24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Jason Bateman

Is the 'Arrested Development' movie real?

October 3, 2011 |  4:21 pm

Arrested Development

Is the "Arrested Development" movie really happening? The breathless reports over the weekend (we won't name names) suggest that plenty of news outlets believe the answer is yes: A movie uniting Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman and the rest of the cast from the beloved TV show will shoot next year, along with a batch of television episodes.

The reports originated from series' creator Mitchell Hurwitz, who told an audience at the New Yorker Festival on Sunday that he was, well, working on the script.

"We're 80% of the way to an answer. We don't completely own the property; there are business people involved and studios," he said of potential Bluthian adventures. "But just creatively, I have been working on the screenplay for a long time."

That doesn't sound like an emphatic statement, even from the man who's most invested in making a movie happen.

Continue reading »

Is the bloom coming off the Ryan Reynolds rose?

August 3, 2011 |  6:39 pm


Inasmuch as it’s ever hard being a Hollywood pinup, Ryan Reynolds is having a tough summer. He took a step up in the superhero leagues with “Green Lantern,” where he played a lead in a comic-book movie for the first time — only to have the movie snubbed by critics and  dismissed by a wider moviegoing public.

Next up is this weekend’s body-switching comedy “The Change-Up,” which hasn’t garnered strong early reviews and isn’t tracking especially well, particularly among the young male audience that typically makes up an R-rated comedy’s core audience.

It all adds up to a setback for the 34-year-old Canadian, who just two summers ago was being hailed as an A-list leading man when “The Proposal” reached a level of surprise blockbuster success. Reynolds booked several gigs off that turn, including the “Green Lantern” role, after proving that he can bring in a much-coveted female demographic. But when the curtain comes down on the box office this summer, his stock won’t be nearly as high, and it remains to be seen whether producers will be as quick to book him as leading man in a big-budget bet.

On the red carpet of "The Change-Up” premiere, Reynolds acknowledged paying "some attention" to ticket sales, but said he doesn't "place a tremendous amount of focus on it. It doesn't mean as much to me as it does studio heads." (Video interviews with the film's stars can be found below.)

Reynolds is not the only “Change-Up” star to have a rough go of it this summer. Olivia Wilde got her first significant spot in a major Hollywood tent pole with Jon Favreau’s genre mash-up “Cowboys & Aliens.” But the film isn’t off to a great start — it collected only $36.4 million on its first weekend in theaters, and in an embarrassing turn, was nearly beaten at the box office by the lower-profile "The Smurfs."

Wilde, who went to Comic-Con International in San Diego last month to promote the movie, said that she too doesn’t pay much attention to a film’s performance, saying she "purposefully scheduled" time to direct a short film last weekend so she could be distracted from the "box-office extravaganza."

"I'm really happy, because I have no idea how we did, so it's OK," she said. "I don't know the numbers. I don't need to know."

About the only star of “The Change-Up” who seems to be having a good summer is Jason Bateman. The actor, again playing one of his likably even-keeled roles, found success at the box office with “Horrible Bosses,” a raunchy comedy about a trio of men who make a pact to murder one another’s employers. The modestly budgeted film came in to the summer with few expectations but has already raked in more than $110 million worldwide since it opened in July.

For Reynolds, the stakes get higher in the months to come. He’s set to star in two big releases, the  undead thriller “R.I.P.D.” and as the titular wisecracking Marvel mercenary in "Deadpool." For his sake, one hopes things pick up, or he could end up with a lot more box office news on which he won’t put a tremendous focus.

-- Amy Kaufman and Steven Zeitchik



Photo: Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde in "The Change-Up." Credit: Universal Pictures.

'The Change-Up’: Take our body-swap film quiz

August 3, 2011 |  2:34 pm


In the new comedy “The Change-Up,” Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds play two childhood friends who’ve grown into very different adults — one’s a successful lawyer and father, the other is a devil-may-care, struggling actor who enjoys playing the field. After a night of drinking they experience a freak accident at a fountain in a park and end up switching bodies.

