MICKEY ROURKE IN RAGING BULL SEQUEL

HOLLYWOOD – The first pictures from the long awaited Raging Bull 2: The Moscow Tour have hit the internet, showing Mickey Rourke in action in the ring.

A sequel to the Robert de Niro/Martin Scorsese classic Raging Bull, the picture sees Jake La Motta (Mickey Rourke) travelling to Russia to fight a series of exhibition bouts and in the process foil a plot by the Russian Mafia to start World War 3.

Director Darren Aronofsky reuniting with Rourke following their success with The Wrestler spoke to The Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

We thought this version was going to be a much lighter piece than we did before. But at the same time I have a lot of respect for Scorsese’s original, especially Paul Schrader’s screenplay. Truly magnificent. He really made it real. So in a way will I. We’ve got Mickey actually touring Russia now and fighting real bouts. We’re stealing a lot of footage from this and we’re going to incorporate it into the film. As much as I like the original I think you’ll find RB2: The Moscow Tour will improve on it.

How so?

Well, for starters it’s in color. I haven’t got a clue what Scorsese was thinking about, but black and white? What a stupid idea!

But Pi, your debut film was in black and white.

Shut up. And Mickey Rourke as an actor is much better than Robert de Niro. In the way that Hugh Jackman is vastly superior to Brad Pitt.

Okay.

And as a writer I’m better than Mr. Schrader. Though I do respect him. But everything can be improved upon. And yes, that includes the Bible.

Raging Bull 2: The Moscow Years will be released in 2016.

DR. STRANGELOVE THE DIRECTOR’S CUT TO BE RELEASED

HOLLYWOOD – Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War masterpiece Dr. Stangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) is to be re-released in a new version which will include the famous custard pie fight ending, cut from the original theatrical release.

The Kubrick Estate said that the film has been painstakingly pieced together and digitally remastered.

A spokesperson told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

This has been the work of several years and has taken experts from all over the world, including the participation of famous directors and fans of Stanley like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.

How can you be sure that this is the version Kubrick wanted the world to see?

A lot of people think of Stanley Kubrick now as the master manipulator, the man who controlled every aspect of his film’s production., The answer however is a little more prosaic. Often Stanley was in two minds about a creative decision and if he could have I believed he would have released both versions of the film. Look at The Shining which he dramatically edited when the longer version didn’t play well. So now we have the opportunity of showing the film with the custard pie scene intact, I think he would be pleased with the idea. Plus he liked making money as well.

What other changes are there?

Peter Sellers played the part of the pilot Major ‘King’ Kong until an accident meant he had to give up the extra role. However we have some footage of him doing some of the early scenes and Stanley also recorded his line reading of the whole script so we’ve put back those scenes and we’ve CGIed Peter Seller’s head onto Slim Pickens’ body for the scenes he didn’t do. So now we have Sellers as Mandrake, the President, Dr. Strangelove and Maj. Kong.

Anything else?

Yes. Kanye West has recorded a completely new soundtrack, supervised by Nicolas Refn Winding.

Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) will be released on Blu-ray on Friday and will be in a limited theatrical release across the country.

 

 

ZAC EFRON TO STAR IN TAXI DRIVER REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – High School Musical star Zac Efron is set to star as Travis Bickle in a remake of Martin Scorsese’s classic film Taxi Driver.

The talented 26 year old Bad Neighbors star told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY that he had been preparing for the role his whole career:

Robert de Niro in that film is the reason I became an actor. I’ve done my bes tover the years to try and breakout of the squeaky clean image and do something truly challenging. Now that I see de Niro isn’t really that interested in acting anymore, I’ve decided to go back through his career and remake his movies for a new younger audience.

Taxi Driver will mark Seth Rogen’s directorial debut.

‘If the film is a success and I truly believe it will be,’ said Rogen. ‘Then we’re also going to make Raging Bull and The Mission, all starring Zac who is mad keen on getting some respect.’

Robert de Niro, who is set to star opposite Zac Efron in new ‘comedy’ Dirty Grandpa, expressed his delight at the idea.

I look back on what me and Marty did in 1976 and I’m very proud, but it was 1976 and we didn’t have the CGI or the likes of Ben Stiller, so how good can it be, right? When Zac suggested he remake it today I was all for it. I’m sure he’ll knock me off the screen and maybe he can do a couple of songs as well. ‘Are you talking to me?’ would make a great solo number I believe.

