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Ryan Reynolds Reportedly Set to Produce ‘Stoned Alone’, A Re-imagining of ‘Home Alone’

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Fox has found an inspired way to tap back into the spirit of one of the studio’s all time grossing comedies, Home Alone. In fact, the new take sounds like a blend of that John Hughes-scripted family film, with the irreverence, hard R rating, and star of Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds is attached to produce Stoned Alone, which is in development at Fox. Augustine Frizzell is set to direct. Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider wrote the script from an idea by Fox exec Matt Reilly.

Stoned Alone is reminiscent of that hallowed comedy classic. It centres around a twenty-something weed growing loser who misses the plane for his holiday ski trip. He makes the best of things by getting high. Paranoia sets in and he believes he hears someone break into his house. Turns out thieves have broken in. Fully stoned and fuelled by paranoia, he tries to thwart the thieves and defend his castle. Reynolds will produce through his Fox-based Maximum Effort production banner, with and Maximum Effort’s George Dewey executive producer.

Frizzell is a new comic voice. She directed Never Goin’ Back, which premiered at Sundance and will be released by A24, and she’s directing Euphoria for HBO. The writers scripted for Netflix the comedy that had been called Eggplant Emoji, but is now called The Package. They signed on right after Reilly pitched them.

The original Home Alone was released in holiday season, 1990. Rescued in turnaround from Warner Bros — execs fought with writer/producer John Hughes over a $2 million budget disagreement — by newly minted Fox chief Joe Roth. It grossed an out-sized $476 million, spawned two sequels, made a star of Macaulay Culkin, and it was years before Warner Bros or pretty much any major studio put a project in turnaround again, for fear of embarrassment. Chris Columbus directed the original.

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

Casting News

Ana de Armas Joins Daniel Craig In Rian Johnson’s Knives Out

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Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) has officially signed on to join actors Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Michael Shannon in Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

The film, which Johnson also wrote, is scheduled to start shooting next month. Knives Out has been described as a contemporary whodunit, with Craig portraying an archetypal grizzled detective, tasked with getting to the bottom of a classic locked-room murder mystery.

Johnson is set to produce with his creative partner Ram Bergman, and studios are expected to bid fiercely for the rights to distribute the feature in the coming months. Craig was previously pencilled in to begin shooting Bond 25 for director Danny Boyle at the tail end of this year, but when Boyle departed that project following creative differences it freed up the Casino Royale actor’s schedule to join Knives Out.

Somewhat ironically, Ana de Armas can next be seen in an untitled project from Danny Boyle, which is likely to release prior to Johnson’s crime thriller.

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Box Office News

The Grinch Eyeing $50m+ Opening Weekend

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Illumination Animation’s forthcoming The Grinch, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the green grouch, has landed on early tracking – and Universal could be looking at quite the Christmas present.

Yes, by all accounts, The Grinch is looking at a minimum $50m opening weekend, with that number potentially ballooning as the weeks roll on and the film’s marketing pushes deeper into the public consciousness.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the franchise (and character) has proven itself before to have both presence and staying power; 2000’s live-action version, starring Jim Carrey in the title role, opened to $55 million and went on to score $260 million total, not adjusted for inflation.

The Grinch is due out in UK cinemas on the 9th November, rated PG.

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Venom Producer Gives Weak Excuse For Carnage Not Being The Film’s Villain

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When a Venom movie sans-wallcrawler was first announced, many assumed that the smart move would be pitting the black symbiote against well-known comic antagonist Carnage; a red palette-swap of the film’s titular antihero, inhabited by serial-killer Cletus Kasady.

However, that turned out to not be the case. Sony still went with the age-old classic superhero movie villain formula (exactly like the hero, but, y’know, evil – see also; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, etc etc.) but eschewed the better-known Carnage for, of all characters, Riot – a silver-coloured symbiote inhabited by Carlton Drake, head of the LIFE Foundation, and birthed from an oft-forgotten 90s comic book arc.

When asked the reasoning behind the decision to scrape through the bottom of the Marvel barrel and to drudge up a Z-lister like Riot for their initial, flagship Spidey-cinematic-universe-minus-Spidey feature, producer Matt Tolmach gave an almost unbelievably pathetic excuse:

“[If you have Carnage] you have two origins, and it really limits. We thought about it long and hard. It limits what you can do with the origin of Venom. So, what do you do with that? Well, then the movie itself becomes the origin of Venom, and then Carnage enters the equation. That was always the idea, that you would be setting it up, from the very beginning.”

Now, putting aside that the movie gives an origin to Riot as part of its structure, and the fact that the movie’s post-credits scene gives a pretty complete set-up for Cletus Kasady (portrayed by Woody Harrelson, donning an incredibly cheap-looking ginger wig), it’s still a staggeringly weak reason. Complaining that a villain also needs setting up – something that most superhero origin films manage to pull off quite neatly – smacks of an almost impressive level of laziness. Granted, once you’ve done ‘Venom vs. Carnage’, there’s not a tremendous amount of places left to take a webslinger-less Venom franchise, but it’s still going to feel deliriously samey when/if Venom 2 rolls around.

Venom stars Tom Hardy and is in cinemas now, rated 12A.

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