CinemaCon Video Blog: TRANSFORMERS 4,TMNT, LUCY, FAST & FURIOUS 7, UNBROKEN, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, MINIONS, JURASSIC WORLD, and More

by     Posted 24 days ago

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With CinemaCon in full swing in Las Vegas, over the past 24 hours I’ve managed to see the first footage from a lot of upcoming movies from Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios.  Yesterday, Paramount unveiled the first teaser trailers for Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a lot of footage from Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction.  Today, Universal showed attendees footage from Luc Besson’s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken (which looks like it’s going to be an awards contender), Fifty Shades of Grey, Fast & Furious 7, Minions, Dumb and Dumber To, a CGI-only trailer with voice over for Jurassic World, and a lot more.  Like previous years, Universal’s presentation really impressed me with the wide variety of great looking movies.  Hit the jump for more.

First Posters for THE EQUALIZER, HERCULES, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, DRACULA UNTOLD, and UNBROKEN

by     Posted 26 days ago

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With CinemaCon starting tomorrow in Las Vegas, I arrived earlier today to take pictures of the new posters on display.  For those unaware, CinemaCon is a convention put on for theater owners in order to get a look at what the studios have to offer for the rest of the year, and where vendors can show new products for theaters to buy.  It’s basically Comic-Con for theater owners.  Besides showing off never before seen footage, the studios often bring the cast and the filmmakers.  Over the course of a few days, Hollywood comes to Las Vegas.  So over the next few days expect tons of updates.  I’ll have new posters, thoughts on the new movie footage, and exclusives interviews.  It should be a fun week.

While walking around, I located the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.  While the posters are just the logos of the movies, I figured you’d like to see them.  Hit the jump to check them out.

Oscar Beat: 10 Films That Could End Up in the 2015 Awards Race

by     Posted 41 days ago

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With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now.  We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony.  Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race.  After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.

Jack O’Connell Talks ’71, How it’s Not Just an Action Thriller, 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN, and More

by     Posted 60 days ago

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One of the best films I saw at this year’s Berlin Film Festival was ’71, which is the feature directorial debut of Yann Demange (whose credits include some high-profile and acclaimed British television series like Top Boy, Criminal Justice, Secret Diary of a Call Girl).  The film is set in Belfast in 1971 and it’s about a young British soldier (Jack O’Connell ) that’s accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot.  Trapped behind enemy lines, he’s unable to tell friend from foe, and we follow as he tries to find his way home, while the locals battle for supremacy.  One of the reasons the film is so powerful is that it doesn’t portray any character or side in absolutes.  Each person we meet along the way has depth, and Demange doesn’t pull any punches when depicting the violence of the times.  It’s a great film that I hope finds domestic distribution.

While in Berlin, I was able to participate in a roundtable interview with Jack O’Connell.  He talked about how he got involved in the project, how the film isn’t just an action thriller, what he knew about the conflict prior to filming, the strong visuals of the film, how he got into acting, future projects like 300: Rise of an Empire and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, and a lot more.   Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Olympics Trailer and New Images for Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN Starring Jack O’Connell

by     Posted 61 days ago

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The first trailer for Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort Unbroken has landed online by way of an extended Olympics TV spot.  The film tells the incredibly true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  The real Zamperini appears in this spot to recount his story as we’re treated to the first footage from Jolie’s impressive-looking feature, which includes cinematography by The Master himself, Roger Deakins.  It’s a brief look at what’s likely unfinished footage, but this inspiring story is sure to be a tear-jerker this holiday season.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Jack O’Connell plays Zamperini in the film, which also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Finn Wittrock, Alex Russell, Carla Thexton, and Garrett HedlundUnbroken opens in theaters on December 25th.

First Images from the Set of Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN

by     Posted 169 days ago

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Angelina Jolie is currently in the midst of production on her second directorial feature Unbroken, and Universal Pictures has now unveiled the first images from the Australian set.  The film chronicles the incredible life of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  Jack O’Connell leads the film as the young Zamperini, and these images offer a first look at the actor on the ocean set as Jolie watches over the scenes.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images.  The film also stars Domhnall Gleeson, Finn Wittrock, Garrett Hedlund, Alex Russell, and Carla ThextonUnbroken opens in theaters on December 25, 2014.

Jai Courtney Joins Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN and Russell Crowe’s THE WATER DIVINER; Ioan Gruffudd and Chandler Riggs Join HOME INVASION

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Here’s a bit of casting information for you today:

Hit the jump for more.

