Play Adaptations

Before Community riffed on it, My Dinner With Andre was the kind of thing you chatted about over Merlot while chuckling and pretending to know what you were talking about. After Community, that’s still the case, but you can reference Community referencing it and still seem cool. The truth is, Wallace Shawn and André Gregory‘s contemplative dinner conversation about the nature of art is fascinating because it features two men who know way more than they should talking about the broad-reaching subject of the humanities. Even as high a pedestal as they should be on, they manage to come off casually. Why there hasn’t been a podcast featuring the two yet is baffling, but according to The New York Times, they’re both set to work together again, and they’ll be doing it with directing icon Jonathan Demme. After Dinner, they did Vanya on 42nd Street, so naturally for desert they’ll be twisting up Henrik Ibsen‘s play “Master Builder” for a movie called Wally and André Shoot Ibsen. There’s nothing like tackling the depressingly Norwegian father of prose drama to create a stir, and doing it with the genius behind Caged Heat and Silence of the Lambs is even better. No cynicism, no irony, everything about this project sounds ridiculously amazing. Plus, the director claims “it’s like a Hitchcock movie with a vein of humor running through it.” Get. Ready.

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Over the past decade, Adam Brody has carved out a nice little career while no one was looking. His future carvings include Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress with Greta Gerwig as well as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which made our Most Anticipated of 2012. Not bad at all. Now, according to Variety, Brody is set to star in a film adaptation of the Neil LaBute play “Some Girls.” The story focuses on a guy named Guy (how’s that for gender politics?) who sets out to talk to the most important exes in his life before getting married. It’s prime LaBute territory, and with the prolific playwright behind the pen for the script, it promises to be as grueling and affectingly human as the rest of his work. In that sense, it might be a trial by fire for Brody, who’s proven himself to be capable (and to be one of the best things about Thank You For Smoking), but hasn’t proven that he has what it takes to be truly great. This might be that crucible. And leading the firing squad is director Jennifer Getzinger – the veteran script supervisor who’s directed episode of The Big C, Flight of the Conchords and Mad Men.

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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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Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of James Cagney turning into a donkey, a jealous king who wants to steal an Indian child, an amateur acting troupe trying to present the story of a wall, and a group of young lovers who need a little help from the woodland narcotics to realize their undying emotions for each other. Plus, as a bonus, little Mickey Rooney cackles like a drunken hyena to no one in particular. It’s Shakespeare, so you know it’s smart.

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Culture has already moved so far beyond Enron that it almost feels like it will be popping up on a VH1 show any day now. It’s a relic despite happening less than a decade ago (and being a devastating example of corporate ignorance and greed). Now, after nailing down the temperature of the joblessness situation in Up in the Air, George Clooney would like to take another stab at the company by adapting the play “ENRON” for the big screen. The play survived for only a month here in the US this summer, but it’s fared decently well in the UK since 2009. What’s interesting is both the distance our society has from the disaster and, with the economic situation, how intimate it still feels. The major players belong in a history book, but the feelings and situations it created are still creating fresh wounds. It’s unclear what roles Clooney will play, but he’ll definitely be producing (alongside Spider-Man (the original) producer Laura Ziskin) and possibly directing. [Cinema Blend]

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It might be a good idea to pop some Zoloft before diving into the emotional trailer for Rabbit Hole. The film, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and the always incredible Dianne Wiest, caught some great reviews coming out of TIFF, and it will see a major release on December 17th (just in time for award consideration). It’s a rare thing that a trailer causes such a strong emotional response, although any story about a couple losing a young child to tragedy has the potential for it. Hopefully, the movie will live up to the hype, and this bit of marketing, and deliver something even stronger. What do you think? It might make you full on cry in HD.

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. This week, Print to Projector presents the story of a young man enamored by a beautiful city who discovers that amidst its perfection lies a man who lures victims to a violent death by drowning.

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Jane Austen is a zombie hunter, Abraham Lincoln’s going after vampires. It was only a matter of time before the Bard got into the act.

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TylerPerryForColoredGirls

The master of producing a movie a year featuring himself in a Grandmama costume has just been hired to adapt the Shange play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

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HarveyStewart

Literally. The entire film will be Steven Spielberg wrestling an invisible rabbit in his living room.

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