Director Charles Martin Smith Talks DOLPHIN TALE 2, His Career as a Character Actor and the Transition to Filmmaking

by     Posted 99 days ago


The career trajectory of Charles Martin Smith has been a fascinating one to watch. The perennial character actor (supporting roles in American Graffiti, Starman & The Untouchables) slowly transitioned behind the camera, helming such genre fare as Trick or Treat and Fifty/Fifty.  Since then, Smith has transitioned to directing more topical dramas: The Snow Walker & Stone of Destiny – before finding commercial success with the family-friendly Dolphin Tale.  The surprise success of Dolphin Tale, the film grossed more than 70 million domestically, has not only spawned a sequel opening this weekend but also helped to establish an aquarium (The Clearwater Marine Aquarium) that houses Winter and Hope, the titular aquatic stars of both Dolphin Tale films.

In the following interview with Charles Martin Smith, the writer/director discusses the darker adult themes of Dolphin Tale 2, the writing process behind the sequel and his approach to working with child-actors.  In addition, Smith discussed his career as an actor and what precipitated his shift away from acting towards directing.  Hit the jump more my Dolphin Tale 2 interview with Smith.

First Trailer for DOLPHIN TALE 2 Starring Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, and Nathan Gamble

by     Posted 254 days ago


The first trailer for writer-director Charles Martin Smith‘s family film sequel Dolphin Tale 2 is now available.  The follow-up sees the return of cast members Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Nathan Gamble, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff as they continue Winter the Dolphin’s treatment at the Clearwater Marine Hospital.  This trailer markets the film as Inspiration with a capital “I”, and if you were a fan of the first pic, odds are you’ll be happy with the direction of this sequel.  If you weren’t, it doesn’t look like this follow-up will change your mind.

Hit the jump to watch the Dolphin Tale 2 trailer, and if you missed Dave’s set visit preview, click here.  Also starring Kris Kristofferson, Austin Stowell, Austin Highsmith, and a special appearance by professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, Dolphin Tale 2 opens September 19th.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

DOLPHIN TALE 2 Moving Forward; Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, and Kris Kristofferson Set to Return

by     Posted 1 year, 185 days ago


Today in unnecessary sequel news, Alcon Entertainment has announced that it is in the final stages of developing Dolphin Tale 2.  The film is a sequel to “that dolphin movie with Morgan Freeman” from 2011, which itself was based on the true story of a bottlenose dolphin named Winter that was rescued off the Florida coast in 2005 and outfitted with a prosthetic tail.  Sadly, Dolphin Tale 2 will not be subtitled “Winter’s Revenge,” and will instead focus on another true story inspired by the life of Winter involving a baby dolphin.  The new dolphin, named Hope, will be playing herself in the film, marking the big screen debut of this up-and-coming young marine mammal.

Charles Martin Smith, who directed the first film, will return to write and direct Dolphin Tale 2, with the entirety of the original cast expected to reprise their roles as well.  That includes Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Kris KristoffersonDolphin Tale 2 is poised to hit theaters on September 19, 2014.

Director Charles Martin Smith Interview DOLPHIN TALE

by     Posted 3 years, 90 days ago

Charles Martin Smith DOLPHIN TALE slice

Dolphin Tale is inspired by the remarkable and amazing true story of a dolphin named Winter and the people who banded together to save her life. As a young dolphin, she was caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail enough that she ended up losing it. With the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist (Harry Connick, Jr.), a brilliant prosthetics doctor (Morgan Freeman) who wasn’t willing to give up, and the devotion of the young boy (Nathan Gamble) who discovered her, the story becomes a heartwarming adventure about the healing bonds between human and animal, and it illustrates how hope and courage can get you through almost anything.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, director Charles Martin Smith (also known for his acting work in such films as American Graffiti, The Untouchables and Starman) talked about the affect that meeting Winter had on him, the importance of not overdoing the sentimentality inherent in the story, that he wanted to capture Winter’s true personality for the film, how his acting background helped him in working with his young leads, his reasons for shooting the movie in 3D, and his hope that the film leads people to realize that, by helping others, we truly help ourselves. Check out what he had to say after the jump.


by     Posted 3 years, 101 days ago


Happy Saturday, everyone. The fall movie season is upon us and, in honor of its arrival, Adam and myself are working on a “most anticipated” feature which you should be able to check out later this weekend. As a result of working on that little diddy, I’m cutting my typically awe-inspiring opening “Top 5″ paragraph a little short. I know, I know…you’re heartbroken.

