Jonah Hill's silver screen adaptation of "21 Jump Street" has now been given an August 2011 release date.
The film, which will be helmed by "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs" duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, was originally described by Hill as an "R-rated, insane 'Bad Boys' meets John Hughes-type movie."
"It's a comedy with really cool action," adds Hill. "We're not doing something serious like 'Miami Vice.' But it's not a parody. It's a funny movie with a lot of great action and a real story.
Shooting will take place later this year from a script by 'Scott Pilgrim' scribe Michael Bacall and Joe Gazzam. No cast has been set — its not even known if Hill will star in it himself having masterminded it — but the star did once promise that "it's going to have some of the funniest people around in it, and it's going to be really funny" so there's certainly a lot of live up to.
But surely they've got something up their sleeve. An August release is a bit of a vote of confidence these days with films like Adam McKay's "The Other Guys" and Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" dropping that month this year and Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and Neill Blomkamp's "District 9" last year.
Jonah Hill's silver screen adaptation of "21 Jump Street" has now been given an August 2011 release date.
Looks like Bradley Cooper has become Joe Carnahan's new go-to-guy after Chris Pine.
Cooper, who has just finished work on Carnahan's "The A-Team," has signed up to lead his next project, "The Grey," which has already garnered strong interest internationally and built a $35 million budget.
The film centers on a group of survivors of plane crash who are then hunted by a pack of wolves. Of the film, Carnahan previously noted a focus on "a group of pipeline workers in Alaska flying back into civilization after being remote for a number of months. The 737 they're on goes down, and they begin to be hunted by a pack of rogue wolves. It's very much a man vs. nature adventure, existentialist kind of drama that I want to do."
Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free will produce while Inferno Entertainment is fully financing and handling foreign sales. No word yet on a production start date.
Carnahan has already expressed a desire to return to his James Ellroy adaptation "White Jazz" and or his Pablo Escobar story "Killing Pablo" after this but whether or not that will come to fruition remains to be seen, especially after all their previous production troubles. Perhaps his work on "A-Team" though and a decent showing from "The Grey" will earn him a check and a green light for one of them somewhere? Either way, it appears that maybe it's too early to give up on the filmmaker who appears to be taking the "one for them [studio], one for us" approach to filmmaking because "The Grey" sounds about 10,000 times more substantial then his '80s TV show adaptation.
The Criterion Collection announced their May slate today and with each release being multi-disc affairs, the number of new titles is a bit smaller than most months. That said, each title is pretty much a landmark film so enthusiasts surely won't be disappointed.
First up is John Ford's classic John Wayne western "Stagecoach." The 1939 film about a group of strangers traveling together from Arizona to New Mexico made a star out of Johny Wayne in the role of the outlaw, the Ringo Kid. The film is regarded as one of the finest films of the genre ever made and one of Ford's greatest achievements. Though previously released by Warner Brothers, Criterion's release will be the first to utilize UCLA's restored print. Special features on the 2-disc DVD and single disc BluRay will include John Ford's 1917 silent western "Bucking Broadway"; a new interview with Peter Bogdanovich; a video feature on Monument Valley (gorgeously shot in the film); a radio dramatization of "Stagecoach" from 1949 and essays and other interviews.
Next, Criterion has finally revisited their previously released disc of Nicolas Roeg's classic "Walkabout" and given it a makeover. Arriving on a 2-disc DVD and single disc BluRay, Roeg's film about a young girl and her brother who, abandoned in the Australian outback, come upon the guidance of a young Aborigine, is an immaculately photographed and spellbinding film that leaves itself open to interpretation. This new release is presented via a newly restored print and features a commentary by Roeg and actress Jenny Agutter and includes "One Red Blood," a documentary on actor David Gulpilil.
Another title getting an upgrade is Fritz Lang's "M". Criterion will be re-issuing the film on BluRay and in addition to the features on the current DVD, the hi-def release will feature the long-lost English language version of the film as well as uncompressed audio soundtrack. This is effective thriller is one of Lang's best pictures and one of Peter Lorre's finest (and creepiest) performances.
In May, Criterion will revisit the works of avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage and issue a second volume of his short films in the massive 3-disc DVD/2-disc BluRay set "By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volume Two." In addition to featuring thirty films by the prolific director, the set also includes audio lectures by Brakhage, a 1990 interview with the director and the short film "For Stan" by his wife, Marilyn.
Finally, over on the Eclipse line "Oshima's Outlaw Sixties" box set arrives featuring five films by Nagisa Oshima. The set focuses on Oshima's output following the founding of his own production company Sozosha in 1961. The films featured include "Pleasures Of The Flesh," "Violence At Noon," "Sing A Song Of Sex," "Japanese Summer: Double Suicide" and "Three Resurrected Drunkards."
Glenn Close Reprises 'Albert Nobbs'; Emilio Estevez Directs 'The Way' & 'Killers' Trailer Is Deadly Awful
Glenn Close is set to bring one of her most famous stage roles to the big screen in the film adaptation of "Albert Nobbs." The film "is a 'Gosford Park'-style 'below stairs' drama featuring Close as a woman in Nineteenth Century Ireland who disguises herself as a man in order to survive." Orlando Bloom, Michael Gambon and Janet McTeer have all signed on to co-star in the film that will be directed by Rodrigo Garcia ("Mother & Child," "Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her").
