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Stuff: What Do Spartacus and Footloose Have in Common?

Kirk Douglas as Spartacus

Because there’s no sense in reading whole essays about how happy X is to work with Y on project Z. Pop culture news boiled down to a fine powder for you. You’re welcome.

  • Spartacus again. Yes, but this time it’s a thirteen-episode series for Starz. Sam Raimi is one of the producers and production starts next year to air in the summer. It’s going to be shot using virtual sets. “This is not going to be at all like the 1960s Kirk Douglas film,” Starz exec Stephan Shelanski said. “We didn’t want your typical sword-and-sandals. It’s going to be fun, fast-moving, full of action and interesting characters and have a little more depth to it than the 1960s film.” That’s an excellent way to get people on your side: accuse a classic piece of cinema of being shallow but hey, you’re going to rock it like it should have been rocked. Uh-huh. Brilliant. Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • You Life fans take note: William Atherton (aka Walter Peck aka Professor Jerry Hathaway) has signed up for an arc. Source: Variety.
  • Bran Nue Dae is a musical from Australia that’s being turned into a feature film. Geoffrey Rush has joined the cast. “The coming-of-age road movie is set in the summer of 1967 and is the first Aboriginal musical made for the screen,” the article says, although if it’s originally a “legit” production then it would be the first Aboriginal musical adapted for the screen. Maybe one of our Australian readers can tell us more about it. Production starts this week. Source: Variety.
  • The Courier is not an action film set in the high stakes world of typography. But wouldn’t you watch the living shit out of that movie? I would. Ahem. Sorry. No. It’s actually a different version of The Transporter except with a bike delivery service, sort of like Quicksilver as directed by John Woo. Dammit, sorry. I’m lying again. No, I’m being serious this time: it’s about a guy who’s trying to deliver a briefcase to a mob guy who’s AWOL. The titular guy will be played by Adrien Brody and the helmer is Russell Mulcahy (Scorpion King 2). Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (co-scribes on Wanted) have scribed this. Production starts in January. Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe’s tale of The Merry Pranksters, has been optioned. It is to be helmed by Gus Van Sant and scribed by Dustin Lance Black; their latest film, Milk is opening wide in December. Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • Elite Entertainment and Brain Damage Films have joined forces in an exclusive distribution deal where Brain Damage will be handling the distribution of Elite’s titles, both new and catalog. Elite has numerous titles in their catalog, including my favorite release of Night of the Living Dead.
  • Footloose is on the fast track. Why? Because High School Musical 3 beat Saw 5 at the box office. HSM3 star Zac Efron and director Kenny Ortega are attached to the remake and it kicks off shooting next spring. Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas) is rescribing. Don’t weap for the Saw franchise though…the numbers I saw said it was on par with its last outing, which means it will still make craploads of money and you can still expect Saw 6 this time next year. Source: Variety.
  • Ninja Scroll is being adapted as a feature for Warner Brothers, scribed by Alex Tse (co-writer on Watchmen) and produced by Leonardo DiCapro’s company. I’m assuming it’s a live action adaptation, but the article doesn’t seem to specify. Also of interest: Tse is scribing a redo of The Illustrated Man for Zack Snyder to direct, also at Warners. Interesting.
  • Solitary sure has a nice cast: Michael Douglas is a guy whose life has turned into a shambles because of his lack of ethics. Mary-Louise Parker is his girlfriend. Also in the cast are Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer (The Office U.S.) and Susan Sarandon are also in the cast. Brian Koppelman and David Levien (who co-wrote Ocean’s Thirteen) will helm and Koppelman scribed it. Production starts next month in New York. Did you know this will be the sixth film Douglas and DeVito have worked on together? If you count Rainmaker and Cuckoo’s Nest, which Douglas only produced. Source: Hollywood Reporter.
  • Walter the Farting Dog is being made into a film. No, don’t look at me like that. I’m not making this one up. The Jonas Brothers from The Disney Channel are set to debut in the film. The Brothers Farrelly might direct–although this is a family film. Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen (co-writers on Daddy Day Camp) are adapting the series of books. “The brothers play musicians whose parents are asked to care for the dog by an aunt just before she passes away.” Can you believe we live in a day and age where the word “Farting” is actually going to have an easier time of making it to the big screen than the word “Porno”? Source: Variety.

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