Twitter or Not? Readers ask if Stiller’s a Twit

Twitter problem

Recently, I’ve received a flurry of emails asking whether Ben Stiller is Twittering away under the name “@ben_stiller” — which at its peak, had over 61,000 followers.

Considering that Ben has previously shown a general disinterest in directly communicating with fans,  it doesn’t appear likely that he’d suddenly become a voracious Twitaholic.

Nor would we expect that Ben has the time to twiddle his thumbs, as he has been filming Greenberg this past month. Currently, Stiller’s in London, doing press for the release of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsoniann — which will have its world premiere Tuesday evening at Leicester Square.

On Monday, Brit TV interviewer Jonathan Ross (@Wossy on Twitter) informally asked about his online habits, and reports that Stiller doesn’t give a Tweet about Twitter.

Is that definitive? I’ll try to track down a second source later today to give us the proverbial straight Twooth. (Ok, enough with the puns, already!)

When chatting online, it’s always good to remember the old adage: “on the Internet, nobody knows [if] you’re a dog.”

Update: As of Wednesday morning, the @ben_stiller account has been disabled.

Stiller News Roundup: Forbes ranking, video games, Paul Weitz and Permanent Midnight

Stiller news took a bit of a vacation this past month, but we’re back with a slew of updates.

Stiller’s Star Rising: In a survey of “hundreds of entertainment industry professionals” Forbes Magazine ranks Ben Stiller the third most valuable comedian, behind Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell. Stiller comes in ahead of Jim Carrey.

Paul Weitz
Paul Weitz

Video game version of Night at the Museum 2 gets a publisher: distributor Majesco has picked up the game from bankrupt company Brash, and will release versions for major game platforms. The game features the voice and likeness of the film’s star Ben Stiller.

Paul Weitz in talks to direct Little Fockers: According to Variety, Weitz is now the leading candidate over Pete Segal to helm the third outing in the franchise. The film is expected to go into production in July.

Writers in treatment: April 7, Stiller showed up for the Reel Recovery screening of Permanent Midnight, along with his friend Jerry Stahl, about whom the film is based.  Ben took on a semi-fictionalized version of Stahl in the dark look at addiction.

Stiller news roundup: Lance Armstrong, Little Fockers, Greenberg and a debate over Zoolander

This week in Stiller-related news:

Stiller at Hope Rides Again eventOn Saturday, March 7, Ben warmed up the bicycling crowd after Lance Armstrong’s LA event for “Hope Rides Again” — which took over Hollywood streets for a 2.2 mile bike ride with the seven-time Tour de France winner. Stiller related how he met Lance and told a self deprecating anecdote about hanging out with the champ, which can be viewed in this YouTube video. (at the 3:05 mark)

John HamburgJohn Hamburg, writer for Stiller comedies Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, and Zoolander talks about his latest movie I Love You Man with ComingSoon.net, while over at MTV Movies,  he reveals some news about his current assignment, the Parents-franchise sequel Little Fockers.

And speaking of Zoolander, Bryony Gordon of UK’s Telegraph writes about her experience last Thursday at the esteemed Cambridge Union Society, debating the motion, “This House believes that there is more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.” (The motion carried).

Variety reports that three additions have been made to the Noah Baumbach dramedy Greenberg: alongside Ben Stiller will be Welsh actor Rhys Ifans (as Greenberg’s best friend), Brie Larson and Juno Temple (as a pair of college-aged temptresses). The film is expected to start shooting later this month.

Stiller tweaks Academy with Oscar presenter spoof

No stranger to skewering the self-importance of Hollywood, Ben Stiller showed up as an Oscar presenter Sunday night in a parody of Joaquin Phoenix’s recent and bizarre guest spot on The Late Show with Dave Letterman — in all his bushy-bearded, granny-sunglassed, mumbling glory.

Appearing with Stiller was Natalie Portman who feigned annoyance at Ben’s antics,  at one point exclaiming, “This is ridiculous– you’re chewing gum at the Oscars!” Following which, Stiller removed the gum and stuck it to the lectern. She then prompted him for “his turn” — which he read in stilted awkwardness, to the glee of attendees.

A partial transcript, for those who missed it, with video following:

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The map of Stillerdom

To go along with the latest poll (Who is your favorite Ben Stiller regular co-star?) here’s a map showing the major movie and TV connections between Ben Stiller and his friends — which intersects with the group often called “The Frat Pack”. To explore it closer, you can click on the image below, or see it at the excellent NNDB Mapper site, where it was created.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

FOX greenlights Red Hour pilot ‘The Station’

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the FOX network has greenlighted a comedy pilot from Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films for the upcoming season.  The Station will be a single-camera production, revolving around a covert CIA operative and his colleagues in a South American banana republic with a mission to install a new dictator.

Stiller, who may direct the pilot, will be executive producing with Stuart Cornfeld and Jeremy Kramer,  with scriptwriter Kevin Napier as co-exec producer. No word yet on who will be in the cast.

Fans may remember that ten years ago, Stiller created another comedy pilot for FOX that didn’t get picked up: Heat Vision and Jack, a parody of 70s/80s kitsch shows like Knight Rider and The Six Million Dollar Man. The HVaJ pilot featured Jack Black as a super-human ex-astronaut and the voice of Owen Wilson as his motorcycle, the titular “Heat Vision.” It also introduced Stiller to his future wife, Christine Taylor. While the series never saw the light of day, the pilot eventually leaked out. You can enjoy it below.

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Mo' Stiller, Less Filler