According to Fox News Joaquin Phoenix says there’s no hoax about it: He really has given up acting to become a hip-hop musician. Phoenix has been spending his time laying down tracks for a rap album in the recording studio he built at his home, the two-time Academy Award nominee said Tuesday in an interview to promote what he claims is his final movie, Two Lovers. After video hit the Internet last month capturing part of Phoenix’s debut rap performance at a Las Vegas club, speculation swirled that he was perpetrating an elaborate practical joke. “I don’t know where that comes from,” Phoenix said. “If it comes from people that I’ve had a falling out with, that are (ticked) off at me?” “There’s not a hoax,” Phoenix said. “Might I be ridiculous? Might my career in music be laughable? Yeah, that’s possible, but that’s certainly not my intention.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the third film in the Tomb Raider series will completely reboot the video game-based character, including changing her origin story (most likely shying away from her English aristocracy roots) and introduce new kinds of missions, love interests and villains. And, most notably, a new leading lady as Angelina Jolie will not be returning.
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) will be playing Zuko in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action feature film The Last Airbender, based on Nickelodeon’s Avatar anime, according to Variety. Patel takes on the role of the Fire Nation’s evil Zuko, which was originally to be played by Jesse McCartney until “schedule conflicts arose”. Exiled from the Fire Nation by his father, Zuko is sent to capture the Avatar in order to restore his honor and right to the throne. The Last Airbender will still be released July 2, 2010.
Warner Bros has finally selected a director for the live-action He-Man movie Masters of the Universe. After announcing the project in May 2007, John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) has been hired to helm the adaptation of Mattel’s popular toys and 80s cartoon. In fact, it took so long for Warners to make a move on this project that sources inside the studio said the concept was dead and gone. But He-Man cannot be stopped. Joel Silver (The Matrix) is producing based on a script by Justin Marks that buries He-Man in a gritty fantasy world similar to the Lord of the Rings. When a LatinoReview writer did a script review last year, he gave it an A+ and said it was one of the best screenplays he had ever read.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro are in talks to star in Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a drama about the violent persecution of 17th century Jesuit missionaries in Japan. Per Variety, Gael Garcia Bernal is also eyeing a role in Silence. The film marks the third collaboration between Scorsese and Day-Lewis. The duo previously worked together on The Age of Innocence and Gangs of New York.
EmpireOnline says Al Pacino’s got another Shakespearean adaptation lined up, following The Merchant of Venice and Looking for Richard, he will be headlining King Lear. Pacino has been offered the chance to play Lear before, but hasn’t felt ready until now. The story, follows the titular King as he resolves to split his domains between his three daughters, determining the split according to how much they love him. But when the two elder flatter him outrageously and the youngest (his favourite) refuses to play the game, he disinherits her and ends up miserable himself. Michael Radford, of Il Postino and The Merchant of Venice is set to direct, with shooting due to start later this year.
Gary Marshall is set to direct New Line Cinema’s comedy Valentine’s Day, about 10 Los Angeles people whose lives intersect on Feb. 14. Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein rewrote a draft by Katherine Fugate. Marshall also directed Georgia Rule, The Princess Diaries and Runaway Bride.
Ken Nolan will rewrite Paramount’s untitled moon project starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Doug Liman and John Hamburg penned the original script. The Hollywood Reporter describes the project as an “action film about lunar colonization.” Liman (The Bourne Identity) is also on board to direct.
Kung Fu Panda shut out its competition in every major feature film category at the 36th annual Annie Awards celebrating 2008’s best animated movies. The DreamWorks Animation pic bested critic favorite Wall-e and other nominee Bolt for “Best Feature.” The surprise win is the first time DreamWorks has beaten a Pixar film for the top prize since 2001’s Shrek over Pixar’s Monster’s Inc. Panda took home fifteen statues Friday night and tied for the most wins ever. The Annie Award has matched the “Best Animated Feature” category at the Academy Awards every single year but one.
Newsinfilm.com says Emily Blunt and Jason Segel are in negotiations to join lead actor Jack Black in Fox’s “contemporary reimagining” of Gulliver’s Travels. Rob Letterman (Shark Tale) has already signed to direct a script from Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Joe Stillman (Shrek). The adapted story is about Lemuel Gulliver (Black), a travel writer who takes an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle and washes up on the island of Lilliput, where he’s a giant among the tiny population. Blunt will play a Lilliputian princess and Black’s love interest. Segel will play Horatio, Gulliver’s best friend from Lilliput who helps rescue Gulliver when he’s captured.
The Hollywood Reporter