Alec Baldwin issues a confusing denial; Licorice Pizza has a monstrous cameo; the writer and director of RoboCop are working on an erotic thriller. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
But First: If you like this Rundown, can you sign up to get it in your inbox daily? You’ll also get entered in occasional contests, and receive invitations to private screenings. Or please tell a friend or — clutches pearls — a lover! (You scoundrel.)
Robocop Reunion: Paul Verhoeven tells us he is re-teaming with Edward Neumeier, who wrote Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers and co-wrote the director’s RoboCop, on a new erotic thriller called Young Sinner that Verhoeven says will be a “an innovative version of movies like Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct.” Verhoeven also notes that he and Neumeier share a satirical bent, which will be evident to anyone who has seen RoboCop or Starship Troopers.
Herman Munster: The dad on the ’60s sitcom The Munsters makes an out-of-nowhere cameo in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza, and while the credits say Herman Munster plays himself, he’s actually played by Paul Thomas Anderson regular John C. Reilly.
Baldwin Says He Didn’t Pull the Trigger: Alec Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview that will air tonight that he has “no idea” how a live bullet got onto the set of Rust, but that he “didn’t pull the trigger” on the firearm that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
Sorry, What? This is a fairly unexpected denial given that Alec Baldwin has been reported, since the Oct. 21 shooting, to have been holding the gun when it went off. But Baldwin told Stephanopoulos in a preview of the interview: “I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.” This statement of course invites several follow-up questions: Does Baldwin contend that the gun spontaneously fired? That we’ve all misunderstood the story from the beginning? Or something else?
May I Editorialize? We’ll hopefully know the answers to these questions soon, because figuring out what went wrong on the set of Rust could prevent similar tragedies. But I don’t think anyone likes ABC News dolloping out little slurps of Alec Baldwin news to lure us all into watching the interview. It feels like a cheap local news teaser that is disrespectful to everyone involved and ABC News is supposed to be better than this.
Spider-Man vs. Omnicron: Demand for Spider-Man: No Way Home tickets continues unabated despite concerns about The Omnicron Variant, Variety reports. Some showtimes are selling out immediately. The first U.S. case of The Omicron variant has popped up in San Francisco, where Mayor London M. Breed joined other officials in urging people not to freak out, noting that her city “has one of the highest vaccination rates and lowest death rates in the country because of the actions our residents have taken from the beginning of this pandemic to keep each other safe.”
Pale Blue Eye: The Hollywood Reporter says Gillian Anderson, Robert Duvall, and Timothy Spall (who is wonderful in Spencer) have joined Christian Bale and Harry Melling in director Scott Cooper’s Netflix film The Pale Blue Eye, a Gothic murder mystery set at West Point in 1830. The story involves a young cadet (Melling) who the world will come to know as Edgar Allen Poe. Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Simon McBurney and Hadley Robinson are also in the extremely good-sounding thriller.
“Pale Blue Eyes”: Linger on.
The Velvet Underground: If you enjoyed that song you may also enjoy Todd Haynes’ doc The Velvet Underground, as well as this THR roundtable discussion with Haynes, Summer of Soul director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and many more. I have a strong feeling this year’s Oscar winner for best documentary will be a musical doc, and strongly suspect also that the winner will be Thompson, who could go from DJing the 2021 Oscars to winning at the 2022 Oscars.
Chimaera Project: The Chimaera Project announced the winning participants in its SUPPORT.HER mentorship program designed to elevate women and non-binary filmmakers. Vickie Toro will be paired with Maurissa Tancharoen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.); Teresa Jusino with writer Marc Bernardin (Star Trek: Picard); Julia Monahan with director Alexis Ostrander (Supergirl); Kristina James with composer Bear McCreary (Foundation); Jade Grace with Passionflix founder and director Tosca Musk (Driven). Additionally, compositing supervisor Joe Censoplano (Eternals) will mentor two women in VFX, Michelle Grey and Alisha Sweeting. You can learn more about the Chimaera Project here.
Comment of the Day: “Love this company! Loved this article, amazing,” says Jo V. Thank you, Jo!
Main image: RoboCop, courtesy of the Detroit Police Department.