Director Mike Cahill has assembled the cast for his follow-up to his 2011 Sundance hit Another Earth. Deadline reports that Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice), Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), and Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) will star in I Origins. Cahill wrote the screenplay, which centers on a molecular biologist and his brilliant lab partner who uncover “startling evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.”
Pitt will star as the biologist, and the premise sounds like it will tread territory similar to Another Earth, which was a grounded, character-centric story that was told within the confines of a sci-fi premise. Marling co-wrote Another Earth with Cahill, but this one appears to be written solely by Cahill. The actress will next be seen in the thriller The East, which she co-wrote with her Sound of My Voice co-writer/director Zal Batmanglij.
Fox Searchlight has released a new trailer for Sound of My Voice director Zal Batmanglij’s upcoming thriller The East. The film stars Brit Marling as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele. Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a very solid thriller. Batmanglij and star/co-writer Marling prove that they can skillfully craft a commercially pleasing film that still manages to be smart and thought provoking, and Marling turns in a riveting performance as the film’s protagonist. This trailer delves quite a bit deeper into the pic’s plot than the first teaser trailer, and it gives you a good idea of the pic’s intensity level and story beats.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to read my interview with Batmanglij and Marling. The film also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, Julia Ormond, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jason Ritter. The East opens on May 31st.
In the new film directed by and starring Robert Redford, The Company You Keep, lawyer and single father Jim Grant (Redford) is living a quiet life in the suburbs when a housewife (Susan Sarandon) is arrested and revealed as part of a 1970’s radical gang, known as the Weather Underground. Young and thirsty reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) digs into her history and uncovers Grant’s secret- that he is in fact another member of the gang in hiding. Grant goes on the run across the country- closely followed by the FBI and a truth-hungry Shepard- to try and clear his name and win back his daughter. Along the way, both men discover things they can’t outrun about the past and about themselves. The film also stars Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, Sam Elliot, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Root and Jacqueline Evancho.
Collider was on hand at a press conference given by Redford, and co-stars Tucci, Marling and Evancho. Redford had a lot to say about his costars (upon all of whom he lavished extreme praise), the material upon which the screenplay is based and drawing from the story of Les Miserables when creating his character. Redford was not shy to open up about his political beliefs regarding the radical movement, nor to buck talk of Academy Awards, claiming he is “not in that business,” but he did speak about his Sundance Institute, which is actually where he met Marling as she got her start in the industry. The other actors also had nothing but admiration and praise for their leader and the rest of the all-star cast. Click here to read more.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The Company You Keep opens tomorrow in limited release.]
Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians. Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen. Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf. Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs (provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience).
A new trailer for director Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep has been released online. In addition to directing, Redford also stars in the film as a civil rights lawyer who must go on the run when he’s outed by a young reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as being a former 1970s Weather Underground militant. The trailer teases an engrossing thriller with a stellar ensemble cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Anna Kendrick, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, and Brit Marling. LaBeouf looks to be in fine form as well as the film’s lead, and I’m eager to see how Redford expands on the plot’s themes in the full feature.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from last year’s Toronto Film Festival. The pic also stars Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, and Nick Nolte. The Company You Keep opens on April 5th.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival saw the debut of a number of filmmakers, but one of the most anticipated titles was the follow-up film from Sound of My Voice director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij and star/co-writer Brit Marling. The two made waves with Sound of My Voice at Sundance 2011, and this year they premiered their ambitious new film, the thriller The East. Marling stars as an undercover corporate operative who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization but becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard). The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.
While in Park City, I got the chance to speak with Batmanglij and Marling for an extended interview. They talked about wanting to craft an effective thriller that also posed some important questions, how the film’s events and ideas could have parallels to the Newtown massacre, the interesting reactions to the film’s subject matter, how their experience on Sound of My Voice influenced their approach to this larger-budgeted film, and more. In addition, they also briefly touched upon fulfilling the Sound of My Voice trilogy and future projects. Read on after the jump.
