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CIA Mirren, Willis Shoot; Del Toro’s ‘Mansion’: Hollywood Buzz

Helen Mirren in the movie
Helen Mirren in the movie "Red." Mirren plays a former spy who, along with several colleagues, is targeted for assassination as part of a government cover-up. Photographer: Frank Masi/Summit Entertainment via Bloomberg

Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren prefers having fans to being one.

Mirren was confronted by about 6,000 of them when she stepped into the main hall at Comic-Con International last month to promote her spy satire “Red.” The movie, co-starring Bruce Willis and John Malkovich, is based on a graphic novel about an aging secret agent.

“This whole fan thing, it completely mystifies me because I always wanted to be the person doing the stuff,” Mirren, 65, said in an interview after her appearance. “I never had the fan mentality.”

Mirren plays a former spy who, along with several colleagues, is targeted for assassination as part of a Central Intelligence Agency cover-up. The action film is a departure for Mirren, who won the best-actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (2006).

Learning to shoot firearms for “Red” was “horribly seductive,” Mirren said. Figuring out the best facial expression to use while firing the weapons was a challenge.

“The difficult thing about shooting a gun on screen is not to pull a silly face,” she said. “I really had to think about my face.”

Mirren liked making “Red” enough to consider a sequel. So did Willis, who briefly stepped into an interview room to say goodbye to his co-star. They said it all depends on whether audiences like the original, which will be released in the U.S. on Oct. 15.

“It’s just a discussion right now,” Willis said. “I would do it in a second.”

Del Toro’s ‘Haunted Mansion’

Guillermo del Toro plans to put some real scares in his version of “The Haunted Mansion,” the 2003 comedy starring Eddie Murphy.

Del Toro, who will write and produce the film based on the Disneyland attraction, says the remake will be very different from the original.

“If you take the children they will scream,” del Toro said at Comic-Con. “We’re making the haunted mansion the most haunted place on earth.”

The “Pan’s Labyrinth” director said he wanted to make “The Haunted Mansion” because of childhood visits to Disneyland. His favorite characters from the attraction will figure prominently in the movie. Murphy won’t.

“We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls,” he joked.

‘Total Recall’

“Live Free or Die Hard” director Len Wiseman is planning to remake the science-fiction thriller “Total Recall.”

Wiseman’s version would be a new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story about a man who discovers that his memory has been replaced, Sony Pictures said in an e-mailed statement.

The original film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was released by Sony in 1990 and generated $261 million in worldwide ticket sales. Casting for the new film hasn’t been announced.

Wiseman’s directing credits also include the werewolf vs. vampire films “Underworld” and “Underworld: Evolution.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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