Set in present-day downtown New York City, the indie drama Generation Um… follows John (Keanu Reeves), the quiet and withdrawn driver for an escort service that includes Violet (Bojana Novakovic) and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), two women who are as manipulative as they are beautiful. When John impulsively steals a camcorder, he decides to use it to explore their deepest secrets, pushing their friendship to the limit.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Keanu Reeves and Adelaide Clemens spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what drew them to Generation Um…, exploring their characters’ backstories during the rehearsal period, whether they worried about making their characters likeable, shooting the fun and playful moments that take place during the credits, and what Mark L. Mann was like, as a director on his first narrative feature. Keanu Reeves also talked about why now was the right time to make his directorial debut, with Man of Tai Chi. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.
As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.
A director has been set for the long-gestating sci-fi film Passengers, which has Keanu Reeves attached to star. The story takes place on a spacecraft that is transporting thousands of people to a distant colony. A malfunction in one of its sleep chambers causes a single passenger to awake 90 years before everyone else, and faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he decides to wake up a second passenger. What follows is a love story under rather unique circumstances. Deadline reports that Brian Kirk, who has helmed episodes of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, has been tapped to make his feature directorial debut on the project for Wayfare Entertainment.
Kirk was previously eyed to direct the upcoming Thor sequel before the job eventually went to fellow Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor. Passengers has a script by Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts, and with a director now set, production can hopefully get underway sooner rather than later. The world could definitely use more original sci-fi films, and Passengers promises to be a welcome addition.
I bring good news for anyone feeling nostalgic about Keanu Reeves’s furious kung-fu fists, which were on full display in The Matrix trilogy alongside an arsenal of brilliant stylized camera techniques. The first poster and images have been released for Reeves’s directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, a kung-fu film about a young martial artist’s experiences in Beijing. Tiger Chen, who was a member of the stunt team for The Matrix, plays the film’s young protagonist, while Reeves plays the villain. The film will also include cast members Karen Mok (So Close), Simon Yam (Ip Man 1 and 2) and Iko Uwais (The Raid). Moreover, the venerated choreographer Yuen Woo Ping, known for his work in The Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is onboard as the film’s action director. Reeves previously stated that Man of Tai Chi will have 18 fights and roughly 40 minutes of fighting time.
Man of Tai Chi’s release date is still TBA. Hit the jump in order to see the film’s first poster and images.
The first trailer for writer/director Mark Mann’s Generation Um… is now available. The film, starring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill: Revelation) and Bojana Novakovic (Devil), centers on three adults in New York City across one day. I’m not 100% clear on what the film is really supposed to be about from the synopsis besides partying and a generation bent on ignoring disillusionment; unfortunately the trailer doesn’t do much to clear up the synopsis. Also starring Daniel Sunjata (The Dark Knight Rises), Generation Um… will be arriving on VOD in the US on April 26th and hits limited theaters this summer on May 3rd. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
47 Ronin is an intriguing project, in part because Universal plucked Carl Rinsch from relative obscurity to direct the 3D samurai tentpole. It seems the studio regrets that decision, and wants to heighten the intrigue in all the worst ways a cinephile can imagine. Rinsch has reportedly been removed from the editing room; Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley will oversee the final cut. A source involved with the production said the budget escalated from the planned $175 million to a prohibitive $225 million, although the studio denies that number. Keanu Reeves stars as one of the 18th century samurai who seek to avenge their master’s death, which lends some star power to the movie. But the rest of the cast—featuring Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Kô Shibasaki, and Rinko Kikuchi—is mostly Japanese. [Edit: To clarify, I have no problem with the nationality of the other actors. See explanation in the comments.] Add in the period setting and the lack of built-in brand awareness, and it is surprising Universal trusted an unproven director with so much money in the first place.
But Universal is ready to rectify that. Find out how after the jump.
Hollywood is in the middle of a digital revolution. Over the past few years, the titans of the industry have switched to digital cameras, and it seems like the days of shooting on film are drawing to a close. Of course there will always be holdouts (Christopher Nolan), but as digital cameras get more and more advanced, you have to wonder how long it will be before everyone has converted. These are the main issues explored in Keanu Reeves and Chris Kenneally‘s great documentary Side by Side. The two filmmakers sat down with people like James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Stephen Soderbergh, and Andy and Lana Wachowski to talk about the evolving landscape of filmmaking. If you’re a film nerd, it’s a must see movie. For more on Side by Side, here’s some outtakes and a trailer.
Last week, I landed an exclusive interview with Keanu Reeves. Besides thanking him for getting the Wachowskis on camera, we talked about what surprised him about the digital revolution, how digital cameras and digital projection have advanced in the past few years, IMAX, whether it was tough to land the interviews, and so much more. In addition, with Reeves having directed his first feature, Man of Tai Chi, we talked about when people will see it, the film’s rating (PG-13), and why he used the ARRI Alexa. Finally, we also talked about 47 Ronin, how he’d like to direct a film called Life and Art, the status of Bill and Ted 3, and Point Break Live (which is a lot of fun). Hit the jump to watch or to read the transcript.
