Full ‘Anchorman 2’ Trailer Voids Any Hope For Funny Sequel

In the pantheon of somewhat amusing things run into the ground by an appalling fan base, the first Anchorman film certainly has a place of pride. Its admittedly enjoyable premise—satirizing the sexual mores of the 1970s with three-degrees less subtlety than Mad Men employs when mocking the 1960s—became something for fratty, Family Guy-watching bros to quote without the slightest sense of irony. Anchorman 2 should almost definitely make things worse.

Even for a sequel, the set-up here is drab: instead of the 1970s, it’s the 1980s, because times change and also they ran out of 1970s jokes in the first movie. The original news team—Ron, Champ, Brian and Brick, and maybe the newswoman played by Christina Applegate, if they remember—set out to create a 24-hour news channel, so expect lots of potshots at CNN. Thankfully, the network fully deserves them.

The flip side to this plot is Will Ferrell’s terminally-oblivious Ron Burgundy is dating a black woman, which gives him the opportunity to spout racist commentary at dinner with her extended family. Humor! What remains to be seen is which of the seemingly hundreds of cameos will be worst: the cast, according to IMDb, includes Nicole Kidman, Liam Neeson, Kirsten Dunst, Sacha Baron Cohen, Harrison Ford, Kanye West, Greg Kinnear, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler, none of whom exactly need to lend their name to trash like this. Okay, maybe Kanye. 

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Game On: Watch the First Trailer for the Upcoming ‘Ender’s Game’ Adaptation

In elementary school and junior high, I ran with a social circle that some would probably diplomatically call "the indoor kids." We read a lot, specifically a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. The Douglas Adams and J.R.R. Tolkien repertoires were favorites, as was Orson Scott Card’s Ender series. And, today, the first trailer for an upcoming adaptation Card’s futuristic child-soldiers-at-war classic Ender’s Game is sending those who were sci-fi-loving bookworms in their youth (and also now, let’s be real) into a frenzy.

And what kid wouldn’t be into it? It has adventure, relatable tweens as the main characters and an engaging story. But then we grew up and learned more about Orson Scott Card and all of the horrible and upsetting things he actually believes, and that made us sad and should be kept in mind in all the hype, and there are important conversations to be had about this matter. But Card’s beliefs and politics aside, the Ender books remain popular and fans have probably been waiting for quite a while to see what an adaptation would look like. 

In this world of glittering spacecrafts and explosions, Asa Butterfield, who we last saw in Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed Hugo, is our Ender Wiggin, a kid who gets picked on at school but has immense intelligence and ability. And he shares the screen with a pretty stacked cast: Harrison Ford comes in as the leader of the battle school, Colonel Graff, Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, Viola Davis as Major Gwen Anderson, Hailee Steinfeld as Petra and Abigail Breslin as Ender’s sister, Valentine. Ender’s Game will be released in theatres on November 1st, 2013, which is a long way away. In the meantime, watch the trailer below. 

Original ‘Star Wars’ Cast Will Probably Be in the New ‘Star Wars’

Awww, the Star Wars gang is getting back together! While Carrie Fisher shared the news this week that she’ll be in the newest Star Wars film (I think we’re on, like, episode eighteen or something?) directed by J.J. Abrams, a lot of people (myself included) thought, "Uh, huh. OK, sure." But now an interview with George Lucas makes it sound like the casting is a given.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek (via Vulture), Lucas shared probably too much information:

Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”

You know what, George? Why don’t you keep that mouth buttoned and get back to us when everything’s settled. And I mean everything. Billy Dee Williams or bust!

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Five Of Your Favorite Novels Head To The Big Screen in 2013

With a slew of new page-to-popcorn films in the works, here’s a look at what will be making its way onto the silver screen next year.

THÉRÈSE

French writer Émile Zola’s novel-turned-play Thérèse Raquin has been adapted for the screen many times, but this December we’ll get a taste of director Charlie Stratton’s take on the haunting classic. The psychological tale of affaires de coeur and betrayal centers on Thérèse, a young woman forcibly married to her first cousin, who soon begins a turbulent affair with her husband’s friend. After the lovers conspire to murder her husband, they find themselves haunted by his ghost as their love turns to fiery rage. Elizabeth Olsen takes the reins as Thérèse, with Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, and Oscar Isaac adding to the cast of tortured characters.

