Back in August, we brought you the trailer for Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill, written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki. Now, we have word that the English version has a planned theatrical release of March 15th, 2013. Lending their voices to that version will be such top talent as Gillian Anderson, Ron Howard, Christina Hendricks, Jamie Lee Curtis and Beau Bridges, among others. Hit the jump to see who else is joining the party, along with the synopsis for From Up on Poppy Hill.
A number of actors have been lined up to join the “anti-romantic comedy” A Many Splintered Thing. The pic stars Chris Evans as a man burned by past lovers who meets an engaged woman (Michelle Monaghan) and decides to feign a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to win her over. Variety reports that Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau), Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Giovanni Ribisi (Ted) and Philip Baker Hall (50/50) are all in various stages of negotiations to join the cast, while Deadline adds that Topher Grace is also joining the mix.
Grace will play Evans’ best friend who eggs him on during his quest, but details regarding the other actors’ roles aren’t given. It’s an eclectic group of actors for a promising premise, and it’s nice to see Evans still willing to tackle risky roles in the wake of his Marvel success (Mackie also stars as Falcon in the Captain America sequel). Justin Reardon is directing from a Black List script by Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair. Production begins later this month.
The debut red-band trailer for the R-rated comedy The To Do List (previously titled The Hand Job) has landed online, and it’s wonderfully filthy. The film stars Aubrey Plaza as a sexually inexperienced teenager with a type-A personality who decides to engage in numerous sex acts before she goes to college. The trailer is very explicit about said acts, but never veers into “too awkward to watch” territory. Plaza is spot-on as the lead, and she’s buoyed by a ridiculously amazing supporting cast that includes Donald Glover, Rachel Bilson, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons, Connie Britton, Clark Gregg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Scott Porter. Seriously, this ensemble is stacked and they all look to be bringing their A-game.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, then make your Valentine’s Day plans accordingly. Written and directed by Maggie Carey, the film opens on February 14th, 2013.
Dan Eckman‘s Mystery Team is a comic gem that I love showing to people who haven’t seen it. The best way I’ve ever heard it described are “PG characters in an R-rated world”. Co-written by and starring Donald Glover, D.C. Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes, the story centers on three teenagers who haven’t mentally matured past the age when they were adorable kid sleuths. However, they decide to investigate a murder so people will take them “seriously” again. The film (which also stars Aubrey Plaza) never got the theatrical distribution it deserved, but it’s found its way on to just about every available streaming platform around. If you can’t find Mystery Team on some kind of VOD service, you’re just not trying. But if you’ve been cheaping out and missing the comic greatness, you no longer have an excuse not to see the flick. Mystery Team is now streaming for free on Hulu.
There. I’ve made plans for your evening. You’re welcome. Hit the jump to watch the movie.
Some quick casting bits today. Here they are in brief:
Hit the jump for more.
FilmDistrict has released a trailer and poster for Colin Trevorrow‘s indie comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. The movie stars Aubrey Plaza as a magazine intern who goes undercover to investigate a man (Mark Duplass) who placed an ad looking for a time-traveling partner. The movie was based on a real newspaper ad that was passed around the Internet in 2005. I caught the film at Sundance and thought it was slight but still charming and funny. The trailer goes a bit too far in revealing the plot, but it also shows that Plaza can absolutely kill in a lead role.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film also stars Jake Johnson and Karan Soni. Safety Not Guaranteed opens June 8th.
This past week brought us a story that is near and dear to me. While I briefly give my own thoughts regarding DC Comics’ Watchmen prequel comic series after the jump, I want to use the “Top 5′s” opening paragraph space to invite readers to voice/type their own opinions on the announcement in the comments section. As a fervent fan of the series, I’m always interested to hear fellow fans’ take on Watchmen adaptations, prequels, and the like. So, with that said, what do you think? Does the creative talent involved interest you? Is it the best idea ever? The worst? Somewhere in between? Sound off in the comments.
In addition to DC’s Before Watchmen announcement, this installment of the “Top 5″ includes interviews with the cast and director of superhero/found-footage pic Chronicle, a “What If?” look at a 16-Bit Breaking Bad RPG, ten things to know about Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and Sundance 2012 video interviews with Bradley Cooper, Paul Dano and more. A brief recap and link to each follows after the jump.
One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed. Written by Derek Connolly, the film’s about a trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad that seeks a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and tries to discover what he’s really up to. It’s based on a real ad that was passed around the internet in 2005 and the movie stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni. Shortly after premiering, FilmDistrict bought the film, so you can look forward to seeing it at some point in the future. For more on the film, you can read Matt’s review.
