David Chase's untitled rock 'n' roll coming-of-age tale formerly titled "The Twilight Zones" is now beginning to take shape and gear up for a January production start next year in New York.
After searching far andwide for his leads, Chase has settled with the relatively unknown trio of John Magaro, Will Brill and Jack Huston -- grandson of John and nephew of Danny and Angelica -- who'll presumably play the leading members of a group of suburban New Jersey guys making their way in the '60s as a band called The Twilight Zones.
Early casting calls also revealed the trio to be from very different upbringings: one a high school student of Italian-American descent, one an artistic, intelligent, upper class guitarist and lastly an athletic and unpredictable small town "King Rocker."
David Chase's untitled rock 'n' roll coming-of-age tale formerly titled "The Twilight Zones" is now beginning to take shape and gear up for a January production start next year in New York.
Speaking to the French press while promoting "Legend of the Guardians," new "Superman" director Zack Snyder may have spilled the beans on what the plot may entail. If a shaky French translation is to be trusted, we're going to be blessed with yet another origin story.
According to Snyder, "As I have already explained, the film will focus on the early days of Superman, so there will be no links with other films. This is not a remake then. Similarly, although I still cannot talk about the script—I can assure you that this new Superman will not be based on a comic book in particular.” This does defeat the theories that the new film would be based on pre-existing storylines like "Birthright," "All-Star Superman" or "That Peanut Butter Jar From Krypton Shan't Open."
So what does this tell us about the upcoming film? The most significant information has to be the suggestion of "early days," meaning yet another younger Superman, so those Jon Hamm rumors can be put to rest. We can count Brandon Routh out as well, since his version of the character was meant to be the well-traveled version of the first two films in the series. Beyond that? We dread the possibility of an origin story, one of the most tiring tropes this genre has inexplicably embraced. Do we need to know where Indiana Jones found that fedora? Where Charles Foster Kane bought that sled? How Stella originally obtained her groove before losing it, then subsequently retrieving it through the love of Taye Diggs? We do hope it's just iffy translation, and that Snyder's "vision" is able to accommodate a Superman that we haven't seen yet before, and not yet another version of a story everyone knows by heart now.
Update: Martin Freeman Set To Play Bilbo Baggins, James Nesbitt Offered Role And Michael Fassbender & David Tennant Being Pursued For 'The Hobbit'
Update: James Nesbitt has reportedly been offered the role of Bofur, one of three dwarves -- along with Bifur and Bombur -- who join Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield on their quest. Oakenshield was, of course, the role being linked to the likes of Australian veteran actor Jack Thompson and Brian Cox.
After months and months of speculation and innuendo, it's taken a mere few hours after being greenlit for word about casting to spill for Peter Jackson's much troubled, long anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Deadline are reporting that British television star Martin Freeman ("The Office," "Sherlock") is set to take up the iconic role of Bilbo Baggins with James Nesbitt already offered an unnamed role and Michael Fassbender and David Tennant currently begin pursued. The cast is also expected to see Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis return to their original roles as Gandalf and Gollum.
Freeman has been long linked to the role and, most recently, rued the missed opportunity to take on Baggins due to scheduling conflicts with his BBC modern reimagining of the 'Sherlock Holmes' tale. It seems like those very conflicts are being worked out however, freeing the actor up for the no doubt life changing role.
Exclusive: FilmBuff Picks Up Worldwide Rights To Bruce McDonald's 'This Movie Is Broken' For All Digital Platforms; Aiming For March 2011 Release
Missed Bruce McDonald's "This Movie Is Broken" — his quasi Broken Social Scene concert doc cum narrative drama — when it blipped into U.S. theaters for a second in early September?
While Canadians got a deeper shot at seeing the film earlier this summer, non-Canucks and the rest of the globe will have a second shot at seeing the film next year.
FilmBuff has picked up worldwide (minus Canada) digital, Video On Demand and TV rights for the film and are aiming to release it on all digital platforms starting March 2011. Here's the film's synopsis:
Kevin Smith has done pretty admirably so far in keeping things mum surrounding his upcoming horror flick "Red State." But we suppose it was only a matter of time before he hit Twitter to answer questions about the film as well as answer a world of questions recently about his "Christploitation" flick.
The director revealed that the film will come in at a very succinct "80 or 85 mins, when all's said & done." He's been shooting the film more or less in chronological order saying, "We're at around 52 minutes right now, with 8 days left to shoot." He hopes to show the film to the entire cast and crew at the wrap party, and it looks like he wants it out there making the festival rounds quickly. The film is without a distributor for now but will head to "Sundance in January, if possible. From there, we'll see the lay of the land."
Exclusive: Larry Fessenden Talks Aborted 'Orphanage' Remake; Hopes To Work With Guillermo del Toro Again
We sat down and talked with horror auteur Larry Fessenden this week to discuss his 25 year retrospective for Glass Eye Pix, his indie horror production shingle, taking place at the ReRun Gastropub theater in Brooklyn; an excellent two-week retrospective that runs October 22 - November 4.
During our lengthy interview, he discussed the now-dead collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, a remake of "The Orphanage" that he has since departed. The issues? Evidently the same struggles scores of filmmakers point to when working on remakes.
