Ben Affleck in Talks to Next Star in Action Thriller THE ACCOUNTANT

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On the eve of the release of Gone Girl (which is enjoying glowing reviews), Ben Affleck may have decided on his next project as an actor.  While Affleck was all set to direct his period crime drama Live by Night after Argo, he opted to take on the lead in Gone Girl first.  Then the role of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came calling, and he pushed Live by Night even further.  Now it appears that Affleck is keen on squeezing one more movie in before he starts production on Live by Night next summer, as he’s in talks to star in the action thriller The Accountant for Warner Bros.  More after the jump.

STAR WARS EPISODE 7 Rumors: Max Von Sydow’s Character, Daisy Ridley’s House, and the Return to a Familiar Location

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It’s been nearly two weeks since our last coverage of any Star Wars Episode 7 rumors, but don’t you fret because today we’ve got a new bundle of potential information regarding the highly anticipated film.  Production continues under the direction of J.J. Abrams over in London, and I have to say I’ve been pretty impressed with the way Lucasfilm and Disney have been handling the possible leaks and rumors thus far by not addressing them at all.  I want to go into the film as dark as possible, but in the internet age things are bound to get out.  However, given the flurry of rumors surrounding the project, it’s sometimes tough to suss out what could be true and what’s total BS.  Lucasfilm and Disney aren’t providing any direction one way or the other by just completely ignoring everything.

That said, today’s batch of rumors come from a reliable source and happen to be very non-spoilery.  If true, they only serve to make me more excited for this new Star Wars adventure.  Read on after the jump, but be aware that possible minor spoilers for the film may lie below.  Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 16, 2016.

The Work of David Fincher: HOUSE OF CARDS and the Director’s Future

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

“I want to see everybody as unhappy as me,” Fincher says jokingly in the making of documentary for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  For most of his filmography, Fincher has given us cynicism we can understand but as a way of peeking behind the corner to show us some darkness.  Cynicism perseveres because it’s surrounded by what’s seemingly positive.  With House of Cards, Fincher held our hands and we jumped into a world we already knew was wretched, awful, and rotten: Washington politics.  The challenge wasn’t to make audiences detest politicians; the challenge was making it so damned delectable.

Fincher never stopped making commercials or music videos even when his career as a filmmaker took off.  He moved to television with House of Cards but in the 21st century model created by Netflix, and only as something he helped launch as Beau Willimon worked as showrunner.  So other than all being as unhappy as him, what does the future hold for David Fincher?

Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q Talk STALKER, Their Characters, Going to the Dark Side, and More From the Show’s Set

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The new CBS drama series Stalker is a psychological thriller about detectives who investigate stalking incidents, including voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation.  Lt. Beth Davis (Maggie Q) is strong, focused and an expert in the field, driven by her own traumatic personal experience as a victim. When Detective Jack Larsen (Dylan McDermott) transfers to the Unit from New York City’s homicide division, his strong personality and questionable behavior may actually prove to be a valuable asset in this line of work.

The show shoots at Warner Bros. Studios, on a set that’s raised up off of the ground to simulate an upper floor in a high-rise building where the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD is located, and Collider was invited, along with a handful of other press, to check it all out and chat with the series stars.  During the interview, co-stars Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott talked about playing the darker sides to their characters, getting to learn about these characters outside of their cases, the dynamic between Beth and Jack, how the show gets under your skin, Jack’s ambitions, Beth’s concern about Jack, how the physical demands of Stalker compares to Nikita, and keeping a mix of male and female victims.  Check out what the had to say after the jump.

Watch the AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Opening Credits

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The American Horror Story: Freak Show opening credits have arrived, and they just might be the best ones yet.  This season of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck’s horror anthology series takes place in 1950s Florida and revolves around a traveling freak show overseen by Jessica Lange.  As Perri pointed out with regards to yesterday’s clown-infused trailer, this season appears to be brimming with vibrant imagery, and these opening titles are no different.  They’re done almost completely in an animation style that is likely computer generated but made to look like stop-motion, and the music is a playful twist on the AHS theme.  There are a number of oddities and creatures to be found, and as with every season of AHS, these titles are surely filled with plenty of hints with regards to where the season may be going.

