Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for the coming of age comedy/drama The Way, Way Back. The film marks the directorial debut of The Descendants co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash and centers on a 14-year-old boy (Liam James) who spends his summer vacation bonding with the manager of a water park (Sam Rockwell) while staying with his mother (Toni Collette) and her overbearing boyfriend (Steve Carell). The Adventureland-esque pic looks to be a nice little summer film with a healthy mix of comedy and drama, and there’s a refreshing lack of cynicism in this trailer. Rockwell and Allison Janney are always swell, and the two are most definitely the comedic highlights here. Matt caught the film at Sundance and was rather mixed in his review, but I find this debut trailer to be promising.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Zoe Levin, AnnaSophia Robb, and Amanda Peet. The Way, Way Back opens on July 5th in limited release.
In their directorial debut, The Way, Way Back, writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash show they’re incredibly adept at humor. They know how to tell a good joke, push the envelope without being mean-spirited, and find the right actors to deliver the comedy. Unfortunately, a film has to put story and characters before comedy, and the film fails where it matters most. Faxon and Rash put a painfully bland character at the center of their movie, and then try to convince us that anyone would help the uninteresting protagonist. Surrounded by one-dimensional characters and a predictable plot, The Way, Way Back can tell a joke, but has difficulty doing anything else.
Back in July, we reported that Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) was lining up the 2011 Black List comedy Bad Words as his directorial debut. We’re happy to say that the production has officially begun and the supporting cast has been significantly rounded out. In addition to Bateman in the lead, the indie comedy will feature Allison Janney (The Help), Kathryn Hahn (Our Idiot Brother), Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids), Philip Baker Hall (Argo), and Rohan Chandz (Jack and Jill). Andrew Dodge’s comedic script centers on a high-school drop-out (Bateman) who uses a loophole to compete in an 8th grade spelling bee, enraging teachers and parents alike, but befriending an awkward young contestant along the way. Hit the jump for much more on Bad Words.
At a time when the East Coast is being savaged by what could be one of the most devastating storms on record in Hurricane Sandy, Yahoo has decided to release a trailer for Struck by Lightning. Whether this is an innocent oversight or a callous PR move, don’t blame the filmmakers. Among them are writer/star Chris Colfer, who is best known for his role on Fox’s Glee but channels his high school angst into this new teen dramedy feature. Directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved!), Struck by Lightning follows Carson Phillips (Colfer), a misunderstood teen who uses blackmail as a last resort to catapult him towards his dream of becoming editor of The New Yorker. The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Sarah Hyland, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Allie Grant, and Angela Kinsey. Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.
Opening this weekend is Julian Farino’s The Oranges. The film is about two families who are best friends and neighbors- until one of the daughters (Leighton Meester) begins an affair with her father’s best friend (Hugh Laurie), and the comical and emotional aftermath of that affair. The all-star cast includes Catherine Keener as Laurie’s wife who finds a new purpose in life, Allison Janney and Oliver Platt as Nina’s bewildered parents and Alia Shawkat as Laurie’s daughter- and Nina’s former best friend turned arch rival. It also stars Adam Brody and up-and-comer Sam Rosen.
At the press junket for the film, I was able to speak to stars Allison Janney and Oliver Platt about their favorite kinds of cereal, how they got involved in this film, what it was like to work with an ever-present screenwriting team, and how similar they are to these hilarious characters. For the whole interview, click after the jump.
Though Clark Gregg is well-known for his work as the beloved Agent Coulson in the Marvel films, the affable actor is also a director. He helmed the 2008 adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel Choke, and now he’s gearing up for his second directorial feature Trust Me. The dark comedy centers on “a loser agent for a young actor – and washed-up child star himself – who stumbles upon a brilliant 13-year-old prodigy (played by newcomer Saxon Sharbino) and then tries to close the mega-deal that will make her a star while managing her drunk volatile father.”
Now Deadline reports that Gregg—who also wrote Trust Me—has rustled up quite the cast for the film, as his Choke star Sam Rockwell and West Wing cohort Allison Janney have joined the ensemble cast that also includes William H. Macy, Amanda Peet, Felicity Huffman, Molly Shannon, Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire), and Niecy Nash (Reno 911). Production is set to begin soon, and with Gregg onboard as the creative force driving this swell cast, Trust Me is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up. After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film. Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more. Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.
Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.
Aaron Sorkin returned to the world of television this year with HBO’s The Newsroom, and while I didn’t hate the show as much as some did, it was a far cry from the glory days of The West Wing. For those feeling nostalgic, or for the West Wing obsessed (of which I’m a card-carrying member), a video has surfaced called “Walk and Talk the Vote” which reunites a large chunk of the show’s cast. The ad is in support of Bridget Mary McCormack, a non-partisan candidate for Michigan State Supreme Court, but it touches on the importance of all non-partisan voting.
