David Lindsay-Abaire

Playwright-turned-screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire quite memorably adapted his own Pulitzer prize-winning work for the Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart-starring Rabbit Hole, an intense family drama directed by John Cameron Mitchell that centered on a couple attempting to recover from the sudden loss of their young son. The 2010 drama was one of the year’s best, thanks in no small part to Lindsay-Abaire’s script and Kidman’s powerful Oscar-nominated performance, so it’s certainly good news that the two are pairing up again for another film about a different sort of family and their own set of troubles. Deadline Douglaston reports that Lindsay-Abaire will adapt Kevin Wilson’s novel “The Family Fang” for the screen, with Kidman starring in and producing the project. The New York Times bestseller hit shelves last year, and it garnered a ton of critical praise – including find a place on end of the year top ten lists complied by “Time Magazine,” “Esquire,” and “People Magazine,” along with a place on Kirkus’ Best Fiction of 2011 and Booklist’s Top First Novels of 2011. Kidman and Per Saari, her partner at Blossom Films, also optioned the book last year, and it appears they’ve made a fine investment.

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Drama fans have been fairly under-served in the past few years. There have been some phenomenal films, from Blue Valentine to Rabbit Hole to foreign fare like Dogtooth, but there haven’t been a huge number of them, and the ones that came out sometimes barely saw theaters outside New York and LA. So it’s good news that David Lindsay-Abaire will be adapting his own play, “Good People” for the screen, following the success of Rabbit Hole. The great news is that the personnel involved is stellar. According to LA Times Blog, the movie will focus on Margie Walsh (played by Frances McDormand, reprising her role from the play). Walsh is a sharp-witted woman who left high school to take care of her mentally handicapped daughter, loses her low-paying job, and seeks employment working for a successful former classmate. Laughter and tears ensue.

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I know what you’re thinking: they’re making a sequel to Legend of the Guardians? There. I proved I’m psychic. James Randi owes me a million dollars. The answer, though, is no. They aren’t. Rise of the Guardians is simply a confusingly-titled also-animated also-children’s movie that Dreamworks is prepping for 2012. Apparently the book’s title “The Guardians of Childhood,” was too good for the movie version. Fortunately, the story is a contemporary slant on Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost as a heroic foursome. According to Variety, Alec Baldwin will be voicing Claus, Hugh Jackman will be voicing The Bunny, Isla Fisher will be voicing the Fairy, and Chris Pine will be voicing Jack Frost as played by Captain Kirk. The heroes will be battling the demon Pitch (voiced by Jude Law) in what is most likely a plot to destroy the magic of childhood. I came up with that using ESP as well. The strong cast  is complimented by screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) delivering the script for an expected release at the end of November 2012. It sounds like a huge adventure and a continuation of Dreamworks’ continued growth in the quality department (even if they pushed the release date to avoid sparring directly with Monsters Inc 2…). The most important thing? Alec Baldwin as Santa. You’ve been daydreaming about it already, haven’t you?

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Rabbit Hole takes on one of the oldest artistic subjects – a family’s struggle to find some way of moving on from a devastating death. Yet, as adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film avoids the overt sentimentalizing and easy stabs at the tear ducts –what one might deem “grief porn” – that have wrecked so many of its predecessors. Instead, director John Cameron Mitchell has assembled an affecting, well-acted portrait of a couple stuck in stasis, trying to reclaim normalcy where there is none to be had. The Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator demonstrates an eye for the intricacies of a strained relationship, the complex psychological burden of the lingering, pervasive specter of a terrible loss and the eerie quality of a home once occupied by a child, now hauntingly quieted.

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Spider-Man 4 Set Pic

J. K. Simmons is definitely back. Now let’s see if Sam Raimi can get all the other puzzle pieces in place for their proposed start date next year.

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Spider-Man 4 Signs a Pulitzer Winning Writer

Not even alliteration could save Spider-Man 3, but could a Pulitzer Prize winner swing in and save the day for the Spider-Man franchise? Columbia Pictures thinks so.

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