director Tony Scott, 68, who killed himself Sunday by jumping off a 200-foot bridge. There have been conflicting reports about his health.
My take: It doesn't make sense to me. I don't understand why someone who was still on top of their game, directing hit movies and producing hit TV shows, someone with a family, why he would just suddenly end it. Tony was never going to get an Oscar, but his movies (Top Gun, Crimson Tide, True Romance, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, Unstoppable) were successful and usually well-liked.
- Samuel L. Jackson has joined the cast of Spike Lee's remake of Old Boy, about a man who's kidnapped and held hostage for 15 years with no outside communication, and then one day is set free with no explanation. Josh Brolin and Sharlto Copley co-star.
My take: Nice to see Jackson reunite with Lee. Jackson was a Lee staple for many films (Mo Better Blues, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever) and Lee's had success whenever he tries the mainstream thing (Inside Man).
- Kevin Costner is going to star in two movies based on Tom Clancy properties. He'll star as Jack Kelly in Without Remorse (directed by Christopher McQuarrie), and he'll play a different character in the new Jack Ryan movie (directed by Kenneth Branagh) starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley.
My take: Nice to see Costner get some projects lined up after the success of The Hatfields & McCoys miniseries. I don't know what was behind his dropping out of Django Unchained, but he'll appear as Pa Kent in next year's Superman movie.
- Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover movies, will direct a remake of 1974's The Gambler, which starred James Caan as a man who keeps losing in betting and winds up $40,000 in debt with the mob.
My take: It'll be good to see how Phillips can do with more dramatic fare, though I must admit I don't know if he can pull it off. William Monahan (The Departed) is writing the script, and I imagine they'll be able to get an A-lister to star.
- Abby Elliott is joining Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg as a departing Saturday Night Live cast member. She's been there for four years and was known for her impressions of Angelina Jolie, Rachel Maddow, Anna Faris and Zooey Deschanel. Jason Sudeikis's contract is up and he's still undecided as to whether or not he'll return.
My take: She was poised to be SNL's Alpha Female with Wiig leaving. Sad to see Abby go, but maybe she and Fred Armisen broke up and she needs space, who knows. She's sure to get some sitcom deals. I'd be surprised if Sudeikis sticks around. He's having a successful movie career (Hall Pass, Horrible Bosses, The Campaign) and he has We're the Millers with Jennifer Aniston and Ed Helms, and This Is Where I Leave You with Jason Bateman and Goldie Hawn coming up. SNL needs some new blood because Sudeikis, Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader all will likely be gone in a year or two.