It was a predictably big week at The Playlist as we experienced the second week of a busy month of May. In addition to greeting the beginning of Cannes, there were also aftershocks to last week’s “Django Unchained” announcements, as well as exciting news about the next films from Paul Thomas Anderson and Woody Allen, while “Tree Of Life” anticipation reached a fever pitch.
– Are you ready for the Cannes Film Festival? The fest is underway, but you can get a quick primer courtesy of Kevin Jagernauth right here. Also, make sure to click on the ‘Cannes’ tab to check our many reviews of some of the hottest titles currently playing on the Riviera.
– The trailer for “Straw Dogs” hit, and it looks exactly like worst-studio-ever Screen Gems remaking Sam Peckinpah is supposed to look like. We’re glad director Rod Lurie was eggheaded enough to remove the moral complexity from the original for this remake, because, as much as we liked Peckinpah’s film, gosh, we just wished it looked and felt a little more like the remake to “I Spit On Your Grave.”
– Woody Allen is locked in to his next picture, a “creative departure” called “Bop Decameron.” Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Roberto Benigni will star in the picture alongside Allen himself, as the film will tell four unconnected vignettes in Italy. We were a fan of Allen’s latest, and even if you’ve given up on him, this is an exciting, unusual project for the living legend.
– Passionate disagreements arose over our review of one of the year’s most controversial movies, the terrifying and toxic “A Serbian Film.” Catch our opinion here, and weigh in at one of the few public screenings of the film this weekend… if you dare!
– “Margaret” lives! The long-abandoned Kenneth Lonergan movie, shot in 2005 but never edited down from an unimaginable length, resurfaced in the news this week. According to Mark Ruffalo, who has a small part in the film, “Margaret” is currently under the watchful eye of Martin Scorsese, who expects to take the film into the editing room and produce a workable cut. Scorsese’s got a busy slate, with post-production on “Hugo Cabret” and possible preparations for “The Irishman,” “Silence” and a remake of “The Five Obstructions” with Lars Von Trier.
– Negotiations for Will Smith to appear in “Django Unchained” continue, while Quentin Tarantino negotiated for the film’s international rights to go to Sony, a popular destination for Smith vehicles. This despite Universal wooing the property, crowing to QT about their success selling “Inglorious Basterds” overseas by sending him a box of scalps. You stay classy, Universal!
– Chris Hemsworth is making the lateral move from comic book to fairy tale, signing on to “Snow White And The Huntsman.” The fantasy fable would find Hemsworth as the man ordered with tracking down the fair maiden, only to develop a relationship with her. Hemsworth is so hot off the recent “Thor” that he was the first choice for the hotly contested part. That is, unless you count Tom Hardy, Johnny Depp, Viggo Mortensen, Hugh Jackman, Joel Edgerton, and Michael Fassbender, who all turned the part down.
– Prepare to bow to “The Master” (or Untitled Western Project which is rumored to be the current working title). The Weinstein Company is behind the latest from Paul Thomas Anderson, with “The Master” set to start shooting this June. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix are top lining the picture, which has undergone a major re-write, allowing synopses to alter the word “cult” into “belief system.” It joins several Megan Ellison-produced projects in development, including the young millionaire’s latest purchase, the rights to “The Terminator.” Call me, Meg.
– Any peek of “Tree Of Life” is going to send hardcore movie fans into conniptions. So an exclusive clip featuring Brad Pitt and his children in the film was bound to draw attention (not to mention the scorn of certain site commentators who don’t approve of our tone).
– And in typical Playlist fashion, we put blockbuster “Thor” under the microscope, examining what worked for the Norse God of Thunder’s inaugural movie, and, damnedly, what didn’t. Kudos to Chris Hemsworth for a star-making turn, though it was not a film without rough patches. Specifically the lack of music from Jon Mikl Thor.