Still from 'Paddington' © 2014 The Weinstein Company
Editor's Note: Ben Whishaw takes the voice left empty by Colin Firth, Leighton Meester pens a powerful piece on her character in "Of Mice and Men," and more in our Friday roundup.
Ever since Colin Firth "consciously uncoupled" from the upcoming "Paddington Bear" film, we've been left in suspense regarding what the character would sound like. A recent trailer, below, skirted the issue by keeping Paddington silent (though he still has that unfamiliar CG look that continues to bother many fans). At last an actor has risen to the challenge: young Ben Whishaw, who hawked Bond gadgets in "Skyfall" and starred as Ariel in Julie Taymor's "The Tempest." Whishaw admits to having zero familiarity with the storybooks when he accepted the role, but it's no matter -- it would probably take him longer to read all twenty-one of them than it will to record his dialogue for the film.
Perpetual ingenue Leighton Meester isn't exactly considered a heavyweight as an actress, but her close read of her character (Curly's Wife) in the recent Broadway revival 0f Of Mice and Men might change your opinion on that. "In dissecting this piece for five months now, I've found that within the writing, there is both a lack of reason to truly hate this woman, and the inevitable and undeniable urge to do so," she writes, including notes that Steinbeck wrote to the actress who originated the role in 1937. The thought of Meester enduring audience laughter during her death scene is unbearable. It's admirable of her to advocate for a character most people stopped inquiring about many decades ago.
Jack Black isn't just starring in the Goosebumps adaptation; he's playing author R.L. Stine. These early images of Black in character will give you a hint of what to expect, and they're accompanied by quotes from the actor: "Kids like scary movies, but you can't take them to what are the big scary movies now where Satan comes out and bites your genitals off." I hate to disagree, but based on numerous horror movie screenings I've attended, it's pretty obvious that you can do this. Whether or not you should is another matter entirely.
Of all the "Game of Thrones" house memes running around out there, this one inspires the most civic pride: Here are sigils for all fifty states, created using the tool on HBO's website. These come loaded with a few additional cinematic inside jokes, such as the duplicate for Delaware. That line from "Wayne's World" may be as old as the hills, but it's been hard to shake -- in another fifty years, it could become the Delaware's real motto.