Kristen Wiig

Once Ben Stiller got his claws into the Secret Life of Walter Mitty remake it pretty quickly went from being a long-floundering project that was maybe going to happen and maybe not going to happen, to becoming a hot comedy prospect on the fast track to getting made. I guess it didn’t hurt that Stiller is pulling double duty by both starring in the film and serving as the director; that’s one less person they had to hire. Still, barring some pretty amazing prosthesis, Stiller won’t be able to play every role that this story requires, so it looks like it’s time to begin the casting process. And Stiller and company seem to be starting by going big. According to THR none other than Ms. Bridesmaids herself, Kristen Wiig, is currently in negotiations to play the role of Mitty’s co-worker, a lady who often becomes the damsel subject of his ridiculous pulp-inspired daydreams. If the deal gets done, this would be the first mainstream role that Wiig takes following her breakout turn in last summer’s wildly successful women-can-be-gross-too comedy, so that should put a lot of heat on this one as far as media attention goes. Sounds like a win-win for Stiller: he gets both a hilarious comedic actress to play opposite and some free publicity for his film. I’d say that now’s the time to back up the money truck and dump out whatever Wiig wants.

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The last couple weeks have been full of chatter about a sequel to Kristen Wiig’s hugely successful starring vehicle Bridesmaids. It all started when Wiig herself (who also co-wrote the film) said that she wasn’t working on a sequel, and instead was moving on to writing something new. That got us all speculating. Just because she’s not doing the sequel now doesn’t mean she never will, we told ourselves. Then there was the reality that needed to be faced that the studio could try to put together a sequel even if Wiig wasn’t involved. As long as they got breakout star Melissa McCarthy back, fans would probably be more than happy to file back into the theaters for some Wiigless fun, wouldn’t they? But now, after some additional comments Wiig has made on the subject, it’s looking like all the speculation was for naught. McCarthy has gone on record as saying that she would never participate in a sequel that didn’t involve Wiig, so that possibility is out. The only hopes for a sequel then lie in the notion that perhaps Wiig will want to come back to the property after she does something else. But no, that’s not the case. Wiig flat-out told E! at the Golden Globes, “We’re not planning on doing one.”

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Perhaps you watched Bridesmaids and wondered to yourself, “self, I wonder what it would be like if Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm’s characters had a functional romantic relationship. And, perhaps what it would be like if Maya Rudolph and Chris O’Dowd‘s characters were married with kids. And maybe Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt could be there, too.” Fine, if you wondered about any of that, it was probably just the first part – but, hey, bonus! Actress Westfeldt has already penned two romantic indies that she’s also starred in (Kissing Jessica Stein and Ira & Abby), and she’s pulling triple-duty on her next, the amply-titled Friends With Kids. The film follows just that – three very different couples who are all at different points in their lives, particularly when it comes to child-rearing. While Wiig and Hamm are newlyweds and Rudolph and O’Dowd are married parents, Scott and Westfeldt play best friends who decide to have a kid together, even though they’re not romantically involved. As the film’s first trailer shows, that kid comes – followed by a romantic interest for both of his parents. Stock up on your folic acid and check out the film’s first trailer after the break.

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Last week the news broke that Bridesmaids co-writer/star Kristen Wiig doesn’t intend on making a sequel to the film, and is instead focusing on other projects. This is a potential problem, because Bridesmaids made a lot of money, which is going to make it pretty tempting for Universal to go ahead and cobble together some sort of shoddy sequel regardless. It was my opinion that the only way this could work is if they got a great script and shifted Melissa McCarthy’s character to the lead role…but now it’s looking like that strategy probably won’t work out either. Recently, E! confronted McCarthy about the potential sequel at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and got some pretty choice comments. At one point she tried to go the Judd Apatow route and be diplomatic by saying, “I don’t know anything about it. But I know that nobody wants to do it unless it’s great. If it is, I will show up wherever those ladies are.” That might sound like a willingness on McCarthy’s part to pick up the franchise and run with it, but I think it was more just a brush off answer meant to not limit any possibilities.

