Joss Whedon to The Avengers? It could work, but …

Catching up with some links:

leaving these guys in the hands of joss whedon is a risky bet

leaving these guys in the hands of joss whedon is a risky bet

The Avengers is the hottest property in Hollywood right now. It’s going to have the biggest opening weekend in movie history when it comes out in May 2012, it’s going to make stars of anyone who’s in it and whoever directs it will be able to direct and produce anything they want for until about 2020. EVERYONE wants to direct it. If the studio offered it to James Cameron, he’d jump at it. Steven Spielberg would take it. So of all the directors in Hollywood, 95 percent of whom had their agents and managers calling the studio every hour on the hour to make sure Marvel knew their clients would still be interested, the winner of The Avengers Director Sweepstakes looks to be a guy who has directed exactly one movie, who completely failed to get a different comic book franchise off the ground, who has failed with the last two TV shows he’s made and whose biggest success of the last 10 years was directing a couple episodes of The Office and putting together an Internet TV special. So what’s Joss Whedon got on the big bosses at Marvel, anyway? Nekked pictures? Video proof of bestiality? Information about ritual sacrifice? I’m a part of the Whedon Universe and always will be because I am a rabid Buffy and Angel fan. Just last night, I got sucked into one of the final episodes of Buffy on Logo when I should have been watching my DVR of Vampire Diaries. I almost got up at 6 a.m. this week because I knew the series finale of Angel was on TNT — even though I have the episode on DVD. I watched Firefly, Serenity and tried my hardest to get into Dollhouse before I realized it was nonsensical. So the last thing I want to do is keep the guy from working. But with every director in Hollywood salivating at the chance to do this, and with hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of careers riding on this movie, why would Marvel go with a guy with such a shoddy recent track record? He’s obviously got a good relationship with Marvel, since he’s also rewriting the Captain America script and The Avengers script too. I’d love nothing more than to see Whedon get the mainstream credibility he deserves, but it just seems like the stakes are too high on this project to make it happen.

Robert Downey Jr. certainly has his plate full lately. Iron Man 2 comes out in a couple weeks, he’ll be a major part of The Avengers in 2012, and in between, he’ll probably be asked to do a Sherlock Holmes sequel. Don’t call it a comeback … he’s been here for years. He had to know this was the kind of schedule he’d be facing when he signed up to play these characters, so it’s not like you can feel sorry for him. But that’s the kind of major production schedule that can really screw up the timetables of one of the other projects when it comes to re-shoots and post-production. And there is NO WAY Marvel will push back Avengers, so he better be ready to do some major work.

awwww, they're so cute!

awwww, they're so cute!

Who’s up for a good Brat Pack story? Me, always. The death of John Hughes last year forced us — some willingly, others not so much — to recall the carefree 80s days of the Brat Pack, that group of teen/20-ish actors that helped define a generation and graced the cover of every teen magazine for a good five years straight. Now that it’s been about eight months since Hughes died, it’s about time for the Hughes/Brat Pack books to start coming out. That means we’re going to be coming back to the Brat Pack (again), maybe for the last time until one of them dies. So soak it up now if you want, because it could be a while before you hear from these people again.

There are two ways a celebrity can treat his most famous film/TV/music moment. He can go into interviews and demand that the reporter not talk bring up said moment — call it the Billy Bob Thornton method — or he can talk about it in every interview he gives to the point where he wants to vomit when he finishes the promo tour for whatever he’s doing. Michael Madsen falls in the latter category. He’ll talk about the ear scene in Reservoir Dogs until his own ear falls off, apparently. That’s probably better than having to explain the logic behind Free Willy 2.

The much-publicized bidding boredom for Miramax looks like it’s over — and the guys who won are the guys who started the business. Bob and Harvey Weinstein appear to have fashioned the winning bid to buy back the movie studio they founded at a much higher price than they sold it for almost 20 years ago. Who knows what they’re going to do with it, but hopefully they bring it back to what it was when they ran it, now when Disney ran it. The studio that brought us inspirational, breakthrough cinema like Sex, Lies and Videotape, My Left Foot, Bob Roberts and Reservoir Dogs under the Weinsteins then like Brodie said in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, when they made She’s All That, it all went downhill.

two extra years of michael weston

two extra years of michael weston

The USA formula for original shows is pretty standard, almost CBS-like. Get a hero, make him/her flawed but likable with weird quirks, have them solve crimes and make sure everything wraps up in an hour. The end. Monk, Royal Pains, Psych, In Plain Sight, White Collar, they’re all pretty much the same show. The only one that really distinguishes itself — although it hasn’t that much lately — is Burn Notice. But because the spy series does distinguish itself enough to be the network’s top series (other than Raw), and because it still has stories to tell and bad guys to apprehend, USA wants to keep it around for a while. Like, two extra years. The show will start its fourth season in June and will be around for two more years after that. I’m all for keeping the show around, I just want to see a more concentrated effort on keeping the serial story a little more enjoyable and understandable.

Speaking of CBS, the network has posted its schedule for season finales. With all the TV I watch, I just can’t believe there isn’t one show on here I care about in any way, shape or form. Nothing. I have the sneaking suspicion that the descriptions for these shows don’t even matter — you can probably use these quick-hits for any of the shows’ other episodes. The only thing I watch even occasionally is The Good Wife, and I know that’s the case for its description. Since I rarely mention The Good Wife, the only thing of serious note from it this year has been the fact that Julianna Margulies has gotten seriously hotter with age. I know, I’m as shocked as you are! We’re talking more than 15 years since she started on ER, a show I thought she was repellent on. Just didn’t think she was attractive at all and had no problem with Clooney sleeping around because, well, she didn’t look good enough for him. Now? Chris Noth’s DA guy should be barred from ever speaking to her again for fooling around. Jerk!

John Mayer tickets for Montage, PNC and Susquehanna Bank Center go on sale tomorrow. If anyone goes and he doesn’t play Why Georgia can you please let me know so that I can send him an angry letter, and so that I don’t feel as bad that I won’t be going? Thanks, that’d be awesome.  

The nearly implausible story of how the summer blockbuster Knight and Day will come to the screen in late June is the exact reason why some people just can’t stomach being Hollywood. It’s a dizzying, frightening, masochistic business that will turn the straightest arrow into a walking, talking, cocaine-induced puddle of rainwater within a week. But the fact that there are success stories like Knight and Day is exactly what keeps the strong ones hanging around. No matter what, some people think they can get their movie made. Though it doesn’t look or sound anything like the original version, the trailer for Knight and Day actually has me excited, and it’s on the short list of movies I’ll actually wander out of my house to see this summer. I think this is like the third time I’ve posted this trailer, but it actually is that good.

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