TOMMY LEE JONES TO STAR IN AND DIRECT ‘ARE YOU BEING SERVED?’

HOLLYWOOD – Tommy Lee Jones to write, direct and star in Are You Being Served?

Veteran actor and No Country for Old Men star Tommy Lee Jones will finally bring his dream project to the screen next year, a Hollywood remake of BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? 

Based on the Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft Seventies series, Tommy Lee Jones’ new film is set in the fictional Los Angeles department store of Grace Brothers. Here the flirty staff have to deal with a variety of eccentric customers. Popping by the Studio Exec bungalow, Jones explained his vision:

I have always been a fan of the original British series. The elaborate double entendres and the farcical situations and in particular Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy.

And you are acting in the film as well? 

I myself shall play the role of Captain Peacock and Michael Shannon has kindly agreed to show his face as Mr. Humphries. Cameron Diaz wanted to play Mrs. Slocombe but I said no, because she is not in my honest opinion what I’d call a ‘good actress’.  Emma Thompson will handle the pussy jokes, if’n we can sober her up in time. Ha ha. That was a joke.

How do you respond to critics who say you can’t play comedy?

I ask them if they have had the opportunity to view my hilarious mugging in Natural Born Killers, or my Two Face in the much underrated Batman film, I forget which one… but it was comedy genius.

Mila Kunis will play Shirley Brahms and Jack Black will play Cuthbert Rumbold. Bradley Cooper will continue his collaboration with Jones, playing the womanizing salesman Dick Lucas.

Are You Being Served? comes out in 2022.

5 FACTS WE KNOW ABOUT BLADE RUNNER 2049

HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec sends in the FACT squad to run the Voight-Kampff test on the new Blade Runner 2049.

Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner 2049 has been shrouded in mystery but the Studio Exec FACT squad has been on the job – though one of them got fried running through an electric field. So here are the 5 FACTS they uncovered.

One. The whole of Blade Runner 2049 takes place at eleven minutes to nine PM.

Two. Following his success in LaLa Land, Ryan Gosling will sing the theme song ‘Tears in Rain’ over the opening titles as well as the song ‘Is this to test whether I’m a Replicant (or a lesbian)?’ also known as Blade Runner Love Theme.

Three. The cast for Blade Runner 2049 includes Harrison Ford from the original, as well as Jared Leto, David Letterman, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson and Melissa McCarthy.

Four. Although not directing the film, Ridley Scott has been part of the creative team though scriptwriter Hampton Fancher has said that his contribution consisted solely of demanding ‘a shit load of unicorns.’ This demand has been fully satisfied. Hampton told the Exec: ‘You’ve never seen this many unicorns on film at the same time.’

Five. Whereas in the original there was an ambiguity as to which character was a replicant, in the new film the Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has insisted that there will be a more radical ambiguity. ‘We will suggest that not only are ALL the characters replicants, but also the audience and the filmmakers. Everybody and everything is artificial. Philip K. Dick, I feel would have approved.’

For more FACTs CLICK HERE.

AMA RECOGNISE WILL FERRELL SYNDROME

CHICAGO – Will Ferrell Syndrome has been recognised as an actual medical condition.

Dr. Roberto Coteeze of the American Medical Association declared today the Will Ferrell Syndrome would be classified as a recognized medical condition although the ‘pathology has not yet been fully defined.’

Will Ferrell Syndrome is a condition which seems to only affect very funny men who have made a promising start to their television careers (usually on Saturday Night Live) before moving onto Hollywood and five picture deals. In some cases, the progress of the syndrome is relatively slow, especially if actors confine themselves to character parts, but once they approach ‘family entertainment’ or ‘gross-out comedy’ they are doomed never to be funny again.

Will Ferrell – after whom the syndrome is named (Stiller Disease being an earlier option) – is a prime example. ‘He was great in Zoolander,’ says Dr. Coteeze, ‘but then came Land of the Lost and that was as funny as a teenager’s funeral.’

admitted to hospital

Other sufferers include Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Vigils are currently being held for Zach Galifianakis in hope that he too won’t succumb.

Flowers have been laid, songs sung.

FIRST IMAGE OF JOURNEY WITH LARA CROFT TO JUMANJI KONG

HOLLYWOOD – The first image has been released from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new film, the multi-movie mash-up: Journey With Lara Croft to Jumanji Kong.

