Podcast: June 19

This week: Ron Howard’s vexing problems with the Vatican, Justine Bateman’s SAG sympathies, and Vanessa Williams return to Chappaqua.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Flash video</em></a>

And the quiz — which, I might add, stumped Stacy-Ann (third week in a row!) — is as follows:

Which actor from the Lower Hudson Valley appears in M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller “The Happening”?

A. Joseph Cross, of Pelham
B. Bill Irwin, of Nyack
C. Alan Ruck, of Piermont
D. Mel Gibson, of Peekskill/Verplanck

The big trick here: ALL of these actors have, at one point or another, appeared in a Shyamalan film.

The answer, as always, is at the end of the video or after the break.

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Greenlights aren’t what they used to be

The writer’s strike has been over for almost a month now, but to look at the list of stalled movies, all of which had previously gotten the green light from studios, it feels like Hollywood is still on hiatus. Here are just a few that have ties to Lower Hudson Valley residents (or natives) and, according to Variety, are going nowhere fast:

aaron-sorkin.jpg• “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” to be directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Scarsdale native Aaron Sorkin (right), was supposed to start shooting in April, but has now been put on hold. It looks like it won’t begin filming now until summer and fall, and Spielberg and Sorkin are planning to use the additional time to tighten their script. With a potentially blockbuster cast (among the names rumored on IMDB: Will Smith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kevin Spacey, Colin Hanks, and Jeff Bridges), it’ll be interesting to see if the actors will still be available months and months down the road.

joseph-cross.jpg• “Justice League of America,” was once rumored to have Pelham’s Joseph Cross (right), of “Running with Scissors” fame, as one of its Hall of Justice superheros. And while the entire cast is still up in the air, the Variety account says that, despite delays, Warner Bros. is still trying desperately to begin shooting in mid-July, hoping for a summer ’09 release. Alas, that script needs work, too, and isn’t due to be finished for over a month.

ron-howard.jpg• “Angels and Demons,” Ron Howard’s “Da Vinci Code” prequel, appears to be the only film with a rock-solid plan. Shooting, which was supposed to begin before the strike, is now set to commence in Rome on June 5. Howard, who lives in Greenwich, “will spend three weeks shooting all of the film’s exterior scenes,” says Variety. “The rest of the film will be shot on Sony soundstages, where sets will wait, if necessary, until an actor’s strike is over. That allowed Sony to somewhat contain the costs to halt and re-start the picture.”

“Film greenlights in limbo” [Variety]

Joseph Cross on short list for ‘Justice League of America’

Joseph CrossEver since he landed the lead role in “Running with Scissors,” playing the character of Augusten Burroughs, I’ve been wondering when Cross — a Pelham native and one of our designated up-and-coming stars of 2007 in InTown — was going to get his next big role. Well, it took almost a year, but induction into the superhero hall of justice is just about as big as it gets.

According to EW, “Justice League of America” has been fast-tracked by Warner Bros. to begin shooting next Feb in Australia, thanks in part to a script that’s ready to rock (and a studio eager to get into production before the supposedly imminent screenwriter’s strike). The story is reportedly faithful to the original comic and all seven original members of the Justice League — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter — will have roles. There’ll be epic battles between Superman and Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, Alien and Predator, Terminator and Predator, and, presumably, Laser Cats and Toonses the Driving Cat.

No word yet on which part Cross is up for, but according to the Hollywood Reporter the director on the project, George Miller, invited him along with other your actors (Adam Brody, D.J. Cotrona, Teresa Palmer, and the rapper Common) to a “marathon casting session.”

Now, I don’t have any strong feelings one way or another about who Cross should play (Aquaman might be a good fit), but I would like to start campaigning for another casting decision.

Four simple words: Common IS Martian Manhunter.

Joseph Cross’s next project even quirkier than the last

josephcross.jpg

How’s this for a setup? A blue-collar nursing student is forced to quit school after a freak handball accident. An uncle finds him a job as a doorman in a swank Manhattan apartment building, working alongside Snoop Dog, where he attempts to court a young resident.

If only Wes Anderson were directing, I’d say this has the potential to be watershed moment in cinematic history. Still, even without him, the flick, currently titled “The Golden Door,” sounds damn interesting. Pelham native Joseph Cross will play the lead role — his first, I think, since last year’s “Running with Scissors” — and David M. Rosenthal will direct.

It’s supposed to begin shooting Sept. 4 in Spokane, Wash., and then in New York City — notwithstanding all unforseen freak handball accidents.

“Paradigm’s ‘Door’ opens for foursome” [The Hollywood Reporter]

(photo by Suzanne Tenner)

Joseph Cross takes another sabbatical from Trinity College

josephcross.jpgThe up-and-coming Pelham native has signed on to star in “Untraceable,” a thriller about an FBI agent (played by Diane Lane) racing against time to track down an online predator (Cross’s character). Apparently, sophomore year at Trinity College will have to wait another year.The movie is supposed to begin filming soon in Portland.

