So in a matter of moments, my brother & his friend J-Ron will be joining me in Tahoe for… God knows how long. Hopefully just a week or so… but yeah, we’ll see. Other than that, not a whole lot going on as far as plans… but hey, you know me. Spurt of the moment kind of guy… so we’ll probably have some fun this weekend as I show off my little spot in the Sierras. Anyway, here’s some news…
Alien Prequel - Did I mention that I rewatched "Alien 3" the other day? Far and away my least favorite of the Alien Quadrilogy, but I figured that I would give it another chance. It's still my least favorite. However, Ridley Scott is now firmly looking at his 3D "Alien" two-part prequel as his next project, the "Robin Hood" director telling UK paper The Independent that he expects the venture to take no prisoners. "The film will be really tough, really nasty. It's the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?" says Scott. "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindoff is polishing the first prequel's script set three decades before the events in the 1979 original film. Scott takes a friendly jab at "Aliens" director James Cameron, seeing the success he had with the first sequel as a challenge he has to at least match with these films - "Jim's raised the bar and I've got to jump to it." Meanwhile, Digital Spy reports that actress Gemma Arterton ("Clash of the Titans") has indicated she'll meet with Scott about possibly starring in the planned prequels. Scott was apparently so impressed with her work in recent British thriller "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" that he wants to meet with her for the main female role. Arterton however has a busy schedule including Richard E. Grant's cowboy comedy "In With the Outlaws", and the Ruth Rendell novel adaptation "The Keys To The Street". Take no prisoners? Gods & engineers? A bar raised above the classic "Aliens"? Wow, best of luck, Mr. Scott. As a huge fan of the series, I truly hope that you achieve it.
Borat is The Queen – In possibly the most perfect casting call ever, "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen has been signed up to star in a movie about flamboyant rock star Freddie Mercury, producers said Friday. Peter Morgan, who wrote "The Queen," is working on a screenplay about the frontman of the band Queen, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1991. The as-yet-untitled film will climax with Queen's barnstorming appearance at the 1985 Live Aid concert in London (spoiler alert?). The announcement was made by GK Films, which is producing with Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions and Queen Films. Production is due to begin next year, and a director has yet to be chosen. Founded in 1971 by Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, Queen scored hits with songs including "We Are the Champions," "We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." May told the BBC that the band supports the project, and May and Taylor will oversee the music for the film. There was no word on whether Baron Cohen will try to imitate Mercury's grandiose singing style, but the comedian has appeared in several musicals, including Tim Burton's film version of "Sweeney Todd." He said the choice of Baron Cohen, creator of wannabe rapper Ali G, Kazakh journalist Borat and Austrian fashionista Bruno, "will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he's been talking with us for a long time." "He's been in on this project since we started talking about it seriously with Peter Morgan a couple of years ago." May said. Baron Cohen's latest film is Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret." Should make for a great biopic. If anybody can pull off Freddy Mercury, it’s Sacha. Anyway, now for something a little more manly…
Wu Tang Meets Maximus - There's this rumor going around that Russell Crowe ("Gladiator" & "American Gangster") has apparently joined the martial arts movie "The Man with the Iron Fist" for Universal Pictures reports E! Online. Speaking at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend, RZA says "I won't spoil it for you, but Russell's gonna be the baddest man alive. That man is in fighting shape. That man will knock you out." Wu Tang Clan's RZA makes his directorial debut on the $20 million project which he co-wrote with Eli Roth. Roth and Quentin Tarantino are producing. Shooting is rumored to be kicking off in December on location in Shanghai. Earlier this week though, Crowe posted a tweet saying "I'm not officially on RZA's gig. He's a good friend, inspirational guy, we will see what happens." Personally, I think that Maximus just needs to sign on the dotted line and be a badass before Ghostface, Raekwon the Chef, U-God and the ghost of ODB make a surprise visit and hold him over a balcony. Does he know that Wu Tang Clan ain't nothin' to f**k with? Maybe word hasn't spread down under just yet... but it will. Konichiwa, b**ches!!! (Yes, I know that's Japanese, not Chinese... and I don't care)
Trejo Update – Fresh off his recent starring role success, Danny Trejo ("Machete") and Erin Cummings ("Bitch Slap") are in negotiations to star in the $2.5 million indie biker thriller “Tarantula" for Two of a Kind Productions says Heat Vision. Cummings would play a woman who breaks away from a tight-knit biker gang to start a new life but finds that escape is not so easy. Trejo would play the self-styled leader of the gang looking for the woman as well as revenge for his brother's death (b**ch better run, cuz Machete Kills). John Kersey penned the script and is producing alongside his wife Jennifer and John Bailey. Oley Sassone (TV's “Xena: Warrior Princess," "She Spies") directs and shooting kicks off late November in Detroit. Eh, we’ll see if it’s any good. Low-budget indie biker thriller doesn’t have the same appeal unless Robert Rodriguez is attached to it or something instead of somebody who directed Xena.
