Movie File: ‘Cinderella Man,’ Christopher Walken, ‘Batman,’ Jason Isaacs

AMC offering cash refund to anyone who doesn't like Russell Crowe's boxing flick.

AMC executives are convinced that “Cinderella Man” is one of the best movies of the year, and now they’re putting their money where their mouths are. In a daring move that could end up hitting them below the money belt, the theater chain is offering a cash-back guarantee to anyone who doesn’t like the Russell Crowe boxing movie. If you bring your same-day ticket stub back to the box office after a showing of the critically acclaimed flick and tell them that Russell’s punches didn’t connect the way you had hoped, you’ll get a full refund. Unfortunately, there’s no such guarantee for the popcorn. … Those who remember Christopher Walken’s fancy footwork in the video for Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” have been hounding the Oscar-winner to dance again almost as much as they’ve requested declarations of his love for cowbell. Now the two-stepping star has put on his dancing shoes again: “It’s for John Turturro’s movie, a musical,” Walken reported. The film, titled “Romance & Cigarettes,” is billed as a “savage musical” and casts the “Wedding Crashers” star alongside Mandy Moore and Kate Winslet. “It’s a lip-sync thing. I sing to Tom Jones’ song ’Delilah,’ and there’s a dance.” The film is due in theaters later this year. …

By now, comic book fans have had time to see “Batman Begins” once, twice or maybe even more. The ending of the film can’t help but excite audiences about the villain of the next installment, and star Christian Bale says he’s as excited as anyone else. “I want to see the Joker, because I think it will be a very different kind of Joker than people have seen before,” he said. “I think even the card that you see at the end of the movie shows that it is a darker, more sinister-looking Joker than anything I have seen depicted before. I think it would be a good adversary.” Names like Sean Penn, Paul Bettany and Crispin Glover are already ricocheting around Hollywood, but it’s doubtful that the Joker card will be dealt anytime in the near future. … The sinister grin of Jason Isaacs undoubtedly haunts the nightmares of children and adults alike, thanks to his role as Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” series. To remain in character, the actor has even gone so far as to avoid answering his fan letters. “I’m carefully cultivating an entire generation of people who despise me, because when you’re in ’Harry Potter’ films you get a lot of fan mail … I haven’t answered any of it, so they will hate me even more than they did to start with. They probably spent their pocket money sending me a stamped, addressed envelope.” The British actor recently insisted that while he’s enjoyed developing the character, the real payoff will come in the next few films. “Number four is finished. I’m not signed up for number five; I haven’t got a script for [it] yet, but I understand I have some things to do in the book and, if they ask me, then I would be hoping to be in it. Because that is good fun, it’s ridiculously good fun to dress up as a wizard … I hope that [JK Rowling] writes it until Harry Potter is 65 years old and on a walking frame.” …

One of the hallmarks of John Cusack’s long career is his ability to genre-hop between “Being John Malkovich,” “Say Anything,” “Con Air” and other movies. Continuing that versatile streak, the actor will follow up the romantic comedy “Must Love Dogs” by heading off to Bulgaria. “I’ll be making a film with Morgan Freeman called ’The Contract,’ ” the man once known as Lloyd Dobler reported. “It’s like a hostage drama. Morgan plays a bad guy, which is pretty interesting.” Cusack said he could barely contain the excitement of working with his new Oscar-winning co-star. “I just like to watch him. He’s one of those actors like Christopher Plummer or Stockard Channing, one of those people who could just read the phone book from L to M and I’d just listen to him.” … It may have come and gone a bit quickly, but the moody Keanu Reeves comic book adaptation “Constantine” is nevertheless spawning buzz about a sequel. “They’ve been talking about it,” Djimon Hounsou said of Warner Bros., which released the first installment in February. “I’ve heard rumors, but you know, they’re rumors.” Hounsou, who portrayed mysterious witch doctor Papa Midnite in the first film, added that he’s anxious to revisit the creepy character in the future: “Oh, most definitely.” …

When Chris Evans soars into theaters next month playing the Human Torch in “The Fantastic Four,” he hopes the role will establish him as one of the brightest young stars in the business. A few months later, he plans to keep the flame ignited with “Sunshine,” a drama from “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle. “The sun is going to burn out,” Evans reported of the film’s plot, “and there’s a group of scientists who go up to space to deliver a deposit to keep it running. I’ll be one of the pilots.” Co-starring Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh, the film aims to light up screens in 2006. … Starring alongside Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in the summer blockbuster “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” has given “O.C.” star Adam Brody a taste for summer tentpoles. “The thing I love about big summer movies, almost more than the films themselves, are the trailers and the teasers and the teaser posters and just the hype that it’s coming. I love that!” Brody enjoys the hype machine so much, in fact, that he wants all his films to get the “Smith” treatment. “I’m doing this movie right now, and my friend Jon Kasdan is directing it; he’s as big a fan of that stuff, and the only bummer about it is that it’s a smaller movie and we’re not going to have a teaser trailer … It’s called ’In the Land of Women.’ There’s a bad breakup, and I go to clear my head and get involved with a group of women that live across the street, Meg Ryan and her daughter.” We’ll look forward to being teased by Brody and Kasdan’s collaboration on the low-budget Meg Ryan romantic comedy, due in theaters next April.

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