Sam Raimi writing ‘Evil Dead 4’
Sam Raimi, who created the low-budget “Evil Dead” series of horror films, has told Empire magazine he’s working on a fourth movie. While Raimi has often said he’d like to reboot the series with a younger cast, his hope for Bruce Campbell to return as Ash indicates this one may be a true sequel.
The first two “Evil Dead” movies — the second actually also covers all the events from the first — follow Ash and some friends as they unleash demonic forces with the evil book Necronomicon Ex Mortis. The third movie finds Ash thrown back to medieval times and fighting the undead there.
“There’s some dialogue,” Raimi told the magazine. “Ash being an idiot. Ash taking some abuse. Some character stuff and then some structure of Act Two. Just other possibilities for things that could happen. It’s ideas, jokes, things we’d like to see.”
Raimi’s latest, “Drag Me to Hell,” premieres May 29.
Metallica dismisses fan complaints
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has slammed fans for complaining about the sound quality of the group’s latest album Death Magnetic – insisting the unpolished finish was intentional.
Hoardes of rock fans have hit online music forums to discuss their disappointment in the LP’s production, with many feeling the record is “too loud”.
As a further blow, fans have labelled the version available through the Guitar Hero video game as superior to the actual official release.
But Ulrich disagrees with the comments that have surfaced since the record hit stores earlier this month, and is proud of the album’s live feel.
He tells Blender magazine, “(Producer) Rick Rubin’s whole thing is to try and get it to sound lively, to get it (to) sound loud, to get it to sound exciting, to get it to jump out of the speakers. Of course, I’ve heard that there are a few people complaining. But I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days in my car, and it sounds f**kin’ smokin.”
And the drummer blames the Internet for fan’s unrest – because it fuels people’s urge to complain.
He adds, “The difference between back then and now is the internet. The internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice.”
Carell, Hathaway smarten up as new Max, Agent 99
LAS VEGAS – Steve Carell did not necessarily see the Maxwell Smart in himself. Everyone else did, including co-star Anne Hathaway and the studio behind the big-screen “Get Smart,” which simply called Carell in and offered him the job, no questions asked.
Carell takes on the title role created by Don Adams in the 1960s TV show about a brainy but bungling spy, with Hathaway playing his supremely capable partner, Agent 99, a part originated by Barbara Feldon.
Created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry as a comic response to James Bond and other espionage adventures, “Get Smart” has endured in syndication, in follow-up movies and a short-lived second TV series in the 1990s.
Directed by Peter Segal, the new “Get Smart” chronicles Max’s rise from crackerjack analyst to field agent for U.S. spy outfit Control, paired with dubious 99 as they try to foil a plot to distribute nukes to unstable governments.
The cast includes Dwayne Johnson as a star Control agent, Alan Arkin as the Chief and bad guy Terence Stamp, who played Kryptonian supervillain Zod and made Christopher Reeve kneel before him in “Superman II.”
Carell and Hathaway chatted with The Associated Press, fondly recalling Feldon and the late Adams, discussing the show’s longevity and sharing a funny Zod tale.
AP: People tend to be skeptical about TV adaptations, but when Steve was cast as Max, they kind of nodded and said, “Good choice.” What do you and Don Adams have in common?
Carell: There’s a bit of a physical resemblance that would be part of the equation. But aside from that, it’s hard talking about him in the same breath as myself, because I don’t aspire to be as good as he was. He’s iconic and the way he did the character is iconic, and I don’t have any pretense of trying to live up to that. If anything, I’m just trying to get an essence of what he did as opposed to any sort of imitation or channeling.
Hathaway: I thought it was perfect casting. He pays me to say this, but Steve’s being very, very humble, because his take on Max is just spectacular. I think the reason Steve Carell seems to fit (glances at Carell and laughs) ó I can’t look at you while I’m saying this …
Carell: I love it when you use my whole name.
Hathaway: The thing about Steve stepping into Don’s shoes that makes sense is Steve’s take on comedy. He can do the big, over-the-top, slightly absurd stuff really well, but he also does the real subtle moments really well. And the thing about Don Adams, he never played Maxwell Smart as a fumbling goon. He played him as a very serious man who didn’t know he was in a comedy. And Steve’s really good at doing that. A lot of his characters don’t know that they’re funny, and that’s what makes him hilarious.