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Of all the films being developed in the Hollywood-sphere right now, perhaps no other has more reasons to be excited about it than the upcoming, based-on-a-true-story shocker Freezing People is Easy. First off, it’s based on the life story of Robert Nelson, a man who spearheaded a movement in cryonics that saw several bodies being frozen back in the 60s, with disastrous results. Nelson’s story is darkly funny, shockingly grisly, and endlessly interesting due to its many twists and turns. It’s already been documented to great success in the man’s memoirs, “We Froze the First Man,” and also in a segment on the radio program This American Life entitled “Cold as Ice,” and it’s really a tale that everyone needs to hear. Secondly, the talent bringing this story into yet another medium, this time the big screen, is impressive. Freezing People is Easy is set to be the second dramatic work by famed documentarian Errol Morris (Tabloid), and it’s being shot from a screenplay that was written by Stranger Than Fiction’s Zach Helm. These are names whose next projects I would have been anticipating whether they were attached to a story I was already interested in or not. Throw them all together and there’s reason to celebrate. The third reason I’m looking forward to this one is how well the cast seems to be shaping up. It’s already been reported that Paul Rudd is attached to play Nelson as the lead, and now a report from Deadline Redondo Beach says […]

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Last year’s lady-centric comedy Bridesmaids cost Universal $32 million to produce and ended up banking over $288m at the box office. Plus it made viable, hit anchoring stars out of both Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. So, would you imagine that the studio wants to make a sequel? The answer is yes, yes they do, very much, but unfortunately they have a huge stumbling block in front of them. According to a report from THR, the original film’s co-writer and star, Kristen Wiig ,isn’t interested in doing another one. When asked about the potential sequel, that should definitely be once again written by Wiig and her collaborator Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig, Wiig replied, “We aren’t working on that. Annie and I aren’t planning a sequel. We are writing something else.” Oh. Ouch. That sucks for Universal. THR’s speculation over why Wiig refuses to play ball centers on the minuscule $100 thousand bonuses the cast got on the first one, after it became a runaway financial success, but Wiig refused to comment on whether her reluctance to work on another Bridesmaids is financially motivated or not. She also might not want to start doing comedy sequels because she’s trying to move her career in a more dramatic direction. She’s got upcoming dramatic roles opposite people like Annette Bening in Imogene and Robert De Niro in The Comedian. That sounds like a potential springboard into Oscar territory to me. Doing something as lame as a “getting the band back […]

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It’s not often these days that you hear word of a new Robert De Niro project that doesn’t sound completely awful. Recently, when I think “De Niro,” I don’t think Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, I think Meet the Parents sequels and cameos in the New Year’s Eve trailer. So when word of something as promising as Sean Penn’s next film, The Comedian, comes across the news wire, I take a moment to breath deeply and cherish the feeling. Penn’s first effort as a director since 2007’s Into the Wild, The Comedian will tell the story of an aging comic who is filled with angst and rage due to his fading star power. He’s even hit such a low point that he’s been arrested and assigned community service because he hit an audience member in the head with a microphone. Just the thought of seeing De Niro once again taking on the role of a comedian should be enough to stir up all sorts of positive memories of The King of Comedy, but his casting isn’t the only thing this project has going for it. Once De Niro’s character gets started with his community service, he ends up meeting a gorgeous redhead who turns his world upside down. That redhead will be played by Kristen Wiig, fresh off her star-making performance in this year’s Bridesmaids. Not only is Wiig the hot thing right now, she’s also completely hilarious and a really unique persona, so I can’t wait to see her […]

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Drinking Games

It was one of the uproarious, raunchiest and most beloved comedies of the summer. No, we’re not talking about The Hangover: Part II. We’re talking about the ultimate women’s lib movie, Bridesmaids, which showed that beautiful ladies can burp, fart and poop on screen just like the men can. The DVD and Blu-ray of Bridesmaids drops today, complete with an unrated version of the film, so now you can invite your mom, grandmother and aunt over for a maid of honor toast with your favorite beverage and enjoy the movie again.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the day’s best movie news and links exploding onto your computer screen. Can you handle that? MSN has debuted a new image of two new characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “Two of the youngest Dwarves, Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner) have been born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of their uncle, Thorin Oakensheild. Neither has ever travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. For both, the journey to the Lonely Mountain represents adventure and excitement. Skilled fighters, both brothers set off on their adventure armed with the invincible courage of youth, neither being able to imagine the fate which lies before them.” Quick, get me a Tolkein nerd to translate that. Are these guys cool, or not? Because they look cool.

