Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden, James Lapine and Rob Marshall Talk INTO THE WOODS, Casting, the Rehearsal Process, “Tinderella” and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

into-the-woods-james-corden-emily-blunt

Twenty-seven years after Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Into the Woods premiered on Broadway, the piece is making its was to the big screen.  The story centers on the Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) who so desperately want to have a child, but come to realize that they can’t unless they reverse The Witch’s (Meryl Streep) curse.  Meanwhile, elsewhere in the kingdom, Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) is busy slaving away for her wicked stepmother (Christine Baranski) while dreaming of attending the King’s festival and dancing before The Prince (Chris Pine).

With Into the Woods making its way into theaters on Christmas Day, Corden, Blunt, Pine, Kendrick, Lapine and director Rob Marshall all came to New York City to participate in a press conference.  The group discussed the unique layers of the characters, the challenges of making a movie musical, the extensive rehearsal process and loads more.  Hit the jump to check it all out.

Oscar Beat: The Best Supporting Actress Race At a Glance

by     Posted 9 days ago

oscars-best-supporting-actress-2015

There are complaints every year that while the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories are stacked with talent, the low number of quality female roles that appear in movies makes for frustratingly thin Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress races.  Those complaints are entirely valid, and while there are indeed a plethora of excellent male roles that were on display this year, the Best Supporting Actress field has actually filled out quite nicely.  In this edition of Oscar Beat, I take a look at where the category stands right now.

Anna Kendrick Carries New THE LAST FIVE YEARS Trailer with Her Killer Vocals

by     Posted 14 days ago

anna-kendrick-the-last-five-years-trailer

Anna Kendrick is gaining quite the reputation as a songstress.   Back in 2012 Kendrick completely wowed me, and just about everyone else in the world, with her vocal work in Pitch Perfect. Just last week we got our first listen at her fantastic rendition of “On the Steps of the Palace” from the upcoming Into the Woods.  And now we’re getting our first full look at yet another upcoming musical of hers, The Last Five Years.

Richard LaGravenese‘s adaptation of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical covers the entire five year history of Cathy (Kendrick) and Jamie’s (Jeremy Jordan) love story.  But The Last Five Years isn’t quite your typical musical movie. For one thing, the film is sung-through, meaning the story is told almost entirely through music with very little dialogue. It also has an unconventional narrative hook - the story is told from both Jamie and Cathy’s point of view moving in two different directions in time. Jamie’s side of the story is told linearly, from the beginning of their romance to the bitter end, while Cathy’s begins at the end of their marriage and moves backward through time to when they fell in love. You can read Adam’s review from TIFF here, and check out the new trailer for The Last Five Years after the jump.  The film opens in theaters in 2015.

Listen to the First Full INTO THE WOODS Song Featuring Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella

by     Posted 18 days ago

into-the-woods-anna-kendrick-slice

We’ve got some promotional material that teases the musical numbers in Into the Woods, but how about hearing an entire song from the upcoming Rob Marshall-directed film?  Disney just released the full version of “Steps of the Palace” sung by Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella and it’s pretty incredible.  How was it not widely known that Kendrick was a stellar singer until Pitch Perfect?  Perhaps that “Time After Time” scene in Up in the Air just really threw us all off.

Hit the jump to check out what Kendrick is really capable of in our very first full Into the Woods song.  The movie arrives in theaters on December 25th and also stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie Mauzy and Johnny Depp.

Jennifer Aniston Goes Dramatic in New CAKE Trailer

by     Posted 27 days ago

cake-trailer-jennifer-aniston

A new Cake trailer has been released for director Daniel Barnz’s upcoming drama.  The film stars Jennifer Aniston as a woman who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a member of her chronic pain support group.  When she starts delving into the woman’s life, she develops a relationship with her widower and grapples with her own personal tragedy.  I think Aniston’s a really talented comedic actress, so I’m very interested by the prospect of seeing her lead a dramatic film.  Her performance drew a bit of Oscar buzz after the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and she certainly appears to bring a significant amount of complexity to the role.

Check out the new Cake trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Anna KendrickSam WorthingtonChris MessinaFelicity HuffmanWilliam H. MacyBritt RobertsonLucy WaltersCamille ManaManuel Garcia Rulfo, and Marianne Jean-BaptisteCake opens in limited release in December followed by an expansion in January.

