Screenwriter Dan Gilroy Talks Tim Burton’s SUPERMAN LIVES; Says They Were Weeks Away from Filming Before Being Shutdown

by     Posted 5 minutes ago

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Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives is one of the great “What Ifs” of film history.  While today the concept of Tim Burton directing a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage seems insane, keep in mind that around the time the movie was planning to shoot in 1998, Burton hadn’t descended into self-parody and Cage was riding a wave of action film hits (The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off) following his 1995 Oscar for Best Actor.  Also, the superhero movie landscape was very different, and while a film like Batman Forever would be soundly rejected today, it was the 2nd-highest grossing film of 1995.

We’ve seen costume sculpts, screen tests, and concept art for the toys, and there’s even a documentary, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, on the way.  Now, with his excellent debut feature Nightcrawler opening October 31st, we got to speak with writer-director Dan Gilroy, who was the screenwriter on Superman Lives.  During the interview, Gilroy talked about the specifics of Burton’s vision, how it compares to Man of Steel, and how close they were to production.  Hit the jump for more.

Margot Robbie in Talks for TALIBAN SHUFFLE, Lily James and Sam Claflin Circling FINEST, and Luke Evans & More Join Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE

by     Posted 47 minutes ago

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

  • The Wolf of Wall Street breakout Margot Robbie is looking to add another comedy to her resume, as she is in talks to join Tina Fey in The Taliban Shuffle—though this doesn’t take her contention for Suicide Squad.
  • Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Lily James (Downton Abbey) are circling director Lone Scherfig’s (An Education) adaptation Their Finest Hour and a Half.
  • Luke Evans is set to star in Kill List director Ben Wheatley’s shootout film Free Fire, which will also include Armie Hammer, Olivia Wilde, and Cillian Murphy.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Ending Features a 45-Minute Battle Sequence; Billy Boyd to Write and Perform End Credits Song

by     Posted 1 hour ago

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With a title like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, there are pretty high expectations for a rather epic-looking battle sequence.  Indeed, Peter Jackson has revealed that the film concludes with a 45-minute fight during the climax, as the various armies of Middle-earth all descend upon the Lonely Mountain now that the dwarven treasure of Erebor is no longer being guarded by that fearsome dragon Smaug.  Jackson is currently putting the finishing touches on the film during post-production in anticipation of its December 17th release, but he recently talked a bit about planning the final battle sequence with EW and also unveiled some rather massive-looking concept art.  Additionally, Warner Bros. has announced that Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd (aka Peregrin Took) will perform the closing credits song “The Last Goodbye”, which he co-wrote with the filmmakers.

Hit the jump for more on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies climactic action sequence as well as the end credits song, including Jackson’s thoughts on how those eagles would’ve made The Lord of the Rings much, much shorter.

Classic Todd Solondz Movie WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE Gets Followed Up By WEINER DOG, Swaps Out Heather Matarazzo For Greta Gerwig

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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Welcome to the Dollhouse was a funny, but emotionally brutalizing calling card for director Todd Solondz back in 1996 (it paved the way for the even more brutal Happiness).  So I’m sort of circumspect about the “whimsical” nature that his follow-up film Weiner Dog allegedly has.  The ensemble film is apparently tied together “thematically by a dachshund” but nothing pretty or soft really lasts that long in a Solondz film.

The story will revolve around several interconnected threads, one of which will center on Dawn Weiner, the relentlessly mocked protagonist that Heather Matarazzo played in Dollhouse.  This time out the role (for reasons related to art or commerce I’m not sure, maybe both) will be handled by Greta Gerwig.  Hit the jump for more on Weiner Dog.

THE CROW Remake Aims to Start Shooting Next Year, Luke Evans Still Attached

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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This remake refuses to really go away.  I really liked Alex Proyas‘ take on The Crow back when it came out in 1994, but the film and the accompanying material are just so much of that time that it’s difficult to see how it would work as well today.  I think back to that movie and I think of Nine Inch Nails, Thrill Kill Kult, the death of Brandon Lee and the catchphrase, “it can’t rain all the time.”  I don’t think back to the film’s quality, which was patchwork at best (Proyas would do better work later on).

Maybe that’s where this remake could make some improvements.  If they could find another, more relevant, cultural signpost than mainstream 90′s goth and make a more consistent film, then it might be worth it.  Producer Ed Pressman is certainly trying to make it happen.  Hit the jump for more on The Crow remake.

Warner Bros. Looking for Female Director to Helm WONDER WOMAN

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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The superhero movie boom has been happening for years now and only one superhero film has had a female director: Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone.  And the budget for that film was drastically lower than the majority of superhero pictures.  Patty Jenkins (Monster) came close to directing Thor: The Dark World, but she and Marvel couldn’t come to terms, so they went with Alan Taylor instead.

It’s absurd and sad that, even beyond superhero films, female directors almost never get to take on a blockbuster property.  There are legions of incompetent male directors who are given hundreds of millions of dollars to blow on a waste of time, but incredibly talented female directors are relegated to indies, rom-coms, and TV shows.  It’s time to break through that glass ceiling, especially with superhero movies since we’re going to be getting so many of them.  Fittingly, that time may have finally come with Wonder Woman.  Hit the jump for more.

Martin Scorsese to Produce 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead Documentary; Amir Bar-Lev to Direct

by     Posted 16 hours ago

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The Grateful Dead formed in 1965, which means we are fast approaching the 50th anniversary of the storied jam band.  To celebrate the occasion, Martin Scorsese will executive produce a Grateful Dead documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story).  Scorsese explained the appeal of the project and the unique stature of the band:

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band.  They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans.  I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.”

