Production is underway on the international thriller The Two Faces of January. The film marks the directorial debut of Drive and Snow White and the Huntsman screenwriter Hossein Amini and centers on an American con artist and his wife who strike up a relationship with a stranger in 1960s Athens. Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst star as the couple, while Oscar Isaac is onboard as said stranger. The first image and a full synopsis have been released, detailing a rather intriguing premise that’s a tad reminiscent of The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Hit the jump to check out the image and synopsis. Filming on the StudioCanal production is taking place in Crete, Athens, Istanbul, and London.
Here are some recent casting additions at a glance:
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
Perhaps impressed by the critical and financial success of his first blockbuster lead, Thor, Sony Pictures has tapped Chris Hemsworth to star in their recently acquired actioner, Shadow Runner. According to Deadline, the studio picked up the pitch for the action/thriller which is based on an idea from Drive scribe Hossein Amini who will executive produce. Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson, and Will Ward will co-produce the pic which is believed to require Hemsworth to “lead an elite team of operatives who take on impossible tasks.” Let’s hope they only seem impossible, or else moviegoers could be in for a frustrating 90 minutes.
Per the report, Amini’s original idea is inspired by a real-life event in which a 17-member team of Israeli assassins tracked and dispatched of a Hamas leader in the lobby of a five-star Dubai hotel. However, the film is not expected to mirror that event verbatim. In addition to Shadow Runner, Hemsworth also has a lead spot alongside Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman which is scheduled to hit theaters on June 1, 2012. The Thor star is currently filming The Avengers and will hopefully see his turns in the MGM back-logged films Red Dawn and Cabin in the Woods on the silver screen in the near future.
Viggo Mortensen passed on Snow White and the Huntsman right around the time Hossein Amini entered negotiations to rewrite the script. I suspect their paths crossed, as in the months since, Amini and Mortensen teamed to develop an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January. The 1964 novel is a suspense thriller that centers on an American con artist, his wife, and a stranger in travelling in Athens. A source tells 24 Frames Mortensen would assume one of the three starring roles, and this is intended to be the directorial debut of Amini.
Amini wields a powerful calling card right now with Drive — by all accounts from Cannes and LAFF, Drive is amazing. We peons only have to wait three months for the September 16 theatrical release. Cronenberg will next be seen playing Sigmund Freud in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, assuming it gets the late 2011 release we expect. The first trailer, released yesterday, is wonderfully deranged.
Read the full synopsis for The Two Faces of January after the break.
Can director Carl Erik Rinsch balance a fantastic epic featuring giants and witches with one of Japan’s legendary tale of loyalty and sacrifice? That’s the question circling 47 Ronin but star Keanu Reeves explains how the film plans to honor the Japanese people who have grown up hearing this tale while still creating a widely-accessible tentpole flick. Says Reeves,
“Japanese kids grow up with this story told to them. They hear it from family and they learn it in school, it’s part of the culture. It’s been made into movies many times and on television. It’s like our westerns, the story keeps being told. It’s been reworked in some ways [for this new film] but with great care and respect.”
Hit the jump for more details on the project including a synopsis. The film also features Japanese stars Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi. 47 Ronin is set to open in 3D on November 11, 2012.
Universal has fallen behind in their race with Relativity to get a Snow White movie into development. Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsmans was dealt a blow when Viggo Mortensen passed on the project, which stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the evil queen. Now it looks like the studio is hoping to make up the difference in star power. Deadline reports that Universal has offered Hugh Jackman the role of the Huntsman in the Rupert Sanders-directed re-imagining of the classic fairy tale. Jackman was supposed to be at work on The Wolverine, but his schedule has opened up since director Darren Aronofsky left the project and shooting in Japan—the setting for the sequel—became untenable in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Of course, Jackman is involved as a producer on The Wolverine and is actively seeking a new director, with names like David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Duncan Jones (Source Code) being mentioned as possible replacements.
Hit the jump for more on both Snow White projects.
Jack Ryan will be returning under the working title Moscow in the new chapter of the franchise that has Chris Pine set to star. As you can guess from the title, the film will be set in Russia. According to Pajiba, Adam Cozad (an unknown writer) has been brought in to rework Hossein Amini’s (The Four Feathers) original draft. Pajiba went on to give us some updates on the plot:
We’ll be meeting up with Jack Ryan shortly after he leaves the Marines, but before he joins to CIA. When we first meet him, he’s a Wall Street broker. As opposed to the books by Tom Clancy (which had him working as a financial analyst in Baltimore) he’ll be a financial advisor in Moscow for some billionaire employer. It’s this new boss that will eventually set up Ryan as the fall guy for a terrorist plot that aims to destroy the U.S. economy. This is when the adventure begins as Ryan must clear his name, reveal the terrorist plot, and save his wife as she’s been taken hostage by the billionaire.
Hit the jump for more.