In this week’s installment you’ll find all of our coverage from the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival; a plethora of set visit materials from Real Steel, End of Watch and Dolphin Tale; and a look at Nike’s Back to the Future MAGs. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.

DOLPHIN TALE Set Visit and Interview With Director Charles Martin Smith and Stars Austin Stowell and Nathan Gamble

by     Posted 3 years, 103 days ago


Dolphin Tale is a movie based around a true story of a dolphin named Winter whose tail was caught in a net, and needed a prosthetic tail to survive. And to play that dolphin, the filmmakers did a bit of stunt casting by putting Winter in the movie. And as we arrived for our set visit, the first star we met was the disfigured dolphin.

While on the set we toured the aquarium set for the film, and met with director Charles Martin Smith, stars Austin Stowell Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and child actor Nathan Gamble. Check out our conversations with the stars and our look at the set after the jump.

AMERICAN GRAFFITI Special Edition DVD Review

by     Posted 3 years, 213 days ago


Back when he made good movies, and just prior to leaving an indelible impression on the cinematic landscape with Star Wars, George Lucas co-wrote and directed a low-budget masterpiece called American Graffiti. An ensemble nostalgia film that takes place over the course of a single night in 1962, the movie, like all great films, can’t be tucked into a neat box, genre-wise.  It manages to transcend genre and be all at once funny, sad, exhilarating, and touching (Yes, Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused owes more than a little to this movie). Hit the jump for my review of American Graffiti on DVD.

Trailer for DOLPHIN TALE Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr.

by     Posted 3 years, 257 days ago


A trailer for director Charles Martin Smith’s Dolphin Tale has landed online. Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., and Kris Kristofferson, the film tells the story of a dolphin, Winter, who loses most of her tail to a crab trap and is aided in her recovery by the combined efforts of a doctor (Freeman) who builds a prosthetic tail and a family (Judd, Connick, etc.) who perhaps wills her to survive. While unremarkable, the trailer does a nice job of painting the film in the inspirational light it is meant to be cast. Of course, the “from the studio and producers of The Blind Side” reminder doesn’t hurt in aiding that end either.

Dolphin Tale hits 3D theaters this fall on September 23rd. Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Also, in case you missed it, you can check out our set visit preview by clicking here.

Preview of our DOLPHIN TALE Set Visit; Plus First Images

by     Posted 3 years, 260 days ago


So many set visit offers start the same way. “Would you like to go to Florida to see the set of Charles Martin Smith’s Dolphin Tale? It stars Ashely Judd and Morgan Freeman, and you may get to talk to all three.” How does one say no? One doesn’t. I was sent with a handful of online journalists to go on set and meet its stars.

The film is based on the true story of Winter, a dolphin who lost most of her tail in a crab trap. She was considered a lost cause until a doctor (played in the film by Morgan Freeman) invented a prosthetic tail for her. The film is currently set to be released September 23, 2011. We’ll have interviews with Charles Martin Smith, Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, and more once the embargo lifts, but until then I can tell you what the set was like. Hit the jump for more.

Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr. in Talks to Star in 3D Family Film DOLPHIN TALE

by     Posted 4 years, 138 days ago


In news that makes me wish 3D was en vogue during Free Willy era, Alcon Entertainment is recruiting Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr. to star in the 3D inspirational family film Dolphin Tale.  Charles Martin Smith, whose resume kinda awesomely includes both the similarly pet-centric Air Bud and the pilot for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will direct.

According to THR, the script from Karen Janszen (A Walk to Remember) is inspired by the true story — the narrative revolves around a boy who befriends Winter, a dolphin who lost its tail in a crab trap.  Alcon is looking to cast Judd as the boy’s mother, Connick Jr. as the vet who rescues Winter, and Freeman as the doctor who constructs a prosthetic dolphin limb and (presumably) has an amazing voice.

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