Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha and Michael Sheen have signed to star in Amit Gupta’s debut feature, "Resistance," a picture about an alternative 1944 where Russia has fallen to Nazi Germany and the D-Day landings have failed. With Britain partly occupied by German forces, a group of Welsh villagers wake to discover that their husbands have mysteriously disappeared. [THR]
Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures shingles has hired Dana Stevens to adapt the R.L. Stine thriller "The Sitter." It will be called "The Au Pair," and will center on a young woman who flees a troubled relationship for a great summer job as a family nanny in a Hamptons beachfront vacation home. That dream job becomes a nightmare. [Deadline]
Ok, he won't be "Superman" likely, but Brandon Routh has signed on for "Missing William." [Cinemablend]
Does the world need another boxing film? A Sugar Ray Robinson biopic is in the works. The creative team behind it? Producer Rachael Horovitz, who set up "Moneyball" at Columbia and "Recount" writer Danny Strong have optioned Wil Haygood's biography "Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson." Haygood will pen the screenplay. [Deadline]
Comedy director Tom Shadyac ("Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "Liar Liar") has new bio-documentary called "I Am" ready for release. It's about being left nearly incapacitated after a bike accident. Suffice to say it's not the goofy, lite comedy he's known for. [Coming Soon]
Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha and Michael Sheen have signed to star in Amit Gupta’s debut feature, "Resistance," a picture about an alternative 1944 where Russia has fallen to Nazi Germany and the D-Day landings have failed. With Britain partly occupied by German forces, a group of Welsh villagers wake to discover that their husbands have mysteriously disappeared. [THR]
Will Matt Damon star in "The Bourne Legacy"? That's the million dollar question on everyone's minds.
Some clarity has arrived from Tony Gilroy himself who called Jeffrey Wells this morning (dude, our lines are open 24-7). Part of the impetus for the call was Gilroy wanting to clear up some information stated in Deadline's original piece about Gilroy signing on to direct the script and the 'Bourne' Bible he's been writing these last few months.
For starters while the title of this new film comes from a Robert Ludlum book Gilory told Wells, "[it] will not use [that] story. It's a completely original screenplay." Gilroy also confirms something that Universal told us months ago. "This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel."
This afternoon at New York Comic Con during the Focus Features panel for "Hanna," the teenage assassin picture starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, director Joe Wright revealed that electronic duo the Chemical Brothers would composing the original score to the film.
How the seemingly odd collaboration came about is easy. "I've known them for a lot of years," the filmmaker said adding that he met the band in the mid-90s when he was doing "visual projections for raves." The score isn't yet complete as the two scenes that were shown to NYCC audiences were unfinished and utilized none of the pair's new music (more on those scenes later).
While the filmmaker noted that he had mostly worked in a "classical" genre before ("Pride & Prejudice," " The Soloist") and loved working working with Dario Marianelli on "Atonement," for which the composer won an Academy Award, he also said he was, "very excited to finally... work with a more modern beat. There's a lot of bass, its very loud."
Updated: Here's Wright's quotes in full.
“The Chemical Brothers are doing the score for the whole film. I’ve been talking to them, and we’re very excited about that. I’ve known them for a number of years. When I first left college I set up a company called Vegetable Vision, which was a lightshow company, and we used to go around doing projections at raves and nightclubs. We met the Chemicals back then, about ‘94, ‘95, and I’ve known them ever since. I was very excited to work with them on the score, as you know, my previous films have sounded very classical, working with Dario Marinelli, he won the Oscar for the ‘Atonement’ score. But I was very excited to do something with a lot of bass. It’s very loud.”
One of the best performances by a kid we've seen in recent years was the brilliantly-named Max Records in Spike Jonze's outstanding "Where The Wild Things Are" — totally unforced, natural and feral. So, really, we couldn't be happier that Records has landed another role, in a project helmed by a director with a track record in getting excellent performance from children.
Records, and relative unknown Kevin Hernandez, who'll be seen in Mel Gibson vehicle "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," if it ever sees the light of day, have joined the already-cast Landry Bender as the three children that Jonah Hill has to look after in David Gordon Green's currently-filming comedy "The Sitter." Hernandez will presumably play Rodrigo, a semi-psychotic, destructive 10-year-old Latino kid, while Records will be Slater, the eldest of the kids, a neurotic 13-year-old (man, he's perfectly cast in the role) and Landry is Blithe, an 8-year-old obsessed with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.
Ari Graynor ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") was already in the cast, as Hill's girlfriend, and there's another new addition in the shape of J.B. Smoove, the stand-up turned actor best known for his role as Leon Black in "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Smoove will play one of a pair of drug dealers in pursuit of Hill (Joaquin Phoenix was reportedly offered the other, although as far as we're aware, the role hasn't been cast yet).
It's all shaping up to be one of the more promising comedies of next year, particularly with Hill having shown new depths in"Cyrus," and with Records coming on board. The film will be released on July 15 next year, as neat counter-programming to the final "Harry Potter" movie. [The Wrap]
It's been a busy few weeks for director David O. Russell. With his comeback film "The Fighter" on its way, and looking set to be a major player in the awards season, he's leaping on and off projects like a man possessed. He was reported not so long ago to be considering the Jim Carrey comedy "Under Cover," and it was reported only a few days ago that, along with star Natalie Portman, he'd dropped out of "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies" in favor of the comedy "Old St. Louis," with Vince Vaughn and Chloe Moretz, which is set to shoot next March.
