Jerry Bruckheimer

patricia arquette medium promo

The CSI franchise is spawning yet another series, this time set in the FBI’s Cyber Crime Division in Quantico, Virginia. While there’s no official name yet for the new CBS show, there is a lead, as Medium and True Romance star Patricia Arquette is set to be front and center of a team tasked with solving crimes that “start in the mind, live online, and play out in the real world.” Arquette’s Medium, a supernatural procedural drama, aired on NBC from January 2005 to January 2011 and coincidentally ran directly against CBS’s CSI: Miami and, in later seasons, CSI: NY. Arquette won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her fictionalized portrayal of real-life medium Allison DuBois in its first season on air.

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Bad Boys team

This week, the long-rumored production of Bad Boys 3 moved forward at Sony Pictures under the new leadership of co-president Michael De Luca, whose mandate has been to bring Sony back to higher quality tentpole films. What better way to get back to big action tentpoles than to go back to the franchise that delivered $273 million at the box office 10 years ago? Somewhere, the characters of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz are excited, as is yours truly. But while the in-talks status of Safe House writer David Guggenheim on the project certainly is news in the right direction, many questions still remain. The biggest of which revolves not just around the franchise’s two leading men, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but about the two men behind the camera who built the world around two volatile Miami narcotics cops: Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer.

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OK

Finally, a bit of good news for those in favor of arming Eddie Murphy and unleashing him on unaware California residents. Jerry Bruckheimer, the megaproducer behind the Pirates of the Caribbean films and so many Michael Bay productions, has decided upon his new post-Disney partner, and it is Paramount Pictures. Many giganto-huge blockbusters will surely stem from this new partnership, but the first are to be Top Gun 2 and a Beverly Hills Cop reboot. Both have been talked about for years, but now 26 years later we’re finally on track to see an aged Tom Cruise ejecting himself from a series of aircraft — and yes, according to Deadline, both Cruise and Murphy are set to return to these new installments. It’s the same old story. Movie was popular several decades ago. Now it’s being redone. But the difference here is Bruckheimer, who was a producer and major creative force on both the original Top Gun and the first two Beverly Hills Cop installments. Will it change things now that he is rebooting his own babies and not, say, radio show characters from almost a century ago? (The $190m hole The Lone Ranger left in Disney’s pocket is considered one of the major reasons Bruckheimer was given the boot.) His affection could make a difference. The man may want to ensure that his earliest hits are given the care and respect they deserve, but Bruckheimer is also a very different producer than he was then. The Bruckheimer of today, who traffics almost […]

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loneranger09

Despite their best efforts and truly masterfully applied eyeliner, Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp could not get audiences excited to see The Lone Ranger over the Independence Day weekend. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney blockbuster is expecting a $150m loss worldwide on top of its bloated budget. The western, based on a 1930s radio program and 1950s TV show, only managed to bring in $48.9m domestically in its five-day opening. Compare that to the $250m production budget and the $175m in marketing, and we’re approaching John Carter levels of disaster. So what went wrong? People love it when Depp dresses up in whimsical costumes and wobbles precariously on moving vehicles. The film even reunited the Pirates of the Caribbean dream team of Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. But let’s not forget that Bruckheimer + Disney does not always equal success. For every Pirates, there’s a Prince of Persia: Sands of Time lurking under the surface.

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bruck

After the massive production of The Lone Ranger, it’s surprising Jerry Bruckheimer didn’t show up to the film’s press day all gray-haired and jaded. The 10-month shooting schedule aside, the film went through pre-production halts, budget issues, and creative battles. That must be stressful for anyone, but it’s probably something Bruckheimer deals with fairly often. From Bad Boys II, Beverly Hills Cop, the Pirates series, to, best of all, Michael Mann’s Thief, Bruckheimer has produced some of the general public’s, and film nerds’, favorite films of the past 20 or so years. Whether The Lone Ranger will stand among Bruckheimer’s biggest hits has yet to be determined, but it’s unquestionably a passion project for the main players involved. I mean, who wouldn’t get passionate about the idea of Johnny Depp playing a Native American who feeds a dead bird? Bruckheimer did, alongside once again joining forces with director Gore Verbinski and making a Western-as-summer-action-blockbuster. In a roundtable interview down in New Mexico, we spoke with Bruckheimer about the difficulty of making a Western today, pesky weather, and working with Verbinski:

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hammer

I was taken aback when greeting a very energized Armie Hammer. Almost immediately I was blinded by his chompers. “Teeth can be this white?” I thought. Yes, they can be. In-person, there’s a movie star quality to Hammer, not only because of his teeth, although they play a big, pearly role. Even at the young age of 26, he has a movie star quality. It’s easy to see why he almost played Batman for George Miller all those years ago. Maybe it’s because of Hammer’s appeal that filmmakers want to give him a beating on screen. With Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger and Tarsem’s Mirror Mirror, Hammer took his fair share of body blows. Not many people would’ve pegged him as the physical comedy type after the success of The Social Network, but here he is, now in a big Disney tentpole spending most of its running time getting knocked to the floor. Which is what can happen to you if you get too close and look directly into those teeth. Fortunately, I had a pair of sunglasses for our talk.