Emilio Estevez has a new film in the can, and his first behind the camera since 2006's "Bobby." His new one, "The Way," stars his father Martin Sheen, and "tells the story of an American who travels to France to reclaim the body of his estranged son, who has died in a storm on his way to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Once in France, the father cremates his son's remains and decides to complete the pilgrimage." The film is a feel good drama that Estevez hopes will tap into the same audience that made "The Blind Side" a hit. The film is currently seeking distributors at the European Film Market.
Do you want to see a movie about movie bloggers made by movie bloggers? We don't, but someone thinks its a good idea as Jamie King has attached herself to "Journies," a romantic comedy " that "takes place in the world of online entertainment news, where an aspiring online journalist gets the scoop of a lifetime when a one-on-one interview turns into a date with Hollywood's hottest young ingenue." It's directed by her husband Kyle Newman, who directed, "Fanboys." Nuff said.
The "Watchmen" actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has signed on to the low budget thriller "The Unblinking Eye" by director Michael Bassett. Morgan will play a homicide detective who retires after nearly being murdered by a serial killer. He is sought out by a journalist leading to dark secrets being revealed.
Finally, here's the trailer for the Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher film, "Killers." Words fail us:
Harvey Says 'Inglourious Basterds' Will Win Best Picture Oscar; Julia Roberts Is Worth $500,000/min & Kevin Costner Directs Again
Harvey Weinstein is convinced "Inglourious Basterds" is going to win the Oscar for Best Picture especially because of the new Oscar preferential voting system. We'd be pretty skeptical if it wasn't for one acquaintance of ours — a decently known Hollywood actor — who has been saying this for months, and attesting to the fact that their well-connected agent, publicist and reps have been murmuring how the picture is incredibly popular within Hollywood and they too are convinced this will be the case. Hmm, maybe? (Very awesome poster by Ibraheem Youssif).
Yet another remake in the works. This time "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas," the Broadway show and Dolly Parton/Burt Reynolds comedy-musical about a madame sheriff looking to save the hometown brothel will be given a makeover. How much do you want to bet the title is going to change?
How much is Julia Roberts worth? Apparently about $500,000 per minute. The actress was paid $3 million plus 3% of the gross for what amounts to about six minutes of screen time in "Valentine's Day."
"Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola said he worked on Guillermo del Toro's "The Hobbit" for one week in New Zealand doing some concept drawing and artwork. He has no clue if his work will be used or not.
Michel Gondry, David Gordon Green, Quentin Tarantino, and Pixar exec Susan Bradley are among some of the panelists who will be speaking at Austin’s SXSW Film Festival that runs March 12 and 20th.
Kevin Costner is set to get behind the camera for the first time since 2003's "Open Range." Costner will direct and star in "A Little War Of Our Own" a WWII set pic in which he plays "a sheriff who must try to keep a town from exploding into violence." The film is currently seeking distributors at the European Film Market though no production dates are yet set.
Somehow we missed out on this one's mere existence last year when it premiered at Cannes, but first-time writer/director and Jean-Luc Godard-enthusiast Emmanuel Laurent has made a documentary about the French New Wave filmmaker and his relationship with his Nouvelle Vague contemporary François Truffaut. The film, entitled "Two In The Wave" or "Deux De La Vague" in its native French, is now receiving increasing amounts of distribution deals across the world according to ScreenDaily. Notable confirmed markets will include the UK, Canada, Brazil, and France. There is no word of a US distribution deal yet, unfortunately.
The film, narrated by historian/critic Antoine de Baecque (who also will soon release a biography on Godard), chronicles the relationship between the two New Wave figureheads as well as their falling out. 'Wave' covers material spanning all the way back to 1949 when Godard and Truffaut met and features early newsreel and interview footage from the era. In their Cannes review from back in May, Variety describes the film as having a "professional air" that would have benefited from an outside perspective from Godard and Truffaut's contemporaries. They also describe the depiction of the friendship's disintegration as "at once frustratingly sketchy and jarringly abrupt."
Despite the mixed reviews, we look forward to seeing the documentary and hope it picks up a distributor in the US sometime soon, as anything concerning these two filmmakers together will probably hold at least some worthwhile fascination. The duo collaborated most famously on the Nouvelle Vague breakout sensation "Breathless" (trailer below) which is a must see if you're even remotely interested in cinema at all.
Godard's entry into the world of HD video filmmaking in "Socialisme," featuring Patti Smith and her guitarist Lenny Kaye, will release this year and possibly make an appearance at Cannes.
You'll recall the Miramax film, "The Baster" directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon. It's essentially an artificial insemination comedy.
And it stars Jennifer Aniston as an unmarried 40 year old woman who turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. Seven years later, she reunites with her best friend (Jason Bateman), who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own.
It was a big 2008 Black List script favorite and got sold pretty soon afterwards. Well, it might be changing its title according to Vulture who says that title has tested poorly.
