Culture

Christopher Walken Crowned as King Louie in New 'Jungle Book'

Christopher Walken/Photo © Miro Vrlik Photography/Shutterstock

Editor's Note: Christopher Walken joins the "Jungle Book" cast, setting the Amelia Bedelia record straight, and more in our Wednesday look at entertainment's goings-on.

All the casting updates for Disney's new adaptation of The Jungle Book have been impressive, but not terribly exciting. Idris Elba? Scarlett Johansson? Perfectly reliable, perfectly brilliant -- but maybe a little too perfect. Thank goodness for Christopher Walken signing on to play King Louie, the ruler of a band of over-ambitious apes. Walken's offbeat personality and oft-imitated line readings could be just what this movie needs to become truly memorable, instead of merely enjoyable.

The internet may have a long memory, but Wikipedia usually has a pretty short one -- edits to the site are regularly reviewed, and anything suspicious or unduly capricious gets cut right out. Not so in the case of EJ Dickson, who pranked the page of beloved/befuddled literary character Amelia Bedelia one evening while intoxicated, only to discover years later that his "fact" has now been circulated as common knowledge among fans and even cited in journalism. Dickson hopes to set the record straight with this confessional essay, but it's likely the lie will continue to spread online and may outlive everyone involved.

I recently spoke with Doug Jones ("Pan's Labyrinth") about how filmmakers like Guillermo Del Toro use monsters to help us get in touch with icky human stuff that we'd rather not identify with. The Geek Anthropologist is several steps ahead of us with a delicious essay on "why pop culture is raising the dead, and what it says about our contemporary fears." This writer foresees the Frankenstein story continuing to haunt us, in the form of stories about technology run amok.

Have you worked on your novel today? If you tweet about it, you may draw the attention of visual artist Cory Arcangel, whose new book is comprised purely of Twitter updates that include the words "working on my novel." Samples abound within. Arcangel calls it "the story of what it means to be a creative person, and why we keep on trying," but it's clearly also a comment on how much easier it is for us to talk about our grand intentions than to actually follow through with them. Now if you'll excuse me, this novel isn't going to write itself. #workingonmynovel