Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 11:51AM
I don't have a problem with actors and filmmakers juggling commerce and craft. If you like making documentaries about monks and they're great documentaries, that can be its own reward...but it probably doesn't pay very well. So, if somebody wants you to be a villain in a kid's movie, why not? It'll pay the mortgage and allow you to keep doing what you're good at, making those monk documentaries. Christopher Guest falls squarely into that category. The man behind the mockumentaries Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration doesn't get rich making his very specific style of film. In fact, he might make just as much directing the new series of DirecTV ads featuring members of his ensemble, Ed Begley Jr. and John Michael Higgins. So if Guest wants to take a role in a movie guaranteed to make money and earn an easy payday for a change, I won't complain. Guest has signed on to play Ivan the Terrible in the upcoming sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. At least that's what The Hollywood Reporter is calling it. Up until now, I had heard it referred to as Escape from the Smithsonian, but whatever. Also playing violent men from the past are Bill Hader (Custer), John Bernthal (Al Capone...wait, Al Capone's in the Smithsonian?), and French actor Alain Chabat (Napoleon). Ben Stiller will star, of course, and Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, and Robin Williams will all return. Currently filming in Vancouver, look for Night at the Museum in theaters on May 22nd next year, and hopefully the news about Guest means we can see another inspired mockumentary (more Best in Show, less For Your Consideration) shortly thereafter.