The good news though is that it seems that Disney is handling the release, which probably makes sense given the talent involved. When Miramax folded, it wasn't clear what was going to happen to the film, but it seems like it's been absorbed and last we heard comes out August 20.
"The Baster" is actually based on a story by celebrated author Jeffrey Eugenides ("The Virgin Suicides," "Middlesex") and the script, written by Allan Loeb ("Things We Lost in the Fire," "Wall Street 2"), was again, a big hit.
Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, and Jeff Goldblum co-star. Our main concern is Speck and Gordon are the directing duo that brought us the Will Ferrell dud, "Blades Of Glory." Let's hope they don't round off the edges of a smart script and pray the upcoming easier-to-digest title isn't a darker sign of Disney sanitization.
There hasn't been a lot of movement on Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney's "The Lone Ranger" film in quite some time.
And that's because a script hasn't been written. We do know that George Clooney won't be playing the Lone Ranger (as once rumored), but Johnny Depp will play Tonto (which was announced about a year ago or more).
But some small movement on the project was announced late last night. Justin Haythe, who adapted "Revolutionary Road" for Sam Mendes, wrote the Fox come-and-gone thriller, "The Clearing" and more importantly is also eventually scribing, "Jekyll" for Nicolas Winding Refn starring Keanu Reeves, is in negotiations to pen "The Lone Ranger" script.
With that kind of CV are Bruckheimer and Disney probably going for some kind of deep gravitas? Don't count on it. Expect this to be "Pirates of the Caribbean" set in the West with those guys involved.
Haythe was supposed to write Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo" for McG, but that project got canned, so this is sort of a make-good effort. We ultimately don't expect much more than a theme park type film, but we wouldn't doubt if Haythe's script is quick-witted and sharp.
There's still no director attached to this project either. We probably won't see it shoot til sometime 2011 at the very earliest (and probably no sooner than April since Depp has his Pancho Villa film to shoot for director Emir Kusturica in February '11).
Alright, we've probably gone on enough about Tim Blake Nelson's odd, multi-layered philosophical pot comedy cum thriller cum family drama (it's many films mashed into one), "Leaves Of Grass," that stars Ed Norton as a pair of opposite twin brothers on the wrong side of drug deal.
The picture also stars Keri Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Melanie Lynskey, Susan Sarandon and Blake Nelson himself. We saw it at TIFF and it's not perfect, but it's distinct, has several unexpected narrative twists and gets a lot darker than we would have ever assumed. It's not an easy film pill to swallow because it juggles so many tones and goes from comedy to violent tragedy pretty quickly, but we were pretty impressed because it completely defied our expectations. That says a lot these days.
Anyhow, the official trailer has arrived (there was a version out a few months ago) and this is a small picture that is valuable and will need your support so that's why we keep flogging it. Here's the official synopsis:
When Ivy League classics professor Bill Kincaid receives news of the murder of his estranged identical twin brother, Brady (both played by two-time Academy Award® nominee Edward Norton), in a pot deal gone bad, he leaves the world of Northeastern academia to travel back to his home state of Oklahoma. Upon arrival, he finds that reports of his brother’s death are greatly exaggerated, and he’s soon caught up in the dangerous and unpredictable world of drug commerce in the backwaters of the Southwest. In the process, he reconnects with his eccentric mother ( Susan Sarandon), meets a wise and educated young woman who has bypassed academia in favor of the gentler rhythms of life (Keri Russell), and unwittingly helps his troubled brother settle a score with a pernicious drug lord (Academy Award® winner Richard Dreyfuss) who uses Tulsa, Oklahoma’s small Jewish community for cover. Leaves of Grass follows a twisting narrative path merging crime drama, drug comedy, classical philosophy and sudden violence in pursuit of answering one of humanity’s oldest questions: What does it truly mean to live a happy and constructive life?The film hits theaters April 2 in limited release. If you live in New York or L.A. make sure to go see this interesting little curio.
We'll have to wait for next's week's release of Scorsese's latest "Shutter Island" to get too excited about anything new, but the box office should get a big boost this week with three high-profile films opening wide. "Valentine's Day," "Percy Jackson," and "The Wolfman" hit screens nationwide and should conquer the top three slots this weekend. Hopefully you're too busy building snowpeople or lavishing romance upon someone to contribute. We suspect "V Day" will take the top slot this weekend, but expect it to drop very, very quickly in the coming weeks. It has been an ugly year so far at the theater, but things will get better. We hope.
In Wide Release: Moved up from its original release date of Flag Day comes the very convenient "Valentine's Day" from director Garry Marshall. Here's the plan: gather a bunch of big stars together for a day or two of work, cobble the footage together and rake in a nice wad of cash opening before bad word-of-mouth destroys the buzz. Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Jamie Foxx, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Garner are among the high wattage lineup earning a quick buck. An easy way to take a paycheck and not have to worry about the film's poor reception falling on your shoulders alone. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a dismal 15% rating, while Metacritic a slightly more favorable score of 35.
