Screen Talk - A rap Phoenix rises
Friday 23 January 2009
Living and working in Hollywood can be a strange, rarefied existence, so it should come as no surprise when chums end up making movies about each other.
The latest example features the actor Joaquin Phoenix, brother of the late River, who is embarking on a new path. As a rapper. The twice Oscar-nominated Joaquin, who memorably portrayed Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line', has enlisted the producer talents of Sean Combs, aka Diddy, to help launch his new career. And his pal Casey Affleck, younger brother of Ben, the former fiancé of Combs's ex Jennifer Lopez, is directing a documentary film following their efforts. Just don't mention vanity projects to any of them.
The buzz is building on Roman Polanski's adaptation of Robert Harris's novel 'The Ghost'. The movie, in pre-production in Germany, is being adapted by Harris with Polanski lending a hand. The tale of a ghostwriter hired to finish the memoir of a former British prime minister stars Pierce Brosnan as the fictional ex-PM, Olivia Williams as his wife, Kim Cattrall (right) as the private secretary and Ewan McGregor as the ghostwriter.
Funny is money
Will Smith, one of few stars trusted by the studios to open a movie, recently made a telling plea. At the British premiere of 'Seven Pounds', the actor told fans that if they supported his latest dramatic turn, he promised "to make a comedy next time". In the US, 'Seven Pounds' stumbled to $15m on its opening weekend. Contrast that to Smith playing it for laughs in 'Hancock' as a drunken superhero trying to get back on track; that swept to $60m on its opening weekend.
Dog has its day
The power of Will Smith the star was on display at my local Odeon last weekend. This was the week that Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' became one of the biggest entertainment stories of the year so far. Until early Saturday evening it was 'Seven Pounds' that was programmed on the biggest screen. However, as the queues for 'Slumdog' snaked round the block, the cinema had to effect a quick switch – even though Sony Pictures usually has more muscle than French-owned Pathé Distribution, which is releasing 'Slumdog'.
All wound up
The battle over the adaptation of 'Watchmen' (right), one of the most celebrated comic-book series, didn't have its day in court after all. After weeks of legal posturing, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros reached agreement, and both will benefit should the film be a hit. Fox gets a slice of the release pie; Warner gets to show the world its $150m gamble. 'Watchmen' is due to open in the UK on 6 March.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Comic-Con 2014: Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch and Game of Thrones' George RR Martin set to attend
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
George R. R. Martin responds to 13-year-old fan's 'heartfelt' letter asking for a grisly death in Game of Thrones
Star Wars 7: Plot details 'leak', with sequel's opening sequence and premise revealed
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains