PAUL RUDD TO PLAY STEVE GUTTENBERG

HOLLYWOOD – Paul Rudd is to play Steve Guttenberg in a new biopic of the actor made famous by Cocoon, Three Men and a Baby and Police Academy.

The new Ant-Man, Paul Rudd, spoke with the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the project:

Steve Guttenberg was my inspiration growing up and I would never have thought to have challenged the role if it wasn’t for the fact that the script was out of this world and Alejandro González Iñárritu is a director I greatly admire.

Based on Iñárritu’s own script the film – provisionally entitled Guttenberg – focuses on a late moment in Steve Guttenberg’s career. Rudd explains:

This is not a classical biopic which sweeps from childhood through early struggles and success to inevitable decline. Instead we find Steve at a later part of his career. The heady days of the Eighties are over and the nineties have been dry, but Steve is preparing his directorial debut P.S. Your Cat Is Dead. Alejandro sees the film as a companion to Birdman, continuing his obsession with stars of the 80s and 90s, seeking to make artistic statements.

Did you see the original film?

Yes. It should be a lot better known. It’s really good. We want to make people realize that the guy from Short Circuit was an accomplished actor and director and not think of him as simply a possible cloned threat from China.

A what?

  There’s talk that China have 3D printed an army of Guttenbergs.

Good God!

Quite.

Guttenberg Will be released in 2023.

DENNIS QUAID TO STAR IN BILL O’REILLY’S KILLING KITTENS

HOLLYWOOD – Inner Space star Dennis Quaid signs on for Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kittens.

Star of A Dog’s Purpose, Dennis Quaid doubles down in a new film Killing Kittens, an adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling novel. The Revevant director Alejandro González Iñárritu dropped by the Studio Exec bungalow to talk it through. dennis quaid

Endurance interests me. Suffering fascinates me. And animals too. In my first movie, Amores Perros, we used this dog and I became very attached to him. That relationship fascinated me. So I wondered what it would be like for a man who had to spend his whole day killing kittens. Then I read Bill O’Reilly’s amazing book. Dennis read it also and loved it and we’re making the movie.

What sort of job involves killing kittens?

They’re not going to be happy with me telling you this, but there’s a popular fast food hamburger which is made almost entirely from kitten meat.

Quaid himself has insisted that the new movie won’t feature the harming of any actual animals. 

That’s true. We talked about this a great deal. Dennis has this huge heart and he would be very upset if he knew how many kittens he will actually kill when we make the movie.

Wait. So you are killing kittens. 

Absolutely. To do otherwise would be fraudulent to cinema.

But Dennis thinks he isn’t killing animals. 

Actors are so stupid. I’ll tell him they’re just really realistic animatronics. I told Leo that the river would be really warm because we heated it up for him and he dove right in. This was in Alaska in December.

Killing Kittens will be released in 2018.

THE REVENANT – REVIEW

THE REVENANT – REVIEW: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow up to Birdman, The Revenant is an inspiring tale of survival ruined by blatant product placement.

Drowned on the Titanic, jailed for embezzlement, lobotomized on an island, beaten by Jack Nicholson, betrayed, basketball diaried, tricked into suicide by his girlfriend and a priest, Leonardo diCaprio has to be one of the unluckiest men alive. In The Revenant he’s torn to pieces by a bear and frozen by a hard winter, attacked by Indians, half drowned in a river and dropped from cliffs. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Tom Hardy offs his son and leaves him for dead. It’s almost as if Iñárritu is putting DiCaprio through some sort of Oscar endurance test. But it’s well worth the journey and diCaprio is magnificent along with Hardy.

With Terrence Malick’s cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki and set desginer Jack Fisk, there’s a fair bit of the Malickian here, but Iñárritu is more interested in nature red in tooth and claw. Immersed in the elemental extremes of fire, water, frost and violence, The Revenant drags the audience through an unforgiving wilderness. A history of massacres looms in the background and cold freezes throughout the film. There’s also a bit Tarkovsky with visions of floating women and sopping landscapes forgotten by an absentee God. Occasionally, the story veers too far into the extreme with logic and credibility be damned, a precipice too far if you will. But I’ll be gored by a bear and buggered by it too, if you can find a more fascinating and visually sumptuous depiction of why we have dentistry and central heating.

For more Reviews, Click Here.

