By Romeo San Vicente
Jodie Foster, Matt Damon join Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’
The sleeper hit alien invasion allegory “District 9” was South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s calling card and Hollywood has been eager to return his calls ever since. For his next film, “Elysium,” he’s nabbed both Matt Damon and Jodie Foster to star alongside “District 9” star Sharlto Copley. What’s it about? That’s a mystery. Blomkamp’s not telling, but it’s reportedly another journey into science fiction. And what studio is handling it? Well, that’s another mystery, but one of them will pick it up soon enough. And maybe it will erase the weirdness of her upcoming Mel Gibson-and-a-puppet movie, “The Beaver.” For her sake, at least, that would be nice. Now, let’s talk outer space fashion options for Jodie…
Pee-Wee’s return to HBO
Did you make it to New York’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre to see “The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway” during its brief yet successful run? Well, you’re too late for the live version now; it just closed. But don’t despair. The master of witty comebacks like “I know you are, but what am I?” is taking his stage show back to television when HBO airs a performance later this year. What that means for Pee-Wee himself, of course, is that he’s now come full circle. After all, before the hit film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and Saturday morning’s “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” the man-child’s very first exposure to a mass audience was on HBO’s special “The Pee-Wee Herman Show” back in the early ’80s. So think of it as a homecoming, one where there’s always plenty of Mr. T Cereal waiting in the kitchen.
Dominic Cooper is ‘The Devil’s Double’
Acclaimed New Zealand director Lee Tamahori (“Once Were Warriors,” “Die Another Day”) has been laying low for a while. Understandable given his prostitution arrest in 2006, which happened after he solicited an undercover officer for sex while dressed as a woman. And while, in a perfect world, that incident would have merely cemented his status as coolest filmmaker of the decade, it probably didn’t help his career on a day-to-day basis. So it’s nice to report that Tamahori is back, this time with a new movie called “The Devil’s Double,” starring Dominic Cooper (“History Boys,” “Mamma Mia!” ) and French actress Ludivine Sagnier. Cooper plays an Iraqi army lieutenant who was forced to act as the body double for Uday Hussein – the reprobate son of Saddam – or face the execution of his entire family. Due to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month (no red carpet ball gown jokes here, sorry), look for it in theaters later this year.
Natalie Portman’s ever-changing movie
It can be hard to keep up with the status of a forthcoming movie when you’re never sure what the title is. In its earliest stages, the new film from director Don Roos (“The Opposite of Sex”) was titled “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits” (it’s based on the 2006 Ayelet Waldman novel of the same name) and it was to star Jennifer Lopez. And then the name changed to “17 Photos of Isabel” for a little while, Natalie Portman replaced Lopez and the cast grew to include Lisa Kudrow, Lauren Ambrose and “Rent”‘s Anthony Rapp. Now, with its February release coming very soon, the comedy-drama about a newlywed woman dealing with a precocious stepson, the death of her infant daughter and the meddling of her husband’s ex-wife is now called, simply, “The Other Woman.” And don’t confuse it with Portman’s other new movie opening in the next couple weeks, “No Strings Attached.” Or the 1988 Woody Allen film “Another Woman.” Is everybody clear on that now? Good.