"I eventually went to LA, we sat down and hashed out the script, then I went off and wrote it. I took his notes, Warner Bros. notes, New Line’s notes. It was a really good script. I was very excited about it. I was going to do it as a New England Gothic, truly shot in New England, and it didn’t pan out. WB wanted to shoot it in South Africa or something nutty. I mean, why do you remake a foreign film in another foreign land? I don’t understand the logic sometimes."
With "The Hangover 2" now officially in front of cameras, there is one cast member who won't be returning. Warner Bros. has confirmed that Heather Graham, the very funny "escort" in the first film won't be back.
So wait, we get Justin Bartha but not Heather Graham? For shame. A rep tells E! Online, "Unfortunately Heather won't be in the sequel—they way the story unfolds doesn't allow any room for her character to show up. I don't want to reveal to much of the film, but once you see it you'll understand."
We're not sure what kind of intricate puzzle piece the script is that allows Ken Jeong to come back but not Heather Graham, but whatever. Throwing fans a bone, the rep also says that the film will feature an "unbelievable" cameo with the only clue given being that it will be "a guy." Any guesses?
Jessica Lange and Sam Neill have joined "The Vow" with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
The story centers on the real-life story of a newlywed New Mexico couple, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter (McAdams and Tatum), whose lives are turned upside down when they are involved in a car accident that leaves the wife with no memory of her new partner. The husband must then attempt to win her heart all over again. Things get a slight twist when Kim's former fiancé (Scott Speedman) enters the picture and tries "to rekindle a romance in her amnesiac state." Jessica McNamee will play Kim's younger sister.
No word yet on what roles the latest additions to the currently shooting film will play, but it will be a reunion for Lange and director Michael Sucsy who recently worked together on "Grey Gardens."
Gus Van Sant can't live on directing the likes of "Elephant," "Gerry" and "Paranoid Park" alone, and every now and then he comes out with a big, meaty piece of mainstream fare. His previous tub 'o popcorn film was the Academy Award winner for Best Actor and Best Screenplay "Milk," but there will be no such chances this time around.
"Restless" tells the story of a 16-year-old girl (Mia Wasikowska) who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and falls in love with an off-beat boy (Henry Hopper) who likes to attend funerals and is suffering from the death of his family — which somehow produces the ghost of a young, Japanese kamikaze pilot from WW II (Ryo Kase) (for real).
It's hard to tell what's in store from the trailer. It seems like a total quirk fest, and the January release date doesn't fill us with confidence. That said, we really liked Jason Lew's script which is funny, sad, weird, and in many ways all over the map with lots of interesting tones and tenors. So, it remains to be seen just how it all turns out, but we're curious and optimistic.
"Restless" open on January 25, 2011.
In our "On The Rise" series so far, we've already looked at screenwriters and cinematographers, two cinematic professions that often don't get the credit they deserve. This week and next, we're going to be looking at another key role that simply doesn't get enough attention -- actors. No matter how hard they try, the poor thesps never seem to get the attention or pay they deserve.
So we're being a little facetious here -- actors are so often the figures that films are sold on, and do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing. But for all of the stunning cinematography and special effects wizardry of modern cinema, those who neglect a film's performances do so at their peril. One of the reasons we do what we do is that we love actors -- we find the casting process fascinating, and little beats the thrill of walking out of a movie having discovered an actor that you'll be watching for years to come. With that in mind, we've rounded up 10 of our favorite relatively unknown male performers that we're sure we'll see bigger and better things from in the future (with ten women of equal talent to follow next week).
By sheer coincidence, Variety picked their own 10 rising stars of 2010 today, and, while there's some crossover with their list, we've tried to pick some names that you haven't necessarily been hearing about all year long -- the likes of Rooney Mara, Aaron Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Blake Lively are all likely to be big stars, but they're all fairly high profile as it is. So with no further ado, here are our 10 picks: five veterans on the verge of moving to the next level, and five less familiar faces who are shining equally brightly.
A movie about the glamorous world of archiving?
We hope there is a bit more to it as Robin Wright is eyeing directing "The Archivist" a film that follows "the United States’ premier archivist, who loses a precious account to his ex-wife in the UK and ends up desperately trying to win back the account, and eventually, his wife." So is it a comedy? A romantic drama? Oh what tangled webs we weave when we archive across borders.
The film has a script by Ann Cherkis whose only credit is a David Duchovny and Olivia Thirlby horror film, "The Secret." Colin Firth has been offered the lead role, but of course, it remains to be seen if any of this ends up coming together.
Yeah, we know many have cried wolf on this project numerous times but with NY Times reporting that Peter Jackson's deal to direct "The Hobbit" has been locked up and The Wrap reporting the film is greenlit, we think this news is legit.
According to both sites, Warner Bros. and MGM have worked out a deal to finance the two $500 million (that's $250 million each which is not absurd for a tentpole) films and a start date of February 2011 has been lined up. Peter Jackson will direct the films, though casting has not been confirmed, nor has the location of the shoot. As you might recall, the filmmakers are still in an ugly spat with local New Zealand unions over working conditions and a resolution is still a week away, if not longer. Warner Bros. is actively considering other locations to move the production if an agreement can't be worked out. However, according to the NY Times, if the production is moved out of the country further delays are to be expected and the budget will need to be redrafted (probably adding a few more million to the tally). So here's hoping this already plagued production doesn't face any more hurdles.