Now, the maverick director, who seems to become less and less of a maverick as time goes on, has signed on to another project that he'd been linked to, one that, not so long ago, it seemed that he had turned down. Columbia Pictures announced last night (via Coming Soon) that Russell had signed on to write and direct the tentpole "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune," an adaptation of the blockbuster Playstation 3 game.
The game focused on Nathan Drake, a descendant of Sir Francis Drake and a treasure hunter, as he searches for the lost treasure of El Dorado, with the help of a journalist. Russell was reported to have been offered the project, the first draft of which was written by "Conan" scribes Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, back in May, but by August negotiations were said to have fallen apart. Clearly, whatever the sticking point was, it has been resolved, as Russell will rewrite Donnelly and Oppenheimer's script, and direct the film. Columbia president Matt Tolmach said in a press release that "David is a tremendous choice to take on this film. He's equally adept at combining all the classic elements involved in this property: great character development, strong comedy and amazing action sequences. He has a brilliant vision for this material and we know he will bring his original, unique voice to this adaptation."
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" at more than one stage in its eventual development appeared destined to remain in stasis. Yet, now the international trailer has arrived here courtesy of Coming Soon.
After the critical and commercial disappointment of the second chapter: 'Prince Caspian,' Walt Disney slept on the project for a long period before passing its option to co-finance the third instalment.
The reason simple: budget. A Narnia film commands a high cost production and while Walden Media assessed that a budget of $140 million was required, Disney preferred a bottom line of $100 million. Consequently, the companies went their separate ways having failed to reach a compromise, with Walden later signing an agreement with FOX some weeks later.
Posted by Rodrigo Perez at 9:09 AM
After having shooting plans pushed back earlier this year, George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" has once again hit a snag and is set for yet another significant delay.
Key crew were reportedly informed this week that pre-production is not expected to begin until August or November of next year with shooting likely to begin around February of 2012 again in the Broken Hill Region of New South Wales, Australia. The delay comes very late in the game with some reports that pre-production was in fact already underway for its planned 2011 shoot — up to 130 cars and bikes were reportedly constructed and some second unit sequences already shot.
While no specific reason is given for the latest delay, the fact the Australian dollar is sky high at the moment looks to be playing a major part. Nearing parity with its U.S. counterpart, the strong dollar would probably increase costs by up to 20 percent compared to original plans; no doubt an unattractive prospect for American producers and financiers.
VIFF '10 Reviews: Catherine Breillat's 'Sleeping Beauty,' 'Mysteries Of Lisbon' & 'The Autobiography Of Nicolae Ceasusescu'
More reviews from the currently ongoing 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival which runs September 30-October 15
"The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" (Andrei Ujica)
If it wasn't already evident, those pesky Romanians are, like, really frickin' good at this whole filmmaking thing. The much ballyhooed "New Wave" from the Eastern European country has been in full swing for a good half-decade now, kicking off, or at least catching lots of attention from the press, when several films and filmmakers began winning major awards at Cannes: Cristi Puiu's "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" won the Un Certain Regard in 2005 (we recently caught and were quite fond of his latest, the three-hour "Aurora"); and Corneliu Porumboiu's "12:08 East of Bucharest" took home two awards in 2006 (his last film, 2009's "Police, Adjective" was criminally under seen and underrated during its limp release in select American cities). But the big title that really made the film community pay attention was director Cristian Mungiu's tense, frightening look at an abortion in 1980's Romania, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days." It took home three prizes at Cannes 2007, most importantly the Palme d'Or.
The 2010 New York Film Festival wraps up this weekend on October 10, and while you may have read other reviews on these films from Cannes 2010, here's another take:
Oliver Assayas hopes you like your counter-revolutionary rebels naked and set to post-punk. The seductive “Carlos,” opening this weekend in truncated form, is a three-part epic detailing the life and affiliations of terrorist networker Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known to many as Carlos the Jackal. As played by Edgar Ramirez, he’s got good looks, a soft voice and movie-star swagger. It’s not hard to see how he charmed those with similar interests into taking his side.
“Carlos” begins with the upstart rebel lacking ambition, merely interested in working his way up the ranks, unconcerned with his cause. He’s naturally oblivious when that cause, originally rooted in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, passes him by, and with no tenet worth fighting (or dying) for, concessions are made to survive, globetrotting to various countries with no extradition policy. In the meantime, he seduces men with his promises of revolution and anti-capitalist rhetoric, and women with his washboard abs, playful fingers and natural aggression.
If Shia LaBeouf feels like making his reparations to cinema — for abominations like "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and the "Transformers" series — by working with the likes of folks like Richard Linklater, apology accepted, dude.
Though as we pour into the details we might be getting ahead of ourselves, read on.
Evidently the young star is interested in "College Republicans," a comedy-drama about a young Karl Rove vying for the position of chief campus conservative under the guidance of one Lee Atwater, who's his campaign manager, according to the LATimes.
