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Stuff: America Has the Pop Factor? What, Are You Nuts?

Peter Kay as Geraldine McQueen with Paul McCartney

Because there’s a lot of pop culture stuff out there. And you don’t need an entire website to cover it minute by minute. It’ll still be there when we get there. Trust us.

  • Peter Kay was in Los Angeles to snag an award and said he had been asked to make an American version of Britain’s Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice. If you have seen it–and if you haven’t, you should by *cough* any means necessary–then you, like me, know that it would never, ever work in America. We’re still angsting over a tit from five years ago–I doubt if the wildly un-PC show would work even on cable. Kay seems not to be crazy about the idea for other reasons–he says he has no desire to “crack America”–but the show works in the UK and shouldn’t be imported. It just can’t translate. America’s just not mature enough for that level of genius. Source. (To get a bit of Peter Kay as Geraldine McQueen, we posted her Christmas single here.)
  • Technically, this Day The Earth Stood Still shirt isn’t something you need to know, but it’s nice to know about if you saw the remake and felt dirty afterwards and feel like you need to do something to make amends.
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  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a thriller at Miramax written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins which will star Katie Holmes. Del Toro and Robbins had previously scribed Mimic. Will start production in the summer in Melbourne. Source.
  • Inception has been joined by Ken Watanabe and Tom Hardy. Watanabe of course kicked ass in both Batman Begins and was a bright spot in the otherwise ehhh Last Samurai. He will be playing the film’s villain, who’s blackmailing Leonardo DiCaprio. Hardy was fantastic as Handsome Bob in Guy Ritchie’s enjoyable Rocknrolla. Hardy will be playing “a member of DiCaprio’s team.” Source.
  • Samuel L. Jackson is going to play Andrew Mwangura, who’s a freelance journalist and has a peculiar hobby: negotiating with pirates. Not the bullshit pirates who downloaded the latest Hugh Jackman film. We’re talking the guys who held a Ukrainian ship hostage until they got $3.4M. This deal was brokered by Mwangura. The article mentions that in addition to Iron Man 2, Jackson is also in pre-production on his starring bit in Running Wild (based on a novella by J.G. Ballard) but in-between the two it looks like we’re getting Unthinkable. This last, thankfully, is not a sequel to the heartbreaking (as in badly rewritten) Unbreakable but instead a thriller starring Jackson, Michael Sheen and Carrie-Anne Moss.
  • Weren’t we just talking about Keanu, FSM bless him? Yes, a new version of Jekyll and Hyde entitled just Jekyll with Keanu on board. (We posted the 1920 version here.) This is at Universal and here’s the weird bit: it’s the second project there. There’s another more traditional take on the story (which implies who-knows-what about the Keanu version) with Guillermo Del Toro on board–but on “the slow track,” seeing as how he’s going to be Hobbiting for a bit. Justin Haythe, the scribe on the Keanu version, wrote Revolutionary Road–and according to the article is also penning a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea remake.
  • Can someone tell me please why I can’t find a decent trailer online for Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus so I can post it here and make Leigh and Dindrane lose their minds? Please. io9 has some stuff.
  • Stone will star Robert De Niro and Edward Norton, who last appeared together in The Score. De Niro is a correctional officer “who is seduced by the wife of a convicted arsonist (Norton) up for parole. I don’t know much beyond that but I like both actors and them together on the screen is lots of fun to watch. So. Source.
  • Instead of capitalizing on the box office of the latest Fast/Furious flick, Vin Diesel is now attached to star in The Wheelman, a video game that might be brilliant–but the plot sounds like a Transporter knockoff. I suppose it only makes sense, since he plays the lead guy in the video game itself and produced the game as well. And Rich Wilkes, who scribed the original XXX wrote this. But still: “Diesel will play an expert driver who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past.” Again, might be brilliant, but nothing about that excites me. Diesel going back to rescue the XXX franchise might excite me, even though it got lapped by the very Bond franchise it was trying to surpass. John Singleton is set to helm. Source.