Besides the union situation, MGM is still finalizing their bankruptcy proceedings that will either see Spyglass heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum take over management, or find MGM merging with Lionsgate. Lost in all of this? Current MGM head Mary Parent is negotiating her exit from the beleaguered studio.
At any rate we do hope this greenlight is the real deal and the film can start moving with more ease towards production. Middle Earthers get ready because the first film is projected to hit in December 2012 with the second part coming in 2013. And note while it's probably not concrete info, THR does say that Martin Freeman is "expected" to take the role of Bilbo Baggins, so maybe the BBC "Sherlock Holmes" scheduling situation is being worked out as we speak.
A quiet week with only two films opening in wide release, and strangely, not a horror film in sight as we approach Halloween. First up is the Bruce Willis old-guys-and-guns vehicle "Red," which is basically a slightly classier version of August's "The Expendables" and about as good. Next up is "Jackass 3D," the latest entry in the venerable franchise, which should take the top spot at the box office this weekend, especially with the inflated 3D ticket prices. The first two films grossed $64.3M and $72.8M respectively, which may shock some, but these films are promoted heavily and certainly have a dedicated fanbase. On the limited front, Clint Eastwood debuts his latest, the "Crash"-like "Hereafter" on a few screens, while Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell try their best to wet your eyes in the legal drama "Conviction." Foreign nuts should be prepared to spend a lot of time in theaters this weekend as Olivier Assayas' six-hour epic "Carlos" hits the big screen. Or if your bladder's a little on the weak side, Warwick Thornton finally gets a stateside release for his outback drama "Samson & Delilah."
In Wide Release: Based on the cult DC graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, "Red" is the story of a group of aging CIA agents who become targets themselves when the government decides they know too much. The action-comedy stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich as the agents in the film from director Robert Schwentke ("Flightplan," "The Time Traveler's Wife"). We've been excited to see the film after a string of recent summer action disappointments and the trailers were great, but the film itself doesn't quite deliver, even with the talent involved (our review here). RT: 70% Metacritic: 62.
Vince Vaughn Responds To 'The Dilemma' Joke Controversy; Says Comedy Should Be Equal Opportunity Offender
Are you getting sick of the whole controversy behind the gay joke in the Ron Howard film, "The Dilemma" starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James?
Universal has already issued a PC-friendly trailer and GLADD is pushing for the joke to be removed from the film entirely. And while we don't condone hate speech at all, it feels like this is in the news only because its topical with the recent rash of teen suicides. Prop 8 remains stuck in appeals court and people are concerned over a friggin' Ron Howard trailer? Ugh. Anyhow, Vincent Vaughn has spoken out on the matter, essentially saying hate speech sucks, but comedy should be an equal opportunity offender. The comedian also hints at the dangers of censorship in his last line.
Lars Von Trier Spills Some More Details On 'Melancholia,' Will Start Film With The Earth Being Crushed
Here's what we know so far: Lars Von Trier's next film, "Melancholia," is an ambitious psychological disaster film about two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who deal with a planet that is looming dangerously close to Earth. Dunst's character is set to get married to Alexander Skarsgaard with his father Stellan playing the best man, while John Hurt is slotted as Dunst's father. But, in a book about the director titled simply, "Genius" by Politiken journalist Nils Thorsen, Von Trier fills in more details on what is easily one of our most anticipated films of next year. And he'll be starting in a spectacular fashion, with the end.
“In ‘Melancholia’ I start with the end. Because what is interesting is not what happens but how it happens! So we begin by seeing the world being crushed, then we can tell the story afterwards,” he said. “In this way you don’t have to sit and form theories about what will happen, but can delve down into some other levels and become interested in the pictures and the universe – that’s what I imagine.”
Magnolia Pictures has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Max Winkler's directorial debut, "Ceremony," starring Michael Angarano and Uma Thurman.
Executive produced by Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"), the picture made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, essentially a comedy about a young man (Angarano) who looks to crash the wedding of an older woman with whom he’s infatuated (Thurman), much to the chagrin of his unwilling best friend (Reece Thompson). The film also sees excellent turns from Lee Pace and Jake M. Johnson, so much so that you're going to see a piece later today that lauds their comedic work in the picture.
Our favorable, but not un-critical review from TIFF said the film was "charming and well made," despite its obvious preoccupations with a Wes Anderson-like tone. We wrote, "Though uneven at times, Winkler's instincts are very strong. From casting to set design to the ace twinkly score by Eric D. Johnson (aka the Fruit Bats)... Winkler has a creative focus that is rare in debut features."
As "Spider-Man" moves forward to begin shooting in December, pieces are slowly being put in place. Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans recently came on board playing Gwen Stacy and The Lizard respectively. They join Andrew Garfield in a reboot of Sony's lucrative franchise. But word has arrived of a couple more intriguing parts to be filled.
