I knew there was something missing from the reality-TV lineup this summer: It's rumspringa, MTV-style. Since UPN is a sibling to MTV, I feel I can say that. Besides -- "Filmed in secrecy over the past two months, Real World-esque skein puts five Amish youth and six streetwise roommates into an ultramodern Hollywood Hills home and captures what happens when the two cultures come together." (And if you've never seen Devil's Playground, it's an interesting little doc. Sadly, the subject matter is more compelling than the film itself, but even in its cinematic average-ness, it's worth a viewing.)
I'm not sure whether this qualifies as "completely unnecessary" or just "a really bad idea," but can anyone give me one good reason why anyone thinks an 8th Police Academy movie should even be a twinkle in a creative exec's eye? Series producer Paul Maslansky says, "I felt it was time to start again." No offense to Mr. Maslansky, but he's 70 years old, and obviously the "what's funny" gene left him no later than Police Academy 2. The first film was funny. So funny, that it managed to make Steve Guttenberg an actual movie star. The scariest part of this story? "According to Maslansky ... the talent from the first seven features has expressed a keen interest in the revival, with Maslansky looking to combine both new and the 'original talent' for the next Police Academy."
Similarly seeming like a really bad idea, yet confusing due to some of the talent involved, "Spider-Man is about to become a musical." Hey ... hey ... you OK? I know. I went blind and passed out for a moment as well. I can't think of a cornier idea. But get this: book writer - Neil Jordan (Mr. The Crying Game); songs by Bono and The Edge (you know ... that little indie start-up band of Dubliners, U2); and directed by the visionary Julie Taymor who turned The Lion King into The Lion King, a musical spectacle to end all musical spectacles.
In other Broadway news, my next highly-anticipated show is obviously Spamelot. That would be the Broadway-bound musical "'lovingly ripped off from the motion picture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail,' the 1975 comedy directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones." Aside from the previously reported news that Mike Nichols will direct, the producers have now announced that "David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Hank Azaria were named on Wednesday as the leading trio" for the show. Now that's casting!
It looks like the long in-the-works adaptation of Marvel comic "The Fantastic Four" is moving full-steam ahead. Tim Story was anointed director a couple months ago, and Michael Chiklis was recently cast to turn his bald tough-guy scowl on The Shield into big rocky muscle as The Thing. Now it's been announced that Ioan Gruffudd (currently seen as Lancelot in King Arthur) has been cast as Four-leader Reed Richards a/k/a Mr. Fantastic, and Chris Evans will play The Human Torch. As the article notes, "That leaves the Invisible Girl as the remaining slot on the cast. Sources indicated that the filmmakers have zeroed in on several actresses for that part, including Jessica Alba (Honey) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook)." Uhm ... my vote is for Mean Girl McAdams over superhot but robotic J.Lo and Mariah wannabe Alba. Actually, my real vote is to keep looking.
And finally, I would send a fan letter to Lindsayism over Lohan any day, but it wouldn't be as entertaining as this letter from a slightly-confused teenage Lohan fan in Taiwan. And Lindsay (Robertson), sure everyone say that you pretty. We also would love to hear you sing all of Lohan's songs from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.