The Possibly Misleading Trailer of WALTER MITTY

Is James Thurber’s short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” Still in the rotation of things everybody is forced to read in English Lit? Well, in the event that it’s not, the premise is that Walter Mitty is a mildly-henpecked average schlub who escapes from the crushing boredom of a shopping tripwith his wife by slipping into self-aggrandizing heroic daydreams touched-off by mundane events of his day (putting on his gloves conjures a fantasy of himself as the world’s greatest surgeon, for example.) So… yeah, the framing device used by like 70% of TV sitcom “anthology episodes?” This is where that comes from.

Anyway, it’s now being (loosely) adapted into a movie directed by and starring Ben Stiller. Yeah, I was immediately kind of queasy too, but take a look at this thing…

See? NOT exactly the “Along Came The Fockers To Watch The Envy Museum” shitstorm Stiller’s name too often conjures of late, right? Right.

What worries me is that there’s almost no dialogue, and when we DO get a closeup, line or anything that doesn’t look like it was chosen for how well it cuts together as a “quietly soaring” indie-rock video looks just a little bit closer to the schtick that’s more expected of this pedigree. But, for now, I’ll choose to be optimistic about this. Stiller remains talented enough to still put out a “Tropic Thunder” or “Greenberg,” so maybe this’ll be one of those…

"FLASH" To Become Terrible CW Show Before Dour, Portentous ‘Gritty’ Movie

A big-ish rumor (which I joked around about last week) coming out of the “Batman vs. Superman” SDCC announcement was that the “bridge” movie between Sad Building-Puncher Meets Broody Sulkington would be “The Flash;” which was curious and kind of terrifying since The Flash and his “world” are made almost-entirely out of the very things that the DC Movie team of Nolan, Goyer and (now, to my endless disappointment) Zack Snyder have committed to siphoning out before these things get to screen.

Well, it looks it’s going to take the long road in getting there: Warner Bros has announced that they’re putting the somehow still-kicking “Amazon” (aka “Wonder Woman in High School”) project on the back-burner in order to focus on a TV version of “Flash,” who’ll make his debut in a forthcoming episode of “Arrow”* before spinning-off into his own series…

The Flash actually makes a lot of sense for a TV series, in that he has a really easily-understood power-set, an origin story you can knock out in a minute and change (he’s a scientist futzing with some chemicals, he gets hit by lightning, now he can do things really really fast) and his day-job is a police-forensics scientist (before you ask, they already said they’re going with Barry Allen.) This might be why there already was a short-lived TV show back in the 90s, which was actually a lot of fun and feature Mark Hammill’s first DCU turn as The Trickster:

Part of me actually hopes this really is the route Warners goes to get to “Justice League” – building half the roster in shitty CW series, so that the movie is grumpy middle-aged Henry Cavill and Christian Bale being followed around by a  posse of interchangeable Twilight-bait boytoys in bad costumes (“Flash” will probably get just a reddish-brown tracksuit, right? To go with “Arrow’s” hoodie?)

Both this series and the still-apparently-happening movie (it’s not specified if they’ll be connected in any way – it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t because WB just. Does. Not. Care.) are happening under the supervision of Greg Berlanti, whose previous crimes include “Dawson’s Creek,” “Everwood,” “Green Lantern” and (naturally) “Arrow.”

*Please don’t bother trying to convince me that “Arrow” isn’t shit. Because “Arrow” is shit.

Disney and The Weinsteins Set "ARTEMIS FOWL" Production

This is being reported as a HUGE FUCKING DEAL in the industry because Harvey Weinstein and Disney are speaking again, except all the people at Disney who Harvey was initially at odds with kinda got washed-away post-“John Carter” so it’s not really that impressive. Also, it’s still just business: Disney finally wants to make a movie based on what has to be the last yet-unfilmmed Harry Potter coattail-rider franchise – which is published by one of their subsidiaries – but Harvey bought the movie rights to it years ago and has been sitting on them.

In any case, “Artemis Fowl” (basic pitch: What if Bruce Wayne was Harry Potter and also sort-of a villain?) will no go into pre-production, to be released to the clenched consternation of it’s fans and the complete and utter ambivalence of everyone else probably sometime in 2015; with depressing tabloid headlines involving whatever poor child actor donates his body to the title role to follow a few years down the road.

Would You Watch 90 Minutes of This?

Below, an extended music video for Biting Elbows’ “Bad Motherfucker.” The premise: “What if a ‘Transporter’ sequel was 4 1/2 minutes long and seen entirely from first-person perspective?” Okay, fun enough – really hate 0:25, but that’s a taste thing.

In any case, this is “news” because the video’s director has been hired to turn the concept into a full feature, with Sharlto Copley apparently set to star. I can’t help get the sense that this is the sort of idea that sounds good until you actually see it, but what do I know?

"Fruitvale Station" Director to Write/Direct Seventh "Rocky" Installment. For Real.

Ryan Coogler is having the dream year of an indie filmmaker. His devastating debut, “Fruitvale Station” was already racking up accolades before it was yanked into the spotlight by tangential association to the Trayvon Martin story (“Fruitvale” is a fact-based account of a police shooting of an unarmed black youth.) Now he’s lining up his first studio gig, and it’s anything but what you’d expect…

“CREED,” which Coogler will write and direct as a star vehicle for his “Fruitvale” lead Michael B. Jordan (whose also supposedly on the shortlist for The Human Torch), is a spin-off/continuation of the “ROCKY” franchise. The story will center on the grandson of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers’ character from the first four films) opting to follow his grandfather’s footsteps into professional boxing; with a returning Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa for a trainer. Why did it take so long for someone to think of this??

I don’t know if “Rocky” means the same thing to audiences who didn’t grow up in the late-70s/80s – watching the series gradually transition from Oscar-winning throwback melodrama to bombastic action-hero fantasy – but I did, so I’m intrigued as hell by this. My one concern would be whether or not Stallone (who didn’t just play Rocky, but created the character and wrote the original screenplay) can be part of the production without trying to assert control on a “green” young filmmaker. On the other hand, he was very much where Coogler was once, so maybe he’ll have a certain amount of respect.

I hope this works out… and not just because I’d like to maybe find out what happened to Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Tommy Gunn in “Creed II, III,” etc. (Lang was at one point supposed to appear as a ringside commentator in “Rocky Balboa,” which would be amazing.)