Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Discuss all the finest actors, living or dead -- their films, their talents, and their weird, drug-related escapades.

Big name star or recogisable series?

I see films for the people acting in them
2
8%
I don't care who's in them, as long as it's a good film
13
52%
I hate films with big stars in them
0
No votes
I look for the director's name
7
28%
The studio behind it holds some weight
0
No votes
KONG
3
12%
 
Total votes : 25

Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby instant_karma on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:44 pm

Rolf van der Berg wrote:But I meant the general public. I know many people who would say "Who is in the film?" firstly, then find out what it was about.


Well, you should soundly berate these scoundrels for their wooly thinking!
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:48 pm

instant_karma wrote:
Rolf van der Berg wrote:But I meant the general public. I know many people who would say "Who is in the film?" firstly, then find out what it was about.


Well, you should soundly berate these scoundrels for their wooly thinking!


Why? What is wrong exactly with wanting to see a film for the star moreso than the story? Why are you being so snobbish? There is nothing wrong in such a movie going attitude.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:54 pm

Hmm, Eddie Murphy is a family friendly star.
Did people go & see Meet Dave because he was in it?

No, nobody went to see Meet Dave.
The only people who bought tickets were the Eddie clones created for & used in the movie.

Which brings up the question: What are we gonna do with 10 Eddies'?

I bet the answer to that question is at the end of Meet Dave.
Nobody will ever know...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby The Vicar on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:56 pm

Looky here - story & director are out in front, big.
Well spank my ass and call me a cracker.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:01 pm

Actors are tied with Kong.
Anyone else gutted at the lack of Kong roles recently?
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:03 pm

The Vicar wrote:Thus Rolf/Kirk :
"For example and if they asked somebody "Do you want to see "The Matrix"?", they would get a reply of "Who is in it?". "

Or, if they're smarter than the people you'd ask, they would first say "what the hell is it about?".

That's what most of the people I know would ask first.
Most of the people in this Zone.
For me, and for many others prowling this place, it's the story that comes first.


But real life doesn't live in the Zone, does it? I did a search of active topics here and it seems that most of them here have one thing in common. Known name actors. I see hardly any threads about small unknown films or films that aren't seen by a lot of people, here I get blockbuster films with big names in them, in comparison there are hardly any films with unknown/small names in them. So maybe my earlier comment that the real life isn't the Zone is wrong. That also, this forum reflects these attitudes too. Proof is in the pudding. It doesn't matter anyway, it's not about this forum that we are talking about, it's the entire world. And it just seems to be that the majority of people in the world are attracted to the name rather than story. Some audiences also who go to see a film based on the actor, hardly even know what the film is about. They turn up at the theatre not knowing what to see, and they say 'Oh I don't know, it's Will Smith as some drunken superhero or something, but it's Will Smith, so we're bound to be at least entertained anyway'. I've observed this behaviour in so many people. the fact is, that people go to a film to be entertained and escape the troubles of the world, and what entertains people the most? A highly intelligent story? Or an household comfortable name that guarantees at least that you're going to be entertained? It's the latter. Again though, we're not talking about the Zone here, we're talking about the entire real world. They don't pretend to be film experts who like to think they pride themselves on seeing not the biggest films in the world but anything that has the story for them, more often than the story, they see the film because of the actors. Also, no matter what people here say, most people in this place are more likely to see a film with a story that they're interested in, if it has a more known actor in it. There are hardly any topics seen in the View Active Topics thread here that are dedicated to small independent films with unknowns/lesser known names in them or foreign films with foreign non English speaking well known actors in them either, for example. I found a thread dedicated to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. That film doesn't have huge known stars in it but has a wonderful beautiful story, the best story I've found in a while. But hardly any talk about it here. But there's plenty of topics about films with big names in them (and maybe some terrible stories in the script) with responses in them that dwarf Butterfly's thread's responses. I think both of my points about this place and the world in general have been made.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:07 pm

King Of Nowhere wrote:Hmm, Eddie Murphy is a family friendly star.
Did people go & see Meet Dave because he was in it?



But Eddie Murphy is not so much a family friendly star, but rather a fading one. More people still flocked to see that film than the Diving Bell and The Butterfly which has a beautiful and uplifting story though, one full of optimism and love of life. If Eddie Murphy was in it, more people would see it though, than that French actor who is incredible in it but people still can't pronounce/remember his name.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:09 pm

Look at the Box Office takings worldwide for movies. Look at what films are at the top and which are at the bottom. You will find that most of the time, the ones at the top are containing big names, the ones at the bottom contain films that don't. I insist the word, 'most''. Any films mentioned that go against this trend are just exceptions. So don't pass a Big studly Greek Wedding on me, please.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby The Vicar on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:10 pm

instant_karma wrote:
Rolf van der Berg wrote:But I meant the general public. I know many people who would say "Who is in the film?" firstly, then find out what it was about.


Well, you should soundly berate these scoundrels for their wooly thinking!


Careful, amigo, I don't think Rolf fully understands the concept of Humor.

