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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Adventures In Casting: I Think of Dakota Fanning as a Young Queen Latifah


- There are two rules for romance in the James Bond universe. First, debonair Bond always gets the girl. Second, the actress who plays that girl is always a gorgeous, sultry ice goddess you've never heard of. The rules hold true for next fall's Bond 22, where the object of James' affection will be Olga Kurylenko, a Ukrainian beauty familiar to the roughly 14 people who saw the flop thriller Hitman and the indie collection Paris, je t'aime. She plays Camille, who will nurse Bond's emotional wounds (among other things).

- No sooner do we learn that Nicole Kidman is preggers (by country music hubbie Keith Urban...guess she wasn't the reason Tom Cruise couldn't conceive!) than she drops out of Stephen Daldry's Germanic period drama, The Reader. But not to fear: Kate Winslet will pick up the slack, jumping into the already-underway shoot opposite Ralph Fiennes. (Kate was the original choice of the filmmakers, but when she turned the role down due to scheduling conflicts with her upcoming Revolutionary Road in 2007, they offered it to Kidman...who in turn got delayed on Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia. Now Kate's available, and all is right with the world.)

- Sci-fi fans know there are few true classics of the genre, and even fewer that haven't already become movies. But there's finally some movement on one of the great unproduced works: William Gibson's Neuromancer, the gripping 1984 novel that, among other things, includes the first use of the term "cyberspace" ever. Hayden Christensen is being pursued for the lead...but we're pretending we never heard that, and are staying excited anyway.

- Anytime Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford team up, it's exciting, right? Sure it is. Even when the project is a sleep-inducing Lincoln biopic, and Ford signs on to play 19th-century Vice President Andrew Johnson. Bonus points if you remember high school history class enough to know who Johnson was.

- The Secret Life of Bees, which began filming yesterday, has to be the buddy picture we're all waiting for. Just picture it: Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson. As traveling buddies. HAH! And they're on the run from their "harsh upbringing." HAH! And they are taught (I shit you not) beekeeping by Queen Latifah and Alicia Keys. HAH HAH! The only part of this that doesn't sound craptastically wonderful (or marvelously hellatious) is Paul Bettany (Master and Commander), who plays Fanning's erstwhile father. Sorry, Paul. They can't all be winners.


- Not much to report this week. Studio 60's Bradley Whitford will join vaunted legit actor Mark Rylance in the Broadway incarnation of the just-closed British sex farce Boeing, Boeing later this spring...if they can find a theatre to move into before the Tony deadline. Off-Broadway at Primary Stages, Tony winner Joanna Gleason (Into The Woods) is headlining a new play. Perhaps the best news of the week is in Washington, D.C., where Tony nominee Hunter Foster (Urinetown) will be passing through in March to star in a revival of Kiss of the Spider Woman.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew Johnson is the one on the $20 bill right. lol... no?

1/10/08, 10:30 AM  
Blogger ZenDenizen said...

Re: Dakota - the transition years to obscurity are always hilarious.

1/10/08, 10:43 AM  
Blogger TP said...

Hooray for gorgeous, sultry ice goddesses you've never heard of! That's one of the best things about Bond girls, IMHO (and one reason I never really cared for Halle Barry in that role).

1/10/08, 12:30 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Well, I loved the book, and so far the casting really does seem perfect (except the Fanning-bot...but then, who the hell else is there out there who's about that age that ISN'T insufferable?) EXCEPT for Paul Bettany. Sorry, but this is a Woody Harrelson or Josh Lucas role.

1/12/08, 1:56 PM  

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