Moviehole reports that casting is out for young versions of Peter Parker and his nemesis in the film, The Lizard. So do you know a kid you think has what it takes? Sony is looking for a dark-haired Caucasian boy age 4 to 6 (sorry Donald Glover) for Spidey and a kid between 8 and 11 years old for Billy Connors. But before everyone loses their shit about a possible "Young Spider-Man" spinoff don't count on it. These parts are most likely for small moments and since the "Spider-Man" films are PG-13 and pretty much marketed to young kids anyway, don't count on seven-year-olds running around in spandex.
It's been just over two weeks since the sad, sudden death of film editor Sally Menke at the age of 56 from what appeared to be a heart attack while jogging in the L.A. hills and friends and family are obviously still in mourning (though no cause of death was reported, nor did there appear to be any foul play)
Known as Quentin Tarantino's longtime editor and friend (she edited every feature he made) Menke was an integral part of the Tarantino machine and it will be interesting to see who the director works with next as he usually is intensely loyal to his collaborators and employs them time and time again.
This is all a longwinded way of saying, Tarantino friend and occasional collaborator, Wu-Tang Clan abbot The RZA, has dedicated a newly recorded song to Menke called, "Gone" (RZA scored part of "Kill Bill: Volume 1"). The track features James Black, Justin Nokuza and Kobra Khan.
Movies in 3D are known for throwing shit in the face of the audience, but with "Jackass 3D," it's not balls and yo-yos coming at you: it's actual shit. And the balls are, well, balls. If you couldn't handle the farts and piss stains on your small screens, we'd recommend that you stay away and watch the Jane Austen adaptation marathon hosted by your mom. But if you are game, just hope you're made of something stronger than the film's cameraman Lance Bangs, who puked twice on camera (literally).
With director Jeff Tremaine returning to the helm and Johnny Knoxville acting as tour guide, "Jackass 3D" travels a river of piss, shit, and puke that makes the Nile seem like a stagnant puddle. You will feel exhausted after its 90-something minutes of hell. Not (just) because of the moaning, groaning, and gasping you will do throughout all the foulness onscreen. When it's at its best, "Jackass 3D" could make a limping run for the funniest film of the year, and all that laughing is guaranteed to make your face hurt.
Posted by Kimber Myers at 10:55 AM
Well, this is for certain. Based on the official video for the upcoming boozy-country-singer-redemption-story-drama "Country Strong," the filmmakers are aiming squarely at the new country crowd.
Featuring the film's star and chanteuse Gwyneth Paltrow singing in a warehouse (sidenote: is this not the most boring music video cliché ever?) with random clips from the movie stuck in there as well. It also looks like it could be a commercial for jeans or pick-up trucks. At any rate, the film will follow a rising singer-songwriter (Garrett Hedlund) who starts touring with a fading country singer (Paltrow) in a story that will probably be familiar if you saw "Crazy Heart." Tim McGraw ("The Blind Side") and Leighton Meester ("Gossip Girl") also star. Pictured is the new poster for the film.
Michael Caine and giant bees, and now Vanessa Hudgens. "Journey To The Center Of The Earth 2" is shaping up to be....interesting.
The Disney graduate is in final negotiations to join the sequel that Brendan Fraser was smart enough to get out of doing. With Dwayne Johnson taking over the lead role, the film will find Josh Hutcherson reprising his role from the first installment and partnering with Johnson (playing his mom's boyfriend) as they go on a trip to a mythical island to find his missing grandfather (Caine). Along the way they'll meet a beautiful Pacific Islander (Hudgens) and sparks will fly.
Brad Peyton is directing the film which starts shooting later this month in North Carolina and Hawaii.
It looks like director Betty Thomas woke up and smelled the coffee. And these weren't your ordinary Folgers crystals.
With production set to begin on the third installment of the "Alvin & The Chipmunks" franchise in eleven weeks, Betty Thomas has decided not to helm the picture, leaving Fox executives scrambling to find somebody so they can still meet the targeted release date of December 16, 2011.
But really, their task shouldn't be too hard. It wasn't like Thomas was some kind of auteur (she helmed "Alvin & The Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel" and before that, was best known for telling Eddie Murphy when to make funny faces in "Doctor Dolittle") and with the third installment said to be shooting in a seaside location (maybe Hawaii) we're sure there are plenty of hacks who wouldn't mind a paid vacation that requires little more than telling Jason Lee to act like a jackass.
At any rate, and in case you care, Fox was toying with shooting in 3D but will apparently go 2D now and the plot will center on the Chipmunks getting shipwrecked (hence the seaside location). We're sure there is an apt metaphor somewhere in there.
Nathan Fillion Wants You To Help Him Get The Lead Role In David O. Russell's 'Uncharted: Drake's Fortune'
While we're still getting our heads around the idea that David O. Russell has signed on to direct a video game adaptation, that blow may be softened with the right cast. And perhaps it'll start with Nathan Fillion.
The cult fave actor who is long overdue for a mainstream breakout (instead of settling into material way beneath him like the TV series "Castle") hit Twitter yesterday to urge his fans to campaign for him to get the lead role in "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune." Fillion told his followers: "If ever there was a Twitter campaign, let this be it. Rise, ye Browncoats. Rise, ye Castillions. RISE!"
The game focuses 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. And yeah, we could totally see Fillion easily playing the part. The film has a first draft script written by "Conan" scribes Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, but Russell will rewrite (thank god) before directing the film.