CARRIE

After Brian De Palma released his cult-classic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel in 1976, who knew there needed to be another one? But as Hollywood is wont to do, audiences are in store for a new spin on the bloody story of a shy high school outcast who taps into her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on her bullying schoolmates. Helmed by Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce, the film stars budding ingénue Chloë Grace Moretz in the titular role alongside Julianne Moore and Judy Greer in the new adaptation of one of the most frequently banned books in the U.S.

THE GREAT GATSBY

Like a boat against the current “borne back ceaselessly into the past,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most celebrated work of obsession and tragedy will make its way to the screen once again this spring. The long-awaited adaptation will reunite director Baz Luhrmann with Leonardo DiCaprio, as Gatsby, and stars Carey Mulligan as his unattainable love, Daisy. After being pushed from its December release to May, anticipation for the film has only increased, with audiences wondering just what Luhrmann’s theatrical aesthetic will add to the beloved tale.

THE SEVENTH SON

Adapted from Joseph Delaney’s 2004 children’s novel, The Spook’s Apprentice, this 18th Century adventure film centers around a mystical young boy, Thomas, who becomes an apprentice to the local Spook (a cloaked man who travels the country fighting evil spirits for those who cannot) in order to learn the supernatural trade. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, the film will star The Chronicles of Narnia’s Ben Barnes in the lead role, with Julianne Moore as a cannibalistic, mischievous witch named Mother Malkin. Jeff Bridges and Alicia Vikander also join the cast.

ENDER’S GAME

Orson Scott Card’s science fiction thriller has been inching its way to the screen for years. First published in 1977 as a short story, the futuristic tale of alien warfare and adventure is set to hit theaters in November. Featuring Hugo’s Asa Butterfield and Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin, the film tells the story of a gifted boy sent to a space-based military school to prepare for an alien invasion. The sci-fi classic will be directed by actor/director Gavin Hood, who leads Hollywood veterans Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley into the dystopian future.

Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Promises ‘Star Wars’ Episode VII

Great news for anyone who likes nerds to suffer grievous self-harm: Walt Disney Co. has purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. for a modest $4.05 billion. The merger agreement includes plans for a Star Wars sequel—actually, three, for the full trilogy of trilogies, or nonology—with Episode 7 slated for 2015. Better dig out a costume and get on right line now.

George Lucas, the world’s foremost lightning rod for geek rage, had this to say in his statement about the deal:

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

So who should we expect to take the helm, here? As it’s Disney, they could always go full CGI cartoon—that would really make some superfan heads explode. Or maybe Chris Nolan can give us a “gritty” reboot of the whole franchise. Because what’s left to do after the second death star is destroyed? Will it be set thirty years later, and a dissolute Mark Hamill is just wandering the galaxy, using the Force to win bar bets? Did Han Solo marry into Alderaanish royalty? I imagine Carrie Fisher chucking her phone through a window and then taking hostages the first time they call to ask about a cameo. Now that’s a movie I would watch.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Links: Nicki Minaj Bracing for Sex Tape, Ashton Kutcher’s Side Girl Sells His Sweater

● There are two rumored sex tapes floating around featuring Young Money rapper Nicki Minaj. If blurry stills are any indication, she’s about to become way more famous. [MTO] ● Bristol Palin says she likes Levi Johnston’s new girlfriend because she’s urging the Alaskan baby daddy to spend more time with his child. [E! Online] ● Cristina Ricci says Robert Pattinson is “a good kisser” and a “lovely human being.” And Kristen Stewart seethes. [Celebuzz]

● Brittney Jones, the woman who claims she took advantage of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s open relationship, is selling a sweater she says is Kutcher’s on eBay. The starting bid is the price of her dignity. [TMZ] ● Lil Wayne bought a wheelchair for a fan’s mother — a motorized nice one worth $11,000 that hopefully comes with some rims. [Vulture] ● Harrison Ford says he’s not trying to kill Indiana Jones. [HuffPo]

