Brit wit and all around hilarious dude Stephen Fry took the opportunity this morning on Danny Baker's BBC's 5 Live radio show to announce that he will have a role in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes 2."
Fry will join the cast that includes the returning Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law along with new face Noomi Rapace, and will take on the role of Mycroft Holmes. That's right, he'll be the older brother of Sherlock which will undoubtedly lead some to some mad riffing between Downey Jr. and Fry who are both adept improvisers. Sounds very, very promising. Here's what Fry had to say about his part:
I’m playing Mycroft in the sequel to the Sherlock Holmes film Guy Ritchie directed with Robert Downey Jr., and that sort of part is fun, but just once in a while to play a genuine all round sort of lead figure with complexity and tragedy and wit and all the sort of things that Oscar [Wilde] had was a once in a lifetime thrill.The big piece of the casting puzzle still to be figured is the role of Moriarty, which everyone seems to want Daniel Day Lewis to take (though we'd surprised — but pleasantly so — if he decided to take it).
"Sherlock Holmes 2" will shoot this fall and is already set for a December 16, 2011 release. [Bleeding Cool]
Brit wit and all around hilarious dude Stephen Fry took the opportunity this morning on Danny Baker's BBC's 5 Live radio show to announce that he will have a role in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes 2."
Things are picking up on Jason Reitman's next film, the Charlize Theron starring, Diablo Cody penned dark comedy "Young Adult." The LA Times reports that Patton Oswalt has signed on to the film with Patrick Wilson negotiating a deal to join the cast.
There's no word yet on what roles they will be slotting, but surely, Wilson must be in line to play the male lead, the idealized ex-high school boyfriend (previously linked to Josh Brolin) now married with kids who is pursued by our protagonist: a narcissistic, divorced 30-something author of teen fiction to be played by Theron. The remaining major role in the film then would be Theron's overweight and physically disabled mid-30-something friend not afraid to call her out on her shit: could this be Oswalt's part? If so, it will definitely be another acting stretch for the comedian, but as he showed with "Big Fan," his range is greater than people expect.
Our detailed but not overly spoiler-ish script review further describes the work as Cody's "most mature effort to date, largely dispensing with the annoying slang she's been tagged with [and] more complex and emotionally layered than 'crazy-bitch-stalks-her-old-bf'" logline. It's "a dark, and messed-up film that's quite dramatic," but "also sad and tragic, with a fairly desperate protagonist" that'll "likely fall under a type of twisted dramedy category." Needless to say, it's a project and material that we think has a great potential and we're excited to see what Reitman does with it.
Lensing is slated to begin this November with Reitman apparently already in the midst of pre-production.
NYFF: David Fincher & Aaron Sorkin Say They Empathize With 'The Social Network' Anti-Hero; Say Film Is Not Really About Facebook
There's no denying that David Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg and the rest of the cast of his upcoming drama, "The Social Network" has an immense degree of empathy for Mark Zuckerberg, so those expecting an intense vilification of the founder and CEO of Facebook — accused of stealing the idea from his co-founders and other Harvard grads who had enlisted his help for a similar idea — best think again. While the picture does cast the Aspergers-like social media creator in an unflattering light, it's not simply an excoriating one and the picture shares several character textures and perspectives.
"[Saying Zuckerberg] is an asshole is such a reductive overly simplistic way [of looking at it.]," Fincher said in today's post-New York Film Festival press screening Q&A about his latest which arrives in theaters October 1.
In fact, Fincher openly sympathizes with the anti-hero of the film played by a tremendous Jesse Eisenberg, finally playing against his nerdy neurotic type. "I have no qualms in saying that I think Eduardo Saverin [Andrew Garfield's character] had a failure of imagination and at some point there was going to be a fork in the road for those two guys," Fincher said about the two Facebook partners who part ways acrimoniously in the film.
Eisenberg concurred that his rendering of the damaged and dysfunctional Zuckerberg is one rooted in the character's own insecurities and failures and wasn't simply a one-note villain. "My main responsibility was to not only understand where my character was coming from but to be able to defend all his positions and behavior and ultimately sympathize with him. Over the course of the movie and this publicity [tour] I've developed even a greater affection for my character."
However those expecting a film about Facebook (or hoping to hate a film about Facebook) itself should also ready themselves, and or put their knives away. Justin Timberlake does not play Myspace in guyliner and Fincher's eighth feature-length film is more of a courtroom procedural, and perhaps is not unlike "Zodiac," insofar as it's another intense examination of past events from the contradicting perspective of several different people.
"Obviously there was a lot of Internet chatter when it was first announced," Fincher explained dryly not concealing his disdain for the Internet. "I think people thought we were making a sequel to 'The Net' or something, or we were trying to do some fad-hopping, but I didn't really know anything about the origins of Facebook. I just had a dry read of the script that had a bunch of people that I felt I knew intimately and could relate to and felt it was a wonderful two hour [movie]."
"'Passion Play' is a cliche-riddled, risible and utterly painful experience that boasts hallmark sentiments and TV movie-of-the-week sensibilities mixed in a disastrous attempt to make a love story about unearned redemption."
That's what we said in our review of Mitch Glazer's completely ill-advised fairy tale, a film that drew numerous walkouts and bouts of laughter from TIFF audiences. So we're kind of baffled why Image ponied up seven figures for the film with a promise of a theatrical release. We suppose Megan Fox fans will watch anything.
