Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.
Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading →
With Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Quantum of Solace) sadly stepping down from the role, speculation continues to circle the web as to who is going to replace him as the world’s most famous spy. Although MGM had reportedly offered Craig £68 million for a further two films, plus shares, inside reports have stated that Craig is simply done with the role, and is moving on. And so now must producers Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough) and Michael G. Wilson (For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill), along with the heads at MGM, decide on a new actor to further the franchise. The favored choice, at least according to all the rumors, is Avengers and High-Rise actor Tom Hiddleston, who has thus far denied all of the rumors, but who, I’m sure, is not completely against the idea. Another name that has come up is Aiden Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Poldark), but according to a more recent report from the Daily Mail, Billy Eliot and Nymphomaniac star Jamie Bell is in actual talks with the producers to take over the role. Continue reading →
With pretty much all of the original cast returning from the blockbuster hit Olympus Has Fallen, including Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, there is a chance that the upcoming sequel London Has Fallen will be at least as action-packed as the original, but any kind of a story the writers try to produce already seems automatically cliche. Olympus Has Fallen was released in 2013 and was praised for it’s action sequences and visual effects, but the story wasn’t necessarily anything you haven’t heard before. The new movie will also bring back original actors Melissa Leo, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell, who will also be joined by Oscar-nominated actor Jackie Earle Haley. Haley is most widely known by younger audiences for portraying the masked hero Rorschach in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009), but his Academy Award-nomination came from his supporting role in director Todd Field’s Little Children (2006). The actor has also appeared in All The King’s Men (2006), Semi-Pro (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Lincoln (2012), and the recent remake of RoboCop earlier this year from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The plot will apparently involve an assassination plot that will take place at the funeral of Prime Minister, but it reads to me like this series is turning into a modern-day Escape From New York/Escape From LA sequel series: just a similar story taking place in a new location, but I guess we’ll see when it hits theaters in 2015. The film will be directed by Babak Nanafi from a script by Olympus Has Fallen writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt and new team member Christian Gudegast.
Some recent buzz has been going around the horror movie scene about a renewed interest in the Jeepers Creepers series from director Victor Salva. The original film was released in 2001 and starred Justin Long and Gina Phillips as siblings driving across country on their way home when they come across the Creeper dumping some bodies down a drainage pipe and become his new prey. Jeepers Creepers 2 came out in 2003, and both films combined earned a total of around $120 million worldwide, but since the second film was released to (as I recall) disappointed audiences, another installment was halted or shelved from production. Time has done another number on movie-goers and a renewed interest in the series may mean a third movie coming some time in the future, although there is no telling how soon at this point; this is all in spite of a statement from director Salva, who has stated that he has actually finished a full day of shooting on a third project, but nothing is moving forward without a complete script, cast, or go-ahead for further production. The first two films were released through MGM and United Artist, so maybe they’ll get behind Salva for a third movie, but as I said before, nothing is set in stone.
Two men enter, one man leaves….still undefeated that is. On September 14th, Floyd “Money” Mayweather (44-0-26KO) will fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-0-1-30KO) at the MGM Grand in what is anticipated to be the highest selling fight in history since Money and the Golden Boy met in 2007. This fight is projected to sell more than $18M in tickets, not counting PPV orders.
This will be the second fight of Mayweather’s megadeal with Showtime following his victory over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. Money’s deal with Showtime spans 30 months and includes 6 fights and is estimated to be worth $200M.
I was surprised to hear, through twitter, that Mayweather had selected to fight Alvarez. I would’ve liked to see Canelo get one or two more fights under his belt as his skills are stil developing. Canelo’s defensive skills were evident as he slid by Austin Trout’s punches, in his last match, though he is not known for being a defensive fighter.
Though Alvarez has fought his share of professional fights, he has not yet faced a fighter with the defensive expertise as Mayweather. I ‘m excited to see Alvarez’s gameplan, as we all know, there is a list of 44 other gameplans Mayweather has picked apart, and sent back to the gym.