New Posters for NOW YOU SEE ME, THE EAST, and SPRING BREAKERS

by     Posted 1 year, 161 days ago

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Some new posters have made their way online.  Briefly:

  • Now You See Me – The debut poster for Louis Letterier’s magic-centered crime thriller puts the impressive ensemble cast front and center.  The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson and opens on May 31st.
  • The East – Director Zal Batmanglij’s eco-terrorist thriller went over well with Sundance audiences, and this poster does a nice job of teasing the pic’s sinister undertones.  The film stars Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page and opens on May 31st.  Read Matt’s review here, and check out my interview with Batmanglij and Marling for the film here.
  • Spring Breakers – Though the film is already out in limited release, a few UK character posters have landed online for Harmony Korine’s latest film.  The pic stars James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, and Selena Gomez and expands into wide release on March 22nd.  Read Matt’s review here.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.

New Release Dates for THE EAST, VAMPIRE ACADEMY: BLOOD SISTERS and Universal’s UNTITLED ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT 2015 PROJECT in 3D

by     Posted 1 year, 195 days ago

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Check out the latest release date shuffle for the following films:

  • Director Zal Batmanglij’s The East, starring Brit Marling, Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez and Patricia Clarkson, will open in limited release starting May 31, 2013.
  • The Mark Waters-directed adaptation, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, starring Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) and Lucy Fry (Lightning Point) will open February 14, 2014.
  • Universal’s Untitled Illumination Entertainment 2015 Project will open in 3D on July 3, 2015.  

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij Talk THE EAST, Parallels to Newtown, Crafting a Tense Yet Thought Provoking Thriller, and More at Sundance 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 213 days ago

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The 2013 Sundance Film Festival saw the debut of a number of filmmakers, but one of the most anticipated titles was the follow-up film from Sound of My Voice director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij and star/co-writer Brit Marling.  The two made waves with Sound of My Voice at Sundance 2011, and this year they premiered their ambitious new film, the thriller The East.  Marling stars as an undercover corporate operative who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization but becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.

While in Park City, I got the chance to speak with Batmanglij and Marling for an extended interview.  They talked about wanting to craft an effective thriller that also posed some important questions, how the film’s events and ideas could have parallels to the Newtown massacre, the interesting reactions to the film’s subject matter, how their experience on Sound of My Voice influenced their approach to this larger-budgeted film, and more.  In addition, they also briefly touched upon fulfilling the Sound of My Voice trilogy and future projects.  Read on after the jump.

Sundance 2013: THE EAST Review

by     Posted 1 year, 218 days ago

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The undercover thriller is a familiar genre, but it rarely reaches its full potential.  For a setting where betrayal and shifting sympathies are central to the plot, most of these stories only provide the semblance of a grey area.  Yes, the terrorist is planning to destroy the western seaboard, but his kid died ten years ago, so he’s not all bad.  This is an easy road to nominal dramatic conflict while still keeping the audience firmly supporting the hero.  With their new film The East, director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer Brit Marling have played the undercover thriller to near-perfection by forcing the audience to sit uncomfortably as we wonder who should deserve our sympathies.  Playing to the conventions of the genre stops The East from holding any major surprises, but Batmanglij and his strong cast always keep us riveted as we become as conflicted as the film’s protagonist.

First Trailer for THE EAST Starring Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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The first trailer for Zal Batmanglij’s The East is now online.  A follow-up film to Batmanglij’s Sound of My Voice (both co-written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling), The East centers on an undercover operative (Marling) who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization but becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader.  Fans of Sound of My Voice will recognize some very similar themes here, though the trailer for The East is decidedly more aggressive and promises to deliver on the tension.  The East also stars Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard. Hit the jump to watch the first trailer for The East.

Sundance 2013: First Images from BIG SUR, BREATHE IN, THE EAST, and jOBS

by     Posted 1 year, 267 days ago

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Today, Sundance announced their stellar Premieres line-up and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the category:

  • Big Sur – Written and directed by Michael Polish, starring Jean-Marc Barr, Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Radha Mitchell, Anthony Edwards, and Henry Thomas.
  • Breathe InWritten and directed by Drake Doremus, co-written by Ben York Jones, starring Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, and Mackenzie Davis.
  • The East – Written and directed by Zal Batmanglij, co-written by Brit Marling, starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson.
  • jOBS – Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matt Whiteley, starring Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and Matthew Modine.