In “We Are What We Are,” an urban family decays from within, infected with the sins of the father. His avarice in the face of his family’s compromised social strata has led them to tradition, to ritual. The free market has kicked them out quite literally, their street-side stolen goods stand threatened by fear from the natural aggression of animals backed against a wall. The politics of the small family - a mother, her two sons, and a daughter - have come to the forefront with dad’s departure, but one senses it’s been a long time coming.
On top of these complications, yes, they are cannibals. Maybe not spirited ones (yet) but the family undoubtedly knows the value of a good rib bone. It’s only apparent later on that, in our only glimpse of the father, we may have been watching a traditional George Romero zombie. Hunched over, drunk, gargling bile, he lurches forward in a memorable opening sequence, a marionette with the strings giving way. His last moments are spent - where else? - in a mall, gazing at the designer clothes his family cannot afford.
Teaser, Stills & Poster For Terry Gilliam's 'The Legend Of Hallowdega,' Features Music By Wolf Parade
A poster, some official stills and synopsis have arrived for Terry Gilliam's energy drink advertainment/filmette, "The Legend Of Hallowdega," produced by AMP Energy Juice and @radical.media. That might be the strangest sentence we write all day.
Production on the short began under the radar last month, with scattered details here and there, but we can now confirm that the horror comedy will star David Arquette and Justin Kirk as well as race car drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Darrell Waltrip. Peering at the poster, it's revealed that the excellent Wolf Parade song "It's A Curse" will be featured in the spot. Gilliam clearly loves the indie rock, directing the Arcade Fire webcast last month turning Johnny Depp on to Wolf Parade side project, Sunset Rubdown.
The spot will air on Halloween with the first chapter being shown on ESPN prior to the start of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (naturally). The full movie will be available over at the official website.
Read the official synopsis after the jump along with the teaser, stills and a listen to "It's A Curse." [Collider]
Directing duo Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden made a name for themselves with the Sundance hit and Ryan Gosling tour-de-force "Half Nelson," about a history teacher/drug addict who attempts to help a troubled student, but ends up receiving the help instead.
The film was powerful and affecting, and expectations were high for whatever would end up being their sophomore effort. The team decided to throw everyone a curveball, literally, as their next film "Sugar" followed the rise and fall of a Dominican baseball player chosen to play in the American minor leagues. Employing non-actors and beginning with a superficial tone that fizzles into realism towards the end, they proved to be the some of the smartest filmmakers in the country.
While the two films were very different from one another, it was assumed that they would continue to tackle these dark subjects, each with distinct sensibilities. Color us surprised when it turned out their next film would be a teen comedy in the vein of John Hughes, starring Keir Gilchrist from "The United States of Tara" and featuring the likes of Zach Galifianakis, Lauren Graham and comedian Jim Gaffigan. "It's Kind Of A Funny Story," based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, chronicles a brief stint at a mental hospital by 16-year-old Craig, who attempts suicide after crumbling under the pressures of life.
Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No, It's The Playlist's Picks For The Cast Of Zack Snyder's 'Superman'!
The Christopher Nolan-produced "Superman" reboot, due in 2012, finally has a director in the shape of "Watchmen" helmer Zack Snyder. No, we're not crazy about that either. But with the creative team, also including screenwriter David Goyer, in place, it means that the casting rumors for the film will kick off any day now. Freshly smug from being three-for-three with our "Spider-Man" picks from January (Ok, we figured MJ would be the lead, but still...), we turn our hand to Metropolis.
Casting Superman isn’t easy and those who are going to be screaming big stars are off-the-mark (just look at “Spider-Man” for recent proof). Both iterations of the two “Superman” franchises that have hit the screens so far used unknowns. The Richard Donner version in the ‘70s and ‘80s used Christopher Reeve, who was vaguely familiar to some, but wasn’t anywhere near a household name, and the Bryan Singer version in 2006 plucked Brandon Routh out of obscurity and turned him into something of a star (he had done some film and TV work, but was virtually unknown until the moment he was announced). Superman comes with baggage, and the mere presence of the iconic cape and tights is enough to make someone a star, so our guess is they’re probably going to look at relative unknowns as well.
Everyone and their mothers has been flagging Jon Hamm for the role, but we think it's fairly unlikely -- they’re looking to make this into a trilogy, count on it, and at 40, he’s too old. You might as well cast Powers Boothe. Same for 37-year-old Ben Affleck (though he’s not a terrible choice). So our guess is it’s an unknown, or a relatively unknown actor between the ages of 25-35 and looks like he’s somewhere in between. Here’s five relatively “unknown” choices that could be a good starting point:
Can someone please get some smelling salts ready, because we may just pass out from excitement. The NY Times reports Al Pacino is set to play controversial musical producer Phil Spector in a film to be written and directed by none other than David Mamet.
The currently untitled film which will be made at HBO is still in early stages of development with Barry Levinson producing (who directed the multiple Emmy nominated "You Don't Know Jack" starring Pacino earlier this year). There's no word yet on what the focus of the film will be; if it will be a sweeping biopic or tackle the bizarre later years in the already eccentric producer's life. At any rate the soundtrack is sure to be aces. Spector developed his famous Wall Of Sound production, made instantly classic songs for a variety of girl groups including The Crystals and The Ronettes, made his contemporaries green with envy and perhaps most famously, mixed and finished the Beatles last album "Let It Be." In more recent years, he's known for outrageous hair and for murdering actress/model Lana Clarkson.
