EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Chris Tucker, the Rush Hour star who returned to the screen after a five year absence to star with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in the David O Russell-directed The Silver Linings Playbook. Tucker had been repped by WME.
Tucker’s penchant for being selective and preferring to travel the world rather than make one movie after another like most stars, has knocked him off the star map somewhat. He has the opportunity to reestablish himself if he wants to. Tucker made one of the most meteoric salary jumps in Hollywood history when he went from a $3 million salary for Rush Hour to making $20 million against 20% of the gross. The three Rush Hour films grossed more than $800 million worldwide. Tucker has shown he’s adept at dramatic roles as well, in films like the Hughes Brothers-directed Dead Presidents and the Quentin Tarantino-directed Jackie Brown.
Tucker’s currently on a U.S. comedy tour, and I hope he decides to make movies again with more regularity, because he’s fun to watch. He continues to be represented by his longtime attorney Susan C. Adamson.
New Line Cinema is in talks with Ice Cube to write, produce and star in another installment of the Friday series. Cube could be in line to direct it as well, but all that is being worked out. A TMZ report says that Chris Tucker as being in serious talks to reprise his role in the film. They have had discussions and Cube wants him, I’m told, but it’s unclear whether that part is a reality. For one thing, when I interviewed Tucker several years ago for Playboy, he told me that because of his religion, he was reticent to be depicted in the pot smoking mode as his character Smokey was in the original film. He went as far as to say that he probably now wouldn’t have taken that memorable stint in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, because of the verbal explosion of profanity and liberal use of the “N” word. Stay tuned.
Julia Stiles is joining The Weinstein Co’s The Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and is being directed by David O. Russell. Just as significantly, Chris Tucker, who has flirted with a number of films but hasn’t made a movie since 2007′s Rush Hour 3, has closed his deal to also star in the film. Production will begin soon in Philadelphia. The movie, based on Matthew Quick’s novel, centers on a teacher (Cooper) who is institutionalized for depression and released into the care of his mother. He ends up falling for an unstable woman (Lawrence) while trying to win back his estranged wife. Stiles, who is signed, will play Lawrence’s older sister.
After the Hitfix website reported that Mike Myers had signed a deal to do a fourth Austin Powers film, other websites are running wild with it. What’s really going on? Well, I wouldn’t necessarily dress for the premiere just yet. No deal has yet been signed, and top New Line brass are surprised the whole thing has reared up after they made Myers an offer six months to a year ago, and hear nothing. Forgive New Line for being skeptical: The film company thought it was well on the way to another Austin Powers installment when it made a deal in 2008 with Myers to collaborate with Mike McCullers for a Dr. Evil film that was to focus on his relationship with son Scotty (Seth Green), meant to be an unabashed homage to Myers’ father, whose Brit influence basically prodded Myers to create the British agent Austin Powers character in the first place. Then, Myers’ screen creation, The Love Guru, opened to $13 million in June 2008 against the nearly $40 million that Steve Carell’s Get Smart grossed with Steve Carell. Myers went AWOL, surfacing only for a small role in Inglourious Basterds. McCullers never moved forward with the script. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Talks are about to get underway for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role of villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, the Sergio Leone-style spaghetti Western that Quentin Tarantino wrote and will direct as his next film. DiCaprio is being courted to play a charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club and plantation in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo” style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare and the freed slave Django must cross him in order to reclaim his wife.
Now, deal making discussions are just getting underway, but I’m told there is a much higher likelihood of DiCaprio taking part in the film at this point than Will Smith, who had been reported as lead candidate to play the title role of DJango, a slave who is liberated and taught the tricks of the trade by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter. That role is expected to be played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar playing Hans Landa in Tarantino’s last film, Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson is also expected to play the role of Stephen, Candie’s valet who keeps the slaves in line at Candie’s residence. Tarantino turned in his script in late April to The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein, and Sony Pictures signed on … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: On second thought, no bunny jokes. But Warner Brothers has bought the new spec script The Rabbit – “think Midnight Run”, I’m told — written by Micah Barnett. Chris Tucker is starring and Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes ) is producing. The sale was handled by WME.