Annie

Annie at the movies

Six months ago, I compiled a list of movies to watch before going to the movies in 2014. It was a homework assignment for you all to become familiar with the old movies that were remade for this year, whether direct originals or early versions of the same stories retold. That was just the first part, covering only the new releases from January to June. As promised, here is part two. Looking over the second half of the year, one thing is apparent: there are fewer remakes. There are a lot of sequels, of all sizes, and I’ve avoided including the previous installments of series like Night at the Museum, Hot Tub Time Machine, The Trip, The Hobbit, Horrible Bosses, Madagascar, Dumb and Dumber, The Hunger Games, Paranormal Activity, Dolphin Tale, Cabin Fever, The Expendables, Sin City, Planes, Planet of the Apes and The Purge. Those are all givens. I also didn’t include the TV series of The Equalizer, which has been adapted into a feature, because that’s a TV series not a movie. Another note: fall release dates are never as pre-filled as spring and summer movie seasons. That’s because there are a number of movies that will premiere at Telluride/Toronto/Venice film festivals will wind up added to the slate for last-minute Oscar contention. I don’t know that any will be remakes or new adaptations of works previously filmed, but there’s a chance this list will wind up incomplete by the time late December rolls around.

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moore

What is Casting Couch? It’s all of the day’s most pressing casting news compiled in one convenient place. Today we’ve got a very important update on what David Hasselhof is going to be up to next. The Germans should love this one. One of the more important characters who’s going to be introduced in the next two Hunger Games movies is Alma Coin, who’s the President of one of the Districts that make up the story’s dystopian world—probably the most important and mysterious of all the Districts too. Anyway, she’s a lady, and she’s the sort of lady who projects quite a bit of competence and authority, so it’s going to be important for director Francis Lawrence to find an experienced actress with some real chops to play her. Low and behold, Deadline has a report that he’s likely found such an actress. According to their sources, Julianne Moore is very close to signing on to take the role, which will finally give her a chance to play a politician with some brains.

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bullock

What is Casting Couch? It’s the place actors go to try to get jobs, and it’s the place you can go to find out who got which jobs in which movie. Today we’ve got word that Chris Tucker is set to make his triumphant return to leading man status. Every good orphan story needs a mean old jerk who makes the orphans’ lives miserable, and it’s starting to look like producers Will Smith and Jay Z have found theirs for the Quvenzhane Wallis-starring update of Annie they’re putting together. Sandra Bullock had already been in talks to play Miss Hannigan, the cruel lady who runs the orphanage Annie lives in, back in March, but things fell apart at the time. THR is reporting that things are now back on, however, as talks with Bullock have recommenced, and one would tend to think that the only reason that would be the case is if the fundamental thing that was tripping them up last time had changed. Get ready to see Sandra’s scowl.

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foxxwarbucks

What is Casting Couch? A new day, a new set of casting updates. And—you guys—you’re going to want to pay attention to this one. We’ve got Michael Fassbender news. One of the most memorable characters from the ‘Little Orphan Annie’ comic strips was Annie’s father figure, benefactor, and get out of jail free card, Daddy Warbucks. Warbucks was a man of means, said to be worth upwards of “ten zillion dollars,” but he was a self-made man who always preached the importance of working hard and putting back into the free market. If an actor were going to adequately portray Warbucks in a film adaptation of the Annie story, he would necessarily have to bring all kinds of swagger. That’s probably why Will Gluck is looking at Jamie Foxx to play a version of the character in his upcoming take on the Annie property. THR is reporting that Foxx is currently in negotiations to join Quvenzhane Wallis in the film as Benjamin Stacks, an even more absurdly named update on the Warbucks concept. This one’s definitely got Jay-Z’s fingerprints all over it.

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quvenzhane-wallis

Today in “casting rumors that will surprise no one,” EW is reporting that nine-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis is “in consideration” to lead Sony’s new Annieremake. With long-attached star Willow Smith officially out and Easy A director Will Gluck officially in to helm the picture, we’ve been expecting casting buzz to start trickling out, and Wallis seems like a no-brainer of a potential star. Wallis is one of young Hollywood’s true rising stars, she’s got the positive buzz of her historic Oscar nomination, and she’s totally adorable. The outlet does stress that “Gluck and the producers at Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment banner and Jay-Z’s Marcy Media, which have been developing the project, have yet to make any casting decisions.” Well, we’ll just have to see about that.

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Annie

At this point, Sony Pictures’ remake of the musical classic Annie is turning into the latest Mad Libs production to come out of Hollywood, with studio executives just randomly yelling out names of people who should be working on getting the long-in-development feature off the ground. The project certainly made sense at first as, back in January of 2011, it was announced that Will Smith would be producing the project as a potential vehicle for his daughter, Willow Smith (thank the success of The Karate Kid for that). A few weeks after that, we got wind that Jay-Z would also be producing alongside Smith, which continued sound like a solid way to make a fresh, new Annie, and then Emma Thompson came on board to write the script and any concept we might have had of the new film went right out the window. Thompson’s screenwriting work in the kiddie realm primarily consists of the Nanny McPhee films, which certainly are not the type of updated, contemporary work that this new Annie seemed to dictate. But that’s not all! Last summer, rom-com screenwriting queen Aline Brosh McKenna was brought on to rewrite Thompson’s work, making the film’s vision even more unclear. What was the writer of such films as Three to Tango, Laws of Attraction, The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses, and Morning Glory going to bring to the table of a beloved family classic? Well, who knows, but now we can all keep up our head-scratching because Deadline Hollywood reports that […]

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Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna‘s resume is bizarre. Start at the bottom – Three to Tango, Laws of Attraction, some TV movie, The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses, Morning Glory – you see the pattern, right? But after penning generally mainstream romantic comedies since 1999, McKenna veered wildly off course in 2011. Her credits for that year? I Don’t Know How She Does It (horrible, offensive tripe) and We Bought a Zoo (charming, inoffensive family stuff directed by no less than Cameron Crowe). Now McKenna is reportedly set to go even further away from her bread and butter, as the scribe is apparently set to rewrite the script for the Will Smith and Jay-Z-produced remake of Annie. Perhaps even McKenna bristled at last year’s New York Times profile that sold her as the go-to writer of “Cinderella stories for the Blackberry set of professional women.” (Oof.) McKenna will reportedly “draw on both the hit Broadway musical and the comic strips that first introduced the plucky orphan for the adaptation.” She’s certainly an accomplished adapter, as a number of her projects spawned from popular books, though McKenna has never penned a musical.

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Will Smith may have passed on Django Unchained, but he’s making a return to movie work nonetheless after a hiatus to build the careers of his children. This is, of course, the first step to the creation of the Smith Dynasty that will dominate filmmaking of the future – a goal that will make the “Ha ha!” etched into Will Smith’s tombstone have two meanings. His next goal is to let his daughter Willow whip her hair as Annie in a remake of the little, curly-haired adventure through poverty and extreme wealth. Now, Vulture is reporting that they want Emma Thompson to write the script for the reboot. Thompsons is a solid choice because of her experience as a writer, her emotional intelligence as an actor that shines through on the page, and her ability to create fun, energetic children’s films. Vulture even, smartly, points out that there’s a drunken mess of a role in the show for Thompson (played by the genius Carol Burnett in the 1982 film). The film will be updated of course, and it’ll most likely feature music from Jay-Z (who is also producing). There’s also something to be said about a character that’s been extremely Caucasian for decades being acted by a black actress in what will most likely be a movie aimed at a large, mainstream audience, but it’s for people smarter than I am who have real opinions about it. It seems culturally significant, but I have no idea why. Regardless, Thompson would […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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