HOLLYWOOD – Oprah Winfrey to star in Are You Being Served?
Actress, chat show host and producer, Oprah Winfrey joins Tommy Lee Jones and Michael Shannon in the upcoming cinematic remake of popular British sitcom Are You Being Served?
The news came after speculation that Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts had both been vying for the role of Mrs Slocombe only to be beaten at the last minute by the Queen of Daytime TV. Mrs Slocombe – and her notorious pussy (rumors have it that Andy Serkis has tried out for the role) – will join the retail team at the famous Grace Brothers department store. The Butler actress said:
I don’t do many acting roles because I have so many other commitments so I choose them with real care. But when Tommy came along with the script I knew from page one that I was on board. What people don’t know is Tommy is a really funny guy with a great sense of humor. Once he ran over his gardener’s foot with his car, and I swear to God we couldn’t stop laughing. We were still laughing when the ambulance turned up!
Are You Being Served? is due out in 2022.
For more news on the production CLICK HERE.
HOLLYWOOD – Following the success of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, Gary Marshall begins filming on his most ambitious project yet Tax Day.
Gary Marshall has become synonimous with the kind of feel good movie featuring a large starry ensemble based on a national day of celebration. New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and more recently Mother’s Day have all been universally praised for their depth, their good humor and the way it keeps Julia Robert’s kitchen well stocked in the high quality breakfast cereal to which she has grown accustomed. Now he’s back with Tax Day and Marshall turned up to the Studio Exec bungalow this morning armed with the biggest cake you’ve ever seen. (And we know you’ve spent your lives looking at really big cakes):
I’m always looking for a challenge. People sometimes accuse me quite unfairly of being a commercial director who is looking for just big commercial films to plop in a bunch of soon to be B-listers, but that isn’t fair or true. I’m always looking for social realism.I feel very much like Ken Loach or the Dardennes brothers. So for this film I’m going to show what it’s like on April the 18th. The day a group of disparate characters have to submit their tax forms. Is love Tax deductible?
Who is starring in it?
Ever since I floated the project my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipe, Julia Roberts, Cortney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Gabriel Byrne all want to be involved. It’s going to be a feel good movie about filling in tax forms.
Filming is due to begin on location in Panama this week.
Tax Day will be released in 2017.
Production is due to start on September: Osage County, the long awaited sequel to August: Osage County.
Tracy Letts promised todoay that the sequel to his Oscar nominated film August: Osage County wouldn’t be as funny and would be a lot darker.
I’m a huge fan of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and that idea that the second film of any given trilogy should be the darkest of the three has really influenced me in the writing of this second instalment.
The story continues from the month immediately following the first film. The Weston family are still in shock from Beverly Weston’s suicide and the revelations that followed hard on, but they are once more all called back to the family home when it is revealed that Violet Weston (Meryl Streep) has won the state lottery and is set to receive a bonanza payment of $25 million. Her daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts), Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) and Karen (Juliette Lewis) decide to put their differences aside in order to please their mother and in the hopes of receiving some of the money when Violet dies. Violet however has lost none of her charm and decides to test her family to see how far they will go to ‘earn’ their share of the inheritance. The scenes of ritual humiliation and torture which ensue have been variously described as ‘similar to Hostel crossed with Salò by Hollywood insiders who have read the screenplay.
September Osage County will be released in 2016.
OKLAHOMA – Tracy Lett’s August: Osage County starring Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep is already the action movie of 2014, and now Happy Frrrt Toys are bringing out a complete collection of character action figures so you can play along with all the lively family discussions, pill popping and hilarious suicide.
The figures will come complete with angst and family secrets and – in the case of Meryl Streep’s character – a detachable wig!
Happy Frrrt Toys Spokesperson, Clem Beliez explained:
We’ve done a whole series of Sam Shepherd action figures ever since Days of Heaven. The Right Stuff was probably our most popular model, but when we saw an early cut of the film we knew that this would be the film based children’s toy of the season.
Don’t you think it’s a little inappropriate?
What? No. What do you mean inappropriate?
Well, cancer, drug abuse, incest, suicide: they’re not exactly subjects that are appropriate for children to play with.
Star Wars action figures included characters who committed incest, violence, murder, suicide and anti-Semitic robots. I didn’t hear you complaining then.
August: Osage County action figures are available from all good toy shops.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY: REVIEW – The title August: Osage County – adapted from his own stage play by Tracy Letts – comes from what happens when you don’t have a title so you move the first sentence of your pitch up to the title page.
His first draft was called EXT. OKLAHOMA. DAY but everyone thought it was going to be a musical.
