1.) The most interesting trade news as of late is word Warner Bros. has acquired the Mickey Spillane series of mystery novels featuring private investigator Mike Hammer. I personally have only seen one previous Hammer adaptation, that being Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly, which I really enjoyed and even started my Criterion review saying, "If 75% of movies were like Robert Aldrich's Kiss Me Deadly I could watch one a day and never get bored." Of course, that is the big wonder, how much will WB's adaptations be like Aldrich's film? A noir crime thriller as fun as it is hard-nosed and serious.
Apparently the hope is to build a new action franchise surrounding the Hammer character, which is said to have inspired Ian Fleming's James Bond as well as Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Stacy Keach starred in a late '90s television series as Hammer and he's been seen in a few feature adaptations. As far as this new attempt at the character is concerned, it would be nice to see something a little different from this one and hopefully they don't go out to some wanna be tough guy director such as John Moore, and maybe give someone like Joe Carnahan a chance at this character. [Deadline]
2.) Werner Herzog is set to direct the feature adaptation of D.B.C. Pierre's novel "Vernon God Little," with a screenplay from Andrew Birkin ("Name of the Rose," "The Cement Garden"). The story is described as a coming-of-age story set in Texas about a teenager caught up in the aftermath of a high-school shooting committed by his best friend. [Variety]
3.) According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Colbert will make a cameo appearance in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy though there is no word on which character he'll be playing. It is confirmed, however, it would be in the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, so no need to keep your eye's peeled just yet.
The rumors began after Colbert gave an interview with Playboy and noted he visited the New Zealand set of the film saying:
I did. [Director] Peter Jackson invited me to the set last year. I flew out and watched them shoot some scenes and went to some locations. I saw a 25-minute cut, and it was amazing. Jackson knows I'm a big fan of the films.
When asked if he had a role in the film he smiled and deflected. [Playboy]
4.) Fanboys went bonkers recently when word came out that one of the leads in Transformers 4 just might be a girl (oh boy, what is that?). The rumor was that the new female lead "is a high school senior and her boyfriend a Texas racing driver."
Now an audition listing from Acting Auditions seems to confirm the report with the following details:
The female lead role is an 18 year old or above who can play high school senior age, and the male lead is an early twenties Texas race car driver who plays the female lead's boyfriend. Shooting will take place in various locations beginning in April or May of 2013.
I really don't know what the news is here since Megan Fox was pretty much always at the center of the first two Transformers films even though Shia LaBeouf was technically the lead. If Michael Bay has shown us anything, however, he'll find some young actress, put her in next to nothing, spray a little water on her and ask her to bend over provocatively while she fixes a car.
Transformers 4 doesn't arrive until June 27, 2014. [Acting Auditions]
5.) RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists hits theaters on November 2 and I am hoping they screen it for critics as I would like to see what the kung-fu obsessed rapper-turned-actor-turned-screenwriter/director has for us. One thing is for certain, Universal is running a bang-up marketing campaign and they continue today with an animated, three-minute prequel. The short gives you an introduction to RZA's character in the film, Blacksmith, on his way to China on a Dutch trading vessel. [FirstShowing]