Rumours

The Italian Job goes Bollywood

File this under Rumour for now. According to The Register, who found the story at The Sun, The Indian Film Company is planning to remake The Italian Job and will be spicing up the cinematic mix with “lots of singing and dancing”.

The company secured the remake rights last year and are planning to replace the Minis with Indian vehicles while taking elements from both the 1968 original and the dire 2003 version.

Does this mean that we will find out how the Tata Peoples Car compares to the Mini as a getaway vehicle?

Toxic

Its bad enough that Quentin Tarantino is talking about remaking Russ Meyers Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! but the Daily Telegraph (via) is claiming that Britney Spears has accepted the role of Varla.

If this is true, then the apocalypse is not just nigh, its already happened. And before you ask, yes we are all going to hell in a handcart.

Has Robert Rodriguez given up on the Barbarella remake?

IO9 thinks so. Rodriguez remake of Barbarella has been on and off again but, back in April, Rose McGowan – who was slated to star (or not) – was saying that the film was on and in pre-production.

Now, however, we have the news that Robert Rodriguez is to direct Rose McGowan in a remake of Red Sonja, expected to be released in 2010. According to a USA Today article, McGowan came to Rodriguez with a script about the scrappy warrior who vows never to sleep with a man until hes bested her in combat. He became excited by the script, but she was surprised to be offered the role.

When they first came to me with it, I thought it was funny, says the actress, 34. I do have a body made for sitting on a veranda with mint juleps and a parasol. I dont know why I always have to save the planet.

Rodriguez considers her a perfect fit as the mighty, and mighty voluptuous, avenger. Rose is a pistol. Shes whip-smart, has attitude to burn, is sexy, extremely strong, yet has a vulnerable side that would surprise her closest friends. That description also fits Red Sonja.

So where does that leave the Barbarella remake? Filming on Red Sonja is due to start in October and – according to IO9 – it turns out that McGowan and Rodriguez were already pitching another script for her to star in as of last month — a women in prison TV drama called Women in Chains. On top of this, Rodriguez is also directing Shorts, a family comedy.

So it sounds very much like they have already given up on Barbarella, even if they havent admitted it yet. I cant say Im too unhappy.

Time for a remake thats worth seeing?

Twitch has been following the career of Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo for well, for a very long time. Most recently they have been getting excited about the prospect of an English-language remake if Vigalondos 2007 SF film, Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes).

A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences

Suddenly things have become very interesting indeed with the news that David Cronenberg is in the running to direct the remake. Nothing is anywhere near being signed yet, but a Cronenbergian take of time travel disasters would be spectacular.

In the meantime, check out Vigalondos Oscar nominated short 7:35 In The Morning.

Barbarella back on?

Back in May of last year, Robert Rodriguez became the latest director to be attached to the much discussed remake of Barbarella. In August news emerged that he had shot some test footage with Rose McGowan and much discussion ensued across the interrumournet about how well McGowan would fill the fur bikini.

Two months later it was all off. Rodriguez, it appeared, wanted to make a Rose McGowan blockbuster and Universal refused.

Now, apparently, not only is the film back on, but it was never off in the first place. Rose McGowan has told MTV (via) that the rumours of the death of the film were greatly exaggerated and she has the contracts to prove it. Not just the contracts, though, but sets and costumes, and a whole “lot of pre-production work,” as well.

Theres no word from Universal as yet and nothing in McGowans comments to suggest that the film is anywhere near going into production, so I remain a tad sceptical as to whether this film actually will go into production.

“The original doesn’t have a lot to go on plot-wise. It’s one thing to do a remake of something that could have been much better storywise even if it was fantastic visually. It’s another thing to remake something flawless,” McGowan said. “That way if yours isn’t that good at least yours is better than that one.”

In fact, I would be far from unhappy if this version of the film doesnt go into production.

Guillermo del Toro to direct The Hobbit?

There are a quite a few rumours flying around at the moment over who will be directing the adaptation plus sequel of The Hobbit. Back in December, the man of the moment was Sam Raimi. Now, according to The Guardian, Guillermo del Toro is in talks to direct the films.

Since this is all grist to the rumour mill, its probably wise to not believe anything until a contract is signed. But it does sound like the films producers are looking in all the right places.

