The ensemble cast of Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Luke Wilson (Old School), Topher Grace (Take Me Home Tonight) and Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) have accepted The Invitation from director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body). The thriller, scripted by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (both of Clash of the Titans and the upcoming R.I.P.D.), centers around Will (Wilson) who receives an invitation from his estranged ex-wife to attend a dinner party. However, things take a dark turn as Will becomes increasingly suspicious of his ex-wife’s guests, a group who harbors an insidious agenda. The Invitation will begin principal photography in Los Angeles this summer. Hit the jump for more.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan will reteam with his Texas Killing Fields co-star Chloe Moretz for Karyn Kusama‘s The Rut. According to Variety, the gritty indie drama is described as a cross between Winter’s Bone and Into the Wild, and “follows a teenage girl who aims to win her father’s approval by surrounding herself with danger and adventure as she journeys into the wilderness alone to hunt deer.” Morgan will play the father and Moretz will play the daughter. While I think Kusama misunderstood the tone of Diablo Cody‘s script for Jennifer’s Body, hopefully she’ll have more luck with The Rut. She’s certainly got the talent when it comes to her lead actors.
Morgan will be seen later this year in the long-delayed remake of Red Dawn, the horror thriller The Possession, Bruce Beresford‘s Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, and Starz’ new TV series, Magic City. As for Moretz, she’ll next be seen in Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows and the atrocious indie film Hick (although she’s good in it).
Home Premiere, a Premium VOD service backed by four major studios, is set to launch tomorrow on DirecTV. The service would charge consumers $30 to watch movies only sixty days after they first hit theaters. Theaters, fearing that their revenues will be drastically cut, have responded with threats that range from believable to ridiculous. Now 23 directors and producers, including James Cameron, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, Michael Mann, and Gore Verbinski have released an open letter siding with the theaters.
In the letter, the signers make the point that just because Premium VOD launches at $30, it doesn’t mean it will stay there and it could conceivably drop to $10 within a few year. Hit the jump for the full letter.
Looking to recover from the critical and commercial failure of Jennifer’s Body, director Karyn Kusama is moving in a new direction with her next project, The Rut. According to 24 Frames, the plot revolves around “a father-daughter relationship and centers particularly on hunting, as a daughter must learn the tricks of hunting and archery taught to her by her father after said father goes missing.” Details are scarce at this early stage, but the wording of the article makes it sound as though Kusama will write as well as direct.
Chloe Moretz is in talks to star as the daughter, which is pretty much all it takes to hook me. If she finalizes a deal, this sounds like a nice companion piece to the father-daughter relationship in Kick-Ass. For that matter, the same could potentially be said for Moretz’s role in Let Me In (in theaters October 1st). Maybe I’m reading into things too much — when you’re 13-years-old, I’m sure many roles call for you to interact with a father (or father figure) in a meaningful way.
Millions of moviegoers got their first real glimpse of Rachel Weisz in the 1999 archaeological action epic The Mummy. This weekend, the Oscar winner is after more ancient issues in Agora. This time, however, the film poses real ideological problems and they don’t get solved within the allotted runtime.
Collider recently got into Agora’s philosophical questions with Weisz and it turns out she wants in on another big-scale film with a brain, J.J. Abrams’ untitled Star Trek sequel. Hit the jump for the interview’s full audio and transcript, along with updates on her Jackie O film; the Hedy Lamarr biopic Face Value; The Invisible X for Karyn Kusama (Girlfight & Jennifer’s Body) and the news that should make Trekkies from here to Comic-Con thrilled they logged on before taking off for Memorial Day.
Cinema has long been the province of men on the creative side of things. Though much is made of Katherine Bigelow this year, she and directors like Karyn Kusama are a rarity, and still represent only a small handful of the filmmakers working today. Such may make it seem like a film written by a woman and directed by a woman might be handled with kid gloves. But no, because the writer was Diablo Cody, and the star was Megan Fox, their effort Jennifer’s Body was not particularly well received, and died at the box office. But this story of two best friends (Fox, Amanda Seyfried) who grow to hate each other once Fox’s Jennifer becomes a succubus will eventually find an audience, because it’s interesting, even if it’s not entirely successful. My review of Jennifer’s Body on Blu-ray after the jump.
I maintain that “Jennifer’s Body” wasn’t the fault of screenwriter Diablo Cody but rather a mismatch between Cody and director Karyn Kusama where it seemed like one wanted to make an ode-to-”Heathers” and the other wanted to make a straight horror flick. Sadly, because of the dominance of socially-retarded males on the Internet*, people dance on her failure and pretend like this is the end of the Oscar-winning screenwriter.
As if. Cody’s adapting the long-running teenage-girl book series, “Sweet Valley High”. Hit the jump to learn more about why this is a great match.
Is “Jennifer’s Body” an allegory for a woman dealing with the aftermath of her rape? Is it a metaphor for the perceived threat of female sexual power? Is it about the dissolution of sisterhood as a result of turning attention to the pursuit of men to the neglect of all else? Is it commentary on gender roles in modern youth culture?
Actually, “Jennifer’s Body” is none of these things but it leaves them at the periphery in such a frustrating and non-committal manner that all you’re left with is a bland horror flick punctuated with Diablo Cody’s singular dialogue. Oh, and Megan Fox being attractive. Don’t forget Megan Fox being attractive. You may have forgotten that she’s attractive. You should know that before you see the movie.
A new “Jennifer’s Body” featurette has been released and it shows us a little more about the girl who’s not just “high school evil.” As if there weren’t enough reasons to be excited about the new feature from Oscar-winning “Juno” scribe Diablo Cody, you can now see some new footage and hear directly from the cast and crew about the film with some new insight into Amanda Seyfried’s character – the aptly named “Needy.” More after the jump.
After a big, career-making splash, most young filmmakers choose a safe project for their follow up. Not so with Oscar-winning “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody. Instead of playing it safe Cody, and with the assistance of Director Karyn Kasuma, Producer Jason Reitman, and stars Meagan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, Cody has crafted a slick, darkly funny splatterfest that aims to tear up the box office come September.
The film, a sort of kinky, post-feminist take on the satanic-cult subgenre, centers on Jennifer (Fox) who, after a satanic ritual gone haywire, ends up with demonic powers that she uses to eat boys alive, literally. Her best friend Needy (Seyfried) is then forced to try and save the day.
Earlier tonight at Comic-Con I was fortunate enough to see most of the first act of the film and speak to Reitman, Kusama, Cody, and Fox.
Hit the jump for the details.
I know a red-band trailer [via ShockTillYouDrop] for “Jennifer’s Body”, the new comedy-horror flick written by Diablo Cody and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried should get me all tingly but…it’s not. If anything, it looks way too incongruous, as if director Karyn Kusama (“Aeon Flux”) has kept Cody’s dialogue and story but failed to match it in tone. All of the shots look like Generic Horror 101 and the trailer randomly introduces Adam Brody’s satan-worshiping rock band without mentioning that they worship satan and how they’re connected to Jennifer (Fox) or Needy (Seyfried). It’s more like “Hey! Adam Brody’s in this movie! You kids like him, right?”
I’m still excited for this flick but I’m starting to get the feeling that backlash towards Cody and Fox coupled with Kusama’s poor direction may spell disaster for this flick. Hit the jump to see the trailer and judge for yourself. “Jennifer’s Body” hits theatres on September 18th.