A lot of the general movie going public, however, likely does go based on "who's in it?".
Drones don't care about story, director, production.
You ask someone what they're doing tonight and they might reply
"We're going to see a Julia Roberts movie...".
"I hear there's a new Mel Gibson film coming out...."
I'll bet those wankers who saw What Women Want
and went to see Apocalypto because it was a Mel Gibson film, well,
unless they saw Passion of the Christ they were about to be educated.
I know people who will see a George Clooney film ( the film itself doesn't even deserve a title with these yumbos )
and not know dick about it.
So it goes.
( nota bene - I will go see a Monica Bellucci film for no other reason than she's in it,
but for the most part I want the story, and director I respect and THEN I'll give a shite about the casting. )
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:15 pm

One more thing. Whatever film is at the top of the lists that I mentioned, take away any of the big names in it, and those movies might not even be talked about by us, as they either are not being seen but also, not being made due to the lack of known/big name.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Fried Gold on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:17 pm

King Of Nowhere wrote:Hmm, Eddie Murphy is a family friendly star.posting.php?mode=quote&f=7&p=632962
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Did people go & see Meet Dave because he was in it?

No, nobody went to see Meet Dave.
The only people who bought tickets were the Eddie clones created for & used in the movie.

Which brings up the question: What are we gonna do with 10 Eddies'?

I bet the answer to that question is at the end of Meet Dave.
Nobody will ever know...

Is Eddie Murphy a "family friendly star" though?

"Star"....people know who he is, but he's certainly not an a-lister.
"Family friendly"....not especially. His recent films seem to be made for and seen by idiots more than anything.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby instant_karma on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:20 pm

I do understand actor driven movie choices to some extent.

I mean, that's pretty much what'll drive my interest in seeing particular porn movie, though of course, the actual content is also important, be it Schoolgirl stuff, snowballing, prison fantasys or whatever...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:24 pm

One more thing, we movie experts complain about horrible spoof movies like Epic Movie or Superhero movie that have awful jokes let alone stories. We would have more people seeing that if it had Brad Pitt in it or any of the cast of Ocean's 11-13 let alone less people seeing those brilliantly scripted and plotted Ocean movies if it had unknowns in it. Do people think that they would see Epic Movie more if it had George Clooney in it here in this forum? I think they would moreso than if he wasn't.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Fried Gold on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:27 pm

instant_karma wrote:I do understand actor driven movie choices to some extent.

I mean, that's pretty much what'll drive my interest in seeing particular porn movie, though of course, the actual content is also important, be it Schoolgirl stuff, snowballing, prison fantasys or whatever...

See most true Zoners are far more snobbish and look for interesting storylines and clever cinematography.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:29 pm

Fried Gold wrote:Is Eddie Murphy a "family friendly star" though?


He has been known to do the odd voice over for a large family friendly franchise (that has, imho has largely outstayed it's welcome by about two and a half installments), when he's not hanging around with transvestite hookers or clones of himself.

Fried Gold wrote:"Star"....people know who he is, but he's certainly not an a-lister.

I suppose it depends how you define the term. He's pretty much a household name & has been for quite some time & sadly, he's had a lot of success with his "movies".
Not to mention he's been in the tabloids & gossip columns again for shafting a spice girl & then, erm, shafting her.

Fried Gold wrote:"Family friendly"....not especially. His recent films seem to be made for and seen by idiots more than anything.


I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:39 pm

I don't see how anyone could try to pass off Eddie Murphy as a family friendly A list star that your children could see. He has far too much excess baggage of having some of the most foul mouthed nature on film to be truly convincing as such a family friendly actor for your children. He has too much history and recognition, and would only be found out eventually by the children when they inevitably learn about his horrible adult rated movies and his presence and image in them too. Plus he would encourage kids to see such films as well as have his kid friendly image reduced by the fact that he does such bad adult roles. Especially when he is doing them back to back. Also when he blends such adult humour in with a supposedly innocent children's humour. All his characters farting together in Nutty Professor 2 is not something you want your children to see. If so, then it is the wrong children's humour as it is too dirty and foul. He is the last person I would want to be in a kiddies film. Rex Harrison he is not.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby instant_karma on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:46 pm

Fried Gold wrote:
instant_karma wrote:I do understand actor driven movie choices to some extent.

I mean, that's pretty much what'll drive my interest in seeing particular porn movie, though of course, the actual content is also important, be it Schoolgirl stuff, snowballing, prison fantasys or whatever...

See most true Zoners are far more snobbish and look for interesting storylines and clever cinematography.


I find the clever cinematography can sometimes pull you right out of the movie. Like y'know that particular shot they use quite often, where a guy will be fucking a woman from behind up against a breakfast bar or something, and the woman will have one leg raised up on a stool perhaps. And they go for an angle directly below the genital interface. It's an angle that the porn cinematographers of old could only have dreamed of, since in the days of film, there was no way to get a bulky film camera between their legs. But in these days of tiny digital cameras, they can get right in there on the action, but that's the problem. I end up thinking 'There's some dude laying on his back, with a pair of balls dangling above his head, trying to keep them in focus. I wonder how long you could do that, 5 days a week?'

And then suddenly as I'm thinking that, I'm cumming and suddenly I'm sexually imprinted on dissatisfied porn shooter...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Rolf van der Berg on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:50 pm

I don't really know what to say to that, apart from do you watch a porn movie based on the porn star or the porn story or setting or theme?
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby King Of Nowhere on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:56 pm

Rolf van der Berg wrote:I don't see how anyone could try to pass off Eddie Murphy as a family friendly A list star that your children could see. He has far too much excess baggage of having some of the most foul mouthed nature on film to be truly convincing as such a family friendly actor for your children. He has too much history and recognition, and would only be found out eventually by the children when they inevitably learn about his horrible adult rated movies and his presence and image in them too. Plus he would encourage kids to see such films as well as have his kid friendly image reduced by the fact that he does such bad adult roles. Especially when he is doing them back to back. Also when he blends such adult humour in with a supposedly innocent children's humour. All his characters farting together in Nutty Professor 2 is not something you want your children to see. If so, then it is the wrong children's humour as it is too dirty and foul. He is the last person I would want to be in a kiddies film. Rex Harrison he is not.


