Please enable javascript to view this site.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
RT @THR: Marvel addressing gender inequality, says studio exec

Film News Archives -

Film News Archives -

Jack Rico


2010/04/14 at 12:00am

Exclusive! Oscar Jaenada is confirmed to be ‘Cantinflas’!

04.14.2010 | By |

It is now official. Spanish actor Oscar Jaenada, who will be starring in Warner Bros’ ‘The Losers’ this year, has been tapped to play Mario ‘Cantinflas’ Moreno, Mexico’s most famous comedian, in the biopic Cantinflas. My source, who is directly involved in the casting of the film, has confirmed the choice for the lead.

Jaenada’s selection in the lead role puts to rest a year long debate amongst many Latino fans on who should play the comedic icon. Many, including myself, had John Leguizamo and Diego Luna pegged as the front runners. According to my source, there was a sit down with Mexican heartthrob Diego Luna to interpret the role, but talks fell through. Gael García Bernal, another revered Mexican actor, was never approached for the part. The rest of the casting decisions will not happen until the end of May when candidates will be given the finished script to gauge their interest and desire.

The decision to hire Jaenada might turn out to be a controversial one as there could be many risks in hiring a Spaniard to play one of Mexico’s national treasures. The fanatical loyalty that Mexicans feel towards Cantinflas is overwhelming. ‘Concepción,’ one of the many people who wrote to the site early last year to discuss casting choices, said in one of the comments, “Any Mexican with a Cantinflas resemblance and a quick wit would do better… They [Hollywood] are just going for the stupid habit of getting some one with a name to play him. Another blunder like so many done in film. A good film is 90% casting. So, I guess, the movie will be unwatchable.”

She’s half right, half wrong. It is true that Hollywood producers usually use a big name to attract audiences, but Jaenada is relatively an unknown in the States. This plays in the benefit of the decision makers of the film. They didn’t sell out to Australian actor Sam Worthington who seems to be in everything now a days!

Oscar Jaenada is a good choice. He looks a lot like him, he’s a fan of the comedian’s work and they even called him Cantinflas when he was 8 years old. According to people close to the film, they were blown away by him at the audition. They feel he is a skilled actor who is the winner of a Goya award from Spain. This is not to say that the producers didn’t debate the pros and cons, but felt that – “acting is an international job, not limited to where the actors are from.” That statement rings true since it helped make Puerto Rican actress Jennifer Lopez a success when she played slained Mexican singer ‘Selena.’

Oscar Jaenada is 'Cantinflas'

My source could not disclose the full contents of the script, but did say that they fully revamped the storyline. It will now be about the origins and rise of Cantinflas to fame.

Former NBC Chairman and President, Ben Silverman, is still the executive producer of the project and Mexican born Alejandro Monteverde (Bella) is the writer/director of the film.

Cantinflas is set to shoot Fall of 2010 with a 2011 release date, just in time for the 100th celebration of his birth.

As a final note, my source said to tell any Mexican that might have a problem with Oscar Jaenada playing Cantinflas – “just like you made Luis Buñuel Mexican, when you see Jaenada as Cantinflas you’re going to want to give him a Mexican citizenship!”

What do you guys think of the casting decision? Are you for it or against it? Weigh in!

Mack Chico


2008/10/21 at 12:00am

Almodovar has a home in the USA

10.21.2008 | By |

Almodovar has a home in the USA

Sony has officially picked up Pedro Almodovar‘s ‘Broken Embraces’. Pathe Distribution has picked up rights in the U.K., France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Cineart has taken Dutch rights.

Pathe has distribbed all of Almodovar’s pics since “All About My Mother,” including “Talk to Her,” “Bad Education” and “Volver.”

“The deal was effortless,” said Damien Golla, Pathe’s director of trade and theater marketing department. “We have a great relationship with Almodovar and we trust him completely.”

“Broken Embraces,” which stars “Volver” thesp Penelope Cruz, will be released next spring.

Shot in the style of an American film noir, pic shot in Madrid and the Canary Islands and is now in post.

Pedro Almodovar’s shingle, El Deseo, co-owned by his brother Augustin Almodovar, has retained Spanish rights.

Other territories are being sold by Focus Features International.

Mack Chico


2008/10/21 at 12:00am

Cuba and Italy to film together

10.21.2008 | By |

Cuba and Italy to film together

Italy and Cuba have signed a co-production agreement under which Silvio Berlusconi-owned Medusa is expected to shoot a comedy by Italo helmer Paolo Virzi on the Caribbean isle.

The Italo-Cuban co-production treaty was inked in Havana by Italian state film department chief Gaetano Blandini and Omar Gonzalez, topper of Cuban film institute Icaic.

Blandini has said he hopes the treaty will turn Italy into “a gateway into Europe” for Cuban cinema, adding that the closer rapport will make it easier for young Cuban filmmakers to liaise with Italian producers.

Meanwhile, Italy looks set to make the most of Cuba’s spectacular locations and low-cost prices.

The Italian delegation in Havana included Medusa prexy Carlo Rossella, who was quoted by Cuban press reports as saying Virzi will helm the first Italo-Cuban co-prod in the works. A Medusa spokesman in Rome declined immediate comment.

Virzi shortly before travelling to Cuba said he would like to shoot a Havana-set satire about Western sexual tourism on the Communist isle.

As part of the Italo-Cuban exchange Virzi is currently being celebrated in Cuba with a retro of his biting social laffers, including his latest, titled “Her Whole Life Ahead of Her,” a scathing sendup of telemarketing and corporate greed.