AP: Now the same question for Anne. What do you and Barbara Feldon have in common?
Hathaway: I appreciate this question now. It’s a tough one. I’m so very different from Agent 99, and the bar that Barbara Feldon set and what Barbara Feldon’s 99 meant to people, I’m never going to be able to touch that. The world was in a very different place then. We needed Agent 99. When Barbara Feldon played her, we needed to see a girl who could keep up with the boys, who was smart and who was sexy while being smart. She inspired so many women. When you look at the kind of women we aspire to be today, a lot of them are very similar to Barbara Feldon’s 99. There’s no way I’m going to be able to touch that kind of legacy, but I do think I have good chemistry with my co-star, so that’s probably what I have in common with her.
Carell: Anne was the first person to come in and do a screen test. It was actually the first time I’d said any of the lines. And after she walked out of the room, we all looked at each other and knew it. It was almost as if everyone else could have gone home at that point, frankly. I’d seen a lot of Anne’s work, but there was a sophistication to her and a slyness and sort of a coolness and a deadpan. And she is a great improviser, too. I tend to play around, especially during an audition, just to find different moments and beats, and she was not only there, following, but leading and sharing it.
Hathaway: I always tell people regarding improvising, Steve’s an abstract expressionist and I finger paint. I’m a very good finger painter, but it’s on a different level.
AP: Why has “Get Smart” endured so well?
Hathaway: It’s sophisticated family humor. That’s what the show had going for it. My parents watched it when they were kids, and then when it was on Nick at Nite in reruns, I would watch it with them when I was a kid. In addition to it just being so funny was the chemistry that Don Adams and Barbara Feldon had. You couldn’t take your eyes off them. It was fun to watch them play. … Don Adams, people don’t remember that he was a fantastic actor. There’s this one episode where he has to pretend he’s gone bad and he has to convince 99 that he’s gone bad, and he plays it so straight. It’s a different Max. It’s colder and harder and harsher. Don Adams was a really, really good straight actor.
Carell: Also, look at who created it. Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. In terms of having longevity, “Young Frankenstein” is still one of my favorite movies. “The Producers,” obviously. His stuff just holds up. For the most part, it really does. That’s a huge element, the writing staff, if you look at the people involved.
Hathaway: Steve, you’re such a nice person. I’m like, “It was the actors. The actors are what endured.”
AP: The movie’s more an action comedy than a spy spoof. Were you trying to avoid parodying spy flicks?
Carell: When I first started talking to Pete (Segal the director) about just tonally what the movie could potentially look like, I said, “What about a comedic `Bourne Identity?'” You take the action in that and you make it a legitimate spy movie that’s funny, as opposed to taking the cliches of spy movies and turning them on their heads. If the villains are like Terence Stamp, these guys are scary and actually have some threat to them. There’s some sense of jeopardy. The comedy laid on top of that might resonate more.
Hathaway: There’s a great story about Terence. He was switching hotels when we were shooting in Montreal. He just went downstairs and he couldn’t find a taxi. He was standing around looking for a taxi and some guy just drove up and went, “Zod?” And he goes, “Yes.” And the guy goes, “What are you doing in Montreal?” “I’m making a movie. Can you give me a ride?” And the guy goes, “Absolutely.” So the guy drove him to his hotel.
AP: I hope the guy didn’t make him say, “Kneel before Zod.”
Carell: I’m sure he’s had to say it to like, cash a check.
Jackie Chan no fan of ‘Rush Hour’ series
HONG KONG – “Rush Hour” put Jackie Chan in Hollywood’s major leagues, but the Hong Kong star isn’t a fan of his successful action comedy franchise.
Chan said when he made the first installment of the “Rush Hour” series in 1998 he only wanted to test the U.S. market and didn’t have high hopes.
“When we finished filming, I felt very disappointed because it was a movie I didn’t appreciate and I did not like the action scenes involved. I felt the style of action was too Americanized and I didn’t understand the American humor,” Chan said in a blog entry on his Web site seen Sunday.