Oh i agree on your last point.
I'd take it further.
He's the last person i'd want to see in a film, any film.

as i said in the "what are you least looking forward to" thread...

Seriously, who the fuck is still sitting writing films specifically for Eddie Murphy?
The real tragedy being that people are getting paid to do it.
I can only hope that these scripts were written pre-Nutty Professor & stockpiled somewhere in case there was a nuclear attack on Hollywood & only Eddie survived*.

In which case, thank fuck the writers strike didn't last 12 months, we'd have 6 Eddie Murphy "comedies" showing at the same time in every multiplex. Single screen cinemas would have a timetable that would be better used to torture "terrorists" & other assorted gentlemen.


*yep, using a fridge
:roll:

But he has been concentrating heavily on family films since he discovered he was completely bereft of anything resembling talent circa Beverly Hills Cop 3.
It's worth stating that the Eddie we see now is not the same Eddie we seen in Delirious.
That Eddie was bent over a table and repeatably anally rendered by producers until he donated his talent to charity & his integrity to the bank manager.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby ChaoticMoira on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:27 pm

Rolf van der Berg wrote:I don't really know what to say to that, apart from do you watch a porn movie based on the porn star or the porn story or setting or theme?



He watches them based on how many naughty stuffed animals are in them. "Bad Fluffery Stuffers! You need a spanking."

Instant Karma has been banned from Toys R Us..
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby instant_karma on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:40 pm

ChaoticMoira wrote:
Rolf van der Berg wrote:I don't really know what to say to that, apart from do you watch a porn movie based on the porn star or the porn story or setting or theme?



He watches them based on how many naughty stuffed animals are in them. "Bad Fluffery Stuffers! You need a spanking."

Instant Karma has been banned from Toys R Us..


Once you've seen a woman stradle a giant teddy bear that's wearing a strap-on dildo, it's hard to go back...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Maui on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:18 pm

You guys! Honestly! I posted this article in the "Random Movie News" and everyone ignored it.

Geesh!!
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Maui on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:27 pm

Did any of you read the article in it's entirety???

Matt Damon....hello? He is setting a good example.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby RogueScribner on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:20 am

Rolf van der Berg wrote:Does anybody else think that if Batman and other such big draw films like superhero films had total unknowns in them, that less people would see them? Replace the names of Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger with 'who?' names, the box office draw would be a lot less to say the least. You all know that. To deny it means you are stupid or lying.


I doubt many people went to see Batman Begins because Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman were in it. They went because it was Batman and the ads/reviews got them to buy a ticket. BB made Bale a star. People went to TDK because they liked the first one and TDK was getting crazy buzz.

How many people didn't see Star Wars because of the lack of big name actors? How many people didn't see Titanic or Independence Day or Transformers or Iron Man or Home Alone or 300? Everyone of those films made their lead actors into movie stars. The lead actors were not A-list prior to those films.

You know what gets people into theaters? Branding and effective marketing. An actor may enhance one or both of those things, but very few films are advertised simply as "TOM CRUISE IS A GYNECOLOGIST IN A STICKY SITUATION!"* If a film is a huge spectacle, stars aren't really necessary. If they're in it, it's just as an added draw. If star power exists, it's to get people to see the smaller movies, the quieter films, the more ecelectic fare that people normally wouldn't go out of their way to see.






* Actually, I think that would be enough. ;)
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby RogueScribner on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:26 am

Peven wrote:has anyone besides me avoided seeing a movie with a favorite A-list actor/actress because you just KNEW the movie was going to suck and you didn't want your image of how good that actor/actress was to suffer?


edit: or......do you relish seeing an A-lister go down in flames?


Yes. There are a few Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, and Schwarzennegger films I have avoided seeing because I think they'll just suck and I don't like wasting my time.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby RogueScribner on Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:44 am

Rolf van der Berg wrote:One more thing. Whatever film is at the top of the lists that I mentioned, take away any of the big names in it, and those movies might not even be talked about by us, as they either are not being seen but also, not being made due to the lack of known/big name.



