Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NEWS: Rome, Zoolander, and Speed 3...

Hey guys! Today is Tuesday, the 2nd of December, and there is actually some news of note that I think you all should be aware of...Here are your headlines...

- Happy news comes to us from the land down under. During an appearance on a Sydney morning show, George Miller confirmed that he is now officially done with the much maligned adaptation of Justice League. The 90210 style plot had fans, including yours truly, livid, and it is good news to see that this project is now pretty much scrapped.

- Scott Frank, the director of The Lookout, is working on a Planet of The Apes prequel...

- The brilliant score/soundtrack to the horribly underrated and underseen film, Sunshine, has been taken out of legal pergatory, and is now downloadble via iTunes...

- Huge news for Speed fans. Back in 2007, Dennis Hopper told sources that he was set to or interested in (depending on the sources)reprising his role as Howard Payne in Speed 3. That left many of us wondering if it would be a remake, as the ending didn't leave his character anywhere to go. However, a new script has been floating around for Speed 3, which not only features Hopper's character, but Jack Traven, Keanu Reeves character, as well. Fox is indeed looking at signing him up, and I will give you more on this as it comes up.

- It looks like the HBO series Rome, will be restarted up by a feature length film...

- Ben Stiller is currently looking at scripts and pitches for a sequel to the 2001 bomb/cult hit, Zoolander...

- Finally, with the recent release of the Transporter 3, there was an interesting article posted up at the great website, cinematical, pertaining to a past interview with Louis Letterier, director of Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk, and co-director of the first Transporter film, and his statement that Frank Martin, the main character, was gay...

Fans of the Transporter films aren't usually looking for a lot of subtlety and nuance, not unless those are codewords for "butt-kicking" and "car crashes." But Louis Leterrier, the whimsical Frenchman who directed the second film and co-directed the first one, said in 2005 that he had a subtext in mind for Jason Statham's title character: He was gay.

Chris Lee writes at the Los Angeles Times' fanboy blog that three years ago, when Transporter 2 came out, well, so did Frank Martin. According to Lee, Leterrier pointed to the scene where Frank turns down a romantic advance from Amber Valletta by saying, "It's because of who I am." Leterrier said, "That's him coming out!"

"If you watch the movie and you know he's gay, it becomes so much more fun," Lee quotes Leterrier as saying in 2005. "It's so great -- the first gay action movie hero! ... Action fans in general are pretty homophobic. You see these tough guys who say, 'The Transporter, that's such a great movie!' If they only knew they're really cheering for a new kind of action hero."

Statham didn't pay much attention to his director's comments, telling Lee in 2005, "It's just Lou-Lou trying to be funny. Although he did say, 'In Part 2, you will become the gay icon.'" That part might have come true, as Statham's many shirtless scenes made him popular in certain quarters, even if the character himself wasn't overtly gay.

Olivier Megaton, the fake-name-using, franchise-ruining director of the abysmal new Transporter 3, apparently didn't get the memo at all. His film has Frank hooking up with a petulant, morose, highly irritating Russian woman, so Lee asked Leterrier for his reaction. (Maybe it's just a phase! Maybe it's only to get his mother off his back!) Leterrier seemed to recant on his original vision. "I was sick over the weekend and my two Transporters were on, so I watched them, and in fact they aren't that gay," Leterrier wrote in an e-mail to Lee. "But it makes for fun movie legends."

As Dumbledore fans can tell you, outing a character after the fact doesn't count, and it counts even less when the outing is followed by a de-outing. Besides, playing a joke on homophobes by making them love a gay hero only works if the character is actually gay, not just gay in your imagination. Until such a character emerges, proponents of gay heroes will have to content themselves with their Harvey Milk action figures.


Now, while I have nothing really interesting to say about this, I would like to hear what you guys think about one thing. Could a gay action hero work? About a year ago, early in production of Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig, jokingly or not, mentioned that he would like to see 007 turn gay. Could something like that work? Maybe not for Bond, but in general?

That's all I've got for now, so come back later for more news and notes...

Go see something good!

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