New PITCH PERFECT 2 Images Feature Familiar Faces and New Additions

by     Posted 32 days ago

pitch-perfect-2-images

Earlier this morning, Universal released the first trailer for the upcoming musical comedy Pitch Perfect 2 and it was kind of fantastic.  The follow-up looks to be every bit as fun and surprising as the first film, and it has Elizabeth Banks in the director’s chair to boot.  Continuing on with today’s festivities, Universal has released a batch of new Pitch Perfect 2 images from the film, which reveal what Adam Devine’s Bumper has been up to since the first movie (hanging with Joe Lo Truglio, of course) and also give us a look at the Barden Bellas’ new addition Hailee Steinfeld.  I’d go so far as to say that the first movie was the most entertaining movie I saw in theaters in 2012, so I’m fairly excited for this one.

Check out the new Pitch Perfect 2 images after the jump.  The film also stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, John Michael Higgins, and Katey SegalPitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters on May 15, 2015.

PITCH PERFECT 2 Trailer: The Barden Bellas Take on the World Championships of A Cappella

by     Posted 32 days ago

pitch-perfect-2-trailer

Universal Pictures just released the very first Pitch Perfect 2 trailer and it looks as though the musical comedy sequel could be another big winner.  Not only did the first film turn out to be a surprise hit and claim over $113 million at the worldwide box office, but it also helped Anna Kendrick‘s rendition of “Cups” hit #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and wound up amassing such an enthusiastic following that Universal decided to bring the original film back to theaters in sing-along format.  As someone who’s watched Pitch Perfect time and time again, there’s a lot riding on the sequel and based on this first look at the film, actress/producer-turned-first time feature director Elizabeth Banks may have nailed it.

Forget the national college a cappella competition.  In Pitch Perfect 2 it’s all about the world championship of a cappella.  We’ve got familiar songs and faces, “Cups” is still quite catchy and the Bellas are as charming and amusing as ever, but it looks as though Banks and co. are going bigger in every respect and based on how this trailer plays, it could work exceptionally well.  Hit the jump to check out the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer for yourself.  The film also stars Rebel Wilson, Brittany SnowSkylar AstinHailee SteinfeldAnna CampKatey SegalAdam Devine and of course Banks as well.  Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters on May 15, 2015.

EW Cover Offers a First Look at PITCH PERFECT 2 with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow; First Poster Released

by     Posted 33 days ago

pitch-perfect-2-image-anna-kendrick

Get your aca-puns ready, folks, because it’s time to start getting really excited for Pitch Perfect 2.  A first look at the sequel has been unveiled as part of this week’s EW cover, which features returning stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany SnowPitch Perfect actress/executive producer Elizabeth Banks steps into the director’s chair this time around, taking over from the first film’s Jason Moore and making her feature directorial debut in the process.  Plot details for the follow-up are still unknown at this time, but as a big fan of the first movie I’m really looking forward to this sequel.  Kay Cannon (30 Rock) returned to pen the script so hopefully it’s able to maintain sharp tone of the first feature while expanding the scope, as sequels are wont to do.

Check out the first look at Pitch Perfect 2 after the jump, including the cover image and other photos.  The film also stars Skylar Astin, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna CampKatey Segal, Adam Devine, and of course Banks.  Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters on May 15, 2015. [Update: We've added the first poster for the film.  Additionally, Universal Pictures has announced that the trailer will be released tomorrow.]

Robertson in COOK; Zurer May Join BEN-HUR; Hammer Goes for BIRTH OF A NATION; Kendrick Circling a Role in THE ACCOUNTANT

by     Posted 40 days ago

britt-robertson-ayelet-zurer-armie-hammer-anna-kendrick-slice

We’ve got a bunch of casting news to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • Britt Robertson joined the cast of Bruce Beresford’s Cook.
  • Ayelet Zurer is in talks to join Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur.
  • Armie Hammer is confirmed for Nate Parker’s historical drama, Birth of a Nation.
  • Anna Kendrick is circling a role in The Accountant.  J.K. Simmons is in negotiations to join the cast as well.

Hit the jump for more on all four films.