Watch the American Horror Story: Freak Show main titles after the jump, and sound off in the comments with any hints and teases you think you’ve found.  The fourth season also stars Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Michael Chiklis, Evan PetersAngela BassetEmma RobertsDenis O’HareFrances ConroyPatti LaBelleFinn WittrockNaomi Grossman, Wes Bently, and John Caroll Lynch.  American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on FX on October 8th.

Tuesday TV Ratings: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Falls to Series Low; SELFIE Falters in Debut

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TV ratings for Tuesday, September 30th are in.  Here’s a brief look at the highlights:

  • ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not doing great.  The second episode of the show’s second season (read Evan’s recap here) garnered a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 4.54 million viewers, notching a series low for the Marvel show.  On the bright side, there’s always the possibility that it could receive a jolt in viewership after its midseason break following the debut of Agent Carter, but there’s no guarantee that show will be a hit either.
  • Elsewhere on ABC, the series premiere of the awfully-titled Selfie scored a 1.4 rating in the demo and 4.89 million viewers.  Despite the cringe-worthy premise, our own Allison Keene thought the pilot episode was saved by its solid cast.  Those debut numbers on down considerably from the 3.0 rating that The Goldbergs nabbed in its post-S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere last year.
  • The other ABC shows of the night were Manhattan Love Story with a 1.3 rating and 4.28 million viewers and Forever with a 1.3 rating and 5.6 million viewers.

Hit the jump for the full ratings report, including New Girl, Person of Interest, and more.

New THE MULE Trailer Will Turn Your Stomach

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Ever since catching Tony Mahony and Angus Sampson’s The Mule at SXSW, I’ve been describing it as a “you’ve got to see it to believe it” type of film, but this new trailer actually does a solid job of recreating how unsettling and gut-wrenching the full feature can get.  Sampson leads as Ray Jenkins, a nice guy who gets suckered into swallowing bags of drugs and trying to smuggle them across the border.  Sure enough, he gets caught and that’s when the fun starts.  Ray refuses to admit that he’s got narcotics in his stomach, so the authorities have no choice, but to wait it out.  They confine Ray to a hotel room and keep an eye on him day and night, waiting for the contraband to come out.

I watch a lot of horror movies loaded with carnage where people get torn apart, but The Mule made me squirm more than any of them.  The new promo doesn’t spoil the moment that had me covering my eyes, but this piece is loaded with clever nods that tease how far Ray goes to conceal what he’s hiding.  Hit the jump to check out The Mule trailer and click here to read my review.  XLrator Media has the US rights to the film, but it’s still without a release date.

Find Out Where You Can See INTERSTELLAR in 70mm IMAX and 35mm

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It’s no secret that Christopher Nolan is a very big proponent of film as opposed to digital.  His preference goes beyond the shooting of the movie to the actual projection, and not unlike Quentin Tarantino, Nolan very much prefers that you see his movies projected on film.  Today, Paramount released the final trailer for Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar and also confirmed what we heard last night, which is that the film will be opening two days early on 75mm IMAX and 35mm screens.  That means if your local theater has converted to digital projectors both in their regular theaters and IMAX, you’ll have to wait two more days to see the film.  It’s kind of a shame since most theaters across the country have converted to digital—especially in the middle of the country, where digital projection is cheaper to maintain—but it’s nice to see that Nolan is doing everything he can to advocate for film projection.

If you’d like to find out where your nearest 70mm or 35mm projection theater is, Paramount has put together a handy list that reveals all of the locations for every format available.  Check it out after the jump.  Interstellar will be released on film on November 5th and everywhere else on November 7th.

New to Blu-ray: TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXCTINCTION, CHEF, 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, and More

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the latest explosion-filled effort from Michael Bay, a small-scale indie from Jon Favreau, the return of Jack Bauer, and more.  Briefly:

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco Talk Real-Life Inspiration, Improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, and More on the Set of THE INTERVIEW

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Last year when directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were filming The Interview (their directorial follow up to This is The End) in Vancouver, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  As most of you know from the extremely funny red and green band trailers, James Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.

During a break in filming, I participated in a group interview with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco.  They talked about how the project came together, pulling from real-life inspiration, improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, how they wanted to do things people don’t usually do in comedy and “abandon how comedies look as much as we possibly could,” how the film should play out like a serious, political thriller that’s loaded with jokes, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either listen to or read the interview.

