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Fox falls in love with Damon Lindelof's Alien prequel script, wants Natalie Portman to star?

10.13.2010

So the word on the street has been that Ridley Scott's ALIEN prequel is sporting a budget upwards of $150-160 million (perhaps more). This has had the suits over at Fox a bit nervous and supposedly reticent to move full steam ahead. Enter "Lost" scribe Damon Lindelof. He was hired back in the summer to do a re-write for the prequel of the sci-fi/horror classic... and now that the stupid cat's out of the bag thanks to the guys over at Vulture, it appears Fox is loving it...

"One reason Fox execs are so thrilled with Lindelof's Alien draft is that, not only is it creatively engaging, but it adds no expensive 'set pieces' — production-speak for elaborate, effects-heavy action sequences that add millions to the cost of a film — to the movie."

It's also been assumed that the ALIEN prequel would be a hard R-rated affair, especially in light of recent comments by Scott that the film would be "really tough, really nasty". But Vulture's saying otherwise:

"We're told another reason Fox execs are pleased with Lindelof’s re-write of original screenwriter Jon Spaihts' script is that it's still aimed at a more accessible PG-13 rating. 'The thinking,' explains one insider, 'is that if the original Alien were released today, minus the F-bombs, you could still get a PG-13. Alien is a very Jaws-ian movie: There's no sex, and while there's lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you'd have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done.'"

And then there's Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN). She's practically been up for every single female lead in Hollywood of late, so why not this one too? Vulture is claiming that Portman is Fox's current top choice for the role of a "a female Colonial Marine general". Now, I love Portman... but I'm having a hard time picturing her as a Marine general. The next name on the studio's list is the recently-reported Noomi Rapace, someone who to me just feels like a better fit for the part.
Extra Tidbit: Vulture says the prequel is apparently being considered Ridley Scott's "second ALIEN film" rather than a "reboot" of the overall franchise. Honestly, who the f*ck cares what you call it?
Source: Vulture

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4:39PM on 10/14/2010
Well that answers my question as to whether Fox learned nothing from adding Wynona Ryder to the Alien movies.

Seriously at this point the creatures are the stars of these films, especially when there's no Sigourney.

Cast someone who the audience doesn't have a strong opinion about and clearly isn't a big name, like Sigourney was in the first film.

Well that answers my question as to whether Fox learned nothing from adding Wynona Ryder to the Alien movies.

Seriously at this point the creatures are the stars of these films, especially when there's no Sigourney.

Cast someone who the audience doesn't have a strong opinion about and clearly isn't a big name, like Sigourney was in the first film.

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-1
8:07AM on 10/14/2010

I like the idea of Portland

But PG-13?!? Seriously? When do we start taking bets on the 3D conversion?
But PG-13?!? Seriously? When do we start taking bets on the 3D conversion?
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12:00AM on 10/14/2010
Take out Portman and bring in James Cameron to direct!
Take out Portman and bring in James Cameron to direct!
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+1
10:45PM on 10/13/2010
PG-13 and Portman? This allready has 2 strikes against it. Now I'm waiting for the 3-D strikout.
PG-13 and Portman? This allready has 2 strikes against it. Now I'm waiting for the 3-D strikout.
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4:13PM on 10/13/2010

The Portman Delusion

For some uncanny reason, "Hollywood" and it's cronies seem to be under the mad delusion that Natalie Portman is a good actress. She hasn't done a credible performance since The Professional. She's a Winona Ryder. All cute, no real substance. A female Keanu Reeves.
Surely Ridley Scott knows better than to go with her - This has got to be the Studio Execs pushing their agenda.
For some uncanny reason, "Hollywood" and it's cronies seem to be under the mad delusion that Natalie Portman is a good actress. She hasn't done a credible performance since The Professional. She's a Winona Ryder. All cute, no real substance. A female Keanu Reeves.
Surely Ridley Scott knows better than to go with her - This has got to be the Studio Execs pushing their agenda.
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4:12PM on 10/13/2010

AVP had PG13 chestbursters! Yeah!

I want to rip out Rothman's esophagus with my bare hands! I want to bust open his forehead and watch the beauty that.., oh whoa sorry, got carried away there.

Right, maybe there are no xenomorphs that we are used to in this and it's the space jockey's race's film, whatever. I like some of Lindelof's work but those pieces are films that have a much faster pace than an Alien film should.

Right, my bad, it's a prequel, so it should be fast paced and pointless? Bring me Rothman's head!
I want to rip out Rothman's esophagus with my bare hands! I want to bust open his forehead and watch the beauty that.., oh whoa sorry, got carried away there.

