Jon Stewart to take hiatus from The Daily Show

Saddest thing I’ll post this week:

Jon Stewart will take a 12-week hiatus from hosting Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show to make his feature directing debut this summer. Stewart has written the script, and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival.Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater.

Stewart will take about 12 weeks off in the summer. In his absence, Daily Show regular John Oliver will be guest host for eight weeks of fresh shows.

jon stewart

An oral history of the making of Pulp Fiction

cast of pulp fiction

Mark Seal, for Vanity Fair: 

“Like a lot of guys who had never made films before, I was always trying to figure out how to scam my way into a feature,” Tarantino tells me. Though he was indisputably king of all movie knowledge at Video Archives, the suburban-L.A. store where he worked, in Hollywood he was a nobody. Surrounded by videos, which he watched incessantly, he hit upon an idea for recycling three of the oldest bromides in the book: “The ones you’ve seen a zillion times—the boxer who’s supposed to throw a fight and doesn’t, the Mob guy who’s supposed to take the boss’s wife out for the evening, the two hit men who come and kill these guys.” It would be “an omnibus thing,” a collection of three caper films, similar to stories by such writers as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett in 1920s and 1930s pulp magazines. “That is why I called it Pulp Fiction,” says Tarantino.

If you’re as big of a Tarantino fan as I am you simply have to read this article. So many things I’ve never heard before. John Travolta had hair extensions so he could look like a European douche:

The black suits and ties Travolta and Jackson wore were Tarantino’s idea, but Travolta wanted to define Vincent Vega more clearly through “an extreme image”—his hair—by adding extensions onto his own mane for a “Euro haircut, which is sometimes Eurotrash and sometimes elegant,” he says. “Tarantino was hesitant, and I said, ‘Please at least look at me in this,’ and I got the hair extensions and I worked on the do. I put my best foot forward on the test. That just killed it.”

Samuel L. Jackson, pissed that he might not get the part of Jules, showed up for his final audition with fast food and a bad attitude:

“In comes Sam with a burger in his hand and a drink in the other hand and stinking like fast food,” says Richard Gladstein. “Me and Quentin and Lawrence were sitting on the couch, and he walked in and just started sipping that shake and biting that burger and looking at all of us. I was scared shitless. I thought that this guy was going to shoot a gun right through my head. His eyes were popping out of his head. And he just stole the part.” Lawrence Bender adds, “He was the guy you see in the movie. He said, ‘Do you think you’re going to give this part to somebody else? I’m going to blow you motherfuckers away.’ ”

Refusing to do actual heroin, Travolta had to approximate the high during his research so as to realistically portray a junkie:

“I said, ‘There is no way I’m going to do heroin, so I’ve got to spend some time with addicts in order to do this,’ ” says Travolta. “Quentin set me up with a white-collar addict. Then I set myself up with a street addict, and I spent a few days with these guys and took notes.” The white-collar addict was Hamann, who taught Travolta how to replicate a heroin high. “He said, ‘Drink as much tequila as you can and lay in a warm pool or tub of water,’ ” the actor recalls.

That’s barely scratching the surface. Seriously, put aside 20 minutes and go read the entire thing.

Ted Sarandos’s strategy for getting the top talent in Hollywood to make shows for Netflix

kevin spacey house of cards netflix

Reed Hastings on Arrested Development, House of Cards, and the Future of Netflix: Movies + TV: GQ:

“The goal,” he says, “is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” His seductive pitch to today’s new breed of TV auteurs: a huge audience, real money, no meddlesome executives (“I’m not going to give David Fincher notes”), no pilots (television’s great sucking hole of money and hope), and a full-season commitment.

How to woo talent: give them the money and freedom to make excellent content.

Duncan Jones Set To Direct ‘World Of Warcraft’ Live-Action Film

Duncan Jones Set To Direct ‘World Of Warcraft’ Feature | The Fandom Post:

“Produced by Legendary Pictures for Warner Bros, who continue to look for a solid franchise to work with, it’s now been revealed that Duncan Jones will be taking on the directorial duties for the feature. Jones came to notice a few years back for the small budget film Moon and gained a bit more attention more recently with Source Code.”

I had no interest in a World of Warcraft movie until I heard this news. Moon is a fantastic film and Source Code was an interesting sic-fi take on the Groundhog Day concept. Legendary Pictures is the production company that has brought us the Dark Knight films, Inception, and the live-action adaptation of Watchmen, so I trust them to give Jones a budget that will allow him to do something interesting with the the World of Warcraft universe. With that said, I’m curious to see how the cartoonish aesthetic of the game translates to a live-action film.