0001 $ 600.8 $ 1234.6 $ 1835.4 Titanic (1997) - Biggest name actor in the movie was Bill Paxton. NEXT!
0002 $ 461.0 $ 337.0 $ 798.0 Star Wars (1977) - Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing were the biggest names attached and they were both in supporting roles.
0003 $ 436.5 $ 466.0 $ 902.5 Shrek 2 (2004) - A sequel to a popular film.
0004 $ 435.1 $ 321.8 $ 756.9 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - Um, no big names here.
0005 $ 431.1 $ 494.4 $ 925.5 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - A prequel to a popular film series.
0006 $ 423.3 $ 637.3 $ 1060.6 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) - A sequel to a popular film.
0007 $ 403.7 $ 417.9 $ 821.6 Spider-Man (2002) - Willem Dafoe is the biggest name in this movie.
0008 $ 380.3 $ 468.2 $ 848.5 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) - A prequel to a popular film series.
0009 $ 377.0 $ 752.2 $ 1129.2 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) - - A sequel to a popular film.
0010 $ 373.4 $ 418.0 $ 791.4 Spider-Man 2 (2004) - A sequel to a popular film.
0011 $ 370.6 $ 234.1 $ 604.7 Passion of the Christ, The (2004) Nada.
0012 $ 357.1 $ 563.0 $ 920.1 Jurassic Park (1993) Does Jeff Goldblum count?
0013 $ 341.7 $ 583.0 $ 924.7 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) - A sequel to a popular film.
0014 $ 339.7 $ 525.3 $ 865.0 Finding Nemo (2003) Albert Brooks? Ellen DeGeneres?
0015 $ 336.5 $ 548.9 $ 885.4 Spider-Man 3 (2007) - A sequel to a popular film.
0016 $ 329.7 $ 350.0 $ 679.7 Forrest Gump (1994) The first movie on this list with a movie star in a lead role.
0017 $ 328.4 $ 459.0 $ 787.4 Lion King, The (1994) Nope.
0018 $ 321.0 $ 470.4 $ 791.4 Shrek the Third (2007) - A sequel to a popular film.
0019 $ 319.1 $ 382.0 $ 701.1 Transformers (2007) - Nope.
0020 $ 317.6 $ 658.9 $ 976.5 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) - A bunch of character actors in supporting roles.
0021 $ 314.8 $ 556.0 $ 870.8 Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) - Nope.
0022 $ 314.4 $ 252.2 $ 566.6 Iron Man (2008) - Biggest names are the Dude and Paltrow.
0023 $ 312.7 $ 441.0 $ 753.7 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2008) - sequel to a popular film.
0024 $ 310.7 $ 339.0 $ 649.7 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) - prequel to a popular film series
0025 $ 309.4 $ 649.0 $ 958.4 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) - sequel to a popular film.

So in the top 25 highest grossing movies in the USA, there's one real example of a star-driven movie.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Al Shut on Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:23 am

One should probably not forget taht Who's in it and What is it about are pretty inseperable information. Who really does knkow one thing about a movie without knowing the other?
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby instant_karma on Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:55 am

Al Shut wrote:One should probably not forget taht Who's in it and What is it about are pretty inseperable information. Who really does knkow one thing about a movie without knowing the other?


i went to see a few films at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival, based solely on being intrigued by 50 word plot descriptions in the festival guide. Only one of them had an actor I knew (Brian Cox). Because I couldn't afford to go and see as many movies as I would have liked to, when I saw one I was interested in that had a bigger name actor in it, I decided not to see it, figuring that there was a better chance with those movies that I'd be able to catch them on general release, or on DVD.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby havocSchultz on Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:56 am

I saw Transformers for Shia...

I had no clue there was giant fucking robots in it as well...

Color me impressed...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Spandau Belly on Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:54 am

I also think that actors have more freedom now than ever. We've seen A-list actors come from all sorts of places and go all sorts of places. Audiences are more accepting to see actors take bigger risks.

There was a time when most actors were totally typecast and spent their whole careers in one genre playing a similiar role. I'm not saying against-the-grain-out-of-the-box casting started in the 1990s, but it sure took a huge upswing.

Now we have a guys like Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, and Robin Williams who all started out on comedy television shows and have been able to get audiences to accept them on the big screen in dramas, action pictures, horror, and in lead as well as supporting roles.

This has only emphasized the importance judging individual projects. There was a time when there was such thing as "a Stallone movie" or "a John Wayne movie" or "a Clint Eastwood movie", now there's not really such thing as "a Matt Damon movie" or "a Will Smith movie" or "a Christian Bale movie", we don't know what to expect from these guys because their work is so broad. Even a guy with no range like Jason Statham manages to appear in a variety of genres and movies with different tones.

And I think all this is great.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby smackfu on Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:48 pm

People who say 'story first' ARE full of BS. I'm not saying your purposely lying, just that maybe you haven't thought it through and convinced yourself it's true...though it's not.

'hey, want to go see Hancock this weekend?'
Idealistic Talkbacker - 'maybe, what's it about?'
'it's about this alcoholic jerk with superpowers who's struggling with his identity in a world that expects him to be something he's not'
Idealistic Talkbacker - 'hmmm...sounds interesting, who stars in it?'
'Jamie Kennedy'.


But the main reason it's BS, is knowing what it's about really tells you nothing about a film, at all. I mean it tells you the general plot, but the general plot gives zero insight into whether or not it's going to be a good film. Some of the best movies I've ever seen have had the most uninteresting sounding plots on paper. Likewise, sometimes something that sounds great on paper ends up being a suckfest on the screen.

Who's in the film and who directed it give you insight into quality. As in my above alternate universe Hancock example, if Jamie Kennedy was staring in it instead of Will Smith, you would have dismissed it immediately. Because the fact that it has Jamie Kennedy staring in it speaks volumes about it's quality. You know it's not being taken very seriously by the filmmaker or the studio, and you know that probably dozens of respectible actors steered clear of it. You know the director doesn't inspire any confidence that he's going to be able to pull off a good movie (because a lot of actors base their decisions on how much confidence the have in the director to make a good film). Also we as filmgoers have a similar relationship with the stars and directors. We recognize established patterns, what directors always make great films, which ones are iffy. One good example would be the new Terminator movie. The synopsis is pretty much what you'd expect from a post-Judgement Day Terminator movie, what else would you expect it to be about? BUT, the fact that it's being made by McG makes people afraid it's going to suck, and the fact that Christian Bale saw something in it he liked enough to join is reassuring.

it's nice to say 'story', it makes you feel smart, it makes us all smart to answer questions with the best possible answer. It's just not true is all.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby King Of Nowhere on Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:54 pm

So by your logic, nobody watches independent films because they don't have a name attached?
Nobody watches foreign films because the people in those movies are only stars in their home country?
Nobody watches films from before they were born, because the people in them aren't famous anymore?


