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Hancock: master thread


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Charlize & Will: Perfect Set Partners

The gorgeous Charlize Theron and funny man Will Smith were spotted fooling around on the set of “Hancock” in Los Angeles yesterday. Charlize, who was dressed in a full length tight black outfit with a matching black coat and boots was in stark contrast to Will, who was dressed in a pair of shorts, a sweatshirt and trainers. They could be seen fooling around on set, and at one point Charlize laughed and pushed him away, after Will whispered something in her ear.


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Will Smith Makes Babies Cry

Will Smith is no Matthew McConaughey -- but we don't mean that in a bad way!

After a long day's work filming his new flick, "Hancock," in Hollywood yesterday, Big Willy greeted fan after fan, signing autographs and posing for pictures with everyone who asked.

In a very presidential move he even picked up a cute lil' baby for a few photos -- but the tot wasn't exactly feeling it.


:lolsign: :lolsign: :lolsign:

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Learn More About Hancock!

We talked to many people involved in next summer's action comedy Hancock. Writer/director Peter Berg only had time to spill the logline about a drunk superhero who causes too much havoc with all his collateral damage. So he hires a publicist (Jason Bateman) to help him clean up his image. Charlize Theron plays the publicist's wife. It must be a pretty intellectual comedy to land her.

Berg, Bateman and Theron Talk Hancock

"It could so easily sound like a little summer blockbuster but it's actually got a lot of weight to it," said Theron. "That's why I wanted to do it. It happens to be a big budget film and big star like Will Smith, but it actually has a lot of weight to it. It's been a great experience. It's been a really, really great film to work on. I would make a film about tape recorders if Will Smith was in it because I love working with him. I just think he's an incredible actor. I love the experience of being around him.

Bateman revealed a bit more of the intricate plot. "I am a guy that Will Smith saves in the first, kind of like, ten pages of the film," Said Bateman. "Then to pay him back, I tell him I'm gonna help him revamp his public image. Because he's persona non grata, because he's a drunk and when he solves crime he creates a lot of collateral damage because he's banging into buildings and landing on cars instead of a sidewalk. And so they don't like him. Then he starts making moves on my wife, which is Charlize Theron so there's this weird dark love triangle. It's very Pete Berg."

There's an example of some of the weightier themes about which Theron spoke. "What I love about this piece is it really crosses over so many different genres," she said. "It's really interesting to shoot out of continuity and to figure out where you're hitting what because it's not just silly comedy. I love Jason Bateman and I thought it was a really well written piece that wasn't just fluff. There was a real intelligence to it yet it was fun but it was smart, complicated, had a lot of conflict. I don't see a lot of that come fourth of July. I liked it."

Her costar was just impressed by the magnitude of production. "It's this gigantic Sony movie that I'm just so sort of fortunate to have this great seat to watch," said Bateman. "It's this flotilla of trucks and effects, and I'm a lucky boy."

Theron was not at all discouraged from Aeon Flux to jump into another superhero film. "No, it's all different. Genre based, I don't believe in that. It's two completely different stories. It's completely, completely different. They're all different in different ways. They're all challenging in different ways. I find John Hancock a challenge because it's not something that I'm familiar with. It's not a comfort zone for me. You throw me in a drama and I know I can swim."


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It’s easy to see how the two have built a multimillion-dollar enterprise — with Smith as the flagship brand. They practically finish each other’s sentences and refer to each other as business partners. Smith readily admits he wouldn’t be where he is today without Lassiter. “J.L. does everything,” he says. “My sensibilities are dead center and James’ sensibilities are much more outside the box. He’s looking to break the mold whereas I’m looking to maximize it. So our sensibilities blend into this beautiful, just slightly left of center [team]. I don’t choose my movies, so essentially J.L. goes through 50 scripts in the course of a year and says, ‘These are the three that are the best. What do you feel?’ Then we talk through my career strategy. But for the most part he does the heavy lifting.”


Their production company is currently working on at least four films for release under this arrangement: Time Share (2008), Tonight, He Comes (2008), [Note: This is the film MTV is reporting on - title is not yet firm. - LP] Sisters of Mercy (2008), and Lakeview Terrace (2007) with Samuel L. Jackson. “We plan to do at least one Will film and one non-Will film per year,” says Lassiter. “Our short-term goal is every year to make [Overbrook] grow. We have several movies in development.”

The pair also has a groundbreaking deal with UTV, India’s leading media company, to finance a slate of movies. They view the arrangement as a means to expand the international appeal for vehicles featuring diverse casts. For example, Bad Boys was only expected to gross about $5 million overseas but the film generated $75 million in international box-office receipts.

So what’s their long-term objective? To build Overbrook into a mammoth production company that will continue to develop high-quality films. Smith’s clout and Lassiter’s business acumen will be the elements that will help maintain Overbrook’s longevity.


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