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Filmism.net Dispatch March 21, 2010

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It's a very sad goodbye to veteran actor Peter Graves this week. Most know him from his serious roles in the Mission Impossible TV series or a film career that stretched back to the 1950s, but a generation of kids like me remember the genius casting when the Zucker brothers saw what a fine line there was between melodrama and comedy. I for one will forever remember lines from Flying High (Airplane) like 'Jimmy, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?' and 'All right, give me ham on five, hold the mayo.'

In director news, Dustin Hoffman is going behind the camera a mere 43 years into his career, and he's going to be working for BBC Films. David Fincher's next movie's being lined up. It's about an American chess champion's upcoming bout against a Russian grandmaster, which sounds as high-stakes as watching two magicians in a battle of wills, but Chris Nolan did that beautifully with The Prestige, and if anyone can make chess interesting it's got to be Fincher.

I'm not usually the least bit excited about kids' movies, but as two properties I loved as a kid are being given the big studio treatment I'm watching their development with interest. Jason Segal, as well as writing, is going to be the human lead in the next Muppet film and Hank Azaria, man of a thousand voices from The Simpsons, is voicing Gargamel in the Smurfs movie.

Though it looked like Chris Evans was going to be another pretty boy hero for hire after the atrocious Fantastic Four movies, he was good in Sunshine, so he might even be enough to drive Marvel's big screen Captain America outing to greatness. As you read this, rumours he's been offered the title role are rife.

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