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Bad Boys

We didn’t get enough of Michael Bay‘s ego blowing the world up a few weeks ago. We’re interested in more. That’s why in this week’s Commentary Commentary, we’re covering Bay’s first movie, the calling card, if you will, that would eventually launch this man to such great heights, he could make hundreds of millions of dollars playing with toy robots. We’re talking about Bad Boys. No, I’m not gonna sing the song. Thought about it. Decided to pass. Bad Boys started a lot of things. It began Will Smith‘s rise to divine power. It started something with Martin Lawrence that would eventually sputter out some time around Bad Boys II. Poor guy. Black Knight just wasn’t a good idea. Mr. Bay is sure to spew all kinds of love for both of these guys, as well as the massive number of explosions we’ll be seeing throughout the film. His Armageddon commentary was so much fun and surprisingly insightful, so there’s no telling what we’ll be in store for with Bad Boys. Whatcha gonna do? I couldn’t help it.

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While it’s not like no film has ever been shut down in the middle of production, I’m still going to get right on my high horse and tell it plainly – I didn’t believe that Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger was going to get made until a press release telling me that the film has started production hit my inbox this morning. So, hey, look, a movie! The release reports that production has commenced on location in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado” for the Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer-starring film, which means that the cast and crew is probably feeling pretty damn quartered right now. These are the jokes, people! The release does later clarify that the production “will film exteriors and studio work in New Mexico, followed by locations in Arizona, Utah and Colorado.” The film’s production troubles – namely of the budgetary variety – have been well-documented over the past few months, with the film being all but killed back in August, followed by Verbinski’s vow to trim the budget just days later, followed by its apparent resurrection in October, culminating in it being officially officially back on the trail in December. And that’s not even to mention all the casting blather surrounding to the film. But despite all those problems, this Lone Ranger is indeed riding again.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. It also delivers a taste that doesn’t linger. Because we know you need to sleep soon, and we don’t want to disrupt such an important ritual. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment. Even though we know that it will be a kindred spirit of Zack Snyder’s 300, we still can’t escape from the fact that Tarsem Singh’s The Immortals looks pretty badass. The evidence of this is all over the place, most notably in a new gallery of Immortals images over at Screen Rant. Tonight’s lead image features Theseus, the hero, vs. a Minotaur. I’ll watch that.

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It may be considered old news since it happened a whole week ago, but Disney passing on The Lone Ranger is a remarkably good sign. It’s noteworthy for more than the average news of the day because it hints at a crack in the current foundation of studio thinking. It’s barely ever publicized, since a studio refusing to make a film is hardly newsworthy, but a project this high-profile, featuring talent like Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, that’s been reported on so thoroughly used to be a done deal. Now, that’s not the case. It’s not like this is the end of the story crisis or anything, but it’s the Hollywood equivalent of a crack addict putting down the pipe, and it should be celebrated.

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Ahoy! Yeah, I know that’s a lame way to start. Especially when you consider this week’s Commentary Commentary, our third, goes from essential classics like The Thing and Die Hard to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. We’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel just yet, and even though Curse of the Black Pearl is by no means a bad movie, it just hasn’t reached a level of beloved nostalgia like our first two. Okay. Enough preamble. This DVD offers three separate commentaries featuring various members of the cast and crew, but rather than hear the insight Jack Davenport had to offer – we love you, Jack – it’s probably best to hear from the film’s director and star. So here, without any further waggery or warm-up, is what was learned from their commentary.

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It was in early May that we reported Disney was ready to get another Pirates of the Caribbean film off the ground, but that the series’ star Johnny Depp wanted them to hold off a little bit. He seemed to want a chance to do other things, but also intimated that he would come back for a Pirates 5 only if the right director and script were in place. Well, just two months later, On Strange Tides has made one billion dollars at the box office and The Wrap is reporting that Depp is already in negotiations to appear in a fifth film. It’s amazing how fast a billion dollars can move things along. The Wrap seems to be talking to sources close to the production (their cousin knows this guy who knows a guy) and apparently a rough draft for Pirates 5 has already been written, and Jerry Bruckheimer and his team of chained up screenwriters are meeting 3 to 4 times a week to get it up to snuff and make sure that it passes muster with Captain Jack. Perhaps that’s a bit of overkill on Bruckheimer’s part. The fact that the last two had terrible scripts didn’t seem to deter anybody from making these movies or going to see them in droves. Screw Pirates 5, I’m already getting excited for Pirates 17. I just hope they can get Depp back for it.

