• Ty Burrell of the stunningly overrated TV show “Modern Family” has officially signed on to the sequel to The Muppets, presumably not as Miss Piggy’s new love interest. On the one hand, any time one of the people helping to make “Modern Family” the ongoing unfunny abomination that it is gets more work, I’m sad. On the other, this means that they really are moving forward on another Muppet outing. It’s the yin and yang of the Muppets, which oddly enough don’t have a character named Yinyang.
  • Oh goody, they’re making a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, the 3D disasterpiece that solidified Tim Burton at the top of my “creators in need of a throttling” list. It is unclear whether Johnny Depp will return, but presumably such a role would offer Mr. Depp money, so he’ll take it.
  • In this week’s “what the what?” news, the director of Drive, the brilliant Nicolas Winding Refn, has signed on to direct Denzel Washington in an adapation of the 1980s TV show The Equalizer. Suddenly, this flick about a former covert operative who atones for his previous sins by helping others moves from my “potentially fun garbage” list to my “potentially great film” pile. His last name may need to buy a vowel, but Refn makes any project he’s on worth keeping an eye on.
  • There’s an ongoing debate about whether or not Kevin Smith has fallen off or if his audience just grew up and realized he wasn’t that great to begin with. Personally, I kind of loved Red State and Chasing Amy is a classic. So it’s with hope I tell you Smith announced his final film will be Clerks III, a return to the franchise that made him. Without cynicism or artifice, I can tell you I hope he hits it out of the park. Of course, if he doesn’t, I knew it the whole time…

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast (movieha.libsyn.com/rss), catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 (cd1059.com) on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 (KVNO.org) at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter (twitter.com/thereaderfilm).

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