After seeing the movie, I got to sit down with Aubrey Plaza for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, karaoke, what’s the last video game she’s played (Batman: Arkham City and Braid), 3D gaming, how she got involved in Safety Not Guaranteed and what it’s about, and what it was like to watch the film for the first time with a big crowd at Sundance. In addition, she talked about Parks and Recreation, working with Bill Murray on director Roman Coppola‘s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, and director Maggie Carey‘s The To-Do List (aka The Hand Job), in which she plays a recent high school graduate intent on losing her virginity before going off to college. She said filming some of it bordered on pornography. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
Even without the magic of nostalgia, there’s a belief we can find love not by looking forward but by looking to our past. The past has the love we were guaranteed, or at least the love we thought we could have if we hadn’t made mistakes. The future only holds uncertainty and heartbreak. Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed shows its characters indulging their fantasies to turn past love into present love. Sadly, that’s about as deep as the film goes, but the film still works thanks to the charming performances, light humor, and a tinge of melancholy.
Compelling drama can be drawn out of small, intimate stories, but there comes a point where a story is so humble, so quiet, and so commonplace that there’s almost nothing there. Mark Webber‘s The End of Love wants to hang its drama on a man coping with the death of his wife and struggling to be a single father, but Webber chooses to have the story live mostly in the moments between a dad and his son. Webber paints a warm and intimate family portrait but his attempts at any deeper drama outside of the father-son relationship feel out of place against the central and simple family portrait.
When the NBC comedy series first started, Parks and Recreation only seemed to be riding on the coattails of The Office with its mockumentary style and somewhat weak start in the first season. However, two season later the show has quickly found its footing, crafted some spectacular characters, fantastic comedy and a series that has actually surpassed the quality of the series it once seemed to simply copy. Aside from previous series regulars like Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari consistently delivering some of the best comedic performances on television, the addition of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe as series regulars also bring some magic to Pawnee, Indiana. For a more in-depth analysis of the third season of Parks and Recreation, hit the jump.
We’ve got a few casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Aubrey Plaza (who regularly kills it on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) has joined the cast of Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III. The indie stars Charlie Sheen (essentially playing himself) as a successful graphic designer whose fame and fortune have made him irresistible to women. His life goes south quickly when his girlfriend breaks up with him, and he starts having delirious fantasies about his long list of exes. Variety reports that Plaza will play a producer who works with Sheen at his design company. The cast also includes Jason Schwartzman, who shared some screen time with Plaza in Judd Apatow’s Funny People.
Hit the jump for the casting news of the Hurricane Katrina thriller Hours and the Julianne Moore indie comedy The English Teacher.
The raunchy comedy The To Do List (formerly titled The Hand Job) already has an outstanding cast and now has added two more great names to the list. The Playlist reports that Clark Gregg and Rachel Bilson have signed on to the flick which stars Aubrey Plaza as a sexually inexperienced teenager with a type-A personality who decides to engage in numerous sex acts before she goes to college. Allow me to blow your mind with a rundown of who else is in this film: Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Scott Porter, D.C. Pierson and Dominic Dierkes. The Playlist speculates that Gregg will play the conservative father of Plaza’s character and Bilson will play her older sister.
Written and directed by Maggie Carey, filming is likely to get underway soon before the majority of the cast has to return to their various TV shows.
Yesterday, we reported that a stellar cast was joining the outstanding Aubrey Plaza in Maggie Carey’s comedy The Hand Job. A cast that includes Plaza, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Mae Whitman, Alia Shawkat, Johnny Simmons, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is already a must-see. But now Variety is reporting that more talented actors have signed on. The cast will now include Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) and Mystery Team co-stars and co-writers Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, The Hand Job stars Plaza as a valedictorian who wants to become more sexually experienced before she heads to college. While we reported the majority of the current cast yesterday, we now know which roles they’ll be playing. Hit the jump for more.
Steve recently spoke with actor and writer Bill Hader about his upcoming projects. One movie he might try to shoot while he’s on hiatus from Saturday Night Live is his wife’s Maggie Carey’s script, The Hand Job. The script landed on the 2009 Black List (a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood) and we reported back in October that Aubrey Plaza was attached to play the lead role of a 17-year-old who wants to learn about various sexual activities before she goes to college. Hader says that he, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, and Johnny Simmons are attached to co-star, and if that cast doesn’t make you excited, then you must not recognize these actors by name. You should work on that.
Hit the jump for what Hader told Steve about the project as well as a more dramatic film he may do called The Skeleton Twins with Anna Faris and Mark Duplass. Click here for what Hader had to say about his SNL character “Stefon”, and be sure to check back later today for more of Steve’s interview with Hader.
UPDATE: Steve here. Just spoke to Bill Hader again and he told me that Chris Mintz-Plasse is now attached to Hand Job as well! Hope this thing gets made this summer.