Sometimes, a major actor does a shit film willingly. There are several reasons, but the most popular is that it’s a nice paycheck combined with a very limited shooting schedule. This has fueled the massive ensemble casts for a string of dreadful romantic comedies in the last few years, including “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Valentine’s Day.” Audiences go based on the commercials, having no idea that their favorite actor has only five minutes of screen time, and worse, they are somehow forced to share it with George Lopez.
One more of these is coming down the pike. Garry Marshall is following up his cynical cash-in “Valentine’s Day” with the similarly-themed “New Year’s Eve.” The project is currently in negotiations for Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer to join while Ashton Kutcher and Hilary Swank are circling, probably pretending they might have better options available.
Pfeiffer will play a woman tackling unfulfilled resolutions, and Kutcher will be playing a man who hates New Year’s Day festivities. This is the stuff of compelling drama. De Niro, who picks scripts as if he’s going to die tomorrow, appropriately plays a dying old man in a hospital. Begrudge his recent career choices all you want, but whenever you have a chance to grab a couple mil by acting from a bed over a couple of days, you take it. Swank, who is jumping onboard because no one has ever willingly paid to see A Hilary Swank Movie where she isn’t playing boyish, plays a producer of the New Year’s Eve show. Count on some pretend-hilarious encounter with the Black Eyed Peas or someone similarly unbearable.
The four join Muppet-nosed “Glee” star Lea Michele and “Little Miss Sunshine” star Abigail Breslin in the production, which starts shooting in December, and is expected to add many more big names soon, despite the end product probably relying on establishing shots of crowds, terrible pop music and dog reaction shots. [THR]