Right, maybe there are no xenomorphs that we are used to in this and it's the space jockey's race's film, whatever. I like some of Lindelof's work but those pieces are films that have a much faster pace than an Alien film should.

Right, my bad, it's a prequel, so it should be fast paced and pointless? Bring me Rothman's head!
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3:56PM on 10/13/2010
I could go for a character driven, engaging Alien prequel. You know.. one where you actually care about the characters that are about to get slaughtered. Judging by how character-centric LOST was this comes as no surprise to me.

However, no matter how fantastic the script is this movie will go straight to shit if they're aiming for a PG-13 rating. That destroys everything that the Alien franchise is all about.
I could go for a character driven, engaging Alien prequel. You know.. one where you actually care about the characters that are about to get slaughtered. Judging by how character-centric LOST was this comes as no surprise to me.

However, no matter how fantastic the script is this movie will go straight to shit if they're aiming for a PG-13 rating. That destroys everything that the Alien franchise is all about.
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4:17PM on 10/13/2010
Maybe the passengers of a space rig crash wake on an alien world where time has no meaning and the whole film(6 seasons)is spent trying to figure out how to get home and what exactly is going on.

There are so many reasons why I wish Robin Hood did way better at the B.O.!
Maybe the passengers of a space rig crash wake on an alien world where time has no meaning and the whole film(6 seasons)is spent trying to figure out how to get home and what exactly is going on.

There are so many reasons why I wish Robin Hood did way better at the B.O.!
4:38PM on 10/13/2010
... what?
... what?
3:43PM on 10/13/2010
If Ridley fights for the hard R then I'm in Heaven. Either way, I'll see this. I'm a die-hard Alien fan.
If Ridley fights for the hard R then I'm in Heaven. Either way, I'll see this. I'm a die-hard Alien fan.
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2:53PM on 10/13/2010
woops
woops
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+5
2:19PM on 10/13/2010
Casting Natalie Portman as a "Colonial Marine general" would be like casting Edward James Olmos as a "wide-eyed, strangely seductive ingenue who moonlights as an exotic dancer."

Try harder, guys.
Casting Natalie Portman as a "Colonial Marine general" would be like casting Edward James Olmos as a "wide-eyed, strangely seductive ingenue who moonlights as an exotic dancer."

Try harder, guys.
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4:21PM on 10/13/2010
Agreed. Noomi Rapace isn't much better but she fits Scott's alien universe much better.
Agreed. Noomi Rapace isn't much better but she fits Scott's alien universe much better.
1:13PM on 10/13/2010
The first Alien was all about suspense, not so much gore. The only thing that would keep it R-Rated today would be the dinner scene and some language. Other than that, it's definitely PG-13 by today's standards. I'm going to remain optimistic just because Ridley's directing. Lindelof writing the script HAD me optimistic, but once the dipshits at Fox decided they liked it, I found myself a bit sceptical. FOX blows . . .
The first Alien was all about suspense, not so much gore. The only thing that would keep it R-Rated today would be the dinner scene and some language. Other than that, it's definitely PG-13 by today's standards. I'm going to remain optimistic just because Ridley's directing. Lindelof writing the script HAD me optimistic, but once the dipshits at Fox decided they liked it, I found myself a bit sceptical. FOX blows . . .
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+6
11:57AM on 10/13/2010
THIS NEEDS TO BE A HARD "R" RATING OR DONT BOTHER!!! The film may not be action packed or whatever but it needs its awesome gore moments, these are some of the most evil aliens in movie history they need to be badass not a bunch of cut off the screen bullshit we always get!! this aint a kids franchise!! I do love the sound of miss portman being in the film though as she is a great actress and sexy as hell, maybe not a lead but who knows!! please make it properly fox or dont bloody bother!!!
THIS NEEDS TO BE A HARD "R" RATING OR DONT BOTHER!!! The film may not be action packed or whatever but it needs its awesome gore moments, these are some of the most evil aliens in movie history they need to be badass not a bunch of cut off the screen bullshit we always get!! this aint a kids franchise!! I do love the sound of miss portman being in the film though as she is a great actress and sexy as hell, maybe not a lead but who knows!! please make it properly fox or dont bloody bother!!! AVP films were pg13 and look how shite they wrecked everything.
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+4
11:42AM on 10/13/2010

Alien PG-13?

