It feels like this month has been riddled with moviemakers waking themselves up from the stupor of the post-Christmas movie dump and scrambling to come up with better movies that can be dumped unceremoniously into these slots next year. Some of those people will cast their movies carefully, and succeed. Most of those people will fail; here, we make note of their first mistakes!
• Ian McShane is in final talks to play Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In unrelated news, the movie has preemptively been rated triple-R for language.
If cast, he’ll be working alongside Penelope Cruz, playing a fellow pirate who racks up pirate-award nominations despite not being very good at pirating.
• Captain America casting continues apace. Jensen Ackles and Garrett Hedlund are still the frontrunners to play the hero, but Marvel’s been looking at every chiseled jaw in Hollywood. (And John Krasinski.) IGN has the mugshots of all the men who might soon be ruining your memories of the Captain. Check and see if your favorite lesser-evil is in the running!
• Frieda Pinto is set to play Greek priestess Phaedra in War of the Gods, a movie that’s not at all reminiscent of upcoming movie Clash of the Titans. The epic adventure, from the producers of 300, will follow heroic mortals who become involved in a war between the gods and must pit themselves against immortals in a battle that is nothing like the Clash of the Titans.
• Angelina Jolie has pulled out of the sequel to Wanted, and without her, the studio has decided the movie will not be made. (That’s good!) Instead, Alfonso Cuarón has cast her in Gravity, a sci-fi drama in which “Jolie would be alone on-screen for much of the movie” (that’s bad!).
• This one’s too good not to mention, even though it’s no surprise: franchise-flypaper Vin Diesel has confirmed his participation in Riddick, another in the Pitch Black series. Writer-director David Twohy promises that this outing will hew closer to the style of Pitch Black than to The Chronicles of Riddick, and will not feature that movie’s worldbuilding. Somewhere, Dame Judi Dench is reading this and sighing, “But I’m a +10 Actress. Why not me?”
• In movie mistakes of a different kind, Summit is trying to negotiate for Breaking Dawn to be released in 3D. Because if there’s one thing this franchise was missing, it’s a more tactile version of Edward tearing through dead Bella’s stomach to rip out their half-vampire baby after it snaps Bella’s spine in half trying to claw its way out of her womb. (Don’t look at me; that’s literally what happens. I just report the news.)
• And, lest we become complacent and forget the horrors we’ve experienced in the theatres so far this winter, Joe Johnston has bravely begun to speak about the trainwreck that was The Wolfman. If you want to know how a classic-horror remake full of talented actors turned into a two-hour effects test with some circular dialogue in the middle, this will be illuminating.
• A possible bright spot on the late-winter movie horizon is dark comedy Defendor, starring Woody Harrelson as a (homemade) costumed crime-fighter who spends his evenings looking for a supervillain who may or may not exist. It sounds like a promising examination of the every psychology of a superhero (Sandra Oh as his shrink is probably awesome, since she’s Sandra Oh), and the film has gotten solid reviews, so of course it’s only out in LA. The rest of us can enjoy the trailer.
Genevieve just cannot believe Penelope Cruz still gets work. She nerds out about movies and their casts on her blog.