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Mutants On Parade 12/02/05
by Lance Norris

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Here's the week that was:


Will Smith has been signed to play a disaffected superhero suffering from a mid-life crisis in Jonathan Mostow's new film TONIGHT, HE COMES. In other words, a live action THE INCREDIBLES.

Mostow, who is best remembered as the director that didn't want the Sarah Connor character involved in the story of TERMINATOR 3, has pushed back plans to direct T4, a robot boxing movie called REAL STEEL and a remake of THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON to make room for THE INCREDIBLES rip off project.

Michael Mann had been slated to direct but opted instead to bring MIAMI VICE to the big screen. He will stay attached to the project as a producer for Sony.

X-FILES staff writer and the creator of TV's sorely under-appreciated THE LONE GUNMEN, Vince Gilligan, has been brought in to rewrite Vincent Ngo's semi-original script. Ngo was one of the writers on Tony Scott's very odd THE HIRE: BEAT THE DEVIL, but Gilligan may not be an improvement. He did write WILDER NAPALM and Drew Barrymore's HOME FRIES.

Meanwhile Will Smith has just finished shooting Italian director Gabriele Muccino's Hollywood debut THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS (hence the misspelling of 'happiness', I guess), and is still rumored to be working on TIME SHARE, a zany THE GREAT OUTDOORS rip off with co-star Nick Cage in the John Candy role.

TONIGHT, HE COMES starts production in LA this summer.


TV's Amy Brenneman has joined Al Pacino and Leelee Sobieski in the cast of Jon Avnet's 88 MINUTES in which Pacino will run around yelling, flaying and generally hamming it up as a college professor who moonlights as a forensic specialist for the FBI that finds out he only has 88 minutes to live. In other words DOA meets CSI. To which I say, BFD.

Avnet hasn't directed for the big screen since 1997's RED CORNER (Yeah, I missed it too, but I guess Richard Gere was in it). For years Avnet was trying to get Disney to make a movie about David Kaczynski, the brother of the Unibomber, but gave up and went on to produce his own bombs INSPECTOR GADGET and SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.

Leelee Sobieski got off to a great start, but has quickly became the actress you call when Helen Hunt is too old for the part and Amy Brenneman is, well, Amy Brenneman. Great hair though.

Gary Scott Thompson, who wrote K-911 and FAST AND FURIOUS, did the screenplay for 88 MINUTES, but what I'm really waiting for is that TV series about NASCAR he and Sylvester Stalone were supposed to be making four years ago, hot on the heel of the success of DRIVEN.


French TV's M6 is planning to make a contemporary version of STARKY AND HUTCH starring Laurent Henneguin (ANOTHER 9 ½ WEEKS) and Alexandre Brasseur (LES TEXTILES) under the title DUVAL ET MADANI.

In the new series the black male Captain Dobey is now a woman and will be played by Penelope Cruz's sister Monica, Huggy Bear's name will be changed to 'Cesar' and of course, being French, Duval and Madani will surrender to the bad guys each week.

M6 has signed the actors to three-year deals, ordering 22 episodes to be produced for the first year.


Jim Carrey is in talks to replace Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's new movie about "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" creator Robert Ripley, which is great news because, believe it or not, Carrey hasn't made a good movie since 1998.

The FCC is working on a new plan that would allow consumers to pick which cable channels they want and pay accordingly. Which means now you'll actually admit that you watch Lifetime every now and then.

Congratulations to 60 year-old Rod Stewart who's fiancée, Penny Lancaster, gave birth to the couple's first child the other day, thus guaranteeing that we will have fodder for tabloid exposes and reality TV shows for at least another generation.

Now there is an uproar over the fact that the lead roles in MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA have gone to Chinese women rather than Japanese. My God! That is sooooo wrong. That's like having an actor play a real person!

Oprah has started a petition to get herself nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and I can see why. Remember that time Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Selma to boost his ratings, or when Nelson Mandela went to prison rather than deny Tom Cruise a couch to jump up and down on?

Madonna (DICK TRACY) has now tied Elvis Presley (CLAMBAKE) for the most Top 40 Hits of a pop artist, 36 of them! Now we can only hope she will have the class to die of a drug induced heart attack on the crapper as well.

And finally: J. Crew has caved to Heather Mills McCartney's demands that they stop using fur in their product line. What is it about Beatles' wives that they are always breaking something up? First Yoko and the band, then Linda and mirrors, and now Heather and J. Crew!

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.

Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns

Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.

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