All right, let’s start with trailer updates!
One of the most anticipated movies this year is Lee Daniels’s The Butler and it has just released a trailer. Definitely an all-start cast and is it weird that the one I’m looking forward to the most is Oprah? The Butler will premiere on August 16th. Another all-star movie that just released a trailer is August: Osage County. The story follows the women of the Weston family, whose lives have splintered in many directions until their alcoholic father’s disappearance brings them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. The woman? Meryl Streep, of course. She’s joined with Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, and Dermot Mulroney.
Bourne’s Paul Greengrass has an exciting upcoming movie, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks. It’s the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. Actually I was a bit meh at first because Tom Hanks is becoming too Tom Hanks to become someone else (if you know what I mean) but after I saw the trailer… Man. That Paul Greengrass guy is back. It looks great! And as I said last week, the full trailer for Ender’s Game was released on Thursday so you can see it here.
There is also a website for Ender’s Game now, that’s supposed to be interactive and stuff. You can go to if-sentinel.com for it. Pacific Rim also did the same, theirs is panpacificdefense.com. You can already access some cool features now, but there will be more later, of course. [source]
Fans have been waiting for some time for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It was supposed to come out last year, but got postponed in order for the filmmakers to spend more time on the visual effects. Finally, a poster and a trailer are out, and it doesn’t look like your usual space-ships-shooting-out-laser-beams kind of sci-fi, but more like a psychological thriller. Quite interesting.
Lots of sci-fi movies will be coming your way this year and another one of those is Europa Report. It tells about a space mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possiblity of alien life within our solar system. They say that it’s a mix of “documentary, alternative history and science fiction thriller” and you can see that they use a found-footage approach based on the trailer. Actually I’m not too keen about the method because most of the time it’s just too gimmicky. But the filmmakers worked closely with NASA, JPL, SpaceX and other leaders in the scientific community and the cast include Daniel Wu (!), and the premise does sound interesting, so you might want to check that out. You can see the poster and trailer here.
Fruitvale Station, winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has just released a trailer. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old San Francisco Bay Area man whose 2009 shooting by Oakland BART police sparked outrage and protests in the city. The movie will be released on July 26th.
In casting news, Mia Wasikowska and Olivia Williams have joned David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, joining Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson. It seems like Pattinson is Cronenberg’s new Viggo Mortensen for the time being. Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe have been cast in Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a movie about two Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. It’s based on a novel by Shusaku Endo and will be a Japanese language film! Yay! Production is likely to start in early 2014. [source, source]
Many other movies are eyeing early 2014 to start production, among those are The Crow, which has Luke Evans cast in the main role (I was actually hoping he would have better roles than this) and Dominic Cooper has also joined recently. Star Wars Episode VII is also going to begin shooting in early 2014 and like its predecessors, it will be shot in the UK. Jim Cameron’s Avatar 2 and 3 are also likely going to be shot next year, simultaneously. [source, source, source, source, source]
Anything can happen in the business, so many things can change in a day. Like Heidi Klum always says, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out. Last week I posted about Jurassic Park 4 looking to be on track, but now the production of the franchise is on hold.. indefinitely. The studio released a statement, “In coordination with filmmakers, Universal has decided to release Jurassic Park 4 at a later date giving the studio and filmmakers adequate time to bring audiences the best possible version of the fourth installment in Universal’s beloved franchise.” Cameras are supposed to start rolling next summer but now.. who knows. I hope the delay is nothing and that the project is still a go. [source, source]
An adaptation of the YA novel The Maze Runner is underway. No still yet, but a concept illustration penned by the first-time feature director Wes Ball himself has been released via Entertainment Weekly. According to IMDB, The Maze Runner is “set in a post-apocalyptic world, young Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow ‘runners’ for a shot at escape.” It stars Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien and will open on February 14th next year. [source]
John Green’s best-selling The Fault in Our Stars is also being adapted and has now found its main male role in Ansel Elgort. Elgort will play Augustus Waters, whom Shailene Woodley’s character Hazel meet in a cancer support group. Elgort actually plays Woodley’s brother in Divergent. I mean.. why? It’s like there are no other choices out there. Not too crazy about this because I love The Fault in Our Stars and so far this Elgort guy doesn’t look like a good Gus. But we’ll see. [source]
I find it absolutely mindblowing that a Young Adult novel like Divergent, one of the dumbest YA novels out there IMO, gets a movie deal so fast and not only that, it has even found a writer for the second installment, Insurgent. The lucky man (uh..) is Brian Duffeld, who wrote Jane Got a Gun. Which brings me to.. Jane Got a Gun. In case you didn’t know, I wrote about this problematic project on last week’s post. But now (at least for now) it looks like it got its problems sorted. Ewan McGregor has stepped in to replace Bradley Cooper (who replaced Jude Law who replaced Michael Fassbender). [source, source]