There's no way the original could have been made a PG-13 by simply removing language. If that is how the studio thinks, no wonder they keep making bad decisions on movies these days.
There's no way the original could have been made a PG-13 by simply removing language. If that is how the studio thinks, no wonder they keep making bad decisions on movies these days.
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11:08AM on 10/13/2010
PG-13 Alien film = Failure from the start.
FOX has become the worst movie studio since Tom Rothman took over.
PG-13 Alien film = Failure from the start.
FOX has become the worst movie studio since Tom Rothman took over.
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+3
10:26AM on 10/13/2010

NOPE!

Fox if you make this film a retarded kiddies film like AVP.. Youll be DEAD to me Fox...

Also i think lionsgate films maybe should head up the project, at least they dont water there films down intill its a bad film with awful acting and blury gore scenes
Fox if you make this film a retarded kiddies film like AVP.. Youll be DEAD to me Fox...

Also i think lionsgate films maybe should head up the project, at least they dont water there films down intill its a bad film with awful acting and blury gore scenes
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+3
9:39AM on 10/13/2010

Figures

Just wake me up when the people making decisions at Fox die. That way, someone with a real sense of how to make good films can have a studio to play with.
Just wake me up when the people making decisions at Fox die. That way, someone with a real sense of how to make good films can have a studio to play with.
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9:26AM on 10/13/2010

Fuck off FOX

So let me get this straight, you let James Cameron run around with 600 million dollars for an original,unproven idea for a movie but here you have a proven franchise all but guaranteed to make you money and you start penny pinching? My arent you greedy bastards?

On the rating issue let me get straight to the point....FUCK YOU MAKE IT R!
So let me get this straight, you let James Cameron run around with 600 million dollars for an original,unproven idea for a movie but here you have a proven franchise all but guaranteed to make you money and you start penny pinching? My arent you greedy bastards?

On the rating issue let me get straight to the point....FUCK YOU MAKE IT R!
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-5
9:19AM on 10/13/2010

It’s Portman mother f***er!

Watch you laugh and cry, while I laugh you die. They'll need to make this flick triple X when I'm done with it!
Watch you laugh and cry, while I laugh you die. They'll need to make this flick triple X when I'm done with it!
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+11
9:19AM on 10/13/2010
Seriously? You think taking out the language from "Aliens" would have made it PG-13? That chestbursting scene ALONE would have earned an R I think. Or maybe I'm just jaded because, no lie, my grandfather thought it fit to show that movie to me and my sister when we were 5 and 6 at our parents request to "keep us busy while they hid the easter eggs". Fuck-all-mighty.
Seriously? You think taking out the language from "Aliens" would have made it PG-13? That chestbursting scene ALONE would have earned an R I think. Or maybe I'm just jaded because, no lie, my grandfather thought it fit to show that movie to me and my sister when we were 5 and 6 at our parents request to "keep us busy while they hid the easter eggs". Fuck-all-mighty.
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9:11AM on 10/13/2010
A PG-13 Alien would be total bullshit, especially if it's being directed by Ridley Scott. Don't they understand that one of the reasons this series was so successful was because of the violence? Sure, maybe you can take away 2-3 seconds of each kill in the first Alien, but then it would be boring as hell and no one would give a shit about your funny little space movie. Please make this "R", otherwise there's no point.
A PG-13 Alien would be total bullshit, especially if it's being directed by Ridley Scott. Don't they understand that one of the reasons this series was so successful was because of the violence? Sure, maybe you can take away 2-3 seconds of each kill in the first Alien, but then it would be boring as hell and no one would give a shit about your funny little space movie. Please make this "R", otherwise there's no point.
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9:05AM on 10/13/2010
Fuck you Fox. Why you have to turn to shit evrything you touch?
Fuck you Fox. Why you have to turn to shit evrything you touch?
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9:05AM on 10/13/2010
She's a good actress, but definitely not for this movie. Also, it has to be a hard R. This is "Alien" we are talking about. I want to see violence, blood, and guts. I don't care if people underage can't see it, because when I was younger they're were certain movies I wanted to see but couldn't. Grow a pair Fox.
She's a good actress, but definitely not for this movie. Also, it has to be a hard R. This is "Alien" we are talking about. I want to see violence, blood, and guts. I don't care if people underage can't see it, because when I was younger they're were certain movies I wanted to see but couldn't. Grow a pair Fox.
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8:55AM on 10/13/2010
Pg-13 Alien movie, oh Fox how I loathe thee. I am a HUGE fan of Ridley as most of my MFC friends will know but after the god awful Robin Hood he has some coming back to do however an Alien mlovie without some gore/swearing ain't an Alien movie. If you cut out the gore/bad language from Aliens the film would be 5 minutes long. Hey Fox, ADULTS like to see movies too, stop making every fucking movie made for kids/families. I'm so angry I need to go for a shit, excuse me!
Pg-13 Alien movie, oh Fox how I loathe thee. I am a HUGE fan of Ridley as most of my MFC friends will know but after the god awful Robin Hood he has some coming back to do however an Alien mlovie without some gore/swearing ain't an Alien movie. If you cut out the gore/bad language from Aliens the film would be 5 minutes long. Hey Fox, ADULTS like to see movies too, stop making every fucking movie made for kids/families. I'm so angry I need to go for a shit, excuse me!
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8:42AM on 10/13/2010
Yes, the original Aliens would be PG-13 if you just cut out the swearing AND THE MOST ICONIC FUCKING SCENE IN SCI-FI HISTORY! No way the chest-burster scene could pass as PG-13. Fuck this film.
Yes, the original Aliens would be PG-13 if you just cut out the swearing AND THE MOST ICONIC FUCKING SCENE IN SCI-FI HISTORY! No way the chest-burster scene could pass as PG-13. Fuck this film.
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8:37AM on 10/13/2010

