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Film intelligence: Under a long shadow

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: BULLY shoves its way back into the conversation, Steve Jobs gets cast, and Arnold Schwarzenegger discovers another long lost brother.

1. BULLY For You (For You, Maybe, Not So Much)

Remember last week when I said I was bringing you one final BULLY story, and then jokingly added I’d never cover this movie in Film Intelligence “until next week, when something else happens, and we cover that?” That was no joke, my friends! And it didn’t even take a week for the ongoing saga of The Weinstein Company’s formerly R-rated, currently unrated documentary about teen bullying to break a new story; mere hours after last week’s post there was another major development. According to the Los Angeles Times, after months of fighting (and free publicity) with the MPAA over BULLY’s rating, The Weinstein Company is now actively working on a less profane PG-13 rated cut of the film. Through a spokesperson, the Weinsteins later issued a sort of non-denial denial to Deadline (“No other versions have been submitted although we are in contact with the MPAA and are being advised by David Boies on those negotiations,” which is fun to read muttered under your breath while coughing). Even without a rating, BULLY grossed a healthy $23,000 per screen in its first weekend in theaters, making it the best documentary debut of 2012. If the PG-13 doesn’t work, the Weinsteins could also consider boosting box office by trying a little old school William Castle showmanship. How about offering all attendees a free pair of wedgie-proof underwear? [Los Angeles Times/Deadline]

2. Dark SHADOWS

Speaking of The Weinstein Company, after threatening legal action over the whole BULLY hullaBULLYoo, they’ve filed an actual suit over another potential project. It’s called SHADOWS, and at one point it would have been overseen by original SCREAM writer Kevin Williamson. During the production of SCRE4M — which Williamson also wrote — the screenwriter had a falling out with producer Bob Weinstein after a “massive fight” involving the creative direction of the film and Williamson’s duties as executive producer of the television series The Vampire Diaries. That led to a lawsuit that led to a settlement that led to both parties thinking they had control of this SHADOWS thing that led to this new lawsuit over the rights that led to this news item in Film Intelligence. It’s like the Butterfly Effect of contentious copyright battles. [The Hollywood Reporter]

3. Welcome to iKutch

If you’ve ever watched reruns of That 70s Show and thought to yourself “God, that dopey stoner guy would make an awesome Steve Jobs in a biopic about the rise of Apple,” then I have good news for you: that is exactly what is happening. As first reported by Variety, Ashton Kutcher has been signed to star as the late Apple co-founder in an indie biopic called JOBS. In fairness to Kutcher, an article on the casting news on Gizmodo includes a side-by-side comparison of the Two and a Half Men star and the young Jobs, and there is a reasonable physical resemblance. Plus, I hear Jobs was a huge Demi Moore fan (at least for a little while). JOBS is scheduled to go into production this summer. [Variety]

4. “Hey girl, better watch out for that taxi.”

In movies he’s a terror behind the wheel, but in real life Ryan Gosling’s actually saves people from crazy drivers. Earlier this week, a British culture writer named Laurie Penny was walking down the street in Manhattan, just minding her own business and not looking where she was going, when she was nearly run over by a taxicab. She was only saved from certain death by the quick action of a passerby — a passerby who just happened to be Ryan Gosling. “I literally, LITERALLY just got saved from a car by Ryan Gosling. Literally. That actually just happened,” she tweeted. Later, Penny wrote a post about the incident for Gawker in which she said she objected “to being framed as the ditzy damsel in distress in this story” and accused Americans of being “strange” and “hyperventilating about the most everyday happenings.” That’s right, America, how dare you take an interest in this woman’s life? Shame on you! Regardless of Penny’s opinion of the events, I know what I think: Gosling is a real human being. And a real hero. A real human being. [Vanity Fair]

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger Thinks a TWINS Sequel Is a Great Idea For Some Reason

You won’t find anyone more excited about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to acting than me. But even I must convey shock and dismay over Governator’s decision to turn TWINS, the genial comedy he made with Danny DeVito in 1988, into a sequel called TRIPLETS, with Eddie Murphy joining the cast as Schwarzenegger and DeVito’s long lost other brother. Rather than concede that TRIPLETS is nothing more than a desprate attempt to recapture his faded glory, Schwarzenegger says he is nothing but overjoyed at the concept of a second TWINS. “I can see a poster…A billboard with us three. ‘They found another one!’ ‘TRIPLETS!’ ‘Only their mother can tell them apart!’ I would do that in two seconds, because that’s real entertainment.” And apparently he took only two seconds to decide whether to make the movie, because if he’d spent any more time than that he’d realize this is a weird idea. Now, KINDERGARTEN COP 2: THE SQUEAKQUEL, that’s a movie worth making. [/Film]