Links: Lady Gaga Takes a Tumble, Sandra Bullock Sings

● Don’t you just hate when your crotchless leather pants get caught in your 8-inch heels and you fall in front of the entire world? [Styleite] ● Harrison Ford wore Wrangler jeans to his wedding, which seems preferable to his Indiana Jones and Han Solo outfits, because whips and sabers are just embarrassing. [People] ● Daniel Radcliffe on hearing Justin Bieber for the first time: “I genuinely thought it was a woman singing.” Celeb beef is just what these two weenies need. [MTV]

● Sandra Bullock made a surprise appearance at a Nashville fundraiser to perform “Smoke on the Water,” her third choice after Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” and the Sandra original “Jesse Ain’t Shit.” [EW] ● When the boys of Jersey Shore got punk’d into appearing on the cover of the Village Voice‘s Queer Issue, even the photographer had no idea what was going on—shirtless men, baby oil, and all. [Observer] ● Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa hates Kim Kardashian, and all other wives everywhere hate them both. [HuffPo]

Links: Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart Finally Wed, Miley Cyrus Slams Perez Hilton

● Old actors Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, who have been dating since the allies won the Great War, have finally gotten married. [TMZ] ● Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are shopping around a story about Heidi having an affair with her bodyguard. They’re both too dumb to know that movie’s already been made, and it was awesome. [Page Six] ● In a new Playboy interview, Cameron Diaz explains how she’s always traveling for sex, but instead of “sex,” she uses a really dirty word that boys like when girls say, because that’s her job. [HuffPo]

● “That’s some idiot being an idiot,” said Miley Cyrus about Perez Hilton, while speaking with Ryan Seacrest, completing the trifecta of most-hated celebrities at any given moment. [Celebuzz] ● If Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart share an apartment, who spends more time in the bathroom? [US Weekly] ● ShamWow! guy + Eminem = aggression overload. [ONTD]

The Time I Auditioned for Kathryn Bigelow & Insulted Liam Neeson

A story I always tell grew much darker the day Natasha Richardson died. It was 2001, and I was spending the summer before university as an extra on various movie sets across Toronto. It wasn’t a “breaking into acting” thing, it was a “making money thing.” Most extra work required me to fill out a crowd scene, but every now and then you’d score a gig that required something more specific and involved a smaller number of people. I once changed tires as a pit crew member on the Sylvester Stallone racing movie Driven. (And yes, we were warned to not look him directly in the eye.) One of the movies I did was TV movie called Haven, set during WWII where Richardson basically played a female version of her husband’s Schindler, and saved a bunch of Jews.

Later that summer, I got the call to be part of a Russian nuclear submarine crew for the movie K-19: The Widowmaker. With that name, I was expecting a straight-to-DVD clunker starring Dolph Lundgren. I was very wrong. My “Captains” were Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, and Bigelow, who at the time I had to look up, was directing. The submarine interior was built in a studio outside Toronto, and the first few days were spent with the other “crew members,” in the submarine, faking maintenance stuff for the cameras. The only time we saw Ford and Neeson was on Bigelow’s monitors while they were acting inside the sub and we were on the outside. Eventually the agency called and said the filmmakers needed one of the crew members to say a line in a scene with Harrison Ford. We were all brought back to the set, and auditions were held throughout the day.

The scene would’ve had me staring at a blank radar, and telling Harrison Ford, “No contacts captain,” and then, “I have a contact!” Considering it had to be read in a Russian accent, and most of the other actors were Russian, I’m surprised I made it to the final round — just me and another guy. The assistant director brought us on the sub to wait for Bigelow. We would be auditioning to her. While we waited, Ford and Neeson walked by constantly, sometimes nodding. I shook Ford’s hand, and when Neeson walked by, I blurted out “I did a movie with your wife,” referring my days on the Haven set. He shot me a look of disgust and kept walking. Suddenly the AD approached me and said, “How can you say that to him?”

“Say what?” I said. “I told him I did a movie with his wife!”

The AD corrected me, “No, you said you did his wife.” That asshole’s hearing problems frazzled me to the point that when Bigelow actually did arrive to hear me audition, I was a shell of my former self. All the aplomb and confidence I had was zapped. I didn’t get the part or the $5000 paycheck that came with it. Instead, I got a great story, where the Neeson incident was always the punchline. But after Sunday’s Oscars, where Kathryn BigeIow capped her ascent to “name” director, the story is no longer “The time I told Liam Neeson that I fucked his wife.” It’s “The time I auditioned for Kathryn Bigelow.” Thanks, Academy.