Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jorge Michel Grau's Mexican Horror Keep Quiet Adds Prince Caspian's Damian Alcazar

If you know the name Jorge Michel Grau, then you're probably familiar with the Mexican director's 2010 debut We Are What We Are, an extremely dark tale about a family of cannibals who must rise up and survive once their patriarch has died. Needless to say, it put Grau right into the consciousness of horror fans sick of teenagers trapped by psycho killers. Of course, Jim Mickle (Stake Land) already premiered his American remake at Sundance in January, but thankfully Grau is following his debut up with more original material, which may have found its star.

According to Variety, Mexico's Damián Alcázar is in talks for the lead in Grau's oddball thriller Keep Quiet. Alcázar is probably best known to American audiences from 2008's Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It's rare for American horrors to hire 60-year-old American actors to take the leading role, but it's refreshingly common under the border.

Grau, who also scripted Keep Quiet, sticks to his guns when it comes to offering a unique angle on violence and other social issues plaguing Mexican communities. Should he sign on, Alcázar will play a father of a 14-year-old son who witnesses the rape and murder of his mother. The father moves the son to a new home in a run-down housing complex, and the decrepit situation fuels the son’s violent schizophrenic urges. Eventually he begins to believe that his father is a werewolf, and that he must be the one to kill him. It’s always interesting when psychological horror is taken beyond the stereotypical serial killer tripe and actually has a story to tell.

“The important thing about ‘Keep Quiet’ is its social context, the moment, its immediacy,” Grau says. “Family disintegration through violence has never been as common as it is today.”

Keep Quiet will begin filming in Celaya, Guanajuato later this year.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Tomb Raider Movie Reboot To Center On A Younger Lara Croft

One of the worst stereotypes there is about Hollywood is that when it comes to women the preference is always younger and prettier. Actresses hit a certain magic age and suddenly studios have no interest in sharing their gifts with the film-loving masses. And apparently even the fictional women of the movie world aren't immune to those preferences.

Variety is reporting that with the new Tomb Raider reboot video game now in stores, featuring a 21-year-old version of famed heroine Lara Croft (played by Angelina Jolie in the actions films Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), the studios are now aiming to do the same thing with the long in-development reboot of the movie franchise. According to the trade, Crystal Dynamics is working closely with GK Films and is looking to generate something like Batman Begins or Casino Royale for the video game character.

Speaking with the site, , Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher said of working with GK Films “They are working from this new take that we’ve given them. It’s a good partnership. We’re seeing the challenges through the same lens.” He continued, "“It was important for both of us to have a cohesive version of the franchise. We didn’t want to see a film version that was a continuation of the old Tomb Raider films.”

The last we heard about the reboot was all the way back in May 2011 when Iron Man scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby were hired to handle the screenplay, but Variety makes no mention of either one of them. So if the project is without a writer or a director, who would you like to see take a crack at it?

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Deadpool Director Tim Miller Will Conquer Space Action With Artemis

Every once in a while, when things feel like they're getting too crowded down here on Earth, it seems like there's no possible way anyone could fit yet another action thriller set on this planet. As filmmakers involved with certain children's and horror film sequels can tell you, sometimes you just have to send it into outer space.

And that’s about all the plot information given about the upcoming film Artemis, which Variety reports has been picked up by 20th Century Fox’s John Davis, who brought the studio Chronicle and all the Predator films. Artemis, which is only described as “a contained action thriller set in outer space,” will be directed by visual effects artist Tim Miller, based off of a screenplay to be written by newcomer Andrew Lobel. This is the second sci-fi film that Miller has set up recently, having been attached to the upcoming Joe Haldeman novella adaptation Seasons that he was announced late last year.

Depending on the kind of aesthetic and action Lobel’s script will entail, this could be a good match-up for Miller, who is still waiting to direct his first feature. He and his company Blur Studio have had a steady career working on a variety of effects-heavy films such as X-Men, X2, Night at the Museum and 2010’s The Wolfman, while also contributing to the opening credits of David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He worked on Gigli, too, but it won’t be held against him. Should the long-gestating Deadpool film from Marvel ever materialize, he’s also still attached to be a part of that.

Screenwriter Lobel worked on the recent Conan adaptation, and is set to pen the upcoming adaptation of the young adult series Tunnels for director Mikael Hafstrom.

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Resident Evil 6 Gets A Summer 2014 Release Date

While some fans clamor for a trilogy’s finale because their anticipation for the film has reached its unbearable apex, others are anxiously waiting for that franchise to be completely eradicated from the daily entertainment headlines. The Resident Evil franchise is the perfect example of both of these polarized viewpoints - though considering it’s nearing the end of its second trilogy, the voice of the naysayers are echoing loudly through the halls of the Umbrella Corporation and nobody seems to be listening.

