Back on November 14th, I went to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to speak to actor Paul Walker at the press day for his upcoming film Hours, an indie drama about a father who struggles to keep his newborn daughter alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What most struck me about the nearly 45 minutes I spent chatting with him for our interview was that he was a reluctant movie star who placed importance on following his heart and doing things with merit and significance, fully appreciating the opportunities that he clearly felt like he really just fell into. It was one of the best interview experiences I’ve ever had, and he was one of the most gracious and honest people I’ve ever spoken to.
After sharing stories about what it was like to have been born and raised in the San Fernando Valley (he even asked me what hospital I was born in), the conversation got even more personal, with him telling me that being a good father was the most important thing to him, now that his 15-year-old daughter was living full-time with him, and how hard it was to find a good school that she could go to where she could make good friends. And he also told me about all of the physical injuries that he’s gotten, over the years, and all of the physical therapy that he’s had to do, as a result. It’s a really introspective, insightful interview that I think is worth checking out, if you want a glimpse into the kind of guy he was. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
After a big push at Comic-Con, two viral videos released today signal the next wave of marketing for Godzilla. The first trailer drops tomorrow afternoon, but you can get a taste tonight with the first official images featuring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and a relatively clear look at the monster himself. The reboot “pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”
Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn also star. Godzilla opens May 16, 2014. Check out the new images along with a few quotes from director Gareth Edwards after the jump.
Saving Mr. Banks tells the tale of when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) invited Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to his studio in Los Angeles in 1961, to discuss his interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character. While there, Travers, who had been resistant for 20 years, spent two weeks uncompromisingly fighting every idea and suggestion, on the road to bringing this classic to the big screen.
At a press conference to promote the film’s release, co-stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks talked about bringing the essence of these people to life without doing an exact imitation, what they learned about these individuals from playing them, the characters they were each obsessed with, growing up, and what P.L. Travers might have thought of this film. Thompson also addressed whether there might ever be another Nanny McPhee movie. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
For years, Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the Queen frontman. However, Baron Cohen dropped out earlier this year due to creative differences with the Mercury’s Queen bandmates. The remaining Queen members identified Ben Whishaw as their ideal choice in October. Whishaw reportedly screen tested for the juicy role last month, and Deadline confirms Whishaw has landed the part. Additionally, Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill) has signed on to direct. Hopefully this is the iteration that will get off the ground, because Whishaw is a promising young talent and I am curious to see what he can do as Mercury.
The script by Peter Morgan (Rush) starts with Queen’s formation in the early 1970s and ends around their 1985 Live Aid set, which you can watch in full after the jump.
In addition to a few first look images that Warner Bros. recently released in anticipation of its upcoming 2014 slate of films, the studio has also unveiled an extensive list of official synopses, providing a closer look at some highly anticipated features. Briefly:
Transcendence – The feature directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall and opens April 18th.
Godzilla – The action redo stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston and opens on May 16th.
Blended – The African safari-set romantic comedy stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and opens on May 23rd.
Jersey Boys – Director Clint Eastwood’s musical adaptation stars Christopher Walken and opens on June 20th.
Tammy – The Melissa McCarthy/Susan Sarandon comedy opens on July 2nd.
Almost Human continued its positive trajectory with another great hour that helped expand the show’s immediate world (by giving time to characters like Captain Maldonado and Valerie Stahl) and also its futuristic framework, casually mentioning things like “the anti-replication guys” being “backlogged with work.” The show has also maintained its layered approach to procedural storytelling that makes it stand out among so many law enforcement series, thanks also to the strength of its characters and its creative use of its sci-fi genre. Hit the jump for why “when I read about his murder, it killed me.”
While Jason Momoacame very close to landing a role in the Marvel Movie Universe by way of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Drax the Destroyer, the part ultimately ended up going to David Bautista. No matter, it now looks like Momoa will get his shot at a big superhero movie, as he has apparently entered talks to join the cast of director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman. Warner Bros. recently announced that Gal Gadot will fill the role of Wonder Woman in the pic, and now that Snyder and producers have turned their attention to casting the film’s villain, it’s possible that Momoa could be playing the DC pic’s Big Bad. Hit the jump for more.
As 2013 winds down to a close, Warner Bros. has unveiled some new images from a few of its 2014 titles. The debut image from director David Dobkin’s (Wedding Crashers) dramedy The Judge shows Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall face-to-face, as Downey Jr. plays a man who returns to his hometown when his father is suspected of murder. The film opens on October 10, 2014. Additionally, the first image from writer/director Akiva Goldsman’s fantasy pic Winter’s Tale highlight’s the film’s lead romantic duo played by Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay. The story revolves around a thief who breaks into the home of a bed-ridden young woman and ends up falling in love with her, but as we saw in the debut trailer it also involves a significant time jump. The film will hit theaters on February 14, 2014.
Finally, Warner Bros. has also released a few new images from The LEGO Movie, which opens February 7, 2014. Hit the jump to check out high-resolution images from all three aforementioned films.
Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Lana and Andy Wachowski’s upcoming sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending. The film follows Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a recent Russian immigrant who has to scrub toilets for a living, but then discovers she has the genetic signature that makes her next in line to be Queen of the Universe. Channing Tatum co-stars as a genetically engineered ex-military hunter who must track her down. Judging from this trailer, one thing is abundantly clear about Jupiter Ascending: this is the Wachowskis going 100%, full-blown sci-fi. Coming off the philosophical (and excellent) Cloud Atlas, this film appears to be something a bit more in the vein of The Matrixfor the Wachowskis in that it appears to be lighter and a bit more adventurous in spirit. The world building on display in this trailer is nuts, and though the footage is indeed very out-there, I have a feeling once audiences settle in to the JA universe it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, James D’Arcy, Tim Pigott-Smith,and Doona Bae. Jupiter Ascending opens in 3D on July 25, 2014.
It looks like that Jack Reacher sequel might actually be coming to fruition. Director Christopher McQuarrie’s adaptation of the popular Lee Child character was a modest success when it opened last year, grossing $218 million worldwide. The critical response was quite positive both with regards to McQuarrie’s take on the material and Tom Cruise’s portrayal of the lead character, and fans of the film (myself included) were eager to see the franchise take off. Though initial reports made the prospect of a sequel coming to fruition seem unlikely, the film’s box office push over the $200 million mark forced Paramount and Skydance Productions to reconsider. And reconsider they did, as the studios are now actively developing a follow-up based on another one of Child’s novels. Hit the jump for more.
Continuing our coverage in anticipation of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we’ve got some more first look images and synopses for films that will be screening as part of the Premieres category. Briefly:
Love Is Strange – Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons.
A Most Wanted Man – Directed by Anton Corbijn; starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright.
Focus Features has released the red-band trailer for Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut, Bad Words. The film stars Bateman as the Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who exploits a loophole to compete in a national spelling bee competition. Guy has a larger motive than just winning, but his mean-spirited nature allows him to berate and humiliate kids along the way. It’s really funny. When I saw the film at TIFF, I was worried the trailer would give away too many of the jokes, and this red-band trailer does drop a few of the good ones (especially an insult near the end), but it manages to keep most of them a secret by focusing on Guy’s relationship with his competitor Chaitanya (Rohan Chand).
Hit the jump to check out the trailer, and click here for Steve’s interview with Bateman at TIFF. The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, and Philip Baker Hall. Bad Words opens March 21, 2014.