Chris Columbus returns to attempt to jumpstart another kid-fantasy franchise with "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." Instead of a boy-wizard, the director of the first two "Harry Potter" films this time finds himself shepherding Percy (Logan Lerman) a young man who finds out he is, in fact, a demi-god. Much like the Potter series, the film has a number of fantastic actors in supporting roles including Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean (as Percy's father Poseidon). Unfortunately, this one looks more like the banal "Night at the Museum" movies or a bad cover version of "Half Blood Prince." The review are appropriately mediocre with a rating of 54% from RT and a score of 48 from Metacritic.
Originally set for release way back in 2008, "The Wolfman" finally hits theaters today after a much-troubled post-production involving many re-edits of the film. Benicio Del Toro stars as the man turned wolf alongside Emily Blunt and Anthony Hopkins. While the casting sounds great and the actors are game, Del Toro's character is never given the chance to establish himself or build any kind of connection with the audience. The story just isn't there, and believe it or not, the story was what made these classic horror films special. We reviewed it yesterday finding that Joe Johnston's film failed on just about every level other than the occasionally imaginative, but gratuitous gore. Rotten Tomatoes is tracking the movie with a 30% rating; Metacritic a 44 score. We kinda told you so, no? This does not bode well for Johnston's "Captain America," and as we've been saying all along, we have no clue why geeks lionize this director. Better they learn the hard way regardless.
In Limited Release: "Crazy Heart" and "An Education" among other Oscar hopefuls will see expansion this weekend, so there should be plenty to see if you've been slow catching up. In much more limited release, a couple interesting documentaries are hitting a few screens. "American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein" is a portrait of the provocative intellectual son of Holocaust survivors and noted critic of Israel and U.S. Middle East policy. RT has it at 100%. "Videocracy" traces the importance of Italian television on its culture and politics as well as getting under the skin of the media empire created by Prime Minister Silvio Burlusconi. RT reports it at 80%.
Unless you live in a limited release city (generally new York or L.A.) we advise you to either catch up on strong pictures like "Crazy Heart" and "An Education" or just stay at home and save your money, because the mainstream new-openers this weekend are total gash.
We've sort of never understood the geek appeal of Neil Marshall. "Dog Soldiers" was ok, but "The Descent" was terribly overrated while "Doomsday" was just plain awful. Regardless, fanboys continue to champion this guy and it probably won't end with "Centurion."
The trailer for the film has hit the web and unfortunately it's pretty generic stuff. While we'll hold out hope it will still be worthy of our Potentially Decent Escapist Entertainment Films Of 2010, we're not brimming with optimism here.
Ever since "300," it seems any period based action film has to have lots of yelling and guys speaking each line as if it were the most important piece of dialogue in the film and the trailer for Marshall's film is no different. We kind of laughed at the early shot of Olga Kurylenko who has some remarkably great hair and makeup for Roman times.
James McNulty Dominic West looks woefully miscast here, while we're just going to pretend that the excellent Michael Fassbender isn't in this. And the action scenes? They look well staged but not unlike anything we've seen before.
"Centurion" opens in the UK on April 23rd and is thankfully not in 3D. Currently, it doesn't have a stateside distributor or release date. We imagine that will all depend on how well (or not) this film is received.
Now this is unexpected yet interesting. Perhaps working with Richard Linklater has rubbed off on her? French actress Julie Delpy is making an "atypical" sequel to her 2007 romantic dramedy, "2 Days In Paris," that will reprise her character from that film and be set in New York.
Based on her original screenplay and set for a Gotham shoot that will begin in October, "2 Days In New York" will see the character Marion now with a new lover and a child.
Delpy tells ScreenDaily the movie is about, "the difficulty of relationships but also about the main character’s evolution in general. It’s a very modern story about the complexities of being a woman and not being completely consumed by your partner."
The father of the child will be Adam Goldberg's neurotic character from 'Paris,' but he himself will not appear in the film. A well-known American actor will play the new male lead but has yet to be cast.
Delpy's "2 Days In Paris" was her second feature-length directorial effort, and the writer/filmmaker/ actress will step behind the camera once again here (a talented multi-hyphenate, she also composed the score to the original and presumably will do the same here). That picture is especially charming, amusing and vastly underrated, but Delpy won't have Goldberg this time — their oil and vinegar chemistry was preternaturally good — so hopefully she finds an thesp who will have similar acting alchemy with her.
While Goldberg might not be back, some characters, like Marion's father Albert, played by Delpy's real-life dad will repeat that role once again. The filmmakers will be eyeing a Cannes 2011 debut. That is if the picture is accepted of course.
As you can tell we're looking forward to this film, 'Paris' was a perceptive and funny look at relationships — almost like a very contemporary and loose version of a Howard Hawks post meet-cute picture with sharp banter — and it took us by surprise. We're please to exist in a world where a film like this can get made.
Here's the trailer to the original (Goldberg is seriously so good in this picture).
Well, Vin Diesel certainly knows which side of his bread is buttered.
The actor has signed on for "Riddick," the third film in the series we didn't realize people still cared about. David Twohy, who wrote and directed the first two films in the series will be back at it again while Diesel will put on his producer's hat for this installment as well.
