Today in film and television: the $50 million lawsuit against the Weinstein brothers can move forward, the sequel to The Human Centipede is deemed safe for release in the United Kingdom, and the new James Bond movie may have settled on a title.
- A New York State Supreme Court Judged ruled that the $50 million lawsuit filed in March against Harvey and Bob Weinstein by Tony Leech and Brian Inerfeld, the would be writer/director and producer of the computer animated film Escape from Planet Earth, can proceed. Leech and Inerfeld have accused the Weinsteins of trying to sabotage the project in various far-flung and complicated ways, like hiring Kevin Bacon to do a voice and then paying him $25,000 to drop out, demanding the script be unlocked and rewritten 17 times, and offering Leech and Inerfeld $500,000 not to file their lawsuit during the studio's Oscar push for The King's Speech. The suit also contains a vivid recollection of the time Harvey allegedly "attempted to consume an entire bowl of M&M candies" during a screening, dropped the bowl, and then got down on the floor and kept eating. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Sony Pictures registered more than a dozen domain names this week, including JamesBondSkyfall.com and JamesBondSkyFall.net, that suggest the untitled 23rd James Bond film will be called JamesBondSkyFall.com, or maybe just Sky Fall for short. As rumored titles for the Sam Mendes-directed film go, that's better than Carte Blanche (blah!) but much less interesting than Red Sky at Night, which is thrilling and beautiful and should be the name of something. Sky Fall sounds like a thrilling carnival game or a top-of-the-line credit and debit card protection plan.[Fusible via The Hollywood Reporter]
- When the British Board of Film Classification refused a certificate of approval for The Human Centipede II last summer, they defended the decision by noting that the original, which was approved, was an infinitely more thoughtful meditation on mad scientists who sew people together in the most disgusting way imaginable. "The first film," said the BBFC in a June statement, "dealt with a mad doctor who sews together three kidnapped people in order to produce the ‘human centipede’ of the title...this new work, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), tells the story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film and who imagines putting the ‘centipede’ idea into practice." This makes it sound as if the film's whole tone was objectionable, but today the board approved a new version of the film, after producers made 32 cuts and eliminated 157 seconds of particularly gruesome footage, including shots of naked people running afoul of sandpaper and barbed wire. Distributor Eureka Entertainment approved of the cuts, admitting "[the] storyline has not been compromised and the level of horror has been sustained." As long as it's faithful to the book... [Arts Beat]
- Clint Eastwood is in talks to play an aging baseball scout who's losing his sight and has unresolved issues with his daughter. The script is called Trouble with the Curve and if it does gets made, it will inevitably be described as Eastwood's rebuttal to Moneyball. While we doubt Clint places much value on slugging percentage (we're hoping there's a scene where he growls "Oh yeah? How am I doing?" and coldclocks a sabermetrician), he's only available because Beyonce's pregnancy put his planned remake of A Star Is Born on the backburner. After making Gran Torino in 2008, Eastwood had said he was done with acting entirely. [Deadline]