Even though there’s almost no certifiable information about the project, a sixth Resident Evil film already has a release date set, giving fans and haters alike at least another year and a half to look forward to/dread yet another one of these action-horror romps. Shock Till You Drop reports the sixth entry in this franchise will see a tentative nationwide release of September 12, 2014, serving as the tepid coffee at the end of a hearty meal of summer blockbusters. No title. No casting, beyond Milla Jovovich’s automatic appearance. Just the fever dream that is Paul W.S. Anderson’s imagination, and the assumption that it will somehow follow the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, which left Alice and Wesker at the White House with all forms of shit soon hitting the fan.

If the film will see a release next September, that would mean that Anderson would be shooting for a filming schedule to start up this fall at the latest. Considering the recent news about Emily Browning joining Anderson’s long-gestating disaster flick Pompeii, it’s unclear what happens now. It doesn’t seem likely the big budget volcano epic – and that term is used very lightly – will see its entire production happen in the next six months, so expect some project shuffling from Paul W.S. Anderson in the near future.

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Anchorman: The Legend Continues Set Photos Show Will Ferrell And Christina Applegate

Earlier today, we learned that Harrison Ford will be making an appearance in the anticipated Anchorman sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues. While many are likely eager to see how the actor fits in among the the other anchormen, some recent set photos from the film give us a look at two stars from the original film, Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, who will be reprising their roles as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone respectively.

E! posted the photos below (crediting, which were taken in Atlanta and show us Ferrell in full dress, hair and mustache for his role as the legendary Ron Burgundy, drinker of scotch ("…Scotchy, scotch, scotch…") and anchorman extraordinaire.

There's Ron Burgundy, dressed in his signature burgundy suit, his hair looking perfectly styled and we even get a profile shot of his mustached face. You can almost smell the Sex Panther from here. It's a formidable scent.

And here's a grainy shot of Christina Applegate, with perfect hair for her role as Veronica Corningstone.

Ms. Corningstone is looking good! And I bet her hair smells like cinnamon.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues is set to arrive in theaters December 20. Read the Harrison Ford casting news here. And find more information, news and photos for the film in our Blend Film Database .

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Ben Affleck And Olga Kurylenko Get Close On The Poster For Terrence Malick's To The Wonder

Terrance Malick will release To the Wonder on April 12, 2013, less than two years after the flowing narrative of the Academy Award-nominated Tree of Life, which makes this the most prolific period in the semi-cult director’s oeuvre. Seemingly trading in artsy philosophy for artsy romantic foils, To the Wonder could possibly have been called Terrence Malick’s Love Movie and no one would have batted an eye.

Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, the newest poster for To the Wonder has made its way to the public, and anyone expecting yet another poster of characters, in this case those of Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, in close contact with one another will be patting themselves on the back. This completely safe for work image is admittedly more striking than the other posters have been, save for the creepy looking French poster focusing on Javier Bardem’s priest.

As well, this is the poster with a metaphorical appeal that goes beyond the simple lovey-doveyness. The plot concerns the relationship between Neil (Affleck) and Marina (Kurylenko), who meet on Mont Saint-Michel before moving back to Oklahoma, where a rift begins to grow between them. (Plus, the side plot involving Bardem’s priest who has lost the faith.) This poster stylishly makes this split literal, cutting off the section featuring the island where they met, signifying that they’ve moved on, and perhaps their half-embrace is something else entirely. Or maybe it’s just a clear rip off of the Criterion release for Malick’s The Thin Red Line. At least the font reflects a feeling of coldness in a way.

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Ricky Jay's Documentary Deceptive Practice Gets U.S. Distribution

Every year sees a number of biopics released to the public that take fictional liberties in glorifying or vilifying the film’s subject as per the filmmakers’ views. These films serve their purpose, generally telling a decent story while raking in the money. Far less often do biographical documentaries reach those levels of popularity, despite showcasing real stories told by the actual people involved. Is actor/magician Ricky Jay’s life more important than Abraham Lincoln’s? Perhaps not, but I can read a history book to find out Lincoln’s story.

Variety reports distributor Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. rights to Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay, the documentary co-directed by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein. The film, which garnered positive reviews at its New York Film Festival debut last year, will be released at New York’s Film Forum on April 17 before seeing its national release.