20 Things to Know About Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s THE INTERVIEW From Our Set Visit

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Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and Dave Skylark (James Franco) are inside a tank in North Korea talking about Katy Perry and margaritas.  They’re debating if drinking fruity margaritas and loving Katy Perry’s music means you’re gay.  After saying the lines a few different ways, directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg call out a few new ways to say the dialogue and I erupt with laughter.  And I’m not alone.  The other reporters I’m with on the Vancouver set of The Interview are also laughing out loud.  So much so that after the take ends, an assistant director comes in the room where we’re watching playback and says they can hear us laughing on set.  While I’m sure they were mad at us for possibly ruining a take, I’m sure it made them happy to know they were making comedy gold.  While I’ve done a lot of set visits, I’ve never laughed as much on a movie set as I did on The Interview.  As a huge fan of what Rogen and Goldberg accomplished with their directorial debut, This is the End, I left Vancouver thinking they were making another home-run.

As most of you know from the red and green band trailers for the film, Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un.  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.  Besides getting to watch the tank scene, I was able to speak with most of the cast during breaks in filming.  From the on-set interviews, I’ve put together a list of 20 things to know about the film.  Hit the jump to learn more about The Interview which arrives in theaters December 25.

THE WATER DIVINER Trailer and Poster: Russell Crowe Directs and Stars in Australian World War I Drama

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The first The Water Diviner trailer and poster have been released for Russell Crowe’s feature directorial debut.  The story centers on an Australian man (Crowe) who travels to Turkey in an attempt to discover the fate of his three sons, who were fighting in World War I.  While I was afraid the film might feel a bit like a vanity project, this trailer is actually pretty good.  There are surprisingly few films that revolve around the horrors of The Great War, and this Australia-focused story provides an interesting point of view for what was truly a World war.  Crowe appears to be pretty confident behind the camera, and he’s filled his cast out with plenty of Australian actors.  Color me intrigued.

Hit the jump to check out the Water Diviner trailer and poster.  The film also stars Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Steve Bastoni, Isabel Lucas, Ryan Corr, Dan Wyllie, Damon Herriman, Jacqueline McKenzie, Michael Dorman, Megan Gale, and Dylan GeorgiadesThe Water Diviner opens in Australia and New Zealand on December 26th.

ANGRY BIRDS Movie Voice Cast Includes Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, Peter Dinklage and More

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We haven’t heard much about the Angry Birds movie in a while, but over the past 48 hours, fans of the Angry Birds game have been busy unlocking the voice cast of the film by slinging one billion birds.  Apparently one billion birds have been slung because Rovio just revealed the full line-up.

Angry Birds will feature the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage.  Hit the jump for more on who they’re playing.  Angry Birds is set to hit theaters on July 1, 2016 and will mark Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis’ directorial debut.

New INTERSTELLAR Trailer Says Goodbye to Our Solar System

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We’ve been loading up on Interstellar promotional material lately and Paramount just topped it all off with an especially riveting new trailer.  Matthew McConaughey recently described the film as “the grandest adventure I think any of us will ever see on film,” and based on what we get in this promo, I’m inclined to agree.  We’ve been trying to put the pieces of the narrative together since day one and even though this trailer answers more questions and reveals more story information than ever, it winds up sparking so much more curiosity and intrigue in the process.  We caught a glimpse of it in one of those new TV spots, but the detail that still catches my eye is that robot walking around the planet with McConaughey’s character and his team.

Hit the jump to check it out for yourself in the brand new Interstellar trailer.  The film arrives in theaters in 35mm and 70mm IMAX on November 5th (click here to find out your closest film projection location) and everywhere else on November 7th, and also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet and Matt Damon.

New THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Trailer: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones Impress as Stephen and Jane Hawking

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Focus Features has released a new The Theory of Everything trailer for director James Marsh’s (Man on Wire) biopic of genius physicist Stephen Hawking.  The film stars Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) as Hawking, chronicling his budding relationship with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wide (Felicity Jones), heartbreaking motor neuron disease diagnosis at the age of 21, and groundbreaking scientific work in the field of time.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s one of my favorite films of the year.  Led by phenomenal performances by Redmayne and Jones, The Theory of Everything will definitely be a player in awards season and I strongly recommend seeing it for yourself when it opens November 7th.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Theory of Everything trailer, and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF and here’s my video interview with Felicity Jones.  The film also stars David Thewlis, Charlie Cox, Harry Lloyd, and Emily Watson.

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