Taxi Driver will be released in 2017.

GRUDGE MATCH PUSHES DE NIRO’S CAREER OVER GOOD/CRAP EQUINOX

NEW YORK – With the release of Grudge MatchRobert De Niro will have made 90 films and will also have definitively passed the good crap equinox of his career with 43 great films and 47 films you wish he hadn’t made.

Committed De Niro watcher Jammy LePlush emerges from a cloud of menthol cigarette smoke to jab a finger at me: ‘It began some say with The Fan, some even point at We’re No Angels or Jack Knife but for me it was Rocky and Bullwinkle, that was the tipping point.’

Two fellows actors who have a lot to do with De Niro’s decline in status from the dangerous actor who was willing to push himself to any limit to produce a marvelous performance to the sleepwalking self-parody of today are Ben Stiller and Billy Crystal, who encouraged De Niro to appear in their ‘comedies’. Jammy adds another name: 

Leonardo diCaprio. Once he caught Marty Scorsese’s eye, that was it.  De Niro was out. You think of the last great performance De Niro gave: Casino back in 1995. Ever since then it’s been a mixture of m’eh and goddam awful.

 Also starring Sylvester Stallone, Grudge Match manages the almost unique feat of actually going back to one of De Niro’s finest films Raging Bull and taking a long curly steaming turd on top of it.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: REVIEW

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: REVIEW – Jay Gatsby hangs out with that fat f*ck from Superbad and show what it’d be like if Hunter S. Thompson had been a c*cksucker of a millionaire stockbroker. The ensuing mayhem makes for one of the most f*cked up and entertaining 3 hour epics about financial misdealings since … well f*cking ever. 

After American Hustle and David O. Russell doing a Scorsese, it’s like Scorsese has gone ‘Oh Yeah? Really!? This is Scorsese motherf*cker!’ Telling the true story of Jordan Belfort and written by Mad Men creator Terrence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street stands beside Scorsese’s earlier gangland dramas as the white collar crime end of a trilogy. If Goodfellas and Casino have darker tones, this latest chapter shows the criminal American Dream tragedy playing out as a hilarious hopeless farce. 

Leonardo DiCaprio lets rip – channeling a young Jack Nicholson – in a performance of Gargantuan proportions, and for once the Rabelaisian adjective is truly fitting. This is dark excess fueled satire and DiCaprio’s first person narrator is a fitting companion to Henry Hill, with shades of Alex deLarge and Patrick Bateman to boot. Scorsese/Winter/DiCaprio are careful never to temper the material nor moralize to the audience. This has led stupidly to claims the film is immoral. F*ck no. Belfort is selling us his story all the way through the film and the fact he’s so good at it is essential to us understanding how dangerous he is and how complicit we are as a society.  

Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler and Matthew McConaughey are all fantastic and Rob Reiner robs blind ever scene he’s in as Jordan’s temperamental father (compare and contrast with sanctimonious Martin Sheen in Wall Street). The music is spot on and Scorsese keeps the story moving at his frenetic best, but be warned, this is a pitiless portrait of cynicism taken on his own terms. If you don’t have your wits about you, he’ll sell you the dream and take you for everything you’ve f*cking got.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE: REVIEW

BOARDWALK EMPIRE: REVIEW – I started watching HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire when it premièred and I’m now struggling to finish the 3rd season. Everything boded well. Martin Scorsese and Terrence Winter, Tim Van Patten, a great cast: Michaels Pitt, Shannon and Kenneth Williams, Stephen Graham, Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald. Sumptuous sets, high production values, the wonderful prohibition period of Once Upon a Time in America, whisky colored interiors and the manic rhythms of jazz. I started fast forwarding the show halfway through the second season.

What was wrong with it? Well, first off when a show boasts about how much it cost to reconstruct something you can bet that the show runners will try to get their money’s worth out of the furniture. I got bored of the magnificent establishing shots which never ever looked like a real place any more than Rome ever looked like Rome. Then there was the central casting of a brilliant bit player. Buscemi is a lot of things, but a romantic lead? No. He has no heft, no weight and no charisma. His bow-legged trot away from camera during the title sequence sets the tone. He looks like a someone you could knock over with a feather.

