This Means War is like plummeting to your death but pushing that thought out of your head and trying to enjoy the free fall. You know it’s going to end badly, you shouldn’t be enjoying this, but there’s a silver lining in the exhilaration. You have to embrace the charming lead performances in McG‘s action-rom-com in order to take your mind off their completely loathsome characters and the story’s gaping plot holes. It is a master class is why movie stars are movie stars, and how the best of them can let you have breezy fun until you splatter on the sidewalk.
We’ve been provided with six clips from the upcoming action-comedy This Means War to share with our readers. Directed by McG, the film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as two CIA operatives who realize they’re dating the same girl (Reese Witherspoon). Rather than giving up and allowing one of the two to continue seeing Witherspoon, Hardy and Pine put their CIA gadgetry and know-how to work in order to derail each another’s relationship with the girl.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and look for interviews with the cast and McG soon. This Means War opens February 14th.
Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski first pitched the biopic Big Eyes to their Ed Wood director Tim Burton in August 2010. We haven’t heard much about the project since then, but there was a big development today. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds are now attached to play Margaret and Walter Keane in the indie drama. Walter became famous for paintings featuring saucer-eyed kids, though it was the shy Margaret who really did the work. Margaret eventually tired of the misplaced credit, which led to a divorce and a heated court battle to prove authorship of the paintings.
Alexander and Karaszewski will direct Big Eyes, their fourth biopic script following Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flint, and Man on the Moon. Burton is producing. The trio is also working on a new version of The Addams Family. Filming is scheduled for this spring. Hit the jump for more on the story of the Keanes.
If action-packed love triangles are your thing, Fox may have just switched up your Valentine’s Day plans. The studio announced today that they’re moving up the release of McG’s action-comedy This Means War. The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as two CIA operatives who find out they’re dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). They then proceed to utilize their super secret CIA skills (explosions and dart guns) to battle for Witherspoon’s affection. The trailer looked pretty ridiculous, but I’m still holding out hope that the full film delivers. The cast is enticing and the premise could be a lot of fun if executed right, so we’ll see if McG has a winner. The film’s biggest Valentine’s Day competition is The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, which opens on February 10th. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and bet that most guys will be partial to the one with explosions.
Director Atom Egoyan’s (Chloe) next project Devil’s Knot is based on the true events surrounding the 1993 murder of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the subsequent arrest of three teens suspected of committing the murders through satanic rituals. Taking its title from the Mara Leveritt book by the same name, Devil’s Knot will presumably take a dramatic look at the investigation of the case, both by the local police involved and by journalists like Leveritt who found the arrest and conviction of the West Memphis Three highly suspicious. While details on the film are short, Reese Witherspoon is reportedly attached to star as Pam Hobbs, a mother of one of the victims who is at first convinced of the teenagers’ guilt, but starts to question their conviction once the case drags on. Hit the jump for more on Devil’s Knot.
Water for Elephants is tasteful. Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz are all good actors, Francis Lawrence knows his way around a camera, and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese knows his way around a sentence. It’s an adaptation of a popular novel about a circus show. One of those books that find an audience with women, is often well regarded, but not taken all that seriously.
Robert Pattinson is famous for Twilight. But like any actor he wants to show that he’s not just the captain of Team Edward. Christoph Waltz won an academy award, but he needs to show he can work in Hollywood, so why not play a slightly less evil character than last time? Reese Witherspoon is a bankable actress – or at least used to be – and who else are you going to cast if Angelina Jolie is out of your price range? Francis Lawrence is a director who wants to show he’s not just a genre filmmaker after Constantine and I Am Legend. You can clearly see everyone’s motivations for making the movie. That the end results are half-cooked is also not surprising. Our review of Water for Elephants on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Director Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) has signed on to the comedy Rule #1 starring Reese Witherspoon. According to THR, Witherspoon will play “34 -year old woman trying to cope with OCD, who takes in a young woman with ADD and her newborn baby in an effort to face her anxieties and ultimately get her estranged husband back. The resulting effort takes the woman’s already chaotic world spinning into the next level.” How does that get her husband back? “Look, honey! Now I can get the baby to flip the light-switch five times when I leave a room!” But I bet she’s going to learn some great life lessons and show that pesky obsessive compulsive disorder who’s boss. Hopefully Hunt—who earned an Oscar nomination for Frozen River‘s screenplay—will be able to provide some weight to the project.
Witherspoon will next be seen in the action-comedy This Means War (even though it looks like director McG has totally forgotten the “comedy” part). She’s also co-starring in the indie flick Mud and she’ll lead the romantic comedy Wish List.
Sony is moving forward with the comedy Sex Tape, as they’ve got their eye on a couple of actors to take the leads. Deadline reports that the studio is keen on Jason Segel and Reese Witherspoon to star in the Kate Angelo-scripted pic. The film centers on a married couple who, on a night off from their kids, decide to make a sex tape. When they wake up in the morning to find the tape missing, they head out on an adventure to find it. Nicholas Stoller, who helmed Forgetting Sarah Marshall and co-scripted The Muppets alongside Segel, is in talks to direct. The concept sounds fun, if a little similar to the Steve Carell/Tina Fey comedy Date Night. Hopefully Sex Tape is a good deal less PG than the Shawn Levy pic. Judging by the title, I’d say it’s a safe bet that this won’t be one for the whole family.