Come back Keanu, all is forgiven

After spending the last few days talking about films that I am looking forward to seeing, I finally find myself posting about a film that I actively do not want to see. In fact, a film that I would prefer wasnt made - at least, not by the people who are currently behind it. The film is question is Neuromancer, which I mentioned back in May of last year.

On the plus side, the people behind the film are talking about it being an “indie with a big budget” and producer, Peter Hoffman did make some reasonably positive noises about the film when he got behind it. On the minus side, the film is to be directed by Joseph Kahn, whose previous directorial highlights include Torque and Toxic.

On the double-minus side comes the (unconfirmed) news (via) that the role of Case - the hacker at the centre of the story - has been cast. Hayden Christensen. Thrilled, I am not.

Ugly. Slobbering. Ferocious. Carnivorous.

Back in 2002, when promoting the - frankly dire - House of 1000 Corpses, Rob Zombie was asked how he felt about budget remakes of films like Dawn of the Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He famously replied with: I feel its the worst thing any filmmaker can do. I actually got a call from my agent and they asked me if I wanted to be involved with the remake of Chain Saw. I said no f-ing way! Those movies are perfect- youre only going to make yourself look like an ahole by remaking them.

Since then, of course, he has been responsible for the remake of John Carpenters genre defining Halloween. And now he has confirmed (via CHUD, appropriately enough) that he is to direct a remake of C.H.U.D.

You have to ask why. C.H.U.D isnt the greatest film ever made, by any stretch of the imagination, and Im not convinced that it has the sort of name recognition that has made other remakes so popular with the major studios. Zombie isnt driving this project - hes just the director for hire - so theres no suggestion that he has some unique vision he wants to being to the story of grotesquely deformed vagrants living in the sewers.

Most remakes are bad enough, but this one just seems pointless.

Update

A remake of C.H.U.D is in the works, but Rob Zombie is not involved.

Hitman hit

Nothing is confirmed as yet, but Twitch are reporting that Xavier Gens has been sacked from the upcoming video game adaptation, Hitman.

After being hired to shoot an adaptation of the ultra-violent video game Gens took Asian action films such as The Killer and A Bittersweet Life as his starting point and turned in an explicitly violent, very bloody cut of the film that apparently included a number of head shots and extreme gore moments that would have guaranteed the film a hard R rating. Which really shouldn’t have been any sort of surprise if the studio execs had been paying any attention at all - it’s not like they wouldn’t have seen the dailies or effects work ahead of time - but apparently after seeing Gens’ cut of the film the studio removed him from the project and placed Nicolas De Toth in control of a new edit of the film. Who’s De Toth? He’s the man behind the edit of Live Free Or Die Hard, a job he was hired for specifically to turn in an entirely bloodless version of the film and word is that this is his task with Hit Man as well. So what are we going to get? A bloodless version of the film assembled with no input whatsoever from Gens.

If this is true, it will be disappointing - especially considering that this is one game adaptation that had looked rather promising up to now - but not overly surprising. The major studios - and Fox is one of the worst for this - do seem to approach genre films with a strange mixture of inattentiveness, incomprehension and blind panic. The result is a constant stream of bland action flicks in which nothing happens that hasnt happened in every film that has gone before.

In short, if Gens name isnt on the poster, Hitman isnt going to be a film worth seeing.

Rose McGowan to play Barbarella?

Rose McGowan Its been a while since anyone talked about the on-again, off-again remake of Barbarella. Back in May, Robert Rodriguez became the latest director to be attached to the film and there was the inevitable speculation as to who would fill the lead role.

Now an anonymous source has told JoBlo (via) that Rodriguez and his Troublemaker Studios are gearing up for production, and have already shot some test footage with Rose McGowan.

Of course, this doesnt necessarily mean McGowan is locked for the part she could have just been conveniently available for Rodriguez to use as his model. Or perhaps hell use the footage as a convincer for Universal and producer Dino De Laurentiis to cast someone of McGowans relatively low star wattage in such a major film role.

Either way, the movie will likely start shooting before the end of the year, so well soon find out who will replace Jane Fonda as the frisky deep space agent.

So, could Rose McGowan fill the fur bikini? You know, I think she could.

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