Today in showbiz news: Discussing the J.J. Abrams/Star Wars news, Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson are teaming up again, and a first look at the Coen Brothers' new film.
As noted earlier, J.J. Abrams has been chosen by Disney, and one would assume by God, to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the much whispered/grumbled-about Star Wars sequel that will make itself known in a few years' time. How do we feel about this? I mean, a collective we, as a nation? Well, some folks seem excited. Abrams has proved himself a more than competent film director with movies like the touching Spielberg-homage Super 8 and the dark, bracing Mission: Impossible III. And, of course, Star Trek. (More on that in a minute.) He's got an inventive sense of pacing and a cool, confident visual style. As expected there have been many lens flare jokes — Star Trek was lousy with them — but mostly people seem confident that he'll make something cool rather than cloying, the prevailing mood of the much-derided (and rightly so) George Lucas prequels. But as to the Star Trek thing... Isn't it a little insane that Abrams is now responsible for the modern reinvention of science fiction's two biggest film & television properties? Like, these are the things that invented fanboy-dom. Isn't it going to be hard for him to separate, and not aesthetically, or even emotionally, confuse the two? He's going to have to install a new brain! Sure there isn't actually that much difference between Star Trek and Star Wars, looks-wise anyway, but still. They need to exist as two separate entities. Otherwise the world will collapse in on itself or something. So, we're wary of this. Because it seems like a lot to put the nerd world's two biggest horcruxes in the hands of one man. And, really, we're wary of this project in general — already in tatters because of the prequels, the Star Wars name could face complete, Alderaan-style decimation should these sequels be botched. Abrams might prove a good, if not terribly inspired, choice, but we'll only believe it when we see it. May the Force— Well, you get it. [The Wrap]
Many film geeks are unequivocally happy about this: Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson are likely teaming up again, with Phoenix in talks to feature in Anderson's next film Inherent Vice, an adaptation of a detective novel by Thomas Pynchon. Joaquin Phoenix, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Thomas Pynchon all in one movie? That's a thick-framed glasses-wearing, Greenpoint-dwelling, Manhattan Inn-brunching asshole's wet dream! And many other people's too. It's a strong pedigree, many would argue. We'd argue that only two of the three are, but that's just us. Feel free to be entirely thrilled about this. It's OK. This is good news. [Deadline]