The photograph shows the cast in costume posing in the jungle on Skull Island.  Dwayne Johnson plays Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Kevin Hart his dumbass sidekick Moose Finbar. Karen Gillan is seen in the role of Lara Croft and Jack Black reprises his role as Carl Denham. Jack Black spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec:

You could look at the picture and say what happened to Jack Black? I mean, the guy used to star in movies and now he’s playing third fiddle to a wrestler and Kevin Hart, but that isn’t the way I look at it. I see it as the opportunity to pay tribute to three or four great movie franchises. Jumanji, Lara Croft, Journey to the Whatever and King Kong. Oh, and Central Intelligence as well I suppose. I have to say that last one or Kevin gets pissed and tells everyone not to give me food.

Journey with Lara Croft to Jumanji Kong will be released in 2017.

BLUES BROTHERS 3: JACK BLACK AND BEN STILLER HIT THE ROAD

HOLLYWOOD – Jack Black and Ben Stiller are putting on the suits, the hats and the sunglasses to play one of the most iconic pairings in movie comedy ever formed: The Blues Brothers 3.

Following a lackluster sequel in 1999 – Blues Brothers 2000 – starring Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman, this time around the comedy genius of a new generation is going to be applied to the story of Jake and Elwood Blues. Studio Exec’s recent columnist Jack Black spoke exclusively to the site:

It’s so exciting, because I don’t know if you know this, but I really dig my music – what with Tenacious D and all. So here I will be doing comedy and music together.

Are you at all nervous about following John Belushi’s lead?

Oh no. Listen, I’m not playing Jake. I’m playing Elwood. Ben Stiller is going to play Jake.

Oh, right.

Yeah. This is how we’re going to mix it up. You see everyone will think I’ll be playing Jake because I’m you know a little heavy. But when we appear on screen and the audience realize I’m actually playing Elwood… They’re going to have a heart attack they’ll be laughing so hard.  

What songs are you going to be singing?

Time has passed and Blues is no longer carrying the cultural cachet it once did. So we’re going to be more into Rn’B: Whitney Houston, Gloria Estafan, we’re hoping to get Rihanna and Beyoncé on board as well.

That sounds…

Keeping it real.

The Blues Brothers 3: Gettin’ Funky Witcha will be released in 2017.

THINKING COMEDY: 1. JACK BLACK

In the first of our new series Thinking Comedy, film comedian Jack Black ruminates on the philosophical underpinnings of his Comic Art.

It was the French philosopher Henri Bergson who first tried to formulate a coherent philosophy on comedy and what makes us laugh. In his 1924 book Le Rire: Essai Sur La Signification du Comique (and by the way if you can, read it in the original French as the translations available are merely adequate), Bergson refers to laughter causing a ‘temporary anesthesia of the heart’, and it was precisely this idea that I have used in my career up to and including my triumphal Gulliver’s Travels.

The idea that laughter is cruel and unfeeling has a long history. Laughter is often, in writings, equated with ridicule and scorn. For us to laugh at a victim, we have to feel nothing for them. But even characters, clowns, people who we feel some empathy for, even these characters only become comic, truly comic when we suspend our feelings and indulge in the elation laughing at someone brings, what Hobbes in Leviathan referred to as the ‘Sudden Glory’ of our superiority in relation to the object of our laughter. So Po in Kung Fu Panda might be a figure of love-able sympathy for the most part, but for comic sequences there is a cartoonish allowance that although he is being hurt, he is not being really hurt so that we can suspend our empathy and simply enjoy his misfortune. Likewise Nacho and Steve in Nacho Libre are both like-able characters, but the moment they step into the ring we understand that the bets are off and we can giggle and hoot as they are viciously beaten up. 

My own off-screen persona as a kind of wild zany is a meticulously rehearsed construct. My wild eyes, my eyebrows, my incessant face pulling, my obesity: everything is designed at once to provoke a like-able sympathy (I know this isn’t always forthcoming but oh well…) and also to give the audience the Hobbsian Sudden Glory they so obviously crave. This is the frame that prepares everyone for my film or musical performances, but within that frame I can vary my performances greatly. Look at Dewy Finn in The School of Rock for instance, in which I play an anarchic Holy Fool, fighting against an overly rigorous educational system.   

However, what I would like to do is emphasize the flip-side of the Bergosonian equation. It is a ‘temporary [my italics] anesthesia’, and it is this temporariness which is important and which lends comedy its emotional depth as we shift from not feeling to feeling and back again. That’s why in everything I do, from Orange County to Tenacious D, yes I am looking for the laugh, but I’m also probing the heart. 

For more Thinking Comedy CLICK HERE.

