THE VIKINGS GETS MOVIE SPIN OFF

HOLLYWOOD – Popular TV show The Vikings is to get a big movie treatment.

The History Channels The Vikings is finally to get a big screen outing, it was announced today. Fans of the show will however be disappointed to learn that it won’t star any of the original cast. Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick and Gabriel Byrne have all denied they are appearing in the new version. A History Channel source to the Studio Exec:

We wanted to go with something tried and tested. Kirk Douglas will play Einar and Tony Curtis is playing Erik. I’m very pleased to announce that Ernest Borgnine is coming back to play Ragnar.

But Tony Curtis… Kirk Douglas… Aren’t they a little old, or dead?

The story is a little different. Erik and Einar are half brothers, though actually Erik is of noble birth. They have this massive horn that they blow and they run along the oars for fun. Then fights and battles break out and they throw axes at girls to cut off their braids.

Wait. This sounds like the 1958…

The important point here is that although people will say: look they’ve just re-released that film that’s always on television at Easter. What they really mean is: this is an amazingly original and accurate reproduction of how Vikings actually lived in the 1950s.

The Vikings will be released in 2018.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS ACTING IN THE THEATER

 HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer returns just in time to cast his gimlet eye over the dream factory of Hollywood, turning his attention specifically to the place actors call ‘the wooden arse’: the theater.

There comes a time in every actor’s life when the work dries up and you have to tell everyone that you want to return to your first love, the theatre. Friends will be terribly supportive, but in all honesty it is what Audrey Hepburn used to call ‘a massive fricking ball ache’.

Theatre directors will absolutely insist you know all the lines off by heart and you have to work nights. The money’s not nearly as good as the movies either, but they’ve got you by the short and curlies and you pretty much have to take whatever crumbs fall from the table. It’s either that or television. I still remember when Sam Peckinpah fired me from The Wild Bunch because I swore at Ernie Borgnine and I was forced to do a play to clear my bar tab at the Garrick. It was one of those Shakespeare jobbies, all thee-this, thou-that, and forsooth-the-other; so naturally I assumed it was Hamlet and rolled on to stage for my big entrance only to find it was King Lear

The whole thing had the potential to go tits up, but I’d spent an entire afternoon trying to learn the words and I was determined to have a go. 
In the end the critics were not very kind, but they didn’t hold a grudge and gave me a Tony to make up for it. At the ceremony I dedicated the award to Van Heflin after he bet me $20 I wouldn’t get the word ‘flange’ into my acceptance speech. 
But that’s another story…

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SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS CLINT EASTWOOD

HOLLYWOOD – Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall Clint Eastwood.

Over the years I’ve come to regard young Clint Eastwood as the son I never had. He reminds me so much of my own children when they were growing up: ‘shut up, stop telling me what to do, you’re not my real Dad!’ He even forgets my birthday! 
But despite all of that I’m as proud as punch of young Clint. 

I first met him more moons ago than I care to remember when I was a guest star on his smash hit TV series Rawhide. Gabby Hayes had dropped out at the last minute because he’d recently bought a new couch and had to wait in for it to be delivered so I filled in as the grizzled prospector. 

Myself and Clint (right)
It all went very well apart from one regrettable incident when I set fire to Clint’s poncho, and from that day to this the bond between us has never been broken. Occasionally the fates have conspired against us, like when Lee Marvin replaced me in Paint Your Wagonbecause I got the hiccups trying to sing Wandrin’ Star, but the good times have more than made up for the bad. The picture that most people remember our inimitable double act for was Every Which Way But Loose. I starred as Clint’s comedy sidekick Clyde, and it was actually my idea to wear the gorilla suit. 
There was one scene I just couldn’t get right, and after accidentally pouring petrol over Sondra Locke for the seventeenth time Clint yelled ‘for Christ’s sake Edwin, it’d be easier to use a trained monkey!’ Well! We just fell about laughing. 
When I rang him to say that I was unavailable for the sequel because Ernest Borgnine was taking me go-karting, Clint said that was alright because they’d actually decided to use a trained monkey anyway. 
I thought he was very good, but apparently the monkey fell out with Geoffrey Lewis after getting caught cheating at Monopoly. 
But that’s another story…

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THE MAKING OF THE WILD BUNCH

HOLLYWOOD  – In the latest of our ‘Making of…’ series, we look at Sam Peckinpah’s unusual move into romantic comedy: The Wild Bunch.

The Idea

Sam Peckinpah had wanted to make a realistic Western for years, but following disputes on Major Dundee and his firing from The Cincinnati Kid the controversial director found himself relegated to television. Here however he plotted his return and when he was handed a screenplay for a Romantic Comedy entitled A Bunch of Wild Roses which already had William Holden and Elizabeth Taylor attached, Peckinpah seized the opportunity. Shifting the caper to Mexico, Peckinpah guaranteed he was away from the supervision of the studios and began with the aid of screenwriter Walon Green. Green notes:

Every day we would shave Elizabeth’s part. Just a line here and there then a scene. She had a house with Richard Burton in Mexico at the time so she was really looking forward to the film, but it soon became clear that her part was getting much too small. When she pulled out, we had what we wanted and we changed the title to The Wild Bunch of Roses, though we fully intended to leave off the last two words of the final cut. The aristocrat who falls in love with his son’s governess became Deke Bishop. And the film became the Western that Sam had always meant to make.

