After making quite the impression in the soon-to-be-released All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (your nearly two-year delay courtesy of at The Weinstein Company), Amber Heard has booked work like she’s got an expiration date stamped on her alabaster forehead.  And she does, but, honey, you turn twenty-two this year; you’ve got at least until twenty-eight before you’re playing widowers and grandmothers.  Look, you can’t argue with an actress desperate to capitalize on whatever heat they’ve generated from their long-shelved (and very good) low-budget horror film, but a little quality control never hurt anyone.  The Pineapple Express and The Informers (an ensemble picture written by Nicholas Jarecki and Bret Easton Ellis) are smart moves; playing the anonymous piece of ass in a third-rate Karate Kid/Fight Club hybrid like Never Back Down is begging for irrelevance (and, by the way, what’s Djimon Hounsou doing in that dreck?). 

Heard was so good as the manipulative, archetype-busting Mandy Lane that it feels like a step back for her sign on for a probable victim role in Screen Gems’ remake of The Stepfather.  As you probably don’t recall, the original narrative has been tweaked; this time, it’s a young boy who’s endangered by the psychopathic slaughterer of families.  In other words, Heard’s relegated to concerned girlfriend duty; worse, she’s filling in for Friday Night Lights‘ Adrianne Palicki, who’s out due to scheduling conflicts. 

Jon Tenney’s also joined the cast as the biological father who’s apparently gonna bother (and die).  We like Jon Tenney.  He was in You Can Count on Me.

Dylan Walsh is taking over for Terry O’Quinn as the titular bad papa.  I dig Walsh, but O’Quinn’s work in the original is legendary shit.  As this is a Screen Gems release, you can also expect that it’ll be PG-13 (even Nimrod Antal’s gritty Armored, the set of which I visited yesterday, is aiming for all-ages accessibility).