Funnily enough, i haven't seen Hancock.
Mainly because it sounds like a poor man's Iron Man.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby papalazeru on Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:48 pm

Spandau Belly wrote:This has only emphasized the importance judging individual projects. There was a time when there was such thing as "a Stallone movie" or "a John Wayne movie" or "a Clint Eastwood movie", now there's not really such thing as "a Matt Damon movie" or "a Will Smith movie" or "a Christian Bale movie", we don't know what to expect from these guys because their work is so broad. Even a guy with no range like Jason Statham manages to appear in a variety of genres and movies with different tones.



They are not called Movies, they are called Vehicles because they drive a star in a direction.

I do actually agree with Smackfu. I am Legend wouldn't be half as shit if they bothered with someone else, but then, it probably wouldn't have been quite so popular.

I'm waiting for the fan boy to show me how well it did in millions of Dollars but that still doesn't detract that the film was shit, I wouldn't even drizzle it on a turd. Cinematography was ok, story was shit and the acting was ok within it's confines and yet there are worse films that leave less of a nasty taste in the mouth.

It really causes me concerns that the box office figures for this was so high. It shows that either, cinema goers don't trust reviewers (which mean they aren't doing their job accurately or they are not connecting with their audiences) or that the advertising campgaign deserves a big clap.

Either way, I would have happily dealth with dysenary rather than deal with this movie in the cinema.

I really hope that A list celebs still feel tine need to prove themselves in less roles because they owe it to the character or they really just want to be THAT character.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby RogueScribner on Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:16 am

smackfu,

What your little analogy demonstrates is that story does indeed interest people, but if it isn't taken seriously by the filmmakers, it won't be taken seriously by the audience either.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:36 am

papalazeru , your rant on I Am Legend actually makes no sense.

You say:
Cinematography was ok, story was shit and the acting was ok within it's confines and yet there are worse films that leave less of a nasty taste in the mouth.


But then earlier you said:
I am Legend wouldn't be half as shit if they bothered with someone else, but then, it probably wouldn't have been quite so popular.


In the first quotation you're saying your main problem with I Am Legend was the story and that you thought the acting was okay, but then in that second quotation you're saying it would've been a much better movie with a different lead. Then you go on to say that this movie just bugs you for some inexplicable reason and acknowledge that there are much worse movies out there.

I guess I just don't get what you're saying, unless all you're saying is that you have a really complicated relationship with I Am Legend.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:53 am

And I think Smackfu is being overly simplistic in some places and wrong in others.

You're right that certain actors are either well-liked or well-respected while others aren't, but that statement only refers to already known actors. We know Jamie Kennedy can't act, he's earned a bad reputation, and so naturally we doubt that he can carry a movie and figure he'll sink it even if the story is something that interests us. But what about a movie that stars actors we've never heard of? I'm sure lots of people saw Juno not knowing Ellen Page's previous work on Trailor Park Boys. I'm sure lots of people went to see Conan The Barbarian not being familiar with Schwarzenheggar's performance in Hercules of New York. At the same time, almost nobody went to see the remake of Solaris even though it starred George Clooney, called by many 'The Last Movie Star'.

By your logic all movies starring the same actor should attract the same size audience and recieve similiar reactions from fans and critics. But we all know that's not true. People gravitate towards certain actors, but any given actor will draw totally different sized crowds given the film they're in.

That's why the importance of A-listers really only counts in star vehicle projects. Movies that give audiences a star acting the way they've acted before in a movie like the ones they've acted in before.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby papalazeru on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:19 am

Spandau Belly wrote:papalazeru , your rant on I Am Legend actually makes no sense.

You say:
Cinematography was ok, story was shit and the acting was ok within it's confines and yet there are worse films that leave less of a nasty taste in the mouth.


But then earlier you said:
I am Legend wouldn't be half as shit if they bothered with someone else, but then, it probably wouldn't have been quite so popular.


In the first quotation you're saying your main problem with I Am Legend was the story and that you thought the acting was okay, but then in that second quotation you're saying it would've been a much better movie with a different lead. Then you go on to say that this movie just bugs you for some inexplicable reason and acknowledge that there are much worse movies out there.

I guess I just don't get what you're saying, unless all you're saying is that you have a really complicated relationship with I Am Legend.


No, I'm saying that the film was shit and it wouldn't have made money if it didn't have Will Smith in it. There are worse films out there which I put higher than I am Legend because they don't fall behind a pretence, they are shit and they don't mind being shit.

It's simple really, I'll get FG to draw you the formula.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby aura on Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:45 pm

Fried Gold wrote:Link to Guardian article called "Up above the world so high".

The above is an interesting piece which argues that the days of the A-list film star are dying out - that nobody has the drawing power or mystique of past stars and even the modern power players like Tom Cruise are on the way down.

I do think the days of the true, full-on marquee names has passed (there are only a handful of names which people will go to see regardless of the film) and this is reflected in the way the studios/distributors appear to be more interested in "franchises", possibly now aways on the search for the next big thing that will give them those big repeat successes.