No word yet on when this will get in front of cameras but with Russell preparing to shoot "Old St. Louis" with Vince Vaughn next spring, this one is probably still a long way off.
Back in July, it was announced that a biopic of legendary British prime minister/demon spawn Margaret Thatcher was in the works, from "Mamma Mia" director Phyllida Lloyd. Meryl Streep was set to reunite with Lloyd to play Thatcher, and the omnipresent Jim Broadbent would play her husband Denis.
Word's been quiet on the film, but Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail reports that the film's set to go ahead, with shooting beginning in January, and both Streep and Broadbent are locked in. What's more, the film's added a pair of new cast members. Olivia Colman, best known for "Hot Fuzz" and "Peep Show," and who's got the lead role in Paddy Considine's directorial debut "Tyrannosaur," will play the pair's daughter Carol, and newcomer Alexandra Roach will play Thatcher in her 20s.
Roach has only been out of top drama school RADA for a few months, but she's already landed roles in the buzzed-about BBC show "Candy Cabs," and the TV adaptation of best-selling non-fiction tome "The Suspicions Of Mr. Whicher." We happened to catch a couple of her graduation shows at RADA, and Roach is definitely the real deal, and certainly capable of playing the younger version of Streep.
It's been a few years since Paul Verhoeven's WWII drama "Black Book," a marked departure from the director's usual fare of boobs and bullets. Over the past few months he's been attached to a couple of projects, the Islam and psychic powers film "The Hidden Force" and the video game adaptation "The Last Express," but it looks like his next will find him in very familiar territory.
Deadline reports that Verhoeven has signed to direct "Eternal," a "Fatal Attraction"-with-ghost story. Start getting those Razzies ready. The film will follow a married recovering alcoholic who "helps a woman threatening to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. They end up in bed, and in a torrid sexual affair. When he gets home, he’s confronted by his wife and a private investigator, with photos spread across a table. He thinks he’s busted, but the photos that should have shown him in the clinches with his mistress instead show him alone, drinking alcohol. He initially questions his own sanity, but progressively figures out that this temptress is a ghost who is after his soul." With a script by David Loughery ("Obsessed," "Lakeview Terrace") being rewritten by Richard D’Ovidio ("Exit Wounds," "Thirteen Ghosts") this has quality written all over it.
Production on the film isn't set to begin until next summer, so Verhoeven has plenty of time to reconsider and change his mind.
We're still a couple of months away from the release of "Black Swan," but the buzz from Toronto was very strong. Both director Darren Aronofsky and star Natalie Portman have become two of the most sought-after stars in town, and both our Toronto takes on the film were nearly raves -- Kevin saying that it "might be the best film of Aronofsky's career," and the E.I.C. calling it "mostly magnificent."
This writer will be catching it next week at the London Film Festival, and the film hits theaters Stateside December 1st, but in the meantime, Empire have premiered four international teaser posters for the film. And they're glorious.
While we're as fed up of endless posts on movie blogs about minimalist posters, the four modernist-inspired, vaguely Soviet teasers are pretty outstanding, and we'd sprout wings on our back for framed copies of all four. Check them all out full-size over at Empire. Note in the U.S. the release date has shifted ever so slightly from December 1 to December 3.
Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow & Selma Blair Join The Cast Of Todd Solondz's 'Dark Horse'; First Details On The Plot
With this year's "Life During Wartime" proving to be not only a worthy follow-up to its predecessor 1998's "Happiness," but also director Todd Solondz's best film since then, we were glad to hear a few weeks back that the not-exactly prolific helmer was moving forward on another project. "Dark Horse," described as an 'edgy character drama,' was first revealed when we talked to Solondz earlier in the year, and recently, while no details on the plot leaked out, Aasif Mandvi ("The Daily Show"), Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") and theater veteran Jordan Gelber were rumored to be appearing in some form.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed all of the above, and has not only announced further casting on the project, but also the first details on the plot. Gelber, Mandvi and Bartha are being joined by Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair (the latter a veteran of Solondz's "Storytelling,") along with Zachary Booth ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist") and Donna Murphy ("Spider-Man 2").
Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones are in negotiations to join the Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller scribed Muppet movie which is still without a title.
The project, which is gearing up for a November shoot, is one of a few options Adams was eyeing before signing on. The film is a big one for Disney, as it's a return to a franchise that hasn't been on the big screen in quite a few years. Over the summe, a table read for the film was held at Pixar with filmmakers John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Michael Arndt, Bob Peterson and president Ed Catmull, all on hand to lend their input and make sure everything was right.
The last we heard about Angelina Jolie and the "Cleopatra" project that surfaced earlier this year she said, "....if we can get the story right and do the real story — there's a lot her that's never been covered yet, if we can do something original, we will." And it looks like they've found a way.
Deadline reports that serious talks are underway for James Cameron to direct Angelina Jolie in a 3D "Cleopatra." The impetus for the sudden movement on the project? Brian Helgeland's adaptation of Stacy Schiff's recently published "Cleopatra: A Life" is being described as a "brilliant script deserving of epic treatment" all about "what the Romans took from Egypt." Sony co-chair Amy Pascal is eager to get this one going, well aware of the cost of such an undertaking, but willing to dive in if only to "own" the franchise that is Angelina Jolie herself (remember, the studio also released "Salt" earlier this year).
