Sony’s Columbia Pictures has decided to scrap Spider-Man 4, scheduled for 2011,after more than two years of pre-production. Instead, the studio will reboot the series entirely, jettisoning director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire. “Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Says the company’s statement, “[Columbia and Marvel Studios] are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.”
This isn’t the first time an action franchise has wiped the slate clean, but it usually happens years after a flop like Batman & Robin or Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. But Spider-Man 3 made almost $900 million worldwide less than three years ago. So what happened?
While Raimi is polite in the studio’s press release (“While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction”) it’s known he was clashing with the studio over the planned sequel’s cast—he wanted to use winged criminal The Vulture (think John Malkovich), they wanted sexy seductress The Black Cat (think Anne Hathaway). Raimi had been averse to using Venom in Spidey 3, and while the film was a hit, some fans didn’t appreciate Raimi’s love of dance sequences and old-timey melodrama. Since Maguire, Raimi and co-star Kirsten Dunst were an all-for-one/one-for-all team, Sony must have decided they’d be better off without them. Following the massive success of Avatar, some are even speculating James Cameron (who campaigned for the franchise before Raimi got the nod) may take over to bring the character into 3D. Truth is, they might need a director that exciting to make up for this bad buzz.
The most acclaimed movie of 2009 is also the best action movie in years. A bomb disposal unit cleaning explosives off the Baghdad streets gets a new colonel. He’s brilliant and dangerous, jeopardizing his team to save others. Is this the kind of person we need in our armed forces? Director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break) never lectures. She’s too busy pulling off suspense sequences that will keep audiences up late at night. The film has already garnered Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, and SAG nods. Look for Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie to score Oscar noms later this month. Essential.
Extras: Commentary with Bigelow and scriptwriter Mark Boal. A featurette which looks at filming in Jordan.
While Natalie Portman‘s been overlooked for a Critics’ Choice or Golden Globe nom, her performance in Brothers was nothing less than what we’ve come to expect from the absurdly talented 28 year old. The gorgeous low-profile actress has starred in an astounding amount of acclaimed films given her age, including Closer, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, V For Vendetta, and Garden State. Take our Ultimate Quiz and see how well you know the silver screen stunner. Plus, see a red carpet timeline of Natalie Portman’s fashion choices.
When the Academy unveiled its shortlist of 15 nominees for Best Documentary in November, it seemed shocking that “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” which VH1 acquired, didn’t make the cut. After all, it was on Top 10 lists by most major publications and was arguably one of year’s most-loved movies. (See the New Yorker’s “Anvil!” review: “Suffice it to say that the emotion that swept the cinema, at the climax, seemed unanimous, binding, and true: pretty much all that we ask of a movie …”)
After winning Favorite R&B Artist, she told reporters why she was a wee bit wobbly the night before. Mariah claimed she and Precious director Lee Daniels hadn’t seen each other in a while and were celebrating their film’s success. She stated, “I love Lee, but he’s a bad influence.” [Source: MTV; Photo: Getty Images]
Last night, Eli Roth, “Bear Jew” of Critics’ Choice-nominatedInglourious Basterds and the writer/director behind the Hostel series, tweeted quite the real-life nightmare. While kayaking off the coast of Mexico, his kayak suddenly sank, stranding him about a mile off shore. He was forced to climb deadly sea urchin-covered rocks to an island, and when a wave knocked him over, he was stung over 200 times. Lucky to be alive, he was rescued by a fisherman.
Drunk tourists harassed him upon his arrival back to the beach, while he was covered in blood and in dire need of medical attention. Finally, he was brought to a hospital and forced to endure getting all 200 pins removed, without anesthetics due to swelling. TMZ obtained a disturbing photo of his mauled foot.
Roth plans to hobble to the People’s Choice Awards tonight. A trooper to say the least. [Photo: Weinstein Co.]
His entire horrific tale - via Twitter - after the jump.
Voters for future film awards will think twice about praising Mariah Carey‘s performance in Precious after seeing her acceptance speech at the Palm Springs Film Festival, except those who hope to see her embarrass herself all over again. Stepping on stage to accept Breakthrough Actress with director Lee Daniels—was he there to prop her up?—the superstar danced a little before pausing, sighing and announcing “Please forgive me, because I’m a little bit, um…” Following an unkind suggestion from the audience, she nodded “Yeah…”
Rambling on about the film, the book Push and meeting Lifetime Achievement Award winner Helen Mirren (coincidentally cast for Carey’s role in Precious before dropping out), Carey began applauding, dropped a finger snap and admitted she could be “difficult.” Several minutes—and attempts to applaud her off–later, she thanked the audience for “listening to her little spiel” and departed. Said Sean Penn later in the night, “Think anything’s going to make YouTube tonight?” Uh…yeah.
Actor Kevin Bacon, star of such iconic movies as Footloose, A Few Good Men, and Frost/Nixon, will be honored at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards as the recipient of the Joel Siegel Award. Meryl Streep, his co-star in The River Wild, is set to present him with the award.
Check out the official press release under the jump, and visit the CCMA’s website and Tweet Tracker for the latest news on the show, which airs on VH1 on January 15th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Here come the Swingers and Wedding Crashers jokes! Vince Vaughn married girlfriend Kyla Weber at a private ceremony in Chicago last Saturday. “They could not be happier,” an insider told People. This is Vaughn and Weber’s first marriage, though the Four Christmases star was previously attached to Joey Lauren Adams and, most notoriously, Jennifer Aniston after her split with Brad Pitt (Vaughn had co-starred with Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Vaughn proposed to Weber in February of last year.