However unsavory his personal life, his mark on the music world is undeniable and a film about him is sure to be fascinating. But more importantly: Spector + Pacino + Mamet? Fuck. Yes.
Warner Bros. Cancels 3D Release Of 'Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows,' Will Hit Theaters In 2D Only
Wow, color us surprised. Warner Bros. has canceled plans to release the first entry in the two-part "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows" in 3D. It will still hit theaters as planned on November 19th, but now people won't need to wear the dorky glasses and pay extra money for the privilege.
In a statement, the studio said "we will not have a completed 3D version of the film within our release date window," adding "despite everyone's best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality. We do not want to disappoint fans who have long-anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey." So is this just a fancy way of saying the conversion looked fucking terrible and they don't want to make the same mistake they did with "Clash Of The Titans"? Yeah, we think so.
David Yates says, "This decision, which we completely support, underscores the fact that Warner Bros. has always put quality first." No word yet if the Warner Bros. are still aiming to convert part two, which will hit theaters on July 15, 2011. If they do, they have plenty of time to get it right or even better, not do it at all.
'For Colored Girls' Soundtrack Features Macy Gray, Gladys Knight, Sharon Jones, Nina Simone, Janelle Monàe & More
So will Tyler Perry get his chance at Oscar gold this year? Well he's certainly going to try with "For Colored Girls," his big screen adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s 1975 Obie & Tony Award-winning play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf.”
While we haven't seen the film yet, the soundtrack looks like it will be some pretty top notch stuff. It kicks off with what we're guessing is the cast reading snippets of the "choreopoem" that makes up the film. After that, the music kicks in and the choices are pretty solid. Neo-soul artist Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Brit sensation Estelle, legend Gladys Knight, r&b eccentric Macy Gray (who also appears in the film), the undeniable Nina Simone and new kid on the block Janelle Monàe are the highlights on the thirteen track strong disc.
The soundtrack will hit stores on November 2nd a few days before the film hits on November 5th. Full tracklist after the jump. [Hello Beautiful]
With great word-of-mouth spreading for last week's 'The Social Network," the box-office race is wide open this week. Three films open wide, all targeting vastly different audiences this Columbus Day weekend. First up, Disney gives us the family horse-racing drama "Secretariat," which looks to capture the hungry "The Blind Side" crowd and drum up some award attention. The rom-com "Life as We Know It" is less generic than it looks, but ultimately falls victim to convention. We know better than to count out Katherine Heigel at the box office, though. Wes Craven returns with 3D Halloween entry "My Soul to Take," which has been generating zero buzz prior to its release. Interesting options in limited release, the Edward Norton/Robert DeNiro crime drama "Stone" isn't quite up to their their best work, but will leave you thinking afterwards. Zack Galifanakis stretches his skills in the mental hospital dramedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story," while young John Lennon is given the warts-and -all treatment in "Nowhere Boy." Your best bets this weekend may be the fascinating financial crisis documentary "Inside Job" or if you're looking for something a little more pulpy, the British gangster tale "Down Terrace."
The timing couldn't be better/worse, but fresh off receiving an NC-17 rating from the MPAA the scandalous and filthy trailer for the cesspool of iniquity that is "Blue Valentine" has arrived.
Of course, we're joking, and the spot for the film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams is actually a pretty nifty impression of the movie. Over Ryan Gosling warbling the standard "You Always Hurt The One You Love," the brief spot shows flashes of the relationship profiled in the film during its peaks and valleys. It's a great teaser, and there will surely be a meatier trailer down the line.
We saw the film at Cannes and TIFF and were impressed both times. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, it's one of the most bracing and real looks at a relationship in a downward spiral you will ever see. But it's also pretty funny and charming as well. The film will hit theaters on December 31st. But if the prudes at the MPAA have their way, the number of screens it ends up hitting might be greatly reduced if their ridiculous and reactionary rating remains standing.
One of the more comical movie-web incidents this weekend was watching Deadline on the topic of "The Hobbit." The site has broken countless stories this week that alone warrant enough bragging rights for months, but for some reason felt the need to childishly "toldja!" chest-puff about "The Hobbit," mostly because the NY and L.A. Times both advanced the story they had originally broke (NY Times noted the film would be shot in 3D, the LAT noted that Jackson's deal was almost done).
Deadline basically pooh-poohed both reports and whined, "we basically told you all this first" and mocked the "breathless reports." Doubly comical was watching other Internet reports take the Deadlines piece as some sort of official word of god that Peter Jackson's directing deal with the picture was signed, sealed and delivered. Well, it's not. And while the MGM/Spyglass situation is resolving itself as we speak — and therefore paving the way for "The Hobbit" to move forward — and Jackson will more than likely complete his deal to helm the two (allegedly $500-million-costing) films, that deal is not done and nowhere in the Deadline cry-a-river piece did it say that.
