Screen Talk: Stable guy


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The Independent Culture

Stability at the top of movie-making corporations that spend hundreds of millions of dollars is regarded by shareholders and investors – if not film-makers – as a good thing in these turbulent times.

Which is why NBCUniversal told Hollywood and beyond that Adam Fogelson will be Universal Pictures' chairman for at least another two years. The corp "exercised its option" to keep the executive in his post as chairman of Universal Pictures through 2014. Fogelson, who rose through the marketing ranks, has been in the job since October 2009, after the previous incumbents were given the heave ho after too few box-office hits out of the factory.

Criminal intent

While Fogelson settles into his office for the next two years, his studio is busy developing a remake of an old classic, itself a remake. Hollywood is abuzz with the prospects of a fresh Scarface movie. It shows there is no room for grudges in studio land because the new Scarface is to be produced by former studio head Marc Shmuger, one of the Universal chiefs ousted to make way for Fogelson. Martin Bregman, the veteran producer who made the 1983 remake with Al Pacino is also producing. The fresh take is billed as not a sequel or outright remake of the 1983 movie nor the 1932 Paul Muni-George Raft movie. Both those outings were crime sagas telling the rise and fall of a gangster, and each was a mirror of their time. The 1932 version was set in Chicago and featured bootlegging, Italians and Irish mobsters. The 1983 version was set in Miami and cocaine was the drug of choice. The new Scarface is planned to be a crime tale set in today's world, offering a dark look at the American Dream. Pick your vice. Twitter anyone?

Duff substituted

There is to be no female hold up to the prospects for a big screen return to the legend of Bonnie and Clyde. Hollywood learned that Lindsay Pulsipher of True Blood familiarity, is to replace Hilary Duff in the upcoming movie The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Pulsipher replaces Duff in the role of Bonnie Parker. The substitution follows hot on the heels of the news that Duff is expecting her first child. Of course she is being replaced because of scheduling issues rather than her pregnancy, backers have publicly stated. Tonya S Holly wrote the script and will direct the movie, now currently looking to recast the role of Clyde Barrow after Kevin Zegers pulled out due to his own scheduling problems.

James Cameron in the frame

The film-maker James Cameron, who famously proclaimed he was "king of the world" as Titanic sailed to Oscar glory, has many monikers. One of the current ones is technically savvy. So technically savvy that he is causing waves among filmmakers and backers alike by expressing a desire to shoot at a rate of 60 frames per second. That's a lot faster than the old 24 frames per second of celluloid. Cameron, readying to shoot Avatar 2 and 3, wants to up the speed and is demo-ing the difference to folks between images shot at 24, 48 and 60 fps. Why? It makes for better 3D of course. Drawback? It's expensive, the faster-frame technology.

Heavenly casting

Plans for an action-heavy adaptation of John Milton's epic poem "Paradise Lost" are being drawn up apace. The proposed movie adaptation focuses on Milton's standoff, which sees Lucifer rebel against God, causing a war to break out between angels and demons. Bradley Cooper will play Lucifer, while Ben Walker is preening to play the angel Michael. And the duo is set to be joined by Casey Affleck who is in negotiations to play the angel Gabriel. Heavenly casting indeed for the director Alex Proyas who is hoping to shoot early next year.