By Romeo San Vicente
Amber Heard revs her ‘Motor’
Amber Heard, new queen of all car-centric movies? OK, maybe not, but the co-star of “Drive Angry” and, most recently, “The Rum Diary,” is at least headed to “Motor City” with director Albert Hughes (“Book of Eli”). In the upcoming feature, Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe star alongside female lead Heard in the story of an ex-con on a revenge mission against the people who framed him and watched him be wrongfully imprisoned. Generic-sounding, sure, but sometimes these sort of things wind up full of surprises (witness “Book of Eli”‘s disco gun battle set to the ’70s beat of Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” if you don’t believe that). More importantly, don’t confuse it with Hughes’s usual directing partner brother Allen Hughes’s upcoming project, “Broken City” (even flying solo they make movies with similar names). And most importantly – to lesbians anyway – it’s another chance to watch Amber Heard strut through a film like she owns the place.
E! taps David Burtka
Celebrity spouse David Burtka isn’t one to sit back and let his man bring home all the bacon. Not only is he not in the running to join the crew of the upcoming “A-List: Los Angeles,” he was recently stunt-cast opposite his longtime partner Neil Patrick Harris in the hilariously raunchy “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.” (He played a closet-straight Harris’s fake-gay “beard,” get it?) And now Burtka will have a regular gig, stepping into his own spotlight as a host for the E! network. The actor/chef/co-parent joins the network that brings the world “The Soup” as well as all the Kardashians as a correspondent for “E! News,” and he’ll also be a talking suit for various specials including “Live From the Red Carpet.” The job starts in January: How long before people start calling Harris “David Burtka’s husband?”
An ‘American Psycho’ Remake? Really?
In the annals of cinematic bad ideas, a remake of an acclaimed American film fewer than 15 years after the original was in theaters takes the current “Worst Of” prize. But that’s not stopping the forces behind a reboot of “American Psycho.” Already a contemporary classic starring Christian Bale and helmed by Mary Harron with a darkly funny script co-written by indie lesbian icon Guinevere Turner, this update (no longer to be set in the ugly ’80s) is from the money-grabbing hands of Lionsgate and will be directed by music video vet Noble Jones. Even the original novel’s author, Bret Easton Ellis, supports this project that has no good reason to exist; he has called Jones’s vision “genuine.” Could it be part of some Ellis art-prank master plan to get the film remade once a decade? Will the kids from “Modern Family” star in the version they make in 2023? And will anyone know all those Huey Lewis and Whitney Houston songs by that point?
Sundancing with Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan
Oscar nominees Jesse Eisenberg and Melissa Leo will pack their parkas and hit Park City, Utah’s snowy Sundance Film Festival at the end of January to promote “Predisposed,” a comedy from gay screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia,” “Soldier’s Girl”) and first-time director Phil Dorling. The story involves a college piano student who, while trying to take his mother to rehab, gets kidnapped by her drug dealer (Tracy Morgan) and led off on a crazy misadventure. Sound familiar? There’s a reason for that. Eisenberg already starred in the similarly kidnapping-themed “30 Minutes or Less.” And the good news? This one can’t be any worse than that. Even better? It’ll have to be extra terrible to hit the lows of the similarly drug-dealer-themed “comedy” “The Sitter.” So good luck, original-idea-having filmmakers and stars!