Fox Searchlight is getting its Oscar plans in order by announcing that they’ve set Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave for December 27th. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York. Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery. The film has lined up one of the best casts in recent memory. In addition to Ejifor, the film also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Fox Searchlight’s Oscar odds also go up when you consider that two films involving slavery—Lincoln and Django Unchained—grabbed Best Picture nominations last year (somehow, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter missed the cut).
The only other film set for December 27th’s is The Weinstein Company’s Oscar-hopeful Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. I can’t wait to see Twelve Years a Slave, and I hope it will play at TIFF like McQueen’s first two features, Hunger and Shame.
John Dies at the End, a horror comedy from writer/director Don Coscarelli (The Beastmaster, Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), follows John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), college drop-outs who can barely hold out jobs, but who soon find themselves on a journey to save humanity from an otherworldly invasion. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman and Doug Jones. For more on the film,watch the red band trailer.
At the film’s press day, actor Paul Giamatti, who’s also an executive producer on the movie, talked about what drew him to John Dies at the End, his most memorable experience of the shoot, working with such new actors, how he sees the industry now, and that he doesn’t think a film like Sideways would even get made today. He also talked about his upcoming role as Nikita Khrushchev for the HBO movie K Blows Top, the status of Bubba Nosferatu, and his role in Steve McQueen’s next film, Twelve Years A Slave. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Set in 1964, the FX drama series American Horror Story: Asylum takes viewers into Briarcliff, a haven for the criminally insane, ruled with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), a nun with a troubled past. Inside this locked down facility, danger lurks around every corner, whether it’s a doctor who loves to torture, flesh eating creatures in the forest, alien experimentation or the serial killer Bloody Face, and no one is safe.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Sarah Paulson, who plays involuntary inmate Lana Winters, talked about how she became a part of the show, her reaction when she found out what she would be doing this season, how traumatic it’s been to go through some of the emotional and physical aspects of the role, that however bad viewers think things are for Lana now, they’re going to get a whole lot worse, and how she would love to return again next season. She also talked about her role as the jealous wife of Michael Fassbender’s character in Twelve Years A Slave, the experience of working with director Steve McQueen, and how she’d love to play a character in the ‘70s. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
One of the films for 2013 that I’m most intrigued by is Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave, based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York during the mid-1800′s that was kidnapped and sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War. The cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (as the lead character), Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt and Paul Giamatti, who recently spoke about the film and his role in it, while doing press for another upcoming film he has, the horror comedy John Dies at the End (which will be available on VOD on December 27th and in theaters on January 25, 2013).
Giamatti talked about how wild it was to be a part of such a historically terrifying story, that he describes as “a horror movie, in itself,” and said that he played one of the wealthiest slave traders in America, at that time, how difficult it was to do some of what his characters does to these people, and how amazing it was to work with the director, who wanted to create a world it which these actions were completely normal. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Though we’re a little more than halfway through the year, we’ve likely already seen the release of one of the best films of 2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild. The magical, emotional drama is a film unlike any other, and its success is due in no small part to its force of nature star Quvenzhane Wallis, who was merely five years old when she landed the lead role. A set photo from director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) upcoming period drama Twelve Years a Slave now confirms that the immensely talented actress has joined Chiwetel Ejoifor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt as part of the cast.
The film tells the true story of Solomon Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York who was abducted and forced into over a decade of slavery in the south. Judging by this set photo, it appears that Wallis will be playing Northup’s daughter. Hit the jump to take a look.
A sharp, modern take on the Pygmalion myth, Ruby Sparks is the story of a novelist’s vision that inexplicably comes to life, only to prove far more complicated than even he could have imagined. Ruby (Zoe Kazan) starts out as an idea in Calvin’s (Paul Dano) mind, but he creates her with such a strong individualistic desire to be her own person that he is ultimately forced to grow in order to accommodate her strength and evolution. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a first screenplay by actress and playwright Kazan, the film constantly challenges the audience as it takes an unpredictable route into fantasy, identity and the ways we invent love and how love reinvents us.
At the press day for Ruby Sparks, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Kazan and Dano to talk about what happens when a writer tries to make a relationship from his imagination work in the real world. They told us what the experience was like bringing their characters to life on screen, how they approached the film’s most physically and emotionally challenging sequences, and why Dayton & Faris were the perfect duo to direct the film. They also revealed their next projects including Dano’s upcoming For Ellen, Looper and Twelve Years a Slave and Kazan’s The F-Word.
