Popcorn: Zac Efton in the mix for Manga movie
It's still at the rumour stage, but a number of sources are claiming that Zac Efron has been offered
the lead in Akira. Based on a Japanese Manga comic and animated film, Akira tells the story of a young man in a futuristic city who,
following a motorbike accident, goes through grotesque changes.
This could be a nice role for Efron to broaden his audience, and, judging by Me and Orson Welles, he has the acting chops too.
The epic film was initially supposed to be made by Irish animator/filmmaker Ruairi Robinson, but now it's in the hands of the Hughes Brothers (Menace II Society, The Book of Eli).
Jessica Alba vs Scriptwriters
Remember that episode in Friends when Joey pretended he improvised his dialogue in Days of Our Lives? Apparently Jessica Alba (right) doesn't. In a new interview with Elle magazine, the actress said: "Good actors never use the script unless it's amazingly writing. All the good actors I've worked with, they all say whatever they want to say."
This has rubbed a number of screenwriters up the wrong way, including John August (Go,
Big Fish) who wrote an open letter to Alba on his blog: "Scripts aren't just dialogue," he said. "Screenplays reflect the entire movie in written form, including those moments when you don't speak. Do you know the real reason we hold table readings in pre-production?
So the actors will read the entire script at least once."
Valentine's Day spin-off gets classy cast and Ashton Kutcher
Following the huge success of the romantic comedy Valentine's Day, Garry Marshall is gathering another all-star cast for another ensemble film, New Year's Eve. Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and Ashton Kutcher are all in talks to appear in the film, which will centre on the love lives of numerous intertwining strangers in New York on the last day of the year. Will Kutcher reprise his Valentine's Day role as a love-sick florist? We wait with baited breath...
Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall to star in Shadow Dancer
Nice news all round here: Good old Guy Pearce and rising star Rebecca Hall will star in espionage thriller Shadow Dancers for director James Marsh.
Variety reports that the story follows "a young woman, a former IRA terrorist turned informer for Blighty's MI5. Her brothers are both heavily involved with the IRA and her husband was killed by Brit security forces".
Hmm, it's an interesting premise, the script has a fabulous reputation and Marsh did a good job on the Red Riding trilogy and Man on Wire.
Zombieland writers working on Cowboy Ninja Viking
It may sound more like a goofy Halloween costume than a movie pitch, but Disney have hired Zombieland's screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to work on Cowboy Ninja Viking.
The film, based on a comic, will feature Duncan, a split-personality, genetically modified soldier with character traits of (you're way ahead of me) a cowboy, a ninja and a viking. I still can't decide whether this is the best or worst film idea ever.
Le French Film Fest returns to le IFI
Oh la la! The IFI's annual French Film Festival has a nice line-up as usual. Likely highlights should be ribald comedy The Name of Love, road movie Mammuth (starring Gérard Depardieu) and a tribute screening of Claude Chabrol's The Butcher. The guestlist includes Jean Becker, Michel Leclerc and, strangely, John Boorman, who's the subject of a documentary that will be shown.
The event will take place from November 18-28 and tickets are available from the IFI box office.