Deceptive Practice, which has been in development since 1999, will be told mostly by Jay himself, going back to his career origins as his grandfather Max Katz’s apprentice at age 4, and then chronicling Jay’s widespread career that includes a mastery of close-up magic, astonishing memory tricks, stage performing, and a decades-spanning film career that started with frequent collaborator David Mamet’s 1987 thriller House of Games. The documentary will feature some of his early television appearances and one-man shows, as well as input from friends and collaborators such as Mamet and Steve Martin. Did I mention Ricky Jay is a champion card thrower, able to embed an ace of spades inches deep into a watermelon? It’s surprising there isn’t a card-throwing documentary already out there.

Jay, always a humble and reserved guy despite his captivating stage presence, had this to say: “I’m making a concerted effort not to escape from the frames of the film before it is shown.”

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit Gets Digital Restoration For 25th Anniversary Screening

Younger generations who are primarily familiar with CGI animation are bigger victims than those who witnessed the art form of hand-drawn images give way to technically brilliant but generally heartless computer-crafted beings. Nobody ever said a Chuck Jones character suffered from “dead-eyes syndrome.” Now one of the greatest achievements in mixing live-action and animation will get a theatrical makeover for a special screening.

Deadline reports Who Framed Roger Rabbit has been completely digitally restored for a 25th anniversary celebration to be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Walt Disney Studios, the company that was virtually reinvented by a large audience’s adoration for Roger Rabbit’s technical wizardry, provided the digital transfer, created from the original 35mm print, the VistaVision optical work, and the original sound tracks. To be held on April 4 at Beverly Hills’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the screening comes less than a month after Roger Rabbit gets released in Eddie Valiant-approved high definition on Blu-ray for the first time. 2013 is the year for Roger Rabbit!

“‘Roger Rabbit’ brought together the greatest animators, the most skilled technicians, and the finest talent of the day,” said the film’s visionary director Robert Zemeckis, the man responsible for the current age of “dead eyed” character. “It’s good to have this chance to show our work to both those who remember the film as well as to a new audience.”

A post-screening on-stage discussion will be hosted by Academy Award nominee Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph). The panel will include Zemeckis, screenwriter Peter S. Seaman, actress Joanna Cassidy, voice actor Charles Fleischer, supervising animator Andreas Deja, and associate producers Don Hahn and Steve Starkey.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit won the Oscars for Film Editing, Sound Effects Editing, and Visual Effects, and was nominated for Art Direction, Cinematography and Sound. It also won the Special Achievement Award for Richard William’s animation direction.

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The Host Featurette Focuses On Andrew Niccol's Vision Of A New World

The latest featurette for The Host focuses on Andrew Niccol's interpretation of Stephenie Meyer's novel for the feature adaptation, with an emphasis on the locations that serve as the backdrop of the alien-inhabited earth and the caves where the remaining human resistance is hiding out.

Based on what's been said and revealed about the adaptation for The Host, bringing in a director with sci-fi experience is really going to pay off. In the video below, courtesy of iTunes, Stephenie Meyer credits director Andrew Niccol (Gatica, In Time) with a lot of the visual feel to the film. And we get a better look at what this "new world" looks like since the alien "souls" have occupied most of the human population and rebuilt their own version of human civilization. We also get a look at the caves where some of what's left of the unoccupied human resistance is hiding out.

The futuristic, clean, sleek look of the world definitely sets the story's reality apart from our reality. With the book, Meyer focuses more on the story and characters and less on the setting, which I pictured fairly close to our own reality, perhaps with a bit less conflict. It's exciting, seeing what Niccol is bringing to the film, making the most of the opportunity to create something visually different.

On the story side of things, The Host tells the story of Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), a young woman who's part of the human resistance, who is captured an occupied by a Soul called Wanderer. When Melanie refuses to abandon her own mind, she begins to influence Wanderer, and the two start to get to know one another, which leads to an adventure.

The Host arrives in theaters March 29. More information, photos and video can be found in our Blend Film Database.

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Rebecca Hall Signs On For Transcendence With Johnny Depp

It came down to three names on a list. There was Emily Blunt, last seen in Rian Johnson's Looper; Rooney Mara, who was just featured in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects and Rebecca Hall, who will soon be seen alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow in Iron Man 3. All three were being considered for the female lead in cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence, and today the decision has been made.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned from Alcon Entertainment that Hall has signed on for the sought after part in the sci-fi film. She joins Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany in the project, both of whom signed on last week. While even the most minor plot details are being kept under wraps for now, it's be said that the story is about a group of scientists experimenting with the idea of the technological singularity, the moment where a computer becomes intelligent enough to learn on its own without the need of a user. Hall will be playing Depp's character's wife, "a fellow academic."

Pfister is best known for his work on Christopher Nolan's Inception, a film that won him the Best Cinematography Academy Award. Production is aiming to start in April so that Depp can film Barry Levinson's Black Mass during the summer.