Production

Sam Peckinpah wrote to his mother to describe the difficulties:

Hi Mom,

Still in Mexico trying to get this God Damned film made. Excuse my French. This assholes (sorry) just don’t know violence. They only know violence from crappy John Wayne Westerns where someone is shot and a trickle appears from between their fingers if at all. I want them to blow holes in each other. Blood should gout out and there should be the real image of what projectiles can do to flesh and bone.

Dear Samuel,

That sounds nice. How is Elizabeth Taylor. Is she as pretty as she is in the glossies?

Hi Mom,

Yeah, she’s a swell gal, but she’s not in the film no more. The problem is no one understands what I want. I need to treat time differently. When something violent happens to you, your whole perception of time changes. I keep trying to get the actors to act slowly, so that they look like the whole thing is happening at a different speed. It works quite well, but when one of them falls over of course they can’t help falling at a normal speed. Damn it! How am I supposed to solve everything? Sorry, ma I have to go and get surgically drunk.

Dear Samuel,

Why don’t you just film them at normal speed and then slow the film down. Wouldn’t that work best? You’ll need to film it at a different speed so the quality of the image remains sharp. I’d say  a multiple camera set up with cameras working at 24 frames per second, 30 frames per second, 60 frames per second, 90 frames per second and 120 frames per second.

Hi Mom,

I wish you’d not interfere with the technical side of film making that you clearly don’t understand. We have all the actors on wires now so that when they fall we can lower them slowly. Problem solved. You women!

Reception

The critical reception of The Wild Bunch was generally positive, though the film’s scenes of graphic violence dominated early reviews. Vincent Canby wrote:

There’s this bit right, where Ernest Borgnine gets the Gattling gun and he goes ‘RATATATATATATATATATAT!’ and like the Mexicans are going ‘Arrrgh’ and then this kid shoots P’Kew! and Borginine’s like ‘Urhhh’ and someone else shoots and goes P’Kew! But Borgnine still has the Gattling gun and it goes ‘RATATATA!’ ‘RATATATATATATTATATAT!’

The Wild Bunch was released in 1969.

For more of The Making of CLICK HERE.

ERNEST BORGNINE ALIVE AGAIN

HOLLYWOOD – Ernest Borgnine, the much loved Oscar winning actor who passed away last year at the age of 95, is apparently alive once more and back at work.

The Wild Bunch and Ice Station Zebra actor Ernest Borgnine spent just over a year dead, but has now returned because of a little known contractual obligation that was triggered when Airwolf: the Movie was finally green lit last week.
In his first post resurrection interview, Borgnine told the Studio Exec exclusively:

I’m glad to be back. Of course, when you get to 95 every extra year is a bonus, so I’m happy to be back and doing what I love. I’m very proud of my work on Airwolf and will be pleased to return to the character of Dominic and tell his story.

Jan-Michael Vincent has already confirmed his participation along with Shia LaBeouf, who will play his son. Given the unique opportunity to tell us something about the hereafter, we asked Ernest what he could tell us about the afterlife:

I’m sorry, no can do. They made me sign a very strict confidentiality agreement.

Airwolf: the Movie will begin next month. 

JANE GOT A GUN: LEAVING SCHEDULE PUBLISHED

NEW MEXICO – The Natalie Portman film Jane Got a Gun has run into further difficulties after it was revealed that not only has director Lynne Ramsay and stars, Michael Fassbender and Jude Law walked out on the film, but so has Joel Edgerton, Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal and Guy Pearce. Next week will see the departure of Tobey Maguire and Noah Emmerich. Bruce Willis is negotiating a possible role in time to walk out on it sometime over the weekend. Ernest Borgnine – although reported to have left the project – is in fact dead, such was his disgust with the shambles, and so cancelled any possibility of involvement. Producer Scott Steindorff said that he was ‘very disappointed about Ernest Borgnine in particular, but this is a story that needs to be told and we are going to tell it.’


Gavin O’Connor – the director brought in to replace Ramsay – also reported that he was no longer prepared to work Tuesdays or Thursday ‘and obviously not the weekend’. Meanwhile, Natalie Portman has announced that she was only staying because to leave after Bradley Cooper left would be ‘sending out the wrong message.’

Cast awaits departure


Among the crew, the gaffer is long gone, the lighting crew is basically an intern with a light app on his phone, the catering staff are picking their noses and the accountants are stuffing money into bags which have helpfully been labelled ‘swag’. Further defections are also respected from Matt Damon, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Marty Feldman, Frank Sinatra, Bridget Bardot, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Steve Buscemi, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ralph Fiennes, Seth Green, Robert Downey Jr, Martin Jarvis, Judy Davis, Judi Dench, Judy Garland and Leonard Nimoy.