Yes, the melodrama comedian guy is going a very different route for his next movie. Also today: the mother of all apocalypse yarns is on its way to the big screen, while The Kennedys finds a home on the small.
Tyler Perry, the visionary filmmaker behind such hits as Madea's Gun and Madea's Gonna Shoot You, is taking on a role you probably never thought you'd see him in. No, he's not dating a woman. (BURN.) He won't be dressing up like a crazy old lady either. No, in fact, he'll be a regular human man who has a very serious job. Remember Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, those low-rent thrillers based on popular books that starred Morgan Freeman as Det. Alex Cross, murder investigator extraordinaire? Well, they're continuing the series, just not with Morgan Freeman. Idris Elba, of The Wire and Beyoncé & Ali's Stair-Throwing Hothouse, was originally supposed to play the part, but he backed out. So can you see where I'm going with this? Yes, no joke, Tyler Perry will be playing Alex Cross in a new planned franchise. The first picture will be directed by Rob Cohen, who did xXx and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. (How big of a mantle do you need to fit all those Oscars, I wonder?) Doesn't that sound great?? Aren't you thrilled?? (In all seriousness, I know Tyler Perry's movies are sort of a third rail in terms of speaking negatively about them, so say what you will about them as Movies, but Mr. Perry is NOT a good actor, so this sounds like an unholy mess.) [THR]
Joaquin Phoenix, done with whatever he was doing with that I Am Here business, is considering jumping back into the regular acting game, and his first choice might be a role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, that movie about the Great Emancipator killing bloodsucking fiends. (No, not Reconstruction-era Carpetbaggers! Actual vampires.) Phoenix would play a mentor to Lincoln, who will be played by Broadway sexypex Benjamin Walker. I think this could be a good choice for ol' Joaquin. It's silly and fun and could be a hit. And maybe it's just dark and weird enough to fuel whatever grim impulses make someone do I Am Here. Or instead of the vampire movie, he could just make a mockumentary sequel called I Was There, about him looking at pictures from the 2006 Oscars and realizing "Hey, I was kind of a big deal once." [Deadline]
Hey Veronica Martians! Here's a big bit of news for you. No, they're not bringing the show back. Let it go. It's just that Kristen Bell has been added to the cast of House of Lies, that Showtime pilot about Don Cheadle as a fast-talking management consultant. Bell will play an ambitious, Ivy League employee. So that's good for her. I think television is where she belongs. And on Showtime she'll get to swear! Of course there's no guarantee this show will actually go to series, but its chances look good. Now if we could just get Percy Daggs III some work, we'd be in business. [EW]
Everyone's into the apocalypse, right? I mean, just look how excited Glenn Beck is now that Egypt is bringing about the end times. Plus there's like Hunger Games and Walking Dead and all that. It's just what people want these days. So, enter one of the most famous apocalypse narratives of the modern age, Stephen King's The Stand. Yes they're making it into a feature film, after 33 years of trying. Of course there was the 1994 miniseries, which I remember watching as a kid and thinking was the most incredibly bleak and exciting and mysterious thing ever but if you watch now is suuuper cheesy and chintzy looking, but this is the big time movie theater adaptation. Could be exciting! Or could be very very bad. Just keep Zak Snyder away from it, huh? Although he did well with apocalypse stuff in Dawn of the Dead, his subsequent movies have not been pleasant. [THR]
ABC has ordered three new pilots. From Desperate Housewives glamorpuss Marc Cherry comes a show called Hallelujah, about a town in Tennessee besieged by a war between good and evil. But then a mysterious stranger comes to town and "brings justice, peace, and faith." So it's basically what? Touched by an Outlaw? Great. Next up is a show called Identity, in which two detectives try to figure out the mystery behind why that movie Identity had the weirdest ending ever. ("Whores don't get a second chance!!") No, it's about identity theft. Lastly, there's Once Upon a Time, a show about a girl going to a town in Maine where fairy tales might be real. It's from the two Lost guys who wrote TRON: Legacy and the script based on the Ouija board. So, it's bound to be good. [Deadline]
Oh, this is too bad for everyone involved. The Kennedys, the History Channel miniseries that they abandoned supposedly because there were too many historical licenses taken, will now air on the ReelzChannel. Mmhm. There's apparently something called the ReelzChannel, based out of
Albuquerque, and that's where the show is going to air. Supposedly the channel is available in 60 million homes nationwide, including those with TimeWarner like mine, but... I've certainly never heard of it! You know what I'm going to do, mostly because I feel bad for Barry Pepper and Greg Kinnear? I'm going to find the ReelzChannel and I'm going to watch at least one of these Kennedys episodes. (There are eight in total, and I'm not committing to that many.) I think you should do that too. See if you have ReelzChannel and then get seven of your friends to each watch a part and it'll be like one whole person watched the whole thing! This is civic duty in action, folks. Or, y'know, don't watch it at all. What do I care. [THR]