Plot details are being kept quiet for now but apparently it will return to the flavor of the more Riddick-centered the first film "Pitch Black," rather than the ambitiously expansive sequel, "The Chronicles Of Riddick." As was previously reported, scouting has already been done for shooting in New Zealand, and Diesel has revealed via his FaceBook page that Egypt has been added to the list as well. So we imagine the budget on this one won't be cheap.
No production dates are in place yet, but it will have to work around shooting on the fifth (!) "Fast And Furious" film. Seriously, who are the meatheads who continue to buy tickets for these films?
Troubled 'The Losers' Bumped To June 4th, One Week Before 'The A-Team' (Now With Dirk Benedict Cameo)
We got a little grief from some readers when we panned "The Losers" trailer a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like our instincts were spot on. Late yesterday it was reported that "The Losers" release date was being bumped from April 9th to June 4th, and while some fanboys are proclaiming that this must mean that Warner Brothers are so pleased with the film that they are giving it a juicy summer spot, the truth is the film probably needs a lot of work.
Recently, test screenings for "The Losers" happened in LA and reports were not good. As one reader wrote in to Latino Review, "The movie was ok. Still needs a lot of work, at least storywise as some parts ultimately don't make sense, especially the ending.......Overall, the movie felt like the "A-Team" but with different flavoring." Again, pretty much verifying what we thought of the trailer when we saw it, and seems to confirm that that the release date move has more to do with getting a film that makes sense in the can. It also gives filmmaker Sylvain White some time to do reshoots or film additional scenes if he needs to (and we wouldn't be surprised if that happens).
However, the move to June 4th isn't one taken entirely out of a hat. It does position the film to open one week before "The A-Team" and with both movies - for all intents and purposes - looking exactly the same and vying for the same audience, it's a pretty sneaky movie. It also gives the film relatively no competition that weekend, as it will face "Marmaduke," "The Killers" and the recently moved "Get Him To Greek." While the latter film will probably still win the weekend, it at least makes "The Losers" the most attractive second option among the selection of dreck.
As for "The A-Team" they're sticking with their June 11th date for now. Recently Bradley Cooper revealed that Dirk Benedict from the original series would be making a cameo appearance in the film and....nobody really cared. That scene will probably land with all the impact as the original dudes from "Starsky & Hutch" appearing in that film. Fifty-year old Dads in the audience we're sure will be thrilled.
Hot off the casting of Amber Tamblyn, comes news of up and coming actress Kate Mara, now in talks to join Danny Boyle's Aron Ralston survival drama, "127 Hours."
Tamblyn was said to play Ralston's girlfriend, and THR now reports that Mara will partner with Tamblyn in playing "hikers [Ralston] meets before his ordeal." So we're assuming they meet early on and Tamblyn and Ralston become romantically involved from there. As it sounds like Ralston's relationship with his girlfriend will be played out in flashbacks, we're also assuming that family members will appear in those flashbacks while the character is dying and trapped under a boulder for five days without food and water.
James Franco will star as the mountaineer, who amputated his own trapped arm and then hiked treacherous terrain in order to get to safety. Boyle had previously revealed his ambitions to have the first half of the film completely dialogue free but with two fairly well known actresses involved so far, as we had guessed, that claim might have been overstated.
Ralston also recently told U.S. television that he was having hallucinations while on the mountain, even seeing a young child whom he believes is the spirit of an upcoming child of his. As Ralston is a consultant on the film, we wouldn't be surprised to see such occurrences appear in the film as well.
Filming on "127 Hours" will take place this March in Utah and will likely hit this fall with an eye on awards season. While we're at it does anyone have the script? We'd love to read it.
Any publicity truly is good publicity isn't it? Despite all the controversy of his film "The Killer Inside Me" at Sundance recently, Michael Winterbottom has now recruited Oscar-nominated actors Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen for his Palestine-set political crime thriller, "The Promised Land."
The picture follows two British officers, one played by Jim Sturgess, as he tries to track down Jewish militant groups who are responsible for terror attacks against British soldiers and Arabs in the lead up to the partition of Palestine in 1948. ScreenDaily says MacFadyen will play the other British police officer trying to end a campaign of violence and get this, Firth will play the leader of an extreme right-wing Jewish group; a charismatic poet named Avraham Stern. That should be a pretty nice change of pace for him.
You've got to hand it to Winterbottom though; he's not even flinching after the Sundance debacle and follows it up with a film about terrorist groups set in the midst of Israeli-Palestine conflict. The pic is currently being represented at the European Film Market by Fortissimo Films, who are partnering with Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton's Revolution Films to make the movie. Winterbottom also noted that casting was still taking place while he was in town for "The Killer Inside Me" which is screening at the Berlin Film Festival.
Shooting for "The Promised Land" is slated to begin in the late summer and probably won't see a release until 2011.
While this has been in the works for months now, it's finally official.
HBO has gone ahead and brought another excellent filmmaker into the fold. Todd Haynes has signed on to write and direct the five-hour mini-series, "Mildred Pierce," based on the novel by James M. Cain. The project begins shooting in April in New York, and will star Kate Winslet in the lead role.
