The opening line of Louis Leterrier‘s Now You See Me warns “The closer you look, the less you’ll see.” But it doesn’t matter how closely or carlessly you look because there’s not much worth seeing in the film. For a movie that centers on magicians, the most spectacular thing about Now You See Me is how spectacularly it wastes both its premise and its cast. Leterrier seems torn between wanting to provide cool magic tricks that could conceivably be performed in real life, and then he swings wildly to effects-laden set pieces. The story also doesn’t seem to have much affinity towards magicians since it portrays them as smug and self-satisfied. But the film’s most egregious trespass is taking an outstanding cast and forgetting to give them characters. The movie should craft an intriguing illusion, but aside from some clever moments and Mark Ruffalo‘s performance, Now You See Me is a cheap trick.
It’s amazing how honest a director can be about a film as long as they’re not busy promoting it. Louis Leterrier‘s Clash of the Titans was one of the first movies to get a 3D post-conversion following the massive success of Avatar. It was a rush-job and it showed. When it came time to do press for the film, Leterrier admitted to being hesitant about the post-conversion, but when he saw the final product, it “looked like exactly what it looked like on set. I like the interactivity of it.”
But now that Leterrier is out doing press for his new movie, Now You See Me, he felt free to reverse his stance on the universally panned 3D for Clash of the Titans. Hit the jump for his quote.
With director Louis Leterrier’s (The Incredible Hulk) magician-centered thriller Now You See Me opening May 31st, I recently went to New Orleans to interview the cast. For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows an FBI squad on the heels of a team of bank-robbing magicians who share their profits with the audience. The pic boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Morgan Freeman. For more on the film, watch six clips and check out all of our previous coverage.
During my interview with Ruffalo, he talked about how much fun he had making the movie, what he learned about magic, what it was like working for Leterrier and his always moving camera, and more. In addition, he talked about how his life has changed over the past year, and if he’s talked to Joss Whedon about The Avengers sequel. Hit the jump to watch.
French director Louis Leterrier’s latest film, the magician heist thriller Now You See Me, is poised to hit theaters in a couple of weeks, but it appears that the filmmaker is gearing up to commit to his next project. Variety reports that the Incredible Hulk director is in early discussions to take the helm on a secretive project called Sea at War that was penned by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Taken). Besson is also producing through his EuropaCorp banner, but plot details are being kept very firmly under wraps—Leterrier couldn’t even read the script outside of Besson’s office.
Nevertheless, the pic is rumored to be a mermaid adventure film, which would put Leterrier back in the fantasy realm that he explored with 2010’s Clash of the Titans. Should he firmly commit to the project, we should start hearing more about Sea at War soon.
Last weekend I finally had the chance to check out director Rodney Ascher‘s The Shining analysis doc Room 237 on Xbox Live. The film garnered a rave review from Matt when he screened it at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and for the most part I share his enthusiasm for the pic. On one hand, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen and I admire it for that exact reason. The extensive scenic analysis Room 237 employs, the hypnotic score, and its refusal to show the faces of those presenting their theories makes it an absolutely captivating ride that never lets you come up for air. On the other hand, I now have to live the rest of my life looking for Stanley Kubrick‘s airbrushed face in the clouds during The Shining‘s opening scene. And when/if I ever find it, what am I supposed to do with that information? Sigh.
I could go on about the film’s individual parts, but suffice to say that I consider it required viewing for anyone with even a fleeting interest in film analysis, Kubrick, and/or The Shining. And with that I’ll move on to the reason we’re all here. In this week’s Top 5 you’ll have the pleasure of checking out a stellar new trailer and a slew of other assets from Man of Steel, our set visit recap for The Hangover Part III, the first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, more set visit goodness for Now You See Me, and all of our CinemaCon 2013 coverage. The “Continue Reading” button below is your ticket to a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Last year on the set of Now You See Me, director Louis Leterrier talked about his reasons for wanting to make the film:
“I was looking for a great script. I wanted a great script with a great story, some great twist, some great characters. I was looking for it, looking for it, looking for it, and then I found this amazing script. So I was like, “This is it, this is for me.” And what I love about this script is that it’s very respectful of the art of magic but also gives you a little bit of a peek behind the curtain, the Wizard of Oz curtain, a little bit. Not too much, but that’s what I want. So it really is a love letter to magic.”
In addition, he compared the tone to Sneakers and Oceans 11, why he wanted to use practical effects and not CG, the importance of having the actors do their own tricks, why they shot on location in New Orleans, New York and Las Vegas, which tricks were the most difficult, how the project changed along the way, and so much more.
Morgan Freeman will join Jesse Eisenberg, Amanda Seyfried, Melanie Laurent, and Mark Ruffalo in Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me. The story revolves around FBI agents trying to stop a group of magicians known as “The Four Horsemen” who pull off bank heists during their acts and then shower their audiences with the loot. Eisenberg will play the lead magician, Seyfried plays the technician who builds the contraptions used by the magician-thieves, and Ruffalo is the main FBI agent. According to Variety, “Freeman is in talks to play Thaddeus, an ex-magician who has made a career out of exposing other magicians’ illusions, making him a despised figure within the magic community.” It probably all started when he accidentally revealed the secret of the Aztec Tomb. It’s a shame because he demanded to be taken seriously.
It sounds like this will be a fun role for Freeman and in the vein of his slightly silly performance in last year’s Red. Freeman will next be seen in the family film Dolphin Tale. He’s also set to star in Rob Reiner’s Summer at Dog Dave’s and he’ll reprise his role as Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight Rises.