The film stars Fox, Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray and Rhys Ifans and tells the story of a a down-and-out trumpet player (Rourke) who seeks redemption through an angel in 1950s Los Angeles (Fox). The film also stars Kelly Lynch, Rory Cochrane and Bud Cort and nearly starred Toby Kebbell who wisely bailed on the role last minute (Bill Murray took on the part instead; Glazer is an old pal who wrote "Scrooged").
Anyhow, if you're curious about what's in store, check out the new clips from the film below. And in case you missed, there's another one here. No release date has been announced, but the film will likely hit theaters next year.
Speaking in Italy where "Inception" only recently hit theaters, Christopher Nolan dropped an intriguing little nugget about the third installment of his celebrated Batman franchise saying that the picture isn't greenlit yet, adding “They haven’t told me they don’t want to do it, so I’m hopeful,” he joked.
Variety has since scrubbed the comment from their story but Batman News snagged the remarks before they went away. Now before geeks everywhere furrow their brows, it's not at all surprising that Warner Bros. hasn't officially flipped the switch. Undoubtedly, the film is very actively in development and its likely that studio heads are waiting for a firm budget number which they won't really have until casting, locations, marketing, etc. are figured out and finalized. So, nothing to worry about, just a project that still needs to get a bit closer to the starting line.
Speaking of the starting line, "The Hobbit" seems to have been there forever and as MGM still gets debt extensions and continues in endless talks for someone to save them from their sinking financial ship, the production is still pressing forward so that if and when the studio is saved, everything will be in place to start shooting almost immediately.
With that in mind, an ad recently appeared in the Wellington Dominion Post (see above) from the Hobbit Casting Department looking for Scale Doubles. Sources confirmed that the casting is indeed for the highly anticipated film, but of course, it remains to be seen if the tentatively scheduled January start will come to fruition.
Look Up! It's The Weird New Poster For 'The Company Men' With Ben Affleck, Chris Coooper, Kevin Costner & Tommy Lee Jones
What are they looking at? We have no idea what the conceit is behind the new poster for the upcoming, downsizing drama "The Company Men" but we really hope it's not a riff on the kitty on a wire, Hang In There Baby poster because that would be quite lame.
Starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner and Maria Bello this film by John Wells premiered at Sundance, was picked up by The Weinstein Company and then sort of forgotten about. In the film Affleck gets the role of the (upper) middle class everyman whose life is changed when he loses his job at the age of 37.
At any rate, we'll see if this film is an awards horse or not when it opens on October 22nd. As a refresher, you can watch the trailer here. [Cinematical]
Ok, perhaps we're being a bit snarkier than we should be, but Charles Ferguson's scathing and smart documentary "Inside Job," does have interview segments with Eliot Spitzer and touches upon the very topic that Alex Gibney's forthcoming documentary explores in much greater detail. At any rate, seems like it will be a great companion piece to that film.
"Client 9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer" posits that a scared Wall Street set out to dig up dirt on the crusading New York Attorney General because he was coming after them. It's definitely a side to the story that wasn't really heard at the time. But if you think this the film is going to whitewash Spitzer's transgressions, guess again. And he fesses up to in the trailer, he's responsible for his own downfall.
"Client 9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer" will hit iTunes starting on October 1st before hitting theaters on November 5th. You can watch the trailer below or in HD at Apple.
Good Luck With That: Kristen Bell Says She Would Finance 'Veronica Mars' Movie Herself If WB Gave Up The Rights
Just a few months after producer Joel Silver pretty much poured a bucket of cold water over any hopes of a "Veronica Mars" movie, citing that poor home video sales has made Warner Bros. uninterested in bringing the TV series to the big screen, Kristen Bell has decided she's willing to do anything to get the film made.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere of "You Again" she revealed she "absolutely would" finance a "Veronica Mars" movie if Warner Bros. gave up the rights. Since that will never happen in a bazillion jillion years she's content to keep campaigning for the movie until she's 40 years old.
"At this point, Warner Bros. can make it but like any studio they have research that tells them whether or not they'll make their money back," she added. "And that's what we've been told: That it's just not there. So my duty, because I wanted this movie made from the minute our show got canceled, is to a) do it before I'm 40; and b) to prove to Warner Bros. that there is an audience. You already have 3 million who watched it every week hardcore fans that will see it -- you can only build from there."
But if they don't do a movie, the increasingly desperate sounding Bell says she would be open to doing a cheap web series. "I would be down with doing a Web series," she said. "I think, and I don't speak for anyone else but myself, but I think that they want it grand because it is deserving of being on the big screen. I think that maybe our creators would settle for that but I think that we all really want to push for the movie if it can happen."
We love ya Kristen, but dream on....
Steve Carell likes being busy it seems, because even as he enters his final season of "The Office" he has a shooting break in October and of course, he'll be widely available come March, so his agents are quickly trying to fill up his schedule.
One project that he's currently considering is the magician comedy "Burt Wonderstone." Sound familiar? The project cropped up earlier this summer when it was offered to Jim Carrey, but with the rubber faced comedian moving on to other projects including "Mr. Popper's Penguins" it still needs a leading man to get the project rolling.
The film comes from "Horrible Bosses" writers John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein and tells the tale of "a Vegas magician who accidentally kills his partner and must regain his mojo (or, as the logline has it, his "hocus-pocus focus") while simultaneously competing with a rival." And really, it sounds right in the Carell wheelhouse.
No director is attached yet and of course, it remains to be seen if Carell ends up taking on the project at all. It's one of many scripts he's currently working his way through before making a decision.
Stanley Tucci may be a great actor, but lately, he's proving himself to be one helluva salesman. Earlier this summer he shopped a project around town called "Mommy & Me" that eventually landed at Sony and got Meryl Streep and Tina Fey attached. Not too shabby. Now he hopes to work the same magic, and he's currently out knocking on doors with a new project under his arm.
