He’s so Sly: This year marks the 20th anniversary of (gulp) “Rambo III” and here on the right you can see a Los Angeles Times photo shot on the set of the movie in late 1987. (That’s executive producer Andrew Vajina, by the way, reflected in Sly’s sunglasses.) Sly is back in the headlines today with an intriguing tidbit from Gregg Goldstein’s coverage of the American Film Market here in Los Angeles: “Sylvester Stallone told a crowd of top AFM buyers that he’s after fellow Oscar winner Forest Whitaker to star in his upcoming actioner ‘The Expendables.’ Jason Statham and Jet Li will star with writer-director Stallone as a band of rag-tag mercenaries on an undercover mission to depose a Latin American dictator … “Whereas the ‘Oceans 11′ films were an ensemble for good looking guys, this is an ensemble for ugly tough guys,” he cracked. [Hollywood Reporter] (NOTE: This Hollywood Reporter story referred to Stallone as an Oscar winner, but while he was for nominated twice for “Rocky,” the big guy never actually won an Academy Award.)… In other Sly news: Earlier this year, Stallone reportedly told a Swedish newspaper called Metro that he wants to go all Rambo again, but in a new and, uh, less war-like way: “I would like to take Rambo to another genre, experiment a little with the character. It would definitely not be another war movie. I can’t go any further with that than what I’ve already done. What it’s going to be like, I’m not going to reveal at this point. But I’m already halfway though writing the manuscript.” [IMDB]
Men at war: Producer Joel Silver wants to make a platoon of war movies: “Sgt. Rock,” “The Losers” and “The Dirty Dozen.” But Silver, on the set of Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” production, told Edward Douglas that Ritchie’s planned “Sgt. Rock” project had to retreat in the face of scheduling issues and other WWII projects. “Guy did a great job on the script for ‘Sgt. Rock’ and I think that when [Quentin Tarantino's] ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was coming together so quickly, it made sense to kind of jump off that and jump onto this, because it was something that was really different and unique. I loved to think that one day we will make ‘Sgt. Rock.’ ‘Inglourious Basterds’ is a war movie and I’m looking forward to seeing it, but it’s something that was a direct competition to ‘Sgt. Rock’ so I felt that we should hold off and do that when we can.’ Silver also mentioned that he’s looking to get on board to co-produce a movie based on the Vertigo comic book ‘The Losers,’ which at one point director Tim Story was involved in making. “I’ve always liked that project, it was a competing project with ‘Dirty Dozen’ for a while, but it didn’t happen at Warners, so we kind of took it into Dark Castle, so we may try to make that now. But I hope to do ‘Dirty Dozen’ one day, too. I always look at these things that there’s a lot of time, a lot of movies to make.” [Superhero Hype]
‘Preacher’ in search of a script: Filmmaker Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,” “Road to Perdition“) read in the trades that he was directing a film adaptation of the brilliant Garth Ennis comic-book series “Preacher” and well, you can imagine how surprised he was since he doesn’t even have a viable screenplay yet. Mendes vented to Chris Hewitt: “’This is a typical Variety announcement,’ Mendes added. ‘‘Mendes to direct Preacher’ – I wish! Basically they should have written, ‘Mendes in development with Preacher’. What I’m doing is, I’ve gotta find a script. I’ve just got to get it written.’ Nevertheless, Mendes did go into some detail about his attraction to the project, which in pure thumbnail terms, is about a rebellious preacher called Jesse Custer and his quest to find God and make him accountable for crimes against humanity. ‘It’s brilliant, it’s an incredible twisted vision,’ he said of the 66-issue story. “There’s so much of it you couldn’t possibly fit it all into one movie. It’s just about what you keep and what you leave out, and how you structure the story. But just to have that toy set again, being able to paint on a big canvas and to say ‘I am gonna do crazy crane shots and massive action sequences again because I want to,’ it’s exciting…'” [Empire]
– Geoff Boucher
Credit: 1987 photo of Sylvester Stallone by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times. Sgt. Rock art by Joe Kubert and courtesy of DC Comics. “Preacher” image courtesy of DC Comics.