Anne Hathaway in Lay Mizz
Hugh Jackman is already committed to play Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper’s new musical version of Les Miserables, and now there are reports that Anne Hathaway is top of his wish list to play Fantine while Paul Bettany is still favourite to play the police officer, Javert.
Fantine isn’t the biggest role in the film, but it is one of the most crucial, so it’s vital the casting is spot on, especially as Fantine delivers the iconic song I Dreamed A Dream. And while Hathaway has proved that she can sing (at the 2009 Oscars she even did a duet with Hugh Jackman) those who read my column last week will know where her biggest problem lies.
If her idea of researching a Yorkshire accent is to watch Emmerdale, God knows what she’ll do to master the French accent required for Les Mis. The global movement to hide all Inspector Clouseau films starts here.
The Blues Brothers TV show
My list of favourite films is pretty fluid, but there are certain films that will always, always be in there somewhere. The Blues Brothers is one of those films, and I’m horrified by the news that it might be heading to the small screen.
The original 1980 film starred Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi (who died in 1982), and there are reports that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s ex-wife Judy (who own the rights) are shopping a Blues Brothers series around the US networks. The plot will see the pair freshly out of jail and on the hunt for their real father. While the intention is to find new actors to play the brothers, Aykroyd will be involved as the voice of their parole officer.
Even though The Blues Brothers should have died in ’82 along with John Belushi, Aykroyd has never been able to let them go. Sometimes it works (House of Blues, touring shows with John’s brother Jim) but other times it’s worse than finding out the hitchhiker you thought you killed is still alive, has replaced his hands with cobras and knows where you live (abhorrent sequel Blues Brothers 2000).
And this quote from the TV show’s scriptwriter, Anne Beatts, makes me think it’s going to be closer to the latter: “We’re not trying to replicate Dan and John but Jake and Elwood… it will be like Route 66 meets Glee”.
George Lucas hates you and your childhood
After more than a year of promotion and because there’s still a little bit of money left in your bank account that he doesn’t have yet, George Lucas is finally releasing all six Star Wars films on Blu-ray next Monday.
And of course, because he is a neck-bearded robot from the future with no semblance of emotion, he has decided to mess about with the films a little bit more.
By the way, if you’ve never seen Star Wars before, then this bit will be a bit spoilery. That said, if you haven’t seen Star Wars before you’re probably not reading this because the printing press is the work of the devil and your horse and cart need tending to.
Anyway, in this new “improved” release, Lucas has taken things out and added bits in, including a weird new battle cry for Obi Wan and a bit where Darth Vader says “Nooooo!” as he picks up and throws the Emperor.
It was already such a brilliant moment. As Luke is being killed by the Emperor’s blasts of lightning, he calls out to his father to help him. Vader stares quietly, looks at his son, then at the Emperor, and makes his decision. And he doesn’t say a thing. That’s what makes it so powerful and perfect – even though he is behind a mask, you can see Vader’s thought processes.
And George Lucas just fucking ruined it. Why? I have no idea. He just can’t seem to leave what was a masterpiece alone. If Da Vinci treated his work in the same way, the Mona Lisa would now be a crayon-scribbled picture of John Travolta cooking pancakes in the nude.
Frankly, I’m surprised that we still have James Earl Jones doing the voice at all any more, and that Lucas didn’t hire Justin Bieber to overdub Vader’s scenes in an effort to squeeze some cash out of the lucrative teenage girl market.