are trying to make it, Cruise already has, Zeta-Jones scream-sings a lot, that old story. The film is set to a cadre of ’80s classic jams, including Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, and Whitesnake. If you’ve yet to grow out of your big-haired, leather-clad rocker glory days, this is the film for you. Weirdly enough, despite Cruise (and his hair and his hips) being the marquee name on this film, we don’t get a whole lot of him until the last half of the trailer. And then we don’t get so much of him and his character, Stacee Jaxx, as we get some random groupie and her boobs. Bravo to everyone. Get your hairspray ready and check out […]

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When Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin teamed up to host the 2010 Academy Awards, they had an easy chemistry and were generally pretty charming, but they didn’t exactly set the world on fire with a mind-blowing show. But then James Franco and Anne Hathaway teamed up to host the 2011 Awards and suddenly Baldwin and Martin look like geniuses. Because of this, and because of their continued chemistry on a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Adam Shankman (the guy who produced Baldwin and Martin’s Oscar telecast) is trying to put together a movie starring the duo. It’s said to still be in the early stages of development, but it would be a comedy that borrows elements from movies like Trading Places and Grumpy Old Men. I guess that means Baldwin and Martin are now considered old guys. Sorry about your luck, gentlemen.

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It looks like everyone is throwing their hats into the ring. When the studios announced a plan to release movies in home theaters just 30 days after the theaters located outside the home (with a price tag of $30 per rental), the National Association of Theater Owners balked. Apparently their threat to boycott big blockbusters was a fake, but they haven’t kept secret their disgust for the new model that would limit their ability to make money showing movies (since studios take the 50%-100% lion’s share of the ticket split in the first weeks). Now, 23 directors and producers are speaking out against it. That list includes James Cameron, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, Roland Emmerich, Antoine Fuqua, Todd Garner, Lawrence Gordon, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Gale Anne Hurd, Peter Jackson, Karyn Kusama, Jon Landau, Shawn Levy, Michael Mann, Bill Mechanic, Jamie Patricof, Todd Phillips, Brett Ratner, Robert Rodriguez, Adam Shankman, Gore Verbinski, and Robert Zemeckis. The full, un-edited open letter is below:

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Elizabeth Banks to play Tinkerbell

Prepare to have that slightly awkward crush you’ve always had on the absurdly petite fairy Tinkerbell amplified in the near future. It has something to do with Elizabeth Banks and all of the costume possibilities. Tinkerbell always did wear skimpy outfits, did she not? Alas, this is a story about a new live-action romantic comedy called Tink, in which Banks will play the beloved spreader of pixie dust. It’s being said that with this McG, Adam Shankman produced film “plays with the mischievous nature of the Tinkerbell character.” I’m not sure what that means, but having McG and Adam Shankman involved isn’t making me feel any easier about it. Banks works, but the guy who is responsible for Cheaper by the Dozen 2 does not. The good news is that the project is yet to attach a director, meaning that it still could go either way. For now, consider me hopeful as I ponder Elizabeth Banks in a Tinkerbell outfit. Don’t judge me. [Variety]

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Another director has tossed his hat into the ring alongside Sam Mendes to direct Oz the Great and Powerful. Disney, choose wisely.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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