By Jason Apuzzo. • I was not aware until recently that Universal’s huge, $200 million adaptation of Hasbro’s Battleship (directed by Peter Berg and starring Rihanna) is also going to be an alien invasion movie. Wow. Apparently in this one an international fleet comes together to fight a water-bound alien armada from Pandora … or, excuse me, from outer space. In any case, there’s some casting news about the film today, plus industry pundits are beginning to wonder about the film’s cost – particularly given the tendency toward overruns on films shot at sea. We’ll see.
In related news, James Cameron says he’ll be shooting a good deal of the next Avatar underwater, and will otherwise be depicting Pandora’s wild oceanlife in the next film. Word also comes that the Avatar re-release in theaters will include an extra 9 minutes of footage … but that the subsequent DVD release will actually include about 17 new minutes. So he’s really milking this one to death. Plus, there will indeed be some kind of soft-core alien sex scene in the re-release, which might be the moment at which the Cameron truly jumps the shark – so to speak – in peddling this project.
Final sci-fi news today: a new interview with Daniel Craig in which he talks about the future of the Bond series … and we also learn that his current project Cowboys & Aliens is apparently being treated by everybody involved as the first of a two-parter. Jon Favreau is starting to own some very hot franchises, there.
• While we’re on the subject of underwater madness … Piranha 3D has a delightfully campy new poster out (see right), plus word comes now that there will be no pre-screenings of the film for critics. Hooray! Now they won’t be able to ‘protect’ us from actually having some fun.
Is this poster now giving us the subtext to this film? [Note the piranhas in the murky distance, gaping at the topless female.] Does this somehow mean that fanboys themselves are really just ugly little piranhas, needing be stopped?
I’m looking forward to this film more and more. By the way, I’m officially allowed to speculate about Piranha 3D having a ’subtext’ because its director is French.
• From Piranhas … to bunnies. Warner Brothers is apparently gearing up for a live action/CG Bugs Bunny movie. Don’t blow this … please! Bugs is really one of my favorites from the Warner Brothers stable. In his own way, he’s as iconic as Bogart.
• Several months ago, actor Neal McDonough was sacked – one might say – from the ABC series Scoundrels because he’s apparently a devout Catholic and wouldn’t do racy sex scenes. Now comes word today that the busy actor has more than landed on his feet, suddenly toplining a Starz series called Vigilante Priest! The series will apparently be about “an ex-cop turned priest who is cleaning up the streets of Los Angeles one sinner at a time.” Hilarious revenge. Good for him.
• Miley Cyrus wants implants. Here we go. [Prediction: she'll be a redhead and dating Adrian Grenier within 6 months.] In related news, the great Brigitte Bardot is hopping angry about plans for a new American biopic about her (apparently to star Jaime King). There’s no evidence that the film will be a hit-job – she just doesn’t want it done, chiefly because she’s “not dead.” She should be happy if she doesn’t get the treatment Maggie Thatcher is getting. Or Mark Zuckerberg.
• AND IN TODAY’S MOST IMPORTANT NEWS … now that she’s done shooting The Beaver - which stars Mel Gibson “as a man who overcomes his depression by speaking through a beaver hand puppet” – Jennifer Lawrence will soon be playing a doomed Southern belle in Lie Down in Darkness, based on the William Styron novel. I think the hand puppets are squirrels in that one.
And that’s what’s happening today in the wonderful world of Hollywood …
Posted on August 13th, 2010 at 11:35am.