Hit the jump for the press release with all the details.

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sebastian Stan Join THE MARTIAN; Ethan Hawke to Play Chet Baker in BORN TO BE BLUE

by     Posted 19 hours ago

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Ridley Scott
just scored two more industry heavyweights for The Martian, 12 Years a Slave star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s Sebastian Stan.  They join Matt Damon, Jessica ChastainKristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Kate Mara and Sean Bean in the November 25, 2015 release about an astronaut who winds up stranded on Mars.  Filming is set to begin in Budapest this November.

In addition, we also just got word that Robert Budreau’s Chet Baker biopic, Born To Be Blue, began filming in Ontario with Ethan Hawke leading as the legendary jazz trumpet player.  Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy) and Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica) also have roles in that one.  Hit the jump for more on both films.

Rumor: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Teaser Trailer to Arrive This Fall?

by     Posted 20 hours ago

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice isn’t due out until March 25, 2016, but is it possible we could see a teaser trailer this fall?  There’s an outlet reporting that the very first Batman v Superman teaser is finished and that it could be attached to a film coming out soon.

Which film?  They can’t confirm, but if this rumor is true, I’d put my money on another Warner Bros. release, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  Hit the jump for more on this Batman v Superman teaser trailer rumor.

Rumor: THE MUMMY Remake Opening Sequence Details Revealed?

by     Posted 22 hours ago

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Technically Universal Pictures’ mission to establish a shared universe for its monsters is already underway because the studio squeezed some connective tissue into Dracula Untold after the fact, but the first movie to be shot post monster movie mash-up announcement is The Mummy.  The film will mark Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut.  He’ll be working with a Jon Spaihts-penned script with Chris Morgan producing.

Beyond that and the fact that the film’s got a June 24, 2016 release, we don’t know all that much about the project.  However, if the latest rumors are true, now we’ve got some story details, too.  Hit the jump to check them out.

Adam McKay Says He May Direct a Marvel Project

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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Adam McKay may not have been able to commit to directing Ant-Man this summer, but it seem as though his choice to come aboard as a screenwriter could land him in the director’s chair on another Marvel project at some point.

During a recent interview for the short film compilation We The Economy, McKay briefly discussed what he’s got coming up and it includes something that he’s in the early stages on over at Marvel.  Hit the jump for more on what McKay has in the works.

Extended INTO THE WOODS Featurette Provides Plenty of New Footage from the Upcoming Musical

by     Posted Yesterday

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Following yesterday’s EW covers and new images, Disney has now released an extended featurette for Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical Into the Woods.  The Disney production stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters, all of whom have wishes to change their lives.  While I’ll admit that Johnny Depp‘s costume and makeup for the Big Bad Wolf continue to plunge the actor into self-parody, the rest of the movie looks surprisingly great.  This featurette really sells not only the fantastic visuals, but also shows that this is a true ensemble piece.  The featurette also provides the first time we’re hearing the actors sing some of the songs, and they sound terrific.

Hit the jump to watch the Into the Woods extended featurette.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Lilla CrawfordMackenzie Mauzy, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

Awards Season Has Begun: BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Award Nominees; FOXCATCHER Stars Receive Special Jury Award

by     Posted Yesterday

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And here we go.  The 2014 Awards Season has begun, and it begins with Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood leading with four nominations from the Gotham Awards.  Linklater’s terrific film picked up nominations for Best Feature, Ethan Hawke (Best Actor), Patricia Arquette (Best Actress), and Ellar Coltrane (Breakthrough Performance).  Also of note was Oscar Isaac receiving a Best Actor nomination for A Most Violent Year even though it has yet to be screened for the public (it will debut at AFI Fest next month).  Finally, I’m very amused that rather than choose between nominating Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, they received a Special Jury Award jointly for their performances.  That’s one way to do it.

It’s also worth noting that the Gotham Awards mean next to nothing in the overall awards race.  They have the distinction of being the starting gun, but I’m glad they’re continuing to honor worthwhile movies.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 1st.

Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christian Bale Will Play Steve Jobs in Untitled Biopic; “He’s Gonna Crush It”

by     Posted Yesterday

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Last week, we reported that Christian Bale was in talks to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in Danny Boyle‘s untitled Steve Jobs movie.  Written by Aaron Sorkin, the script will drastically differ from not only 2013′s Jobs, but all other biopics as the movie is only three scenes, all of which take place backstage before a famous Apple product launch.

In an interview with Bloomberg [via Variety], Sorkin has confirmed that Bale will play Jobs.  “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” he said. “It’s an extremely difficult part and he’s gonna crush it.”  Sorkin also says, “There was a meeting. The role is an extremely difficult role; he has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. There isn’t a scene or frame that he’s not in.”  I like the part about having more words in this movie than in three movies combined because it implies only Bale has the power to master Sorkin’s verbosity.  I assume in this movie, Jobs is the cleverest, funniest, sharpest, and most erudite person on the planet.  Hit the jump to watch Sorkin’s interview with Bloomberg.

Brad Pitt Gets Viciously Berated by Zach Galifianakis on New Episode of BETWEEN TWO FERNS

by     Posted Yesterday

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In the last episode of Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis squared off with Barack Obama.  In the newest episode, his guest is the significantly more popular Brad Pitt, who’s appearing to promote Fury (pronounced “Furry”), and proceeds to get demolished with a barrage of insults by Galifianakis.  Pitt plays the sketch as if he’s barely tolerating Galifianakis, which makes it even funnier.  There’s also a surprise appearance by an acclaimed stand-up comedian, which I won’t spoil here.

Hit the jump to check out the new Between Two Ferns episode.

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