Posts Tagged ‘scripts

10
Mar
08

Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!

Quint dances along with Steve Coogan’s Sexy Jesus in HAMLET 2 at Sundance!

March 5th, 2008 From Ain’t it Cool News

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here finally catching up on my Sundance coverage. In the last month I’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 films theatrically and another half dozen screeners to add onto that pile.

Of all those movies only about a fifth were damn good and of those only a handful that are what I’d call fuckin’ good or better.

HAMLET 2 made the cut.

Steve Coogan. If that name puts a smile on your face, then get in line now. This is Coogan at his finest. If his name got a “Huh?” response, then that’s okay, too. You’ll be a new fan of his once Hamlet 2 hits and then, I’m sure, you’ll dive into the hilarious world of Alan Partridge.

While Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost broke over here Mr. Coogan was biding his time.

In HAMLET 2, Coogan plays an Arizona drama teacher. In his mind he’s a great actor and in the opening moments of the movie we’re treated to his highlight reel, which consists of bit parts on infomercials and speaking roles in STD treatment commercials.

He gets paid next to nothing, his wife (played by Catherine Keener) is always bitchy to him (she married him and waited for his bit acting career that never came), he’s got a live-in hanger-on (played almost silently by David Arquette) and he’s struggling in a school system that doesn’t value the arts. His classroom has been moved into the cafeteria where his lectures have to compete with the lunch ladies noisily cooking.

In short, his life’s a mess, but he still has a hopeful smile on his face, an almost childlike optimism.

In his new year of teaching he is given a class of delinquents. The irony is not lost on him or the movie as he studies films like DANGEROUS MINDS in order to learn how to make the transition from his pure white-bread theater snob class to a multi-cultural class just trying to get an easy A.

This same year, he finds out that the school has finally cancelled theater and that situation brings the class together to achieve Coogan’s game plan: He’s going to put on a play that is so popular, so good, that the school board will be forced to reinstate the class.

In the past, Coogan’s plays all consisted of stage remakes of popular movies. We’re treated to a glimpse at one of his previous works, a stage version of ERIN BROKOVICH. He has a heated conversation with his biggest critic, the high school newspaper’s entertainment reviewer (a child no older than 12). He asks this kid why he always gets a negative review. The kid simply states that his shows suck. Of course, Coogan breaks down and the kid has to console him and gives him a piece of advice. Do your own thing, don’t just copy everybody else.

With that in mind, Coogan is inspired to create his masterpiece… HAMLET 2. But… everybody dies at the end of Hamlet, right? Aha! Well, that’s where the time machine comes in.

Seriously, the final version that ends up onstage is something they should tour with. You have time travel, historical figures coming in to change the events of the first HAMLET and a dance number involving Christ called SEXY JESUS.

And yes, his main inspiration to sequelize HAMLET is that he thought Shakespeare’s original was too much of a bummer and he wanted a chance to make it happier. He takes the tragedy out of HAMLET, essentially.

I can’t write this up without mentioning a particular actress. One of the secondary stories is the difficulty Keener and Coogan are having conceiving a child. So they go to a sperm bank and while they’re waiting, Coogan bumps into a cute nurse, played by Elisabeth Shue. His mouth hangs open and he says, “Excuse… but you look exactly like my favorite actress Elisabeth Shue.” She smiles and says, “I am Elisabeth Shue.”

And so it goes. She quit acting and became a sperm bank nurse in Arizona… and she’s not a throwaway joke. She is a real character in the movie, playing herself, and boy does she still have it. I’ve had a crush on her since my childhood viewings of ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING and KARATE KID. She’s looking great and is as charming as she’s ever been.

The script was whip-smart, as should be expected from Pam Brady. She works with Trey Parker and Matt Stone a lot on South Park, the South Park movie as well as TEAM AMERICA. She doesn’t disappoint here.

The flick just finished filming in November, so the cut we saw in January I’m sure is still rough. There was a little drag in the middle, but I’m sure they’ll tighten the film a bit before release. Even if they don’t, it’s already hilarious.

It was the biggest pick-up at Sundance, with Focus Features dishing a reported $10 million for it, so you know you’ll see a big release. This’ll be one Sundance movie I”m sure will be at a theater near you no matter where near you is.

Anyway, that’s it for HAMLET 2. Still more Sundance/Santa Barbara flicks to go through before I’m done. Keep an eye peeled, squirts!

Leonid Rozhetskin via Wikipedia 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Rozhetskin 

Leonid Rozhetskin`s Homepage 

http://leonidrozhetskin.net/ 

Continue reading ‘Leonid Rozhetskin: delayed news from Sundance!’