Now that Michael Bay has wrapped his trilogy of Transformers films, it looks like he’s ready to move on to other exploding pastures. Since Paramount and Hasbro want to keep the fire burning on one of their biggest moneymakers, two major decisions lay ahead: when to release the next movie and who should direct it. Bay has been able to crank out Transformers film every two years since 2007, but his infrastructure, crew, and designs have remained in place as opposed to a new director who will, to some extent, have to start from scratch so as not to simply imitate Bay. Transformers 4 could come as early as summer 2013, but I would bet a summer 2014 date is more likely.
But who will direct it? Who can fill Bay’s expensive, nonsensical shoes? It needs to be someone who can manage a big budget and even bigger special effects. It’s not enough to make stuff blow up. You need to understand how to do it properly. After the jump you can check out my suggestions for six directors who could handle Optimus Prime and Friends.
Jesse Eisenberg has taken the lead role in Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me. As we reported in February, Edward Ricourt and Boaz Yakin’s spec script is about “a crack FBI squad in a game of cat-and-mouse against a super team of the world’s greatest illusionists, who pull off a series of daring bank heists during their performances and showers the profits on to their audiences.” Eisenberg will lead the magicians. Variety also reports that Jake Gyllenhaal has been offered a role, but his deal is more tentative.
Eisenberg is set to co-star in Woody Allen’s next film and the indie comedy Predisposed. He’s may also reunite with Noah Baumbach for While We’re Young. He’ll next be seen alongside Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride in Ruben Fleischer’s heist comedy (why does Eisenberg love to steal in a humorous fashion?) 30 Minutes or Less.
Several months ago, we learned Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) was circling a disaster film (then called Gravity) with this cool premise: “a father who has to search for his lost child as the world stops spinning and Earth begins to lose its gravity.” Leterrier has officially signed on to produce and direct the movie, now called G, for Universal Pictures. The project is based on an original idea by producer Guymon Casady (The Expendables) that has drawn comparisons to The Day After Tomorrow and Taken. Leterrier, Casady, and fellow producers Mark Gordon (2012), George Nolfi and Michael Hackett (The Adjustment Bureau) are currently looking for writers to turn the visually rich logline into a script.
Heat Version confirms that Leterrier will first direct Now You See Me, a heist thriller that pits FBI agents against “a super team of the world’s greatest illusionists.” Leterrier previously demonstrated a penchant for single-letter titles with his interest in the acclaimed comic book Y: The Last Man. I believe Y: The Last Man will reach the screen before I die (hopefully after I read it), but it seems increasingly unlikely that Leterrier will own the “Directed by” credit. Leterrier has two “go” projects on his plate, while last we checked he was struggling to find financing for Y. No matter — Now You See Me has potential, and G sounds positively cool.
Despite the film’s critical drubbing, the financial success of Clash of the Titans ($493 million worldwide) surely opened some doors for director Louis Letterier (especially once he handed the franchise keys to Jonathan Liebesman). According to The Playlist, the heist thriller Now You See Me lies behind Door #1. Now You See Me is a spec script from Edward Ricourt and Boaz Yakin (Prince of Persia) about “a crack FBI squad in a game of cat-and-mouse against a super team of the world’s greatest illusionists, who pull off a series of daring bank heists during their performances and showers the profits on to their audiences.” Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek) will produce alongside Yakin and Bobby Cohen (Revolutionary Road).
Leterrier confirms to The Playlist that he’s still attached to Gravity, a high concept disaster flick where the Earth stops spinning and loses its gravitational pull. There’s also the looming possibility of a Y: The Last Man adaptation; Leterrier recently suggested the 60-issue comic series may work best as a TV show. However, both of those projects are further down the to-do list. We’ll see if Now You See Me is up next for Leterrier, or if he’d prefer to knock on a few more doors first.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Louis Leterrier is a huge fan of video games. Although it may not have translated well in Clash of the Titans, the imagery of his movies often bears an influence of the video game world. With that in mind, one of his favorite video games is the Electronic Arts survival-horror title Dead Space. As a profession of his fanhood, he has prepared an exclusive four-part video series where he visits the offices of Visceral Games at Electronic Arts in anticipation of the release of Dead Space 2. Check out the videos after the jump.
Clash of the Titans director Louis Leterrier’s wife Béatrice is set to direct her first feature film, and in quite a different style from that of her husband. In a recent interview, Leterrier revealed that her project Wrecking Ball will be a dramatic comedy with Eva Mendes attached to star. Although Mendes is the only actor currently signed on to the movie, her star power should help in attracting bigger names to the film.
For more on Wrecking Ball, including small details regarding Mendes’ role in the film, hit the jump.
When we last reported on the planned adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s fantastic comic book series Y: The Last Man, we heard that director Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) may be interested in taking the helm. MTV’s Splash Page recently spoke with Leterrier about the project and he confirmed that he was interested. However, the project is apparently mired stuck in limbo due to disagreements over how best to adapt the 60-issue comic series. Said Leterrier,
“I still want to do it. I’m passionate about it. But it’s stuck. People don’t know what to do with it. I’d love to do it, but I need people to finance it, and the people financing it don’t know if it’s a TV show a movie, or what it should be.”
Hit the jump for why Leterrier thinks Y would work best as a TV series.
Louis Leterrier spawned a franchise with Clash of the Titans, but since he passed the sequel gig on to other hopeful directors, the Frenchman is searching for his next project. Leterrier may have found it in the high-concept disaster film Gravity (not to be confused with the Alfonso Cuarón/Robert Downey Jr collaboration). The pitch for Universal’s Gravity is “The Day After Tomorrow meets Taken“— hit the jump for details.