All the hallmarks of HBO productions now look like hallmarks: the sexposition, the OTT violence, the glossy production values that now get in front of the story. I began fast forwarding Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret Shroeder. Hard to think of a less interesting character lumbered with butt-aching story lines, none of which seem attached to the character as such. From tea-totalling to women’s health issues via a slap of catholic hypocrisy and making jollies with an ex-IRA terrorist, her hair sometimes changes but her pursed lips expression and her obnoxious children remain resistant to any temptation to like her.

But it wasn’t only her. The writers had effectively painted Michael Shannon’s glowering G-Man into one of the most uninteresting corners imaginable. When he turns up at the beginning of season 3 selling irons, you know it won’t be long before someone ends up wearing one as a facial piercing. Everything is telegraphed from a distance, which is at least consistent with the period. The villain obviously villainous; the innocent victims lined up to be despatched. This is the show that makes Al Capone a dull little man.

Anyway, it’s almost over and I shall stop occasionally to find out what happens. Hopefully, I won’t have to see many more naked beauties draped over Mr. Buscemi’s thankfully dressed form. And if you think I’ve been unkind, I’d like to point out, I’ve not used the word Sopranos once. Well, twice.    

ADAM SANDLER AND FRANK CORACI: TOGETHER AGAIN

HOLLYWOOD – Celebrations were announced throughout Hollywood and in Pakistan, Israel, New Zealand, Ecuador and Boston, public holidays were declared. The reason? Frank ‘the new Kubrick’ Coraci and Adam Sandler were together again.

The dream team who brought us the depth of The Waterboy, the Nolan-like mind games of Click and the terrifying meditation on aging to rival only Haneke The Wedding Singer were back together again.

A source close to the inspirational font declared:

Frank has been really down since Here Comes the Boom  missed out on the Oscar nominations it had been widely tipped to receive. But he got together with Adam and, after the usual jokes about Frank’s Chariots of the Gods beard, they started thrashing out ideas and it wasn’t long before that peculiar magic began to work.

New York Times critic, Abelard Haverland wrote in an in-depth profile of the pair:

One thinks of the great director / actor pairings, when a peculiar symbiosis creates masterpieces; one thinks of Scorsese and De Niro; Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart; Woody Allen and Woody Allen. Now we add to that Coraci and Sandler.

The plot outline remains necessarily vague – as with every Coraci film, the maestro shrouds each project in complete secrecy. However, we do know a blind date is involved and will go disastrously wrong, but the mismatched couple will be stuck together probably because they’ve been mistaken for witnesses in the trial of a mob boss or something.

‘This is the audacity Frank has,’ said Haverland. ‘Most people will look at that plot line and think that’s been done a thousand times. It’s a cliche with absolutely nothing surprising to offer. I can close my eyes and see the whole goddam movie. But Frank thinks no you can’t. And he makes it anyway.’

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS ASKS FOR NINE TO BE DELETED

DUBLIN – In a bid to repair his reputation, Abraham Lincoln impersonator Daniel Day-Lewis has requested that all remaining negatives, DVDs, blu-rays and digital copies of Nine be gathered together and destroyed.

‘It’s very simple,’ said Dana Cook, once famous as half of Wayne’s World but now Daniel Day-Lewis’ bag man and PR agent. ‘Daniel has a nearly flawless career, with masterpiece after masterpiece. My Beautiful Launderette, Last of the Mohicans, My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father and even smaller films like The Ballad of Jack and Rose or The Boxer and then there’s a large film-shaped turd like Nine.’

Day-Lewis has also allegedly approached Martin Scorsese about recutting Gangs of New York. Dana Cook agrees:

Yes we did have a conversation with Marty. Daniel was very pleased with the work he did on that picture as Bill the Butcher, he really felt he created the character, but unfortunately there’s that great big ass, Cameron Diaz, gallumphing about the film and utterly ruining it. Dan felt snip, snip and the film… nay the world would be a better place.

According to Cook, Scorsese is seriously considering a new Director’s Cut of the film for release in 2014.

