Charlie Kaufman to Rewrite IQ 83 for Steve Carell to Star

by     Posted 17 hours ago

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It looks like Charlie Kaufman and Steve Carell may work together after all.  Carell was originally set to star in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe’s excellent-sounding musical Frank or Francis, but the feature was postponed due to lack of financing.  He then turned his attention to the FX pilot How and Why, only to see the network pass on picking it up to series earlier this year.  Now Kaufman has been tapped to rewrite a star vehicle for Carell, and it sounds kind of great.  The Adaptation. and Being John Malkovich screenwriter will pen an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s science-fiction novel IQ 83, which revolves around the outbreak of a disease that is slowly making everyone dumber.  More after the jump.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Feature Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, and More

by     Posted 18 hours ago

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Earlier this morning, we got our first look at Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) upcoming musical adaptation Into the Woods.  It’s an interesting look to say the least, and while I figured the reason Depp was left out of the trailer was because his character would be CG-aided, it turns out he’s actually just wearing what looks like a relatively cheap Halloween costume.  Indeed, Depp tells EW Marshall let him put his own spin on the character:

“Rob Marshall wasn’t afraid to let me take the role to a level of heightened reality, almost cartoon-like, where one second the Wolf is here, and then, boom, suddenly he’s over there.”

Nevertheless, the film still has promise with its fantastic ensemble and twisty premise, and some new Into the Woods images have now landed online that give some different looks at Depp’s wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and more.  Take a look at the new Into the Woods images after the jump.  The film also stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Meryl Streep, Lucy PunchChristine Baranski, and more. Into the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

NBC Lands BEWITCHED Sequel Series

by     Posted 19 hours ago

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The next in an increasingly common series of “remakes” or “reboots” on television has found a home.  Variety reports that NBC has landed the Bewitched sequel TV show that has been shopped around for the last couple of weeks.  The proposed series will follow the granddaughter of Darren and Samantha Stevens, who were played in the original series by Dick York (and then Dick Sargent) and Elizabeth Montgomery.  The fantasy sitcom ran for eight seasons on NBC from 1964-1972 and spawned a short-lived spinoff Tabitha in 1977 and an ill-conceived feature film remake in 2005 starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.

NBC has given a pilot production commitment to the Bewitched sequel series, which hails from writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, whose credits include Never Been Kissed and The Vow.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer Images Offer First Look at Ultron and the Hulkbuster Armor

by     Posted 19 hours ago

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Marvel is taking an odd yet not entirely surprising approach to unveiling the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer by debuting it on ABC next week during the new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (synergy!).  It’s an understandable effort to boost the ratings of the low-rated series, and I’m sure the trailer will be online shortly afterwards.  But if you can’t wait until next week to see the first footage from director Joss Whedon’s sequel, newly unveiled images from the trailer offer a sneak peek at what we can expect—including the first Ultron image that unveils the villainous robot as played by James Spader, and Tony Stark’s Hulkbuster armor.

Hit the jump to take a look at the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer images.  For a recap of the extended footage we saw at Comic-Con, click here.  The full trailer debuts on Tuesday, October 28th at 8pm ET/PT during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.  Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Chris Rock and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Turned Down the Offer to Host This Year’s Oscars

by     Posted 20 hours ago

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It was announced last week that the excellent Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this coming February’s Oscar ceremony, but it turns out that NPH wasn’t the Academy’s first choice.  THR reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—who have produced the last two ceremonies in a row—first “begged” Ellen Degeneres to return as Oscar for this year’s ceremony.  She firmly declined the offer, and then they next approached Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005.  He turned down the offer as well, and so Zadan and Meron then went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, shocker, said “no”.  They then finally landed on Harris, who graciously agreed to take on the gig.  More after the jump.

THE HOBBIT Movies Cost $745 Million, But That’s Okay Because They’ve Already Made Nearly $2 Billion

by     Posted 21 hours ago

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Calculating the budget of Hollywood films is a tricky business.  Rarely is the “official” number the actual amount that a movie cost, and even if a movie seems to have made more than its reported budget, that doesn’t factor in the cost of marketing and distribution; roughly, a movie has to make about one and half times its budget to become profitable.  The cost, obviously, goes up with sequels, as studios put more money into a film that now has a much higher probability of becoming profitable thanks to brand recognition based on the first film.  In the case of The Hobbit franchise—a series of prequels to one of the most popular and successful film trilogies of all time—one can imagine the amount of money Warner Bros. spent to bring them to fruition.

