Today in showbiz news: This planned Archie Comics movie is troubling, Denzel Washington gets back into action, and Justin Timberlake is a college student?
Word came this afternoon that Warner Bros. has signed a deal with Archie Comics to make a live-action movie based on the adventures of Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang. Like, actors. Playing Archie. And Betty. And Veronica and Midge and Dilton and Mr. Weatherbee and Chuck and Nancy and maybe Kevin Keller at this point and Veronica's mother who is sometimes dead and sometimes not dead it seems like? I just don't know that this is a great idea. It's going to look very weird! And they're probably going to try to make it all modern and snarky in a way that even the most current comics aren't. (Because they're for children and other decent people.) I'm something of an Archie aficionado, I amassed well over 300 as a kid, and this just seems verrryyy dubious. I mean, who could even play Archie? No one's hair is actually that red, so they'll have to die it and it will look cartoony, and not in a good way. And what will it be about? Most Archie stories take like three minutes to read. How are they going to stretch it into an hour and a half, at least? I just really think they should scrap this idea. You hear me, Warner Bros? Don't do this bad thing. Though, that said, this is a pretty good idea. [Deadline]
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Denzel Washington is going to protect another young lady. As Deadline points out, he's done it in Man On Fire and The Book of Eli before, gone on a violent mission with a girl in his care, and now he'll be doing it once more in Shovel Ready. It's a futuristic thriller about a world where everyone is checked out, plugged into a "virtual fantasy world" instead of interacting with real life. Washington is a hitman sent to kill an evangelist's daughter but, of course, he winds up becoming her savior instead. OK, sure, fine. That's fine. Denzel Washington likes to do these types of movies, and why should we begrudge him that. The heart wants what it wants. He just did a nice bit of acting in Flight, so we can let him go do one of these crazy action things he enjoys so much, what's the harm. Have at it, Denzy. Weird fact: Adam Sternbergh of The New York Times wrote the upcoming book that the movie will be based on. Huh. [Deadline]
Meanwhile, Washington's Flight costar Melissa Leo has been cast in director/writer/kid from Snow Day Mark Webber's next film. It's a drama about marriage called The Ever After. (Get it? As in the Drew Barrymore movie? I think it's about the making of the Drew Barrymore movie.) In it, Leo will play "a mystical individual who has a profound impact on Webber and [Teresa] Palmer’s character’s [sic] relationship." So, that's great. I mean any movie in which Melissa Leo plays a "mystical individual" has got to be good, right? Will support, will see. [Deadline]
FX has canceled Russell Brand's talk show Brand X. That's... That's... I don't know what that is. On the one hand Russell Brand's comedy can be deeply, deeply annoying and that was not a good show, but on the other, in interviews and in writing he seems very smart and personable. Why must you be two people, Russell Brand? Be either annoying or oddly charming! I can't decide which one to believe in, and I have to believe in one. Maybe FX will make the choice for me. They're going to do a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style show with Brand instead, so maybe that will be good and smart and I will like him. But then again he did the bad show too. I've seen the bad show. I know he did it. So... See, once again I am stymied. Utterly stymied by Russell Brand. [The Hollywood Reporter]
The first trailer for the fall thriller Runner, Runner has been released, and inexplicably it stars Justin Timberlake, a 32-year-old man, as a broke Princeton student who gets involved with illegal gambling and other bad things. Why? Why is Justin Timberlake, ten years older than most college seniors are when they graduate, playing this part? It is not like Justin Timberlake is some amazing actor who was the only man for the job. He's Justin Timberlake! He's a showman, a song-and-dance guy, a light actor. He's not necessary for this movie. And yet, here he is. Ah well. It looks like kind of a silly movie anyway, and the trailer features too-serious music and one scene of Ben Affleck feeding a man to a crocodile. So. Whatever. Justin Timberlake as a college kid. Fine. Stranger things have happened, I guess. I still don't get it though.