Screen Talk: Reconstructing comedy

Unique is a word often used in Hollywood to elevate one project above another in the clamour for attention. It is currently the word being bandied about for a comedy pitch from the writer-director Rob Pearlstein, which also enjoys the favour of actor Ed Helms, who is currently on screens as Stu in Warner Bros' The Hangover Part II.

Pearlstein's pitch, entitled True North, is said to centre on a high-powered workaholic father who slips into a coma for two years, after an horrific plane crash. The once good-looking fellow then comes around to discover he's undergone reconstructive facial surgery and looks nothing like his former self. Cut to him tracking down his family and his attempts to reconnect with them. Unique indeed.

Norse power

It seems like Chris Hemsworth has only just put down his hammer, but plans are already afoot for the actor to reprise his role as Thor. The Norse god of war certainly sounded enough box- office thunder to light up exec faces at Disney and Marvel Studios, the team behind the first film. The money men have already set a July 2013 release date for the warrior god to return. But the director Kenneth Branagh is not destined to be in the chair for the sequel, rather the British name is to take a back-seat producer role for the second coming. And for the record, Thor ironed out a healthy $437m at the worldwide box office. And the studio has only just begun counting the cash from other sources, such as pay-TV runs and home entertainment.

Waking the dead

For most cinemagoers, Haley Joel Osment's claim in The Sixth Sense that he sees dead people remains a career-defining moment. That was now more than 10 years ago, in 1999. While he has gone on to several roles, the now 23-year-old actor is looking to breath life into his resume with an updated version of Frankenstein. Osment is to star in Jay Russell's adaptation of the Mary Shelley classic. Inspired by Steve Niles's graphic novels, Wake the Dead, Osment will see dead people as projects. He is lined up to play Victor Franklin, a college student toying with human death and its limits. The movie is expected to come to life, sometime in 2013, for release.

High stakes poker

The game of poker remains a draw for Hollywood. Aside from the myriad TV shows devoted to the aged card game and movies featuring the gambling pastime, it also occupies the town's rich and famous, often in the privacy of their own homes. Now Tobey Maguire, Nick Cassavetes, Alec Gores, who at one point tried to buy Miramax last year with his brother, and the Welcome Back, Kotter actor Gabe Kaplan have found themselves named in lawsuits for money owed after unlicensed poker nights. Maguire's lawyers say that if the Spider-Man star ends up being required to pay any money, the $300,000-plus that the actor is being sued for should be reduced. According to the lawyer, Maguire also lost $168,500 to a convicted con man, the hedge-fund manager Bradley Ruderman, during the allegedly illegal poker matches held at luxurious LA hotels. Stakes are always high in Hollywood. Ruderman was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme earlier this year.

Palicki strikes back

If you get knocked down, it is best to jump straight back up in Hollywood. Just ask actress Adrianne Palicki who wasted no time after discovering NBC passed on the Wonder Woman pilot show. She has signed on the dotted line to join G I Joe 2: Cobra Strikes in the lead role of Lady Jaye in the sequel directed by Jon M Chu. Palicki joins returning cast members Channing Tatum, Ray Park and Byung-hun Lee, and new cast members RZA, D J Cotrona, Dwayne Johnson and Elodie Yung for the Paramount-backed sequel.

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before