Tom Cruise has signed on for Mission: Impossible 5. So here, Tom Cruise might be a freaky nutcase in real life, but on screen, he’s still a bona fine movie star. And I personally enjoyed the last Mission: Impossible a lot, so it’s great that there’s going to be another one, but I hope the quality will be on par with the last one or even better. Tom Cruise is also attached to an adaptation of the 1960’s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Armie Hammer, and now Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has also joined. The movie will be directed by Guy Ritchie (after Soderbergh threw it away) but no news yet about when production will start. [source, source]
James Franco seems to be everywhere these days (you should take a look at his IMDB page) and he will likely continue to be on the radar for quite some time. He has just joined Wim Wenders’s (Pina) new film, Everything Will Be Fine. The drama centers on a man who accidentally causes the death of a child. The film is going to be in 3D. It’s a drama, by the way, did I mention that? A drama in 3D. You read that right. Franco is also directing a few movies, one of which is an adaptation of a novel by Cormac McCarthy called Child of God and it is currently on post-production. His other directorial feature though, As I Lay Dying is ready to compete at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Some stills were released this week and you can see them here. [source, source]
Cannes Film Festival will kick off next Wednesday and you can see the schedule here. Some interesting international features and I’m especially looking forwards to Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s Like Father, Like Son. [source]
Remember about Bradley Cooper being in John Wells’s Chef? Well, food movies seem to be an upcoming fad, with Robert Downey Jr. also starring in a movie called Chef. The indie comedy is written and directed by Jon Favreau (who directed Downey in Iron Man, of course), and he will also star in it. Production will start this July. [source]
The latest issue of Vanity Fair discusses World War Z, a project that seems doomed before it’s even released. The movie suffered through a lot of expensive reshoots and the final third act of the film was even rewritten, causing the budget to soar through the roof, some speculated it numbered at around $210 million, some even said $300 million. At some point, Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster reportedly stopped speaking to each other. It’s interesting to see how a big production like this goes horribly wrong and I can’t help but get curious about how the outcome is going to be. The movie will come out on June 21st. You can read the VF article here. [source]
Cinderella has found her Prince Charming in.. Robb Stark! Yes, Richard Madden is officially joining Lily James and Cate Blanchett in Disney’s Cinderella. I am absolutely thrilled about this because girls, it’s ROBB STARK! He has surely proven himself to be charming on Game of Thrones and man how those eyes spark. He’s a prince material indeed. [source]
Joe Wright could direct 50 Shades of Grey. However, like Tywin Lannister (if you don’t know who that is, you should re-organize your priorities and go watch Game of Thrones) has eloquently said, I will not breathe further life into a malicious lie by discussing it. [source]
Soccer superstar Lionel Messi is about to get a biopic. Epic Pictures Group has acquired all rights to the biography “Messi: The Inside Story of the Boy Who Became a Legend” by Luca Caioli. But that’s not the only soccer superstar biopic in the works. Another, perhaps bigger, biopic tells the story of Pelé and tracks his life from a poor upbringing in São Paulo to fame and glory as a 17 year-old superstar at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Big-time producer Brian Grazer is attached. [source, source]
After Earth hasn’t even hit theatres yet but British mogul Richard Branson of the Virgin empire has paired with Overbrook Entertainment (Will Smith’s production company run by longtime partner James Lassiter) to co-produce, co-finance and co-market a sequel to the movie. Ever since the trailer surfaced some time ago, I’ve been looking forward to this movie a lot. Things are looking good and I’m absolutely looking forward to M. Night Shyamalan redeeming himself. And of course, there’s JADEN SMITH. [source]
20th Century Fox released the first official picture from the set of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, featuring Jason Clarke and Andy Serkis. The sequel is set 15 years after the events of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and will focus on a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar (Serkis), threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. I actually liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes, mainly because of, well, Caesar. It’s interesting that the character with the most presence on screen and is most able to move the audience is a fake, computer-generated one. Andy Serkis did a great job and I look forward to more Caesar. [source]
Cinematographer extraordinaire Wally Pfister, who worked on Nolan’s Batman movies and also Moneyball, has departed from the field and is working on his directorial debut, Trascendence. Josh Stewart (Dark Knight Rises) has joined the cast that already includes Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany (THANK GOD), Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, and.. CILLIAN MURPHY! It looks like a great cast indeed. IMDB says that the movie is about two leading computer scientists work toward their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain. Can’t wait to see this! [source]
Lastly, for some laughs here’s a Funny or Die clip of Zach Galifianakis interviewing James Franco, but the real treat is the last half of it. The Lonely Island gave a musical performance with a song that keeps repeating “marry a man” and features Edward Norton as one half of a happy couple (the other being one of The Lonely Island’s members). If you miss Norton as much as I do, this is quite a pleasant treat. [source]