The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Oprah gives a big gift to Reese, George Clooney picks his next project, and Robert Zemeckis returns to real humans.
A while back, Reese Witherspoon's production company optioned the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a more serious Eat Pray Love kind of thing (it's about finding yourself while traveling). She plans to star, Lisa Cholodenko will direct, sounds like a nice little project. But now! Now it is going to be a nice big project, thanks to all-powerful book goddess Oprah Gail Winfrey, who has chosen Wild to be the first selection for her resurrected (she has the power!) book club. (Yeah she's bringing back the book club, so basically her post-Oprah Winfrey Show career is just a different version of that career.) Wow! What a boon for Reese and company. The book's Amazon sales rankings have skyrocketed because of Oprah's announcement and Witherspoon and her producer were excited enough to give out quotes about how excited they are. Imagine that. It's like owning a reasonably valuable baseball card and then that baseball player dies in a terrible sex accident and suddenly the card is worth MILLIONS! That is exactly what this situation is like. Oprah's book club is Reese Witherspoon's sex accident. Congratulations, ladies. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Speaking of classy things that you read, Focus Features has optioned an article from The New Yorker (well la di daaaa), "The Yankee Commandant." That's that huge David Grann article about William Alexander Morgan, the American guy who fought in Che and Castro's army and rose fairly high in the ranks, though his motivations were never really fully trusted. George Clooney is attached to direct the movie, but he probably won't star in it, as Morgan was in his late 20s and early 30s when the whole story went down. Oh, perfect. So they'll cast Chace Crawford? Or maybe Corey Monteith? One of the two, right? Someone not only marketable, but also just good. (We vote for Chris Hemsworth. For this, and for everything else.) [Deadline]
Maggie Gyllenhaal has joined the cast of the thriller White House Down, about the president's blankets. (Awful, just awful.) No, it's about the White House getting taken over by terrorists or guerrillas (or gorillas? Please?) or something, and Channing Tatum is the Secret Service agent who has to defend the place, while Jamie Foxx plays the president. Gyllenhaal will play some sort of Woman, who does Woman things. Sounds exciting! Here's hoping there's a line toward the end where Jamie Foxx yells "Get off my house!" and then kicks the villain off of his house. That's how these presidential thriller movies have to go, I'm pretty sure. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Eyohhh dear god. Two-hour toy commercial director Michael Bay is making a fourth Transformers movie (we get the movies we deserve, America) and is now saying that it's essentially going to be a reboot, with new lead characters and possibly redesigned robots, to prep the franchise "for the next guy." Sweet misty heavens, really? We're gonna get more of this? A "reboot" of all this? Why, is there some younger, even more annoying version of Shia LaBeouf waiting in the wings? Will they shorten the love interest's jean shorts for this new, modern era? Will the robots transform into iPhones and other contemporary doodads? A reboot? A robot reboot? No! No. No. We should be done with the Transformers. They are terrible movies made by terrible people for terrible reasons. No more! We demand a recall election! Those always work! This will not stand. [The Los Angeles Times, via Vulture]
Here is a trailer for Robert Zemeckis' first live-action film since Cast Away, a drama called Flight starring Denzel Washington as a Sully Sullenberger-esque pilot who performs a miraculous emergency landing. Only then there might be alcohol involved and there's crazy media attention and his family (Tamara Tunie!!) is upset and it's all that stuff. It looks interesting! Some terrifying plane crash scenes, which are always oddly thrilling, some good Denzel acting complemented by some Don Cheadle chops, and the return of big-ticket sentamentalist Bob Zemeckis. All good things. We approve.