Newsbites: The biblical epic edition!

Just a few quick updates on some previously announced projects.

1. Year One, the upcoming biblical comedy produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Harold Ramis, is going back for reshoots at the end of this month. — Louisiana Movies Blog

2. At the tail end of a long-ish interview on the making of Billy: The Early Years, writer-producer Bill McKay says he is “in pre-production” on Resurrection, which he describes as “kind of a sequel to Mel Gibson’s picture ‘The Passion of the Christ.'” He says he was brought onto the project by Sony, which raises a few questions: Is this the same film that Tim LaHaye was developing for Screen Gems, which is also affiliated with Sony? Does this mean LaHaye’s movie is still in the works? Or is this a completely different project? — Christians in Cinema

3. Christian Duguay’s $30 million TV mini-series adaptation of Ben-Hur is one of several projects that the Alchemy Television Group is bringing to MIPCOM in Cannes, France next week. — Hollywood Reporter

Female politicians in space!

Forget the Battlestar Galactica comparisons. The sci-fi blog io9 says Sarah Palin has a lot more in common with Star Wars, especially when you compare her to Hillary Clinton‘s Star Trek. Hat tip to CrimsonLine.

Sleeping with a piece of movie history.

Do the famous six degrees of separation apply to furniture, as well as people? I wore my Juno T-shirt to church last week, and one of my fellow parishioners spotted it and told me that her son happens to sleep in the car-shaped bed that we see in Paulie Bleeker’s bedroom in that film. I can’t remember exactly how my friend got the bed, but I do know that the film was shot here in Vancouver, so it wouldn’t have been too hard to cross paths with this item, and she said the bed had come with a tag, presumably left by the props department, identifying it as “Paulie Bleeker’s bed”. (I asked her if she got the hamburger-shaped telephone, too, and she said no, she didn’t.) I asked my friend if she could send me a picture of the bed for my blog, and today, I received this:

Newsbites: The controversy edition!

Lawsuits and elections and marketing, oh my!

1. Stephen Harper, who may or may not be re-elected Prime Minister when Canadians go to the polls on Tuesday, has pulled the plug on a controversial clause in Bill C-10 that would have allowed the government to deny tax credits to Canadian films for their “morally offensive” content. (Many critics had noted that the clause, which would have denied the credits to those films after the films had already been made, would have made it incredibly difficult to arrange financing for Canadian films before they were made, and thus could have had a radically destabilizing influence on the industry as a whole.) Filmmakers have welcomed the news, of course, and Harper’s decision to abandon this clause has been interpreted by some as “a major blow to the religious right”, because a number of social conservatives, notably Charles McVety, had spoken in favour of the clause and had even taken credit for its inclusion in the bill in the first place. — Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, Hollywood Reporter, Variety

2. Yoko Ono has dropped her lawsuit against the makers of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed — but just to be safe, the DVD version that comes out in two weeks will not feature the John Lennon song that prompted the lawsuit in the first place. — Reuters

3. Religulous is attracting laughter and applause, but some observers think it is merely “preaching to the choir.” In other news, one Christian blogger notes that the studio distributing the film, i.e. Lionsgate, is also the studio that sells Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith: The Film on DVD, and it is involved with other films that have a faith-based connection, as well. So, yeah, as with many businesses, so here: it’s the money-making potential, and not the philosophy of any given product, that matters to the company in the end. — Reuters, Christians in Cinema

4. Speaking of Lionsgate, the studio is also distributing a horror movie called House — which is not to be confused with the 1986 film of that name. The new film, which comes out November 7, is based on a novel by Christian author Ted Dekker, but it is also rated R — so the studio is reportedly uncertain how to go about marketing the film. Should it go for the Christian base, or should it try to reel in regular horror fans? You might think that The Passion of the Christ (2004) had proved that Christians can be open to seeing R-rated movies with a religious component, but apparently the studio isn’t convinced. — Ted Dekker

Thanks to all the people . . .

Alas, thanks to some last-minute assignments, I haven’t attended anywhere near as many films at this year’s film festival as I had hoped, nor have I had time to write any capsule reviews at this blog. Soon, though, I hope to do so. In the meantime, here are a few of the more amusing VIFF trailers, which play before the movies themselves. The festival itself continues until Friday.

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Movie City Indie has these and a few other VIFF trailers, too.

See also the Elbow Wars website game created by the VIFF.

Billy: The Early Years — the interview’s up!

My interview with Armie Hammer, who plays the young Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years — and almost played Batman in the Justice League movie — is now up at CT Movies.