 

RUMORS OF CANNIBALISM ON THE REVENANT SHOOT

HOLLYWOOD – Rumors have been spreading that Alejandro Inarritu’s follow up to Birdman The Revenant, starring Leonardo diCaprio, has run into difficulties with cannibalism widespread among the crew.

Based on a true story, Alejandro Inarritu’s new film The Revenant is a tale of survival set in the wilds of North America. Leonardo diCaprio plays 19th Century explorer Hugh Glass who after a bear attack is left for dead by his own team and has to battle through the wilderness to survive. Shot in natural light by legendary cameraman, Emmanuel Lubezki, Inarritu’s vision has gone over-budget and over-schedule causing co-star Tom Hardy to drop out of The Suicide Squad due to scheduling problems. An insider on the shoot said:

The film is certainly epic and I think everyone will be impressed both by the performances and by the quest for authenticity and originality in the director’s vision.

However, some are claiming that Inarritu went too far in the quest to bring his epic story to the screen.

A crew member spoke to the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY on the understanding that he would remain anonymous:

We were shooting in natural light and we were doing very long takes and we were way up in the north of Canada in the depths of Winter and so we had four hours of usable light. We would block and rehearse everything so that we could get the most done in the short time we had but then Alejandro would change his mind and we’d have to improvise some kind of solution.

However, things got gradually worse. Martin Yass continues:

 

The catering wouldn’t show up. The first day that happened we were very relaxed. We’re a veteran crew and there’s a lot of respect for the director and his creative team, but when catering didn’t turn up for another two days then we ate someone from the wardrobe department. That night there was great shock and consternation, and we were promised that there’d be tacos for everyone the next day but sure enough the next day came and after a really difficult set up – it was the bear scene – there was no sign of the tacos and we ate the gaffer.

News that the production was in trouble had the producer arrive on set only to be captured by Inarritu and burned in a huge wicker effigy of a bear.

We weren’t forced to dance around the burning effigy while the screams rang out and up to the frozen and indifferent stars, but we were definitely encouraged to.

Even the principal actors began to feel the pressure.

Leonardo diCaprio is convinced that he will win his long overdue Oscar with this film and so  he sees Alejandro as his road to that long-awaited goal and will do anything he says. I think Alejandro knew that and he used his power to get Leo to do some outrageous things. At one point Leo has to fight with a native American and Alejandro is shouting off camera: ‘Scalp him, scalp him!’ Leo did just that. Fortunately, that night there was no catering and so we could eat the extra and in that way conceal the evidence of what would otherwise have been a serious crime.

Inarritu himself however is unrepentant:

So we ate some people and scalped a guy, maybe burned one of the producers in a massive wooden effigy of a bear!? So what? When I was making Birdman I had Edward Norton crucify himself with real nails to get into his role. I don’t care about it. As we say in Mexico: if no one gets eaten, you’re not really trying.

The Revenant will be released later this year.

COUNTDOWN TO 2016 OSCARS BEGINS

HOLLYWOOD – The 2015 Academy Awards are over, but now the race is on for the 2016 Oscars and the Studio Exec has its FACT squad standing by.

1. Michael Keaton will receive a nomination for Batman 4. Admittedly, there have been other Batmans and we’re not sure how the numbers add up, but the title will be an obvious homage to the Birdman 4 film that Riggan refused to countenance in Birdman.

2. In an ill-advised attempt to win over Twitter, John Travolta will host the Oscars, ensuring a Lovecraftian vibe with fellow Thetans as guest hosts and everyone else soon becoming ‘hosts’ of another kind when the psychotropic light show renders them all brain slaves ready to enter the Hubbard ship.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Hateful Eight will be vying for the top spot as well as Leonardo di Caprio in The Revenant and Ron Howard’s In the something of the Sea. As the Academy has proven itself hopelessly poor at the nominating process, cage fights will take the place of ballots and nominees will be eliminated in a series of televised rounds.

4. In an ill-advised attempt to show that basically us show business types are color blind everyone will attend the ceremony in black face. For black guests this will be of course optional. Ridley Scott will be in charge with a spray gun for the forgetful.

5. The women will wear clothes and the men will in a break with tradition  also wear clothes. They will be of different colors and materials, and styles and there will be names attached to them. Anyone who cares about this will later be rounded up, come the revolution.