Hit the jump for the images and synopses.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Premieres Lineup Including DON JON’S ADDICTION, STOKER, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, JOBS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 267 days ago

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Last week we saw the 2013 Sundance Film Festival announce lineups for its competition and Spotlight/Park City at Midnight programming, and today they have unveiled the list of films that will screen as part of the Premieres lineup.  It’s one hell of a program, as films that will screen include the Ashton Kutcher-fronted Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction, director Richard Linklater’s trilogy-completing Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the ensemble comedy A.C.O.D., director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut Stoker, and much, much more.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup for the narrative and documentary premieres.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27th.

Aldis Hodge Talks LEVERAGE Season 5, His Favorite Episode, Brit Marling’s THE EAST and More

by     Posted 2 years, 14 days ago

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On the TNT series Leverage, about a crew of high-tech crooks who steal from wealthy criminals and corrupt businessmen, in order to level the playing field for people whose lives have been destroyed by the rich and powerful, actor Aldis Hodge plays Hardison, the team’s miracle worker when it comes to hacking.  With the relationship between Parker (Beth Riesgraf) and Hardison heating up, and a secret shared between Hardison and Nate (Timothy Hutton) that the rest of the team isn’t privy to, it will continue to be a season of new adventures and uncharted territory.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Aldis Hodge talked about the changes in Season 5, finally getting the pay-off for the Hardison-Parker relationship, how the secret shared between Hardison and Nate won’t be revealed until the end of the season, his favorite episode, getting to play so many different characters within his character, how he would still like to explore more about Hardison’s background and family, and who’s the goofiest and who’s the most serious on set.  He also talked about his role in the upcoming film The East, from writer/director Zal Batmanglij and writer/actress Brit Marling, and his desire to establish a career behind the scenes as well.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Brit Marling Talks SOUND OF MY VOICE, THE EAST, Working with Robert Redford in THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 122 days ago

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One of my favorite films from last year’s Sundance was Sound of My Voice (which opens this weekend in limited release). Directed and co-written by Zal Batmanglij, the film follows a documentary filmmaking team made up of Christopher Denham and his girlfriend (Nicole Vicius) as they investigate a cult lead by a supposed time-traveler (Brit Marling who also co-wrote the film).  While they start the investigation intent on exposing her and freeing the followers, as they get further inside, they start to question their objectives.  For more on the film, you can watch the first twelve minutes here.

During the recent Los Angeles press day for the film, I sat down withBrit Marling for an extended interview.  We talked about what it’s been like waiting for the film to get released, her writing process, Sci-fi, favorite movies, and a lot more.   In addition, Marling talked about The East (which also stars Alexander Skarsgard and Ellen Page) and Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep.  Hit the jump for what she had to say and make sure to check out Sound of My Voice this weekend!

Director Zal Batmanglij Talks SOUND OF MY VOICE, THE EAST, His Writing Process, Favorite Movies, More

by     Posted 2 years, 124 days ago

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One of my favorite films from last year’s Sundance was Sound of My Voice (which opens this weekend in limited release). Directed and co-written by Zal Batmanglij, the film follows a documentary filmmaking team made up of Christopher Denham and his girlfriend (Nicole Vicius) as they investigate a cult lead by a supposed time-traveler (Brit Marling who also co-wrote the film).  While they start the investigation intent on exposing her and freeing the followers, as they get further inside, they start to question their objectives.  For more on the film, you can watch the first twelve minutes here.

During the recent Los Angeles press day for the film, I sat down with Zal Batmanglij for an extended interview.  We talked about what it’s been like waiting for the film to get released, financing the project, digital filmmaking, his writing process, if he’ll make a sequel, and more.  In addition, Batmanglij recently finished shooting his next film The East which stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page and Brit Marling. He talked about what that film is about, when it might premiere, and more.  Hit the jump to watch and make sure to check out Sound of My Voice this weekend!

Toby Kebbell Talks WRATH OF THE TITANS, AKIRA and THE EAST

by     Posted 2 years, 150 days ago

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Opening today is director Jonathan Liebesman’s (Battle: Los Angeles) Wrath of the Titans.  In the sequel to Clash of the Titans, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is tasked with stopping the titans and saving Zeus (Liam Neeson) from Hades’ stranglehold (Ralph Fiennes). The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell and Danny Huston.  And for those wondering how the sequel turned out, Wrath of the Titans is what I hoped Clash of the Titans would be.  It’s got a solid story, incredible effects, and the 3D is really well done.  I’ve seen it twice (including IMAX 3D) and it’s definitely recommended.  For more on the film, here’s five clips.

