Nicolas Winding Refn Steps Away from ‘The Equalizer’

For Danish filmmaker, Nicolas Winding Refn, his directorial career has seen its fair share of punches. As someone who built a name for himself on intense, small-budget foreign features, directing Hollywood blockbusters never really seemed like his end game. But with the success of last year’s Drive and the hype surrounding he and Gosling’s latest collaboration Only God Forgives, we’re not surprised that he’s become a hot commodity in Hollywood, tapped to helm bigger-budget thrillers with a host of A-list talent.

In December, Collider reported that Refn was slated to direct the Denzel Washington thriller, The Equalizer—an adaptation of the 1980s crime series, centered on Robert McCall, a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble—marking the Danish director’s first foray into the big Hollywood system. But the problem there, is that Refn is someone with such a specific vision and auteurist qualities that adapting to a more regimented or structured environment might prove oppressive. But who knows, everyone has to move up at some point.

However, today Collider reported that although Sony was close to closing the deal with Refn, it appears to have fallen apart at the last minute due to “unknown reasons.” With Only God Forgives on the horizon, Logan’s Run in the works (sans Gosling), and his rumored Barbarella TV adaptation, perhaps Refn had no interest in spreading himself too thin? Either way, the studio is going forth with The Equalizer with or without Refn’s finesse for crime drama.

Trailer for ‘Flight’ Takes Off

It’s been a while since Back To The Future director Robert Zemeckis made a live action movie—and one we wanted to see at that. But now that the trailer for his forthcoming Flight has dropped, all that’s about to change. The movie, set to be released in November, stars Denzel Washington as a seemingly troubled pilot who saves nearly an entire plane worth of people when the equipment on board fails and he maneuvers them through a potentially deadly crash.

Things don’t end there, at least as far as we can tell from the trailer. It looks as if Washington’s character is forced to lawyer up (bringing on Don Cheadle) because of what might be revealed about the circumstances around the events. 

Between the intense-looking crash scene and the dramatic, what-the-fuck-happened-to-these-people build up that the rest of the film promises, this trailer’s got us thinking beyond summer blockbusters to all the multiplex fun we’re gonna have come fall.

Links: Movie Stars Steal All the Tony Awards, Sausage Man Jimmy Dean Dies

● Movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Denzel Washington took home trophies at last night’s Tony Awards, in part because Hollywood is greedy and also because no one would care about theater otherwise. [NYT] ● Not one, but two Mean Girls sequels are in the works, at least one of which is going straight to DVD, at least one of which is titled Mean Moms, and none of which feature Lindsay Lohan, angry drinking binge or not. [Jezebel] ● A 59-year-old woman hit Jackass star Bam Margera in the head with a bat. [E!]

● Jimmy Dean, American country music legend, actor, and sausage magnate, has died at age 81. Eat a patty and pray. [AP] ● Simon Monjack, Brittany Murphy’s widower, who passed away soon after the young actress died, had two secret children, making this story a more and more tragic screenplay. [TMZ] ● In the battle of ’80s remakes, The Karate Kid tops The A-Team at the box office, but we all lose because karate puns are uncreative. [ET]

Links: Lindsay Lohan’s Hair Club, John Hughes Remembered

● Actors like Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, and Steve Carell in the exclusive $20 million club have had to swallow their pride recently and take pay cuts in order to act in Hollywood films. [StudioBriefing] ● After years of frying and dyeing her hair, Lindsay Lohan may be going bald; but knowing Lohan, if that’s the case, she’ll start her own line of wigs. [Showbizspy] ● Nancy Meyers has unveiled the trailer to her new romantic comedy It’s Complicated. As always it’s about a zany older woman (Meryl Streep) having an affair with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin) while juggling a relationship with her equally zany architect (Steve Martin). [Apple]

● Jermaine Jackson says his job now, beyond just being Michael Jackson’s brother, is to spread the word of MJ and carry on his humanitarian causes. [LarryKingBlog] ● Molly Ringwald and Matthew Broderick reminisce about their teen melodrama svengali John Hughes, who died yesterday of a heart attack. [People] ● The guest judges set to replace Paula Abdul are coming down fast; Katy Perry has been added to the roster, which already includes Victoria Beckham.[Rpulse]