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Pierce Brosnan: Thomas Crown 2 ‘still on the shelf’

- September 13th, 2013

It’s been 14 years since the first film, and since then there has been talk every couple of years about a sequel to Pierce Brosnan’s 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

So when I sat down to talk to Brosnan about his latest film – The Love Punch – which screened at TIFF, I asked about the status of Thomas Crown 2.

“We’ve been talking about it for years,” Brosnan says. “It’s still on the shelf…dormant. I don’t think it’ll happen.”

The sequel was rumoured to be titled The Topkapi Affair, a remake of the 1964 heist film Topkapi that starred Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell, and Peter Ustinov. Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct) was attached to direct, but he left in 2010.

But Brosnan is still has a sliver of hope that Thomas Crown 2 might get made. Even though he is 60, the former James Bond star figures there is a slight window of opportunity when his next film – a spy thriller – opens later this year.

“I’ve just done a moviecalled November Man with my producing partner Beau St. Clair. If that gets traction, we have a calling card to be able to go to MGM and say, ‘Let’s go with Thomas Crown.’”

In the original Thomas Crown Affair, Brosnan played a wealthy businessman who steals a Monet painting to cure his boredom. Along the way, he falls in love with one of the investigators – Rene Russo – sent in to catch him.

Brosnan also reminisced about another movie project that failed to get off the ground – a big screen adaptation of his ’80s hit TV show Remington Steele.

“We talked about it, but it’s gone nowhere. I was going to play the godfather of Remington. It came up six years ago and it went nowhere.”

In The Love Punch, Brosnan and Emma Thompson play a divorced couple who have to reunite in order to pull off a jewel heist to get back their retirement savings.

“Emma has a crystal presence,” he smiled, describing his co-star. “When you’re working with her, you know exactly where you are and what it’s all about.”

‘Fake’ James Franco invades TIFF

- September 10th, 2013

UPDATED

Remember how a few years ago at TIFF there was a Joaquin Phoenix imposter running around the fest tricking fans on the red carpet? Well, it seems that this year there is a ‘fake’ James Franco having a grand old time in Toronto.

Franco, who has three movies at the festival – Palo Alto, Child of God and Third Person – was in town Sunday and has since left the city, but that didn’t stop a phoney Franco from having some fun posing with fans. According to the New York Post’s page six, Palo Alto producer Vince ­Jolivette spotted the Franco doppelgänger and insisted he meet the real deal.

“Vince thought it was hysterical,” a source tells page six. “The fake James Franco was posing for photos with girls [who thought he was the real one]. He was walking around, talking to people, eating, drinking. He was the toast of the town.”

One woman posted a photo of herself posing with the fake Franco on Facebook saying she was “completely duped.”

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And it turns out the ‘fake’ Franco met the real Franco at a party for the real McCoy’s Child of God.

‘Fake’ Franco was later revealed to be actor Thomas James Murphy.

Metallica Through the Never director offers update on Predators sequel

- September 9th, 2013

A lot of Predator fans were hoping that 20th Century Fox were going to announce a sequel to 2010′s Predators reboot at this past summer’s San Diego Comic-Con. The company had been teasing a Predator announcement on Twitter with the hashtag #HuntThePredator in the days leading up to the event.

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Turns out, the announcement was for the upcoming Predator 3D Blu-ray release and had nothing to do with the sequel.

Darn!

Produced by Robert Rodriguez, Predators was supposed to reboot the 1980s franchise that was started by Arnold Schwarzenegger, before it devolved into the silly Alien vs. Predator series. The new film featured various killers played by the likes of Adrien Brody, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne on an alien planet that turns out to be a game preserve for the Predators.

It concluded on a bit of a cliffhanger that hinted at future sequels.

So while I was talking to Predators director Nimrod Antal about his latest film, Metallica Through the Never, I did have a chance to ask him about Predators 2.

“I would love to do another Predators,” he said. “I spoke with [producer] Robert Rodriguez last week and it didn’t come up, but I’ve asked the people over at Fox what’s going on. I’ll either be doing that next, or another project.”

Asked why there has been a delay in getting the film made, Antal blamed the nature of the business.

“There was a big changing of the guard at Fox, people went, people came, not because of Predators.”

Metallica Through the Never screens at TIFF on Monday, Sept. 9. It opens on IMAX Sept. 27.

TIFF 2013: Teller’s most memorable magic trick

- September 6th, 2013

Okay, it’s a film festival, so you have to be prepared to interview all sorts of people. Actors, directors, musicians, authors, magicians. Wait, magicians? There’s a first time for everything it seems.

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Magic duo Penn and Teller were at TIFF to debut their well-recieved art documentary Tim’s Vermeer. The film, which traces their friend Tim Jenison’s attempt to recreate 17th-century artist Johannes Vermeer’s The Magic Lesson, finds the pair poking holes in the notion that Vermeer may have painted his photo-realistic works from memory.

Jenison figures out a way to turn himself into a budding Vermeer using a camera obscura, and Penn and Teller hop on for the entire ride – all 1,825 days of it. It’s a film about the process of art and obsession, and I highly recommend you seeing it when it comes out later this year (there are already rumblings about the film’s nomination for an Academy Award).

But having been a fan of Penn and Teller since I was a kid, I wanted to know what their favourite memory was as performers.

Here’s what Teller had to say, along with a clip of the trick.

“When we did the upside down bit on Saturday Night Live that was an amazing experience because we were doing something that hadn’t been done in any significant way before… It was absolutely perfect and every reaction we elected from the audience was stronger, greater and funnier than we expected.”

TIFF 2013 Review: Only Lovers Left Alive shows Tom Hiddleston has bite

- September 5th, 2013

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If the cutesy Twilight series made you sick of vampires, and you’ve been holding out for bloodsuckers who don’t have stars in their eyes, the Jim Jarmusch-directed Only Lovers Left Alive is just the thing for you.

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play vampire lovers Adam and Eve, who live on different continents – he in Detroit, she in Tangier. Adam is a “suicidally romantic” musician who hides from the spotlight in his gothic mansion in the abandoned outskirts of the depressed city. Eve, his centuries-old lover, leaves her comforting environs – and longtime friend Marlowe (John Hurt) – to rekindle the flame in the Motor City.

But when Eve’s sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) shows up, she puts a wrench in Adam’s melancholic routine that threatens his solitary existence.

Adam and Eve, who have lived alongside Byron and Shelley, find this generation of people to be soulless “zombies” and fret about the way things change. But in addition to being a funny riff on the vampire genre, Jarmusch’s latest ends up a poetic meditation on a love that lasts forever.

It’s a worthy companion to the emotional entanglements explored in 2005′s Broken Flowers, and proof that Hiddleston has more than Loki one-liners in his acting future.

Only Lovers Left Alive screens Saturday, 12:15 p.m. at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.