During my interview with Kebbell, we talked about how he got involved in the project, what did he want to bring to his character, what surprised him about making the movie, and what’s his favorite director, actor and movie.  In addition, we talked about director Zal Batmanglij‘s (Sound of My Voice) The East and his thoughts on the live-action Akira.  Hit the jump to watch.

Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, and Leslie Bibb Join 7500; Aldis Hodge and Shiloh Fernandez Head to THE EAST

by     Posted 2 years, 300 days ago

We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Amy Smart, Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), and Leslie Bibb (Zookeeper) have signed on for the thriller 7500. Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge) is directing the pic from a script by Craig Rosenberg (The Uninvited). Yesterday we brought you some first synopses from a number of films being sold at AFM this week, and 7500 was among them. The pic tells the story of a group of passengers who begin to experience frightening supernatural phenomena after a passenger mysteriously dies in flight. Those remaining are left to wonder if they’re next. Variety reports that Kwanten and Smart will play a married couple who board the flight with two of their longtime friends for a trip to Japan, while Bibb will play “a stewardess involved in a complicated and secret relationship.”

Hit the jump for casting news concerning the indie thriller The East, which stars Brit Marling and Ellen Page.

Casting Call: Octavia Spencer Joins Diablo Cody’s Directorial Debut, Patricia Clarkson Heads to THE EAST, Michael Raymond-James Gets ONE SHOT

by     Posted 2 years, 327 days ago

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We’ve got a few more casting stories for you this evening. First up, The Help star Octavia Spencer is in negotiations to join the cast of Diablo Cody’s untitled directorial debut. Penned by Cody, the comedy “follows a sheltered young woman (Julianne Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and decides to go to Las Vegas to experience the wild side of life.  On her journey, she meets an unlikely companion (Russell Brand) who inadvertently helps her find her true self.” Showblitz reports that Spencer will play a card dealer at the casino where Brand’s character works. Spencer was celebrated for her more dramatic turn in this summer’s hit drama The Help. She’s also in talks to star in the indie dramedy Smashed. Production on Diablo Cody’s untitled project (previously referred to as Lamb of God) is set to begin next Spring.

Hit the jump for casting news on the indie drama The East and the Tom Cruise thriller One Shot.

Casting Call: Val Kilmer and Radha Mitchell Join D.J. Caruso’s THE GOATS; Toby Kebbell Heads to THE EAST

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Val Kilmer, Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) and Kate Maberly (Finding Neverland) have joined the cast of D.J. Caruso’s indie The Goats. Based on the young adult novel by Brock Cole, the story centers on two kids who are stranded on Goat Island following a summer camp prank. Rather than return to camp, the duo set out on their own adventure and run away. Chandler Canterbury (Knowing) and Annalise Basso (Bedtime Stories) are set as the two young leads. Variety reports that Kilmer and Mitchell will play parents, with Maberly taking on the role of a camp counselor. Production on Caruso’s passion project began today in Georgia. Hit the jump for the casting news of Toby Kebbel in Zal Batmanglij’s The East, and a synopsis of The Goats.

Ellen Page Joins Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in THE EAST

by     Posted 2 years, 333 days ago

Zal Batmanglij’s The East has added some star power to its ranks.  Variety reports that Ellen Page has joined rising stars Brit Marling (Another Earth) and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) in the dramatic thriller.  The story centers on an undercover agent (Marling, who also co-wrote the film) from a private contracting firm who is tasked with protecting corporations from eco-terrorists and anti-business extremists.  When she is sent to investigate an anarchist organization known as “The East”, she finds herself falling for its leader (Skarsgard).  Page will play Izzy, a member of The East who is the leader’s former lover and is now jealous of Marling’s character.  The Oscar-nominated actress wrapped shooting on Woody Allen’s Bop Decameron this past summer.

Batmanglij and Marling previously teamed-up for the acclaimed drama Sound of My Voice, which was picked up by Fox Searchlight (who are also behind The East) following the buzz it received on the festival circuit earlier this year.  I’m getting pretty miffed at the studio for being silent on their release plans for the film, especially since it looks like The East covers similar ground in exploring cults.

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