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The comparison of Bridesmaids to The Hangover is surface level, marketing nonsense, but the idea is so prevalent that it seems like it needs to be shaken off before talking about the movie. Are there pre-wedding antics? Yes. Is it outrageous? Only sometimes. It is pure situational comedy? Not at all. In contrast, Bridesmaids is far more character driven, and that’s where half the humor comes from. Of course, it’s hilarious to watch these women get into ridiculous situations involving body functions, but there’s far more to the story than a group jumping from absurdity to absurdity in hot pink taffeta. This review should also be taken with a grain of salt, though, because I missed several minutes of the movie. Why? Because a fight almost broke out in the theater. An upstanding member of society kept pulling out his cell phone, an older gentleman asked him politely to put it away, and curse words were flung back. More curse words came, and rather than watch a cell phone-addicted asshat get himself so worked up that he leaped over a row of seats to beat up a senior citizen who just wanted to enjoy a movie, I ducked out to go snag a manager. So, yes. I missed a little bit. But even still, Bridesmaids worked fantastically well. That seems like a testament to its strengths.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets set for another weekend of weddings with Kristen Wiig and her posse. Sadly, he discovers that he doesn’t have a vagina and decides to move on. Next, he takes a trip to an alternate world where priests kick ass and kill vampires. Once he realizes he is woefully out of place next to sultry Maggie Q in a ninja priest outfit, he comes home to find his possessions kicked to the curb with Will Ferrell in the middle of the whole mess.

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It’s not often that an argument about the fundamentals of the existence of a higher power takes place in an RV toilet, but it’s somehow the perfect setting for a character moment that stands as the centerpiece of Paul. Ruth (played by Kristen Wiig) is convinced of her belief in God without reservation, but when the foul-mouthed, chain smoking alien steps out of the water closet, it shakes her to the core. That’s not the sole example of religion or faith in the film. In fact, faith is the main theme of the entire movie. It just happens to be wrapped in a science fiction narrative and sprinkled with comedy and curse words.

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Wacky crew of individuals who would never be friends in real life? Check. Sequence of main actor taking a drug and being crazy? Check. Stock wedding plot set up? Double and triple check. Bridesmaids has got it all. While the presence of Judd Apatow as producer and Paul Feig (the creator of Freaks and Geeks) as director might inspire some confidence, this trailer doesn’t. It’s a strong cast, sure, but everything here looks about as middle of the road as possible. Check it out for yourself:

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Despicable Me

I’ve been looking forward to Despicable Me for a while; having seen trailers, the 3D animated film out of Universal looked like it had the potential to be a lot of fun. While I was far from unhappy with the final product, what seems increasingly to be a universal truth surfaced once again — all computer animated film fare is measured against the visual and storytelling juggernaut that is Pixar… and they remain the unwavering king of the mountain. Despicable Me is the story of Gru (Steve Carrell), a past-his-prime villain heavy on unsavory aspirations but lacking in execution. One day Gru learns that every baddie, himself included, have been left eating dust when a mystery evil genius steals one of the Great Pyramids. Not content to be outdone, Gru devises a plan to infiltrate a secret base, swipe their experimental shrink ray, and steal the moon.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hands out grades to Shrek: The Final Chapter 3D, MacGruber and Human Centipede.

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I had a chance to sit down along with a group of journalists at SXSW with stars Will Forte and Kristen Wiig. Among the topics for the day: shooting a sex scene in a 100-degree room and trying not to burst into laughter, the development of these characters from short-form to feature film, the prospect of a Gilly movie and Will Forte’s unique relationship with Maya Rudolph’s newborn daughter.

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Date Night

Date Night works because it isn’t really trying too hard. That sounds terrible doesn’t it? But in a way that’s the brilliance of the movie. (Yeah, I’ll be hearing about that choice of words.) Why struggle to emulate the genius misadventures of After Hours when you can aim for the decidedly lighter but still entertaining Adventures In Babysitting?

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Universal Pictures has released yet another red band trailer for MacGruber, the Saturday Night Live sketch turned badass action movie that made its unfinished debut at SXSW this year.

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How to Train Your Dragon

Here we take a one dimensional view on the latest 3D film from Dreamworks Animation of which we saw only in two dimensions. The major lesson learned is that you apparently don’t need polarized glasses to tame a reptile.

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Bad guy steals nuclear weapon. Government calls in a top secret operative. A Saturday Night Live sketch is stretched to its limits.

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