Universal Releases First Look Image from Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN

by     Posted 190 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released a first look image from Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort Unbroken ahead of the start of production on the film.  Based on the non-fiction book by Lauren HillenbrandUnbroken tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  This image shows Jolie with the real life Zamperini, with whom she’s been meeting regularly since agreeing to direct the film.

Jack O’Connell is set to play Zamperini in the pic, with a supporting cast that includes Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alex RussellJoel and Ethan Coen penned the recent rewrite of the screenplay and the film opens in theaters Christmas Day, 2014.  Hit the jump to check out the image and a fact sheet on the production.

Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez Board DreamWorks Animation’s HOME, Kathryn Hahn Joins TOMORROWLAND, and Alex Russell Set for UNBROKEN

by     Posted 196 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez have joined the voice cast for DreamWorks Animation’s new film Home, which is an adaptation of the children’s book The True Meaning of Smekday.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers) is making a late addition to the cast of Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, which is lead by George Clooney and is now in production in Vancouver.
  • Chronicle star Alex Russell has been added to the cast of Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort, Unbroken.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting stories.

Garrett Hedlund Joins Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN

by     Posted 212 days ago

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Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort continues to fill out its cast, and Tron: Legacy actor Garrett Hedlund is the latest to sign on.  Based on the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, Unbroken tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  Jack O’Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) landed the lead role of Zamperini, and now Variety reports that Hedlund—who has long been interested in the true story—has signed on to play fellow POW, Commander John Fitzgerald.

Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the most recent draft of the Unbroken screenplay, and Jolie has nabbed genius cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) to act as the film’s director of photography, so things are off to a great start.  Filming begins next month in anticipation of a December 25, 2014 release.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.

Natalie Dormer Joins THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 and 2; Olivia Munn Negotiates for MORTDECAI; Domhnall Gleeson is UNBROKEN

by     Posted 239 days ago

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Here’s today’s casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Angelina Jolie’s UNBROKEN Set for Release on Christmas Day 2014; Jack O’Connell to Star [UPDATED]

by     Posted 282 days ago

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While Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey earned a limited release when it first hit theaters, her next film is getting a very wide opening.  Universal Pictures announced today that Jolie’s Unbroken will hit theaters on December 25, 2014, just in time for the holiday (and awards) season.  Based on the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, the film tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.

Embedded in the press release regarding the release date is the fantastic news that the immensely talented Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) will be acting as the director of photography on the pic, which boasts a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen.  Production on Unbroken should begin later this year.  The other films currently scheduled for release on Christmas next year are the Annie remake, Disney’s star-studded musical Into the Woods, and Night at the Museum 3.  Hit the jump to read the press release.  [Update: Variety reports that, after a screen testing processJack O'Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) has been tapped to lead the film.]

Angelina Jolie Narrows Search for UNBROKEN Lead Down to Dane DeHaan, Alexander Dreymon, and Jack O’Connell

by     Posted 309 days ago

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Development continues to move forward on Angelina Jolie’s next directorial effort, and the filmmaker has started zeroing in on the actor who will tackle the film’s lead.  Based on the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, Unbroken tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  The director’s chair was a highly coveted position, and Universal Pictures settled on Jolie last December.

The film gained even more prestige this past February when Joel and Ethan Coen agreed to rewrite the script, and now Jolie is reportedly looking at a trio of actors to possibly fill the young lead: Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Alexander Dreymon (Resistance), and Jack O’Connell (Skins).  Hit the jump for more.

Joel and Ethan Coen to Rewrite UNBROKEN for Director Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 1 year, 52 days ago

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Angelina Jolie is heading to the top shelf for her next directorial effort.  Jolie signed on to helm Universal’s adaptation of author Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction bestseller Unbroken in December, and after a prolonged search to put a writer on the project, Jolie has roped in none other than Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite the script.  The book tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.

Hit the jump for more, including a full synopsis for the book.

Angelina Jolie in Talks to Direct WWII POW Drama UNBROKEN

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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A feature film adaptation of author Laura Hillenbrand’s non-fiction bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption has been a coveted property essentially since the book hit shelves, and now it looks like the pic may finally be moving forward.  Universal Pictures acquired the book rights back in January of 2011 for Francis Lawrence to direct and Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) set to write the script.  The studio subsequently brought on Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) to take over scripting duties the following March, but movement has been quiet ever since.

The book tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943.  Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer.  The project has now gained some strong momentum, as Angelina Jolie is being targeted to take the helm.  Hit the jump for more.

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