New INTO THE WOODS Trailer Has Wishes and a Quest for Its Cast of Fairy Tale Characters

by     Posted 46 days ago

into-the-woods-emily-blunt-james-corden

Following yesterday’s motion posters, Disney has released a new Into the Woods trailer.  Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), her Prince (Chris Pine), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and the Wolf (Johnny Depp).  Between Into the Woods and Annie, I’m curious to see if December is big enough for two famous musicals.  At least as far as Into the Woods is concerned, the studio is definitely pushing the star power since the lead cast is listed not once but twice.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods trailer.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Lucy Punch, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

INTO THE WOODS Motion Posters Featuring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and More

by     Posted 47 days ago

into-the-woods-motion-posters-slice

A whole batch of Into the Woods motion posters just hit the web and while I do appreciate the subtlety of the designs, showing some branches swaying just isn’t enough to create a consuming atmosphere like the ones in, let’s say, the motion poster for The Wolverine or this one for Gravity.  However, the poster for Mackenzie Mauzy’s Rapunzel does resemble an eerie murder scene, although that likely wasn’t intentional.

Hit the jump to check out that poster as well as the ones of James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Lilla Crawford as Little Red, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Chris Pine as The Prince, Billy Magnussen as The Other Prince, Meryl Streep as The Witch and Johnny Depp as The Wolf.  Into the Woods is due in theaters on December 25th.

8 New INTO THE WOODS Images Send Us Deeper into the Fairy Tale Musical Starring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and Johnny Depp

by     Posted 53 days ago

into-the-woods-meryl-streep

Disney has released hi-res versions of previously released Into the Woods images along with a couple new stills as well.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), her Prince (Chris Pine), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and the Wolf (Johnny Depp).  I really liked the extended featurette we saw last week, and I hope we’ll get a new trailer soon that will give us an even better idea of what to expect from director Rob Marshall‘s take on Stephen Sondheim‘s terrific musical.

Hit the jump to check out the Into the Woods images.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Lucy Punch, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

Extended INTO THE WOODS Featurette Provides Plenty of New Footage from the Upcoming Musical

by     Posted 60 days ago

into-the-woods-anna-kendrick-cinderella

Following yesterday’s EW covers and new images, Disney has now released an extended featurette for Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical Into the Woods.  The Disney production stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters, all of whom have wishes to change their lives.  While I’ll admit that Johnny Depp‘s costume and makeup for the Big Bad Wolf continue to plunge the actor into self-parody, the rest of the movie looks surprisingly great.  This featurette really sells not only the fantastic visuals, but also shows that this is a true ensemble piece.  The featurette also provides the first time we’re hearing the actors sing some of the songs, and they sound terrific.

Hit the jump to watch the Into the Woods extended featurette.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Lilla CrawfordMackenzie Mauzy, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Feature Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, and More

by     Posted 61 days ago

into-the-woods-images-johnny-depp

Earlier this morning, we got our first look at Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) upcoming musical adaptation Into the Woods.  It’s an interesting look to say the least, and while I figured the reason Depp was left out of the trailer was because his character would be CG-aided, it turns out he’s actually just wearing what looks like a relatively cheap Halloween costume.  Indeed, Depp tells EW Marshall let him put his own spin on the character:

“Rob Marshall wasn’t afraid to let me take the role to a level of heightened reality, almost cartoon-like, where one second the Wolf is here, and then, boom, suddenly he’s over there.”

Nevertheless, the film still has promise with its fantastic ensemble and twisty premise, and some new Into the Woods images have now landed online that give some different looks at Depp’s wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and more.  Take a look at the new Into the Woods images after the jump.  The film also stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Meryl Streep, Lucy PunchChristine Baranski, and more. Into the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

Entertainment Weekly’s INTO THE WOODS Covers Offer First Look at Johnny Depp’s The Wolf

by     Posted 61 days ago

into-the-woods-ew-cover-johnny-depp-slice

There are stills of Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Meryl Streep in Into the Woods and we also got a few solid shots of them in the film’s trailer too, but what about Johnny Depp’s The Wolf?  Depp got a title card in that trailer, but then he just hid behind a tree.  Now it turns out, that was a good thing.

The new edition of Entertainment Weekly puts the spotlight on Rob Marshall’s rendition of the Stephen Sondheim musical with four different collector’s covers and one of them gives us our very first look at Depp in full costume and makeup.  Hit the jump to check out the Into the Woods covers for yourself.  The film also stars Lilla CrawfordMackenzie Mauzy, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman and Christine Baranski, and is set to hit theaters on December 25th.

Click Here