JONATHAN LIEBESMAN TO FILM LIVE ACTION TOUCHÉ TURTLE

HOLLYWOOD – Following the massive success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jonathan Liebseman has announced that he is planning to film a live action version of the Hanna-Barbera classic Touché Turtle.

Touché Turtle and Dum Dum has already got a script finalized and is due to start filming in the Fall. Jonathan Liebseman came into the Studio Exec bungalow to talk EXCLUSIVELY about the project:

Many people will be saying to me, ‘Jonathan Liebseman enough with the Turtles already’, but once you start researching turtles as I did extensively for TMNT then you start to realize how fascinating these creatures actually are. Did you know that turtles typically live until they’re more than one hundred years old?

Wow! Really?

I think. I mean I don’t know. They look old, don’t they?

What about the new film Jonathan?

It is based on the first ever Touché Turtle episode The Whale and the Tale but we’ve made it longer and Hans Zimmer is already working on a score, which he’s calling Touché Away. Lots of tuba. We have Andy Serkis interested but he hasn’t decided yet. He’s a bit worried about being typecast and he’s also quite busy with The Jungle Book. Jack black has been begging me to let him play Dum Dum but I’m not convinced. Did you know the shell is actually part of the turtle’s body and not just like a little house they carry around?

Yeah, I knew that.

Marvellous!

Touché Turtle and Dum Dum will be released in 2016.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT TRUE DETECTIVE 2

HOLLYWOOD – True Detective 2 is going to be hitting HBO in June but what do we really know about it?

Although we already have the facts about True Detective 1, we sent the Studio Exec FACT squad into the underbelly of the badlands to find FACTS out like a real detective, I mean a genuine detective, an authentic detective, or a true investigator to find out about True Detective 2.

1. Despite coming from an impeccable source, the casting news that Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, Zach Galiafanakis and Jack Black feature in the series looks to be untrue, possibly a ‘spoof’ of some kind.

2. The confirmation of Vince Vaughn, however, like much of his work, is no laughing matter.

3. Although it’s called True Detective, the characters never actually existed, the story is based on Nic Pizzolatto’s brain squirts and the setting of Los Angeles is a fictional kingdom like Narnia. To add to the titular falsehood, there are actually no detectives in the show, just police officers.

4. Rachel McAdams is to play the woman, doing stuff and not just being naked or a whiney wife type as a way of solving some of the accusations of misogyny leveled at the first season. For the men, Colin Farrell has a moustache.

5. Although the new season of True Detective is not a continuation of the first season, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are thought to have cameos to add some extra incomprehensibility.

For more FACTS click HERE.

JACK BLACK AND WILL FERRELL TO MOVE INTO ‘COMEDY’

HOLLYWOOD – In what looks to be one of the strangest career moves in recent years, Jack Black and Will Ferrell are both to move away from darker dramatic roles and try their hands at ‘comedy’.

Jack Black and Will Ferrell have for years created robust CVs of serious and often controversial and challenging dramatic material. In Nacho Libre for instance, Jack Black shone light on the poor and disenfranchised of Mexico and how many are pushed to extremes in order to realise their dreams. Likewise, Will Ferrell in Anchorman produced a film that was described in The New York Times as ‘like Network but without the jokes’.

The move will come as a surprise for their fan who yesterday spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec:

I love Jack Black in Bernie. The darkness in his character was one of the deepest things I’ve seen in years. A performance up there with Robert Mitchum in night of the Hunter. And Will Ferrell has always been a keystone of serious dramatic acting, be it the struggling accountant in Stranger than Fiction, or the real life portrait of President George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s under-rated biopic W. But now to see him what? Gooning about with Jack Black for laughs? I’m not sure it’ll work.

Ferrell and Black however were both keen to stress that the new film was an experiment and they would soon be back to their more familiarly serious roles.

Jack Black told tthe Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

There’s always a danger doing something entirely new and out there. We’ve never done comedy before. We don’t even really know how it works. There’s a chance that people will just laugh at us and if they do, if they don’t get it, then I think both Will and I will return to our day jobs of not making people laugh.

Tag will be released in 2017.

 

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.

NATIONS UNITE TO REMEMBER TROPIC THUNDER

HOLLYWOOD – Today, countries from across the world joined in a minute’s silence to remember the release six years ago of Ben Stiller’s ‘comedy’ Tropic Thunder.

Heads bowed, an eerie silence fell over cities all over the world and even the sound of the traffic died down, as drivers pulled over to the side of the road, some taking the moment to say a short prayer. President Obama led the White House staff in a moment of remembrance in the Rose Garden and told the assembled press that:

This kind of thing, in our day and age, in the memory of our own lifetimes, seems almost impossible to conceive. That so many lives were blighted, so many hopes extinguished, so much pain caused should be a motive for all civilized nations to look at this moment in history, come together and learn some hard lessons so that it will never happen again.