Segel has more than proven himself a comedic talent, and Witherspoon can actually be quite good in the genre given the right material, so I actually quite like this pairing. Segel recently wrapped The Five-Year Engagement, and Witherspoon is currently filming the Jeff Nichols drama Mud. [Update: Variety reports that Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne, and Jennifer Garner are also in the mix with Witherspoon as possible female leads.]
The first trailer for McG’s action-romantic-comedy This Means War has gone online. Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play covert operatives who are also best friends, but resort to their special-ops training when they compete for the affections of the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). As you’ll see in the trailer, it’s a gross misuse of CIA resources, but that’s not my big problem with what I’m seeing. McG seems to have gone all-in on the action and almost completely forgotten the comedy. It’s an inherently absurd premise that two CIA agents would use their special-ops training for a silly romantic entanglement. But McG looks like he’s taking it absolutely seriously. Maybe the juxtaposition works better in the context of the whole movie, but this trailer is somewhat disheartening.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the promo poster (which is just the logo, but whatever). This Means War opens February 17th.
New set photos have gone online for Jeff Nichols’ Mud and Danny Boyle’s Trance. Mud “centers on two boys who come upon a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Excited at the prospect of danger and adventure, they enter into a pact together to help the man escape and reunite him with his lost love.” I’m not sure how that plan involves Reese Witherspoon getting punched in the face twice, but these new set photos show at some point in the movie that’s going to happen. If you feel like trotting out the “Already told her twice,” joke, don’t. Also, it could just be runny make-up from crying. Ah, the magic of out-of-context set-photos.
The set photos from Trance show a beat-up James McAvoy and that is definitely not runny make-up. The movie focuses on the mastermind of an art heist (McAvoy) who must go under hypnosis when he gets amnesia and forgets the location of the loot. Hit the jump to check out the set photos.
Director Jeff Nichols is looking at a trio of actors to star in his next film. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and The Tree of Life star Tye Sheridan are in negotiations to join Mud. Nichols is best known for 2007’s Shotgun Stories starring Michael Shannon, and most recently debuted his film Take Shelter (also starring Shannon) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Mud centers on a dangerous fugitive aptly-named Mud who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a 14-year-old boy in Mississippi. The boy decides to help the nice criminal escape the police and some pesky bounty hunters.
Chris Pine had been in talks to take on the role of the title character, but Variety now reports that McConaughey is eying the role. Sheridan will play the boy, while Witherspoon will play Mud’s soulmate who he’s trying to reunite with. Everest Entertainment is fully financing the film and company founder Lisa Maria Falcone will produce. You can read Matt’s review of Take Shelter here.
Reese Witherspoon has attached herself to Disney’s romantic comedy Wish List. The centers on a young girl who makes ten wishes at a wishing well that don’t come true because her coin gets stuck on the way down and never reaches the bottom of the well. 25 years later, the coin becomes dislodged and the girl, now an ambitious career woman who has lost her inner child, must deal with 10 childhood wishes that suddenly come true.
Deadline reports that the film was initially conceived for a male lead, and now screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer (Mrs. Doubtfire) is tailoring the script for Witherspoon. Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray (Secretariat) are producing. The story sounds like a mix between Bedtime Stories and Enchanted, and with the right director I think it has the potential to be a cute, entertaining family flick. The actress will next be seen in McG’s romantic comedy This Means War, and recently signed on to produce and possibly star in DreamWorks’ Who Invited Her?
DreamWorks has emerged victorious from a bidding war for novelist Sascha Rothchild’s comedy pitch Who Invited Her? with Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon set to produce and potentially star. Variety reports that the project centers on a woman who invites herself to a male bachelor party weekend and will purportedly follow the shenanigans that inevitably ensue. If Witherspoon does indeed end up in Who Invited Her?, it will not be the first starring/producing double-duty pulled by the actress as she is also filling both shoes on the upcoming action/comedy This Means War also starring Chris Pine and Tom Hardy. In addition to her work on Who Invited Her?, Rothchild is also writing and executive producing an adaptation of her book How to Get Divorced by 30 over at Universal.
From the best-selling book of the same name, Water for Elephants tells the story of veterinary student Jacob Jankowski (Twilight star Robert Pattinson), who has to drop out of school after the unexpected death of his parents, and ends up jumping a train that happens to belong to the Benzini Bros. Circus. When he is discovered, his skills with the animals are put to use and he soon meets star performer Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), who is also the wife of the Big Top’s often violent and abusive owner, August (Christoph Waltz). The bond between Jacob and Marlena forms over their mutual admiration of the animals, but also develops into something deeper, as the two see a second chance at happiness in each other.
During a press conference at the film’s press day, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon and director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) talked about what made them want to do a film of this time period, working with an elephant as a co-star, and how the showmanship and mystery of the circus is similar to making movies. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
20th Century Fox has announced release dates for its upcoming films This Means War and Chronicle. According to Box Office Mojo, This Means War is set for February 17, 2012. Directed by McG, the film is an action-romantic-comedy that stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as former black-ops agents who go to war with each other when the fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). The other films currently set for the Presidents’ Day weekend are Ghost Rider 2 and Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty which was written and produced by Hayao Miyazaki.
As for Chronicle, the film recently cast Dane DeHaan (In Treatment) as one of three teenagers who develop superpowers after they’re exposed to a mysterious substance. The film is the feature debut of Josh Trank and comes from a script by Max Landis (Masters of Horror). Chronicle is slated for February 3, 2012, and currently has no competition at that date.