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Stuff You Need to Know: Abraham Lincoln Cast; Next Up is “Howard Taft vs. The Yeti”

Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies

The premise is simple. There are people who need to know everything that’s going on in pop culture and know it instantly. Then are people like you: you’re smart. You have better things to do. You need to know just the gist and have the stuff that’s really not that interesting filtered out. Welcome. We read all this stuff so you don’t have to. Enjoy.

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is at Fox and Benjamin Walker is in the lead to play the title role. You might not remember him from playing the young titular part in Kinsey, but you should know he dropped out of the X-Men: First Class movie to instead go and reach critical acclaim on Broadway playing Andrew Jackson in a rock musical. Read that sentence again if you need to. Seth Grahame-Smith will adapt his own book and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is in the chair. Tim Burton will co-produce. Yes, the film will be in 3-D. Expect it to hit cinemas June 22 of next year. Source. T-shirt image taken from here.
  • The new Annie, slated to star Willow Smith (daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett), will be produced in part by Jay-Z who has joined with the proud parents on a deal. You don’t really need to know this, but it just amuses me that Columbia Pictures head burrito Doug Belgrad seems to be implying that Jay-Z is perfect to produce this since he once sampled from the musical: “A decade ago, Jay-Z proved that the power of the underlying Broadway property remains, by showing how these songs could be reinterpreted for a new generation with ‘Hard-Knock Life’…” Seriously just be upfront and say the dude is worth a freaking mint and got that way because he’s smart as hell. Source. (Our review of the original musical on DVD can be found here.)
  • Bruce Gordon, who played Frank Nitti on the television version of The Untouchables, died last week. If you’re not familiar with that show, and you should be, then try this: he was in the original Piranha as Col. Waxman. Also of note: he appeared with Karloff in the original cast of Arsenic and Old Lace on Broadway. RIP. Source.
  • Grand Hotel has my attention. It’s not because it’s a eight-hour miniseries where the denizens and staff of a Paris hotel get taken hostage. It’s because Canal Plus, BBC and Sam Mendes are partnering up on it. Mendes will produce, not direct, and Richard McBrien (Spooks) is one of the scribes. Source: Variety.
  • Heavy Rain, a game prominent enough to warrant inclusion in Charlie Brooker’s 2010 Wipe, (it’s a UK show…coughcough *YouTube*), is going to be adapted for the big screen by David Milch. Source.
  • Gladys Horton, who sang lead vocals with The Marvelettes on “Please Mr. Postman,” died this week at age 65. I did not know this: “Postman” was the Motown label’s first #1 and The Marvelettes were the template for the later Motown “girl groups.” RIP. Source.
  • King’s Speech might get re-released in a PG-13 version with no “fuck”s in it? Because that would be more “accessible”? Am I the only one who thinks this is ludicrous? They want to bring in teens? If there’s anything that might draw a teen in and keep them interested, it’s the word “fuck.” For fuck’s sake. Source.
  • So Prometheus is the former Alien prequel, still to be directed by Ridley Scott and now to star Michael Fassbender (one of the only good parts of Jonah Hex) and Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth in the original Girl Who series of films). Is it still an Alien film? It has bits of the series’ “DNA,” or something. Regardless, I’m hoping it’s not a prequel…considering the last time Scott tackled a “prequel,” it was less than satisfying. This film is due out June 8, 2012. Source.
  • In what appears to be a cross between League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Defenders of the Earth (and what sounds like a sequel to That Owl Movie), the animated Rise of the Guardians has analogs of Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Jack Frost (Chris Pine), and The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) banding together against an evil spirit known as Pitch (Jude Law). Interesting to note is that the author of the series of books, The Guardians of Childhood, William Joyce, will co-helm. Guillermo del Toro is executive producing. I swear, between Cameron, Del Toro and Spielberg, are any other executive producers working? Source: Variety.
  • Viggo Mortensen, the guy who blows the bell curve for males worldwide, is discussing starring in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal. Apparently instead of letting Snow White go and then the girl hooks up with The League of Extraordinary Dwarfs, he helps her escape and the two stick together. Charlize Theron might wind up being the evil queen. Production starts this summer and it’s slated to hit cinemas December 21, 2012. The article also states that badass Tarsem has a Snow White pic at Relativity. To which I can only say: hell yes. And all I can say about a live action new version of Snow White is…at least the director of Twilight isn’t handling it, like that terrifying Little Red Riding Hood redo that’s about to hit. Even though Kristen Stewart is in talks to play Snow White opposite Viggo. There might still be hope. Of course, we’ve experienced sub-par live action versions before. Granted, what I really want is a badass big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Snow Glass Apples.”

Home Video Releases

  • In news sure to delight Dindrane, Leigh and other honorary members of the SyFy Original Pictures Appreciation Society, Sharktopus is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray on March 15th. Dinoshark is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray on April 26th. Those both from Anchor Bay. Click the types there to pre-order yours.
  • Of note and hitting Blu-Ray is the Dudley Moore/Bo Derek/Blake Edwards comedy 10. That hits this week, actually. Pre-order here.
  • A ginormous 40th Anniversary Edition of Upstairs, Downstairs: The Complete Series is hitting DVD from Acorn Media on March 29th. 21 discs and 25 hours of additional new extras. Wowsers, friends. You can pre-order it here.
  • The Walking Dead Season 1 was announced for DVD and Blu-Ray, hitting March 8th from Anchor Bay. Click the types there to pre-order one for yourself. You know you need it.
  • Wild Target, the terribly silly-looking comedy directed by Jonathan Lynn (Clue) and starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint and Martin Freeman, is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray stateside on February 8th from Fox. Watch this space: we’ll be giving away copies shortly.