Cineastes already know that "Mildred Pierce" was also made into the 1945 film of the same name, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Joan Crawford in one her most iconic performances. While that version added a murder and excised much of the sex of Cain's novel, we imagine Haynes will be going for a more accurate adaptation, especially with five hours at his disposal to really dig in deep.
Haynes has never hid his love for melodrama with strong female characters, particularly the studied and opulent chamber dramas of Douglas Sirk ("Far From Heaven" being the most direct homage), and he certainly has the right sensibility to tackle Cain's novel. Brave for its time, "Mildred Pierce" tells the story of the titular character, who strives to maintain her family's middle-class lifestyle in the midst of the Great Depression. When her unemployed husband is unable to provide, she separates from him, and with their children in tow, strikes out on their own. While Mildred achieves great financial success, her relationship with her eldest daughter, Veda, becomes strained when she takes for granted the status they've attained.
One of current cinema's great (and restless) visualists, "Mildred Pierce" should provide Haynes a fascinating new canvass to paint on. It will be interesting to see his approach to Depression-era Los Angeles and what stylistic flourishes he will embrace behind the camera.
It should be noted that HBO's continual recruitment of auteurs into their ranks speaks volumes about the importance and dearth of smart, challenging, low-key dramas at the major studios. With studio executives continually dumbing down, raising the stakes, and gambling big budget tentpoles with the hopes of even larger payoffs, intelligent, low-cost, minimal-profit work is just not a priority any longer. Hence, filmmakers like Haynes, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, David Fincher, Jonathan Demme and Bill Condon all developing and taking safe haven on projects at the cable channel. It's practically becoming a nurturing ground for estimable filmmakers with quality stories to tell that studio suits don't see major net profits in for their shareholders. We're frankly thrilled that HBO is opening their doors to give these directors a new creative outlet, and we have to admit that many, if not all of these gestating projects, have us just as excited as some of the films we're anticipating this year (if not more in several cases).
If you haven't seen the Curtiz/Crawford "Mildred Pierce" do yourself a favor and add it your Netflix queue now. We've got the trailer below. And just under that check out Sonic Youth's song "Mildred Pierce" off their 1992 album Goo. And the band is not coincidentally good pals with Haynes, who directed the video to "Disappearer" off that album as well.
Sonic Youth "Mildred Pierce"
The trailer for the Nicholas Stoller-directed, Judd Apatow-produced (his first of 2010), "Get Him To The Greek" has arrived.
The film reunites Jonah Hill and Russell Brand with their "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Stoller and the film is sort of a sideway sequel to that film as it follows the further adventures of Brand's character from that film, the rock star Aldous Snow.
In 'Marshall,' the Zen-like Snow is on the wagon. In "Get Him To The Greek," he's fallen off hard. The film centers on a record company assistant (Hill) tasked by his boss (P. Diddy) to drag the uncooperative (and totally bombed) rock legend (Brand) to Hollywood for a comeback concert and has a mere three days to do so.
The trailer looks, well, kind of generic and doesn't provide many real laughs. We'll give it the benefit of the doubt as we like all the talent involved, but we hope further trailers actually bring some real comedy.
The film also co-stars Rose Byrne (who replaced Emily Blunt), Elisabeth Moss, Aziz Ansari, Colm Meaney (as Brand's father) and the film apparently features songs written by Jason Segel (who wrote the songs for 'Sarah Marshall') and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. The film also boasts cameos by Katy Perry (yes, but shot way before they were a couple, though we now assume this is where they met), Pink, Christina Aguilera, Oasis and more. Many of them were shot during the 2008 MTV Awards when Brand hosted.
"Get Him to the Greek" arrives in theaters on June 4. The trailer is over at Apple in HD, though you can see an embed below.
What was to be the fourth and final film in the commercial juggernaut of the "Twilight" series has now been reported to become two films.
Confirming previously reported rumors, Stephanie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn," much like the final installment of the "Harry Potter" series, has been deemed too long for one film and thus will render the film adaptations a five-part series. It is not yet confirmed if "New Moon" director Chris Weitz will direct the two back-to-back feature, but it doesn't look that way. According to the Deadline report, Summit Entertainment is looking at "high-end" directors (whether they get any, Summit doesn't exactly pay people top dollar). Melissa Rosenberg, who has written all of the "Twilight" scripts to date, is amidst writing the final two-parter.
The novel is reportedly quite graphic and bizarre, featuring violent vampire sex scenes and subsequent graphic "unconventional" birth from protagonist Bella to a rapidly vampire/human hybrid named Rensemee. The depiction of this character will reportedly feature "Benjamin Button"-esque effects. With all of the graphic content in the original novel, we wonder if the ratings of the films will be split as well. Given the market, it is highly unlikely that they'd produce a film warranting an R rating without drastically modifying the aspects in question of the original story (a more likely scenario indeed).
Besides the obvious commercial benefits for Summit Entertainment of making one film into two, the development would likely also mandate a renegotiation with the actors, as they signed on for only four films. Leads Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will likely get to reap the benefits of vamp-crazed adolescents and demand an even greater salary (perhaps even up to eight-figures as we previously reported as well) in contractual additions (this will kill Summit though and they will likely try and jump through as many hoops as they can to lessen the blow).
