By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood January 21, 2011 at 12:00AM
- The question is, will Willow Smith in a remake of (Little Orphan) Annie turn out to be a box office hit that plays like an extended music video proving that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith turned out some cute money makers? Or will it be a gritty, creative and inspired re-telling of the outdated musical and 1982 John Huston film? Jay-Z signed Willow Smith (so thank him for "Whip My Hair") and is in talks to do the music on the remake. If Jay-Z's 1998 Annie-theme-song-inspired "It's The Hard Knock Life" is an indication of how the film would feel, we'll support it all the way. If the remake is heading for Whip My Hair Annie we'll pass. Videos of both Jay-Z and Annie's versions of "The Hard Knock Life" are below.
- Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg's adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel (synopsis below is courtesy of Publisher's Weekly) is switching things up: both Marion Cotillard and Colin Farrell were on board, but now Rob Pattinson is in and Cotillard is out, possibly to be replaced by Keira Knightley. The production is aiming younger (and Twilight "RPattz" fans could pull some numbers), which seems odd for the director of A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and the upcoming A Dangerous Method. The latter is also starring Knightley, so Cronenberg's interest in her sounds legit. If Cosmopolis ends up as Pattinson and Knightley, the result could be a face off of who's prettier.
"…a study in big money and affectlessness. As one character remarks, 28-year-old Eric Packer 'wants to be one civilization ahead of this one.' But on an April day in the year 2000, Eric's fortune and life fall apart. The story tracks him as he traverses Manhattan in his stretch limo. His goal: a haircut at Anthony's, his father's old barber. But on this day his driver has to navigate a presidential visit, an attack by anarchists and a rapper's funeral. Meanwhile, the yen is mounting, destroying Eric's bet against it. The catastrophe liberates Eric's destructive instinct-he shoots another character and increases his bet. Mostly, the action consists of sequences in the back of the limo (where he stages meetings with his doctor, various corporate officers and a New Economy guru) interrupted by various pit stops. He lunches with his wife of 22 days, Elise Shifrin. He has sex with two women, his art consultant and a bodyguard. He is hit in the face with a pie by a protester. He knows he is being stalked, and the novel stages a final convergence between the ex-tycoon and his stalker. DeLillo practically invented the predominant vernacular of the late '90s (the irony, the close reading of consumer goods, the mock complexity of technobabble) in White Noise, but he seems surprisingly disengaged here. His spotlighted New Economy icon, Eric, doesn't work, either as a genius financier (he is all about gadgetry, not exchange-there's no love of the deal in his 'frozen heart') or a thinker. The threats posed by the contingencies that he faces cannot lever him out of his recalcitrant one-dimensionality. DeLillo is surely an American master, but this time out, he is doodling."
- Described as "impossibly bad-ass," check out John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven, from director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta). The film also stars pretty Brit Alice Eve (She's Out of My League) and handsome Brit Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe).