Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spider-man Has Cast a New Webb, MLK To The Big Screen, and Maleficent With Her Own Story?

It's official, (500) Days of Summer director, Marc Webb, is to direct Sony and Columbia Pictures re-imagining of Spider-man. I personally feel a lot more optimistic about this reboot at this time, this is a fantastic choice for a director. Just watching (500) Days of Summer was in some respects like watching Peter Parker's tangled web of romance unfold in the Spider-man comic books, so I have no doubt Webb is the guy who can pull off a truthful version of the character.

Not to mention, more on this reboot was revealed today. The film is gonna focus less on the badguys and more on the emotions of being a teenager with super powers, which is what initially attracted me to the TV Show Smallville. The word is the film will be filled with a bunch of unknowns and shot for a budget of about $80 million, so they're clearly trying to cover themselves if this reboot doesn't succeed. It is being said though that the film is being tailored after the New Millenium comics, Ultimate Spider-man and not the original Amazing Spider-man from the '60s which was what the first three Raimi films were tailored after. Ultimate Spider-man is the fantastic retelling of a high school aged Peter Parker and it has inspired countless TV Shows and video games, in particular the amazing cartoon The Spectacular Spider-man on Disney XD. To be honest, now that more has come to light about this reboot, I'm a little bit more optimistic, but I'm still a touch skeptical, especially since this Spidey film has such big boots to fill (seriously, the first two Raimi films were no slouches).

Moving on, it's been reported that director Tim Burton is mulling about possibly making a film detailing the villainous soreceress Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent was the vile sorceress who ensnared Princess Aurora in her comatose state in the animated Disney classic. I find this interesting. While it is by no means official yet, I see it in many ways as a big gamble, but that is assuming it will be live-action. Tim Burton has such a history in animation, this could be an animated film, possibly stop motion. It also makes me wonder whether the film will be a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent's side of things, because if that was the case, and it just turned out to be live action, I would prefer them just to take the classic Sleeping Beauty cartoon (which is one of my favorite Disney classics by the way), and simply do that in live action. Just my two cents, but that could, in my opinion, be an Oscar caliber film, bringing back a good ol' musical with some Lord of the Rings action and not this junk like High School Musical.

Finally, it has been announced that Dreamworks has found a writer to pen their biopic of Martin Luther King, Jr., in screenwriter Ronald Harwood who wrote The Pianist and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It was announced back in May of last year that Steven Spielberg had acquired the rights to direct a film about the life of Martin Luther King, but seriously, am I the only one sick and tired of straight forward biopics? I think Clint Eastwood's Invictus really cracked open the safe on how to tell a good, convincing biopic without making it a greatest hits compilation of that person's life. What Invictus did was it let you know who Nelson Mandella was, get a feel for his character, but it only took one event in his long and illustrious life and focused on that, and that is what made that film so entertaining to watch, I believe if a similar approach were applied to MLK's film, it could be a masterpiece, especially with Spielberg at the helm.

Seriously, the Beard is, in my opinion, too good to be doing your by the number biopic. I say, they should take King's essay, "Letter from Birmingham Jail," and adapt that whole scenario of King being arrested in Birmingham, AL, into a film. We could get a feel for who King was, see him get thrown into jail, and then watch how his experiences in the jail and trace experiences in his plea for equality in the days leading up to his being tossed into jail (revealed through clever flashbacks) inspired everything within that essay he wrote. This is just my idea. If ya want it Steven, hire me, fly me out to LA, and I'll write it for ya.

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