So soon! They get greedy so easily, don't they. Also today: Conan's TBS move isn't exactly paradise for his writers, friction on the set of the Nikki Finke show sounds about right, and lots of casting news.
Yikes. Though all seemed like a mostly happy ending when Conan O'Brien announced that he'd be taking himself and most of his trusty staff with him to TBS, there was obviously finer print to look at. Namely, because the show's on basic cable and not a big-time network, the writers (and the rest of the staff) are taking a pay cut. How much isn't clear yet, but you can but it's likely from somewhere around So Much More Than Your Average Novel Writer to about A Lot More Than A Playwright. Which is pretty significant. But it could be worse. When their salaries get slashed to Within Spitting Distance Of a Poet, then I would expect some kind of revolt. Conan, meanwhile, still makes Larry Kingly Sums. [THR]
Art is imitating life! Sort of! You know how Nikki Finke is always crazy and yelling at people and getting in phone-fights and blogging-spats and what have you? Well that level of yelling is happening on the set of the show Tilda, which is basically about Finke. Cynthia Mort, the showrunner, has left the production after getting in rages that involved executive producer Bill Condon and kindly series star Diane Keaton. Yelling at Diane Keaton? What are you, some kind of monster? Who are you, Gwen Verdon in Marvin's Room?? (OK, to be fair, Gwen Verdon doesn't so much yell at Diane Keaton in Marvin's Room, as much as she yells around her, but still.) Mort supposedly sent nasty emails out to everyone after a particularly big fight, and HBO asked her to leave. The fate of the show is unclear, but this means that we are possibly one step closer to the true dream: Nikki Finke writing, directing, and starring in a madcap bio-series about herself. Please, heavens. Give us this meager gift. [EW]
O ho ho. Remember Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer's ulta-twee overdrive follow up to Everything Is Illuminated? Well it is being made into a movie, just as Illuminated was. But! This will not be some certified lit-hip project like that film was — directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood and the guy from Gogol Bordello and all that. No sir. This here is an ultra-gloss Hollywood studio project, produced by Scott Rudin, written by Eric "Forrest Gump" Roth, directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours), and starring... Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Wapow! That is a thick, juicy Hollywood sandwich right there, isn't it? That's going to be some big budget, Christmas Day-debuting, hanky-handing-out celluloid. Most curious: Who are Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks even going to play? Sandra will be the kid's mom, I guess? Unless she's in the old-timey flashbacks? That would be weird. Though, she does speak German. Or are the German characters from the other one, The History of Love, that Safran Foer's wife wrote? They were basically the same book, only slightly different. Which one is Dresden? Maybe Sandra will be in that one. Maybe Hanks is going to play the kid in some strange new animation method. Maybe these secrets are hidden in the oldest cabinet in the oldest store in the oldest corner of New York, hidden away behind the oldest wall, kept from the world by the oldest lock. Maybeeee! [Deadline]
Shamed, no doubt, by her terrible anti-American-familyism, Jennifer Aniston has decided to flee the world of cinema and return to that which she knows best, somewhere comfortable. She's going to do a TV laffs program with Courteney Cox. Indeed, the stick-haired actress will be guesting on the season premiere of her old friend's new show, Wish We Had a Better Title Than "Cougar Town", as a therapist named Bonnie who gets too involved in her client's (Cox's) life. Perfect!
Jen Aniston surely knows a thing or a thousand about therapy and becoming unhealthily obsessed with people and peering in windows and weeping in the back of dark movie screening rooms as you watch people go from shooting guns to kissing and falling in love and all you have is your No-More-Crying pills and the dregs of this bottle of Cab/Merlot blend to keep you company. Ahem. She's going to be great. [EW]
Hm. Paramount Studios is looking for 13- to 14-year-old kids who are good-looking. Yes, it appears they want "absolutely stunning natural beauty" girls and "very handsome and/or striking" boys who are at least 5'6". Both kids should have a "Midwestern feel". Yikes. Some executive's assistant is going to get so fired for drunkenly leaking the party favors list for the next investors' conference. Not good. Ha ha, I am just kidding. It's not for nefarious sex purposes! It's for an unnamed tween movie about stunning, handsome tweens. I'm sorry. Are there really that many 13- and 14-year-olds who are striking beauties? Those pimply, sweaty fuckers? Good luck finding your dream dates, Paramount. The whole thing sounds kind of depressing. Like, can you imagine meeting a 13- or 14-year-old who thinks/knows that they're strikingly beautiful? Worst person on the planet! But most depressing about this? "PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS/SNACKS". Ha. Bring your lunchboxes, kids. [Deadline]
Casting! Middle-aged man of the moment (and for good reason) Bryan Cranston is teaming up with Carey Mulligan to go on a Drive, an actioner about a stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a getaway driver and then, duh, shit goes wrong. Obviously Mulligan will be The Girl, as there is always The Girl, and Cranston will be... either the villain or a world-weary cop who helps Gosling out. Or like a dad or something. One of those things. Anyway, this sounds like a movie that they would make in the '70s, which is fun. The guy who directed that cult hit Bronson will direct this. I will see this! If only for the off chance that Cranston will be playing The Girl. [THR]
Matthew Lillard still exists in some capacity. He's joined the cast of an indie called From the Head, about the birth of Athena. Ha, no, I wish. It's about a bathroom attendant and solely takes place entirely in a bathroom. That is true. SLC Dump. [Variety]
Jim Carrey just can't stop doing gay movies! First there was I Love You, Phillip Morris which most folks have yet to see. And now there's Mr. Popper's Penguins, about an all-male black-tie party where things quickly get raunchy. Well, it's either about that or about a stodgy rich man who inherits a family of penguins and they change his life. Which one would you rather see? (Bear in mind: The first suggestion would involve copious Jim Carrey sex scenes.) (Bear in mind: The second suggestion could possibly also involve copious Jim Carrey sex scenes.) [Deadline]