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“Robocop” remake eyes Joel Kinnaman for lead role

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Though we still lament the fact that “Arthur & Lancelot” was tabled over at Warner Bros., it’s two leading men have managed to find some good work for themselves. “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington has landed one of the main roles in the flick “The Seventh Son,” and now “The Killing’s” Joel Kinnaman has been offered the lead part in one of the biggest upcoming reboots being planned.

Variety‘s Jeff Sneider tweeted the news that Kinnaman has been offered the title role in the MGM remake of “Robocop” that is being directed by “Elite Squad’s” Jose Padilha. The Hollywood Reporter further fleshed out the news by saying that they expect the deal to come together “imminently.”

It would be a big step up for Kinnaman, who has earned acclaim for his role in “The Killing,” but thus far has only appeared in small roles in films like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Safe House” and “The Darkest Hour.” This would be his largest role to date, and the first time he’s had a major blockbuster rest on his shoulders.

The casting decision (which isn’t set in stone yet, we should note) is somewhat reminiscent of the decision to cast Taylor Kitsch, best known for his role as Tim Riggins on “Friday Night Lights,” as the lead in two big blockbusters this year: “John Carter” and “Battleship.” His star power is thus far untried, so if he isn’t enough to draw in the crowds then the movies will likely fail. Both are tracking fairly well, but it’s a large burden to place on any actor’s shoulders, especially one just breaking in to the movie scene.

MGM’s remake of “Robocop” is being described as a gritty origin story, so there’s certainly room for Kinnaman to come in and carve out his place in the franchise. It certainly is a casting choice that makes sense, and it’s nice to see that Kinnaman is being recognized for the great work that he is doing on the small screen. Expect an official confirmation on the casting decision for “Robocop” over the next few weeks.

Do you think that Kinnaman is a good fit for “Robocop”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

“RoboCop” casting rumor targets Russell Crowe

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Has Russell Crowe turned into the most wanted man in Hollywood over the past two days? It certainly seems like that might be the case. Yesterday it was reported that Akiva Goldsman is trying to land Crowe to star in his directorial debut “Winter’s Tale,” and then later in the day it was revealed that Darren Aronofsky has him in his wish list for “Noah.” Then at the very end of the day, there was a new story saying that MGM really wants the “Gladiator” star for their “RoboCop” remake. Talk about a busy line-up.

The news comes from Variety‘s Jeff Sneider, who revealed in a tweet, “Sure, Russell Crowe, MIGHT star in Aronofsky’s NOAH… but do you know what else he MIGHT star in? Three words: Ro. Bo. Cop.”

To clarify, that’s about as close as one can get to speculation without outright pulling a name out of thin air. Sneider went on to clarify in his later tweets that the Crowe-for-“RoboCop” story was mostly rumor, and that he’s heard other names being linked to the project as well.

“I’ve heard several names for RoboCop including some VERY unusual ones. In case you’re wondering, Kid Rock is not among them,” he tweeted.

Personally, we liked the idea of Michael Fassbender starring in the remake, but Crowe would be a good choice too. However, we think it seems most likely that Crowe will end up starring in “Winter’s Tale” over the other two high profile projects, depending on when they start filming.

When Fassbender was asked about his connection to “RoboCop” in November, he said he was open to starring in the film. “It could be kind of fun. It could be kind of good to have a helmet that I could hide behind, for most of the film, too. That sounds kind of appealing,” he said.

Would you want to see Russell Crowe star in “RoboCop”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video)

The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video) (photo)

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Sometimes, death is a laughing matter. Here are ten death scenes in movies that are definitely more comic than tragic, even if the film themselves are of a more serious-minded sort. And yes, of course we’ve included the Sam Jackson vs. Shark (Shark wins) in “Deep Blue Sea.”

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Shot in the Closet in “Burn After Reading” (2008)

One of the most unexpected (and shocking) death scenes in the history of cinema, poor Brad Pitt’s demise in the Coen Brothers’ underrated “Burn After Reading” is actually brought on by his “Ocean’s Eleven” pal, George Clooney. Fitness enthusiast Chad Feldheimer (Pitt) sneaks into the house of former CIA analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) in the hopes of finding secret government files he can give to the Russian Embassy in exchange for lots of money and ends up hiding in the closet when Cox’s wife’s lover, Harry Pfarrer (Clooney), unexpectedly shows up. Harry then opens the closet and‚ well, just watch and see. Sure, Burn After Reading can most definitely be considered a comedy (it’s not exactly one of the Coen Brothers’ more “serious” movies), but having one of its main characters suddenly get shot in the head (as hilarious as it is) marked the film taking a turn into much darker and more sinister territory.


The Ballad of White Boy Bob in “Out of Sight” (1998)

George Clooney again, though this time he isn’t the cause of the death in question — or is he? If master criminal Jack Foley (Clooney) hadn’t been at the top of the staircase, then White Boy Bob (Keith Loneker) wouldn’t have had to ascend the staircase, and he wouldn’t have tripped, and‚ well, see for yourself. “Out of Sight” has the distinct honor of being the film that transitioned art house auteur Steven Soderbergh into the realm of big-time, big-budget Hollywood — this sexy crime thriller based on the novel by Elmore Leonard was his first of many collaborations with Clooney. Too bad White Boy Bob couldn’t come along for the ride.


Marvin Doesn’t Have an Opinion — or a Life — in “Pulp Fiction” (1994)

Poor Marvin. Well, at least we went out with someone talking to him about God and miracles, so maybe by default this final religious conversation guaranteed him a place in Heaven after Vincent (John Travolta) accidentally shoots him in the face. This, of course, makes a huge mess in the car, though Vincent and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) manage to drive this bloody eyesore all the way to Toluca Lake, where they hide out with Jimmy (Quentin Tarantino) and wait for the Wolf (Harvey Keitel) to help them make it seem like this little incident never happened.


Sam Jackson vs. Shark (Shark wins) in “Deep Blue Sea” (1999)

The super-smart, super-fast shark in “Deep Blue Sea” doesn’t have any patience for a passionate Samuel L. Jackson monologue. Well, that’s not true — the beast lets Sam do his thing for a while, spewing forth his trademark authoritative, condescending, alpha-male histrionics as he tells the rest of the cast about his unfortunate avalanche experience, demanding they all get their shit together and concentrate on getting out of their current situation. Once Sam wraps the sermon and actually starts suggesting a specific course of action, though, the shark’s had enough and quickly silences the would-be team leader. Forever.


Wheezy Joe’s Tragic Confusion in “Intolerable Cruelty” (2003)

The Coen Brothers certainly know how to conjure a memorable — and rather hilarious — death scene. One of the more subversive moments in the otherwise completely disposable “Intolerable Cruelty” features the lumbering, asthmatic hit man, Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes), getting into a confusing scuffle with divorce attorney Miles Massey (George Clooney) in a dimly-lit house — amidst all of the hurly-burly, poor Joe mistakes his inhaler for a gun, and vice-versa — causing him to spray air in Clooney’s face and, well, you can probably imagine the second part. Nice touch with the broken window, by the way.



Bob the Dead Goon in “Batman” (1989)

Just as the Joker “kinda liked” one particular piece of art in the Gotham Museum and spared it from being defaced, we “kinda liked” the Clown Prince of Crime’s right-hand man, Bob (Tracey Walter). So we were “kinda saddened” when the Joker inexplicably blamed Bob for not being told that Batman had a Batwing and punished his number-one guy for this oversight by calmly and unexpectedly blowing him away with a single shot to the chest. “Gonna need a moment or two alone, boys,” says the Joker afterwards — yeah, so will we.


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