LUCA GUADAGNINO TO REMAKE JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

HOLLYWOOD – Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino signs on to remake Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.

Italian hemler Luca Guadagnino is currently remaking Dario Argento’s Suspiria and there are reports of a Call Me By Your Name 2, but today he announced his next film: James and the Giant Peach. He spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec and had this to say:

I’m in love with fruit. What can I say? I think it’s gorgeous. And I love the idea of this film. Because peaches, they’re my favorite fruit. They have skin that is as soft as velvet and they are so round and sensuous.

Although a stop motion adaptation of the book came out in 1996, Guadagnino’s film is going to be live action.

I want to see a real boy going into that peach. Penetrating its soft flesh. And then there are adventures of all sorts but he always returns to the peach, coming back into it again and again.

But surely this is a children’s film?

No. [Laughs filthily] No, is not for children. No way. No way at all.

James and the Giant Peach comes out in 2020.

ELI ROTH IS THE NEW DARIO ARGENTO, CLAIMS ELI ROTH

HOLLYWOOD – Director of the Death Wish remake and The Green Inferno Eli Roth is the new Dario Argento, Eli Roth stated today.

Eli Roth is famous for eyebrows, gory movies and more eyebrows. Breaking out with the Hostel movies and Cabin Fever, he’s back with a Bruce Willis starring remake of the revenge thriller Death Wish.

He came into the Studio Exec bungalow to discuss the claims that he’s the American version of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento.

I really think Eli Roth is the US version of Dario Argento.

You’re talking about yourself in the third person.

I know. Eli Roth often talks about himself in the third person. He considers it a post-feminist tribute to The Third Man.

But what is this bunk about you being Dario Argento?

Eli Roth really is the new Dario Argento. Think about it. He makes horror movies. As did Dario. They both have an o and an r and an i in their names. They both have hands. The similarities are endless.

Do you think you’ve made a film as good as Profondo Rosso or Suspiria?

Eli Roth refuses to split hairs. Mr Roth has left the building.

Death Wish is out this week.

THE MAKING OF THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

HOLLYWOOD – In our new series ‘The Making of…’ we go behind the scenes, using previously unseen letters, diaries and documents, of a major motion picture landmark of cinema. This week The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Idea

Sergio Leone had always wanted to make a film about a treasure hunt. Growing up in Mussolini’s Italy, treasure hunts were actually banned by the Black Shirts, as were blue shirts, yellow shirts and salmon pink trousers. So following the success of his first two ‘Dollar’ films, Leone brushed off an old idea he had been toying with for years. Three rogues during the American Civil War  all go in search of an evasive wagon of gold. He provisionally entitled it Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Marito, which translates as The Thin, the Fat and the Husband. He wrote to Dario Argento, a young film critic at the time and wannabe film director, and explained his idea:

The idea of my western is the purest concept I have come up with, now that I’ve run out of Akira Kurosawa films to copy. I’ve based it on an old Italian folktale my grandmother used to tell me. The thin man is always alert and wily, but the fat man is more charming and gregarious and everyone helps him, but the married man is the best because wherever he goes his wife follows him shrieking loudly. It is going to be very funny. Claudia Cardinale will play the wife I’m sure. Or Sophia Loren!

Casting

Despite his initial wish for Claudia Cardinale to play the married man’s wife, the role proved so difficult to to cast that the script was changed and the film retitled Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Scapolo: The Thin, The Fat and the Bachelor. Thoughts turned to Clint Eastwood who – although his relationship with the Italian director was difficult – was still keen to make one last contracted film. Leone wrote to his American star:

Clint, I have a lovely role for you. It is perfect. You will get to wear that hat you like. You know the cowboy one! Yes, I knew that would bring a cheeky smile to that cheeky face. The role is Il Grasso, he is a gunfighter, but his real love is blueberry pies. Oh, he eats so many. The audience will see a whole new side to you, but listen you must put on some weight. I would say quite a few kilo. Fifty at least.

Clint responded cautiously:

Dear Sergio,

I read the script and it is a good one. I’m just not sure about my character. May I suggest that instead of being fat he is relatively slender. And instead of being garrulous, he is a man of few words. And instead of eating pies, he squints and shoots people. remember when you wanted me to wear that frogman’s suit in Fistful of Dollars, you remember telling me ‘A Poncho!? That’s ridiculous!’ but who was right in the end. Trust me on this.

Production

Now called Il Magro, Il Buono, Il Brutto (The Thin, The Good and The Ugly), the filmmakers moved to Franco’s Spain which would stand in for the US West. Eli Wallach, who had never worked with Leone before, was cast as The Magro. He wrote home to his mother:

Spain is nice. Hot as you’d expect this time of year. Clint is very quiet. A fitness nut, but you know. Nice. The film looks like being a bit of disaster. I’m clowning around as best I can but frankly I don’t understand the script, I don’t understand the direction, the story. Lee Van Cleef is here playing the Thin. I swear to God it’s a stupid film. Yesterday, Sergio made us stand around in a cemetery all day while he filmed our fingers and then the bridges of our noses! Europeans!

Post-Production

With the film complete all that remained was to add the score and overdub the dialogue. Clint told Roger Ebert in his documentary Clint and Sergio:

Sergio didn’t speak English and I spoke no Italian. And the script was often a mess. We knew roughly the scenes, but he didn’t have the dialogue properly translated or translated so badly that it was meaningless. So Sergio would just get us to count up to a number out loud. You count to 7 Clint, now Lee you count to 5, now Clint to 3 and so on. Then we’d overdub with actual words.

Ennio Morricone had completed the score early but the last touches were required the iconic ‘AIIIIAIAIA’ that would begin the score and the film. This was provided accidentally by the Maestro himself when he closed the piano lid on his own fingers. The sound of his shriek of pain had been inadvertently recorded and by looping it and manipulating it electronically Morricone added a strange and comic vibe to the film.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was released in 1966.

for more of The Making of CLICK HERE.