HOLLYWOOD — John TravoltaJohn Travolta. Pam Grier. Daryl Hannah. Robert Forster.
Ever since Quentin TarantinoQuentin Tarantino burst onto the Hollywood scene, he has taken great pride in defiantly dusting off Hollywood talents in a career slump and making moviegoers remember why we fell in love with them in the first place. When he recently announced Mike MyersMike Myers as one of the stars of his next film, "Inglorious Bastards," eyebrows were once again raised. Although the funnyman is still an A-lister, he needs a career makeover after the recent failure of "The Love Guru,""The Love Guru," and Tarantino could be just the man to give it to him.
Now, Myers is speaking about the role for the first time, and while discussing the sharp left turn with MTV News, he could hardly contain his boyish giddiness.
"I can't believe I got the call, to be honest with you," marveled Myers, who is sporting a shorter, died-black hairdo and eyeglasses these days. "It's one of those unbelievable, magical calls that you get."
Tarantino's fifth proper film (following the instant classics "Reservoir Dogs,""Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction,""Pulp Fiction," "Jackie Brown""Jackie Brown" and "Kill Bill""Kill Bill" parts one and two) will finally bring to life the now-mythical script that he's been working on since the '90s. Co-starring Brad Pitt Brad Pitt , Eli Roth and "National Treasure""National Treasure" star Diane Kruger, "Inglorious Bastards""Inglorious Bastards" tells the dual stories of prisoners-turned-soldiers eager to strike a blow against their Nazi captors and a young Jewish woman who also holds a grudge against the same Nazis.
"I get to play a British general," Myers said of Ed Fenech, a military mastermind who devises the plan to take on the Nazi soldiers. "I get to be in a World War II movie, which has been my goal since I think I was, like, 6 years old. And I get to play one of those brainiac British generals."
At one point, Tarantino had sought out Adam SandlerAdam Sandler for the Fenech role. The director has described the flick as his "bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film," and such movies have a tradition of sometimes casting comedic actors like Bob Newhart ("Hell Is for Heroes") or Don Rickles ("Kelly's Heroes") in roles that play against type. Myers, a big fan of old movies and comedians dating back to the silent era, is flattered by such comparisons.
"I am so thrilled," remarked the comedian, who was in Hollywood to attend the AFI Night at the Movies event to introduce his original Austin Powers film as one of the dozen classics being screened. "I have spoken [with Tarantino]. Our conversations are supposed to be, like, 20-minute check-ins, and we end up speaking for three hours just about different films that we love."
Filming is due to begin this month, with plans to have it ready for the Cannes Film Festival in May and a theatrical release in the months to follow. An image was recently leaked on the Web of a key location for the film's German shoot, and Myers and Tarantino have been spending the last several weeks planning out the latest, most dramatic addition to his chameleon-esque stable of characters (Austin Powers, Wayne Campbell, the guru Pitka).
"Yeah, there is a lot of makeup," Myers revealed. "[Tarantino] is amazing. He has such a complete vision of how he wants it to go. I feel like I am a tube of paint in his painting, and it is a very beautiful feeling."
Check out everything we've got on "Inglorious Bastards."
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