XAVIER POULIS: DIRECTORS WEAR HATS

Many people think that directing is all about under standing the text of the script, having an individual visual style and motivating actors. All that’s bullshit. It’s about wearing the right hat. Proceed resident Swiss Cinema Expert and millinery muffin, Xavier Poulis:
Charlie Chaplin always directed films in his favourite hat which was loaned to Alfred Hitchcock, or Hitch – as he preferred to be known – while directing The Birds, to huge acclaim.  


 Marty Scorsese never wears hats these days and spends thousands of dollar a year on his wiry locks, but in the free and easy days of the seventies and under the influence of Roger Corman, Martin wore this little man from Delmonte number.

Steven Spielberg has no money and so often has to resort to advertising his own films on the top of his head and just above his petulant face. Look at how bitter he is. An angry disappointed man, what in Switzerland we would call a ‘man’. 

Howdy there! Mr David Lynch, no Eraserhead he! But rather a full on Stetson that the crazy squirrel sandwich eater sports with a happy go lucky grin as he prepares go ape shit at a ho-down. Yeee-Ha!

What a Maverick! When he’s not busy criticizing films he hasn’t actually seen, Spike Lee rocks in this erm… What the fuck is that? To forsake his usual baseball cap for this is bizarre get up is truly the act of a rebel but on the other hand, well, it is very, very funny. Go for it, Spike! Just for once, Do the Wrong Thing!

And finally Kathryn Bigelow shows that it isn’t only the boys who can have fun. One night in Baghdad and no head gear to hand, the Bourne-like Bigelow steals into a local carpet shop and Voilà! No Muslim need feel offended at her Western decadence! And let the torture commence!

HERE COMES THE BOOM: OSCAR SNUBBED!

‘What an asshole!’

Today’s announcements of the 85th Oscar nominations were greeted by shrieks of horror and disgust, soon followed by fist fights in the foyer and communal vomiting up and down the street as word passed from ear to ear. Even Seth MacFarlane looked shaken and he made a film with Mark ‘s’not my fault people think I can act’ Wahlberg. Emma Stone shifted uncomfortably in a ‘dress’ as each category was read out and the truth became nakedly, brutally, violently clear: Kevin James had not been nominated as best actor, Frank Coraci (who Ebert dubbed ‘the American Tarkovsky’) received no nod in the best director category and Here Comes the Boom was not even mentioned as Best Picture.
 Martin Scorsese was seen rushing from the building his face in his hands. An obviously shocked Woody Allen whispered, ‘This cannot be! This cannot be!’ Meanwhile, Richard Gere launched into an attack of the Academy including their decision to nominate Amour. ‘It’s not even in American,’ shrieked Richard ‘the Hamster’ Gere.

Studio Exec had broken the news that Coraci’s genre busting comedy was in with a chance (READ HERE)
but it was as if the academy thought it was some kind of joke. In fact, when we telephoned the offices of the Academy to inquire about why Here Comes the Boom missed out, they used those exact words. The only person who appeared unmoved was Adam Sandler who phoned Kevin James to offer his condolences and sympathy but couldn’t stop laughing long enough to get the words out.

More Oscar news as we get it, or follow us @studioexec1

TOM HANKS IS THE NEW SHAFT


HOLLYWOOD – With the gossip grapevine buzzing with news that James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has met Idris Elba to discuss him taking on the role of 007. Tom Hanks has confirmed he has signed on to play Detective John Shaft in Rob Marshall’s upcoming Shaft in Baghdad.


We caught up with Hanks in his crib to ask him about taking on such an iconic role.

Mr Hanks. This will be your first time working with Rob Marshall. How is it going so far.?

Sheeeet,man, that honkey mus’ be messin’ my old lady got to be runnin’ col’ upside down his head!

Indeed. So what do you say to people who think you are too white to play an intrinsically black Icon?

Hey Holms, I can dig it! You know I ain’t gonna lay no mo’ big rap upon you man!


Shaft in Baghdad will be the first release by ‘Color Blind’ pictures. A liberal and progressive production company founded by Matt Damon and Spike Lee who have a raft of projects lined up. These include Robin Hoodwith Denzel Washington. Andrew Garfield is to take on the role of Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Chow Yun-Fat will play Superman’s father Jor-El in the upcoming Justice Leaguefilm.

Damon himself is rumored to be circling the role of Bruce Lee in Scorsese’s One Inch Punch. An upcoming biopic of the legendary martial arts star.