Vrrrrom! Leggy gals! Billowing over the speeding limits! Slo-mo bullets! Shot in 3D and Nicolas Cage! It's the "Drive Angry" poster and trailer!.
What can we tell you about this one other than it's not at all our thing? For one, it's directed by "My Bloody Valentine 3D" helmer Patrick Lussier and it reteams him with the film's screenwriter Todd Farmer. Is that supposed to be some kind of selling point? Did anyone really enjoy that flick? To each his own we begrudgingly suppose.
The film centers on a vengeful father who chases after the men who killed his daughter. It stars Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, awesome character actor William Fichtner (who looks like he's walking away with the film in his pocket as the villain), David Morse, Billy Burke and Katy Mixon.
Remember, this one was shot in 3D, not post-converted. We're sure that makes it extra awesome. The folks at Summit Entertainment will drop this one on discerning audiences on February 11, 2011. Trailer after the jump. [Shock]
Having said that, and being a huge fan of this again-burgeoning art form (thanks in part to Wes Anderson's wonderful "Fantastic Mr. Fox" from last year), it pains this writer to report back on the utter unremarkableness of the French and Russian co-production "The Ugly Duckling." The film, which adheres closely, too closely we'd argue, to the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, is directed by Garri Bardin. It's getting a fairly big push here at VIFF, listed as a special presentation, but it's simply not deserving.
What happens after you put Ryan Reynolds in a box for 90 minutes? Hollywood comes calling. Building on the heat surrounding his single-setting thriller "Buried," director Rodrigo Cortes is putting together his next directorial effort "Red Lights," and has landed a huge name to join the cast.
Robert De Niro is now attached, joining the previously reported Sigourney Weaver in a film about "a psychologist (Weaver) and her assistant whose study of paranormal activity leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (De Niro)." The psychologist attempts to debunk the psychic's work after he steps back into the limelight after 30 years.
The film will go in front of cameras in February, shooting for seven weeks in Spain and two weeks in Canada. No release dates have yet been scheduled.
Back at the end August, news surfaced that Freida Pinto, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong and Antonio Banderas were all in discussions to join Jean-Jacques Annaud's "Black Thirst."
It looks like those discussions all panned out as Deadline reports that everyone is on board the film that is now titled "Black Gold." The film will use Hans R. Ruesch's 1957 novel "South Of The Heart: A Novel Of Modern Arabia" as a launching pad for the story that "revolves around the rivalry between Arabian rulers in the 1930s just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young, dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms." Pinto will play an Arabian princess in the film but it's unknown what the other roles are at this time.
Production on the film begins on October 18th with a worldwide Christmas 2011 release date being planned.
Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson Look To Reteam On '2 Guns'; Mark Wahlberg May Want Seth MacFarlane's 'Teddy Bear'
OK, these are a couple of Big If & Maybe stories as they are still in development and the talented circling may never end up coming on board, but with the names surrounding them as big as they are, it's sort of hard to ignore as well. So just consider it as a heads up.
First up, "Wedding Crashers" duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson might potentially reteam for the action comedy "2 Guns." Written by "Brotherhood" scribe Blake Masters, the film would follow "two lawmen, neither of whom realizes the other is a 'good guy,' as they plot to rob a bank together, having been assigned to do so by their employers, and then must figure out who the dirty money belongs to as their respective agencies try to hunt them down." We're sure there is a piece missing to that logline that explains why a lawman would be assigned to rob a bank, but it seems right in the zone for these two. Vaughn is currently attached while Wilson is showing interest in the project that is set up at Universal.
So, following the vague news a couple of weeks ago that Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood contributed in some fashion to the score of "Stone," Edward Norton has finally cleared up just what the process was in fashioning the textural score in the film.
In an interview with the Oakland Examiner (via TwentyFourBit) the actor pulls back the curtain on how the score came together, revealing that Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood sent over some files, Jon Brion (aka John O'Brien) recorded some stuff as did director John Curran, and then it was all cut and taped together into what we hear in the film:
Listen, we really tried to stay enthusiastic for this, but when a film is kept from release as "All Good Things" was by The Weinstein Company, it's not just Harvey Weinstein being a jerk (director Andrew Jarecki later bought back the North American rights, and Magnolia are now distributing the film).
We finally have our first real look at "All Good Things" and it plays like a TV-movie-of-the-week thriller. Starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella and Kristen Wiig, the film is a "based-on-true-events" story about Robert Durst, a wealthy real-estate mogul's son who was suspected but never tried for the disappearance and murder of his wife Kathie. Did he do it? Didn't he? We don't know, but what we do know is that the film looks by-the-numbers and the score by Rob Simonsen is distractingly rote. It seems like Harv had a good reason for trying to keep this one on the shelf.
"All Good Things" will hit VOD on November 5th before opening in New York on December 3rd. Full synopsis and trailer after the jump, or watch it in HD at Apple.
Listen, we're sure Betty White is a lovely person, and yeah sure, she's funny but can we please stop with the increasingly pathetic love-in for her?