Thinking back....the Star Wars name always had more draw than any actor in them. I've never tended to be loyal to any one particular actor, more to what might be interesting about the story.

What do people think? Are there any actors whose films you'll go to see specifically for them? Do you think that franchises have taken the place of the stars?


Part of the problem lies in the fact that most Hollywood "actors" nowadays seem to be more concerned with becoming a "celebrity." Acting in movies is just a stepping stone for that. There is a difference between being an actor and being a celebrity and I don't think the article touches enough on that, apart from the acknowledgment of commodification.

From Lindsay Lohan's love-affair with the paparazzi, to Angelina Jolie's TMI grabs for attention and Tom Cruise's incessant need for approval from everyone he encounters (and doesn't)...all of these people have one thing in common:

They decided to sacrifice whatever integrity their craft may have had for something else- the title of "celebrity."

The public doesn't respect the "actor" anymore because the actor doesn't seem to exist.

Some quick numbers on one of the above mentioned people should help to prove my point.

Most recently, it was reported that Angelina Jolie was paid $15 million to appear on the cover of People magazine with her new twins. Contrast this with her last reported payday as an actual actor. IMDB says that as the lead in the film "A Mighty Heart", she was paid $10 million.

The discrepancy speaks volumes.

These are people who are selling their personas and not their talent (the presence of which is arguable, in some cases). They sell more magazines than they do seats in a theater. As much as I despise the big studios, I can't say I blame them if they crunch numbers and say they're not worth the multi-millions they attempt to command.

Why would the public pay $10 for admission to a movie when they can spend $2.50 on a tabloid and get the same product? Especially if the "actor" in question chooses the same roles over and over and that role doesn't sway very far from their commodified "persona"?
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby havocSchultz on Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:28 pm

aura wrote:
Most recently, it was reported that Angelina Jolie was paid $15 million to appear on the cover of People magazine with her new twins. Contrast this with her last reported payday as an actual actor. IMDB says that as the lead in the film "A Mighty Heart", she was paid $10 million.



Technically, the twins are a product of her and Brad Pitt...
I'm assuming if you combine their paychecks for Mr. & Mrs. Smith, it might equal more than the $15 million...

But I hear what you're saying...

But I don't completely agree with the Angelina (possible) bash because from what I recall (or at least what they did with their first born) is that they purposefully make these magazines bid for the rights of these baby pics, they then pick the highest bidder, and they donate all that money to charity...

Can you blame the celebrity for taking the money when it's the magazine company offering it in the first place...?

But you do make a good point...
I just think Jolie is above the pack in this regard because I want to stick something inside her at a medium pace...
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby travis-dane on Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:32 pm

Jolie and Pitt will donate all the money.....
A big name will allways put more asses in the seats.
Sadly many actors are loosing sight of what really is important,making good movies.
But if they use their stardom like Jolie and Pitt,I got no problem with it.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Fried Gold on Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:36 pm

papalazeru wrote:No, I'm saying that the film was shit and it wouldn't have made money if it didn't have Will Smith in it. There are worse films out there which I put higher than I am Legend because they don't fall behind a pretence, they are shit and they don't mind being shit.

It's simple really, I'll get FG to draw you the formula.


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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby aura on Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:39 pm

havocSchultz wrote:But I don't completely agree with the Angelina (possible) bash because from what I recall (or at least what they did with their first born) is that they purposefully make these magazines bid for the rights of these baby pics, they then pick the highest bidder, and they donate all that money to charity...


For the purposes of this post, I'm not knocking how Angelina decides to spend that money. I'm knocking her decision to put herself in the position where she can command a media war for the pictures. To a lesser extent, I'm also knocking the media for (literally) buying into it. Both of these choices have figured into the decline of the "A"-list star.

If celebrities didn't market themselves and their personal lives as products so clearly capable of being bought and sold, multi-million dollar baby pictures wouldn't exist. And the studios wouldn't be scratching their heads now.

Some may argue that a bit of commodication is necessary you are to play the Hollywood game. While I agree, I disagree more. There are a number of good (or great, depending on your opinion) actors who remain enigmas when it comes to the media. I know Daniel Day Lewis will flat out tell the media that he refuses to speak about his personal life and I think Johnny Depp shies away from those questions whenever possible. It's not uncommon that good actors do this, as they have the luxury of doing so. They have it for a reason. Review your mental roster of celebrities who seem to be in every magazine, tabloid and E! news story. You'll find that their talent is questionable. Why? Again, because they're selling their personas, not their talent. People gobble it up because in most cases, they have more "persona" to sell than talent, and thus, are in low-rung media more than they are in films.

In the past, people have gone to their movies because Lindsay Lohan is a party girl and sorority sisters can identify or because Angelina Jolie is a beauty with tattoos and audiences want to "stick something inside her at a medium pace." Those are things that are at least secondary to their occupation. It's also one of the main reasons why studios are doing the math now. Don't get me wrong here. The studios would continue to hire questionably talented people for large sums of money...as long as they were to see a return. My point here is that they're not seeing a return because Lindsay Lohan's DUI arrest is available for free on TMZ and getting 1,000,000 hits and because Angelina's half-naked in a $3.50 issue of GQ with High Res shots of her tattoos. Again, it's the $10 vs. $2.50 principle.

Contrast this of the Hollywood of yesterday, with less magazines and tabloids, less television shows dedicated to or showcasing celebrities and no Internet. If we were still in that era, these people might be helping studios see a return. But we're not. We can get their personas for cheaper than the price of theater admission now. Even for free.

