It’s been a quieter week for The Playlist. In the heart of the summer, without many new releases, it’s hard to drum up more than a little “X-Men” chatter. Still, there were no shortage of discussion topics this week, including Will Smith Scientology rumors, the growing cast for “Moonrise Kingdom” and even more “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” talk.
-The first poster for the new “The Three Musketeers” debuted. Appropriately, our Oliver Lyttleton mocked it with a proper amount of relish.
-Is “Midnight In Paris” a potential Oscar contender? Our Kevin Jagernauth posed this question, the answer to which should probably be “Sure.” Read more here.
-The rumors continue to be… rumors, we suppose. Still, Leonardo DiCaprio seems like a serious possibility to jump aboard “Django Unchained.” Likely not joining them is Will Smith, who may have some cold feet over the project. Meanwhile, rumors persist that he was troubled by the Weinstein Brothers producing ‘Django,’ as the brothers are also involved in producing Paul Thomas Anderson‘s untitled period drama that was said to revolve around the foundation of a Scientology-type organization (now being shot by “Tetro” cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. and partially on 65 MM). It hasn’t been confirmed that Smith has joined the dangerous hive mind that is the Church of Scientology, but he has contributed to Scientology causes in the past and remains at least peripherally connected to the organization.
Tom Hanks is setting up a big year for himself after what feels like a while away from the screen. He’s just signed on to “Maersk Alabama,” the latest film from Paul Greengrass, where he’ll play a ship captain who surrenders himself to Somali pirates in exchange for the life of his crew. With collaborations with Kathryn Bigelow (“Triple Frontier“) and the Wachowski siblings (“Cloud Atlas“) it does seem like Hanks has rededicated himself to working with some topflight filmmakers. It may have taken him two “Da Vinci Code” movies to realize that, but we can cut him a bit of slack.
Also exciting from an auteur perspective. Darren Aronofsky is getting way over his potentially misguided attempt at a mainstream collaboration with 20th Century Fox of all people (“The Wolverine” which he’s since moved on from) and trying to mount one of his most ambitious projects since pursuing the original version of “The Fountain” with Brad Pitt. This time it’s his long-in-the-works adaptation of the Noah’s Ark tale titled (for now), “Noah.” This version is a $130 million offering and he’s currently shopping it around town looking for someone to toss in some extra funds. Cross your fingers that Megan Ellison is listening.
Continuing our series of features on Terrence Malick, we went behind the scenes of “Days Of Heaven.” Catch Malick the half-man half-myth here.
Our staff weighed in on “X-Men: First Class,” detailing the full good, bad and ugly of the hit film. Consensus? More Kevin Bacon. Less January Jones. Plus, what happened to the black guy? Also Bryan Singer keeps chirping away about potential sequels.
Are you ready for more “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” mayhem? How about another look at the brand new uncensored poster in wondrous, studio-issued glory? NSFW. Thar be boobs.
“X-Men: First Class” debuted to $56 million, numbers in the realm of a blockbuster, but the least-impressive opening of the X-series. Read more box-office analysis here.
So “Salt” happened. We were all there, we can all confirm it was a thing at some point in 2010. It exists. Did you know they were developing a sequel? That, too, will be a thing. At some point. Probably. Kurt Wimmer will be returning to screenwriting duties.
Gossip! Our most popular story of the week concerned Brett Ratner‘s Twitter. The Rat Man responded to the “X-Men: First Class” gross by posting the numbers for the first weekend of his “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which was almost double the opening for Matthew Vaughn‘s attempt. Later, Ratner confirmed he had seen and liked the movie. Could Ratner be upset about being trashed in the press so much by Vaughn? How soft can his skin be, given that he sleeps at night after bringing us “The Family Man” and “Rush Hour 3“?