Tucci is hoping someone will want to help him make a biopic on vision-impaired sports journalist Ed Lucas. At the age of 12, Lucas was hit by a line drive while playing baseball but then went on to become an award-winning reporter on the Yankees and New York baseball.
Legendary screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("City Slickers," "A League Of Their Own") have written the script which is nauseatingly being described as a cross between "The Soloist" and "Scent Of A Woman." The pitch being made is that Tucci would star and possibly direct the film, and would produce through his Olive Productions.
Baseball movies are a notoriously hard sell in Hollywood because they have little international appeal. That said, casting a sports story through an inspirational secondary figure is definitely an intriguing angle, and certainly one that worked in spades for "The Blind Side" last year. We'll keep an eyes on this, but after watching "Easy A," we want Tucci (and Patricia Clarkson's) next roles to be playing our new Uncle and Aunt.
Stanley Kubrick enthusiasts and fans, rejoice a little bit, because the director's first feature film, "Fear And Desire" may finally be getting a proper DVD release.
Following a screening of the film at the Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque, Caroline Frick Page, curator of motion pictures for the George Eastman House who hosted the screening hinted that a complete restoration of the film in conjunction with a DVD company isn't out of the question saying, “I think that a major restoration effort probably will be undertaken between George Eastman House and probably another company. I think you could potentially see a high-quality DVD that’s a collaboration between the country’s biggest archives [because] there is now apparently a negative. It’s not necessarily complete, but there is a negative.”
Apparently a new, partial negative of the film has been found in a long closed film lab in Puerto Rico and in addition to the George Eastman House negative, which is believed to be the only copy in existence, there is now some material to go on to produce a proper restoration. As for the film, it's a tale about four soldiers trapped behind enemy lines and the madness that ensues (themes he obviously revisits more than once later in his career).
This December’s “Tron Legacy” has a dubious distinction: it is a sequel that comes a staggering 28 years after the first film, which must be close to a record. And yet, despite the original proving something of a flop on its release, people seem to be clamoring over the sequel. Whether this borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered 80s (to borrow a phrase from James Murphy) converts into a box-office smash remains to be seen, but it's not like Disney is the only one in town trying the trick.
With the poppy, entertaining "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," opening today, with original helmer Oliver Stone back in the director's chair 23 years after the original, it seems that it's not just studios who are keen to cash in on the success of earlier hits — some filmmakers just can't resist the temptation to revisit an old subject, and therefore their glory days. From Truffaut's five autobiographical Antoine Doinel films, across twenty years, to Steven Spielberg going back to the adventure well nearly thirty years after "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," it seems that, after a certain amount of time, few directors can abstain from returning to the scene of past triumphs.
But whether deriving from that reason, or from studios keen to cash in on fuzzy nostalgia for a property, in honor of "Wall Street 2," we've taken a look at some examples of sequels made years after the original, from belated blockbusters to indie in-jokes. If nothing else, it'll help to prepare you for "Birth of a Nation 2" in 2013... It's also interesting to note that, as much as we complain about the lack of originality these days, several of the films below were released in 1990. Presumably, everyone's mortgage was in jeopardy around that time...
“The Last Picture Show” (1971) /”Texasville” (1990)
There is something about Texas — its blissful sky, comprised of subdued tones and massive clouds, reaching across a sheer oasis of sprawl. It's a perfect setting to present the story of suburban life post World War II in America — so many places to go, you might as well just stay put. "The Last Picture Show," Peter Bogdonavich's first major directing effort, is based on Larry McMurtry's novel of the same name, and still stands as a beautiful, pained film that is so much more than just a coming of age story. The slow death of the West Texas town, represented with the closing of the local movie house, serves the perfect metaphor for the soul-crushing ennui that comes along with small town life. When everyone knows your business, its easy to seek escape, but it's also just safer to stand in the place where you are. Bogdonavich's direction is impeccable and there isn't a weak performance in the film, which was smartly cast with non-stars at the time like Cybil Sheppard and Jeff Bridges. The use of black and white to shed light on the sadness found in this Anytown, U.S.A. was a bold move and "Picture Show" really is a must-see for any lover of film. Unfortunately the same can not be said about “Texasville,” a sequel, also based on a McMurty novel, that takes the character development and social commentary of the original and stomps it to death. The actors phone in their performances, and who can blame them with the weak story, stunt casting and complete lack of connection to the original film; it's like Bogdonavich had forgotten what made the original so special. The celebration has now become a passive aggressive mockery of Texas life, meaning the follow-up succeeds at one thing; making you miss the beauty of the original.
“Chinatown” (1974) / “The Two Jakes” (1990)
The last, and most high profile of Jack Nicholson’s directorial efforts, 1990’s “The Two Jakes” is a confounding, yet entertaining picture, that even at full stretch can’t touch so much as the lower slopes of “Chinatown”’s towering peaks. Not surprising, perhaps, considering the stone-cold classic nature of the original, but what is remarkable is the way “The Two Jakes” fails; returning screenwriter Robert Towne acquits himself well, Harvey Keitel is immensely enjoyable to watch in a twisty role (one that, oddly, producer Robert Evans was originally set to play), and some of the elements - the model home community, for example, are actually pretty inspired thematic choices. But the film veers erratically in tone from campy pastiche to dark noir, often depending on who is onscreen: from Madeleine Stowe, an actress we usually like, wearing her character like a Halloween costume (a femme would not so brutally be miscast as fatale again until Julia Roberts in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”) to Meg Tilly, who actually does such an impressive job of referencing Polanski’s film that if you know your “Chinatown” at all, you guess the major twist about an hour and a half before Jake Gittes does. And so to Nicholson himself. It seems double jobbing as actor and director does not suit the man - Gittes here is just as sweaty and desperate as ever,, but somehow he comes off as faintly comical where his former incarnation was troubled and perversely noble. As far as modern noir goes, ”The Two Jakes” may be nowhere near as awful as, say, “The Black Dahlia,” but still it’s a whole world away from the devastating, seedy perfection of the original. Oh, and nobody slits Nicholson’s nose open, which is a major flaw.
