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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs: Can it work? [poll]

April 2, 2012 |  3:02 pm

You’ve already emailed your friend to say how crazy is it, or proved your contrarian cred by saying you thought it could actually work. There’s little middle ground in the debate over whether Ashton Kutcher can pull off the role of Steve Jobs — which, as we learned on April Fools' Day, he will attempt to do in an independent film that begins shooting this spring.

On the one hand, Kutcher has that breezy vibe that characterized a young Jobs. And Kutcher has acted in dramas, though before reading some of these stories we never thought we'd see "acclaimed" and "Spread" in the same sentence. Kutcher taking on the Jobs part also prevents him from acting with Justin Bieber anytime soon.

On the other hand, he’s Ashton Kutcher — the guy who hosted an MTV reality show, starred in "Dude, Where's My Car?," fumbled away interest in a hit CBS sitcom. Also, he’s Ashton Kutcher.

Kutcher's Jobs movie is the second feature about the Apple co-founder that's currently in the planning stages, after Sony's as-yet-uncast adaptation of Walter Isaacson's biography. Dueling projects often lead to one movie flopping (“Infamous,” or this weekend’s “Mirror Mirror”) or not getting made at all. So we'd take all this with a grain of salt.

Either way, the Isaacson film suddenly looks a lot more prestigious by comparison.

Do you think Kutcher can pull off the role? Vote in our poll below.



Will Aaron Sorkin take on Steve Jobs?

Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher look to buddy comedy

Steve Jobs' Apple had another role: movie star

— Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Steve Jobs and Ashton Kutcher. Credit: Monica M. Davey / Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency


What would Justin Bieber do? Pop star, Ashton Kutcher look to buddy comedy

March 30, 2011 |  2:59 pm


EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off his turn in “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” the singer could be heading back to the big screen –- in scripted, non-musical form.

Bieber is eyeing a lead role  in the comedy “What Would Kenny Do?” according to a person who was briefed on the project but was not authorized to speak about it publicly. The film tells of a relationship between a 17-year-old and his thirtysomething self. Said thirtysomething would be played by Ashton Kutcher, the source said.

The project is set up at Sony and will be produced by Kutcher's Katalyst Entertainment and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment (Bieber and Jaden Smith are of course friends). An Overbrook spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Although Bieber has expressed interest in being an actor, the "Kenny" project would have to overcome Bieber's packed touring schedule; he has commitments consistently until 2012. [Update, 5:41 p.m. -- It's a bit more than an "eyeing" situation for the Biebs -- the project has been developed for months with Bieber both in mind and on board; originally the goal was to shoot this year, but the aforementioned touring obligations could push it to 2012.]

Kutcher and Bieber represent a canny commercial pairing -- the singer's fan base is composed primarily of teen girls, while Kutcher's appeal, also strong among females, skews a bit older. The pair has already discussed at least one other project -- the former “Punk’d” host made news in January when he said he has had conversations with the teen phenom about taking over a revitalized version of the cable reality show. At the time, Kutcher described Bieber as "a nice kid" and "a funny kid."

Chris Baldi’s “Kenny” script, which landed on Hollywood’s Black List  in 2008, is an R-rated comedy describing a teenager who meets a hologram claiming to be the adult version of himself; the hologram then helps guide the teen through high school. The project was originally set up at MGM label United Artists when MGM was under different management.

“(500) Days of Summer” writers Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber then came on and wrote a new draft of the script. According to a person who was briefed on the new (less raunchy) draft, the story now involves Kutcher's successful character actually jumping back in time to help the present-day Bieber, who remains awkward.  A new writer and director are currently being sought.

Bieber proved to be a box-office draw with “Never,” a music doc that grossed more than $70 million in the U.S., though it of course remains to be seen whether Bieber's fans will come out to see him in a fictional movie, let alone in one in which he plays someone not as popular as his real self. Bieber would be following a path taken by Miley Cyrus, who made the transition from music idol to actor -- she made her first feature role a drama, “The Last Song,” and stars in the upcoming high-school tale “LOL.”

--Steven Zeitchik



Can Justin Bieber be a movie star?