Lets discuss some of the issues here shall we...

1. Why is Fox creating ridiculous excuses as to why these two films should be PG13? Just make the damn thing rated-R, feature some viral marketing, and be secretive about the Alien's look. It'll work!!!

2. It seems like they're trying to get a new Ripley, I hope they go in a different direction when it comes to the role of the female character.
1. Why is Fox creating ridiculous excuses as to why these two films should be PG13? Just make the damn thing rated-R, feature some viral marketing, and be secretive about the Alien's look. It'll work!!!

2. It seems like they're trying to get a new Ripley, I hope they go in a different direction when it comes to the role of the female character.
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+11
8:37AM on 10/13/2010

"It could be done"?!

Yeah, but they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should...
Yeah, but they were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should...
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11:15AM on 10/13/2010
Thank you Ian Malcolm
Thank you Ian Malcolm
8:34AM on 10/13/2010

the reason they want PG13...

...is because of the luke-warm reception of the "R" rated Predators. regardless of anyone's theory as to "why" preds did so poorly, Fox only numbers against the promise that an "R" would revitalize the Predator franchise. they see numbers, not art, not form, not small contributing factors of pass or fail.
...is because of the luke-warm reception of the "R" rated Predators. regardless of anyone's theory as to "why" preds did so poorly, Fox only numbers against the promise that an "R" would revitalize the Predator franchise. they see numbers, not art, not form, not small contributing factors of pass or fail.
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8:10AM on 10/13/2010
R-Rating or not Natalie Portman is overrated. Reminds me of Winona Ryder in Alien 4. They need a real woman for this one...
As for the rating. All this graphic violence does nothing for me (see Alien vs Predator). Jaws-ian horror is much scarier and effective.
What we need is a good script!
R-Rating or not Natalie Portman is overrated. Reminds me of Winona Ryder in Alien 4. They need a real woman for this one...
As for the rating. All this graphic violence does nothing for me (see Alien vs Predator). Jaws-ian horror is much scarier and effective.
What we need is a good script!
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8:10AM on 10/13/2010
I used to think the same way, but have since wondered when the fuck did it become standard practice that if a movie isnt rated R it automatically sucks? The article is right, half the shit from the 70-s and 80-s that was R would only get a PG 13 today, does that make it any less of a quality movie? Does seeing a big R bring some inner satisfaction to someone that because they can drop an F-bomb more than once they are getting quality? Or is it the depravity of people to see as much gore and
I used to think the same way, but have since wondered when the fuck did it become standard practice that if a movie isnt rated R it automatically sucks? The article is right, half the shit from the 70-s and 80-s that was R would only get a PG 13 today, does that make it any less of a quality movie? Does seeing a big R bring some inner satisfaction to someone that because they can drop an F-bomb more than once they are getting quality? Or is it the depravity of people to see as much gore and harm inflicted on people that only a hard R or higher will satisfy? I hear the same thing on the Wolverine thread, why does Wolvie have to be rated R? We know what his claws can do to a human body, do we really need to see flesh torn apart up close and personal to make a story more effective? Someone please explain to me the rationale behind this R only rating or it sucks mentality?
Let the negs begin!!
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8:27AM on 10/13/2010
I agree with you that I don't think the rating is directly related to my enjoyment of a film. But in this case it needs to be directed at an adult audience, not a teen one. Granted Alien would probably get a PG13 rating if released now, but that's not the point, when it was originally made it was intended for an adult audience. I want this to be made with the same audience in mind, not how many extra seats they can fill.
I agree with you that I don't think the rating is directly related to my enjoyment of a film. But in this case it needs to be directed at an adult audience, not a teen one. Granted Alien would probably get a PG13 rating if released now, but that's not the point, when it was originally made it was intended for an adult audience. I want this to be made with the same audience in mind, not how many extra seats they can fill.
+9
7:51AM on 10/13/2010

No R?