In addition to Iron Man 3, Hall also has the thriller Closed Circuit on her list of upcoming films. The movie is directed by John Crowley (Boy A) and co-stars Eric Bana, Ciaran Hinds, Jim Broadbent, and Riz Ahmed.

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Damon Wayans Jr And Jake Johnson To Front Comedy Caper Let's Be Cops

The buddy cop comedy is a tried and true formula where you pair two polar opposites as partners then watch the sparks fly as they save the day and explode at each other. (Riggs!) But the newly greenlit comedy Let's Be Cops offers a new twist on this time-tested narrative, providing two best-bud protagonists who aren't actually policemen. They are just pretending to be cops for kicks. Of course impersonating a cop is a serious crime, but what's worse is when these two dressed-up dummies end up enraging a real mobster.

Deadline reports 20th Century Fox bought the pitch for this project from Luke Greenfield, who will direct and co-wrote the script with Nick Thomas. Filling the film's lead roles are television stars Damon Wayons Jr. (Happy Endings) and Jake Johnson (New Girl). Casting for the rest of the feature's roles is currently underway.

Personally, I have high hopes for this buddy cop comedy. While I'm not much of a New Girl watcher, I found Johnson intriguing in the time-travel rom-com Safety Not Guaranteed, in which he played a smug jerk with a vulnerable/romantic center. And concerning Wayans, it's about damn time he got noteworthy movie role!

First off, if you're not watching Happy Endings, you have my sympathies, but let me fill you in. While Wayans' uncles have been making one dumb spoof after another, DWJ has been delivering hysterical performances as Brad Williams on the sassy sitcom week after week, whether he's warring with his type-A personality wife, palling around with his frumpy gay bff, or indulging in his passion for romantic comedies or deeply tucked shirts. Here's a brief gif of his awesomeness in action:

The only worrisome sign on paper is Greenfield, who has helmed such uninspired and critically scorned offerings as The Animal, The Girl Next Door and Something Borrowed.. However, Greenfield's most recent credits were a couple of truly hilarious episodes of the surprisingly delightful, alien-centered sitcom The Nieghbors. So maybe he's evolving as a comedy crafter.

There's no word yet on when Let's Be Cops might roll into production.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan Will Hunt Colin Farrell's Psychic Serial Killer In Solace

While Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s television career, including roles on Grey’s Anatomy, Supernatural and Magic City, has been an all-around success, his cinematic career has been uneven at best, balancing mediocre big-budget films like Watchmen and Red Dawn with mediocre low-budget thrillers like The Possession and The Resident. It appears his next film will probably fall into the “mediocre middling-budget” category.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan is next set to star in the supernatural thriller Solace from director Alfonso Poyart (Two Rabbits). In this case, though, the supernatural part of it doesn’t involve ghosts, but psychic abilities.

He’ll play a veteran FBI agent leading the hunt for a violent serial killer, played by Colin Farrell. The agent enlists the aid of a former doctor, played by Anthony Hopkins, who also happens to have psychic abilities. But it turns out the killer is also a psychic, and the two men presumably play a cat-and-mouse game that goes everywhere and nowhere all at once.

This rather sketchy premise is given a jolt of credibility with the involvement of Peter Morgan, the Academy Award-nominated screenwriter behind Frost/Nixon and The Queen. But he redrafted a script which was already worked on by Sean Bailey, James Vanderbilt and Ted Griffin, the latter two of which are equally as impressive as Peter Morgan. But it’s still a psychic serial killer movie, not the most prestigious of sub-genres.

Luckily, Morgan should be appearing in a wider variety of films in the next year or so, with the dark comic thriller The Adventures of Beatle in post-production, and Supreme Ruler, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, The World Made Straight and The Rut all in various stages of pre-production.

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Effie Trinket Is Resplendent In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire's Capitol Couture

The heroine of the Hunger Games franchise, the inimitable Katniss Everdeen, is a girl who couldn't care less about makeup and jewels and clothes. She's forced to wear them, of course, in both The Hunger Games and especially Catching Fire, in which she and Peeta are sent on a victory tour to "celebrate" their wins in the Hunger Games that claimed the lives of all the kids who entered the arena with them. The victory tour and the fancy dresses Katniss has to wear on it are all a symbol of how the tyrannical Capitol dresses up the terrible system they've set up for Panem.