Mack Chico


2008/10/08 at 12:00am

Whitaker to direct, star in ‘What a Wonderful World’

10.8.2008 | By |

Whitaker to direct, star in 'What a Wonderful World'

Forest Whitaker will direct and star in Louis Armstrong biopic “What a Wonderful World” for Paris-based Legende, the company behind “La Vie en rose.”

Alain Goldman is producing alongside Edward R. Pressman.

Ron Bass, who will pen the original script, is exec producing with Oscar Cohen, executive of the Armstrong estate and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation.

Film, the first bigscreen project to be authorized by the Armstrong estate, will kick off during the musician’s impoverished early years in New Orleans and primarily chronicle his career as a trumpet virtuoso and improvisational singer.

“Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture,” said Whitaker, who portrayed jazz great Charlie Parker in “Bird.” “He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.”

“What a Wonderful World” will begin shooting in the summer in Louisiana.

Cohen, who began working for the musician in the late 40’s as his road manager, is granting the filmmakers exclusive access to his personal accounts as well as to letters and other material in the Armstrong archives.

In addition to his role as a pioneering musician, Armstrong appeared in more than 30 films.

Whitaker, whose most recent directing credit was 20th Century Fox’s “First Daughter,” has a number of acting vehicles in the can, including “Repossession Mambo,” “Hurricane Season” and “Powder Blue.”

Jack Rico


2008/09/04 at 12:00am

Guillermo del Toro – indefatigable until 2017

09.4.2008 | By |

Guillermo del Toro - indefatigable until 2017

Many top film directors have no idea what their next movie is. But Guillermo del Toro is now booked through 2017. And maybe beyond.

Universal — which has a three-year first-look deal with the helmer inked in June ’07 — and del Toro are making a long-term commitment by setting up four directing projects, including remakes of “Frankenstein,” “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

The fourth project is an adaptation of “Drood,” a Dan Simmons novel acquired by U that will be published in February by Little, Brown.

Of course, del Toro’s first priority is New Line and MGM’s “The Hobbit,” to which he has committed the next five years. He has begun writing “Hobbit” with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, collaborating via video conferencing and trips to New Zealand every three weeks.

While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to plan projects five years into the future, at this point U execs think “Drood” is the most likely to be del Toro’s first post-“Hobbit” directing vehicle.

If both sides have their way, the helmer will belong to Universal after “The Hobbit” wraps.

In addition to the four pics, the studio still has its sights set on del Toro’s pet project, an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.”

As if that is not enough to keep him busy, U also has on the horizon an adaptation of David Moody’s apocalyptic novel “Hater” that del Toro will produce with Mark Johnson but not direct, and “Crimson Peak,” a gothic romance spec script by del Toro and his “Mimic” collaborator Matthew Robbins, which del Toro will produce but not direct.

While he busies himself with “Hobbit,” del Toro will outline the other projects and hire writers. The pics will be supervised at del Toro Prods. by his manager, Gary Ungar, who’ll be exec producer of the films and will oversee the slate with development director Russell Ackerman and U exec Scott Bernstein.

“No one expected ‘The Hobbit’ to come about; it was the most marvelous monkey wrench tossed into my life,” del Toro said. “I consider (the new deals) the renewal of my marital vows with Universal.”

U production prexy Donna Langley said the helmer’s “Hobbit” hiatus will only delay plans to dive into the del Toro business.

“We came out the other side of some tough conversations with a stronger bond and sense of long-term commitment,” Langley said. “Guillermo is in the most prolific time of his life … Joe Johnston on ‘The Wolf Man’ showed us the importance of entrusting the Universal franchise monsters to experienced filmmakers with voices. That was a big impetus for our decision to go with Guillermo to put his creative stamp on these properties.”

Langley said she is intrigued by “Drood,” in which Simmons supposes that survival from a catastrophic train crash changed author Charles Dickens, plunging him into the depths of London depravity and possibly turning him to murder before he wrote his final novel, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

“It’s the fantasy and gothic horror world Guillermo finds comfortable,” Langley said. “It feels like a great fit for where (we expect) Guillermo will have evolved as a filmmaker five years from now.”

Frankenstein represents a longtime fascination for del Toro, who has made his home a memorabilia shrine to the Karloff monster from the 1931 U film.

“To me, Frankenstein represents the essential human question: ‘Why did my creator throw me here, unprotected, unguided, unaided and lost?’ ” del Toro said. “With that one, they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands to prevent me from directing it.”

On “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” del Toro wants to stick more closely to Robert Louis Stevenson’s prose and explore the addictive high the repressed Jekyll experienced as his murderous alter ego.

Del Toro plans to provide a more literal interpretation of “Slaughterhouse-Five” than in the 1972 film adaptation, hewing closely to the Vonnegut novel about a prisoner in a German WWII POW camp who travels through time and space.

“There are ways that Vonnegut plays with and juxtaposes time that was perhaps too edgy to be tackled on film at that time,” del Toro said.

Meanwhile, del Toro is awaiting word on whether U will embrace a follow-up to “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.” The big-budget film opened in the heat of summer and fell short of blockbuster status in the U.S. but has performed well overseas.

“I think they’ll decide when the last euro hits the piggybank,” del Toro said. “We laid the groundwork to have a magnificent third act. I’d like to return to an action franchise with 60-year-old actor Ron Perlman, because he’ll be scratching at that age when I get to it.”

Langley said the studio is interested and may work with del Toro to add a TV series and online segments to broaden the following before making the series finale.

Del Toro is repped by Endeavor and Exile.

Select a Page