Director Jon Favreau continues to firm up the cast for his live-action/CG hybrid take on The Jungle Book. We learned last month that Idris Elba will provide the voice of Shere Khan in the Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, and now Heat Vision reports that Scarlett Johansson and Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o are in negotiations to join the pic as well. Hit the jump for more on the nature of their roles.
Fresh off the debut images that were released the other day, Sony Pictures has now released a few more The Equalizer images ahead of the film’s trailer debut. Adapted from the 1980s TV series of the same name, the pic reteams Denzel Washington with his Training Day director Antoine Fuqua as he plays a former black ops commando who comes out of his self-imposed retirement to rescue a young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). Soon thereafter, things go south and he finds himself squaring off against violent Russian gangsters. The pic scored incredibly high during its first test screening, and Sony is already prepping a sequel in the hopes that this film hits big with audiences. We’ll get a look at Washington in action when the trailer is released in the coming days.
Hit the jump to check out the new The Equalizer images. The film also stars Marton Csokas, David Harbour, Bill Pullman, and Melissa Leo. The Equalizer opens in theaters on September 26th.
Dimension Films has released a new trailer for co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The film stars Josh Brolin as the physically altered Dwight (played by Clive Owen in the first film), who is hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord (Eva Green), and then watches his life go straight to hell. This trailer doesn’t really get into the plot all that much, as it’s more of a flashy, aesthetic teaser than anything. Frankly, the visuals for Sin City 2 look quite cheap compared to the first film, even though technology has advanced almost a decade since Rodriguez made Sin City. The cast is promisingly eclectic, though, but right now that’s the only thing holding my interest here.
Hit the jump to watch the new Sin City 2 trailer and sound off with your thoughts in the comments. The film also stars Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, and Julia Garner. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on August 22nd.
The hosts for the last few episodes of Saturday Night Live’s current season have been announced. Charlize Theron will take up hosting duties on May 10th with musical guest Black Keys, while Andy Samberg will return to SNL to host the season finale on May 17th with musical guest St. Vincent. Theron’s second stint at hosting comes at an opportune time, as she stars in Seth MacFarlane’s Western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West, which opens in theaters on May 30th. Prior to Theron and Samberg, Andrew Garfield will lead the show on May 2nd for the first time to promote The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with musical guest Coldplay.
Earlier today, director Colin Trevorrow dropped a few fascinating nuggets of information about the upcoming sequel Jurassic World by discussing his desire to helm further installments in the franchise, the nature of Omar Sy’s character, and revealing that they are using animatronic dinosaurs for the production. Now, just a few hours later, the first official Jurassic World images have landed online as filming is underway in Hawaii. They’re not incredibly revealing, but we do get a first look at Bryce Dallas Howard’s character as well as a couple of environment shots. Trevorrow previously described Howard’s role as “very corporate, very controlled,” and that is certainly reflected in this debut image.
Hit the jump to check out the first Jurassic World images. The film also stars Chris Pratt, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, B.D. Wong, Judy Greer, Jake Johnson, and Irrfan Khan. Jurassic World opens in theaters on June 12, 2015.
TV ratings for Tuesday, April 22nd are in. Briefly:
- ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. suffered another drop, falling three tenths to a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and scoring 5.69 million viewers, which ties its series low rating. Read Evan’s recap here.
- Over on NBC, About a Boy ticked up a tenth to a 1.9 rating and scored 7.16 million viewers, while Growing Up Fisher matched last week’s 1.5 rating and hit 5.98 million viewers.
- Fox’s Glee dipped a tenth to a 0.9 rating and garnered 2.49 million viewers, while The Mindy Project was even with last week’s 1.0 rating and brought in 2.14 million viewers.
- At The CW, The Originals dropped a tenth to a series low 0.6 rating and 1.42 million viewers, and Supernatural rose two tenths to a 0.7 rating and notched 2.17 million viewers.
The miniseries adaptation of author J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel The Casual Vacancy is getting a high-profile partner. We learned last year that the BBC was developing an adaptation of the novel in miniseries format, and now HBO has come aboard the project to co-produce the three-hour event. In a story that is wildly different from the Potter universe, The Casual Vacancy revolves around the lives of a number of people living in a small town who are affected by the sudden death of a town council member. In the fight to fill the vacant seat, the various wars of the town (rich vs. poor, parents vs. teenagers, etc.) are brought to the surface. Rowling uses the story to explore themes like social class structure, the welfare state, drugs, and politics, making the miniseries format an excellent fit for the story.
Hit the jump for more on HBO and BBC’s plans for The Casual Vacancy miniseries, including how soon it might come to the small screen and which creatives will be bringing it to fruition.