If all is on track to start shooting this fall, then we suspect that we'll probably be going through the Twilight release craze not once but twice in 2011. Oh boy. Until then, you will be able to get your fix for all your insatiable Twilight desires when the third film, "Twilight Saga: Eclipse," is released on June 30th.
Reboot, reboot, blah blah blah reboot. Or to translate, after Warner Bros' version of "Sherlock Holmes" for whatever we're calling this new decade (Is there a memo we didn't get? The Teens? The Tenties?) proved a hit both critically and commercially, studios are clearly on the lookout for other out-of-copyright literary properties that can be turned into sexy action movies. Warners are now developing a new version of "The Three Musketeers," with former executive, and "Sherlock" producer, Lionel Wigram shepherding the project.
Peter Straughan, writer of the recent "The Men Who Stare At Goats" will adapt Alexandre Dumas' novels "The D'Artagnan Romances" (made up of "The Three Musketeers," "Twenty Years After" and "The Vicomte of Bragelonne"), in a manner that Variety says "will play up the action and sexier elements of the story much the same way that Wigram... reimagined the detective as a bare-knuckle boxing, martial-arts savvy sleuth molded by Robert Downey Jr."
Aside from Richard Lester's enjoyable 1973 take on the material, which spawned two sequels, Dumas' novel hasn't fared well in its recent cinematic adaptations, from Stephen Herek's 1993 "Young Guns"-influenced take, to the mediocre "The Man In The Iron Mask" and Peter Hyams' disastrous "The Musketeer," so a fresh take could theoretically be fun, and "Sherlock Holmes" was far more enjoyable than we were expecting. But then, both Herek and Hyams' versions were 'fresh takes,' so, you know... No cast or director are yet attached - Taylor Lautner for D'Artagnan! Paul W.S. Anderson, director of "Resident Evil," is also developing a 3-D take on the books, which we dearly hope never gets made.
As promised by director Pierre Morel last week, the screenwriter for his new adaptation of "Dune" was announced today to be relative newcomer Chase Palmer. According to his IMDB page, Palmer only has two indie shorts and a gestating comedic thriller about Alfred Hitchcock in the works to his credit. Though Morel claimed that former director Peter Berg and writer Josh Zetumer's (the now seemingly jettisoned "Bourne 4" script) script would be thrown out, THR claims that Morel's ideas will be fit into ideas from the previous draft. Morel reportedly wants to stick close to the source material of Frank Herbert's novel, unlike David Lynch's moody, 1984 disasterpiece adaptation of the novel.
Interestingly enough, "Shutter Island" screenwriter Læta Kalogridis, speaking with THR, was once on tap to write Morel's adaptation, but got caught up in writing the script for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular '90s cyberpunk anime "Ghost In The Shell."
If you're tired of the usual animated Oscar fare from Pixar, Dreamworks, and the like, you'll actually be able to catch underdog Best Animated Feature nominee "The Secret of Kells" in theaters soon, indieWIRE reports. 'Kells' will open first strategically on Oscar weekend at the IFC Center on March 5th. The film will then open in Boston on March 19th to tie its Irish themes into the city's St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The movie will expand to other major US cities on April 2nd. GKIDS, a children's-oriented distribution firm, will be distributing the film in America.
The cel-shaded 2D-styled 'Kells' (which looks like it might be taking some visual queues from the works of Gustav Klimt) tells the story of a boy named Brendan who must help complete the famed Irish Book of Kells, a noted Celtic manuscript from the Middle Ages containing the Four Gospels of the New Testament. Young Brendan lives in the Abbey of Kells, whose clergy includes Abbott Cellach voiced by the always-enjoyable Brendan Gleeson. The story of course includes fantastical elements as Brendan must "overcome his fears" in an "enchanted forest."
We're not expecting the film to be a serious contender against its competition (especially Pixar's "Up" and Disney's old-fashioned "The Princess and the Frog") but it is certainly nice to see the smaller films of this ilk be properly distributed and shown. It is always interesting to see what the overseas producers (who in this case also gave us 2004 animated feature nominee "The Triplets of Belleville") have to offer in contrast to the popular favorites. You can watch the trailer for 'Kells' below.
Damn, this is what we call a rewrite and maybe even a major overhaul. As discussed several times now Seth Lochhead's first draft of the teenage assassin picture "Hanna" wasn't perfect, needed much more character context and background, but damn if it wasn't a tremendously captivating read, and an immensely quick-moving page turner. The action was sharp, the writing itself was excellent and there was definitely the genesis of a movie here. Lochhead can write and definitely knows the screenplay tenet of arriving at the scene late and leaving early (i.e. arrive at the party late, leave early, leave the audience with just the crucial stuff only).
But it certainly needed more weight and depth to it and we hoped that the final version, revised by David Farr would give the dynamic and engrossing read an emotional core.