But now one doesn’t have to imagine that number, as it is being reported that the cost of the three Hobbit films has now totaled $745 million.  That’s, uh, a lot of money, but even still, it’s looking like most of what the final installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, makes in theaters will be profit.  More after the jump.

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey Talk INTERSTELLAR Secrets, Sci-Fi Ambitions, and CG Hurdles in Lengthy Interview

by     Posted 22 hours ago

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The release of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar is finally within arm’s reach, and as the date looms closer we’re starting to hear much more from Nolan himself and his impressive cast about how the project came together, the experience of making it, and the extent to which Nolan grounded the space-centered film in reality.  All of this and more is touched on during a lengthy roundtable interview with Nolan, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway in the latest issue of THR, and we’ve taken the liberty of gathering up some of the highlights from the fascinating and somewhat revealing conversation.

Hit the jump to see what they had to say about Nolan’s long-standing fascination with sci-fi, his first meeting with McConaughey, tackling large-scale CG effects, and more.  The film opens in 70mm IMAX and 35mm on November 5th and everywhere else on November 7th.

THE GAMBLER Red-Band Trailer and Poster: John Goodman Has Some Choice Words of Caution for Mark Wahlberg

by     Posted Yesterday

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Paramount Pictures has released the first The Gambler red-band trailer for director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) remake of the 1974 drama.  The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, affecting both himself and those around him.  This is very much a teaser, as it’s essentially a sweaty onslaught of footage anchored by some excellent, expletive-filled dialogue from John Goodman, but it’s a really solid first look at the film.  Wyatt appears to be tapping into the anxiety and stretched-thin nature of Wahlberg’s lead character with his visual take on the film, and I’ve gotta say it’s really promising stuff.  I look forward to getting a better read on the movie when the theatrical trailer arrives, but for now this is a very swell tease.

Watch the first The Gambler red-band trailer and check out the first poster after the jump.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, and Michael K. WilliamsThe Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th and expands wide on January 2, 2015.

Tuesday TV Ratings: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Falls to Another Series Low While THE FLASH Dips

by     Posted Yesterday

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TV ratings for Tuesday, October 21st are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • The CW’s The Flash (read Dave’s recap here) was down three tenths from last week’s episode, scoring a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and 3.38 million viewers.  No matter, that’s still a strong performance for The CW, and the network has already ordered a full season.  Supernatural, meanwhile, dipped a tenth to a 0.9 rating and scored 2.10 million viewers.
  • The ratings fall of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (read Evan Valentine’s recap here) continues as it was down two tenths from last week to a series low 1.5 rating and scored 4.29 million viewers.  Can the promise of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer next week turn things around?  Elsewhere on the network, Selfie ticked up to a 1.1 rating and scored 3.81 million viewers, Manhattan Love Story was down two tenths to a 0.7 rating and 2.65 million viewers, and Forever ticked up a tenth to a 1.2 rating and scored 4.8 million viewers.

Hit the jump for the rest of the ratings report for Tuesday, including Person of Interest and Marry Me.

Kim Basinger Joins Shane Black’s NICE GUYS; Patrick Stewart to Play White Supremacist Leader in GREEN ROOM

by     Posted 2 days ago

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An L.A. Confidential reunion of sorts is in the works.  THR reports that Kim Basinger is set to join the cast of director Shane Black’s 1970s noir film The Nice Guys, reuniting her with her L.A. Confidential co-star Russell Crowe, who plays a hired leg breaker that teams up with a private eye (Ryan Gosling) in order to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star.  Basinger will play the chief justice in the film, a character who is in bed with criminals.  The film returns Black to noir territory after co-writing and directing one of the best Marvel films yet, Iron Man 3.  The cast is filling out quite nicely, with Matt Bomer, Cara Delevingne, Keith David, and Beau Knapp all onboard.  The film is slated for release on June 17, 2016.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning Patrick Stewart playing a white supremacist leader.