It’s no secret that studios are high on branded IP. When you make a movie out of Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, there’s the assumption that you’re already starting with a built-in audience, plus audiences immediately know what a Transformers movie entails as opposed to something wholly original like the upcoming sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending—introducing that to audiences is tricky. And as evidenced by this February’s The LEGO Movie, it’s possible to make genuinely great films out of material that has zero backstory or mythology.
Which brings us to Barbie. Sony Pictures is currently moving forward with a live-action feature film adaptation of the 50-year-old toy, and they’ve got big plans for the property with their eye on jumpstarting a new franchise. Hit the jump for more, including what the Barbie movie entails.
The superhero sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past is certainly one of the more ambitious undertakings of the past few years. Not only does the film mix the original X-Men cast with the younger X-Men: First Class cast, but it also introduces the long-awaited Sentinels for the first time, takes place in two time periods, and essentially chronicles a mutant apocalypse. As such, it wasn’t a huge shock when reports surfaced that Days of Future Past might have the largest budget of any Fox film except for Avatar.
When Steve recently sat down with Days of Future Past writer/producer Simon Kinberg, he addressed the film’s budget and also talked about the scope of the pic, specifically describing the opening scene of the movie. The pic begins in the future as the mutants face extinction, and Kinberg talked about their approach to the cold open of the movie, which introduces a band of refugee mutants (watch the opening here). Read on after the jump.
This week’s new Blu-ray releases are rather scarce, but they do include a new HD transfer of an underseen William Friedkin thriller and director Quentin Tarantino’s favorite film of 2013. Briefly:
Doug Liman’s schedule is becoming quite crowded. The Mr. and Mrs. Smith filmmaker most recently completed the upcoming sci-fi pic Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, and now Warner Bros. is looking to stay in business with Liman as Heat Vision reports that he is currently in negotiations to direct an adaptation of Railhead, an upcoming book by author Philip Reeve. Warner Bros. recently acquired the novel, which takes place in a futuristic society in which trains run through space portals. The crux of the story revolves around a petty thief who is hired to steal an object that turns out to be much more powerful that he was led to believe.
The book doesn’t hit shelves until Fall 2015, but WB has gotten a jump on the material. Next up for Liman, though, is the video game adaptation Splinter Cell, which has Tom Hardy set to star. That starts production later this year for a planned 2015 release.
Jessica Chastain may soon be adding “biopic” to her already impressive resume, though not in the traditional sense of the word. Per The Wrap, the actress is near a deal to play Marilyn Monroe in The Assassination of Jesse James director Andrew Dominik’s next film Blonde. Though Naomi Watts had previously been attached to play the famous leading lady in the pic, she fell off the project some time ago. The film is not your traditional “cradle-to-grave” story, as Dominik previously described it as a “sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie” and it is based on author Joyce Carol Oates’ historical novel of the same name. Hit the jump for more on this exciting prospect.
The first Avengers: Age of Ultron image has now landed online…officially. Yes, onlookers previously snapped shots of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen filming an action sequence from the Marvel sequel a few weeks ago, and we’ve recently seen a few videos featuring Captain America, but today the first official image from the set has arrived courtesy of the one and only Robert Downey Jr. The actor started up a Twitter account recently, and today he took the opportunity to provide a “sneak peek” at Avengers: Age of Ultron with a snapshot that also includes executive producer Jeremy Latcham. There’s not really much to see, as both are wearing reflective vests likely due to the hazardous nature of the scene that was being filmed, but it serves as a fun “heads up” that the actor might be regularly sharing images from the Avengers 2 set.
Hit the jump to check out the set image. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the film also stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Paul Bettany, and Thomas Kretschmann. Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.
Release dates have been announced for two very promising projects. First up, Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s new drama Foxcatcher will finally arrive in theaters on November 14th of this year. The pic was originally slated for release last fall, before Sony Pictures Classics pushed it to 2014 in order to get out of the incredibly competitive awards season pile-up. The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).
Based on the incredible first trailer, this looks to be a serious awards contender, and its November release date puts it in prime position to take advantage of the buzz. The pic will square off against Dumb and Dumber To and the WWII actioner Fury on its date, but again, this is all about riding the buzz through the December awards voting period. It’ll have a nice head start, as Foxcatcher has its world premiere next month at the Cannes Film Festival. Hit the jump for release date news concerning the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy.
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn spoke a bit this morning about the highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: Episode VII, but his comments were essentially confirming things we already know: the cast isn’t 100% set yet, principal photography hasn’t begun, George Lucas is consulting, and future Star Wars films could return to the May release date strategy. However, he also revealed a fascinating nugget with regards to the budgets of the new Star Wars movies. One might think that a movie as big as Episode VII would have a budget of epic proportions, but the number that Horn quoted is actually pretty in line with other recent tentpole films. More after the jump.