For more Movie FACTS CLICK HERE!

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE 2015 OSCARS

HOLLYWOOD – So the Dolby Theater has been hosed down and returned to its daytime occupation as headquarters to the International Illuminati, but what did we learn from the 2015 Oscars?

We sent the Studio Exec FACT squad into the after parties and green room to see what we could see.

1. Filling in for the Beastmaster, Neil Patrick Harris is truly a talented entertainer. A funny comedian – although some of his joke writers need firing – , a wonderful song and dance man and a disturbingly good magician. How else but by magic could he have managed to make me laugh at Jack Black?

2. Patricia Arquette is one cool lady. Not only is her body of work impressive, but her acceptance speech spoke of something real. Along with Reese Witherspoon and her #AskHerMore stance, it’s good to see the sisters doing it for themselves. And while we’re at it good on Melanie Griffith for not mouthing platitudes about her daughter Dakota Johnson’s success in Fifty Shades of Grey. Surely tone deaf red carpet reporters can understand she might not to watch her daughter’s BDSM scenes? Perhaps not.

3. Terrence Howard might find himself replaced by Don Cheadle next year.

4. Following Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar victories Hollywood bookshops are going to have to stock up on diagnostic manuals as stars starting looking for the next big disease.

5. Boyhood and Birdman both deserved recognition, as did Selma, Snowpiercer, Get On Up , The f*cking LEGO Movie and a whole bunch of others. We’ve become a list crazed culture and so the Oscars have become if anything more important. Sure it’s meaningless; sure it shouldn’t matter. But meaninglessness is hardly a disqualifying factor in our twitterverse culture. Long may it reign.

For more Oscars CLICK HERE.

OUR OSCAR PREDICTIONS

HOLLYWOOD – Just in case you haven’t noticed, the Oscars are almost upon us, which I’ll be live tweeting, but until then the Studio Exec would like to offer 5 Oscar predictions.

Here are our Five Oscar Predictions in order of likelihood:

1. Pompeii will probably not win as many awards as I have hitherto predicted.

2. The team up of Kanye West and the Beastmaster will make for an electrifying show that will be blown even further into out of space by the arrival of Hawk the Slayer, Flash, the floating head from Zardoz and the planet Krull.

3. Birdman and Boyhood will be revealed to actually be brothers. Whiplash‘s J.K. Simmons will use his acceptance speech to criticize the orchestra. The Imitation Game will come out and the Theory of Everything will be disproved.

4. American Sniper will shoot Selma in a tasteless and ill thought out montage sequence.

5. Meryl Streep will win another Oscar and Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, Patricia Arquette, Marion Coutillard, Julianne Moore and Felicity Jones will kill her on stage and eat parts of her body to try and ingest her magic charm. (Then we’ll cut to commercial).

For more Oscars CLICK HERE.

KANYE WEST TO CO-HOST OSCARS

HOLLYWOOD – Rapper Kanye West is going to co-host the 87th Motion Picture Academy Awards, or Oscars as they prefer to be known.

Following the shock replacement of Neil Patrick Harris with the Beastmaster  earlier this week comes the news that the Beastmaster will be joined by a musical co-host, Kanye West. The Beastmaster spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec and had this to say:

We knew that Kanye was coming to the Oscars and we also know that he has a tendency to get up on the stage and dispute certain decisions. We were worrying about a way of avoiding a similar incident when I realized wait a second let’s just run with this.

So you’re going to do what?

We’re going to give Kanye a fifteen second rebuttal after every award is declared. So if Michael Keaton wins best actor he can rap something like ‘You may be the Birdman, but compared to Beyoncé, you’re the turd man!’ Or if Selma wins Best Picture, Kanye might rap ‘Martin Luther King Jr: you’re a joke! Beyoncé has done more for the black folk’.

Wow! You’re quite good at rapping.

Yeah, it’s one of my powers. That and talking to the animals. I’m a cross between Eminem, Conan the Barbarian and Doctor Doolittle.

I can’t wait for the Oscars.

Neither can I.

 The Oscars are Sunday-ish.

OSCARS CEREMONY TO BE DIRECTED BY RIDLEY SCOTT

HOLLYWOOD – Ridley Scott is to direct the Oscars ceremony on the 22nd of February, featuring an exclusively white cast.

