The first images from director Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated new film Twelve Years a Slave have arrived. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York. Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade. The film boasts a wildly impressive ensemble cast and marks McQueen’s follow-up feature after the critically acclaimed 2011 drama Shame, and so we’ve been looking forward to this one for quite some time. Ejiofor looks fittingly intense as the film’s lead, but it’s the menacing Michael Fassbender who stands out in these debut images as a slave owner. With this debut set of photos hitting today, we should see a trailer for Twelve Years a Slave soon.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad Pitt. Twelve Years a Slave opens on December 27th.
20th Century Fox seems to have a game plan with regards to a sequel to last year’s Prometheus. While director Ridley Scott made no secret of the fact that he envisioned the Alien pseudo-sequel as the beginning of a new franchise, firm movement on the follow-up had yet to materialize. Coming off a box office take of over $400 million worldwide for the R-rated sci-fi pic, Fox was initially said to be targeting a 2014 or 2015 release date for Prometheus 2. Screenwriter Damon Lindelof revealed earlier this year that he opted not to return to pen the follow-up, and a few months ago a story surfaced claiming that Fox was “freaking out” over how to continue the story. Well it appears that a logline for Prometheus 2 has indeed been sorted out, as screenwriter Jack Paglen is in talks to pen the script for the follow-up, with Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender expected to return in the starring roles. Less certain, though, is Scott’s involvement this time around. Hit the jump for more.
One of the earliest official set images that director Bryan Singer revealed over the course of production on X-Men: Days of Future Past was a peek at some concept art for the character of Beast, played by Nicholas Hoult. While we saw Hoult go full beast-mode in X-Men: First Class, the concept art hinted at a bit of a redesign for the character in Days of Future Past. Sure enough, a batch of unofficial set photos for DOFP reveal that the character does indeed look fairly different from what we saw in the first film, as we get a look at Hoult in his brand new Beast makeup. Moreover, the images reveal a pretty intense-looking throwdown between Beast and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens on July 18, 2014.
Another day, another X-Men set photo. Director Bryan Singer’s latest image from the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past marks our first official look at Michael Fassbender reprising his role as Magneto, following a batch of amateur set photos that were snapped a week ago. It appears that Fassbender’s Magneto has developed his mutant powers quite significantly in the time since the events of First Class, as the character looks to be levitating in this most recent set image.
Hit the jump to take a look at Fassbender. The film also stars James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Booboo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens July 18, 2014.
Director Bryan Singer has been happy to release plenty of set photos from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that doesn’t mean they won’t come from other sources. Today, set photos have leaked of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender walking to set in their 1970s threads. We can also Peter Dinklage in a business suit, which, coupled with Tuesday’s set photo from Singer, almost confirms that he’s playing Bolivar Trask, creator of the Sentinels. It’s also worth noting that Fassbender’s costumes shows he won’t be in full Magneto regalia throughout the movie. He can wear a scarf and sideburns with the best of ‘em.
Hit the jump to check out the set photos. The film also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Booboo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens July 18, 2014.
We’ve got a few release dates to share today. Briefly:
- Labor Day – Writer/director Jason Reitman’s drama starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin will hit theaters in limited release on December 25th of this year (just in time for awards season, natch), before expanding wide on January 31st.
- Exodus – Director Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic about the life of Moses has been dated for a prime holiday release of December 12, 2014, confirming that this will indeed be Scott’s next project. Christian Bale may star.
- Assassin’s Creed – The feature film adaptation of the popular video game series has been dated for Memorial Day weekend of 2015, with a firm May 22, 2015 release date. Michael Fassbender is producing the film and will also star.
Hit the jump for much more on all of the aforementioned projects.
Shakespeare has been making steady appearances at the movies lately. 2011 saw Ralph Fiennes‘ Coriolanus, later this year we’ll be seeing Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado about Nothing and Carlo Carlei’s generic-looking adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and now it looks like Macbeth will be headed our way. According to Screen Daily, Michael Fassbender is set to play the lead role of the murderous king who seizes power only to be undone by paranoia, ambition, and fate. Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) is set to direct the adaptation, which was written by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff, and will be set in the 11th century with a “visceral approach to the story including significant battle scenes.” Casting is currently underway for the manipulative Lady Macbeth “and talks are underway with at least one Hollywood leading actress.”
However, don’t expect the film to start shooting in the near future. Kurzel is currently set to direct an adaptation of John Le Carre‘s Our Kind of Traitor later this year, and Fassbender is at work on X-Men: Days of Future Past. The actor is also attached to star in Genius and Assassin’s Creed.
Fox Searchlight is getting its Oscar plans in order by announcing that they’ve set Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave for December 27th. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York. Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery. The film has lined up one of the best casts in recent memory. In addition to Ejifor, the film also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Fox Searchlight’s Oscar odds also go up when you consider that two films involving slavery—Lincoln and Django Unchained—grabbed Best Picture nominations last year (somehow, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter missed the cut).
