400 Screens, 400 Blows – Imagining the Imaginarium

I have written many times over the years about how the career of Terry Gilliam resembles the career of Orson Welles, including in my review for Gilliam’s Tideland. Of course, the types of films they made are different — Welles was more focused on the qualities of age and experience, while Gilliam is more interested in juvenilia and fantasy — but there are certain stylistic similarities, as well as biographical ones. Both men attempted and failed to make a Don Quixote, both men’s films have suffered from poor distribution and advertising, as well as various forms of studio meddling, and both men saw the death of a leading actor during a production.

In the early 1970s, Welles was making The Deep when star Laurence Harvey died. And Gilliam was shooting his latest film when actor Heath Ledger died in early 2008. Welles was never able to get his film together, but Gilliam — thanks to the film’s fantasy format — patched the holes in Ledger’s performance, filling them in with guest stars. A plot mechanism nicely explained the character’s new “faces.” The finished product has been released, currently in limited run on 4 screens, as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. I love the film and consider it a return to form for Gilliam; it’s of a piece with his majestic The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989). But guess what the buzz is about? It’s about Ledger, Gilliam’s patchwork and whether it does or does not hold together. MORE HERE.

Studio Knuckle-Heads Endanger ‘Spider-Man’

Just before Christmas rumors began to leak out of Hollywood that Sam Raini’s Spider-Man 4 had run into trouble. Nonsense, came word from Sony; the production is only on “holiday break,” all is well in Spidey-Land, and your favorite web-slinger will be swinging into your local multiplex on May 6, 2011 as planned.

What a difference a new year makes. Apparently, those rumors were true after all: Variety is reporting that sources from Sony confirm that the production is on hold, perhaps indefinitely, and that a May 2011 release is now unlikely.

The reason? It seems there are deep and perhaps intractable differences between Raimi and the studio regarding the quality of the latest script, the structure of the proposed plot, and even the choice of villain for this fourth outing. Raimi is said to be keen on the Vulture, with John Malkovich to fill the bald baddie’s bird suit. The studio, however, reportedly fears that the Vulture – an elderly character in the comics – is a poor choice of villain for a tent-pole, summer franchise film. It’s unclear whom the studio would prefer, but clearly they are angling for more ‘hip’ than ‘hip replacement’ to bedevil Peter Parker’s alter ego. MORE HERE.

John Malkovich Confirms his Role as The Vulture in Spider Man 4

Geek Tyrant reports:

“As you know there’s a lot of drama revolving around the Spider-Man 4 production right now. The film was recently put on hold until Sam Raimi and Sony can figure things out. It doesn’t seem like they are seeing eye to eye on a few things. The last we heard Raimi hated the script that they had, so they are currently waiting for the new script being written to be turned in. When it is they will decide how they want to proceed from there.

We’ve been hearing that the biggest problem revolves around who the villain will be, and it was reported that Sam Raimi is hell bent on casting John Malkovich as The Vulture. MORE HERE.

Paramount Sets a Tentative Release Date for Star Trek 2

ComingSoon is reporting that J.J. Abrams’ still untitled Star Trek sequel is now tentatively set for a June 29, 2012 release. The news comes directly from Paramount, and will likely disappoint those hoping for a quick turnaround 2011 date. As the Friday right before July 4th weekend, it’s a very strong date, and possibly a sign that the studio has a lot more faith in the sequel then they did in the first film (which was released on May 8, 2009). MORE HERE.


LOCATION: Pasadena, CA

THE SKINNY: While promoting her Showtime TV series THE UNITED STATES OF TARA at this year’s Winter TCA’s, iF caught up with screenwriter Diablo Cody to find out about her upcoming projects and to talk about the disappointing box office results for last fall’s horror-comedy JENNIFER’S BODY.

As for BREATHERS: A ZOMBIE’S LAMENT, the film is another horror-comedy written by Geoff LaTulippe based on a novel S.G. Browne in which Cody will produce.

“We have a script and I am thrilled with it and hope we can go into production with it soon,” says Cody. “It’s a zombie love story. Zombies are so hot now, but I like to think it’s about the personal side of being a zombie and being ostracized.” MORE HERE.

Blake Lively will be Green Lantern’s leading lady

Looks like the competition for Green Lantern’s leading lady is over, and the winner is: Blake Lively, the star of The CW’s Gossip Girl.

She’s actually the least likely among the five contenders Latino Review reported on last month, in our opinion; we were hoping for former Bond girl Eva Green.

Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog reported it:

Lively will play Carol Ferris, who runs her father’s aerospace company and hires cocky test pilot Hal Jordan ([Ryan] Reynolds), who later becomes the intergalactic policeman Green Lantern. In the comics, the romance became complicated when an alien race bestowed her the power of a crystal called the Star Sapphire.
The other actresses reportedly vying for the role included Green, Jennifer Garner, Keri Russell and Diane Kruger.

Martin Campbell will direct the movie, which is slated to begin shooting in March in Louisiana for a June 17, 2011, release.


I think that we should give more credit to creative and unique movies instead of blockbuster mediocre movies. These movies take time and much thought to convey thought-provoking conversations and messages. I hope to see a breakthrough in the future with more daring movies such as ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’.

The race is on for when ‘Spiderman 4’ will return to filming. This seems like the last chance for this superhero combo of production company and director to make a hit after the slump from ‘Spiderman 3’. Hopefully if John Malkovich joins the cast this will boost acting credits and make this the best Spiderman movie yet.

Do you think they are rushing the release of Star Trek 2 since it was such a hit this past year?

What do you think of the casting of Blake Lively in ‘Green Lantern’?

What did you think of today’s Movie News? Join us in the forum to discuss!