This is why I think a decline in actors'/celebrities' paychecks is imminent. I believe a few will remain high-paid actors, though. People will continue to pay to see actors. They won't continue to pay to see celebrities.

havocSchultz wrote:Can you blame the celebrity for taking the money when it's the magazine company offering it in the first place...?


I can only blame them if they have any delusions about being taken seriously as an actor after that. Sure, they may take a few serious roles here and there, maybe even deign to do an independent film on scale, but once they cross that threshold...once they put a price tag on themselves, it gets a little muddy. That's when they're no longer actors, but products. This is not to say that this concept didn't exist before the people I've mentioned in this thread. It has. It existed for as long as the big studio system has. But recently, it's gotten out-of-hand. And audiences aren't stupid. They know that as soon as something becomes commodified, its value drops. That's basic Wal-Mart economics.

And that's why the "A"-list star is endangered.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby aura on Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:46 pm

travis-dane wrote:Jolie and Pitt will donate all the money.....
A big name will allways put more asses in the seats.
Sadly many actors are loosing sight of what really is important,making good movies.
But if they use their stardom like Jolie and Pitt,I got no problem with it.


I have an opinion on this, too.

But, hey. I think I've done enough essay-writing for the hour.
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby Peven on Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:09 pm

aura, i think you should define "A-list star" because i don't think you are working off of the same definition many others are

the concept of A-list stars was created by the studios, carefully crafted by them in how they manipulated the public's view of their actors, including publicity shots of them off of the lot. what Jolie and Pitt have done is very much in the vein of the classic A-list star, they arrive at formal events looking composed and tastefully dressed, are known for being hard working professionals in their craft, don't show up in police blotters, donate their time and money to causes to help children and the poor, are both insanely good-looking, and the world goes nuts for a picture of their newborn twins. they're like a cross between a golden era Hollywood couple and the Kennedys. if that isn't A-list, i don't know what is
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Re: Is the era of the A-list movie star over?

Postby aura on Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:15 pm

Peven wrote:aura, i think you should define "A-list star" because i don't think you are working off of the same definition many others are

the concept of A-list stars was created by the studios, carefully crafted by them in how they manipulated the public's view of their actors, including publicity shots of them off of the lot. what Jolie and Pitt have done is very much in the vein of the classic A-list star, they arrive at formal events looking composed and tastefully dressed, are known for being hard working professionals in their craft, don't show up in police blotters, donate their time and money to causes to help children and the poor, are both insanely good-looking, and the world goes nuts for a picture of their welcome member of the Zone twins. they're like a cross between a golden era Hollywood couple and the Kennedys. if that isn't A-list, i don't know what is


My posts in this thread have been working off the general definition provided in that article.

A few qualifiers stated in the original article:

1. "the power to carry a movie." (presumably as the lead or the the only "name" in a movie)

2. the ability to "[transcend] race, class and...duff reviews."

3. a proclivity to take on "roles that reflect [the public's] inner desires."

I hate to keep using Angelina as on example, because she is certainly not the only celebrity to endanger the concept of the "A"-list star, but her info is more accessible than most and she's mentioned in that article, so I guess I will.

What you see with Angelina (everything that you mentioned in your post) is her attempt at being an A-list star. It's my personal opinion that she is not and will likely never be. Going by the qualifiers from the article stated above, the author doesn't think she's is, either.

Here's why (and this is just going by the article writer's definition):

1. She's not able to carry a movie. Her name, unlike Will Smith's, does not guarantee a box office hit. The article writer says that she's "not yet trusted to open a movie." This is the nice way of saving that studios are more worried about losing money on her than gaining it. I'm not 100% familiar with her career, but a quick look at IMDB says that the last leads she had were in "A Mighty Heart", "Taking Lives" and "Beyond Borders", all reportedly box office flops (the latter of which had a budget of something like $35 million and a gross of $4 million). Doesn't that seem a bit incongruous with her "celebrity" status? And yes, Mr. and Mrs. Smith was a hit, but I dare say it was either a fluke or a result of the the hype surrounding her very public relationship with Brad Pitt...there's that "celebrity" quotient again...).

2. She does not ""[transcend] race, class and...duff reviews." I think it's safe to say that Angelina does not appeal to the average middle-American housewife. For that, there are "safer", more lucrative actresses. I remember people being up-in-arms when "A Mighty Heart" came out because they considered her to be doning what was essentially modern-age blackface. So, I guess transcending race is out of the window. And, duff reviews. "Alexander" was an ensemble piece and she seemed to have the biggest name in it, but that clearly didn't save it.

3. She definitely does not take on roles that reflect the collective. What I see on her IMDB list are vanity pieces, animated voice overs, a video game heroine and an action genre niche (read: little substance). None of this equals to the public seeing their "inner desires" being played out on the big screen. Unless they really want to throw hands with Brad Pitt. In which case, I really can't say that I blame them.
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DEATH OF THE MOVIE STAR - R.I.P.

Postby sage thomas on Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:08 am

I found this article on another site. I couldn't agree more. http://moviemavericks.com/?p=107 What do you guys think?
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Re: DEATH OF THE MOVIE STAR - R.I.P.

Postby RogueScribner on Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:21 am

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Re: DEATH OF THE MOVIE STAR - R.I.P.

