Some weekend casting news for you:
- Oscar Isaac (Drive) has landed the lead in Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman’s Pablo Escobar biopic.
- Glenn Close, Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow) and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been confirmed to join Low Down, a 1960s-set drama about a jazz musician (John Hawkes) struggling with addiction.
- Nicolas Cage will star in horror-thriller Hotel 33, based on a “real-life” mass-vanishing that took place at a Pennsylvania hotel.
- Timothy Olyphant looks set for the role of a border-town sheriff dealing with the aftermath of a cartel deal gone bad in Gonzalo López-Gallego’s crime thriller The Man on Carrion Road.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Some new TV spots for Fox’s latest animated effort Epic have made it to the web. Based on William Joyce’s children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, the 3D pic follows a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) who is shrunk down to insect-proportions while exploring a magical forest and finds herself caught up in a battle between the virtuous Leaf Men and the dastardly Boggans. Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Beyoncé Knowles and Jason Sudeikis are a few of the other high-profile celebs voicing this one to life. The film was directed by Chris Wedge, who helmed the first Ice Age (in addition to doing the “voice” of Scrat throughout that franchise’s run).
The four one-minute spots feature Hutcherson, Knowles and fellow stars Steven Tyler and Pitbull talking about their characters, the experience of voice-acting and what to expect from Epic (apparently, it’s pretty “epic”). Hit the jump to check them out. Epic hits theatres on May 24.
The 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner was held on Saturday night at the Washington Hilton. On hand to mingle with the White House press corps and the President were the likes of Sofia Vergara, Claire Danes, Psy, Kerry Washington, Gerard Butler and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (who finally got in the same room with POTUS!). Of course, Barack Obama’s speech before the assembled journalists, politicians and celebs was the centrepiece of the evening; and it was full of jokes on his alleged socialism, super PACs, and Jay-Z’s Cuban adventure. A tough act to follow, no doubt, but Conan O’Brien did his best, delivering a lengthy address that took aim at the major news networks, as well as the President’s relationship with Congress. And of course, like any proper office party, there were sketches.
In the evening’s intro, Kevin Spacey‘s ruthless House of Cards character Frank Underwood got to test his mettle against real-life politicians like Senator John McCain; then, later on, Steven Spielberg popped in to discuss his (fictional) Lincoln follow-up, Obama, and the only man he could possibly trust to bring the 44th President to life on-screen: Daniel Day-Lewis. Hit the jump to take a gander at speeches and sketches alike.
Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.
As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.
The first visual evidence from the second half of Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season has found its way to the interweb. And like Walter White’s impossibly pure stimulant, it’s quite blue (y’know, tonally) and will only make you yearn for more of its sweet embrace until your friends and family are all like, “Just shut the hell up about Breaking Bad already. We get it, it’s awesome; everybody knows now.” But anyway, back to the picture. The scene takes place in the casa de Pinkman, where young master Jesse (Aaron Paul) is visibly shaken. On the couch beside him is his former meth-making partner/life-ruiner Walter White (plus what appears to be that giant sac of money he gave to Jesse in the last episode). It seems as though Walter is trying to talk Jesse down and/or convince him to do something horrible for the greater good of Walter White — an increasingly common occurrence in a relationship that, in the first half of Season 5 (which aired last summer), lost virtually all of its lighter, Laurel-and-Hardy aspects as Walt’s baser impulses ate away those last little bits of his soul. Hit the jump to check out the pic.
Here’s the latest casting news:
- Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) are set to star in indie romantic comedy Tumbledown.
- 42 star Chadwick Boseman is closing in on a key supporting role in Ivan Reitman’s football-oriented drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
It appears as though Fox has put one of Seth MacFarlane’s brainchildren to bed for good. The network has apparently opted not to order another season of Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, though a formal announcement of cancellation has yet to be made and the show will be allowed to air its remaining fourth-season episodes. The network’s decision isn’t at all surprising considering the show’s modest ratings and the fact that Cleveland’s episode count will hit 88 by the end of this season, which is the typical benchmark for a juicy syndication (i.e. rerun-sellin’) deal.
Debuting in 2009, The Cleveland Show saw Family Guy producer/voice actor Mike Henry reprising his role as Cleveland Brown (a jokey reference to the pro football team that I, oddly enough, just got at this very moment), who moves back to his home town of Stoolbend, Virginia, reuniting with his high school crush (voiced by Sanaa Lathan) and her kids, and getting up to shenanigans involving a new group of pals, one of which is a talking bear. SNL’s Jason Sudeikis and Seth MacFarlane himself rounded out the regular voice cast. Also, Kanye West dropped by sometimes. Hit the jump for more.
An American, a Canadian and a German each found work in the movies today. Here’s who was cast in what:
- Denis Leary has been added to the ensemble of football drama Draft Day.
- Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) has signed up for Pompeii, Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest 3D actioner.