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Two-weeks or so after the release of the near-terrible Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, there’s already a list of directors that Disney is keen on to helm the fifth entry in the quality diving franchise. The list of filmmakers Disney is favoring is a bit surprising. There’s their top pick of Tim Burton, the always busy Sam Raimi, critical darling Alfonso Cuarón, Twilight 2 guy Chris Weitz, and the online venom drawer, Shawn Levy. Apparently an offer went out to Rob Marshall to return months ago, although he may be too busy with his Thin Man remake (*eye roll*)… Burton was rumored for the fourth film as well, but after Alice in Wonderland and Planet of the Apes, I don’t think I’ll ever be interested in seeing a big Burton action sequence ever again. And considering he’s currently working on Dark Shadows then Frankenweenie, he may be not have the time. Side note, when will see an original Burton film again?

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Disney’s latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise arrived in theaters nationwide yesterday, and in keeping with all things peg-leggy and swashbuckly, I present selections from the On Stranger Tides press conference. Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Rob Marshall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush were front and center for the press event, with moderator Pete Hammond at the helm. Here’s what they had to say.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s probably the last great nightly movie news column you’ll ever read, seeing as tomorrow is the apocalypse. And since it’s the end of days, we’re keeping things simple around here. Just a little trip down relevant street with a few detours along the way. If we don’t see you on the other side, just know that we loved you all. Even you. Tom Cruise feels like the perfect guy to feature on this, the last ever edition of Movie News After Dark. For one, he and the church of Scientology must have something to do with why God hates us. Also, he’s just been confirmed for Horizons, the $100 million dollar sci-fi flick that Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski has set up at Universal. Just when Cruise was starting to do awesome movies again, here comes the apocalypse to ruin it all. Thanks, L. Ron.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that enjoys having Saturdays off. But it’s not Saturday yet, is it? That means it’s time for another round of the best movie-related links from around the web. So lets get on with it. We lead tonight with the first shot of Bruce Willis in Rian Johnson’s Looper, which includes a look at Willis likely eviscerating something or someone. This one comes to the world via Empire, who has promised that they will be bringing you some news from the set. I’ll read that.

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Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t a comic book (unless they’ve put out supplemental comic books as part of a marketing blitz (which seems likely)), but the film franchise is now another official example of the new model being looked to by movie studios. First, it was Warners pointing their Batman to the bleachers with the news of rebooting the character before Nolan even rolls cameras on the next adventure. Now, the installments of Pirates that we knew we were getting are now officially going to be stand-alone stories. That may seem like a harmless announcement – or at least as harmless as more Rum-drunk Johnny Depp in mascara can be – but at the root of it is the promise of positioning the franchise to become another Batman who’s just become another Bond. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer claimed that test audiences loved the “freshness” of the new movie because it wasn’t really tethered to the previous installments. Thus, that same situation will carry over into the next films – ostensibly giving directors and writers the freedom to do whatever they want with what will become a stock character placed into zany new quests every few years.

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At one point, George Clooney was among those rumored to play the titular role in Disney’s big screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the project. In fact, producer Jerry Bruckheimer went as far as saying that they weren’t going to worry about it until they got a director. That was in 2008. They can now begin the search for a Ranger, as Gore Verbinski has been confirmed as director. Johnny Depp will still play Tonto, the film will likely hit theaters in 2012. The rest is to be determined. One thing we do know: Verbinski is definitely trying to give Tim Burton a run for his money in the “who can work with Johnny Depp the most this decade” competition. [The Wrap]

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Carter and his crew get involved with a drug smuggling ring using flower delivery as a front. But this comes only days after Carter is nearly gunned down for being outed as a cop. This job will require the entire team and will end up being much bigger than any of them realize. At the same time, everyone tries to deal with their own relationships and by the end, Carter will make a call that will shock everyone to the bone. And so begins the two part season finale of Dark Blue.

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Dean returns from his injury just in time for Carter, Alex and the rest of the team to get a murder case involving high end burglaries which they decide to take it on. But things go astray when Ty is taken hostage and suspected of being a snitch from the inside. Because of this, Carter and Alex’s take down gets blown to hell and they to are taken hostage by the burglars. Now it’s a race to beat the morning sun, otherwise no one is walking away alive. Jamie also becomes suspicious after meeting Ty’s new squeeze.

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