We're gonna keep this short but early set photos, particularly from geek movies, always suck. We're not sure what the excitement is of pictures of set locations taken on a crappy camera from a million miles away, but people seem to love them.
With that in mind, here are some first look photos for Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in "The First Avenger: Captain America." Yeah, these aren't great and aren't much to write home about, but at the very least, Chris Evans looks relatively normal but that said, we still don't know if he's really going to look like interior designer turned urban woodsman when he puts on the uniform like early concept art suggests.
Anyhow, things are moving along on the Joe Johnston directed film (which might be greatest nemesis the movie faces). The film starring Evans, Atwell, Hugo Weaving , Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Sebastian Stan, Neal McDonagh, Samuel L. Jackson, Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones hit theaters on July 22, 2011.
Submissions are slowly being made from around for the Best Foreign Film Oscar race. The Academy will eventually whittle down the numerous entries into the final five that will vie for Oscar but Denmark and Canada have two early favorites.
Susanne Bier's "Haevnen"/"Vengeance" (which will also be known in some markets as "In A Better World") has been selected by Denmark as their Oscar entry, beating out a shortlist of films that included Thomas Vinterberg's "Submarino" and Thomas Lindholm and Michael Noer's "R." Written by frequent collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen and starring Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Mark Rygaard, William Jøhnk Nielsen, the film concerns two families and a friendship that will become tested (sorry, anything deeper than that has been difficult to find).
The film has been a hit in its native land where it opened on August 26th, and recently played TIFF (we unfortunately missed it).
Meanwhile, north of the border, Canada has chosen Denis Villeneuve's "Incendies" as their Oscar horse. The film, which played to strong reviews at TIFF, stars Lubna Azabal, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Remy Girard in a story that concerns a set of "twins that journey to the Middle East to unearth their family tree."
Both films have been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and will hit theaters in 2011.
According to director David Fincher, the opening scene of "The Social Network" took an astonishing 99 takes and two days of filming. And it's very easy to see why. With a 166-page script to get through, Fincher needed to keep the dialogue and scenes moving and with this scene, featuring the most rapid fire tete-a-tete this side of "His Girl Friday" not only does it quickly establish the competitive, hierarchical and exclusive world of Harvard, it sets the pace for the rest of the film. And you better be ready, because from the first second, "The Social Network" moves; this is the quickest two hours you will ever spend in a movie theater.
The film is essentially told in flashbacks as Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) gives testimony at two separate depositions shortly after Facebook crosses the 1 million user mark in its exciting, early days. We bounce back to Harvard in the fall of 2003 and as the aforementioned scene lays out, Zuckerberg is eager to climb the ranks of the hallowed, prestigious clubs at Harvard but before that, he must deal with healing the wound left following the breakup with his girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara). So, he does what any young, confident and vindictive (personality traits that seem to define his every impulse) geek would do: he blogs about it. After a couple more Becks and prodded by an idea from his roommate, he has an idea to build a crude Hot Or Not-esque website so guys can rank the girls at Harvard. To do this he hacks into the databases of most of the houses at Harvard, snags the snaps of their members and builds the site. But he needs one more thing before he goes live. He quickly calls his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) a budding financial genius who recently made $300,000 over the summer by using weather to predict oil prices. Mark asks Eduardo for an algorithm to help with the ranking of the girls on his site, and after scribbling something quickly on the dorm room window, Mark plugs it in and the site goes live. Dubbed Facemash, it makes the rounds of Harvard the same night, and by 4 AM, the traffic has crashed the university's servers.
A variety of options for mass consumption this week at the multiplex with three films opening wide. First up is Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," which follows his last two films "W" and "World Trade Center" in his quest to forever be at the center of the zeitgeist of America. He might have a more solid hit on his hands here, given the hot stars, subject matter and recent publicity for Michael Douglas' health issues. For the kids out there comes the animated owl fantasy "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," which is flying a little low on the radar, but maybe we'll be surprised when the box office receipts are tallied. Finally in wide is the comedy "You Again" aimed at all generations of women with a cast that includes Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Fox, Sigourney Weaver and Betty White. "Easy A" did well with teen girls last week and there's always a hunger for films like this, so don't count it out. Ryan Reynolds' buried-alive flick "Buried" gets a two week head start before opening wide next month. Also out, Woody Allen's latest comedy "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger" which once again boasts a great cast and mediocre reviews, the James Franco-led Beat picture "Howl," the education documentary "Waiting For Superman," and French filmmaker Gasper Noe's "Enter the Void."
Update: THR confirm Nyqvist has joined the film.
Chalk it up as rumor for now, but Australian movie site What's Playing are reporting that Michael Nyqvist, the star of the Swedish film version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," is in final talks to join the fourth entry of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise as the villain.