More clips from Keanu Reeves’ film vs. digital documentary Side by Side have landed online, and though I’m incredibly excited for narrative features like Django Unchained and Les Miserables later this year, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Side by Side will be the most fascinating film I see in 2012. We recently shared clips of people like Martin Scorsese and The Wachowskis discussing the moviemaking process, and today we’ve got two bona fide titans: James Cameron and David Fincher. Cameron raves about how much more active the brain is while watching 3D films as opposed to 2D, while Fincher discusses the crux of his job as a director. They’re both incredibly interesting clips, and if this is the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor, I can only imagine how in-depth the full film will be.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. Side by Side hits theaters is currently playing in limited release and is now available on VOD on iTunes.
In a recent interview, Keanu Reeves (who is approaching 50 if you can believe that) dropped a few plot details about the in-development Bill & Ted 3. We previously reported that Ed Solomon (Men in Black) and Chris Matheson’s (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) script had been finished up and Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) was attached to helm. We already knew that Reeves and Alex Winter would be reprising their roles, but now we have an idea of what they’ll be doing in the threequel and the role that time travel plays. Hit the jump to see what Reeves had to say.
It’s tough to believe that a third Bill & Ted movie is becoming a reality, but that seems to be the case. We reported back in March that creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson had a finished script, and now Vulture reports that they’ve attached Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) to direct. Solomon and Matheson wrote the script on spec in order to make sure that the new film wasn’t a reboot or a remake. Keanu Reeves (Ted Theodore Logan) and Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq.) are both attached to return.
Hit the jump for more.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Ashley Judd and Robert Forster are the latest additions to the Gerard Butler-fronted White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen.
- The Raid star Iwo Uwais has joined the cast of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi.
- Bradley Whitford is in early talks to join Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks.
Hit the jump for details on these casting additions.
After Keanu Reeves enthusiastically professed that he knew kung-fu back in the days of The Matrix , the actor is finally getting back to the martial arts. Reeves has already wrapped on 47 Ronin, a retelling of the legend of a band of samurai who set out to restore their master’s honor. But Reeves is also working on his directorial debut, Man of Tai Chi, a story revolving around a young martial artist’s experiences in Beijing. The contemporary picture stars Tiger Chen (who worked on the stunt team in The Matrix) as the protagonist with Reeves himself as a villain. Casting notes aside, Reeves commented on the revolutionary camera work he’s using with Man of Tai Chi to both provide a new perspective on the fight scenes while keeping the cast, crew and camera from suffering any damage. Hit the jump to check out the proof-of-concept videos.
Universal certainly has an ambitious film on their hands with the samurai pic 47 Ronin, but it was announced today that they’ve decided to move the pic off of its pre-Thanksgiving release date. Previously slated to open on November 11th, 47 Ronin will now be released on February 8th, 2013 (per Box Office Mojo). Directed by Carl Rinsch, the 3D film stars Keanu Reeves and centers on a troupe of banished samurai who long to restore their honor and find vengeance against the treacherous Lord Kira (played by Tadanobu Asano) who was responsible for the death of their master. We recently brought you a look at a fire-infused promo poster for the film from CinemaCon, which you can check out right here.
The release date change actually makes sense. The November date had the action-centered film going up against Alfonso Cuaron’s highly anticipated sci-fi pic Gravity, and opening two weeks before The Hobbit and Les Miserables. In February, 47 Ronin has a showdown with the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven. I don’t really see much cross-pollination happening between the audiences for 47 Ronin and a Nicholas Sparks movie…
Just the other day, we heard the most excellent news that the script for a Bill & Ted sequel is complete. Star Alex Winter tweeted the good news, adding that now all they need is a green light. Winter recently sat down with MTV News and talked a bit about what to expect from the sequel, confirming that he’s optimistic Bill & Ted 3 will see the light of day:
“I think the reality is there probably will be another one”
Beyond the optimism, Winter briefly got into how the sequel came about and what kind of issues they’re looking to explore. In case you were worried, Winter and Keanu Reeves had a great deal of input into the story, going so far as to get into character to hash out dialogue. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Back in April, we received an update on the status of a third Bill & Ted movie. Keanu Reeves (who played Ted “Theodore Logan) said he and Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq.) were expecting a draft of the script in about six weeks. Today, it looks as though the Wyld Stallyns have a finished script. While speaking to The Independent about his new documentary Side by Side, Reeves was asked about how the project was coming along. “Yeah, we have a script. We’re trying to put it together. It’s a good script too.” Winter confirmed the progress of the script by tweeting “Script done? Check. -We love it? Check. -Green light? Working on it!”
Hit the jump for more.