It stars Meryl Actress as a woman with mouth cancer – the choice of cancer is ‘symbolic’ – who is dealing with the death of her husband, her pill addiction and the brief return of her scattered family. Playwright Sam Shepherd has a brief moment (talk about Harold Bloom’s ‘anxiety of influence’). Julia Roberts, Juiliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson play her grown daughters. Woozy Meryl is on class form spewing her bitterness and vitriol at all present, until Barbara (Roberts) fresh from a separation with Ewan McGregor (and unaccountably unhappy about it) starts to match her blow for blow. Nothing is ‘melo-‘ here, this is high drama and some of the twists of the plot are just too soapy.
The need for us to recognise everyone’s motivation also becomes a little bit schematic with most characters getting a least one speech to put their actions in proper perspective and elicit unsuspected sympathy. But the performances are top notch, lifting their characters away from Letts’ flirting with cliché. Aside from the star turns, Margo Martindale is great as Meryl’s sister and Chris Cooper – one of my favourite character actors – is the only entirely sympathetic character in the whole piece. And Benedict Cumberbatch sings! (which, by the way, should have been on the poster).
Director John Wells puts in some nice landscape shots and keeps the action moving so that it doesn’t look too much like a play and largely succeeds, the busyness of the plot aside.
EDINBURGH – Celebrations broke out on the street of every major Scottish city and in the glens the wild cry of the women could be heard as the news was announced that the Highlander reboot was to be directed by the second unit effects supervisor of the Snow White film that didn’t star Julia Roberts.
There were many names in the bag including Justin Lin but producers decided (wisely): There Can Be Only One: and that one was Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. He was delighted to have the job, although to prove it he had to pretend that he thought Russell Mulcahy was a great director, ‘one of my heroes’. The story looks set to retread much the same narrative path of the original, which has since inspired its own religion (for more on that click HERE). However, there will be some changes. Nicolas-Troyan clarified:
In the original, a Frenchman played a Scot and a Scot played a Spaniard. So I’m thinking of having Javier Bardem play McCloud, Jean Reno play Ramirez and Russell Crowe play the Kurgan. Of course, none of this is decided. I’m just spit-balling here.
Highlander: There Can Be Only Several is due for release in 2015.
HOLLYWOOD – Robert Downey Jr. returns as everyone’s second favourite millionaire/superhero Iron Man, sadly reduced to organising boxing matches between robots in order to buy a kidney for Julia Roberts who has type 1 diabetes.
However, Iron Man and his trusty sidekick Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) come up against the combined forces of Olympia Dukakis and Dolly Parton, who divide their time between arguing hilariously with Shirley MacLaine and training fighting robots in order to save their financially troubled beauty salon.
Henry Cavill is on hand, basically to show his tits and worry about the fact he can fly.
A witty social commentary on the corrosive effects of capitalism at its most feral and the true value of friendship.
HOLLYWOOD – Brett Ratner announced plans to remake Krzysztof Kieslowski’s prestigious Three Colors Trilogy. The Rush Hour 2 director said he loved the originals and wanted his versions to be thought of as a homage to the genius of the Polish director’s vision.
But whilst admiring the complex themes and often striking cinematography Ratner always thought ‘there was too much reading involved’ so his version is going to be in American. Kieslowski’s triptych of films was based on the colors of the French flag (blue, white and red) and each story was loosely based on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity: the motto of post-revolutionary France. Ratner has already declared that he will reverse the order to red, white and blue, because ‘you know, our flag, red, white and blue thing.’ The original trilogy also features outstanding performances from the actresses Juliet Binoche, Julie Delpy and Irene Jacob.
‘Casting is everything,’ Mr. Ratner said. ‘We have Julia Roberts, Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox already on board.’
The first of the trilogy, Three Colors: Red, will be directed by Brett Ratner, whereas Three Colors: White and Three: Colors Blue will be given to guest director while Brett Ratner takes on an executive producing role.
Brett Ratner’s Three Colors: Red will be released in 2015.
I have an army of crazed fans who stalk me on Twitter. They regard me as a Christlike figure who they worship without question. That’s fine. I mean, I am pretty amazing but I keep getting these private messages asking me if I can send them some tear drops to resurrect their dead pets and many are convinced that my underarm sweat is the only known cure for cancer. I also get requests from women and bizarrely, a few men who want me to send them a vial of my seed so they can impregnate themselves. It’s all a bit much and I’m seriously considering closing my account. You’re a man of the world George, what should I do?
If I had a dollar for every letter I’ve received asking for a jar of my semen I’d be a billionaire. I’m afraid fluid requests just go with the territory and in my experience, I think it’s best to just send them what they want. This can be difficult of course I remember Julia Roberts was inundated with mail asking for a sample of breast milk after her pregnancy. She did her best to accommodate everyone but after a few months she had extremely sore nipples and her own child was suffering from malnourishment. These days I keep a guy on staff who does all that for me and although it’s not really my blood or my spit, the recipient is none the wiser. I mean there must be at least a 1000 women who think they have inseminated themselves with my sperm and that makes them happy. Little do they know the real father of their offspring is an illiterate former abattoir worker from Warsaw.