Shaft in Baghdad will be released in 2015.


CRITERION TO RELEASE SPICE WORLD BLU RAY

NEW YORK – The Criterion Collection are proud to announce the release of a Special Edition Blu-Ray of Spice World: The Movie. A pristine new transfer has been accomplished to bring out the colors of this amazing pop crossover comedy/musical/political satire and the soundtrack has been completely digitally remastered to reveal in their full glory songs such as Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life.

The Criterion Edition will also reinstate the infamous Gary Glitter deleted scene in which Gary – ‘the leader of the gang’ –  falls in love with Baby Spice. Also included is a newly recorded commentary by Slavoj Zizek and Camille Palgia in which the two intellectuals embarrass themselves gushing over who is their favorite Spice.
A three hour documentary by Errol Morris Zig-A-Zig-Ah is also included, charting the socio-historical significance of  the group through a series of talking head interviews with Norman Mailer, Martin Scorsese and Helmut Kohl.

FREE ALAN PARKER

LONDON – A new campaign has started to liberate Alan Parker, the British film maker behind such hits as Angel Heart and Midnight Express, who has been held under house arrest since his atrocious The Life of David Gale was released in 2003.

Lisa Bonet joined other celebrities at an event in the K-Mart car park near Venice Beach where protesters sacrificed chickens and danced about in a way that by-standers called ‘disturbing’ and ‘irrelevant’.
However, though the Bugsy Malone director has many supporters, not everyone believes Mr. Parker should be freed.
‘The Life of David Gale was pretty bad and before that Angela’s Ashes, sheesh,’ butted in Martin Scorsese. ‘Then Pink Floyd The Wall and Fame [makes being sick noises].’

Despite Scorsese’s hatred of Parker, others have rallied to his defence, including Dennis Quaid who appeared in Come See the Paradise and Nicholas Cage who had an early role in Birdy back when he was still acting.

THE LIFE OF PIE: THE FRAY BENTOS STORY











Legend has it that in 1977 during a five day cocaine and whiskey fueled session. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro discussed the possibility of bringing the story of De Niro’s idol, Fray Bentos, to the big screen.

Paul Schrader was hired to write a first draft and after six weeks he delivered the script to Scorsese who claimed it had the potential to be ” The Citizen Kane of baked dish movies”.


Unfortunately during one of his many fights with his then girlfriend Liza Minelli, the script was destroyed and after Schrader informed Scorsese that was the only copy in existence, the project was abandoned.


Cut to 2003 and Schrader found another copy of the script in the basement whilst looking for his old freebasing equipment.

” I can’t remember writing it” said Schrader. ” The 70’s are a bit of a blank. I vaguely recall writing a slapstick comedy called Taxi Driver but they tell me Marty cut out all the funny scenes.”

With the script rediscovered Scorsese was keen to pick up where he left off but Schrader refused.

” That Wop motherfucker might have fucking fucked me once but there ain’t no fucking way he’s going to fucking fuck me twice ”

Schrader offered the script to Micheal Bay who passed claiming it wasn’t ‘High octane’ enough and after it passed through the hands of most of the directors in Hollywood. It eventually landed on the desk of Ang Lee.

” I loved it” said a misty eyed Ang

” On the surface it’s a simple story about the rise and fall of a Pie Maker but when I removed the puff pastry crust and sifted through the processed meat. I discovered generous chunks of metaphors in a rich spiritual gravy”.

Lee worked with Schrader to adapt the script for a modern audience and utilize 3D technology.

” Paul was very generous. I showed him some storyboards of how we would use 3D to highlight some of the major events in Fray’s life such as the discovery of his famous chicken and mushroom filling, the affair with Goldie Hawn and his ill fated exhibition match with Bruce Lee.”

Ang was worried the Bentos family would object to some scenes. Particularly those that portray Fray’s descent into drug abuse and sadomasochism but after showing them a private screening, they gave the movie their blessing.

” The Bentos family gave me a box of Steak and Ale as a thank you present. I’ve been eating like a king for the last two weeks!. Unfortunately I’ve had to cut down as my doctor informed me my cholesterol level is off the scale but as soon as I sort that out. I’ll be hitting those pies with a vengeance”

Ang Lee’s the ‘Life of Pie: The Fray Bentos Story’ is due for release in December 2012