Such swaps are a time-honored trope in Hollywood, with the ’80s seeing a particular surge. Can you name these four films from that era in which characters ended up in each other’s skin? (Answers appear below each photo)

1. In this 1984 film directed by Carl Reiner and starring Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin and Victoria Tennant, the wealthy spinster Edwina Cutwater (Tomlin) has arranged to have her soul migrate into the body of a young beauty (Tennant) but a mishap sends it instead into that of unhappy attorney Roger Cobb (Martin). Martin and Tennant married two years after the film came out.


Answer: “All of Me”

2. In this 1987 movie, Dudley Moore plays Dr. Jack Hammond, a heart surgeon, who swaps brains with his likable but not super-smart teenage son, Chris (Kirk Cameron).


Answer: “Like Father, Like Son”

3. In this 1988 film, George Burns ends up in the body of his 18-year-old grandson (Charlie Schlatter).


Answer: “18 Again!”

4. In this 1989 movie, Jason Robards plays Coleman Ettinger, who’s hoping to enter a dream state so that he and his wife, Gena (Piper Laurie), can live forever. They embark on some “transcendental” exercises on their front lawn, and just then 16-year-old Bobby (Corey Feldman) happens by, colliding with the bike-riding Lainie (Meredith Salenger), the most gorgeous girl in his school. Both are knocked momentarily unconscious; when they come to, the spirits of Coleman and Gena have entered their bodies.


Answer: “Dream a Little Dream”


'The Change-Up': Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman mix it up

-- Susan King and Julie Makinen

Photos, from top: Jason Bateman, left, and Ryan Reynolds in "The Change-Up"; Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin in "All of Me"; Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron in "Like Father, Like Son"; George Burns and Anita Morris in "18 Again"; Meredith Salenger and Corey Feldman in "Dream a Little Dream." Credits: Richard Cartwright / Universal Pictures; Los Angeles Library; file; New World Pictures; Vestron Pictures

Jason Bateman has a message for Bill O'Reilly

August 17, 2010 |  3:37 pm

The Jason Bateman-Jennifer Aniston parenting dramedy "The Switch" has generated a war of words with Bill O'Reilly  that's been interesting in a culture-wars sort of way (while not, incidentally, being exactly hurtful to the film's publicity efforts).

After Aniston, whose character in the movie conceives a child through artificial insemination, told reporters that "women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child," O'Reilly responded with a barb of his own. Aniston's comments, he said on his Fox News show, are "throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad."

At the film's premiere last night, Bateman was not shy about standing up for his costar and questioning the cable host's world view. "She said something that isn't really shocking. She's a current woman," Bateman told us at the afterparty. "And he's reading from a very old book."  (For full premiere coverage, check out our colleague Matt Donnelly's report at The Times' Ministry of Gossip blog.)

The dramatic comedy, in which Bateman plays the best friend to Aniston's single mother, deals as much with questions of male responsibility as it does with single motherhood. But it's this second issue that's gained cultural traction.

Bateman said that O'Reilly's comments ran counter not only to Bateman's own values but what he thought the host stood for. "He has this TV show that's supposed to be supporting diversity and the many different ways we have of doing things in this country. And the fact that he chose to say that one way is not right seems pretty antithetical to that," the star said.

He continued. "She was gracious as always in responding to it, but the way he went about it seemed like a pretty unsubtle play for ratings."

After his initial roundelay last week, O'Reilly has yet to respond to Aniston, who subsequently told People magazine that "for those [women] who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options." Given the attention O'Reilly has put on a film he disagrees with, maybe he's decided it's wiser to stay silent.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. Credit: Walt Disney Pictures


The Switch premiere: On the red carpet with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman

The Switch directors: We're not really sure what Bill O'Reilly is talking about

Bill O'Reilly slams Jennifer Aniston for no-baby-need remarks

'The Switch' directors: We're not sure what Bill O'Reilly is talking about

August 13, 2010 |  7:38 pm

As Jennifer Aniston and Bill O'Reilly trade barbed words about the virtues of single motherhood in Aniston's new movie "The Switch," the directors of the movie that sparked the debate say they're mystified by the talk-show host's critique.

