As the two competing Linda Lovelace biopics continue to race toward the finish line, one moves closer to release as production on Lovelace began today. Variety reports that Hank Azaria, Bobby Cannavale (Win Win), Chris Noth (Sex and the City), and Robert Patrick have all joined the cast of the now in-production indie. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl), the film has Amanda Seyfried set to star as the titular porn star, with Peter Sarsgaard in place as Lovelace’s husband (whom she claims for coerced her into pornography). But that’s not all, as James Franco is also apparently in talks to appear in the film as one Hugh Hefner. Franco was initially eyed to take on Sarsgaard’s part, but the thought of Franco playing Hefner in full force is almost too good to be true.
Franco’s role would be little more than a cameo, as the Hefner sequence simply involves Lovelace and her husband attending a screening of Deep Throat at the Playboy mansion. Hit the jump for more on the project.
Universal has released the first trailer for the thriller Safe House starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. The story centers on a young CIA agent (Reynolds) who must team up with the dangerous criminal in order to survive when their safe house is destroyed by mercenaries. The trailer goes heavy on the action, but it looks like director Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash) has done a great job. But the biggest hook is the dynamic between Washington and Reynolds. Few actors have as much fun playing the bad guy as Washington and he clearly relishes flipping between charm and malevolence on a dime. My only complaint with the trailer is that it shows a little too much, but overall I like what I’m seeing.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and the larger version of the poster and image released yesterday, plus two new images. The film also stars Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga, Fares Fares, Robert Patrick, Nora Arnezeder, Liam Cunningham, Joel Kinnaman, and Ruben Blades. Safe House opens February 10, 2012.
It looks like Warner Bros. believes it has an awards contender on its hands with Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad. According to Box Office Mojo, the studio has set the 1940s crime thriller for October 19, 2012. The film is based on the true story of an Los Angeles Police Department task force whose mission was to bring down notorious mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The impressive cast also features Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Michael Peña, Anthony Mackie, Mireille Enos, Holt McCallany, Robert Patrick, and Giovanni Ribisi.
The other films that currently hold the 10/19/12 date are the romantic comedy The Big Wedding starring Robert De Niro and Katherine Heigl (hoo-boy) and an untitled project from Sopranos creator David Chase.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Robert Patrick has signed on to Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer’s period cop drama Gangster Squad. Showblitz reports that Patrick will take on the role that Bryan Cranston was originally in talks for: an LAPD officer from Texas. The plot revolves around the elite squad of cops who hunted down gangster Mickey Cohen in 1940s Los Angeles. The stellar cast includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Peña, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Holt McCallany. Emma Stone recently entered negotiations to sign on as well.
Additionally, comedian Hunter Cope is set to join Nicholas Braun (Prom) in the Lionsgate comedy Gay Dude, with Modern Family star Sarah Hyland in talks to take on a supporting role. The story centers on two high schoolers who make a pact to lose their virginity before graduation. Complications arise, however, when one of the teens comes out of the closet. Variety reports that Cope will play the title character, with Braun taking on the role of his straight best friend who is tasked with finding Cope a boyfriend. Hyland plays Braun’s “prudish girlfriend.” Chris Nelson (Ass Backwards) directs from a script by Alan Yang (Parks and Recreation).
Billy Bob Thornton hasn’t directed a feature film since 2001’s Daddy and Them. Well, last November Thornton broke the news to us that he was once again stepping back into the director’s chair on a film he co-wrote with his writing partner Tom Epperson called Jayne Mansfield’s Car. Now it looks like Thornton is ready to start shooting on the project, as he’s secured funding and has filled out his cast with John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson (Thor) and John Patrick Amedori (The Butterfly Effect) joining previously announced Robert Duvall.
Deadline reports that AR Films is funding the project, which is set to start shooting on June 22nd in Georgia. The story revolves around a guy whose wife leaves him for an Englishman and moves away to England. 20 or 30 years later, in 1969, the wife dies but wishes to be returned to Alabama where she grew up, so the English family meets—and clashes with—the original family that she abandoned. While Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses left much to be desired, Sling Blade was a bit of a masterwork. Hopefully he can recapture that magic with this southern tale.
Any movie with Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and singer/actor Rubén Blades already has a top notch cast — which makes this news all the sweeter. The Wrap is reporting that four more actors will join CIA thriller Safe House: Brendan Gleeson (the Harry Potter movies), Robert Patrick (The Unit), Liam Cunningham (Clash of the Titans) and Sam Shepard (Fair Game).
Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money) and penned by new screenwriter David Guggenheim, the movie is about a CIA Agent (Reynolds) whose top secret safe house is attacked by assassins, leaving him to safely transport a criminal (Washington) to Washington. Scott Stuber is producing through his Universal-based Stuber Pictures and Trevor Macy is executive producing through Intrepid Pictures. Safe House will be released February 10, 2012.
Elisabeth Röhm (Heroes) joins the impressive likes of Sigourney Weaver and Maria Bello in the circle of female supporting players that surrounds star Taylor Lautner in Abduction. The thriller follows Lautner as he “goes on the run after discovering that his parents aren’t his own when he sees his baby picture on a missing persons website.” Röhm will play Lautner’s biological mother; according to Risky Business, the role was previously earmarked for Emily Mortimer. John Singleton (Four Brothers) will direct from a script by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow) and greenhorne Shawn Christensen.
Hit the jump for details on the indie drama Five Minarets in New York.
This is how you do a trailer. You take a film that no one’s really been hearing about, and yes, it has stars. You could do a trailer that says “This film has George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges” and just try to sell it mainstream and hope that people will come in based on the names. But instead, this trailer highlights what we love about these actors in the first place and now this film has shot to one of my most anticipated of the year. Hit the jump to find out why.
CGI was part of the conversation before, it ad appeared in Tron, Young Sherlock Holmes, and Last Crusade, and – of course – The Abyss, but with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, there was a huge paradigm shift. There was just too much that could be done with computers that couldn’t be denied.
Of course, this changed the way movies were made. But what is interesting in retrospect is how they were flying by the seat of their pants. Whereas today driving on a bus is CGI’d, then many of the effects involved Robert Patrick being painted in silver, and immense practical models that handled much of the heavy lifting. As innovative and thrilling as the effects are, director James Cameron had no illusions that he was making anything but a gigantic B movie writ large. And such is why the film still plays like gangbusters today.