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13
Feb
08

Leonid Rozhetskins Hamlet 2 on Wikipedia

Everything needs a Wiki Entry, here goes Hamlet 2:

Hamlet 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hamlet 2
Produced by Eric Eisner
Leonid Rozhetskin
Aaron Ryder
Written by Andrew Fleming
Pam Brady
Starring Steve Coogan
Catherine Keener
Amy Poehler
David Arquette
Music by Ralph Sall
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Editing by Jeff Freeman
Distributed by Focus Features
Release date(s) TBA
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Hamlet 2 is an upcoming comedy film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler, and David Arquette. It was filmed primarily at a high school in New Mexico from September 2007 to October 2007. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Focus Features. A release date has yet to be announced.

 

Contents

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[edit] Premise

A high school is removing its drama department, but a drama teacher (Coogan) writes a sequel to the Shakespeare play Hamlet to save the department.[1]

[edit] Production

Screenwriters Andrew Fleming and Pam Brady began writing the script in 2003, but they incorporated the Shakespeare play Hamlet into the premise later on. The play shown within the film was written on deadline for production.[2] The film was budgeted at a little over $9 million.[3] Production began in September 2007 in New Mexico.[4] Filming took place mainly at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque, where actual students were permitted to perform as extras in the film.[5] Filming concluded on Halloween, October 31, 2007.[6] The film was executive produced by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, who also produced Little Miss Sunshine.[3]

[edit] Cast

[edit] Release

A rough edit of Hamlet 2 was prepared for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it was a late addition, three days before its scheduled screening.[3] The film premiered at the festival on January 21, 2008. After the screening, an all-night bidding war took place for rights to distribution, which Focus Features won for $10 million, acquiring worldwide rights to the film.[1] The purchase of Hamlet 2 nearly broke the Sundance Film Festival record set by Little Miss Sunshine, which sold for $10.5 million in 2006.[3]

[edit] Critical reaction

Duane Byrge of The Hollywood Reporter described Hamlet 2 as “a slam-bang patchwork of more inspired comedies, such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Borat“. Byrge described the premise as “a twist on the formula of let’s-put-on-a-show, with the twist being that no one wants the show”. He thought that the screenwriters had put together “a string of gags in a hit-and-miss dither”.[8]

Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net described Hamlet 2 as “outrageously funny but it does require a certain type of sense of humor and the ability to laugh at very odd behavior and situations”. Douglas thought that Coogan played his character over-the-top, but found that through the film, “you really start to love him”. He described the premise as “ludricous” but said, “Sometimes, you just have to turn off your brain and allow yourself to laugh.”[9]

The New York Times noted of the film, “It made sure to take shots at Christians, gays, Latinos, Jews, the American Civil Liberties Union and Elisabeth Shue, one of its lead actresses.”[2]

[edit] References

 

  1. ^ a b c d e f Anne Thompson. “Focus Features acquires ‘Hamlet 2’“, Variety, 200801-22. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  2. ^ a b David M. Halbfinger. “Done Deals Finally Start To Appear At Sundance”, The New York Times, 200801-23.
  3. ^ a b c d Lauren A.E. Schuker. “Comic ‘Hamlet 2’ Finally Gets Sales Going at Sundance”, Wall Street Journal, 200801-23.
  4. ^ Francesca Martin. “Great Danes go head to head”, The Guardian, 200709-12.
  5. ^ Megan Martin. “Students learn about making movies from an on-the-set perspective”, Albuquerque Journal, 200711-06.
  6. ^ Dan Mayfield. “N.M. movies make Sundance cut”, Albuquerque Journal, 200801-11.
  7. ^ a b Gregg Goldstein. “‘Hamlet 2’ to be among New Frontiers“, The Hollywood Reporter, 200712-20. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  8. ^ Duane Byrge. ““Hamlet 2” sends up suburbia in rowdy fashion“, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters, 200801-23. Retrieved on 200801-24.
  9. ^ Edward Douglas. “Reviews: The Great Buck Howard & Hamlet 2“, ComingSoon.net, 200801-23. Retrieved on 200801-24.

[edit] External links

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamlet_2

 

23
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin is very happy – Hamlet2 is sold for $10 Million

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iW NEWS | Focus Gets “Hamlet 2” for $10 Million

– highest Acquisition ever achieved at Sundance! –

Andrew Fleming‘s “Hamlet 2” has been acquired by Focus Features in a $10 million worldwide deal swiftly sealed within 12 hours of the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was produced by L+E PicturesEric Eisner & Leonid Rozhetskin and Aaron Ryder, from an original script by Fleming and Pam Brady. In the words of a description, “In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Cast joining Coogan include David Arquette, Melonie Diaz, Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler and Elisabeth Shue (appearing as herself). Calling the film “an amazing New Year’s present,” in a statement, Focus’ James Schamus and Andrew Karpen, added, “We can’t wait to share this riotously inventive movie with the whole world.” [Eugene Hernandez]
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