Postby minstrel on Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:34 pm

I think this article is premature, if that's the word. People will lament the passing of the movie star until the next big movie star comes along. I don't know who it'll be, but somewhere (probably in LA already, waiting tables) there's the NEXT BIG STAR. Someone with real charisma who can bring audiences out to theaters. While it may be fashionable now to produce movies that are driven by special effects and so on, ultimately it's human connections that make people like movies, and that requires actors with charisma.

Avatar cleaned up at the box office, but it wasn't only because of the CGI and 3D and effects. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana had good chemistry together (even in big blue form), and both will be big stars in the future. Other performances stood out well too in that movie. Maybe there weren't big stars in Avatar (other than maybe Sigourney Weaver), but it was more actor-driven than you may think on first viewing.

I think movies will always be driven by charismatic actors, by stars. The rest of the stuff is secondary.
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Re: DEATH OF THE MOVIE STAR - R.I.P.

Postby TheButcher on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:28 pm

From Variety:
Talent that's fast, cheap and in control - Franchise projects don't rely on big names
TATIANA SIEGEL wrote:Hollywood is downsizing.

Though studio heads aren't exactly clipping coupons, they are imposing a sort of de facto salary cap on even the highest-profile projects. As a result, a number of cost-saving writers and directors are being entrusted with a slew of potential and established franchise projects from "Tron" to "Spider-Man."

"There is an austerity across the board," says a studio exec. "But less expensive does not equal inferior product."

That's the mindset behind a spate of recent moves putting the studios' crown jewels in the hands of cheaper talent. The most publicized example found helmer Marc Webb, whose filmography includes just one pic -- the critically lauded "500 Days of Summer" -- nabbing the reins to Sony's next "Spider-Man" installment for a payday that insiders peg at near $1 million. That figure is far from what a gross participant director like Sam Raimi, who was behind the camera for the franchise's first three films, typically commands.

Similarly, Sony is looking to bring an animated "Popeye" to the bigscreen with relative newcomer Mike Jones penning the screenplay. Jones (a former Variety staffer and current contributor) landed the job on the strength of his unproduced spec "The Minotaur Takes a Smokey Thingie Break," which caught the attention of "Popeye" producer Avi Arad.

"The traditional seven-figure writers are so hit-or-miss for the studios," says one agent with a number of so-called inexpensive clients working on coveted projects. "With the top-tier writers, the studios get one meeting with the guy and get one draft. The cheap writers often come from TV, where they are used to being super-collaborative and working in rooms with other people. These writers will give a studio exec 30 meetings on a project. … And they're super hungry."

So what exactly does "cheap" mean these days? It translates to up to $500,000 for a screenplay (which typically includes a number of free rewrites, despite that practice being a WGA no-no). Shelling out less than $1 million on a director is considered affordable.

Just a few years ago, Sony spent top dollar for not one, but two of the industry's highest-paid screenwriters -- David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman -- to adapt Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons." For its third Robert Langdon adventure -- Brown's "The Lost Symbol" -- the studio tapped Brit scribe Steven Knight, who earns considerably less than Koepp and Goldsman.

"You don't need to hire (the highest-paid writers) anymore for the original draft because you're going to hire them later anyway for the uncredited rewrite or polish," says a lit manager who has seen his roster benefit amid increasingly tight-fisted regimes. "It's simple math. Now, you see a studio pay a new writer rather than a high-paid veteran and save $5 million right there. And then the studio gets Koepp or (Lowell) Ganz and (Babaloo) Mandel on the rewrite."

Sony isn't the only studio looking for cost-savings on its prized projects or high-profile remakes. Disney tapped tyro helmer Joseph Kosinski for its tentpole "Tron: Legacy." Similarly, Universal is high on its horror remake "The Thing," which features first-time director in Dutch commercials helmer Matthijs van Heijningen. U also two high-profile Hasbro-based titles being shaped by lower-cost scribes: "Ouija" (Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, from TV's "Lost") and "Battleship" (Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber).

Paramount courted director Ruben Fleischer for "Mission: Impossible 4." (Though the deal didn't work out, the helmer, who's completed only one film, is high on every studio's wish list thanks to his reasonable quote.) The Melrose studio also has let two untested writers -- Josh Zetumer and Chase Palmer -- take turns on its "Dune" remake.

Rupert Wyatt, whose sole previous credit is the indie prison pic "The Escapist," is attached to direct 20th Century Fox's effects-heavy "Planet of the Apes" prequel, tentatively titled "Caesar." The studio is also developing a new "Alien" based on a take by fledgling writer Jon Spaihts.

Warner Bros. is the only major to largely buck the recent trend. Agents say that over the span of a few months, studio topper Jeff Robinov went through his development slate and fired any first-time directors from projects. Still, Warners placed its DC Comics property "The Losers" in the hands of sophomore helmer Sylvain White, who followed his 2007 "Stomp the Yard" to beat out more seasoned competition. And for its remake of "Arthur," the studio is looking to TV helmer Jason Winer to make his feature debut.

With development money freezing up, and studios taking a thrifty approach on even tentpoles, cheaper writers and directors are becoming ever more threatening to Hollywood's A-list lit talent.

One insider spoke of a director bake-off taking place on New Line's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" sequel.

"It's down to the final round and there are five directors with a range of quotes and levels of experience," the insider says. "There's one guy who had no credits under his belt. He came to the meeting with storyboards in 3D! He actually handed out glasses to the executives. They were blown away."

Though that would-be director hasn't landed the job yet, don't be surprised if he does.
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Re: DEATH OF THE MOVIE STAR - R.I.P.

Postby TheButcher on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:43 pm

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