Kurt Russell and Quentin Tarantino Continue Their Cinematic Love Affair
Last week Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming slavery spaghetti western Django Unchained suffered a bit of a setback when Kevin Costner dropped out of a key role as a sadistic plantation manager who enjoys torturing slaves. It was surprising that Costner ever accepted the role, but not so surprising that he dropped. After all, the character doesn’t exactly seem to mesh with his clean-cut, all-American boy image. (Which is exactly what would have made him terrifying in the role, but whatcha gonna do? Kevin likes being the good guy.)
The decision put Tarantino in a bit of a pickle as he now faced the challenge of filling a major role with only a few weeks to go before production. However, it only took a few days for Tarantino to fill his racist plantation owner slot — Kurt Russell will now take on the role.
This is the second time that Russell has stepped in at the last moment to replace a major role in a Tarantino movie. Quentin had initially written the role of Stuntman Mike in Death Proof for Mickey Rourke, who dropped out at the last second. Apparently the Kill Bill director has Russell on speed dial for whenever he needs a last minute replacement. Fortunately good ol’ Kurt is an underrated actor who will probably be even better in the role than the occasionally wooden Costner. Lord knows he made a memorable character out of arguably Tarantino’s weakest script in Death Proof, so if he has a little more to chew on this time, he should be even better.
The director now has his full team of old timey racists ready to go with Leonardo DiCaprio already lined up to play a Southern gentleman who runs a slave brothel. That means the director has two pretty boy movie stars signed on to play his disgusting villains. Something about that seems so wrong that it’s right. I can’t wait to see the delightfully offensive results.
Chris Nolan to Direct a Twilight Zone Movie?
Here’s a weird one for y’all. Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company has quietly been working away on bringing another Twilight Zone movie to the big screen. Given that Rod Serling’s classic, twist-driven morality spook show continues to draw in new fans decades after airing on television, we were going to get another movie eventually.
There is a Twilight Zone movie out there from the '80s that’s pretty good, but its legacy is sadly marred by a few tragic deaths during shooting and a terrible sentimental Spielberg short. So, there is a gap to be filled by a good Twilight Zone movie on DVD shelves and though the source material is so good that this project should be approached with a healthy amount of skepticism, the list of potential directors for the project was released this week and if they land one of these names, it could be a pretty decent flick.
Warner Brothers apparently has their list of potential directors boiled down to five names and we’re looking at some pretty big A-list talent. The names in question are Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, duh!), Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men), Michael Bay (Transformers and other crap), David Yates (the last four Harry Potter movies), and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of The Planet of The Apes). If the job goes to Michael Bay, you can write off this movie entirely.
However, the other four choices are directors capable of balancing pulpy entertainment with intelligent storytelling and could do something special with the material. Nolan and Cuaron in particular would be inspired choices, but they are both filmmakers who tend to develop their own material, so they are probably long shots. The job will probably go to either Yates or Wyatt, two filmmakers who have already proven they know how to service an established franchise well. I’d imagine an official director will be announced in a few weeks, so stay tuned. God willing Michael Bay won’t be allowed anywhere near it. The last thing the world needs is a Twilight Zone movie with gratuitous ass- and car-ogling.
Charlie Kaufman Plans a Musical
Finally, it appears that Hollywood’s most talented and bizarre screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) has a new project ready to go. In his typically unpredictable fashion the film will see Kaufman taking his cerebral, hilarious, and surreal style to the musical.
The new movie will be a musical satire about a blogger undermining a filmmaker and will serve as Kaufman’s second outing as a director following the immensely complex, but unexpectedly moving, Synecdoche, New York. So far Kaufman has lined up a cast that includes Jack Black, Steve Carell, Nicolas Cage, and Kevin Kline in dual roles.
It’s impossible to know what the screenwriter has planned for the movie, but I think it’s safe to assume this will be unlike any other movie out there that Kaufman wasn’t involved in. Start getting excited now. No one has the ability to make audiences feel thrilled by the fact they are deeply confused like the great Charlie Kaufman.