"Electric Cars Are Gay": Universal Faces Heat After Anderson Cooper Slams Line In 'The Dilemma' Trailer
Update: Universal will be removing the offending scene from trailers for the film.
"Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars are gay."
So goes Vince Vaughn in the very first moment of the trailer for the upcoming Ron Howard rom-com "The Dilemma," but in the wake of a number of young gays committing suicide in the past few weeks, that playful phrase is not looking so funny anymore.
Anderson Cooper recently took to "Ellen" to talk about gay bullying, and in addressing how language is used to put people down he brought up the trailer to "The Dilemma," saying, “I was sitting in a movie theater over the weekend and there was a preview of [Vince Vaughn's new] movie, and in it, the actor said, ‘that’s so gay,’ and I was shocked that not only they put it in the movie, but that they thought that it was okay to put that in a preview for the movie to get people to go and see it.”
According to Deadline, their comments section had this debate back when the trailer dropped, but Universal execs are confused. A source told Deadline, "we showed the trailer to gay groups like GLAAD and gay executives here and gays in our marketing department and no one was offended and everyone had a positive response." Hmm.
Who’s Behind It?: 20th Century Fox, director Ridley Scott, screenwriters Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaights.
What Is It?: Reportedly, the intentions of Scott are to take the series back to its roots, specifically the haunted original film that introduced the murderous xenomorphs as a parasitic alien race emerging from the shadows to kill. This planned two-film prequel, which deals with the Weyland-Yutani corporation developing terraforming technology, would also primarily showcase what happened to the spacecraft explored by Ellen Ripley and company in the first film, particularly the deceased Space Jockey, whose remains have been speculated on by a legion of fans.
Why Should This Be Made?: “Alien” is a popular series that has spanned six movies and several videogame, comic book and novel tie-ins. It was only a matter of time before Fox got the ball rolling on another film in the franchise, so why not take a chance with Ridley Scott? Scott’s had a number of hits since “Alien,” but most feel that as the architect of the franchise, he made the best “Alien” film yet. Furthermore, there is iconic resonance of the Xenomorph creatures, one of the few genuine monster movie icons in the last forty years. While later films in the series emphasized the science fiction trappings of the story, Scott’s original film was something of an outer space slasher, so it’s clear someone needed to restore the creature to its monstrous origins before it lost relevance, giving the franchise a new lease on life and re-igniting interest in the earlier films as catalog titles.
The MPAA has made some boneheaded, confounding and confusing decisions in the past but his one is a serious head-scratcher. The ratings board has inexplicably come down very hard on the forthcoming Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams-starring relationship drama "Blue Valentine" giving the film a dreaded NC-17 rating.
So what raised the ire of the ratings board? According to Deadline, the sequence in question involves the couple (Gosling and Williams), who in the midst of the worst emotional crisis of their relationship, head to a theme hotel to spend the night to try and sort things out. They both get drunk and he wants to have sex, but she doesn't. However, in order to keep the peace, she agrees to anyway. It's a tough moment, but certainly not violent; if anything it's wrenching and unsettling, but like the rest of the film, it's bracingly honest and mature about the complexities of a relationship on the rocks and that extends to sex too. The scene itself is hardly explicit and the film has no nudity really, except for a flashback scene where Williams is shown having sex with an ex-boyfriend at college; you see partial bum (gasp!), but that scene is also emotionally difficult for entirely different reasons that we won't spoil here.
CMJ 2010, New York's annual music festival is about to kick-off — it runs October 19-23 — and while there's been a film presence at the event for a few years now, this season's line-up might be the strongest ever.
Arguably that's because of the appearance of Ed Zwick's "Love And Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. And strangely enough, it appears that the appearance will be the U.S. premiere — the much more prestigious AFI Film Festival in Hollywood does not get the film until November 14 (the film opens in regular release on November 24).
Other notable films at the festival include the Bruce Springsteen documentary, "The Promise: Darkness on the Edge of Town," which recently made its debut at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival to much acclaim. Also, a new Fishbone documentary entitled, "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" (the band has had an interesting history including a guitarist that was recruited into a cult that they tried to rescue in the late '90s) narrated by Laurence Fishburne, and featuring appearances by Flea, Ice-T, Gwen Stefani, Perry Farrell, Bob Forrest, Branford Marsalis and George Clinton. Can't say we care for their more metal years, but the band meant a lot to us in their early days. Also of interest is the Serge Gainsbourg doc "Gainsbourg & His Girls" which is seen through the eyes of many of his
sexual conquests muses and admirers including Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Vanessa Paradis, Francoise Hardy and his daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg.
As anyone who's read "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" will tell you, William Friedkin was one of the most fascinating, frustrating figures to come out of American cinema in the 1970s. Following the spectacular one-two punch of "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" (and, to some extent, the brilliant failure of "Sorcerer"), Friedkin's career never quite hit the same heights again, full of TV work, and questionable B-movies like "Jade" and "Rules of Engagement," with only the fitfully strong, albeit badly dated "To Live and Die In L.A." retaining the promise he once held.
But things are looking up a bit for the now 75-year-old director: 2006's "Bug" was his best film in years, and he's reteaming with that film's Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tracy Letts for next year's "Killer Joe," with Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey and Thomas Haden Church among the cast. And now comes the news that Friedkin may again be working with the writer behind his best-known film, "The Exorcist."