The actor said he made the sequel because he was offered an “irresistible” amount of money to do it and made the recently released third installment to satisfy fans of the series.
Chan said “Rush Hour 3” was no different from the first two installments for him.
“Nothing particularly exciting stood out that made this movie special for me … I spent four months making this film and I still don’t fully understand the humor,” he said, adding the comedic scenes may be lost on Asian audiences.
Chan’s comments came even though the “Rush Hour” series, which revolves around the racial humor stemming from the pairing of a Chinese (Chan) and a black (Chris Tucker) police officer, helped the action star cross over to mainstream American audiences.
“Rush Hour” was Chan’s first movie to break $100 million at the U.S. box office, earning $141 million, according to the box office tracking Web site, Box Office Mojo. “Rush Hour 2” made $226 million and “Rush Hour 3” has earned $137 million so far.
Chan has been known to be blase about his Hollywood work. He said in a 2005 interview with The Associated Press that he uses the high salary he earns in the U.S. to fund Chinese-language projects that truly interest him.
He also showed little enthusiasm for his latest Hollywood project, “The Forbidden Kingdom,” which marks his first on-screen collaboration with fellow action star Jet Li.
Original Beach Boys members reunite
LOS ANGELES – The surviving founders of the Beach Boys ó Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine ó made their first public appearance together in 10 years Tuesday, standing atop the historic Capitol Records building in Hollywood.
The trio gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the landmark “Pet Sounds” album and the recent double-platinum certification of 2003’s “Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys.” The trio was joined by veteran band member Bruce Johnston and former Beach Boy David Marks.
“It’s always good to do this while we’re living,” Jardine quipped to reporters before the event, in which band members were presented with framed plaques each containing two platinum vinyl records.
Plaques also were issued posthumously to Wilson’s brothers, Carl and Dennis ó both original Beach Boys members.
The reunion of the Beach Boys came after decades of animosity between Love and Wilson, who are cousins.
Love sued Wilson in November, saying Wilson “shamelessly misappropriated (Love’s) songs, likeness and the Beach Boys trademark, as well as the `Smile’ album itself” when Wilson was promoting 2004’s “Smile.” Love previously sued his cousin in the mid-1990s, seeking more songwriting credit on the band’s back catalog.
The two shared a friendly rapport Tuesday, standing side by side and patting each other on the back. In thanking his bandmates, Love lauded “my cousin Brian Wilson, for his incredible abilities that gave us all this amazing life.”
When asked if all hatchets have been buried, Love pointed to his back.
“The hatchets are right here,” he said with a laugh.
Loved added that between the band members “there’s issues that arise, and you resolve them over time.”
Of the reunion, he said: “We’ve been together, just in different configurations and different situations. But this is a great one because everybody’s in a celebratory mood, everybody’s on their good behavior and everybody’s enjoying the fact that our records have been recognized even 40 years after we first put (them) out.”
A second greatest-hits compilation, called “The Warmth of the Sun,” is planned for release next spring, Love and Wilson said.
Simpson Puts Up Her ‘Dukes’ in New York
NEW YORK – In the eyes of Jessica Simpson, Daisy Duke is an “iconish” figure. During her co-hosting gig Friday on the syndicated TV show “Live With Regis and Kelly,” Simpson said she had to “step into those shorts and the red bikinis and I had to do Catherine Bach proud” for her role in “The Dukes of Hazzard” movie.
Bach played Daisy Duke on the ’70s TV series.
“To play Daisy Duke, I mean, that’s like an iconish … is that a word … iconic figure,” she said.
Simpson said she hired a trainer to get in shape for the film, which stars Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke and Seann William Scott as Bo Duke.
“I was running sprints and doing all kinds of stuff. All I was thinking was bikini, bikini, bikini,” the 25-year-old singer-actress said. “It was strange to actually be in the shorts. By the way, I tried on over a hundred pair.”
Simpson also appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” summer concert series in Bryant Park singing “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” the Nancy Sinatra song she rerecorded for “Dukes.”
“The Dukes of Hazzard” opened in theaters on Friday.