Newsbites: Bean! Horseman! Wilson! Piracy!

And now it’s time for yet another batch of news quickies.

1. The New York Times looks at why Mr. Bean’s Holiday failed to get a bigger audience in the United States, while the Globe and Mail looks at why Mr. Bean’s Holiday was the #1 movie in Canada this past weekend. Incidentally, Mr. Bean’s Holiday has already earned over $189 million overseas, which currently makes it #9 on the overseas chart for the year and, once the North American figures are taken into account, #15 on the worldwide chart.

2. The Hollywood Reporter has a few more details on The Fourth Horseman, and boy does this movie sound bizarre:

The film centers on a young priest sent by his church’s secret order to kill a teenage girl. She is believed to be the future mother of the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, destined to join siblings War, Pestilence and Famine in destroying the world. But when the priest becomes romantically involved with his target and she becomes pregnant, he’s forced to face the possibility that he may have spawned the child from hell.

Let me get this straight: The mother is a teenager and she’s already got three children named War, Pestilence and Famine!?

3. Matt Zoller Seitz at The House Next Door has a great post up in which he reminisces about fellow Dallas native Owen Wilson.

4. Studio Briefing summarizes a news story to the effect that new Canadian anti-piracy laws are having little effect:

New Canadian laws imposing greater restrictions and penalties on theater patrons camcording movies from their seats have apparently had little effect in Montreal, where much of the illegal camcording takes place, according to Bloomberg News. Theater chain owner Vince Guzzo told the wire service, “I caught four people trying to camcord Pirates of the Caribbean. … There are two types of people doing this: One type does it for kicks, then you have the professional criminal.” But Michael Geist, a University of Ottawa professor and specialist in Internet law, noted that Hollywood continues to pile up enormous profits despite the piracy. “If camcording is a problem, it’s a very small problem.” And even those who acknowledge downloading movies illegally insist that they avoid the camcorded versions. An employee of a Montreal DVD shop told Bloomberg News: “Anytime I’ve seen a downloaded movie that’s a pirated copy, it’s really good quality, and those can only come from within the industry. … Most people aren’t going to watch camera jobs because they’re really bad quality.”

5. Variety reports that Zack Snyder and Alex Tse, the director and writer of the upcoming film adaptation of Watchmen, are also working on a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, a 1951 book that was previously adapted in 1969.

6. The New York Times reports that Shyam Benegal is going to direct a movie about the life of Buddha, based in part on the work of a scholar named Nimal D’Silva. I have no idea what connection, if any, this film has to other recently announced Buddha biopics being developed by B.K. Modi / David S. Ward and Pan Nalin.

7. That Bill Maher – Larry Charles documentary on religion has a working title — Religulous, a fusion of “religion” and “ridiculous” — and a trailer for it will play at the Toronto International Film Festival, which will also host a panel discussion with Maher and Charles. Meanwhile, has posted the film’s first still:

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  • I can’t be the only one who thinks that larry charles looks like rick rubin. and that both of them are on stand-by to play for a zz-top cover band.