The news is interesting because as you might recall, the original Lisbeth Salander, Noomi Rapace, was reported last month to be taking meetings in Hollywood for a variety of projects, one of them being the currently untitled "Mission: Impossible 4." She eventually signed on for "Sherlock Holmes 2" (the site claims Rapace wasn't interested in the role anyway) but if these reports are true, it looks like Rapace isn't the only 'Dragon Tattoo' cast member looking to make a leap across the pond.
Nyqvist's role is apparently meaty, with an insider saying “They have like a terrific 5 page fight sequence at the end of the film - brutal, brutal stuff. He’s this very charming, but calculating bad guy. Not your typical spy-film villain.”
But there are reportedly more roles to fill, with producers looking for a big name to take on the role of the head of the IMF (not the banking institution, but the organization the agents work for). The film will begin production this fall under the codename "Aries" with a globe-trotting shoot that will include Vancouver, Prague, Dubai and the U.S. and is scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2011.
Christopher Guest To Take On Retro Collectors Next? Jane Lynch, Parker Posey & Michael Higgins Rumored To Join
It's been a while since the admittedly pretty middling "For Your Consideration" but if reports at Women On The Web (via Cinematical) are to be believed, Christopher Guest is ready to return with another mock doc.
After taking a satirical knife to theater ("Waiting For Guffman"), folk music ("A Mighty Wind"), dog shows ("Best In Show"), and Hollywood ("For Your Consideration"), Guest will apparently take aim at "the world of retro collectors; people who ferret out such things as old comic books, Barbie dolls, vintage magazine ads, vinyl 45-rpm singles, or even – ick! – Charles Manson song lyrics written on Kleenex." And that actually sounds like perfect source material as that world is already populated with its own brand of eccentrics.
Among the names being bandied about to join the project are frequent Guest collaborators Jane Lynch, Parker Posey and Michael Patrick Higgins. No word yet on if/when this film might get in front of cameras, but if Lynch is involved, it will most likely have to wait until she has a break from filming "Glee." But we definitely hope wheels are in motion; we would welcome another entry from Guest and his always excellent cast of players.
Vapid beauty or intelligent British thespian? Kate Beckinsale has had a very curious career or has come a long way depending on how you look at it. Remember when she played a mousy intellectual in Whit Stillman's "The Last Days Of Disco"? Then the actress moved to L.A. and her brains -- or acting choices -- seemed to gravitate south (one could argue they were what helped fill out her once fairly non-existent chestal region).
Well, if you want to figure out her true colors, remember this: somewhere along the way she decided marrying her "Underworld" director, hack Len Wiseman, would be a good idea. This is not entirely true (the true colors part) as Beckinsale did some solid work in the little-seen drama "Nothing But The Truth," but more often than not, she's become a b-movie heroine for waste-of-time pictures like "Whiteout."
So in another dubious move, the actress has agreed to star in "Underworld 4" (yes, they've somehow arrived at a fourth installment of this grown up vampires vs. werewolves actioner). And no, she's not doing her husband a favor (well, not exactly). According to THR, Screen Gems/Lakeshore Entertainment are on the look out for a new director, plus a young girl to play the lead actresses' daughter. But Wiseman, who produced "Underworld: Evolution" and "Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans" will probably take on that role again with this installment. Production is set to begin in March 2011.
If there's one film that entered the Toronto International Film Festival without distribution and then left the fest sitting prettier than all other films of its ilk, it is undoubtedly John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole."
Scooped up by Lionsgate, the acquisition surely came with a certain dollar commitment figure for the Oscars and it's easy to see why. Mitchell's parental grieving drama boasts powerhouse performances from all its members especially lead actress Nicole Kidman, supporting actress Dianne Wiest and co-star Aaron Eckhart (who's frankly just as good as anyone in the cast, but is likely to be overlooked come awards season). And let's not forget Anton Sanko's expressive score, which we hope -- along with Rachel Portman's plaintive "Never Let Me Go" music -- earns a Best Original Score nod.
Well, Lionsgate is putting its Oscar horse right in the thick of it, scheduling the film for a December 17th limited release with the film rolling out to more theaters over the ensuing weeks before going wide on January 14th.
Our enthusiasm for "The Deep Blue Sea," the return of terminally underrated British director Terrence Davies, and his adaptation of Terrence Rattigan's 20th century drama classic, hasn't exactly been a secret since it was announced. The prospect of the film itself was exciting enough, but once Rachel Weisz was attached to the lead character, Hester Collyer, the suicidal wife of judge in 1950s Britain, locked in a destructive affair with a former RAF pilot, we knew this would be one of our most anticipated films of 2011.
Now, according to Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail, Weisz has two terrific actors joining her; Tom Hiddleston, soon to be seen as Loki in "Thor," will play Freddie Page, her younger lover, while stage veteran Simon Russell Beale will play her estranged husband. It's the latest high-profile role for Hiddleston: besides "Thor," and possibly "The Avengers," he's also got roles in Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" coming up next year.
But it's Russell Beale that we're really excited about here. A legend in the theatre world, called by some "the greatest stage actor of his generation" (he's probably best known in the States for appearing on Broadway in "Spamalot," and for Sam Mendes' "The Cherry Orchard" and "A Winter's Tale"), Beale very rarely appears on film -- the last time being the forgotten 2002 Christina Ricci chiller "The Gathering." But he's just kicked off a recurring role on the BBC show "Spooks," and it's reminded us of how compelling a presence on screen he can be.
