Morning Must-Read: Ben Affleck Out of 'Justice League,' Sony Brings 'ALF' Back, and Pixar Teases Next 'Toy Story' Short
The Dukes of Hazzard. Starsky & Hutch. The Brady Bunch. ALF?
Yes, it appears that Hollywood’s desire to remake every television show from our past as a contemporary feature-length film finally has extended to ALF, the alien life form (voiced by series creator Paul Fusco) who crash lands in the garage of a nondescript suburban family.
The wise-cracking puppet entertained primetime audiences for four seasons from 1986-90. Now Sony Pictures Animation is exploring the possibility of a modern ALF movie, with Smurfs producer Jordan Kerner leading the charge, according to THR. No writer or director has been attached to the project, though the trade does say that Fusco is expected to return to voice the title character.
Hide your cats.
Superhero Bits: Warner Bros. made a big splash when it was revealed that the studio was interested in Argo and The Town director Ben Affleck for its planned Justice League of America movie. WB has a great relationship with Affleck, and the former star actor has established himself as a talented filmmaker with a gift for guiding large ensembles through complicated plots.
But the JLA love affair didn’t last very long. Deadline’s Mike Fleming is claiming that Affleck’s reps shot that rumor down days ago, claiming the actor-director “might take a meeting, but that’s it.” Fleming did float another name in Harry Potter helmer David Yates, but quickly points out that the director is “now keen on Tarzan,” so it’s unlikely he’d ditch it for Justice League. So maybe Affleck is wooed by Warner to helm JLA, but cracks in the surface of this story already are starting to form. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, over on Warner’s other major superhero project, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises continues to roll at the box office. As of Tuesday, Rises had pushed its worldwide cume to $741.7 million, making it the second-highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office. It sits ahead of Ice Age: Continental Drift (with $731.1M) but behind Joss Whedon’s mighty The Avengers (with $1.4 billion worldwide). It’s unlikely Nolan’s third Batman film will surpass Whedon’s superhero adventure, but I doubt the execs at Warner are crying in their Bat soup.
Comings and Goings: Shia LaBeouf hasn’t played a superhero (not yet, anyway), but he might play a sex addict in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, according to THR. The Melancholia director is planning a two-film exploration of an older woman’s erotic past. He so far has lured past collaborators Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard. There’s no word on who LaBeouf might play in the film, but the former Transformers star certainly is interested, so we’ll see how that plays out.
While LaBeouf is looking to join a production, Jason Sudeikis might be eyeing the exit. In a profile, The L.A. Times suggests that after nine years at Saturday Night Live, Sudeikis might want out if he can’t angle for more responsibility on the show.
"I'd like the opportunity to use creative muscles that ... haven't been asked of me for the first nine years that I've worked there," Sudeikis said. "It could be some sort of title change. The least of the concerns is anything financial. I'm not buying a boat because of writing skits. It's more having a desire to give more to a place I really believe in. To stay just for the juice of being in the public eye -- of being Mitt Romney -- is not enough."
We’re entering an election season, and Sudeikis does a mean Mitt. But his movie career’s also on the rise. The Horrible Bosses star plays Will Ferrell’s campaign manager in the upcoming comedy The Campaign. He’s also currently filming We’re the Millers with Jennifer Aniston. Fellow SNL vet Tina Fey won an Emmy for memorably impersonating VP candidate Sarah Palin during the last presidential election. But the tease of that trophy might not be enough to keep Sudeikis at the late-night comedy fixture. We’ll see.
Tim Robbins hasn’t directed a feature-length film since 1999’s Cradle Will Rock, though THR says he’s looking to get back in the game by helming City of Lies. The plot would be adapted from Arthur Phillips’ short story Wenceslas Square, a story about spies who fall in love while on separate missions in Prague.
Image Gallery: Need an additional reason to see Pixar’s Finding Nemo 3D when it opens on Sept. 14? Well, there will be yet another Toy Story short attached to the print. Partysaurus Rex features everyone’s favorite dinosaur during bath time with Bonnie, and voice actor Wallace Shawn says he’ll finally be able to let his hair down. “He’s sick of being the angel of goodness and sensibleness and caution and fear. He wants to stand on the side of pleasure and happiness and joy,” Shawn said. “I live this drama every day of my life!”
EW.com has two First Look images from the new Pixar short, which we’re sharing above (and below):
Finally, the official Tumblr page for Rian Johnson’s anticipated sci-fi thriller Looper has a few outstanding fan-art posters for the time-travel drama. Bookmark that site, and check it often as you wait for the film to open in theaters on Sept. 28.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.