Weekly Movie News Round-Up: April 26-30

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Here are the Top 10 movie news stories from this week:

(1) JJ Abrams' next movie rumored to be a homage to/collaboration with Steven Spielberg.  Abrams may not be directing M:I-4 (though he is producing), but his next directing gig sounds like my dream flick.  He is reportedly finishing a screenplay described as "a tip of the hat to [Spielberg's] movies of the 70's and early 80's," and Abrams plans to direct the movie himself for Paramount Pictures.  As if this news couldn't get any better - Spielberg is going to executive produce and/or advise the project.  I am so there.

(2) Remake of 1985's Commando in the works.  Say it ain't so!  This goes without saying these days, but there is absolutely no reason why Commando should be remade.  It is a cheesy '80s actionfest and I can't imagine anyone else but Arnold in the role.  Aren't there any original ideas in Hollywood?  C'mon!  David Ayer (writer of Training Day) is set to script and direct.  Talk about bad idea jeans.

(3) Anchorman 2 left for dead after Paramount passes.  This one seems like a no-brainer to me - why would Paramount pass?  Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd would have taken a pay cut and this seems like one movie whose cult following has grown over the years.  Don't base a decision like this on initial box office performance alone.  Paramount wisely greenlit a sequel to Zoolander, so why not Anchorman?  Some other studio should snap up the rights to this sequel immediately.  This movie would make $150 million.  Easy.

(4) Warner Bros. planning to release The Man of Steel in Christmas 2012.  After Bryan Singer's last attempt at a reboot failed, the WB is giving Supes another try - this time with Dark Knight wunderkind Chris Nolan behind the scenes.  Nolan isn't set to direct.  Yet.  Right now, he's just supervising the project while brother Jonathan and David Goyer write the script.  Mark your calendars.

(5) Paramount prepping a Magic 8 Ball movie.  Based on the stupid fortune-telling toy.  Paramount greenlights THIS, but not Anchorman 2?!!!!!  What a dumbass move.

(6) Unnecessary sequels coming soon to a theater near you.  Just announced this week: The Ring 3-D, Ghost Rider 2, and Final Destination 5.  The previous entries in each series sucked - there is no reason to believe that further sequels will be any better.  Talk about the law of diminishing returns - further proof that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt.  Expect an entry like this each week.

(7) Bill Condon to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.  Nice catch, Summit.  Condon is the well-respected writer-director of Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, and Dreamgirls.  Not sure if he's all that stunning a visual stylist, but at least he'll treat the final chapter in the Twilight saga with some intelligence, which so far has been lacking in the movies.

(8) Helen Mirren starring with Russell Brand in Arthur remake.  Thanks to this inspired casting, with Mirren just announced as taking over the Sir John Gielgud role, I'm actually interested in this remake.  I don't remember much about the original, but the concept (rich, alcoholic playboy) seems tailor-made for Brand's style of comedy.

(9) Bryce Dallas Howard joins Emma Stone and Viola Davis in The Help.  I haven't read the book, but Julie is a big fan of Kathryn Stockett's The Help, which is being adapted for the big screen.  So far the cast intrigues me.  Howard, Stone, and Davis are all interesting, talented actors.  This one could be good.

(10) Paul Reubens to voice "Jokey" Smurf in The Smurfs movie.  The cast in this movie is gonzo.  Neal Patrick Harris, George Lopez, Katy Perry, Hank Azaria (as Gargamel), and now Pee Wee Herman himself is lending his vocal talents.  I'm still not convinced that the actual movie will be any good, but bonus points for at least making the pre-production part interesting.

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