Prepare for rumors in disguise — director Michael Bay told Rotten Tomatoes that misdirection will be the name of the game for him. “One thing I do know is I know how to screw them up more,” said Bay. “We’re going to leak a lot of false information all over the place. I now know their game. They’re going to get a lot of script treatments that they think are going to be the script. They will never see the script. We’ve got scripts and treatments written up that we’re going to leak. No one’s going to know. There’s one out that’s fake right now. There are going to be many others.” What’s even more funny about this concept is that if someone does get the real thing, they’ll be wracked with doubt over the misdirection campaign.
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE
Bloody Disgusting is reporting that “Dexter” star Julie Benz will play an as-yet-undisclosed role in the Ray Stevenson-fueled reboot.
THE DARK KNIGHT
Heath Ledger was all over media outlets talking about how hard he’s working at being the Joker. He told MTV, “It’s the most fun I’ve had with a character and probably will ever have. It was an exhausting process. At the end of the day I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk. I was absolutely wrecked.” Of his take on the character, Ledger said, “He has zero empathy … ‘A Clockwork Orange’ was a very early starting point for Christian [Bale] and I. But we kind of flew far away from that pretty quickly and into another world altogether.”
IESB also got an interview with the actor, who said, “For the Joker I locked myself away in a hotel room for six weeks. I just formulated a voice and a posture and found a real psychology behind the Joker. I really put a lot of work into it.”
POWER & GLORY
Chaykin-tastic! Comics2Film is reporting that the political superhero satire may be on its way out of development hell with a script called “strike proof” and several directors interested.
According to his agency resume (PDF file download), actor Brett Stimely has been cast as John F. Kennedy for the Alan Moore adaptation.
Another week, another set of footage, including the YouTube trailer for next week’s episode “Blue” …
WGA STRIKE WATCH: DAY 8
First up: CBR News hit the front lines and attended Friday’s rally at Fox Studios for an exclusive report including an interview with a strike captain and photos of celebrities supporting the strike.
Likewise, Variety has an article that addresses the fates of several projects-of-interest to genre fans. The article read, “Warner Bros. execs are nervous about how to proceed with ‘Justice League of America,’ which is still uncast and is a crucial potential franchise boasting popular DC Comics characters. While WB expects to move ahead on most of its projects, if the strike extends past February, the studio will have some reevaluating to do. Paramount, on the other hand, threw four pricey A-list scribes at would-be $100-million franchise ‘G.I. Joe,’ which is scheduled to start shooting in February, and swears that the move paid off. Stuart Beattie (‘3:10 to Yuma’), John Lee Hancock (‘A Perfect World’) and Brian Koppleman and David Levien (‘Ocean’s Thirteen’) teamed up in an intense collaboration that yielded, according to di Bonaventura, a shootable script. But will the studio be willing to take a chance on shooting such an important, costly tentpole? The studio insists it will, partly because it isn’t chasing big-name stars … DreamWorks/Par[amount]’s ‘Transformers 2’ is far enough along to proceed with pre-production, location scouting and advance VFX work, but will face serious issues if the strike continues for several months. Michael Bay’s megabudget sequel isn’t set to start filming until June … Fox is moving full speed ahead with its ‘X-Men’ spinoff “Wolverine,” even though many roles are still uncast. Unlike ‘X-Men,’ ‘Wolverine’ rests solidly on Hugh Jackman’s shoulders. On ‘X-Men’ pics, [Twentieth Century Fox production chief Hutch] Parker admits, writers Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn were making adjustments throughout production. ‘Wolverine’ will have no such luxury. Most action sequences will be handled in f/x animation.” Variety’s strike blog is a great resource for information on what’s happening.
… but you might wanna check out the secret origins of the strike over at Deadline Hollywood.
Let’s look at the economic impact of the strike for a moment. The Wall Street Journal also looks at the question “how long can the studios hold out?”
The Los Angeles Times has an article about a grip (a member of a filming crew) talking about being caught in the middle of this struggle. The paper also has an article about how many entertainment industry hang outs are losing business because their gliteratti clientele are walking the line or sitting at home. Finally the Times looks at what sort of jobs are in danger as the strike goes on.
Speaking of jeopardy, every January the Television Critics of America meet with networks, producers and talent to look at midseason and give advertisers an idea of what’s next. That even is now in danger as studios can’t work on new material without the scribes behind their keyboards.
Now on to the mechanics of the struggle itself. In addition to picket lines and shutting down the streets of Century City, WGA members have shut down tapings of some shows, even going as far as hacking the CBs of a production in process. Crafty!
On the other side of the table, the AMPTP is not just sitting back and waiting. NBC is making plans to bring back its late night programming with or without high profile names Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, even going as far as hiring scab writers. The New York Times reported that studios have also sent breach of contract letters to “show runners” — writer-producers like “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes or “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence — as a precursor to possible lawsuits. Deadline Hollywood reported on how the show runners met in a back-room conversation to discuss how they’d be willing to return to work.
Variety wonders if the studios will hire scabs from the UK or other nations, but many international writers are wary of incurring the wrath of US-based creative guilds.
But what of celebrities? So like us … the LA Times has an interesting story about how the aforementioned “Scrubs” show runner Lawrence was on strike while other WGA members targeted his show and essentially shut down filming.
Yahoo! News has an article about the star-studded picket lines with names like America Fererra, David Duchovny, Robin Williams and Richard Belzer carrying picket signs.
“Daily Show” writer Steve Bodow wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News about why he’s on strike, and cast members of NBC series “The Office” posted a video called “‘The Office’ is Closed” on YouTube …
How big is this? Former president Bill Clinton is rumored to be ready to get involved in brokering peace between the warring factions.
CBR will continue to bring you the latest news on the ongoing struggle.
I CAN’T WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS
We can’t do this without you. The rumors, the scoops, the set photos — they’re all fueled by passionate fans emailing in the goods. The ones who ask, “What do you mean your sister’s dating somebody who works for Miles Millar?” The ones who know the code names of movie projects and scour city permit filings for them. The devoted, the involved. Fans, just like you. Whatever you know, we wanna know, and whether you want your name shouted to the web’s rafters or kept closer than a classified report, we’ve got you covered like a comforter. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thank you for your time and indulgence, and [tagline redacted until the WGA strike is resolved].
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