Greg Mottola

Aaron Sorkin

Please read this article with caution as it does contain plot details that some may consider spoilers for the first episode of HBO’s The Newsroom. After screening the pilot episode (“We Just Decided To”) of Aaron Sorkin’s new show The Newsroom, the Los Angeles Film Festival audience was treated to a Q&A session which featured Sorkin himself along with executive producer Alan Poul, director Greg Mottola, and moderated by Madeleine Brand (The Madeleine Brand Show.) Anyone who has attended a Sorkin Q&A (or seen the man speak) knows that it is the equivalent of being shot out of a cannon. Sorkin’s signature fast-talk does not just live on the pages he writes, it is also how Sorkin speaks himself. It was clear that whatever Sorkin and Brand had spoken about prior to coming into the theater had left them both riled up. Brand (much like the Northwestern professor does to Jeff Daniels’ character, Will McAvoy, in the first scene of the premiere episode) refused to let Sorkin get away with non-answers or quips. Brand continuously pushed him until Sorkin, the man of a million words, let out an exasperated breath… and then jumped right back in.

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Larry David has reigned as the king of cable comedy for quite a few years now due to the continued success of his HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. His largely improvised look at what it’s like to be a rich, curmudgeonly Hollywood type getting in fights with everyone, everywhere he goes, is a comedy goldmine, and has proved that his network success with Seinfeld was in no way a fluke. To this point though, David hasn’t been able to successfully make the transition to being a feature film presence. When David takes a film role, more often than not, we end up with something like Whatever Works, the Woody Allen film that was probably his least acclaimed work of the past decade. But, if news being reported today is to be believed, Larry’s luck might be about to change. THR has a report that David is currently in negotiations to star in a new comedy from Superbad director Greg Mottola, that’s coming from a treatment by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel – all writers who David is familiar with from their work on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Reportedly, the still-untitled comedy is going to be largely improv-based – much like David’s current television work – with a loosely scripted plot that’s being kept under wraps used as a framework for heat-of-the-moment riffs.

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This is actually sort of brilliant. Variety reports that Sony and Scott Rudin Productions are in “early talks” with filmmaker Greg Mottola to pen their adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s “The Marriage Plot.” As of now, word is that Mottola would both write and produce, though he’d be a surprisingly great pick to direct the film. Why, you may ask? Why would the dude who directed Superbad be a good bet to craft a big screen adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s latest work? It’s simple. Mottola knows how to make audiences care about assholes. And, good God almighty, are the characters in “The Marriage Plot” assholes.

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After helping teenagers buy beer in Superbad and getting Seth Rogen to shove his voice into an alien’s body in Paul, Greg Mottola is getting his hands dirty with Aaron Sorkin for The Newsroom over at HBO, and he’s also working on the longest movie title in history for Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. The writer/director recently described Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry as a “weird Charlie Kaufman experiment,” which sounds great (and means that title will probably have several other titles inside of it). On top of all this, he told Kid In the Front Row that he’s been working with actor Campbell Scott (Roger Dodger, The Amazing Spider-Man) to craft a new script. There were literally no details beyond that, but it’s still exciting to see two excellent storytellers team up. Plus, it seems like Mottola is really experimenting with his next projects which is absolutely exciting, although is there any doubt that his usual sense of nostalgia will burrow its way into all of it?

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Paul is an alien from outer space who likes to moon people, use his invisibility powers to show up randomly naked, and laugh just like Seth Rogen. There’s a new trailer for the film out today, and even though it says nothing about the exact quest the alien and his new spaced-out friends (played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) are going on, it’s still a shiny example of some solid comedy. Plus, there’s at least three major science fiction film references just in the trailer alone.

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Like a shooting star sent from the heavens above the first teaser for Greg Mottola’s latest film, Paul has finally arrived. The film reunites Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the first time outside of their work with Edgar Wright in a story about two buddies on a Winnebago road trip across the United States. Their travels through Area 51 bring them in close contact with an alien named Paul, and soon the adventure is on as they’re forced to evade the feds, entertain the ladies, and have a good time at Comic-Con! The film co-stars Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Jeffrey Tambor, Joe Lo Truglio, and the smooth vocal-stylings of Seth Rogen as the title alien. Check out the teaser below.

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Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland, and the upcoming Paul) has been hired to adapt Leanne Shapton’s eclectically-titled book, “Important Artifacts And Personal Property From The Collection Of Lenore Doolan And Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion And Jewelry,” into a film for Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. The title will probably be shortened before it hits theaters…

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batemanwiigrogenpaul

Best comedy cast of 2010? Let’s see… Bateman, Frost, Hader, Lynch, Pegg, Rogen, Wiig…and possibly you if you’re wandering around Comic-Con.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Fast & Furious, Adventureland and Gigantic.

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Greg Mottola and Bill Hader go from Adventureland to Dog of the South.

Another Charles Portis novel has been optioned for a big screen adaptation – this time by Superbad and Adventureland alumni Bill Hader and Greg Mottola.

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Adventureland

Remember that other film that Kristen Stewart is in? You don’t? Then it’s a good thing we’re looking past Twilight to catch a glimpse of Greg Mottola’s Adventureland.

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