As the casting begins to take final shape for "Men In Black 3," rumors are flying fast. Following yesterday's news that Sharlto Copley, Gemma Arterton and Alec Baldwin are in negotiations to join the film, we get news today that Betty White will appear in a cameo in the film as a character's mother. Just great. Will she spout an Internet joke or say something sort of suggestive? Probably.
Oh yeah, as for the rumors around Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, she is circling the role of Devil Girl. Ooooh! And Emma Thompson is apparently not quite locked in with negotiations still underway for her take the part of Agent Oh.
With the film set to begin shooting later this month with a release date of May 25, 2012 lined up, we can't wait to see how the still-relevant cultural touchstones of Betty White and Nicole Scherzinger will play out two years from now. [Bloody Disgusting]
Review: 'Red' Is Pretty Much A More Watchable 'Expendables' With A Better Cast (But Still Disappointing)
As you might have guessed from our coverage leading up to the film's release, we were impressed with the trailers for "Red" and were holding out some hope that in a year populated with rag-tag-crew films like "The Losers," "The A-Team" and "The Expendables" that disappointed, this would be the film that would be late-inning saving grace. Sadly, this is not the case. Based on the DC Comic and directed by Robert Schwentke, "Red" is essentially a more watchable version of "The Expendables" with a better cast, but plagued with the same narrative and tonal problems of Sylvester Stallone's steroid and testosterone-heavy film.
The film starts off by introducing us to Frank Moses (Bruce Willis). Retired and pretty much bored by the routine of his post-career life, his only joy is a fledgling romance started over the phone with mousy Social Security telephone helpline administrator Sarah Moss (Mary-Louise Parker). Frank tears up his pension checks just to have an excuse to talk to Sarah and plans a trip to Kansas City where she works in order to try and finally meet her face to face. Aww. But, before he can probably pack his bags, a faceless group of armed gunmen attempt to kill him and destroy his home but not before Frank, whose senses from being an ex-CIA black ops agent are still in fine form, gets the drop of them first. Now aware that he's a target -- and that anyone he's spoken to might be in danger -- Frank races to Kansas City to get Sarah out of harm's way. Obviously, she's more than slightly unnerved that a man she only knows over the phone is suddenly in her apartment with a crazy story, but Frank ties her up and soon they're hitting the road, determined to find out who is behind this and why he's a target for assassination. To help him, Frank reconnects with his buddies from the old days, including the cancer-stricken Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman), the paranoid Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) and the killer-turned-Martha Stewart style homemaker Victoria (Helen Mirren).
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Clark Duke & Kid Cudi Are The Jimi Hendrix Experience In Video For "Erase Me"
We guess until that Jimi Hendrix biopic eventually, someday happens, we'll have to settle on this as the next best thing.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Clark Duke and Kid Cudi dress up as The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the rapper's video For "Erase Me." Oh yeah, Kanye West shows up to drop verse too. The song is actually pretty terrible -- a half-assed attempt at a half-assed Weezer-type song -- and the video is not much to write home about either unless you find glitter and wigs utterly hilarious. [Idolator]
Female readers, please excuse our hounddog baying and tailwagging appearance, but the thought of tres belle French actresses Eva Green and Lea Seydoux in the same picture is heartstopping. The two thesps will join that other hunk of burning Gallic love, Gerard Depardieu, (see ladies, you get something too -- sort of) in Benoit Jacquot's adaptation of Chantal Thomas' novel, "Farewell, My Queen."
Move over Kirsten Dunst, as Green will play Marie Antoinette (Sofia, you shoulda thought of this, a much more appropriate choice; could you imagine the same film only with Louis Garrel and Green in the leads?) with Seydoux as a reader to her royal majesty during the final days of the French Revolution. No word yet on who Depardieu will play, but most likely a notable figure in the royal family tree.
Don't be too concerned if you've never heard of Jacquot. He's not really that well known on this side of the ocean, but he has notched nominations from the Cannes and Venice film festivals in past years for films "The School Of Flesh," "The Untouchable," "Keep It Quiet" and "Seventh Heaven." This does indeed sound promising if only to watch Green and Seydoux flit around the palace in some knockout period costumes [French Premiere via Bleeding Cool]
Samuel Bayer is basically known for two things, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video (which Kurt Cobain disliked) and his remake of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" earlier this year (which nobody liked save for a few easy-to-please horror fans).
So, maybe this time he'll make something that most people like? (OK, he does have a decade of music video work under his belt, but nothing particularly memorable, despite the number of high profile artists he's worked with). Anyway, Bayer's attached to direct an adaptation of "Tumor," a graphic novel about "the final mission of a failed private detective who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor that causes time-bending hallucinations."
You know what? The premise doesn't sound half bad, but it still might be a long way off and we're not holding our breath it will be a quality film. The project is still in development, no screenwriter seems to have been attached and Bayer's track record as a director leaves a bit to be desired. Bayer was also attached to direct "Fiasco Heights" a while back, a project set up under Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes shingle. The film, which follows a gunman who returns "to the crime-ridden city of Fiasco Heights and teams with a degenerate gambler/private eye on the run from a syndicate to look for a beautiful femme fatale and a mysterious briefcase," seems to have died on the vine.