Fox really is the worst movie studio on the planet.
Fox really is the worst movie studio on the planet.
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+5
7:49AM on 10/13/2010

Alien vs Predator 1 PG-13 RATING

... I guess fox is going down the same road here ... can someone please explain to me this

"and while there's lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you'd have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done"

In other words, forget about real action scenes!
... I guess fox is going down the same road here ... can someone please explain to me this

"and while there's lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you'd have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done"

In other words, forget about real action scenes!
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7:03AM on 10/13/2010

Make it R DAMMIT!

The studios should let Ridley Scott have final say on the script, that's the reason they hired him. Trying to cater this movie to a PG13 audience is a disaster waiting to happen. Need I remind Fox of AVP?
The studios should let Ridley Scott have final say on the script, that's the reason they hired him. Trying to cater this movie to a PG13 audience is a disaster waiting to happen. Need I remind Fox of AVP?
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6:52AM on 10/13/2010

"Enter "Lost" scribe Damon Lindelof"

...and that could spell trouble. Do I love this news because of the 6 years I was enthralled by LOST?

Or do I hate this news, because LOST had the world's SHITTIEST ending after 6 years?

Considering that the "ending" is already told (the original Alien movie), then maybe he can't fuck this up the way he did LOST.
...and that could spell trouble. Do I love this news because of the 6 years I was enthralled by LOST?

Or do I hate this news, because LOST had the world's SHITTIEST ending after 6 years?

Considering that the "ending" is already told (the original Alien movie), then maybe he can't fuck this up the way he did LOST.
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-6
6:51AM on 10/13/2010
I don't know... I could picture this. Natalie can show some different sides. I think about her rap from SNL and believe that she could play a completely crazy, yelling, colonial marine. I think with the right script she would fit great!
I don't know... I could picture this. Natalie can show some different sides. I think about her rap from SNL and believe that she could play a completely crazy, yelling, colonial marine. I think with the right script she would fit great!
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6:43AM on 10/13/2010

No Portman, please

I am in love with Natalie Portman since I saw her in Leon but honestly, apart from her ability to break hearts crying and the amazing face she has, is a booooooring actress. I canīt remember any part she has played as and adult that is memorable.

Of course Iīm open to change my mind after Black swan, that is impressing everybody, but, anyway I canīt see the reason she is considered for every project these days.

I can think in a many different actresses that could be more interesting to
I am in love with Natalie Portman since I saw her in Leon but honestly, apart from her ability to break hearts crying and the amazing face she has, is a booooooring actress. I canīt remember any part she has played as and adult that is memorable.

Of course Iīm open to change my mind after Black swan, that is impressing everybody, but, anyway I canīt see the reason she is considered for every project these days.

I can think in a many different actresses that could be more interesting to watch in this role.

Rapace is ok, very Ripley, but once again, too easy... what about Ellen Page, Michelle Monaghan, Hilary Swank, Michelle Williams, Jessica Biel, Kirsten Dunst (I know, Iīm gaining enemies now), Jennifer Connelly, Rachel McAdams... and many more.

There are a world of interesting actresses beyond Natalie...
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8:03AM on 10/13/2010
Totally agree with Portman beeing overrated. She really didn't have one memorable Role since Leon.

But I have to say, that Ellen Page is the new Natalie Portman.

I could live with somebody like Rapace or Conelly.

We need a real woman for this one!
Totally agree with Portman beeing overrated. She really didn't have one memorable Role since Leon.

But I have to say, that Ellen Page is the new Natalie Portman.

I could live with somebody like Rapace or Conelly.

We need a real woman for this one!
+5
6:20AM on 10/13/2010
"If you took out all the swearing and violence, it would be a PG-13." No shit, Mr. Insider. God, that's at least the most retarded movie exec quote I've heard today. Can't wait for the PG Taxi Driver sequel, because Travis Bickle was a role model for kids at heart...
"If you took out all the swearing and violence, it would be a PG-13." No shit, Mr. Insider. God, that's at least the most retarded movie exec quote I've heard today. Can't wait for the PG Taxi Driver sequel, because Travis Bickle was a role model for kids at heart...
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