You may not know this about me, but I am addicted to IMDb. Every now and then, as I'm sitting here working late on a Saturday night, I stop and think to myself, "Gee, I wonder what Brittany Murphy is up to next?" Actually, it's not always Murphy. Sometimes I'll get the urge to go IMDb Jennifer Jason Leigh, or Sarah Polley, or even Juliette Lewis -- heck, once I even checked in on old Corey Haim. Once I get the idea in my head, it's stuck there like a bad '80s rock ballad, and until I give in and satisfy that IMDb jones, it just sits there in my brain, nagging at me.
Anyhow, this time it was Brittany Murphy for some reason -- perhaps because Chris was recently ragging on her Tinker Bell gig -- so I checked her out. And, holy cow! She's got a LOT on her plate these days. In addition to aforesaid Tinker Bell madness, Murphy has no fewer than five films on her slate (if you count the voice work in Happy Feet, that animated penguin flick from Warner Bros.) -- and some of them actually look to be (potentially) good.p>First up we have The Dead Girl, listed as being in post, the sophomore feature effort of writer/director Karen Moncrieff. In addition to Murphy, the film boasts a solid cast including Toni Collette (who seems to be everywhere these days as well), Marcia Gay Harden, Spider-Man's James Franco, Josh Brolin, Rose Byrne, Giovanni Ribisi, Mary Steenburgen, Mary Beth Hurt and Piper Laurie. Whew. I don't know anything about this flick other than that it's about the clues to a young woman's death coming together around the lives of seemingly unconnected people. There are no characters listed on IMDb, no trailer yet, and no official website, and at the moment the film appears to have distribution only in Hungary (though I expect, with a cast like this, that will change), so you know as much as I do about it now.
Warming up on the pre-prod list is The Other Side, which sounds like another dead people movie, but appears to actually be about a science scholar trying to solve a mystery involving residents of a remote island. There may, in fact, be dead people involved, who knows? Cast on this one looks intriguing as well: Jim Broadbent, Rupert Friend, Ryan Gosling (off a spectacular turn in Half Nelson), Angelica Huston, Jason Lee and Giovanni Ribisi (Again with the Giovanni? What's up with that?). We'll have to wait and see on this one, but to be honest, any film that has Jason Lee in a role called: Hippie/Chauffeur/Pilot/Butler/Bartender/Bait Shop Clerk can't be all bad.
After that, Murphy has a film called Ramen Girl, in which, as Martha reported during Cannes, she'll play a woman stranded in Tokyo who starts learning to make ramen noodles under the tutelage of a grumpy Japanese noodle master. Oh, and after that, she'll be reprising her role as Shellie in a little film called Sin City 2. Wow. I didn't realize Murphy was such a hot talent these days. She's actually surpassed her Uptown Girls costar Dakota Fanning in terms of number of projects, if not in controversy.