Filming kicks off in November, with Weisz squeezing it in between several other projects -- presumably including the untitled Terrence Malick film currently underway, and Fernando Mereilles' "360" (and Jesus, what a line up of projects.) But it's clear why Weisz made the effort, and Davies says that she was his first and only choice, recalling the first time he saw her, in Beeban Kidron's "Swept From The Sea;" "I fell off the sofa when I saw her. She has the kind of luminosity that will last till she's 90. When producer Sean O'Connor suggested we do "The Deep Blue Sea," I said: "Offer it to her!" The film should open this time next year, just in time for the awards season, and we've got to assume at this point that it'll be a major contender.
Emma Watson Takes First Post-Potter Role In 'My Week With Marilyn'; Dominic Cooper & Derek Jacobi Also On Board
With the "Harry Potter" franchise finally starting to wind down after eight mega-grossing movies in ten years, its cast are starting to move on. Daniel Radcliffe has just kicked off the ghost story "The Woman In Black," while Rupert Grint's had a variety of roles in movies like the indie "Cherrybomb," and the Bill Nighy/Emily Blunt comedy "Wild Target." But Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the films, has taken relatively few big-screen roles outside the day job, with only a voice in the animation "The Tales of Desperaux" to her name.
Watson has expressed ambivalence about continuing acting past the series, instead enrolling at Brown University in the States. However, it would seem that she's not quite done yet as it is announced that she will take a small role in "My Week With Marilyn," the adaptation of Colin Clark's memoir of his time as Laurence Olivier's assistant on the set of "The Princess and The Showgirl," and more specifically his friendship with Marilyn Monroe, who co-starred in the film.
There's already a strong cast in place, with Eddie Redmayne starring as Clark, Kenneth Branagh as Olivier, Michelle Williams as Monroe, and Judi Dench as veteran actress Sybil Thorndike. Watson will play Lucy, a costume assistant who has a brief romance with Clark -- a part that will apparently take only a few days to film, allowing her to fit it in with her college schedule.
Emma Stone's "Easy A" might have come second to Ben Affleck's "The Town" last weekend in the box-office sweepstakes, but every single player in Hollywood noticed just not only how well the teen comedy did (relatively well, next to an male-dominated action thriller), but just how Stone charmed the pants off everyone in the audience, studio heads included.
So it's no surprise, her name is on the tip of everyone's lips this week. She's already been touted as a potential love interest in Marc Webb's "Spider-Man" starring Andrew Garfield, but Variety is also reporting that her "Superbad" co-star Jonah Hill wants her for the female lead in his upcoming adaptation of the late '80s teen-cop TV show, "21 Jump Street."
Written by Michael Bacall ("Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," the Les Grossman film) and to be directed by Phil Lord ("Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs") "21 Jump Street" is set to begin production in early 2011, after Hill finishes shooting David Gordon Green's "The Sitter."
"Easy A" did well for Sony -- $21 million so far off a very modest $8 million dollar budget, and expected to grow-- and Stone is now a big hit with studio head Amy Pascal (who also has control over "Spider-Man"). No other details are given, but such is the fickle world of Hollywood. If Stone is wise, she'll strike while the iron is hot.
Director Marc Webb is getting closer to finding Peter Parker a leading lady or two for the upcoming "Spider-Man" reboot. After Andrew Garfield was announced as have secured the lead, there has been much speculation on who would be jumping into the role of Mary Jane Watson. But sources close to the production say that is not the only lead female role Webb has been testing actresses for, so comic book fans rejoice as it seems Gwen Stacy will also be making an appearance. With that in mind, a few new names have entered the mix for these highly sought after roles.
Emma Stone, whose latest film "Easy A" opened at number two at the box office this past weekend, was reportedly reading for the role of Mary Jane with Garfield earlier this month. A natural fit for the role, we laid out the case for her casting back in January, she would be able to play opposite Garfield's Parker and would bring a spunky comedic talent and presence to the role. Stone's reportedly "great relationship" with Sony head Amy Pascal couldn't hurt her from getting the part, but with her upcoming slate filling up quickly, she'd have to weigh how starring in a superhero blockbuster would fit into her career.
And for the role of Gwen, it seems Webb and Sony are smitten with "Alice in Wonderland" star Mia Wasikowska, who they recently flew in from New York to meet with. While Wasikowska has received rave reviews for her recent film "The Kids Are All Right," as part of 'Alice' she proved herself capable of being an anchor to a tentpole film. But if you're worried like us that Wasikowska's talents will be wasted in a comic franchise, you can sight a breathe of relief as she is apparently "ambivalent" about the part. Of course, that could also be a ploy for more cash, as even the Mark Ruffalos of the world eventually succumb to a franchise project at some point in their career.
Finally, Lily Collins, who co-starred in last year's surprise hit "The Blind Side," has reportedly met with Sony for the film as well, but no word yet on which role.
With "Spider-Man" slated to begin filming later this year, Sony and Webb are likely to start making some hard decisions soon. With Fox stacking "X-Men: First Class" with a host of young, up-and-coming talent, it seems that Sony is taking the same the approach. Let's just hope this time they think bigger than Kirsten Dunst.
Christopher Nolan Considering Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, Jonathan Liebesman, Duncan Jones and Zack Snyder To Direct 'Superman' Reboot
It's just over six months since it was announced that Christopher Nolan would be shepherding a new "Superman" movie, and considering that Warner Bros have to be in production by 2012, or the rights will revert to the families of creator Jerry Siegel, it's surprising there hasn't been more forward momentum. Sure, there's been the recurring rumor that Nolan's brother Jonathan would direct the film, and various unconvincing casting rumors, but little else.
