Morning 5: Gosling's Directorial Debut, Malick Cuts Weisz, Keaton in 'RoboCop' and More

Michael Keaton1.) As if director Jose Padilha wasn't already frustrated enough with the progress of his RoboCop remake, he also lost a key cast member last week when Hugh Laurie stepped away from the project. Fortunately, Michael Keaton was available and he quickly jumped aboard to replace him. Keaton takes on the role of Raymond Sellers, the evil CEO of Omnicorp, the company that builds RoboCop. [Deadline]

2.) While Alan Rickman is set to play President Ronald Reagan as one of several presidential portrayals in Lee Daniels' The Butler, Michael Douglas has signed on to play the 40th U.S. President in another, more Reagan-centric, picture. The film is Reykjavic, which tracks the 1986 summit between Reagan and USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland. As with seemingly every other project these days, the film was once another potential Ridley Scott directing vehicle, so he'll once again stick around to produce the $10 million indie through Scott Free for new director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco). [THR]

Ryan Gosling3.) Ryan Gosling will make his directorial debut with his Drive co-star Christina Hendricks set to play the lead role. The film is a modern day fairy tale called How to Catch a Monster. Hendricks will play a single mother of two, swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. I have to say, I was expecting something closer to Half Nelson or Blue Valentine when I read "Ryan Gosling directorial debut," but I'm quite excited for this. [/Film]

4.) In typical Terrence Malick fashion, several big-name actors saw their work completely excised from the final cut of his new film To The Wonder. Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet all filmed supporting roles for the film, but none of them will appear on the big screen when it premieres at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday. I suppose it says a lot about the community's respect for Malick that quality actors still line up to work with him, even knowing these risks exist as Malick continues to rewrite and reshape his films in the editing room. You might remember Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortenson and Mickey Rourke were just a few of the actors who delivered performances that were left off the final cut of The Thin Red Line. [Deadline]

5.) I'll leave you with this cool new Bob Dylan music video. It's noteworthy because it features a cameo from Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Zero Dark Thirty) and was directed by his brother Nash Edgerton, who directed the excellent Australian neo noir a few years ago. It also borrows a lot from Chaplin's City Lights. [The Guardian]

  • GregDinskisk

    Hah I didn't hear the plot synopsis for How to Catch a Monster before now... that seems very un-Ryan Goslingy, but that may be a good thing! Very excited for that!

  • Yaz

    Keaton is gonna kill it. Can't wait.

    • Akd

      That Robocop movie has got disaster written all over it. I can't imagine the number of people that had to turn down the role before it ended up on Hugh Laurie's desk and for him to walk away from it is saying a lot. I don't mean to say that Hugh Laurie is a bad actor or anything, just that there are a lot more bankable stars out there and I'm sure plenty got the call but all of them turned it down after reading the script and seeing who else was attached.

      • Yaz

        I agree completely with what you're saying. But Keaton is usually tolerable and tends to make the most of his minutes. I think there's still potential for him to come out looking good, regardless of how the film stands.

  • Margaret Thatcher’s purse

    I guess Weisz is Malick's latest victim. I personally find that habit of his unprofessional and disrespectful. But then again seasoned actors keep working with him even though they are fully aware of his editing inclinations. They knew what they were getting into, so hey! You take your chances when you work with Malick. I noticed he cast a multitude of starlets in his latest production ( Palmer, Pinto, Portoman etc) and they all seem to be playing different variations of Bale's love interest. Smart man Malick. Cutting them out (most of them anyways) will be hassle-free.

    OT but I found these stunning clips of Anna Karenina.

    I especially love the last one. Keira Knightley seems to have delivered a career-defining performance. What do think Bret? Most importantly, what are your thoughts on Anna Karenina's chances? It opens in the UK in about a week.

  • Mikey

    Hoe to Catch a Monster sounds very intriguing. I wonder if Gosling will take a supporting role or if he'll stay behind the camera.

  • Bren

    Is there a version of The Thin Red Line that exists with those cut performances? Would like to see them

    • Kevin Blumeyer

      The longer version of the film that he test screened was never actually released. I guess it was something like 5 hours long and had Adrien Brody's character as the lead. The focus obviously switched to Jim Caviezel's character after he edited it. But Criterion included a few deleted scenes on their DVD release, including a scene with Mickey Rourke. You can find that on youtube rather easily.