"We're surprised that issue has any traction with the right," Josh Gordon, who co-directed the dramatic comedy with Will Speck, told 24 Frames as the pair discussed the movie Friday in their Santa Monica offices.

"This feels like culture battles that were fought in the '90's. It feels like 'Murphy Brown.' And Jen dealt with it years ago when she had a kid on 'Friends.' I'm surprised anyone on the right is still digging these bodies up."

The contretemps began when Aniston, while promoting "The Switch" last weekend, told reporters that "women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child."

"Times have changed, and ... what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long."

OreilHis moral hackles raised, O'Reilly fired back this week, saying that Aniston is "throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad."

In a roundtable he convened on his show, O'Reilly said that this type of thinking was "destructive to our society" and that Aniston is "diminishing the role of the dad." (Aniston then replied, telling People magazine that "many women dream of finding Prince Charming (with fatherly instincts), but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options.")

"The Switch" tracks the story of a thirtysomething woman who chooses to have a child via artificial insemination, and the consequences that ensue when Jason Bateman's character swaps  his sperm for that of her chosen donor. The great novelty of the film might be that there's little novelty at all to single motherhood; indeed, much of the movie focuses on Bateman's character and his emerging relationship with the child when the boy re-enters his life as a 6-year-old.

"It's ironic what Bill O'Reilly is saying about the dad not getting enough credit," Gordon said. "If you see this movie you leave with this appreciation of how difficult it is for men to step up."

And while Speck/Gordon -- whose previous effort was the more broadly comedic but still gender-role-themed "Blades of Glory" -- were hardly looking to make a family-values picture, they say that at the front of their minds was the importance of a father’s role in parenting.

 "Ultimately, it's not a movie that charts the path of a single mother needing a man," Speck said. "What it feels like is the realization of these characters that when you have certain kinds of connections it can be beneficial to a child."

--Steven Zeitchik


Photos: Jennifer Aniston in 'The Switch.' Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Bill O'Reilly. Credit: Associated Press


Bill O'Reilly slams Jennifer Aniston for no-baby-needed remarks

Jennifer Aniston fires back at Bill O'Reilly's baby-making barbs

Jennifer Aniston's real pet project

Bill O'Reilly apologizes to Shirley Sherrod

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'Arrested Development' movie not dead yet, says Jason Bateman

April 16, 2010 |  4:46 pm

Asdf Fans of the beloved late television series "Arrested Development" let out a collective shriek last week when one of the former show's stars, David Cross, said in an interview that a rumored movie based on the show is "just not going to happen."

"I mean, there's so many people involved. Everyone's doing their own thing, you know. And everybody's aged. It's just not going to happen," Cross told TVSquad.com.

Not so fast, says Jason Bateman, who starred in the program as a widower at the center of an eccentric family.

"David says that it's dead, but it's not dead at all," Bateman said in an interview Friday while promoting "The Switch," a romantic comedy out in August in which he costars with Jennifer Aniston. "[Show creator] Mitch Hurwitz is busy shooting a new pilot with Will Arnett, and perhaps when they're done shooting and editing and he's delivered that, perhaps he'll jump into writing the script. Once the script is done, it goes to the studio and they decide if it's a script they want to make, and the actors will decide if they want to be in it."

Which is all to say?

"It's a long process. But it could happen and it's still in everybody's plans for it to happen."

As for Cross' remarks, Bateman thinks his former costar's words may have been blown out of proportion.

"I think he was simply saying, 'Who knows?' He wasn't saying anything definitive, but a lot of people with blogs and whatnot, in the interest of making a splash headline, stretched things a bit."

-- Amy Kaufman

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Photo: Jeffrey Tambor, left, and Jason Bateman in "Arrested Development." Credit: F. Scott Schafer / Fox


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