In a rare moment of conciliation, silence was heard in Ukraine and across the Gaza Strip. In Buckingham Palace flags were lowered and across Paris the sipping of wine and the smoking of Gauloises cigarettes was halted for a brief moment.

The last surviving veterans of Tropic Thunder – Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr and Ben Stiller – chose to attend a private ceremony in which a copy of the film was set on fire and a wreath was placed on the site of the first screening of the film. A spokesperson for Stiller read a prepared statement from the actor:

We only wanted to make people laugh with a series of jokes that were supposed to be funny, but something went terribly, terribly wrong.

Meanwhile some survivors groups have criticized the ‘institutionalization of  Tropic Thunder’, claiming that by concentrating so much on one particular event, many other atrocities go unnoticed by the media.

Jenny Billet from Survivors Against Thunder told Studio Exec:

Although it is only right that the media should constantly remind us of Tropic Thunder, that was by no means the only Ben Stiller film to spread horror throughout the world. In the hullabaloo of today it is easy to forget that he was also responsible for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And if anything Tower Heist was even worse than Tropic Thunder.

However, today is not a day of arguments, or dissent. Today is a day of remembrance, grieving and reconciliation. Today is a day that we are united in the mission to make sure something like Tropic Thunder will never happen again.

Tropic Thunder 2: Monsoon in the Rangoon will be released in 2015.

CHARLIE KAUFMAN WRITES CHARLIE KAUFMAN WRITES A MOVIE

HOLLYWOOD – Screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Charlie Kaufman is writing a movie entitled Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie.

The director of Synecdoche New York spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec about his new project:

I am endlessly fascinated by myself and the way when I do something other things happen. I don’t know what it is. I have a mirror placed so I can see myself writing in my room and I often catch myself looking at myself as I write so I began to wonder what if I was writing about myself writing about myself. To help the process of writing, I placed another three mirrors at angles around the room. Now I can see all the different versions of me writing and the reflections of the reflections lead to an infinitude of Charlie Kaufmans.

What will the film be about?

Essentially me writing the movie. At the beginning I’m writing down ideas and getting nowhere and then I notice this mirror and I start thinking about me writing the movie and then I place these other mirrors, like I just told you and… well, you see. It’s really easy once you get started.

Kaufman will direct the movie and has already begun the process of casting.

Initially, I was going to cast John Cusack, but after Synecdoche he’s basically way too expensive for me. Jack Black has expressed an interest and Chris Dowd. But even as we’re going through this process I began to think, ‘You know what, THIS could be the second movie’. We could even have a trilogy. Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie, Charlie Kaufman Casts a Movie and Charlie Kaufman Releases a Movie.

You could do a follow up, Audience Goes and Sees a Charlie Kaufman Movie.

No, that would be stupid.

Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie will be released in 2016.

 

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS AND JACK BLACK TAPPED FOR TRUE DETECTIVE 2

HOLLYWOOD – Rumors have been rife about the casting of HBO’s second season of True Detective, with names such as Vince Vaughn being banded around with what can only be described as gay abandon, but Studio Exec can now confirm that Jack Black and Zach Galifianakis have both been confirmed in lead roles.  Continue reading “ZACH GALIFIANAKIS AND JACK BLACK TAPPED FOR TRUE DETECTIVE 2”

RICHARD LINKLATER PREPS BERNIE 2

AUSTIN – School of Rock and Slackers director Richard Linklater announced that yesterday he is prepping his new film Bernie 2 which will star real life murderer Bernie Tiede subject of Linklater’s 2011 film Bernie.

The director of the Before Sunrise trilogy said:

Though now a documentary, Bernie 2 is an unofficial sequel if you will. I want to show how Bernie is just an ordinary person with a story to tell. He committed a crime and has served his sentence and I want to see how he reinserts himself back into society.

An evidently annoyed Jack Black commented:

This is bullshit. I nailed that character and then they come in with the actual guy…? How am I supposed to compete with that. It’s just bullshit man. [Mimes frustrated guitar solo] Didddley diddley deeeeeeee.

Richard Linklater outlined plans of filming the real Bernie for a number of years and denied reports that Bernie Tiede had actually requested to be taken back to prison.

‘I get more privacy there,’ he allegedly complained. 

Bernie 2 will be released in 2025, 2020 with good behavior.