New to Blu-ray: SNOWPIERCER, MAD MEN: The Final Season Part 1, LA DOLCE VITA Criterion, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the latest from filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, one of the best shows on television, a Federico Fellini classic, and more.  Briefly:

The CW Orders Full Seasons of THE FLASH and JANE THE VIRGIN

by     Posted 2 days ago

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To the surprise of no one, The CW announced today that it has ordered a full season of freshman series The Flash.  Additionally, the network has also picked up the well-received comedy-drama Jane the Virgin for a full season.  The Flash is, of course, the network’s sort-of-spinoff of Arrow, as it follows the titular DC Comics character’s exploits in Central City, as played by Grant Gustin.  The show exists in the same universe as Arrow, with a crossover planned to occur during Episode 8 of this current season.  The Flash has earned mostly positive notices and has performed solidly in the ratings for the network—in fact it was the most-watched series premiere in The CW history.  Catch up on all of Dave’s recaps right here.

Jane the Virgin, meanwhile, has earned strong praise from critics.  Starring Gina Rodriguez, the show revolves around a religious young Latina woman whose vow to save her virginity until marriage is threatened by the fact that a doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her during a checkup.  Read the full press release on the full season orders for both The Flash and Jane the Virgin after the jump.

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Pretend to Be a Dragon in THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Clip

by     Posted 2 days ago

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One of the more impressive aspects of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was the characterization of the titular dragon.  Benedict Cumberbatch not only provided the voice for the sleepy/cranky character, but he did performance capture as well that was then used to inform the animation of the dragon’s movements.  In anticipation of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition on Blu-ray, a behind-the-scenes clip has been released that shows Cumberbatch performing as Smaug.  It’s a pretty fun watch, and you can definitely see how Cumberbatch’s movements influenced the finished product.  Additionally, Warner Bros. has released an assortment of other clips (both from the film and behind-the-scenes) from the EE release that are sure to pique interest, and we’ve included them as well.

Take a look at the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition clips after the jump.  The film will be available on Blu-ray 3D and DVD on November 3rd, and is currently available on Digital HD.

New FOXCATCHER Images Highlight the Quiet Intensity of Bennett Miller’s Dark Drama

by     Posted 2 days ago

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A batch of new Foxcatcher images have landed online from director Bennett Miller’s (Capote) upcoming dark drama, and they do an excellent job of evoking the tone of the film.  Steve Carell stars as John du Pont, an eccentric millionaire who decided to host an Olympic Wrestling training camp on his grounds despite having no experience with the sport himself.  The crux of the film revolves around du Pont’s relationship with Olympic Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and in particular du Pont’s mentorship of the younger brother Mark, who lived in the shadow of his more successful brother.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s magnificent.  The performances by Carell, Tatum, and Ruffalo are positively transcendent, as each actor wholly disappears into his role.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Foxcatcher images, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa RedgraveFoxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th.

JOHN CARTER Rights Revert Back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.; New Films Planned

by     Posted 2 days ago

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I like John Carter.  It’s not a perfect film by any means, but Disney spent years trying to get an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of sci-fi novels off the ground, and I think director Andrew Stanton and his screenwriting partners Michael Chabon and Mark Andrews did a swell job of bringing the story to life.  Most strikingly, Stanton’s world building in the film is magnificent; you really feel like you’re on Barsoom for the film’s two-hour runtime.  I was really hoping to spend more time in Stanton’s John Carter world in future sequels, but unfortunately the film failed to catch on with audiences at the box office and its bloated budget made turning a profit near impossible.  Disney’s marketing was all over the place, and many thought the film looked derivative despite the fact that it was Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars that inspired subsequent sci-fi classics ranging from Superman to Star Wars.

However, it now looks as though there’s a glimmer of hope for those keen on seeing more John Carter of Mars movies, as word comes today that Disney’s option of the property has run out and the rights have reverted back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., which intends on moving forward with further films.  More after the jump.

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