Thursday, July 31, 2008

Keanu Reeves Stars In Cowboy Bebop?

Cowboy Bebop movie rumors are nothing new. We’ve heard for years now that Hollywood is making a live action version of the popular anime cartoon. Nothing ever happens with it. The latest round of Bebop rumors seem a little more solid though. Last month word started circulating around that 20th Century Fox was finally making it happen, and now the guys over at claim to know who is starring in it.

Their source tells them that Keanu Reeves is attached to play the lead in the Cowboy Bebop movie, as a character named Spike. What’s more he’s been attached to the project for more than 8 months. That’s either good or bad, depending on how you look at it. I tend to look at it as bad, since normally a studio who is serious about making a movie like this would run right out and announce a big casting score like that. Fox meanwhile, still hasn’t even officially announced that they’re making the movie, much less that they have Keanu Reeves starring in it.

Don’t know what the hell this Cowboy Bebop thing is? Well that’s because it’s anime and you’re into things like, oh I don’t know, movies about three-dimensional people with a normal eye to face ratio. Me too, so rather than trying to bumble my way through an explanation, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “In the year 2071 AD, the crew of the spaceship Bebop travel the solar system trying to apprehend bounties. Nation-states have collapsed, and various races and peoples live throughout the solar system. In the slang of the era, "Cowboys" are bounty hunters. Most episodes revolve around a specific bounty, but the show often shares its focus with the pasts each of the four main characters and of more general past events, which are revealed and brought together as the series progresses.”

Hey I like outer space! But I hate anime. Worlds… colliding.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Look: Eagle Eye

Earlier this week, got the chance to travel to Amblin Entertainment, where producers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman and director D.J. Caruso showed us the first 30 minutes of Eagle Eye and answered questions about the Paramount/DreamWorks thriller, opening in theaters on September 26.

In Eagle Eye, Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed. Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton co-star.

The nail bitting thriller starts off with Michael Chiklis at the Pentagon trying to determine the idenity of a terrorist the U.S. has been tracking. The President gave him the green light to attack, but Chiklis is apprehensive because there is only a 51% probability that the man is who they think it is.

We then see Shia LaBeouf Jerry playing poker with a couple of his friends --well, more like scamming them out of their money. We soon learn that his lovable and charming character works at the Copy Cabana and isn't too financially stable. He dropped out of Stanford because he just didn't want to go anymore and struggles to pay rent. He doesn't have money in his account, which isn't the case for long.

As he deposits a check, his account, which had insufficient funds before, now mysteriously has $751,000. The ATM begins spitting money at him and he's so freaked out by what's happenning. As he runs back to his apartment, he pays his landlord the rent was behind on and she tells him she had to go inside his place to help with the boxes. Of course he has no idea what she's talking about, so she opens the door and he sees dozens of boxes which contain weapons and bomb-making materials.

He's freaking out when he gets a phone call from an unknown number. A woman tells him he has 30 seconds to get out of the apartment because the FBI are on the way. He's on the verge of a breakdown and begins asking the woman what is going on. She calmly tells him he now only has 24 seconds and he has to get out.

He refuses to listen and the FBI break through a window and tackle him to the ground. He's arrested and interrogated by Billy Bob Thorton, who believes he's a terrorist based on the evidence found in his apartment. LaBeouf has no idea as to why he's being set up, but nobody believes him.

Meanwhile, Michelle Monaghan is out having drinks with a couple of girlfriends. She is a single mom and her son has just left for band camp. She gets a call and thinks it's her son. She goes outside the bar to hear him better and it's the same woman who called LaBeouf. She tells her to look up at a digital sign and Monaghan sees a video of her son.

The woman asks what she's willing to do to save her son. She's told if she doesn't do what she is told, the train her son is on will be derailed and he'll be killed. She's told to steal a car and drive to a location. Little does she know she's about to pick up Shia's character who has been busted out of jail.

When the two meet, she thinks he's responsible for this and begins hitting him. He tells her he got the same call and then the woman's voice is heard commanding them what to do next.

Billy Bob is mad as hell at Shia's character for escaping and has called for every police unit in the city to track him down. With the police pursuing them, an intense and fast paced car chase unfolds which is one of the best we've seen in awhile.

Darren Aronofsky Confirmed For Robocop

Putting to end weeks of online rumour, it's been confirmed today that Darren Aronofsky will direct a new installment in the Robocop series, with David Self (Road To Perdition) writing the script.

There are no suggestions of what the plot might be, but the wording of MGM's press release suggests that this won't be a remake of the 1987 movie about a crime fighter who is part man and part machine – "and all cop" – but "a new installment". There are whispers that it will take place in modern day, but those whispers aren't coming from any mouth that we can consider 100% reliable.

So, what do you reckon, is Aronofsky the right guy to bring Robocop back to the streets? Do you want to see Robocop back?

Sherlock Holmes Update

Last summer, Empire was lucky enough to visit our favourite London building – the Battersea Power Station – where Guy Ritchie was overseeing his latest film, Rocknrolla. During interviews on set, Ritchie and his producer, Joel Silver, hinted that they were working on something pretty special.

Fast-forward a couple of months and it became clear that that they weren’t kidding, with the announcement that Ritchie was set to direct a big-screen version of Sherlock Holmes, with Silver producing and Robert Downey Jr. starring as Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant master detective.

