Wednesday’s specials:

REMEMBER WHEN I ASKED WHO WILL MAKE A MOVIE OF THE NATIVITY?
This just popped up at Done Deal, the script sales site:

Title: Nativity
Log line: Centers on the two-year period of Mary and Joseph’s life, culminating in their leaving Nazareth and journeying 100 miles to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. Key characters and events such as King Herod, John the Baptist’s parents (Zachariah and Elizabeth), the shepherds who were witness to Jesus’s birth; and the arrival of the three kings from the Orient will be fleshed out.
Writer: Mike Rich
Agent: Charles Ferraro of UTA
Buyer: New Line Cinema
Price: n/a
Genre: Drama
Logged: 1/25/06
More: Spec. Pre-emptive purchase. No producers are attached as yet.

(Update: Mike Rich… that’s the name of the guy who wrote The Rookie, which I loved!) Keep in mind, this script was purchased soon after the script for Magnum P.I., from the producers of Dodge Ball, was purchased. Coincidence? I don’t think so. (Thanks, Danny Walter, for alerting me to this!)
YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD… CHRIS PENN IS GONE
This news was, needless to say, a saddening surprise. Penn was a very different actor than his brother Sean, but the man could grab your attention and hold it. He had a volatile energy that was rarely employed to its full potential.

PARADISE NOW REVIEW: FREDERICA MATTHEWES-GREEN
I’ve had the privilege of meeting Frederica Matthewes-Green, and what an approachable and gracious character she is. Her reviews are unpredictable and interesting, and unfortunately they don’t appear frequently enough. I’m glad to see she’s offering perspective on the much-celebrated Paradise Now….

After I wrote the review I saw an interview with the director in which he commented on a scene before the day of the planned bombing, in which the conspirators have dinner. There’s a held frame in which the characters are posed like DaVinci’s Last Supper. I thought “that makes no sense at all” — what would it be referring to?

In the interview the director said that it was an intentional reference to Christ, and to the Cross: that Christian’s understand that you can win a victory through dying in such a way that you take your enemy with you. I thought that was the strangest misunderstanding of Christian doctrine I’d ever heard.

But as I thought about it I realized that…

To read about what she realized, you’ll just have to read the review.

DA VINCI NOT UP TO CODE
This is hardly news, but here’s a detailed accounting of the problems with The Da Vinci Code. And please don’t bother responding by saying “It’s just a work of fiction!” because such responses have become necessary due to the amount of people who are naively accepting this novel as truth.
(nod to Kathy Shaidle)
POLAND FRETS OVER PIXAR’S FUTURE
David Poland isn’t happy about the Disney purchase of Pixar. Hey, it’s exciting to imagine John Lasseter directing all of Disney Animation, but I too worry about the impact this will have on the quality of Pixar product. I hope they know what they’re doing…
AMBER ALERT
Amber Tamblyn of Joan of Arcadia is back in a Sundance-featured film that’s earning praise.
X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND
That’s the title, even though rumor has it that other sequels are already in the works. For a portrait gallery of the over-sized cast of characters in this episode, click here.

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