Posted by Edward Davis at 1:03 PM
It's true, some documentary filmmakers are blessed with an absolutely engrossing subject, and their skill behind the camera is negligible. If the topic, issue, or person is strong enough, who cares how amateur the man behind the camera is? Audiences will ignore it, too absorbed to even notice. It's unfortunate, but just look at most music docs to see how lazy some directors can be; they're only saved by the unquestionably great tunes and rock star life most of their stars went through. This film could've easily had that same fate. It peaks interest right off the bat: Mark Hogancamp, a victim of a beating that left him brain damaged and unable to remember most of his former life, creates an alternate reality consisting of meticulously designed dolls, made after people in his life. Thankfully, first time director Jeff Malmberg gives just the right amount of restraint and observance, avoiding exploitation at every step of the way. The result is probably one of this year's strongest documentaries, the SXSW Grand Jury winning "Marwencol."
Posted by Christopher Bell at 11:45 AM
It’s important to have a fresh perspective on every film. With a number of films being released each week, the insight into why they were made and what they say about our society is invaluable, even if the major studios have done their part to crush the auteur theory. That is no such consolation for us regarding “Conviction,” however, a film with familiar missteps, one that fails to connect in a manner we should all be familiar with. You probably saw a “Conviction” last weekend on Showtime, and your parents will probably make you watch a “Conviction” when you visit them for the holidays.
“Conviction” is an improbable true story about a union between brother and sister. Betty Anne and Kenny Waters grew up as latchkey kids, breaking into homes in their working-class Massachusetts neighborhood and gaining a reputation as troublemakers. Eventually, foster care changed both, as they took divergent paths. Betty became a self-serious family woman, marrying with two children. Kenneth apparently tried to walk the straight and narrow by peppering petty crimes around his daily lifestyle, and as such develops a relationship with local law enforcement.
This relationship proves harmful when Kenneth is taken in for a murder charge. There is limited evidence, but in the years before widespread DNA specialization, it doesn’t look promising that no one can verify Kenneth’s alibi. Two years after the murder, Kenneth is finally prosecuted. People can’t finger him at the crime scene, but they certainly know what he’s not, and with his rap sheet and cavalier demeanor, Kenneth easily goes away for a lifetime sentence. Here, Betty swears to him he’ll get him out. And that involves chasing a box.
'Dragon Tattoo' Star Noomi Rapace & Ben Kingsley Join 'The Last Voyage Of The Demeter' Directed By 'Counterfeiters' Filmmaker
Those reports earlier this summer regarding "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" star Noomi Rapace meeting with everyone in Hollywood were no joke.
The Swedish actress is racking up roles like they're going out of style. She's already landed a plum female lead role in "Sherlock Holmes 2," is one of the potential female leads for Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel, she may appear opposite Jeremy Renner in a new "Hansel & Gretel" film, and she almost landed a part in Brad Bird's "Mission Impossible 4." Suffice to say she's hot and Hollywood's It-girl of the moment. She has looks, more importantly can act and unlike some of the waifier females in Hollywood, she can certainly play tough.
Now, according to the LATimes, she's set to co-star with Ben Kingsley in "The Last Voyage of Demeter," about the ill-fated journey of Dracula's coffin from Transylvania to England. The best part? It's being directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the Oscar-winning Austrian filmmaker behind "The Counterfeiters" -- the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936 (a great picture, Netflix it).
Once upon a time in biopic-ville little Elijah Wood was going to star in a film about the life of iconic punk rocker Iggy Pop and his seminal band The Stooges.
Every few years we hear some minor update (though he once endorsed the project, Pop has subsequently said it's dead, Wood insists it might one day happen), but it appears that without Pop's cooperation -- even though a script was written and he ostensibly gave his early consent -- the filmmakers have decided scrap the project for now which seems to have made Pop, né Mr. James Osterberg Jr., pretty happy.
"I think it's on the shelf," Pop said. "It's nothing against Elijah and the script was ok but they sort of wanted me to jump out of cakes and do promotional things and I didn't really want to get involved. I didn't think it was time for someone else to tell our story because inevitably it's not just my story it's everybody I worked with."
Michael Giacchino Apparently Doesn't Sleep, Scoring 'Cars 2,' 'Super 8,' 'M:I4,' 'John Carter Of Mars' & 'I'm With Cancer'
For a man who was scoring video games only ten years ago, composer Michael Giacchino wasted no time in becoming one of the most in-demand composers around. Hand picked by J.J. Abrams to write the music for TV show "Alias" (he's since gone on to compose "Lost" and "Six Degrees" on TV for Abrams), he made his feature debut in spectacular fashion on Pixar's "The Incredibles," knocking out a stunning, John Barry-homaging work that launched him into the big leagues.
Since then, despite working on "Lost" consistently throughout its six year run, he's also managed to pull in some strong work -- working with Abrams on "Mission Impossible 3" and "Star Trek," and Pixar on "Ratatouille" and "Up," the latter of which is probably his best work to date, picking him up the Academy Award for best score. And even when he works on films that aren't up to scratch, like "Land of the Lost" or "Speed Racer," his music is often the best part of them.
He can currently be heard in theaters with the eerie, choir-tinged score for "Let Me In" (which is lovely, but a little intrusive -- one of the film's few flaws), and, with the day job on "Lost" wrapping up this year, he's lined up half a dozen projects that'll keep him busy through to 2012.