Slow news week

29 Aug

As usual, the end of August offers very little in terms of movie news. Here’s what I was able to scrape together.

All the studio spin in the world can’t hide the fact that Little Fockers is in trouble. Number three in the Meet the Parents franchise (yes, they’re calling it a franchise now) has wrapped production and is slated for a Christmas release. The trailer that was revealed a few weeks ago did not make a very favorable impression, though. You be the judge.

Then came the news that pickups were needed. Just some tweaks that would make corrections in post-production possible. Move along, people. Nothing to see here. But it became clear that there was something fishy going on when Vulture began reporting on rumours that Dustin Hoffman would be flown in to reprise his role of Bernie Focker. He was not in the movie as it was originally shot because Universal couldn’t reach a deal with him. This week it was indeed confirmed by Deadline that Hoffman would be coming to the rescue with four scenes that will be shot in September along with a bunch of other re-shoots involving the entire cast. Universal will pay him the full amount he would have received if he’d signed up for the movie in the first place. As /Film puts it: a seriously expensive fix. After seeing the trailer (and the previous part in the series), I had already given up on this project. The latest news just confirms that they’re really making a mess of this one.

Angelina Jolie during her visit to Sarajevo

Hardly a day can go by without Angelina Jolie being connected to a new project (such as the one where she was going to play Marilyn Monroe). Most of those stories disappear within a few days (as did the Marilyn Monroe rumour) but this week saw some real news involving La Jolie. While visiting Sarajevo as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Jolie announced she will be starting work this fall on a love story set during the 1992-95 Bosnian War. It was at first assumed she would be starring in the film and perhaps producing it. However, in the course of this week it became clear that she would in fact be making her directorial debut (producer Graham King’s GK Films had the confirmation) working from her own script. It will be a modest film (with a $15 million dollar budget) and Jolie will be working mostly with local actors. Serbian actor Rade Serbedzija (who will be in the film) offers some details in an interview with Blic.

And finally there is Mission: Impossible. Number 4 in the series is in the works and it appears there will be some major changes this time around. It was announced this week that Tom Cruise will be joined by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker). The idea behind this move seems to be that Cruise will slowly fade into the background (Knight & Day‘s performance having shown that his action hero days are over) and Renner (also set to star in The Avengers) will start carrying the series from now on. Also this week, Variety reported that part four may not even be called Mission: Impossible. Yes, you guessed it. Paramount is aiming for a good old-fashioned reboot.

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