There's something about the subject of gangsters that never gets old. Particularly the Hollywood variety, as depicted in films like "The Departed," "Get Shorty," "Snatch," "Donnie Brasco," HBO's "The Sopranos," and of course "The Godfather." They're all so cool, slick, watchable. It's that iconic allure that had us excited for Ruben Fleischer's next flick, "Gangster Squad," the moment it was announced.
The film is based on the L.A. Times' seven-part series, "Tales From The Gangster Squad," by writer Paul Lieberman, which revolved around the LAPD's war on infamous mobster Mickey Cohen. Heavy-hitter Sean Penn will play Cohen, and Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling will play two of the cops who try to bring him down, and always likable Emma Stone is in the mix as a sassy "siren" caught in a love triangle with Gosling's character and one of the gangsters.
"We're not terrorists!"
So promised Nick Swardson on the set of "30 Minutes or Less," as he and costar Danny McBride attempted to explain what they were doing, just minutes earlier, in a junk yard in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a crossbow in one of their hands and a detonator in another. Take after take, they blew up watermelons with some homebrewed explosives and yelled f-bomb-laden tough talk.
No, terrorists they are not — just misguided fellows with an outlandish idea: kidnap a pizza delivery boy, strap a bomb to his chest and make him rob a bank. And that, in an action-comedy nutshell, is the plot of "30 Minutes," the Ruben Fleischer-directed flick that hits theaters on August 12.
"They're against terrorists. I mean, would you invite these guys over to your house with your family? Probably not," McBride explained. "They just want to be loved. Whether it takes a bomb or bank robbery to get there."
Michael Peña, welcome to the "Gangster Squad."
Director Ruben Fleischer, who's stepping behind the camera for his most dramatic picture to date in "Gangster Squad," revealed that Peña has joined the cast of the cops-and-gangsters period piece during the MTV Sneak Peek Week premiere of "30 Minutes or Less."
Peña, who also stars in "30 Minutes," is climbing aboard in an unspecified role alongside the previously cast Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn. Anthony Mackie is also supposedly up for a part, though he recently told us that his involvement is just a rumor right now. Shooting kicks off in September.
We're more than a little bit excited to see what Fleischer does with "Gangster," but we're just as thrilled by the possibility of a sequel to "Zombieland," the director's hilarious big-screen debut. Talk of "Zombieland 2" dates back to the first film's surprisingly successful box office launch, and while development isn't quite in high gear just yet, Fleischer says the horror comedy could be next on his list after "Gangster Squad."
While Jesse Eisenberg might be the odd comedian out of the "30 Minutes Or Less" cast, his co-stars and director told MTV News during Sneak Peek Week that he definitely wasn't left in the dust during their quick-fire improvisations.
"Jesse, to his credit, is a great improviser," said director Ruben Fleischer. "Both in 'Zombieland' and in this movie, he is responsible for so many funny lines, and he can kind of roll. I don’t think that’s his most comfortable gear, but when it's pushed up, he can give back as good as anybody."
Co-stars Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson, both well-known for their stand-up routines, were both equally impressed with Eisenberg's ability to roll with the punches.
The MTV Movie Awards kick off on Sunday (June 5), and we've been keeping the movie coverage coming hard and fast with MTV Sneak Peek Week. We brought you inside looks at this summer's vampire horror comedy remake "Fright Night," the romantic dramedy "The Art of Getting By," the filthy and hilarious "Horrible Bosses," the '60s-era drama "The Help," and now we're wrapping up with a first glimpse of "30 Minutes or Less," the upcoming comedy about a bank robbery gone hilariously wrong.
MTV's Josh Horowitz is live in Los Angeles with director Ruben Fleischer and stars Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson, and you can tune in and catch all the news right here, right now. Best of all, you can ask YOUR questions to the gang by tweeting them to @MTVNews with the hash tag #SPW. Enjoy the show!
It's the final day of MTV Sneak Peek Week — a weeklong movie extravaganza that brought you first looks at "Fright Night," "The Art of Getting By," "Horrible Bosses" and "The Help" — and we're closing things out with a time-sensitive action comedy that Jack Bauer would surely appreciate: "30 Minutes or Less."
Jesse Eisenberg, currently up for Best Male Performance at the MTV Movie Awards, stars in the comedy as a pizza delivery boy who gets kidnapped by a pair of thugs (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson). When the dim-witted criminals strap a bomb to his chest and order him to rob a bank or else surrender to a horrible fiery demise, Eisenberg turns to his best pal (Aziz Ansari) for help. So what do they do? Well, they rob the bank, of course!
We're bringing you an exclusive first look at "30 Minutes of Less" tonight at 11 p.m. ET, followed by a live Q&A with Aziz, Swardson and director Ruben Fleischer that you can watch right here on MTV.com. As always, if you have questions for the cast, we want to hear 'em; just tweet them along to @MTVNews with the hash tag #spw.
Stay tuned all week long for more from MTV Sneak Peek Week!
"Zombieland" was one of the funniest comedies of last year, so it is with no small amount of excitement that I greet today's news of star Jesse Eisenberg re-teaming with director Ruben Fleischer for the comedy "30 Minutes or Less." Eisenberg joins a cast that already includes Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride. The story follows a high school history teacher (Ansari) and a pizza delivery guy (Eisenberg) who are forced into robbing a bank. McBride plays one of the thieves, who use a vest wired with bombs to compel their hostages to commit the crime. For more on "30 Minutes or Less," which starts shooting this summer, check out The Hollywood Reporter's full story.
-- Bill Condon is the frontrunner to direct "Breaking Dawn," the final installment of the "Twilight" series, though no deal has been officially made just yet. Further, reports indicate that "Breaking Dawn" will be split into two movies as many have already predicted. [MTV.com]
-- Anton Yelchin is about to have one heck of a scary evening in the leading role of the "Fright Night" remake. He'll star in the vampire movie for "Lars and the Real Girl" director Craig Gillespie. [The Hollywood Reporter]
-- "The Toxic Avenger" is back to mop crime straight off the streets as Akiva Goldsman and other producers are backing a remake of the 1984 film. Additionally, Charlie Corwin's Original Media has purchased the rights for four sequels, an animated television series and comic books. That's one toxic wasteland I can get behind. [Deadline] Read More...
What do "The Incredibles," "Shaun of the Dead" and "Zombieland" have in common? Since there are no undead in the Pixar flick, it must be... "Mission: Impossible 4"!!! Wait, what?
The word is that producer J.J. Abrams and star/producer Tom Cruise have met with the directors of those three films as possible candidate to helm IMF agent Ethan Hunt's next big screen adventure. THR's Heat Vision Blog broke the news, putting much of the shock value on "Incredibles" helmer Brad Bird, as this would be his first non-animated effort. And while Bird is certainly an odd man out compared to the other two possibilities, all three are compelling choices. Read More...