Today's update isn't focussing on a project that I'm particularly optimistic over (Well not compared to yesterday's Iron Man love-fest), but I felt is worth mentioning due to a casting choice that is the first bright spot of this other-wise troubling production.
It all started a few years ago when a script for Die Hard 4 came around. It featured John McClane, aided by Ben Affleck (Or so it was rumored), battling terrorists in the jungle. The twist was that they had to rely on primitive weaponry, I guess because there are no gun shops in the jungle... Anyways, that script got scrapped. Then we heard rumors Britney Spears was going to play McClane's daughter. Many an action-fan wept. Finally, REAL progress was made with a final script (That was actually approved) titled Die Hard 4.0. Die Hard 4.0 was going to be unique since it would deal with ol' "analogue" McClane battling computer hackers trying to topple our nation's infrastructure or some nonsense.
There were director rumors abound... John McTiernan may return! Renny Harlin isn't allowed within 100 ft of it! Finally, however, the dust settled and a mighty name was announced from the heavens: "WE CALL UPON LEN WISEMAN!". Wait, who? Well, old Lenny is perhaps better known as Mr. Kate Beckinsale. Mr. Beckinsale is best known for bestowing upon mankind the defining saga of our time, Underworld... Yeah, those cheesy Matrix-ripoffs! The half-assed vampire vs. werewolf movies.
At any rate, once Lenny got involved, things started happening! Die Hard 4.0 was given a new super-cheesy title: Live Free Or Die Hard! He brought on a youthful computer-hacker sidekick for McClane played by Justin Long of Accepted and Jeepers Creepers fame! He hired Mission: Impossible III eye-candy Maggie Q. to play an evil hacker! I don't know about you, but I've never found computer hackers at all threatening. In real life, they can be a nuisance, sure, but in the movies they're only made cool by being played by master-nutjobs like Willem Dafoe or Jeremy Irons and given grotesque abnormalities... Lenny wasn't, however, able to convince any of actors from previous DH's to show up. What, are Reginald vel Johnson and Bonnie Bedelia that in demand? We also were taken aback when we found out that Bruce was going to play the role bald this time! Sacrilege! At any rate, things looked grim. Then... a light in the form of Jeffrey Wright was cast upon this potential disaster.
Jeffrey Wright is an actor with class! He's usually only associated with "quality" work like Angels In America, Basquiat or Broken Flowers, due to the fact he's an actor's actor. This is a guy who should be winning Oscars, not being on the receiving end of a "Yippee-Kay-Yay....."! Yeah, he'll be showing up in the next Bond film, Casino Royale as Bond's CIA buddy, Felix Leiter, but the Bond franchise has a higher pedigree than the long-dormant Die Hard franchise. The only other notable time Wright's participated in a pop-corn flick was his role in the Samuel L. Jackson (Pre-Snakes On A Plane) headed Shaft remake. Anyone who saw that mediocre film recalls Wright! He took a one-note drug dealer role and made him one of the most fascinating characters in mainstream film that year.
You're probably wondering what does this mean? (Other than that I have way too much time on my hands). Well, this means that there is actually something to look forward to regarding Live Free Or Die Hard! When I go see this flick (Which I still would have ended up seeing, even if they'd cast Will Ferrell in the villain spot) this is what I'll be the most excited about. So, rest easy Mr. Beckinsale, you've got my $10... But Jeff better be seein' some bonus pay!____________________________________________________________________
Well, that went way longer than I'd planned... So I'm gonna cut this section short and just draw our attention to a cool contest by our friends at Paramount! As you may or may not be aware, next summer brings us Michael Bay's Transformers movie, and the studio wants you to submit a line you'd like to hear Optimus Prime say. If you win, your line's in the movie. I was never a big Transformers fan as a kid (My loyalties lied with He-Man and Ghostbusters), but even I think this is pretty damn cool.
Enter your witty catchphrases here: http://www.transformersmovie.com/