It’s great to see Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Joshua Malina, Mary McCormack, Janel Moloney, Melissa Fitzgerald and even Lily Tomlin back together, but I really would’ve loved to see Rob Lowe return and complete the “original five.” Nevertheless, hit the jump to take a trip down memory lane, and if you’ve still never seen The West Wing I highly suggest you rectify that as quickly as possible.
Today, we’ve got a poster round-up for you, featuring some new domestic and international looks:
- Liberal Arts, stars writer/director Josh Radnor (Happythankyoumoreplease) as a thirty-something loser who falls for a 19-year-old college student (Elizabeth Olsen) when he returns to his alma mater. Look for Liberal Arts in wide release starting September 21st.
- Zero Dark Thirty, the Osama bin Laden picture from director Kathryn Bigelow, stars Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt and Jessica Chastain in the revealing story of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six operation. Zero Dark Thirty lands December 19th.
- Alex Cross, the adaptation of the James Patterson novel, stars Tyler Perry in the title role opposite Matthew Fox as the antagonist. Alex Cross debuts October 19th.
- Looper, a sci-fi time-traveling actioner from writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick) and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, opens September 28th.
Hit the jump to see the posters.
The first trailer for How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor’s second directorial feature, Liberal Arts, has landed online. Radnor stars as a 35-year-old whose yearning for his glory days of college is intensified when he strikes up a romance with a 19-year-old college student over a shared love of music and literature. The film debuted to a wildly positive reception earlier this year at Sundance, and despite the blaring music that screams “QUIRKY INDIE!” this trailer looks pretty swell. Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen seem to have some genuine chemistry, and without having to set up jokes every two minutes Radnor is able to give a restrained, funny, and affable performance. Given the positive buzz I’m inclined to believe that we’re in for something more than a by-the-numbers indie about a thirtysomething coming to terms with growing up, so Liberal Arts is definitely something I’m looking forward to in the coming months.
Hit the jump to watch the international trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney. Liberal Arts opens on September 14th.
The first trailer for the family comedy The Oranges has been released. The film centers on two families who are both best friends and neighbors. Their tight relationship is strained when it’s discovered that the father of one family (Hugh Laurie) is having an affair with the grown daughter of the other family (Leighton Meester). The film looks like a pretty great comedy, and Allison Janney is unsurprisingly fantastic. The cast—which includes Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat. and Adam Brody—has great chemistry, and director Julian Farino appears to have crafted a solid comedy.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The Oranges opens later this year.
Casting news updates at a glance:
- Stephen Colbert (Monsters vs Aliens) and Allison Janney (Phineas and Ferb) have been cast in the DreamWorks animated production of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, starring Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and Max Charles (The Amazing Spider-Man) voicing the title roles.
- Ian McShane (Snow White and the Huntsman) will join Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) in dance-off comedy, Cuban Fury.
Hit the jump for more.
A couple of heavy hitters in casting news today. Here are the headlines at a glance:
Hit the jump for more on each project.
It’s been six years since The West Wing left television (and in my book, it’s more like a decade since I couldn’t keep going after Aaron Sorkin left the show), but it will always be one of the best programs in the medium’s history. It was inspiring, funny, smart, and moving, both emotionally and with people constantly moving. The “Walk-n-Talk” was one of the show’s memorable devices, and that device has now been appropriated to promote the fitness campaign, “Everbody Walk“. Funny or Die has put together an amusing video for the campaign featuring West Wing cast members Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina, Melissa Fitzgerald, and William Duffy reprising their roles and poking fun at the classic show’s beloved trademarks.
Hit the jump to check out the video.
There’s a reunion of sorts happening for Steve Carell and Toni Collette, who last starred together in 2006 Oscar-winner, Little Miss Sunshine. Carell and Collette will join Jim Rash (Community) and Nat Faxon’s (Bad Teacher) directorial debut, The Way, Way Back. Their script landed on 2010′s Black List, and after earning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay of their effort for The Descendents, I’m sure we can look forward to much more from the duo. The Way, Way Back is an indie drama about a dysfunctional family, but that’s where the similarities to Little Miss Sunshine seem to stop. The plot centers on a teenage boy on summer vacation who is coming to grips with his emotionally-distant mother and his cheating step-father. The parental roles will be played by Collette and Carell, while the film also stars Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney and Annasophia Robb. Hit the jump for more.