Welcome to an oversized edition of "The Good, The Bad and the WTF," to make up for last week's absence. This time, we take a look at X-Men updates, a Turtles buyout, David Spade's shamelessness, a Michael Jackson controversy and how Denzel Washington is allegedly the worst person on Earth.
• Talking to Empire mag, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner updates fans on the status of future X-Men projects. Good news for those of you who were pissed off by Wolverine's treatment of Deadpool, because this is what Donner said about the proposed Deadpool movie:
I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane.
Cue collective sighs of relief.
• Here's the first official photo of the new A-Team. I'm not holding my breath for this one, but for now I'm putting it down as good because it doesn't look as atrocious as it could've been. I mean, just look at Liam Neeson's Hannibal. From the photo, it looks like the movie will employ director Joe Carnahan's usual grit-flash visual style.
• As a huge fan of Gil Kenan's wonderful debut Monster House, I was greatly let-down by his mediocre live-action turn City of Ember. So it's terrific news to hear from Variety that he's returning to animation with the Zemeckis-produced mo-cap film Airman. The $150 mil adventure fantasy tells the story of a boy who's framed for the murder of a king and designs a steampunky flying machine in prison to escape and rescue his family.
• Earlier this year at Cannes, Quentin Tarantino lost Best Director to Brilliante Mendoza for his crime film Kinatay. Tarantino wasn't bitter—in fact, he was all too happy to write Mendoza a note of congratulations, which in true QT fashion, features chickenscratch handwriting and "horroble" spelling (and apparently he wrote it upside-down). It's the thought that counts.
Click for bigger size.
• Now here's a superhero sequel worth looking forward to! Takashi Miike has announced that he will be directing a follow-up to his 2004 film Zebraman—probably one of the best superhero movies of the decade. Writer Kankuro Kudo and star Sho Aikawa are also coming back, of course. Zebraman 2 will take place 15 years after the first movie, with Aikawa's character suffering from memory loss and has to learn to once again become the hero Zebraman.
• Damn! I admit I did not see this coming. After being severely underwhelmed by the laughably silly teaser, this new Wolfman trailer really sells the film in a much more exciting fashion. This could just be trailer editing trickery, but screw that for now. This trailer kicks ass.
• The Wall Street Journal has some fantastic photos from Zombiefest in Monroeville Mall earlier this month. The famous mall is indeed the setting of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Check out all the photos here.
• The A.V. Club has a hilarious interview with Bronson Pinchot, where he openly talks about some of the stars he's worked with. Apparently, Tom Cruise was a homophobe and Denzel Washington the most unpleasant human being he's ever encountered. I suggest reading the actual interview, which is humbling and incredibly candid, instead of just select quotes on other sites that are making Pinchot sound like a bitter douche.
• It really seems like The Weinstein Company is doing everything they can to fuck up The Road's release, because after releasing a completely misleading trailer this past summer, they've now released one of the worst movie posters in recent memory. There's nothing good about this poster. Nothing. From the terrible photo to the mishandled fonts to the godawful tagline, this is a massive fail in marketing.
• In that same Empire magazine update, Lauren Shuler Donner says that David Goyer's Magneto spin-off is not likely to happen. Not that I had the highest hopes for this project, but out of all them, a WWII-set Magneto origin movie is certainly the most promising one of the bunch. It's sad that this can't move along but a second Wolverine movie is.
Marvel recently released the miniseries X-Men: Magneto Testament, which is as much, if not more, a story about a Polish family surviving the Holocaust than it is a story about a kid with magnetic powers. It's really good.
• Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind writer Akiva Goldsman is set on directing a movie, based on Mark Helprin's novel Winter's Tale. In related news, Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale is set on becoming a terrible movie.
• When strapped for cash, just exploit your dead friend for a commercial. David Spade has spoken.
Maybe we shouldn't judge. Obviously, Spade doesn't have a movie decent enough to be even be referenced in a commercial, so what other choice did he have?
• Nickelodeon has purchased the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise from The Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment. With the rights, they're going to start a new CG-animated TV show and then partner with Paramount for a new feature film.
What's most surprising about this is the price: only $60 million. That's a lot of money, but doesn't seem to accurately reflect the Turtles' longstanding popularity. The deal also includes merchandising, so Nickelodeon might start raking in action figure money by the boatload if their revivals work out.
• No joke, a Mel Gibson-less Mad Max 4 is officially happening, currently called Fury Road. In this video, director George Miller shows off some of the cars we'll be seeing in the sequel.
• It's no secret that studios often just reverse the genders in romantic comedy premises to get a new movie, but this is beyond stupid. New Line is developing What Boys Want starring Selena Gomez. Yes, the premise is exactly the same as the Mel Gibson movie What Women Want, but with a girl being able to hear men's thoughts.
I know what you're thinking. "Hey, that's a Chapelle's Show sketch!" But given that Gomez is a 17-year-old Disney star, we can bet that the movie will not be as realistic as Chapelle's. Which makes it that much more stupid.
• Curious about how The Descent will continue in the sequel? Here's a clip from the beginning of the film. Yeah, not looking good.
• Ever wonder where Christian Bale got the inspiration to play a rich, handsome madman so spot-on in American Psycho? Director Mary Harron revealed to BlackBook that it was apparently a Tom Cruise appearance on David Letterman. So Christian Bale saw the crazy before Cruise went full-on crazy in 2005.
• Hear the wonders of Klenginem, the rapper who sings Eminem songs in Klingon.
• Mayans and scientists alike can agree on one thing: Roland Emmerich needs to be stopped. NASA astrobiologist David Morrison subtly curses out the movie with this quote on The LA Times.
"Two years ago, I got a question a week about it," said NASA scientist David Morrison, who hosts a website called Ask an Astrobiologist. "Now I'm getting a dozen a day. Two teenagers said they didn't want to see the end of the world so they were thinking of ending their lives."
• According to this interview on io9, Jared and Jerusha Hess reveal that Jared's original idea for Napoleon Dynamite involved Napoleon being an investigator of the extranormal.
Jared: I don't know, it just involved Napoleon researching crop circle crap and weird extraterrestrial —
Jerusha: Paranormal —
Jared: — stuff going down in the farming community. I don't know. It didn't get much further than that. She [Jerusha] stopped it right away.
• Not that Joe Jackson is in any way a credible source of information, but his latest claim is just beyond obscene if it's true—which, I don't know, I don't really want to believe. Both Joe and La Toya Jackson are outraged at the upcoming Michael Jackson concert rehearsal film This Is It, accusing the producers of using body doubles to pad out the film.
• Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove are suing producer Phillipe Martinez (Harsh Times, Van Wilder 2) for $3 million. It looks like back in 2005, Hayden signed on to star in a movie called Crash Bandits, which has never been made and they're now claiming was a bogus movie, according to TMZ. The ridiculous part? Martinez claimed to have a $500 million budget for this movie no one really knew anything about, and the Christensen brothers took that as a trustworthy sign.
• I still don't know what to make of this Black Lightning trailer, because in some ways it looks fun, but in others it looks mindbogglingly dumb. What really tickles me, however, is how perfectly it matches the beats in Spider-Man. They basically just ripped it off and replaced "spider powers" with "flying car."
• In preposterous news, Japanese fishermen are threatening to sue the award-winning documentary The Cove. The film uses hidden cameras to expose the annual slaughter of dolphins in the Japanese town of Taiji. The film has caused an uproar there, and now in the wake of its Japanese premiere last week, a Taiji fishing cooperative has said that they will be looking for factual errors and take legal actions if necessary. They also say that they won't stop hunting dolphins.