On June 7th, Collider was invited to the set of the new thriller The Scribbler, based on the graphic novel by Dan Schaffer and directed by John Suits. In the film, Suki (Katie Cassidy) is a young woman confronting her destructive mental illness by using “The Siamese Burn”, an experimental machine designed to eliminate multiple personalities, of which she has a few. The film also stars Garret Dillahunt, Gina Gershon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Billy Campbell, Eliza Dushku, Michael Imperioli, Sasha Grey and Ashlynn Yennie.
While we’ll post what Garret Dillahunt had to say about making the film closer to its release, which is expected to be sometime in 2013, we did want to share what he had to say about having just signed on for director Steve McQueen’s next film, Twelve Years a Slave (also starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Paul Dano), what attracted him to the project, and the challenge of the heightened language in the script. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories regarding three very promising projects to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Anton Yelchin has been cast in director Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film Only Lovers Left Alive.
- Alfre Woodard joins the impressive ensemble cast for Twelve Years a Slave.
- Alessandro Nivola has scored a pivotal role in the West Mempis Three film Devil’s Knot opposite Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.
Hit the jump for more on each actor’s casting.
With production looming closer, director Steve McQueen is lining up an increasingly impressive cast for the historical drama Twelve Years a Slave. The story is based on the true life events of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was living in New York in the 1840s when he was duped into taking a job in Washington, D.C. only to be kidnapped and forced into manual labor on a Louisiana plantation. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) is set in the lead role of Northup, with a stellar supporting cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Negga, Paul Dano, Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live) and Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly).
McQueen has stacked his cast even further, as Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson (Game Change), and Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) are the latest additions. Hit the jump for details on their roles.
Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse, Sherlock) is the latest addition to New Regency’s historical drama, Twelve Years a Slave. In what’s shaping up to be one of my most anticipated films, Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave already features Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). The story is based on the true life events of Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free black man who was living in New York in the 1840s when he was duped into taking a job in Washington, D.C. only to be kidnapped and forced into manual labor on a Louisiana plantation. Hit the jump for more information on the picture, including Cumberbatch’s role.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Kevin Hart is joining Kevin James in the comedy Valet Guys.
- Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) joins the cast of Grown Ups 2.
- SNL cast member Taran Killam has joined Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Twelve Years a Slave.
- Chris Diamantopoulos has been added to Empire State alongside Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth.
Hit the jump for more on each casting addition.
All the casting news that money can buy:
- Hailee Steinfeld is in negotiations to star in the high school comedy Why We Broke Up
- Matt LeBlanc will headline the indie rom-com Lovesick
- Scoot McNairy and Ruth Negga will join Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender Twelve Years a Slave
More on each project after the jump.
We’ve got some Little Miss Sunshine alumni casting news today: one’s an Oscar-nominated topliner and the other is a BAFTA-nominated addition to an already phenomenal cast. Check out the headlines below:
- Abigail Breslin is set to star in the title role of Final Girl, a thriller from debut director Tyler Shields.
- Paul Dano will join the cast of Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, a picture that already boasts Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Adepero Oduye and Brad Pitt.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
We have some movie casting updates to share with you today. Here they are at a glance:
- Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) is in talks to join the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia opposite Liam Hemsworth.
- T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) will join the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, where he will play the Dodgers traveling secretary tasked with sussing out the housing situation once Robinson joins the team.
- Adepero Oduye (Pariah) is in negotiations to join Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt.
Hit the jump for much more on each project.
With director Steven Soderbergh’s spy-action pic Haywire opening this weekend, I recently got to speak with most of the cast to talk about making the movie. Starring MMA fighter Gina Carano as a burned spy who takes revenge against her handlers, Haywire also stars Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton. I’ve seen Haywire twice now and it’s fantastic. On top of Carano’s star-making performance, the action scenes are some of the best I’ve seen in years. It’s absolutely something you should see in a theater.
During my exclusive phone interview with Michael Fassbender we talked about how he got involved in Haywire, how he prepared for the role, the amazing fight scenes, how the script changed along the way, and if he remembered any of his training in real life. In addition, we talked about whether or not he still has to audition, when he realized he’s won the actor’s lottery, what’s up with Twelve Year’s a Slave and the X-Men Sequel, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.