Well, that's all changed tonight, as Deadline has reported that Nolan and partner/producer Emma Thomas have started to met with prospective helmers for the project, and it's a somewhat surprising list, one without Jonathan Nolan anywhere near it. Veteran Tony Scott, "Let Me In" director Matt Reeves, Jonathan Liebesman, of the upcoming "Battle: Los Angeles," "Moon" helmer Duncan Jones and Zack Snyder are all set to meet with Nolan about directing the high-profile film, and a decision is expected in the next few weeks.
We've got to say, we're a little disappointed with the selection on hand. We named Jones as one of the five we thought could do it back in the day, and the word on Reeves' "Let Me In" is strong, but the others all strike us as brainless action guys -- Scott's had his moments, but has long since descended into self-parody, Liebesman is something of an unknown quantity, but his alien invasion picture isn't that enticing, and our already-monumental dislike for Snyder has only increased after his nonsensical owl picture "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls Of Ga'hoole."
We reckon, perhaps over-optimistically, that these are, for the most part, favored names from the studio that Nolan is humoring by meeting -- but having said that, the director is said to be a fan of Michael Bay movies, so you never know. As Deadline acknowledges, several of the names have other commitments -- Liebesman, in particular, is set to helm "Clash of the Titans 2" for the studio, while Scott has a number of projects in the works. Of the five, we'd still put our money on Jones landing the gig -- he seems closer to Nolan's sensibilities than any of the others. We could live with Reeves, and the rest would be fairly upsetting, to say the least. That said, we're sure there will be more names to come.
Gaspar Noé Talks Digital Filmmaking, Stanley Kubrick, Wanting To Work With Kristen Stewart & The "Sentimental, Erotic" Film He Wants To Make Next
When we said we had an extensive interview with film-maker Gaspar Noe, we weren't pulling your chain. Here is part two of our conversation with the director (part one here) in which the provocateur goes more in-depth on the influences and pre-production for "Enter the Void," as well as his thoughts on digital film-making and his admiration for "Twilight" actress Kristin Stewart. For those still on the fence or in the dark, check out the epileptic and titillating trailer here.
Can you talk more about how Kubrick inspires you and how that affects the way you direct movies?
I'm not so obsessed in his way of doing movies. I think I'm more of a party guy, drinking every night. But he was a very serious man, very focused on his work, very focused on his family. For me, the fact that he could've done "2001: A Space Odyssey" at that time, as perfect as it is, is one of the wonders of the universe. I wish I could have his talent, I know that I don't have it, but still as I direct I try to follow his path. I'm only obsessed with that particular movie, then besides "2001 A Space Odyssey" my other references for ["Enter The Void"] were more... "The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome" by Kenneth Anger, or "Videodrome" by David Cronenberg. I'm not so obsessed with directors, personally, I'm more obsessed with movies, particular movies that I can watch over and over. Like I love Bunuel, I read about his life but mostly what I like is watching "Un Chien Andalou" over and over. It's like asking a mother to reread the same story every night.
How awesome is it that sweet Chloe Moretz is sidestepping the honeyed kid career route (see Dakota Fanning roles) and becoming more of a modern film icon for teenage disenfranchisement. She's already played the irascible and sarcastic Hitgirl from the "Kick Ass" series, played an angry and lonely vampire in the upcoming, "Let Me In," and now she's going to playing yet another perturbed and smart-alecky teen.
Back in May 2008, an adaptation of the Dark Horse, cult comic character Emily The Strange was announced as in development with Universal Pictures and Deadline has just announced that Moretz (who is also starring in Scorsese's upcoming, "Hugo Cabret") has scored the coveted gig.
The character — a quiet but sharp-witted individualist — was created by Rob Reger and he says, "When I first met Chloe, I knew I found my Emily. She really identifies and understands the character, and has what it takes to bring her to life."
Nerds dying for it to happen should note that Deadline says Moritz is expected to play Hitgirl in the "Kick Ass 2," and yes, that picture will probably, eventually happen, but don't hold your breath for seeing it in say 2011. The principals are busy. Or at least, director Matthew Vaughn has at least one more film ("X-Men: First Class") to contend with before he can even possibly begin thinking about the sequel. While we're here, Vaughn is extremely talented and we hope he doesn't align himself once again with the lardaceous Mark Millar again.
Russian actor Vladimir Mashkov has joined the cast of the next entry in "Mission: Impossible" franchise marking his highest profile Hollywood gig to date.
The actor and occasional director is probably best know to North American audiences for his role as the villain in "Behind Enemy Lines." He's also appeared in the forgettable Robert De Niro thriller "15 Minutes" and in the Sergey Bodruv's "The Quickie" with Jennifer Jason Leigh. Mashkov will play, naturally, a Russian agent in the film.
The fourth installment of the Tom Cruise franchise will be directed by Brad Bird and features newcomers Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton, alongside franchise veterans Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg (the latter of whom said this summer his deal wasn't yet in place but whose name is still being linked to the film; maybe he's quietly back in?). The film will begin production this fall with a globe-trotting shoot that will include Vancouver, Prague, Dubai and the U.S. The currently untitled "Mission: Impossible" film will hit theaters on December 16, 2011. [The Wrap]
Shia LaBeouf never one to shy away from giving frank copy about his past work with legendary directors (regarding Steven Spielberg's work in "Indiana Jones 4 and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull": "He's done so much great work that there’s no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball") and less than legendary ones ("[Michael Bay] went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of [Transformers 2], ya know, human-on-human contact") shared a gem about his work with Oliver Stone in the upcoming "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
"We're in the Adirondacks, and Josh Brolin and I are shooting this bike scene," the actor told the press assembled at the Wall Street sequel's premiere. "And at one point I say to Josh a line — 'You should look at yourself in the mirror first and see yourself. It might scare you,'" recalled LaBeouf. "I looked at the line for a couple of months and thought I'd go to Oliver and say, 'You look at the mirror and look at yourself. It's sort of repetitive. Why don't we just cut one of those? Why don't I say, Look at yourself. It might scare you.' This is Oliver verbatim. He looks at me and goes, 'I like mirror. I wrote Scarface. Go fuck yourself.'" Ouch.