A spokesperson for the academy said:

We decided to take the ceremony in a new direction this year. Political correctness went mad the last few shows. We had Lincoln freeing the slaves, Django shooting the slave owners and 12 Years a Slave, being all about slaves as well. For twelve years. But now we have a black president and all that racism has been effectively dealt with so it’s time to get back to rich white people, mainly men.

So you called Ridley?

Absolutely. We thought that we couldn’t just pretend Selma didn’t exist although we tried our best. He came up with the idea of replacing the black cast with Joel Edgerton and Aaron Paul.

Fantastic!

Isn’t it? And although people are complaining about diversity, I’d say to them that the show is going to be diverse anyway. Look at Boyhood. White little boy, white big boy, white teenager, white young fella. What could be more diverse? Oh, and American Sniper, white guy shoots brown guys. What could be more topical!? Birdman, white guy worries about being too rich and successful. The Imitation Game, white guy wins the war. The Theory of Everything, white guy solves all the problems in the universe, especially Black Holes (that’s not racist is it?)

I don’t know.

Oh and my favorite. Whiplash. Two guys get incredibly pissy about perfecting jazz. And they’re basically white! That’s the twist.

For more Oscars news click HERE.

STUDIO EXEC: TOP TEN

HOLLYWOOD – Everyone is doing a top ten, so I’m doing a top ten, but I don’t know if it’s a top ten of the best films, the worst films, the most middling films: it’s a top ten of something. That’s all.

1. A Most Wanted Man. This is the top of the ten films that came out this year featuring a final performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you weren’t pissed about PSH dying watch this and you’ll be pissed once more and depressed. A fantastic John Le Carré adaptation. Perhaps even better than the sprawling and unfocussed Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Read the review here.

2. Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s weird sociological/anthropological experiment is a kind of epic Seinfeld episode, essentially a film about life itself and nothing at all. The bildungsroman is epic, rich and beautiful, and this from the man who brought us the wonders of the Sunset/Sunrise trilogy. And School of Rock. Read about Ethan Hawke’s new project here. 

3. Whiplash. Crash! Bang! Wallop! What a Picture! Miles Teller is brilliant as the young drumming student and so is J.K. Simmons as the sadistic teacher. For the review, Click Here.

4. Birdman. Michael Keaton is back and he is kicking ass in this superlative satire on the film industry, acting, theatre, journalism, YouTube, oh Jesus, everything. Read the review here. 

5. Pompeii. I didn’t see it but it’s supposed to be brilliant and there’s a chance it will win all the Oscars. Read about that here.

6. Interstellar. Christopher Nolan not only makes a film complete with worm holes, black holes and plot holes, he also spectacularly illustrates the uncertainty principle, how can someone so clever, in such a clever film, occasionally do things which seem so stupid. I went with it. Read about that here.

7. The Interview. I haven’t seen the film, but I’m going to have to. So thanks for that Kim Jong-un. I think you won round one. Read some of the stuff we wrote about it here.

8. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel are now following the Pixar model of basically making old fashioned Studio era comedies dressed up as films for kids. Funny and clever and a bench mark for the Marvel house style. Click here to read about Chris Pratt’s celebrations.

9. The Nightcrawler and The Babadook and ’71: three cracking movies, all feature débuts, all fantastic with the promise of great things to come. Also all genre films. Here are the reviews of Babadook and Nightcrawler.  

10. Leviathan, The Look of Silence and Mommy: Just to prove I can read, these are the films that are in foreign which you might want to have a look at.  I saw them at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. Here are some reports from them.  

Happy Xmas, Happy Hanukka, Happy mid-winter atheism for those who still enjoy food and giving. 

BIRDMAN: REVIEW

NEW YORK – Michael Keaton goes meta in Alejandro Inarritu’s best film to date, Birdman.

Batman is trying to make a play on Broadway as a way of getting away from the superhero alter ego – Birdman – who haunts him to this day. Unfortunately he hires the Incredible Hulk, a complete asshole of an actor who is likely to steal the show, or steal Batman’s daughter played by Spider-man’s girlfriend.