When I interviewed Cross for the February issue of InTown, he told me that, after starring in “Running With Scissors” and “Flags of Our Fathers” back to back, he was finally ready to return to Trinity. “I’ve gotten really picky,â€? he told me. “But if there’s a great movie opportunity, or a director like PT or Wes Anderson calls me — let’s say I wouldn’t turn them down.â€?

Now, I don’t think the movie’s director, Gregory Hoblit, is in the same auteur league as PT or Wes — or M. Night Shyamalan, Clint Eastwood, or Ryan Murphy (the other directors Cross has worked with) — but the opportunity to play a cyber stalker villain is too good to pass up. You think Erika Christensen even considered college when she was offered the bad-guy role in “Swimfan”? No way, Jose.

(photo by Suzanne Tenner)

Meet the Suburbarazzi Class of 2007

In five months of blogging about Lower Hudson Valley celebs, Suburbarazzi has attempted to not only recycle the latest Angelina Jolie gossip and Rosie O’Donnell rants, but also to introduce you to a few up-and-comers who you might not have heard about.

This week gave us theater newbie Paige Howard, daughter of Ron Howard, and a couple weeks ago you met Judge Judy’s son, Adam Levy. In ’06 we added Aaron “Hug Boy” Perez, Jessica “Sextortionist” Wolcott, and Filliam H. Muffman to our Google News Alerts.

But today, dear readers, prepare to meet not one, not two, but SEVEN youngsters who have officially been inducted into Suburbarazzi’s celebrity honor roll. In this month’s InTown Westchester, we published an article called “On the Verge,” profiling each of these rising stars. And now, on LoHud, you can read an extended version of the story, along with extra photos. So, without overhyping them any further, here they are (clockwise, from top left):

<li>Singer Hillary Johnson (Bedford)

<li>Rutger running back Ray Rice (New Rochelle)

<li>Knicks guard Nate Robinson (White Plains)

<li>Singer-songwriter Elza Mueller-Roemer (Mamaroneck)

<li>Movie star Joseph Cross (Pelham)

<li>Actor Noah Fleiss (New Rochelle)

<li>Theater newcomer Skye Jarrett (Chappaqua)

ontheverge.jpg

Just remember, you heard about ’em here first.

“On the Verge” [InTown Westchester]

Support Your Neighbors — at the Movies

Opening this weekend:

1. “Catch a Fire”: Bedford’s Tim Robbins plays an Afrikaner police officer who leads a manhunt to capture and wrongly convict an apolitical family man. Think of it as a bizarro “Shawshank Redemption” role reversal set in apartheid South Africa. [Metacritic score: 60]

2. “Running With Scissors”: Pelham native Joseph Cross plays Augusten Burroughs, a memoirist whose freakisly narcissistic mother gives him away to her shrink. We caught a screening at the Pelham Picture House last week and feel confident saying: If you haven’t read the book, you’ll probably enjoy the flick. [Metacritic score: 52]

3. “The Genius Club”: Upper Grandview’s Stephen Baldwin is part of a group of geniuses, including Tom Sizemore, who are given one night to solve the world’s problems. Yes, that’s right born-again nutjob Stevie B., last seen in a GMC Jimmy retrofitted with a pulpit, plays a genius — this we gotta see. [No Metacritic score. To see this one, better get thy to Texas]

Cross on Cross

Joseph CrossWe already know that Pelham native Joseph Cross, who is starring in back-to-back big budget flicks “Running With Scissors” and “Flags of Our Fathers,” is on the brink of major-league stardom. And we also know, after watching the screening of “Scissors” at the Pelham Picture House Thursday night, that this 20 year some serious acting chops, holding his own opposite co-stars Annette Benning and Gwyneth Paltrow. But can he stand a withering Q&A session with his close family and friends? We stuck around after the screening to find out. Our favorite quotes are after the jump.

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“Running with Scissors” Premieres in Pelham

So much for New York and Hollywood, we’re debuting this film in Pelham!

Seriously.Pelham Picture House
Who do we have to thank for tonight’s advance screening at the Pelham Picture House? Noneother than Joseph Cross (right), the Pelham native and lead character in the quirky comedy, based on Augusten Burroughs’ hilarious memoir of the same name. OK, so maybe the scrawny Cross doesn’t look remotely like the bald, goateed Burroughs (as evidenced by their Entertainment Weekly photo together last week). But when you’re cast alongside Annette Benning, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Evan Rachel Wood, and starring in a movie by Nip/Tuck creator and pretty boy Ryan Murphy — well, there’s no point in ugly-ing yourself up for a role.

After the screening, the up-and-coming Cross, who also stars in the new Clint Eastwood flick “Flags of Our Fathers,” will be doing a Q&A. Just please, spare him the “was your family as screwed up as the Finch clan in the movie?” Instead, we’d prefer that you just ask who was weirder: Burroughs or Murphy?

Screening: Running With Scissors, 7:30 p.m., $15, Pelham Picture House, 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham. Box office opens at 4 p.m.