Rising star Alice Eve has joined the cast of David Brooks' upcoming thriller "ATM," based on a script by Chris Sparling, the writer of the Ryan Reynolds one-man show "Buried."
It seems the actress has replaced Margarita Levieva ("Adventureland") who was originally reported to be starring, something that is now implied to be misinformation. Eve will star along side fellow young talents Josh Peck ("The Wackness") and Brian Geraghty ("The Hurt Locker") in the story of three co-workers who take a late-night trip to an ATM only to find themselves in a desperate fight for survival against an unknown male.
First Look: Michelle Williams As Marilyn Monroe In 'My Week With Marilyn'; Julia Ormond & Dougray Scott Join Cast
Here's our first look at Michelle Williams in her role as the iconic Marilyn Monroe in Simon Curtis' "My Week With Marilyn."
It's a remarkable similarity for Williams, often and rightfully touted as one of the best actresses of her generation. The story uses the diaries of Colin Clark (to be played by rising star Eddie Redmayne), an assistant on the set of the 1956 film "The Prince And The Showgirl," and tells the story of the tumultuous production which teamed Monroe up with Laurence Olivier.
Lensing on "My Week With Marilyn" began today in London with Julia Ormond and Dougray Scott also added to the cast, which already boasts the likes of Kenneth Branagh as Olivier, Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike, Emma Watson as a costume designer, Dominic Cooper as producer Milton Greene, Derek Jacobi as a royal librarian and Toby Jones in an unnamed role. Ormond, in fact, replaces Catherine Zeta Jones who was evidently set to play the role of Vivien Leigh but had to pull out due to her husband, Michael Douglas' recent throat cancer diagnosis, while Scott will play Arthur Miller.
A surprise semi-hit at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival for those that saw it -- we were happy to read the good word of mouth -- Mike Mills' sophomore feature-film effort, "Beginners," received good notices earlier this fall.
Another good augur followed quickly, Focus Features picked up the film for U.S. distribution just as the festival was ending. Now the studio has set a June 3, 2011 release date for the picture, possibly trying to replicate the arthouse counter-programming success they pulled off this year with the enjoyable and rich, "The Kids Are Alright" (which is likely going to pull off a Best Picture nomination, you watch).
Canadian Wunderkind Director Xavier Dolan Is Crowdsourcing Financing For Next Film 'Laurence Anyways'
If you haven't yet heard of Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan, don't worry, you will. At 21 years old he's already written, directed and starred in two films -- "I Killed My Mother" and "Heartbeats" -- that have premiered at Cannes, with the former taking home three awards. In Canada, he is already becoming the nation's Pedro Almodovar and his films, while not masterpieces, are worth getting excited over because it's rare for a talent so young to be so ambitious out of the gate. If he wears his influences -- Godard, Truffaut, and yes Almodovar -- obviously, he also does so sincerely.
This spring his next film was announced as being "Laurence Anyways" with funding set to be coming from France. However, in an interesting twist, Dolan is crowdsourcing $28,000 to go towards production on the film, which according to his funding page, will begin in May of next year. No word yet on why the film, which was last said to be budgeted at around $6.5 million needs such a random sum of money. If we had to guess, we would wager that somehow Dolan was unable to secure funding from Canadian film agencies SODEC and TeleFilm Canada that he was applying for in August. In Canada, the government helps provide funding for the arts, but it should be noted that outside of some of the money for post-production on "I Killed My Mother," Dolan's films have been independently financed; he was a child actor and used a lot of his savings and credit cards to make 'Mother' while "Heartbeats" was financed be three anonymous investors.
Posted by Kevin Jagernauth at 9:23 AM
With an Oscar qualifying run now set for late December, we now have our first taste of his upcoming prison escape epic "The Way Back," and it looks like six-time nominee Peter Weir might want to start getting fitted for a tuxedo.
While it does play out conventionally -- this is trailer after all -- the film promises a gritty tale of man versus nature that has long been a theme Weir has returned to more than once in his career. There are snatches of beautiful cinematography on display with the 4000 miles that the prisoners, escaping from a Soviet gulag, have to cover, ranging from mountains to deserts to rivers. And while the imagery is strong, the performances look to be solid across the board.
If you're a hard-boiled character actor looking to get out of dodgy villain roles and bad horror movies, one of the most well-worn routes is to find a late-blooming penchant for comedy. From Robert De Niro to Christopher Walken, plenty of actors in recent memory have revived their careers by using their tough guy skills to tickle the audience's funnybone. (Or in De Niro's case, not).
The latest actor to make the switch is Ray Liotta; while he still crops up in more serious tough guy roles from time to time, he's started to make a decent living out of roles in comedies like "Wild Hogs," "Observe and Report" and "Youth in Revolt." He's got the Tobey Maguire/Elizabeth Banks dramedy "The Details" on the way, and now he's signed on to a film from one of the more potent comic teams around at the moment -- the Judd Apatow-produced, David Wain-directed comedy "Wanderlust."