The only other film set for December 27th’s is The Weinstein Company’s Oscar-hopeful Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. I can’t wait to see Twelve Years a Slave, and I hope it will play at TIFF like McQueen’s first two features, Hunger and Shame.
The production of Jane Got a Gun, a Western led by Natalie Portman, has been delayed several times. It was finally scheduled to begin shooting next week, but a last-minute casting swap will push production back to April. Michael Fassbender was set to play the male lead, but his X-Men: Days of Future Past schedule creates a conflict that will pull him off the project. Normally, that would be terrible news, but director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) has a mighty fine backup plan. THR reports Joel Edgerton, who was looking to play the villain, will switch sides to assume Fassbender’s role. Jude Law will come on board to play the villain and round out the lead cast. If you can get two out of three with Fassbender, Edgerton, and Law, you win.
Scott Steindorff (The Lincoln Lawyer), Aleen Keshishian (Our Idiot Brother), and Terry Dougas (The Box) are producing. The script by Brian Duffield follows good girl Jane (Portman), who runs away from her outlaw husband (Law) and teams up with on old flame (Edgerton) to protect her family. Read the full synopsis for Jane Got a Gun after the break.
The first image has been released for Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd) as man “who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).” The film is based off the memoir by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and “is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.” As you can see from the image, Fassbender looks like he’s really gotten in shape for the film, and that shape is terrifying.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Scoot McNairy, Carla Aza, and Francois Civil.
Well here’s an interesting twist. Bryan Singer has tweeted that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart have joined X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is supposedly a sequel not to X-Men: The Last Stand, but X-Men: First Class. So how will they be used? There are a couple of possibilities I can think of off the top of my head. First, they’ll just be a couple of cameos used as a framing device, so that Professor X and Magneto are looking back at the events of the new movie. When these remembrances would occur in terms of the original trilogy is a bit fuzzy since Last Stand ends on the borderline of the status quo [spoilers] (Magneto loses his powers, but not really; Professor X dies, but not really).
Hit the jump for more speculation. Singer also tweeted that James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult will all return. No mention on First Class‘ other cast members. Filming on the upcoming sequel is set to begin early next year.
Michael Fassbender, the charismatic actor who brought Prometheus’ android, David, to life, will now lend his voice to Formula 1 racing documentary, 1. A long-time F1 fan, Fassbender will narrate the documentary from award-winning filmmaker Paul Crowder (Riding Giants). Written by Mark Monroe (The Cove), 1 is an action documentary that brings the spectacle and drama of Formula One Grand Prix racing to the big screen. Complete with never-before-seen footage and interviews with 12 former champions as well as power players from the F1 world, 1 will screen tomorrow at Austin’s Paramount Theater and will be completed with Fassbender’s narration. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was a geek’s dream. Scott, who directed Alien in 1979, was one of the great science fiction filmmakers, but hadn’t done anything in the genre since 1982 – since Blade Runner. And though Alien spawned a franchise, Scott had never made his own sequel. Prometheus was sold as a semi-prequel, an “in universe” film that takes place before the events of the first film, but may not tie into them directly. After a series of great trailers, there was hope that the film (which was also rated R, rare for a huge summer movie) would be awesome, would be a great Scott film. Alas, it’s more of a mess. Our review of the Blu-ray of Prometheus follows after the jump.
Director Terrence Malick’s currently-shooting untitled film set within the Austin music scene isn’t exactly lacking in actors, but we all know that just because you shoot scenes for a Terrence Malick movie doesn’t mean you’ll actually be in a Terrence Malick movie. The latest actor to possibly join the cast is Val Kilmer, and based on images of the actor on set, I’m really, really, really hoping he makes the final cut. Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender star the pic, and we’ve previously seen images of Mara shooting scenes while “performing” on stage with Black Lips.
Kilmer recently filmed some scenes onstage with Mara and Black Lips, and in true Val Kilmer fashion he didn’t exactly play it straight. Images show him using a walker, cutting his own hair, and wielding a chainsaw next to Mara. I’m not sure if his role is more of a manifestation/presence than an actual person (which isn’t out of the question for a Malick pic), but this is some wonderfully weird stuff. Hit the jump to take a look.
I dubbed our earlier Jon Hamm/Daniel Radcliffe article today’s “most good-looking story,” but it appears that I may have spoken prematurely. Academy Award winner Colin Firth and the Academy Award worthy Michael Fassbender are now set to team up for the real life drama Genius. The film is based on A. Scott Berg’s biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius and tells the story of the relationship between Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and editor Max Perkins (Firth). Perkins served as an editor for a number of literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his role as a devoted friend and surrogate psychoanalyst made him privy to the intricate details of these men’s lives. Sean Penn was previously eyeing the role that Firth will now step into.
Directed by Michael Grandage, the film will begin production in early 2014 with a script by John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo). That may seem far off, but Firth and Fassbender are understandably busy guys. Fassbender most recently filmed the period drama Twelve Years a Slave and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, while Firth shot the real life drama The Railway Man and the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot this summer. Hit the jump for the press release.