- Antje Traue (Man of Steel) will get her Ancient Greek on as the latest recruit for Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
In less than a year, Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill will usher the Man of Steel back to his rightful place in the multiplex. It should, at last, mark the beginning of another bankable DC franchise for Warner Bros. But while the company’s blockbuster record has been spotty, the cartoon adventures produced by direct-to-video branch Warner Premiere (which, sadly, is shutting down this fall) have rarely been worse than solid. Superman vs. The Elite, based on Action Comics #775: What’s so Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?, is better than solid, despite some middling animation and an ending that doesn’t quite live up to the promising start. Hit the jump for our review of the film on Blu-ray.
The Revolution (pilot) will not be televised…at least, not for another couple of weeks. But good news! NBC has already posted that pilot on Hulu for all the interweb to see. Produced by J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau (who directed the pilot), and written by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, the show tracks a group of people struggling to survive after a mysterious event robs the world of all its precious, precious electricity. Early reactions haven’t been overwhelmingly positive, but most agree that the pieces are in place for Revolution to grow into a worthwhile hour of television. And of course, it never pays to pass final judgement based on a pilot alone. Moreover, this one’s got another juicy villain turn from Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, which is reason enough on its own to hit the jump and give it an hour of your time.
Hit the jump to watch the pilot. Also, click here to read Brendan’s assessment of the pilot, which he took in at Comic-Con. NBC’s Revolution stars Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke, Graham Rogers, JD Pardo and Zak Orth. It premieres (televisionally-speaking) on September 17 at 10 pm.
The minds behind The Expendables series are keen to start work on the next sequel. But as they busy themselves with adding more replaceable cogs to their wholly replaceable cast, today comes news that if/when The Expendables 3 does get rolling, current cog Chuck Norris won’t be there. The reason for his departure is unconfirmed; however, Norris did make headlines a few months ago when he unsuccessfully lobbied to have The Expendables 2 edited down to a PG-13 (lest his legion of young fans be traumatized by profanity while they’re watching old men murder people). The uninformed might also attribute the decision to Norris being in his 70s, not realizing that in Chuck Norris-years, he’s only 26. At any rate, hit the jump for the action legend’s comments on his departure from the franchise.
Emboldened by the success of Valentine’s Day, Garry Marshall took another crack at the holiday-based all-star anthology in 2011, with similarly repulsive results. This time, though, movie-goers commendably ignored him (and hopefully quashed plans for Columbus Day or whatever the hell was coming next). Of course, it’s never a good idea to interpret the commercial failure of a terrible movie as anything more than an aberration. But in this case, there was an encouraging sense that the world had finally revolted against a sub-genre populated by cynical, bald-faced cash-grabs.
And indeed, New Year’s Eve is the romantic comedy distilled to its basest form; a film that trots out a dizzying array of A-listers and expects applause, while abandoning time-consuming chores like character, story and dialogue. Hit the jump for the full review.
It looks like Game of Thrones has picked up another bastard. Former Misfits star Iwan Rheon seems to have joined the HBO hit’s sprawling ensemble; while there’s been no official announcement yet, Rheon’s agents have added the show to his official CV. While the vitae only specifies that he will be playing a “Boy,” many giddy fans are already speculating that he’s set for the role of Ramsay Snow, aka “The Bastard of Bolton.” Based on some of your comments in our last (massive) Game of Thrones casting round-up, this should come as welcome news, indeed. Keeping in mind that we have no confirmation that Rheon will be playing Ramsay, hit the jump for a bit more on the character, plus some visual evidence that would seem to all but confirm that he’s joined the cast. Mild SPOILERS if you haven’t finished watching Season 2 yet.
People toss around the word “epic” far too much in describing the things they like and the failures of noobs. But the films of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy are epic, in every sense of the word. Which makes the trailer we’re about to show you really freaking epic. Imagine, if you will, that Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were actually one big blockbuster. Now imagine they made a trailer for that blockbuster…and it was really, really, really great.
Weaving together footage from all three chapters, what lies on the other side of the jump is not just another appetizer for The Dark Knight Rises, but an illustration of the remarkable ambition and scope of this whole series. This is the first big screen comic franchise that works as one (pristinely executed) arc, with a clear beginning, middle and end. We should all look forward to the day when we can pop them in the Blu-ray one after the other and, with the final credits rolling, utter the word “Epic” as we’ve never meant it before. For now, hit jump to be blown the hell away.
The Underworld series has always been more style than substance. Or, more accurately, all style and no substance. That’s not necessarily a fault; plenty of films have succeeded primarily on flair. Alex Proyas’ The Crow, for example. The original Underworld, helmed by Len Wiseman and starring wife Kate Beckinsale, never approached (or aimed for) the haunting visual poetry of that film. But in the beginning, it got by on an inherently cool premise (werewolves and vampires at war) and competently staged action. Four films in, the novelty’s worn off.
Underworld: Awakening sees Beckinsale slipping back into her famed leather catsuit after sitting out the last prequel entry; and while she fits the role of undead “Death Dealer” Selene well as ever, the franchise to which she returns is a bloated corpse. Hit the jump for our review of Underworld: Awakening on Blu-ray.