But the wild, flashy fashion of the Capitol is also one of the draws of seeing The Hunger Games onscreen, and that fashion is epitomized by Effie Trinket, Katniss's guide through the guides played by Elizabeth Banks. Just as they did for the first movie, Lionsgate is using Effie to promote the more glamorous side of the Hunger Games world, in a canny move that also allies them a little too closely with the terrible Capitol. Check out the first image of Effie in her getup from the newest issue of Capitol Couture, which debuted at the film's Facebook page:

Effie, as usual, looks resplendent, and her portrait is just the first of three that will premiere, with the next one coming later today. Here's the empty chair that will presumably have Katniss sitting in it. We'll update with that one when it appears:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire comes to theaters on November 22 this year. As you might imagine, this is just the tip of the marketing iceberg we'll see between now and then. You can click here to follow everything else we've learned about it so far.

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Harrison Ford Will Dust Off His Comedic Chops For Anchorman: The Legend Continues

It’s strange how few comedies are peppered across Harrison Ford’s film career. Straight away from that smug, yet charming smile he donned through much of American Graffiti, it seemed obvious that he would be the leading man winning hearts and minds by adding masculinity to a comedy world being ruled by Woody Allen. But aside from his mega-popular roles as Indiana Jones and Han Solo - a part he may be soon returning too - Ford has mostly kept his smile hidden behind the drama of Amish witnesses and presidential assassination attempts.

Ford has just signed on for Adam McKay’s long-awaited Anchorman: The Legend Continues, as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, so maybe this will start the comedic streak that Sabrina and Six Days, Seven Nights buried. Though the secrecy around this sequel’s script is abnormal for a comedy, it’s at least clear that Ford will play a legendary anchorman, naturally, in the vein of Tom Brokaw.

Ron Burgundy already has a rogue’s gallery of rivals, so perhaps instead of a foul-mouthed enemy, Ford will be a foul-mouthed mentor, the man Burgundy aspires to be until he realizes the man is a sham. Too much secrecy and my expectations run wild, especially with this cast, which currently includes Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate James Marsden, Meagan Good, John C. Reilly, Kristen Wiig, and Dylan Baker.. Hopefully Ford can keep up.

He recently played a newscaster in Roger Michell’s Morning Glory, which was like a wading pool compared to this. His upcoming slate includes the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, the highly anticipated sci-fi adaptation Ender’s Game, with the corporate thriller Paranoia , which will be out in the fall. And then, of course, there’s those rumors about that low-budget indie flick, Stars War I think it’s called?

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Jonathan Ames Drops Details About The Bored To Death Movie

For three weird and wondrous seasons, author Jonathan Ames funneled his intellectual crises, detective fantasies, and urban ennui into the bizarre misadventures on HBO's Bored to Death. There Ames' alter-ego Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman) played private—though unprofessional—dick while balancing a career as a writer and cavorting with his playboy boss George (Ted Danson), and comic book artist bestie Ray (Zach Galfianakis). But their adventures were cut short just after Jonathan (spoilers ahead) discovered the identity of his birth father…and that he was banging his sister (Isla Fisher).

It was a supremely uncomfortable way to end the series, which sort of worked considering the show's characters seem ever-drawn to awkward situations. But earlier this year talk emerged about a Bored to Death movie. So Vulture asked the real-life Ames about where this might lead. First up, when it comes to the fictional Jonathan's sister, Ames imagines she'd be in a sanitarium following the revelation of their accidental incest. Though he's hopeful she'll "get over it" eventually. As to how this revelation is affecting Jonathan in the long run, Ames offers:

"Jonathan is very affected by it in the movie — I won't say how or why, but [the movie takes place] a few years later. It's not entirely the plan for the fourth season, because it's like cupcakes to cake with the movie. I have to think of the people who've never seen any of this before, so I don't want to do a lot of tying off of things for the more dedicated fan. There will be some of that."

We've also heard that Jonathan will become a cop, and Ray and George will be roomies. But unfortunately for fans, Ames has no hard deadline concerning this screenplay. He also admits, "I don't know what kind of budget we'll have, it might still be small." Though he has some ambitious homages in mind he's reluctant to hint at just yet, he clarifies, "Obviously I want a good story, but so much of the charm of the show was anecdotal, them just talking. So that's the challenge, and I hope I can pull it off for 90 minutes."

How far is he into drafting this screenplay? Well, he's pitched the basic plot outline to HBO, but says:

"Basically what I'm doing right now is gathering all of my notes. I carry around these little notebooks, and I would write down images I wanted, snippets of dialogue, funny notions, character arcs, all very scattered… I type all that up, and then I figure, 'How do I string all this together?' I had to pitch it, so I know the structure of the movie, but I want to be open to change it in case something better comes along."

So, the Bored to Death movie is coming. Eventually. Probably. Hopefully.

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