Briefly Noted: A roundup of industry news
• This Is It tickets selling out worldwide: “It,” in this case, apparently meaning “a goldmine.” Advance sales of Sony’s quickly cobbled-together film of Michael Jackson’s rehearsal footage from what was to be his final tour are already in “epic demand,” according to the studio. Maybe it’s because of MJ’s rabid fans—but more likely due to Sony’s smart marketing move of announcing the doc is slated for only a two-week run. We’ll see.
• Arrested Development script underway: With the entire original cast now committed to the project, series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and executive producer James Vallely have finally started working on a big-screen continuation of the gone-too-soon Fox series, which curtain-called in 2006. Catching up with the highly dysfunctional Bluth clan will certainly be fun, but the most interesting question is where the writers will go with the incestuous tension between first cousins Maeby (Alia Shawkat) and George Michael (Michael Cera): Anyone who’s caught Whip It will have noticed that the then-cute Shawkat is now looking quite, um, womanly. Even after at least a half-dozen other projects, however, Cera and his go-to Nervous Nerdison character remain exactly the same. Hurwitz will direct.
• Friends movie targeted for 2011: Citing the success of the Sex and the City film, Warner Bros. announced that plans for a feature-length Friends are a go, though castmembers have expressed doubts—certainly partially fed by the utter failure of the majority of them to find success after the show ended in 2004. But a paycheck’s a paycheck, even if it turns out that no one who found the group adorable when the series debuted in 1994 really cares about what their middle-aged selves are up to 17 years later. Creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman will write and produce.
• Also littering the multiplex in 2011: Transformers 3. Steven Spielberg, you have the power to stop this. But I suppose raking in $1.5 billion from the first two installments, no matter how odious and reviled they may have been, is more attractive than breaking Michael Bay’s camera for the good of mankind.
• A more palatable trilogy, though so far away: Kill Bill 3. At Mexico’s Morelia Film Festival, Quentin Tarantino announced that the Bride will slay again in a third installment of the Uma Thurman–starring kung-fu series. But not until 2014. In the meantime, he plans to make another film, though what and when are still a mystery.
• Michael Moore threatens/promises to quit filmmaking: At the Uptown screening of Capitalism: A Love Story last week, the documentarian put the future of his career on the audience’s shoulders, saying that if the film didn’t move people to take action, he’s through. Kind of Palin-esque with the trying-is-the-quitter’s-way-out rationale, no?