Noomi Rapace, Carey Mulligan & Abbie Cornish In The Running For Lead In Ridley Scott's 'Alien' Prequels
Another day, another vague wish-list of actresses for a high profile project! Despite rumors of the R-rated films hitting budgetary troubles, casting seems to be moving forward on the Ridley Scott-helmed prequels to "Alien." Rumors have been rife for a while that, as with the original films, the lead would be a female role, and Gemma Arterton revealed that she was set for a meeting with Scott a few weeks ago (and possibly blowing her chances as a result).
Now, Deadline report that Fox and Scott have met with a number of actresses for the project, including "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" star Noomi Rapace, Carey Mulligan and "Bright Star" break-out Abbie Cornish. The latter worked with Scott on the, um, 'comedy' "A Good Year," so might be seen to a strong contender, but Deadline suggest that Rapace, in particular, 'left a strong impression."
Is this any way to pay back a director you worked with before? Despite John Woo gearing up for production next spring on the WWII epic "Flying Tigers," Tom Cruise who has longed to play a pilot in a war film, has hired a writer to tackle the exact same subject matter in a project for 20th Century Fox and New Regency.
Kirk Ellis ("John Adams") has been tasked to rewrite a script by Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects," "Valkyrie") and Mason Alley. The McQuarrie script has been banging around for a couple of years now, but Cruise seems eager to see if it can take shape into something he could sign on to. However, a couple of things should be noted. Firstly, Cruise usually has a number of projects in development for him at any given time and likes to have a few different options before settling on a decision. Second, in these kind of situations with two similar projects in development at the same, whichever one gets made first usually wins. Look no further than the abandoned Doug Liman helmed "The Three Musketeers" earlier this year (instead we'll get Paul W.S. Anderson's version, sigh).
A bidding war has erupted for a curious project. Titled "Take My Wife" (oy!), the script, by Greg Coolidge and Kirk Ward, has Dwayne Johnson and Tyler Perry attached to play two corners of a love triangle. See, Perry's ex-wife is demanding alimony, but he won't have to pay it unless she finds a new husband. But it's not enough for Johnson to just enter the picture. Perry has to, ahem, groom him. This premise doesn't play out in our head without these two locking lips.
Lionsgate wants to make the film, which Perry would star in but not direct, but it's still an independent pitch gathering interest from outside parties, though the studio already has a lengthy working relationship with the multi-hyphenate. Perry has figured in most of his movies as an actor so far, but he's usually in drag and/or under heavy makeup, so it's interesting that he would be in demand playing your average straight male. He's a bit burly in real life, too, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see a physical element with ex-wrestler Johnson, considering both characters eventually vie for the leading lady/beard.
Johnson will next be seen in "Faster" followed by franchise pictures "Fast Five" and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." And Perry's got "For Colored Girls" coming this November, followed by another turn as Madea in "Madea's Big Happy Family" along other more clandestine ways to conquer the world through an endless stream of shitty sitcoms.
Paramount's been said to be circling this picture from day one and now it's official. The studio that nabbed Jason Reitman three Oscar nominations for "Up In The Air," will be the new home to his upcoming picture, "Young Adult"; his second collaboration with screenwriter Diablo Cody who penned his breakout hit, "Juno" (Reitman is 32 and has two Oscar Best Director nominations under his belt, not too shabby).
The picture stars Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt and we can tell you right now having read the script, it's perfect casting. "Young Adult" centers on a divorced 30-something young-adult fiction writer (Theron) who returns to her Minnesota home to chase after her now-married-with-kids ex-boyfriend (Wilson). Oswalt plays an semi-crippled old high school acquaintance who befriends the narcissistic and misguided female. Shooting begins this month in New York and Minneapolis.
It will be interesting to see where this picture goes tonally as on paper it's much darker than anything Reitman's directed before. It will definitely be a great stretch for him and Theron who will play the most unlikeable character we've ever seen. [THR]
Ben Affleck recently was offered the Warner Bros. crime flick "Tales Of The Gangster Squad," but a "yes" wasn't immediately forthcoming. Now we know why. The actor/director is teaming with his brother Casey to rewrite the Yankees wife swap pic "The Trade."
The project was first announced as a starring vehicle for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon last winter. The story is based on real-life players Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, who in 1973 revealed that they had been swapping wives and fell for each other's partners. Peterson and Kekich's ex-wife are still together today, while the other couple has since split up. Affleck is eyeing the role of Peterson with Matt Damon playing Kekich.
Shortly after the news surfaced, Damon said a script for the film "didn't exist" but that's not necessarily true. It was written by Dave Mandel was and ranked #35 on the 2009 Black list. In addition, screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien ("Oceans 13,” “Rounders”) have been clocking that story for years and collecting information so they could eventually end up writing the film. But Damon, someone who generally wants a solid script in hand before signing on to anything -- Doug Liman playfully called him a "script whore" recently -- most likely didn't like the draft and wants to see something different. Enter Ben and Casey.
Geez, speak of the devil. While we posted an open letter to Darren Aronofsky earlier today imploring him to think long and hard before signing on to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2," news arrives that one of the more interesting projects on his plate might be close to getting in front of cameras.
In an interview with Quien, screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga ("Babel," "Amores Perros") reveals that his previously announced adaptation of John Vaillant's forthcoming non-fiction book "The Tiger" for director Darren Aronofsky and star/producer Brad Pitt is set to begin location scouting later in the year.