Alejandro Inarritu films most of the action in one flowing continuous take (obviously there’s some smokes and mirrors here but the illusion is brilliantly maintained and never looks like a mere gimmick). The writing is top calibre as well, with some corrosively bitchy zingers. Despite the post-modernity and contemporary references this is when it comess down to it a backstage comedy, like Noises Off, or more recently Shakespeare in Love. The Show Must Go On drives the narrative forward even at the risk of the sanity of its protagonist. And there is a biting angry satire, that seeks to demolish just about everything in its path – superhero movies, twitter and youtube celebrity, rehab, journalists, actors, even this very act of criticism itself. The acting is superb, with some career best performances from Edward Norton, Lindsay Duncan, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis as well as a toweringly twitchy tormented Michael Keaton.

This is clever, self-conscious, deliriously entertaining cinema at its best.

Birdman will be out presently.

VENICE REPORT 2

VENICE – Our man on the Lido is risking life and limb to give you the goings on at the world’s oldest film festival. Be grateful dammit.

Jesus Christ, I’ve seen so many films. And they’re all without exception set in the theatre.

So first there was Birdman, washed up actor puts on a play while fighting his own delusional insanity. Then there was She’s Funny that Way which was exceptional in having Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson appear together for the first time in a comedy. And it was funny! And then there’ my old friend Barry Levinson’s The Humbling, a Philip Roth adaptation that sees Al Pacino as a a stage actor who’s going through what Birdman was going through but without the special effects.

Of course other countries make films as well, I’ve recently discovered, and they don’t give so much of a shit about the theatre. Thank God. Ulrich Seidl – Austria’s answer to Johnny Knoxville – was here with In The Basement which revealed what Austrians get up to in their basements, Joseph Fritzl aside. A number of grotesques are paraded before us for our amusement – neo-Nazis, sado-masochists and just saddos – and we get to see what the expression ‘blue balls’ really means. An Italian film Black Souls reminds us that in Italy you don’t only have the Comorra or the Mafia you also have the ‘Ndranghetta! But it’s an original take so if you get a chance and you don’t mind reading at the cinema knock yourself out.

There was also a film from somewhere called Croatia! You can’t make this up. Right Spritz is calling – it’s a soft drink much like ginger beer. Catch you later.

5 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR AT THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

VENICE – The Venice Film Festival kicks off and here are five things you need to look out for or there is a distinct possibility you will die.

1. Birdman is the opening film of the festival and will be celebrated on the red carpet with the entire cast pretending to be birds. Michael Keaton will be a parrot, Emma Stone an emu and the ever dependable Edward Norton is expected to show up as a penguin.

2. Lars Von Trier will be showing his director’s cut of Nymphomaniac which is rumored to last three days and will feature Christian Slater’s penis. After the screening, Von Trier will be burned alive in a huge wicker phallus on the beach.

3. Al Pacino and Ethan Hawke are both appearing in two films and are expected to make much of this. Boasting about it and making silly asses of themselves as they try to impress girls. James Franco however is going to make three films while at the festival and therefore will beat everyone.

4. The jury is led by French composer Alexander Desplat who was named after a sound effect in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

5. Although the Golden Lion is not real gold, it is a real lion. Sofia Coppola was actually eaten by the lion when receiving the award for Somewhere. Unfortunately, she was regurgitated.

Studio Exec will be tweeting and blogging from the Lido from The Venice Film Festival from 27th August to 6th September, 2014. 

EDWARD NORTON INVENTS HIS OWN CHEESE

Shhh, or they’ll all want some

DENVER – Enormously talented film and motion picture actor, Edward Norton has long had a reputation for eccentricity, but yesterday he announced that he was as normal as the next man and to prove it unveiled a new cheese he had invented: Chedward Nortshire.

‘I was sitting in my private jet waiting to get clearance to take off and fly to Hawaii and I thought to myself, I just want to give something back to the ordinary people,’ said the Birdman25th Hour and Red Dragon star. ‘But what? And then it came to me. They like cheese.’

Of course my first worry was mice. I mean what if the cheese was so nice that the mice wouldn’t be able to resist. They’d be all over the cheese, and people would buy cats or try to kill the mice and although understandable that would NOT be cool. But then cheese and mouse  expert Bryan Singer told me that the idea that mice go crazy about cheese was actually a racist myth. 

 Our resident cheese taster Xavier Poulis had a slice of Chedward and gave his verdict:

Stings the mouth. Holds. Still there. Gummy glue feeling about the teeth. Tacky. Yes gone. 

Coincidentally these were the exact words Roger Ebert used in his review of Edward Norton’s performance in the Italian Job remake.