While our review of the frat comedy “Neighbors” is quite glowing and the R-Rated laffer was a major hit this spring, not all of us agree that the comedy is all that (this writer anyhow). However, one thing that no human on the planet can argue about the movie, full stop: Rose Byrne is excellent in it, probably the best part of the movie and a total scene stealer evidently born for comedy. And sure, we’ve seen her in comedy before, most memorably in “Bridesmaids,” and “Get Him To The Greek,” but in “Neighbors” Byrne has a mix of charm and go-for-brokeness that is vastly appealing.
Obviously we’re not the only ones who think so. The producers of “Neighbors” (Seth Rogen‘s Point Grey Pictures and Good Universe) and Universal are courting the actress to star in “The Something,” a set-in-space comedy about astronauts who get lost in space. The picture would be the directorial debut of former “Late Show With David Letterman” head writer Rodney Rothman, who co-wrote “22 Jump Street,” and produced “Get Him To The Greek” and “Five Year Engagement” among many many other writing and producing credits (Apatow’s “Undeclared,” The 78thOscars, etc.)
Clearly this is in some kind of response to the success of “Gravity,” but the same idea as a comedy? That’s kind of bold and ambitious—and also makes it very difficult to get off the ground to be honest, because outer space equals a budget that exceeds most comedies. But clearly they’re going to try. Rose is being sought to play a love interest who has “an approachable beauty, though she hates being approached.” Lol, that made us chuckle. Note that the project has also been described as a horror comedy as well. [THR]
So, “Divergent” is now a proper success, well enough of one to breed a sequel, so “Insurgent” is coming and is bringing some big names to join Shailene Woodley. With production already underway, Naomi Watts has joined Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet and Miles Teller in the followup being directed by Robert Schwentke. No word yet on her role, but it’s a major one, as Watts will be in the next three installments of the series. Woo! [THR]
Speaking of artisans taking the plunge into directing, Scottish actor Robert Carlyle (“Trainspotting,” “21 Weeks Later”) will be making his feature-length directorial debut with “The Legend of Barney Thomson” co-starring Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson. Carylye has directed before, including episodes of “Pathogen” and “SGU Stargate Universe.” He’s been developing this one for a while and it used to be called, “The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson,” but it looks like it’s finally getting made.[ScreenDaily]
Ava DuVernay‘s MLK project “Selma” is amounting quite the cast. It already stars David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Wilkinson, Common, Wendell Pierce, Carmen Ejogo, Tessa Thompson, and many more. You can add Tim Roth to the list and he’ll play Alabama Governor George Wallace. [Deadline]
Roland Emmerich is not going to blow things up real good for a change. His latest movie, now shooting, is “Stonewall” and Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman have joined the cast. The movie stars Jeremy Irvine and Caleb Landry Jones and is about a young man’s political awakening and coming of age during the days and weeks leading up to the Stonewall Riots in late ‘60s New York.
James Ransone has joined the cast of the Blumhouse-produced Western “In A Valley Of Violence.” Ti West (“The Sarcrament”) is directing. The movie stars John Travolta and Ethan Hawke and also includes Taissa Farmiga and Karen Gillan. It certainly sounds like West’s biggest film to date. Ransome will also star in the Blumhouse-produced “Sinister 2.” The low-budget horror-friendly company recently announced three dates for three untitled horror movies through Universal that will arrive September 2015, January 2016 and October 2016. Clearly this company knows its niche well and is now able to chart their future out further than most indies. [Deadline]