Johnny English Sequel - So, remember when I first told you about the highly anticipated (at least to me) sequel to "Johnny English"? Well, the stakes have just been raised, because THE Gillian Anderson (Scully from "X-Files"), Dominic West ("300" & "The Wire"), Rosamund Pike ("Surrogates") and Daniel Kaluuya have all joined the cast of the upcoming comedy sequel "Johnny English Reborn" for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films says The Hollywood Reporter. Rowan Atkinson returns as bumbling secret agent Johnny English who tries to stop a plot by a group of international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier. Oliver Parker ("St Trinian's" & "Dorian Gray") directs from a script by Hamish McColl and William Davies. Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner produce and a three-month shoot kicks off this week in the U.K. and Hong Kong. Scully & Bean together, what could be more awesome?
The Ultimate Mob Flick? - Al Pacino ("Scarface" & "The Godfather") and Joe Pesci ("Casino" & "Goodfellas") are said to be circling the mob drama "I Heard You Paint Houses" which Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have been working on together for Paramount Pictures reports Deadline. Scorsese is attached to direct and De Niro will play Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran, a mob assassin reputed to have carried out more than 25 murders. The title refers to mob slang for contract killings. Steve Zaillian will adapt author Charles Brandt's 2004 novel. The author befriended Sheeran shortly before the latter's death in 2003 and among the crimes Sheeran confessed to Brandt was the killing and dismemberment of Jimmy Hoffa (role reprised by Jack Nicholson?) on the orders of mob boss Russell Bufalino. Scorsese, De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will produce though this is one of several project he's linked to, the other most notable being an adaptation of Shusako Endo's novel "Silence". So there's potential that this could be a pretty intriguing project for the aging filmmakers (and honestly, what has Joe Pesci been up to since "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag"?) but of course, it's all speculation and conjecture right now. I'll tell you what isn't, that new series on HBO directed by Scorsese and having the fellow great Steve by the last name of Buscemi as a booze-peddling Atlantic City tycoon on "Boardwalk Empire". Too bad I don't get HBO... but hey, I'm sure I'll check it out here and there. If you watch it, let me know if it's worth it. Anyway, hitmen, Hoffa, all of the legends in one project. Keep an eye out on this one.
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag? – Don’t worry, it’s not a sequel, but something fairly more creepy. Greek police charged two U.S. tourists with desecrating the dead on Thursday after they found six human skulls in their hand luggage at Athens international airport, a police official said. Wait, there’s more. "The skulls were found in a scanner check during a stop-over in Athens on their way back to the United States," said a police official who requested anonymity. "The coroner confirmed they were human skulls." The two young tourists said they had bought the skulls in a souvenir shop on the island of Mykonos and believed they were fake, the official said, adding they had been released pending trial. Yup, apparently not every tourist trap thing you buy overseas is fake. Occasionally they like to throw in a curveball with skulls that were just lying around in a cemetery somewhere. Now these American tourists face Greek court… which if my memory of college classes is correct, will involve several of the Gods converging on Mount Olympus, then Zeus will hear their arguments, then their pleas for mercy, and probably sentence them to some kind of cruel, ironic & possibly torturous punishment. You know, something like… push a giant skull up a hill while regular skulls nip at their feet… or challenge Cyclops to a staring contest while sirens dance in the nude five feet to their right… or in a surprise twist, they realize that one of the souvenirs is their father’s skull & that hot chick they hooked up with at the hostel was actually their mom. GASP!!! Hey, don’t judge me. I’m just going off what I’ve read of Greek history.
Well, on that note, I think I’ll leave you be for another day. Getting extremely excited for events coming up in the next few weeks… but first things first, what to do while my brother’s in town. I think the air races are in Reno this weekend… so we’ll have to see what that entails. Have a great weekend everybody!!!