In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, we hear talk of a DreamWorker, a dream movie, and some (bad) dream casting.
Jeffrey Katzenberg says he has “the best job in Hollywood,” but Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply aren’t so sure. They look at the current state of affairs at DreamWorks Animation, the company Katzenberg heads, which releases so few films that “one … flop could send the company’s stock into a tailspin.” The story poses a lot of questions – Should DWA remain independent? Is Comcast interested in the company? Does Katzenberg have grander ambitions? – but for the most part, the principals all insist they’re happy with the status quo. (The New York Times)
Will the strangest casting notice in months – Amy Adams as Janis Joplin in Fernando Meirelles’ planned biopic – actually become a movie? Nicole Sperling wonders, and provides a run-down of the many previous attempts at bringing Joplin’s story to the screen. One thing I’d say they all have in common: none of the stars, be they rumored or attached, strike me as having what it takes to convincingly play Joplin. That certainly goes for Adams, and for Lili Taylor, Pink, Zooey Deschanel, Renee Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon. (After “Winter’s Bone,” I’m thinking maybe Jennifer Lawrence, who unlike Adams isn’t eight years older than Joplin was when she died.) At any rate, Sperling says that Meirelles has another movie to make first, and his Joplin project doesn’t yet have a studio or the financing it needs. (Hollywood Insider) (Jeff Sneider addresses some of the same questions at Deal Central.)
The reaction to “Inception” quickly changed from focusing on the movie to focusing on reactionsto the movie – so at the L.A. Times, Steven Zeitchik reacts to the reactions to the reactions, in the process painting the story of the film as “It was one of the greatest movies of all time, until it wasn't.” I think he oversells both the initial enthusiasm and the backlash, though he does point out that there’s plenty of historical precedent for the move from wild enthusiasm to more measured consideration. (24 Frames)
And then Zeitchik keeps on reacting, wondering if the movie is going to turn into a “full-blown cultural phenomenon” after its opening weekend, saying the film’s long-range prospects are still “a puzzle.” His inclination is that it won’t have the impact of previous Christopher Nolan films like “The Dark Knight” and “Memento” … except, apparently, on the pages of the L.A. Times, where in another addition to the “Inception” chronicles, Patrick Goldstein decides that the only studio that would have allowed Nolan to make the film is Warner Bros., ‘the studio most invested in filmmaker relationships.” Even so, says Goldstein – who stops along the way to offer a primer in studio/filmmaker relationships throughout Hollywood – WB would never have given Nolan the green light unless the director had delivered for them with “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” And Warner’s Jeff Robinov agrees. (The Big Picture)
Anne Thompson’s “Career Watch” feature looks at Nicolas Cage, who’s coming off the underperforming “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and has made so many movies, Thompson says, that he’s repeating himself and causing audiences to “forget what a daring and gifted actor he is.” Her conclusions: his biggest problems are “overexposure, familiarity – and that hair,” but he can act and could be okay if he gets choosier, makes fewer movies and stops producing films himself. (Moviefone)