Parker, Stone raunchy online
“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have even managed to cross the line of tastefulness on the Web.When the duo recently turned in the first of 39 animated shorts to Shockwave.com as part of their $2 million content deal, the Netcaster balked at the extreme raunchiness of the piece, described as cruder than the feature-length animated “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” Shockwave.com execs are now debating whether to introduce a pay-per-view fee to keep Netizens 18 or younger from viewing the short or edit it to make it more suitable for general auds. The fear is that parents will object in droves if the short’s made available in unedited form. Shockwave.com may not be able to act at all, however, considering that Parker and Stone retain all artistic control and ownership of the shorts and that Shockwave.com has locked itself into airing anything the duo create. When the deal was inked, Parker and Stone said they planned to use Shockwave.com, a site featuring animated shorts and games, to test whether certain characters or plotlines strike a chord with Netizens before transitioning the properties into the network, cable and feature film arenas.
— Marc Graser
Col throws Fincher into ‘Panic’NEW YORK — David Fincher is in talks with Columbia Pictures to direct “The Panic Room,” a drama scripted by David Koepp that the studio recently purchased in a multimillion dollar spec buy. The talks come at a time when Fincher has been getting close on two other high-profile pics he’s been developing as directing vehicles. One is “Passengers,” a USA Films sci-fi thriller scripted by Greg Pruss and produced by Michael London. Pic’s about aliens that experience emotions by inhabiting the bodies of humans for wild, three-day romps. He has also been working on “Black Dahlia,” an adaptation of the book by James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”) about the 1949 murder of Elizabeth Short and the two cops who are haunted by the dead woman and ruin their lives trying to solve her murder. At the same time, he’s flirted with the Chuck Barris memoir, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” a pic likely to star Mike Myers. Columbia needs a film with just enough edge to capture the teen crowd that fills theaters for blockbusters without surrendering the PG-13 rating that gives the film a shot at crossover audiences. That kind of restraint hasn’t been visible in Fincher’s visually distinctive but dark features such as “Seven,” “The Game” and “Fight Club.” “The Panic Room” concerns a struggle between a woman and her daughter to elude a pair of intruders who break into their brownstone. Studio is looking at actresses with Nicole Kidman atop the list. The film will be produced by Koepp, Gavin Polone and Judy Hofflund. Fincher is repped by CAA.
— Michael Fleming