We presume that LaBeouf kept his comments to himself from there on in, and perhaps he should learn how to pronounce words first before trying to write them (see video below).
For more Oliver Stone, check out our retrospective of the director's films. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" hits theaters this weekend.
Olivier Assayas' Gangster Epic 'Carlos' Gets Fantastic Poster & New Trailer; Theatrical Cut Will Run 2 Hr 20 Min
For most critics (including us) who've already seen "Carlos," we've watched it in its full three-part, five-and-a-half-hour as originally conceived. And though it will be hitting theaters via IFC in a shortened, but still lengthy, two hour and twenty minute cut (believe us, this is a hard film to whittle down) we do advise you take the time to watch the full cut when it airs on the Sundance Channel.
Anyway, we now have a beautiful, fresh, very 1970s poster for the film and brand new trailer for the film as well. If anything, we hope the film's fall release brings some attention to Edgar Ramirez who is absolutely phenomenal in the lead role of Cold War terrorist Carlos The Jackal. He gives a powerful body-morphing, sexy, multi-lingual, cross-continental performance that makes Vincent Cassel's turn as Mesrine look like child's play. We really hope Hollywood is paying attention because Ramirez proves himself to be the real deal. Also in evidence is the weird jangly guitar score that we pointed as distracting in our review, and is still distracting here. We simply don't get it. But it's a niggling problem in an otherwise very, very strong piece of work.
You can watch the trailer in HD over at Apple; the embed is below. "Carlos" will open in select theaters on October 15th. Sundance Channel will air all three parts starting on October 11th.
With Guillermo Del Toro deep into pre-production on his next, the adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At The Mountains Of Madness," the director has revealed the first bit of casting. Sort of.
Del Toro tells MTV that he has a part written and ready to go for Ron "Hellboy" Perlman, but it isn't quite 100% yet. "All I can tell you is if Ron Perlman is free, he will be in," del Toro told us. "I wrote a part for him. He read it and if everything falls in place, Ron Perlman has a role in it written specifically for him." So what will Perlman be playing?
"Ron plays Larson, the sort of dog guy, the guy that cares for the dogs and the sled — the part of the expedition that is dog sleds," Del Toro explained. "It's a fantastic character. I really love him. He's sort of a pragmatic guy, doesn't care about science or the mythology or the cosmology. He just is a hard-boiled Nordic man, and it is written specifically for him."
Sounds pretty interesting, but for now, the big question remains who will be cast in the lead role of Dyer. Last we heard, Del Toro wanted Tom Cruise for the part (remember, they were working on a "Van Helsing" movie at one point) while Universal is gunning for James McAvoy. It remains to be seen how that will play out, but if all goes according to plan, "At The Mountains Of Madness" will go in front of cameras next May.
We've always liked that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) seemed to be even more damaged than your average damaged superhero, but it's easy to see why this alternate opening, that will be found on the upcoming "Iron Man 2" DVD/BluRay was initially scrapped.
This revised opening introduces the hero of the film post-puke, hovering over a toilet bowl. Yeah, we get it, Tony Stark is a bit of miss but director Jon Favreau wisely realized that this was a bit much. The scene continues with our nauseous hero badgering Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) for something, anything to cure his uneasy stomach. Yeah, it's a not a very good scene as a whole, and again, no surprise they went in a different direction.
Anyhow, you can see this scene and lots more when "Iron Man 2" hits home video on September 28th. [JoBlo]
Yes, we know. We've had a lot of posts about "The Social Network" and we'd be lying if we said the marketing buzz around the film and the hyperbolic advance word on the film wasn't wearing us out already. That said, we also can't ignore it and if the tastes we've gotten so far are to be believed, "The Social Network" will certainly be one of the year's best.
Following yesterday's clip, we have a new snippet from the film where Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) gets inspiration from the unlikeliest of places. It's a pretty great little scene. Also surfacing is a listen to a song that wasn't include in the free soundtrack sampler. "In Motion" by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is actually a pretty buoyant little number, one of the few ones in the otherwise well sculpted score by the duo.
Do we even have to tell you at this point? "The Social Network" opens on October 1st. [ScreenCrave/Pitchfork]
In Motion by nullcorp
Kimberley Peirce took nine long years to follow her out of the gate sensation and award winner "Boys Don't Cry" with the Iraq war drama "Stop-Loss" which deserved more attention than middling reception it got. Well, we won't have to wait nearly another decade for a film from the director but we just wish it was something we could get more excited about.
Deadline reports that Kimberly Peirce is set to direct "Wicked Lovely" based on the book by Melissa Marr. The very post-"Twilight"-esque tale tells the story of "a teenaged girl who has seen dangerous faeries all her life. Taught by her grandmother to ignore them so they won't attack, the teen realizes she must drop that and confront a world she has been raised to fear." Teenage girls? Faeries? Yeah, we are not the demographic for this.
The project is being produced by Vince Vaughn's Wild West Picture Show and Universal which makes us wonder what is going on with the project she was developing (and maybe, hopefully still is?) with Judd Apatow. But if there is a kernel of hope it's that frequent Tim Burton collaborator Caroline Thompson ("Edward Scissorhands," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Corpse Bride") is penning the screenplay.