But details have been scarce on the ground, so we jumped at the chance to quiz Ritchie and Silver about the movie when they were doing the rounds earlier today at Comic-Con. First, Silver confirmed that Sherlock Holmes, and not the rumoured Dirty Dozen remake, had been the special project he had hinted at last year.

“We had talked about it then,” he admitted. “We wanted to work together on a number of things but this came together very quickly. Robert Downey said he wanted to do it and we start shooting in October!”

Although the film is based on a forthcoming comic book series by Lionel Wigram, Ritchie was adamant that his Holmes will be more faithful than most people might expect.

“To a degree, we’re being as authentic as we can to the original books,” he told Empire. “He [Holmes] was more of an action man originally and I didn’t think it was possible to manifest in an efficient way previously in the productions they have. Now we have money and we have the technology so it seems like we should put it to the test. It was just a natural fit.”

Brideshead Revisited Trailer Online

As you'd imagine, it all looks terribly classy and British and boasts a stellar cast of UK talent, including Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Ben Whishaw and Michael Gambon. Based on Evelyn Waugh's classic novel, the story tells of Charles Ryder, a man who goes to stay at the grand Brideshead Castle during World War II and enters into a tangled relationship with the family that lives there.

First Look At Rose McGowan As Red Sonja

Robert Rodriguez and Rose McGowan will be promoting their remake of lady warrior curio Red Sonja, which will be produced by the former and star the latter, at ComicCon, but two posters for the film have already turned up. One is very eye-catching and quite stylish, while the other is extremely odd and makes McGowan look like she's had the misfortune to suffer a stroke at exactly the same time that her hair takes on a life of its own and tries to devour her. We're not entirely sure her boobs, which are racing toward her chin, aren't complicit in the attack too. It's all most unfortunate and enough to put her off her snack of blood.

Witness The Terror Of The Twilight Panel

This isn't really news about the Twilight panel at Comic-Con, which happened yesterday, but something that has to be seen to be believed. Unusually for a Comic-Con event, the hall was filled with young women desperate for a glimpse of the stars of the adaptation of the first book in Stephenie Meyer's teenage vampire series.

The poor cast try to answer questions, but their puny male larynxes are powerless against 10,000 lungs powered by teenage lust. Oestrogen is LOUD!

Wolverine Unveiled

ne of the biggest surprises today at Comic Con came at the end of the Fox panel when, unscheduled, a very special guest appeared. Coming straight from filming in Australia, Hugh Jackman leapt onstage to introduce the first footage from Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Needless to say the crowd went absolutely mental.

What was shown was a sizzle reel of footage that will likely form the basis of the first trailer. Action-packed isn’t even the word for it and several scenes, including appearances from other well known mutant characters, drew forth a storm of applause.

The footage begins with Jackman’s Logan and Liev Schreiber’s Victor Creed (aka Sabertooth) huddled in a prison cell in army fatigues (Creed’s fingernails are noticeably claw-like). Danny Huston’s William Stryker stands before them.
Stryker: “You were sentenced to death for decapitating a senior officer. Your sentence was carried out by a firing squad at 10:00 hours. How did that go?”
Cut to the two tied to stakes and a squad of soldiers opening fire.
Cut back to the cell.
Logan: “It tickled.”
Logan and Creed are seen escaping, followed by a shot of Logan silhouetted by a huge explosion as he walks towards the camera.
Stryker: “My name is Major William Stryker. Tired of denying your true nature?”
Creed: “What do you care?”
Stryker: “Oh I care. I care because I know how valuable you are. I’m putting together a special team. With special privileges. So tell me, how would you like to really serve your country?”

As this is said a variety of images flash across the screen, including Logan with bone claws, an acrobatic Taylor Kitsch as Gambit with his staff glowing at both ends, Silverfox, The Blob and a very brief shot of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool – although he looked more like a normal Ryan Reynolds in a red t-shirt than the masked/scarred Deadpool of the comics.

Cut to: Images of the adamantium injection tank from X2.
Creed: “We didn’t sign up for this.”
Creed: “Who do you think you are?”
Creed: “This is what we do.”
Stryker: “Become the animal.”
Stryker: “Embrace the other side.”

Cut to: a series of images of Logan undergoing the Weapon X experimentation, being submerged in the tank and having adamantium bonded to his skeleton. We see an x-ray image of the metal going into his skull. His claws pop out – now metal-coated – and he springs from the tank in a classic Weapon X look with the adamantium injection spikes still protruding from his body. He attacks everyone around him.

Unidentified Voice: “We’re making him indestructible.”
Cut to: Logan as a boy, bone claws extended.
From there the action heats up with Wolverine clashing several times with Sabertooth in some impressive action sequences (Creed flies through the air, claws first, in one). There are also more images of The Blob and Gambit. Logan in a jeep, which explodes, flinging him into the air where he latches onto the front of a helicopter with his claws.

Cut to: a close up of Logan facing off against Sabertooth
Logan: “I’m gonna cut your god damn head off. See if that works”
He pops his claws.

Jackman went on to say that they’ve just wrapped so nothing’s finished yet but he did say that fans can expect a large amount of “berserker rage” from the film and thanked geeks everywhere, without whom he “wouldn’t have a career.” He also singled out Wolverine creator Len Wein (who happened to be sitting next to Empire) for a very special thanks.

Now, whatever misgivings fans may hold over the film, there’s no denying they saw an impressive sequence, and if the rest of the film is as good as what was shown today then Wolverine may turn out to be a worthy X-sequel after all.

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