Sep 26, 2007

Tradecraft For The Week Of August 24, 2007

Animal Commandos...

AintItCoolNews noticed a blurb in Variety about a new Jerry Bruckheimer movie called G-Force. In it, actor Gabriel Casseus will play "an NSA agent tracking a group of genetically enhanced animal commandos." Has anyone noticed how the NSA suddenly replaced the CIA a few years ago as the go-to branch of the Intelligence community for movie agents to work for? There was xXx, Die Another Day, various other movies and TV shows, and now this. I was under the impression (largely due to James Bamford's excellent book on the subject, The Puzzle Palace)that the NSA spent a lot of time analyzing satellite intercepts and cracking codes, but apparently what they actually do is recruit extreme athletes and, um... track animals. All kidding aside, though, this could be a pretty fun movie. The folks at AICN have done all the legwork and also provide a link to another Variety story with more details: "G-Force's team of genetically enhanced guinea pigs working as spies for the U.S. government [looks] likely to bring home the bacon in this live-action/CG family adventure. Combining good clean fun with comedy and cutting-edge effects, this project puts former vfx supervisor Hoyt Yeatman (Crimson Tide) in charge of directing.

...And Commandos Named After Animals

Variety reports that 300 producer Gianni Nunnari will remake the cult favorite 1978 Roger Moore action epic The Wild Geese. The original packed near-toxic levels of testosterone with Moore, Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Hardy Kruger as mercenaries. It was made during - and largely responsible for - the brief strangely popular mercenary sub-genre of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Perhaps the recent Blackwater scandal in Iraq has put soldiers of fortune back in the spotlight. Commercial and video game director Rupert Sanders is attached to direct. Euan Lloyd, producer of the Andrew V. McLaglen-directed original, will exec produce the new version. There's no word on whether or not Daniel Craig is being sought to play the Roger Moore role, but how could he not be? Seriously, he might be more suited to play the Richard Burton part, but if you're making a new movie about very British manly men, you're gonna need Craig, right? Unless of course they're making the guys American this time 'round... I don't know, but to me mercenaries become a lot less appealing when they're American. Maybe it's the Blackwater taint.

Roger Moore contributed a typically entertaining commentary track to last year's Region 1 Special Edition DVD of the original, and for further Bond connections, OHMSS director Peter Hunt helmed the 1985 sequel.

"Damn It!"

I don't generally cover the personal lives of spy stars, but The Hollywood Reporter posits that Kiefer Sutherland's off-screen antics might affect the show, so that makes news. The trade says, "the show faces an uncertain future as the actor's arrest violates a five-year probation, something that might send him to jail for up to a year." Sutherland was arrested for DUI in West Hollywood earlier this week. Fox has picked up 24 through 2009, so a jailed star could unfortunately put a serious crimp in their long-term plans. The actor's arrest hasn't affected the current production schedule for Season 7, which will reportedly find his character, Jack Bauer, on trial for his sometimes overzealous methods in protecting America from terrorists.

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