Our prayers were answered and then some when his latest version hit our inbox yesterday and then some. We were wildly impressed with how Farr significantly retooled and jettisoned major parts of the story, created a rich emotional back story, while never sacrificing an ounce of its lightning energy. The ending is much more satisfying (and a complete 180 from the previous one) and Farr does a tremendous job of creating moving themes that were barely examined in the original, fleshing out the interconnected character histories and really dimensionalizing what now feels like a lean, far-too-spartan script in comparison (though it was always an intensely enjoyable reading experience which can't be understated). Another key change, the villain in the film now has a central role and new characters have also emerged.
To back up if you're here reading about "Hanna" for the first time. It's a project that will be directed by Joe Wright ( "Atonement," "Pride & Prejudice") and will star Saoirse Ronan as the young girl Hanna, Eric Bana will play her father, an ex-CIA agent gone AWOL for 15 years and raised the girl to be a killer and Cate Blanchett will play Marisa Wiegler, a 45-year-old frosty CIA agent on the hunt for both of them.
Yes, as mentioned often, it's very "La Femme Nikita" and very 'Bourne' franchise. It does not re-invent the wheel, but the script is just so damn entertaining, we don't really care. We just want to see this movie. Another major plaudit for the script? It's so well-written you can visualize it every single step of the way. It's all on the page and really, any monkey should be able to make a decent film out of the material, so with someone as talented as Joe Wright, we should receive something interesting at the very least.
As mentioned there's some new characters. CIA character known as "The American" in the original version is gone (spoiler that's now not in the final version, he betrayed her). The Turkish family in the script that Hanna befriends is now a French one and their role in the picture is significantly expanded (they could end up being French names , someone like Anne Consigny comes to mind for the role of Rachel the mother, maybe Melvil Poupaud for the father Emil?). The picture takes place all over Europe with locations in Morocco, London, Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark and even a few scenes in the U.S. (yes, very 'Bourne' in that respect).
Eric Bana's character's screentime is seemingly reduced, but the character is no less important. Another key new role is Michael Isaacs, a mid-fifties Englishman, seemingly ex-CIA now doing undercover operations on his own, hired by Marisa to help her track down Hanna using less above-board methods. A Tom Wilkinson-type character comes to mind, but it might be someone slightly younger and someone with a more physical sense of menace about them (not that Wilkinson can't be scary as shit when he wants to be).
We won't give away too much more, but it's a picture about identity and belonging as much as it is a super taut, on-the-run thriller, so we're very happy to report "Hanna" not only has adrenaline and a quickened pulse, but a heart and soul as well (or at least on the page it does). We can't wait.
Original 'Terminator 1 & 2' Writer William Wisher Has Written Treatments For T5 & 6 With A Role For Arnold Schwarzenegger
Man, just when you thought a hedge fund company buying the rights to the "Terminator" franchise and director McG seemingly losing his first-look rights at directing whatever version becomes "Terminator 5" meant the series was dead for the next few years, along comes new news.
Apparently, William Wisher, the c0-writer behind "Terminator" (uncredited) and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (shared with James Cameron) has written a detailed 24-page treatment for "Terminator 5," and a 4-page concept outline for "Terminator 6" that Deadline Hollywood has read.
While he doesn't reveal plot details he says, "he turns the story back to the core characters and time travel storyline of the first two films that Wisher crafted with Cameron."
This coupled with the fact that the L.A. Times recently said that despite the ugliness over the Terminator rights in the recent auction that, "Sony and Lions Gate have been given an exclusive window by Pacificor to negotiate to produce and distribute the next 'Terminator' movie," maybe we're not that far away from a sequel after all.
Mmm, possibly. As Deadline says, it remains to be seen if Sony or Lionsgate would even engage Wisher's treatments, but the DH writer Mike Fleming clearly sounds enthusiastic about it and even dubs himself a "Terminator fanboy" (and in many instances it seems like he's trying to help get this off the ground with his support).
Here's some details:
Fanboys will surely be salivating all over this one. But it still sounds like early days and we'll take a wait and see approach. It's been a long time ("T2") since we remotely cared about a "Terminator" film and we're surprised the fairly sullied franchise hasn't been abandoned wholesale, but where there's a
Wisher’s 2-picture construct takes place in a post-apocalyptic battleground, and factors in an element of time travel that allows for Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese to interact beyond their single fateful meeting when he traveled back in time to protect her in the original film. Wisher has created a role for Arnold Schwarzenegger that is as surprising as his shift from villain in the first film, to John Connor’s bodyguard in the second. Schwarzenegger wouldn’t be needed until the final film, which wouldn’t shoot until after he ends his term as California Governor. And who wouldn’t want to see Linda Hamilton back in aerobic top fitness form as Sarah Connor?There are several new villains, and plenty of firepower. For instance, a swarm of “Night Crawlers,” 4 1/2-foot tall border sentries that are set like mines to spring up out of the ground and ambush rebel fighters with 10 MM pistols built into their wrists, and fingers and feet that are razor sharp. Also fresh off the Skynet assembly line are new shape-shifting cyborgs that can morph together in Transformers-like mode, and are more lethal than anything we’ve seen in previous Terminator installments.