The undercover thriller is a familiar genre, but it rarely reaches its full potential. For a setting where betrayal and shifting sympathies are central to the plot, most of these stories only provide the semblance of a grey area. Yes, the terrorist is planning to destroy the western seaboard, but his kid died ten years ago, so he’s not all bad. This is an easy road to nominal dramatic conflict while still keeping the audience firmly supporting the hero. With their new film The East, director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer Brit Marling have played the undercover thriller to near-perfection by forcing the audience to sit uncomfortably as we wonder who should deserve our sympathies. Playing to the conventions of the genre stops The East from holding any major surprises, but Batmanglij and his strong cast always keep us riveted as we become as conflicted as the film’s protagonist.
The first trailer for Zal Batmanglij’s The East is now online. A follow-up film to Batmanglij’s Sound of My Voice (both co-written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling), The East centers on an undercover operative (Marling) who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization but becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader. Fans of Sound of My Voice will recognize some very similar themes here, though the trailer for The East is decidedly more aggressive and promises to deliver on the tension. The East also stars Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard. Hit the jump to watch the first trailer for The East.
Today, Sundance announced their stellar Premieres line-up and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the category:
- Big Sur – Written and directed by Michael Polish, starring Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, and Henry Thomas.
- Breathe In – Written and directed by Drake Doremus, co-written by Ben York Jones, starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis.
- The East – Written and directed by Zal Batmanglij, co-written by Brit Marling, starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson.
- jOBS – Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matt Whiteley, starring Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and Matthew Modine.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
The nominations for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards have been announced, and Oscar hopefuls Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead the pack. Both films picked up nominations for Best Feature, Director, and Screenplay with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper landing acting noms for SLP and Bruce Willis garnering a swell Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Moonrise Kingdom. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, and Keep the Lights On round out the Best Feature nominees, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Safety Not Guaranteed were singled out for the Best First Feature award. Also, Matthew McConaughey pulled double nominations for his stellar work in this year’s Magic Mike and Killer Joe, landing a Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor nod, respectively. Notably shut out of the race entirely was Leos Carax‘s critically-lauded Holy Motors.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations. The winners of the 2013 Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, February 23, 2013.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this morning. First up, Willem Dafoe and Udo Kier are set to re-team with filmmaker Lars Von Trier for his upcoming erotic drama Nymphomaniac. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as Jo, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Jo beaten up in an alley. THR has no details on Dafoe or Kier’s roles, but they’ll be joining an impressive cast that also features Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, and Connie Nielsen. As we previously reported, Nymphomaniac will be a duology released in both hardcore and soft-core versions.
Hit the jump for casting news on the dramedy Posthumous.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon. First up, Glenn Close, James Franco, and Brit Marling have been set to star in the adaptation of Tom Bailey’s novel The Grace That Keeps This World. The family drama centers on a father and his sons as they prepare for an upcoming hunting trip, and the familial divisions that are revealed as the events unfold. Deadline reports that Azazel Jacobs (Terri) will direct from a script by Matthew Aldrich, but has no details concerning the characters that Close, Franco, and Marling will play.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the Zac Efron-fronted romantic comedy Are We Officially Dating?
Though Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated look into the life of President Abraham Lincoln hits theaters later this year, another Lincoln-centric film is already in the works. Elusive filmmaker Terrence Malick agreed to produce the directorial debut of AJ Edwards, The Green Blade Rises, and now Brit Marling and Wes Bentley have joined the cast in two crucial roles. Bentley will play the President’s first teacher, while Marling will play Lincoln’s biological mother Nancy, who withstood the challenges of pioneer life.
Diane Kruger and Jason Clarke are already onboard as Lincoln’s step-mother and father, but the role of Lincoln has still yet to be cast. Edwards worked with Malick as an editor on The New World, The Tree of Life, and To the Wonder, so it’ll be interesting to see how he applies what he learned from Malick on The Green Blade Rises. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians. Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen. Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf. Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience.
The first trailer for Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep has gone online. In addition to directing, Redford also stars in the film as a civil rights lawyer who must go on the run when he’s outed by a young reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as being a former 1970s Weather Underground militant. Redford looks to be in full-on thriller mode here, as this appears to be more of an “on the run” story than a straight drama. We actually don’t get much of Redford’s character in this trailer, as we instead focus more on LaBeouf’s investigation and pursuit of the truth. The footage isn’t mind-blowing, but the unsurprisingly top-notch cast promises some great performances from the likes of Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Anna Kendrick and Chris Cooper.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Brit Marling, and Nick Nolte. The Company You Keep will premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will also screen at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival.