All the News That’s Fit to Rank: Week of November 9-15
The week came, left some stories, and went. We stuck around to pick up the pieces and put them in order for you.
1. Chloë Grace Moretz cast in live-action Little Mermaid
Universal’s in-development Little Mermaid has had one big name, Sofia Coppola, come and go, but has reportedly sealed the deal with Chloë Grace Moretz to play the title role. The casting is almost too good; like Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried before her, the pale, petite, impish Moretz simply looks like a live-action Disney character. It is too early to know, though, whether Universal’s version will hew closer to the 1989 cartoon musical or to Hans Christian Anderson’s novel. (Via Variety)
2. Rumored Neill Blomkamp project does time travel like the professionals do it
If a medical procedural follows the inner workings of a hospital, and a legal procedural shows how the parts of our criminal justice system function, what does a time-travel procedural do? Neill Blomkamp may tell us with his next project, or you can read The Gone World, the Thomas Sweterlitsch novel it’s based on. . . when it comes out. (Via AV Club)
3. Speculation over the effect of California Fair Pay law on Hollywood wage gap
A disparity often exists between what a lead actor makes and what a lead actress makes, and it’s often not in the actress’s favor. The state of California is trying to close the remaining gender wage gap generally, ensuring “comparable pay” for “comparable work” in the words of the state senate president, but can comparable work be demonstrated in the context of acting? Presumably studios will attempt to exploit legal loopholes such as “business necessity” and the “training or experience” of the talent, but the law may make it easier for actresses to seek pay equity with their costars. (Via Variety)
4. Joel Hodgson bringing back MST3K with your help
We’ve got donate sign! Creator and original host of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Joel Hodgson is raising money on Kickstarter for a three-episode reboot, which he hopes will be picked up by a streaming outlet or network. Michael J. Nelson, who was involved in the original series as both a writer and a host, confirmed via Twitter that he is not involved, and Joel (it would feel wrong to refer to him by his last name!) has said that the on-screen talent will be all-new. (Via AV Club)
5. What do Susan Sarandon and Google have in common? Both love Hedy Lamarr.
Golden Age actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr is having a good year. Google Doodled her on her 101st birthday a couple of weeks back, and now Susan Sarandon is producing Lamarr’s life story as a documentary. (Via Variety)
6. Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning Annie Hall named funniest screenplay ever
Woody Allen isn’t one for awards and honors, but his fans will be pleased to learn that Annie Hall was named the funniest screenplay of all time by the Writers Guild of America. Six other Allen scripts are in the top 100, making him the most successful writer on the list. See the complete list at Variety here.
7. Planned Aladdin film scuttled over Robin Williams’ will
Disney was going to do an Aladdin prequel as part of their ongoing series of live-action remakes, but apparently they were only willing to do it if they could use Robin Williams’ voice. That’s the one thing they can’t have, not only because of the actor’s tragic death in 2014 in the midst of his struggle against Lewy Body dementia, but because his will prevents the posthumous use of his material for 25 years. The restriction made financial sense for Williams’ family. (Via AV Club)
8. Snowpiercer will be a TV show
Fargo has shown that a beloved, and very snowy, movie can successfully make the transition to television. Now Snowpiercer will try to do the same. The TV version will be helmed by Josh Friedman, who has worked on another movie-to-TV adaptation, The Sarah Connor Chronicles. (Via AV Club)
9. China will help fund more Hollywood movies
China is already an important consumer of Hollywood films, especially the big-budget blockbusters that now routinely open there. But now Chinese investors, backed by the Chinese government, are getting involved on the production end, too. By owning film properties that are globally marketable, namely American movies, Chinese producers hope to receive a greater return on investment. (Via Hollywood Reporter)
10. Sherlock Holmes is a gnome, and Johnny Depp is his voice
When Johnny Depp’s live-action acting career entered a stretch of poor critical reviews and lackluster box office performances (remember The Lone Ranger? still trying to forget it?), his turn as an animated chameleon in Rango stood out as a relative success. Perhaps that success can be repeated when Depp voices a gnome version of Sherlock Holmes named, wait for it, Sherlock Gnomes. A sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo & Juliet, this movie should at the very least be tolerable; Holmes is an endlessly popular character, easy to adapt to different eras and genres and species. Gnome is a species, right? (Via Variety)
Here are five trailers that grabbed our attention this week.
Finding Dory — The long-awaited Finding Nemo sequel.
Warcraft — The quintessential MMO is still going strong. Will a movie adaptation be as successful?
Anomalisa — Stop-motion animation may allow Charlie Kaufman to be even weirder than usual.
400 Days — Space! For a lot of nothing, it can be kinda weird sometimes.
Concussion — Might as well see what Will Smith is doing. I guess. If we have to.