Winona Ryder, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker and Shannen Doherty in ‘Heathers’/Photo © 1988 New World Pictures
Editor's Note: We're looking ahead to "Mean Girls" et al on stage, back at the box office beginnings of "The Fifth Estate," and over to "Starship Troopers" and "The Desolation of Smaug" in our daily roundup.
The holy trinity of teen-queen black comedies -- "Heathers," "Mean Girls," and "Jawbreaker" -- are in a dead-heat race for the biggest bite of Broadway scenery. All three movies are in the throes of being adapted to the stage, in various states of completion. The "Jawbreaker" and "Heathers" productions are much further along, having already been polished up via a smattering of readings and performances, but "Mean Girls" has the advantage of being a much more recent film with a younger original fanbase. Imagine they were all Homecoming Queen contenders: Who would you vote for?
"The Fifth Estate" turned out to be one of the biggest bombs of the year, leading many fair-weather fans to wonder whether Benedict Cumberbatch is washed up as a leading man before he's even really begun. Something tells me that in a year we'll all be able to look back on this and laugh -- well, all of us except Julian Assange, who will probably still be living in Britain's Ecuadorian embassy, and who urged Cumberbatch not to take the role in the first place.
If you liked "Starship Troopers" the first time around, then news that the remake is likely to be less violent and less sensational is probably going to turn you right off. Even though producer Toby Jaffe claims they're angling toward a more faithful adaptation of Robert Heinlein's original story, it's depressing to realize that the future of big budget creature-features is so squeaky clean.
Start stocking up on salty snacks and adult diapers now: we're looking at a run-time of 156 minutes for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." You know, that quirky little novel that the filmmakers have already managed to stretch into an entire trilogy. And that's the theatrical version! Imagine all the extra dialogue and hiking montages that await superfans on the inevitable extended cut.