"These days I'm traveling to New York to lend clarity to the last detail, in November would be doing a tour of Siberia to check locations," Arriaga said. However, most intriguingly, he indicates that the the film will shoot next year and Angelina Jolie will co-star with her partner, Brad Pitt.
While we've already seen the teaser trailer for Danny Boyle's harrowing one-man-show, "127 Hours" starring James Franco and basically no one else aside from a few brief cameos, now the full-blown trailer has arrived. And we must say, having seen the film at TIFF earlier this fall, we're much more on board with this new version. The new poster isn't perfect either, but our bet is you'll see several along the way while Fox Searchlight tries to nail the right tone.
It's basically a good problem to have. "127 Hours" was basically the film of the Toronto International Film Festival despite the fact that "The King's Speech" won the audience award. Karina Longworth called the film, somewhat pejoratively, a "determinist tract styled like an energy-drink commercial," and while that's stylistically on the mark, it also forgets its harrowing intensity and life-affirming (sans fromage) tone. Our review from TIFF said, "Deeply humane, rawly felt and astonishingly executed "127 Hours" is one of the best films of year," and that's undeniably spot on. "127 Hours," much like "The Social Network" probably, will be all over the Academy Awards with several nominees. Best Picture, Actor and director are sure-fire nominee bets.
Here's the official synopsis:
Ridley Scott To Produce 4-Hour Mini-Series Adaptation Of Philip K. Dick's 'The Man In The High Castle'
Nearly three decades after Ridley Scott delivered his landmark "Blade Runner," based on Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sleep, the director is returning to the author's world and will be producing a new four hour mini-series based on his work.
"The Man In The High Castle" is being produced by Scott and the BBC and overseas rights are now up for sale (so hopefully it will reach North American television sets). Playwright Howard Brenton (who also penned the Brit spy series "Spooks") while adapt the Dick novel presents an alternate history of the world that takes place after the end of a longer World War II in which daily life is subject to Fascist imperialist rule.
No word yet on stars or a director but those details will probably come in line once a script is done and production schedules start being made. But it's some intriguing material and we hope its done right as Dick adaptations have a spotty track record (at best). [Deadline]
'Slumdog Millionaire' Actor Anil Kapoor & French Actress Lea Seydoux Join 'Mission: Impossible 4' As Villains
"Slumdog Millionaire" actor Anil Kapoor and French actress Lea Seydoux have been added to the growing cast of the fourth installment of "Mission: Impossible," but most intriguingly, they will be joining the previously announced Michael Nyqvist as villains in the film.
Lea Seydoux is probably best known to arthouse crowds on this side of the ocean for her turn in "La belle personne." More recently, she appeared in Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood" and was one of the final candidates for the part of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." As for Anil Kapoor, he may be more familiar, as he played the game show host in the Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" and is a longtime fixture in Bollywood cinema.
The film, which has already started shooting, now boasts quite the ensemble cast and it seems like numerous baddies for Ethan Hunt and his crew to tackle. Kapoor and Seydoux join Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Vladimir Mashkov, Michael Nyqvist, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Josh Holloway in the film. It will hit theaters on December 16, 2011. [Deadline]
The blogosphere is all abuzz this week with the one-two punch of comic book-related big screen deals: first, Zack Snyder, contested director of "300" and "Watchmen," will direct the Christopher Nolan-supervised, David Goyer-scripted reboot of the mother-0f-all-superhero-franchises, "Superman." But wait! As a follow-up to the "Superman" stories, it was noted that Darren Aronofsky, riding the high from all the festival buzz his supernatural ballet thriller "Black Swan" is garnering, was first in line for the gig and may still direct a high profile superhero franchise joint — 20th Century Fox's "Wolverine 2." Well, we're here to write a letter to you, Mr. Aronofsky, hoping you will stop for a moment to consider this career move.
You remain the rare director who has followed through on the initial visual and storytelling promise you displayed in your debut feature "Pi" and sophomore effort "Requiem for a Dream." Taking the second sequel to what was an inauspicious — no, embarrassing — opening to a new spin-off franchise ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine") is something that an eager up-and-coming music video or commercial director would take, not something that a seasoned professional like you, who spent an agonizingly long time getting his difficult sci-fi opus "The Fountain" off the ground, would rush into (hey, we like Hugh Jackman too, but 'Wolverine' was painful).
And besides, you have so many other cool projects that you could do instead. You are one of those directors who are perennially attached to about a dozen different projects at any given time, and we must say, these proposed projects all sound way more interesting than "Wolverine 2," whose script by Christopher McQuarrie reportedly pits the adamantium-clawed superhero against ninjas in Japan (been there, slashed that). These include the long-gestating (and, we reluctantly admit, most likely deceased) Noah's Ark project, more recent fare like an adaptation of non-fiction survival thriller "The Tiger" with Brad Pitt, highbrow literary adaptation "Serena" with Angelina Jolie, and most intriguingly, "Jackie," about Jackie Kennedy in the days following JFK's assassination, which would star your lovely partner Rachel Weisz. Hell, maybe MGM will get its shit together and you can do your worthy "Robocop" reboot.