Justin Bieber tries to make the big screen his world

The critics agree; Justin Bieber rocks (relatively speaking)

Photo: Justin Bieber in concert this month in Antwerp. Credit: Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Preview review: Girls just wanna have fun in 'Friends With Benefits' and 'No Strings Attached.' Or do they?

November 9, 2010 | 12:15 pm

Nsa2-1288906930 If a woman has sex with a man, she wants to be in a relationship with him.

At least that's the message that comes through loud and clear in new trailers for two of Hollywood's latest romantic comedies, "No Strings Attached" and "Friends With Benefits" — despite titles and an implicit promise suggesting the contrary. (Incidentally, "No Strings Attached" was also previously titled "Friends With Benefits.")

In "No Strings Attached," two friends (played by Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman) end up sleeping with each another after a years-long friendship. In keeping with the unwritten rules of romantic comedies, Portman's character is a workaholic doctor who doesn't have time for a relationship.

"I'm a doctor. I work 80 hours a week. I need someone who's gonna be in my bed at 2 a.m. who I don't have to eat breakfast with," she tells him. Later she suggests that some "ground rules" be established so that things don't get too serious: "No lying, no jealousy, don't list me as your emergency contact. I won't come."

But lo and behold, when Kutcher wants to get serious, she seems, at least judging by the trailer, to change her tune.

Meanwhile, in "Friends With Benefits," two friends (played by Justin Timberlake and  Mila Kunis, who, incidentally, stars opposite Portman in the upcoming "Black Swan") also decide to have sex after a years-long platonic relationship.

"It's just sex," Timberlake's character explains to a friend, played by Woody Harrelson. "That never works," Harrelson's character advises. Kunis too winds up embracing a relationship.

Real-life relationships are complicated, but in these movies, it seems, one rule applies: If a man wants to get serious, the woman is suddenly ready to get serious too.

We're seeing these types of stories more lately: A similar dynamic emerges between Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal's characters in Ed Zwick's November release, "Love and Other Drugs." But is Hollywood picking up a real relationship dynamic or just harping on the same old stereotype?

Check out the new trailers and let us know what you think.


— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star in "No Strings Attached." Credit: Paramount.


Olivia Wilde will be Justin Timberlake's...mother?

Preview review: Darren Aronofsky does a pirouette

Preview review: 'Yogi Bear' may be a sandwich short of a full picnic basket

Preview review: Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in 'Killers'

Preview review: Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in 'Killers'

February 11, 2010 |  2:43 pm


Last April, Ashton Kutcher bombarded his Twitter followers with a series of messages and pictures while filming his movie "Killers" in the scenic French Riviera. He posted shots of the beautiful views. The nice restaurants. And look! Demi finally came to visit.

Months later, a trailer for the Lionsgate film has finally been released, revealing the picturesque setting that Kutcher previewed last spring. In the film, he stars alongside Katherine Heigl -- who is stunningly beautiful and blond but again somehow woefully single -- playing a woman named Jen who is on vacation with her family in Nice, France. Her parents are played by Tom Selleck, who of course is rocking an excellent mustache, and the often funny (but sometimes not-so-funny) Catherine O'Hara.

Enter a shirtless Kutcher, who immediately greets Jen with a rather creepy "Bonjour." (No, we don't think his character, Spencer, is French.) Spencer sweeps Jen off her feet -- cue the series of romantic vignettes. He kisses her neck, meets her parents, and ditches his buddies to take her out on romantic dates.

But wait! He isn't who she really thinks he is. And this isn't a romantic comedy -- it's a romantic-comedy actioner (Is there a shorthand for that? Romcomtioner?). Spencer is actually some type of undercover, gun-wielding, fast-car-driving agent -- and Jen gets roped into his madness.

Sure, the trailer feels like it gives away the entire movie. But certain questions persist. Such as: Do you think Heigl will be able to segue away from romantic comedies into a slightly different genre someday? Will audiences be able to handle this much topless, karate-kicking Kutcher? Discuss in the comments and vote in our poll below.

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo:f Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher in "Killers." Credit: Lionsgate.


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