After a slow roll-out of announcements that began a few weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the full list of presenters for the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony. As expected, there are plenty of previous winners poised to make appearances, including all four of last year’s acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway), as well as some members of “young Hollywood” to appeal to the younger viewers (Anna Kendrick, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum). On the “legends” side of things, we can also look forward to seeing presentations from Sidney Poitier and Bill Murray.
Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of presenters, and if you missed our latest Oscar-themed episode of our podcast The Collision, click here. The Oscars will air on ABC this Sunday, March 2nd.
The pieces are very quickly falling into place for Pitch Perfect 2. We knew Universal had been working on a sequel to 2012’s surprise hit Pitch Perfect for some time, and a couple of weeks ago the studio announced that Elizabeth Banks—who produced and starred in the original—would be making her directorial debut on the sequel. At the time not much was known about the follow-up but stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson were expected to reprise their roles, and now the official Pitch Perfect Twitter aca-confirms that Kendrick and Wilson have indeed closed their deals to star in Pitch Perfect 2. The actresses have been plenty busy since the release of the first film, as Wilson leads the ABC sitcom Super Fun Night and Kendrick plays Cinderella in the upcoming Disney musical Into the Woods.
No other cast members for Pitch Perfect 2 have been announced, but expect that to change soon. Kay Cannon is returning to pen the screenplay, and filming will get underway later this year in anticipation of the film’s prime May 15, 2015 release date.
Super Bowl ad time this year cost $4.5 million, and looking at this year’s batch of ads, not all of them were worth that price tag. It’s a prohibitively high cost to where the usual suspects—Coke, Pepsi, Budweiser, Doritos, Bud Light—can get in, but a smaller company like Newcastle Brown Ale doesn’t have the budget. Instead of shrugging their shoulders and walking away, the company went viral with by making their ads about not being able to get into the Super Bowl. The result was more entertaining than almost every other ad that ran this evening.
Hit the jump to watch Anna Kendrick talk about Newcastle not having any money to make the ad, and then a storyboard lampooning the nature of Super Bowl ads in general.
The Pitch Perfect sequel is forging ahead, albeit with a different director at its helm. Elizabeth Banks, who conceived of the idea for the first film in addition to producing and co-starring in it, will make her feature directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, replacing the first film’s director Jason Moore. THR reports that Banks will also return in an acting capacity for the Universal Pictures follow-up in addition to producing the pic, with Pitch Perfect stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson likely to return. Plot details for Pitch Perfect 2 are unknown at this time, but Kay Cannon will also be returning to write the script.
This is a big get for Banks and also excellent news in a world where too few films are directed by women. The very funny actress/producer has previously directed a few shorts, but Pitch Perfect 2 will be her first time taking the helm of a major feature film. The first pic was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012, so here’s hoping the humor and chemistry holds over for the sequel. Bringing Kendrick and Wilson back onboard is an excellent—and crucial—start. Watch the trailer for the first film after the jump.
The Voices is an insane movie about insanity. That’s not me being hyperbolic; this movie is joyously, unabashedly out of its mind. Director Marjane Satrapi, who previously helmed the coming-of-age animated pic Persepolis, takes audiences inside the mind of a psychopath in The Voices to wonderful results. Ryan Reynolds fearlessly plays a Jerry, a psychopath who converses with his dog, cat, and other disembodied parts in his droll apartment. Through Satrapi’s twisted vision, we’re given a skewed and darkly comic view of the world through Jerry’s eyes. It’s a wholly unique film that, while becoming a bit more conventional in its third act, is still gleefully violent, wickedly funny, and a whole lot of fun. Read my full review after the jump.
We are pleased to premiere the first teaser poster for The Voices, a Sundance 2014 entry directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis). Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver star in the psychological thriller about Jerry Hickfang (Reynolds), a factory worker who fancies his co-worker in accounting: “When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation.”
Adi Shankar (Lone Survivor), Spencer Silna (Escape Plan), Roy Lee (Oldboy), and Matthew Rhodes (Fire with Fire) are producing. Check out the teaser poster after the jump and look for our review of the film in the coming days,
Filming is underway in London on director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of James Lapine’s Tony-winning stage musical Into the Woods. The Disney prouduction stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Along the way, they run into a number of familiar characters like Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Meryl Streep plays the villainous witch, Johnny Depp is set to portray the Big Bad Wolf, Chris Pine is Cinderella’s prince, and Anna Kendrick steps into the role of Cinderella.
Talented actors and actress from the stage and screen fill out the rest of the cast, and Stephen Sondheim has contributed a new original song to the feature. Lapine penned the screenplay, and the behind-the-scenes team includes legendary costume designer Colleen Atwood. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which runs down every role. Into the Woods opens in theaters December 25, 2014.
The world will soon have dueling Cinderellas to contend with; and from the same studio no less. Lily James is poised to play the title character in Disney’s Kenneth Branagh-directed redo Cinderella, and now the lovely Anna Kendrick is in talks to put on the glass slipper for Disney’s musical Into the Woods. Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, the Rob Marshall-directed film stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Along the way, they run into a number of familiar characters like Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, which is where Kendrick’s Cinderella comes in. The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as Kendrick actually read the Cinderella part during a big table read of the script that Marshall set up last year.
Hit the jump for more on this star-studded project.
Magnolia has released the first trailer for director Joe Swanberg’s comedy Drinking Buddies. The film stars Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson (New Girl) as two friends working together at a craft brewery who, while navigating the ups and downs of their separate romantic relationships, find themselves drawn to each other. The pic looks like a damn good time, and the chemistry between Wilde and Johnson is great. Johnson has been doing fantastic stand-out work on the sitcom New Girl for the past two years, but I’m happy to see him get the chance to shine in a leading role like this. Throw the immensely talented Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston into the mix as Johnson and Wilde’s significant others, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a promising beer dramedy.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Drinking Buddies will be available on iTunes on July 25th and opens in theaters on August 23rd.
If you missed the red-band trailer for director Paul Middleditch’s horror comedy Rapture-Palooza, you can check out the newly-released toned-down version here. There’s only a little bit of new footage and it keeps the same jokes from the first trailer (minus the profanity), but star Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) is certainly worth a second look, don’t you think? She plays the object of affection sought after by the Anti-Christ (Craig Robinson) when the Rapture befalls Seattle. Her boyfriend (John Francis Daley) will do anything he can to stop her from becoming Satan’s bride.
Also starring Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, Ana Gasteyer, John Michael Higgins, Tyler Labine and Ken Jeong, Rapture-Palooza opens in theaters and on VOD June 7th. Hit the jump for the green-band trailer, image, synopsis and poster.
Here’s a bit more casting news for you today:
Hit the jump for more on both casting announcements.
Here are a few casting announcements:
- Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) will star alongside Ryan Reynolds in the psychological thriller Voices, with a script from Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity) and Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) on board to direct.
- Kate Hudson and Omar Sy (The Intouchables) have joined James Franco in the Henrik Genz (Terribly Happy) helmed film Good People, which will see Genz making his English-language debut.
Hit the jump for more on each of the projects.
While Rebel Wilson’s hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards this past Sunday may not have been a hit with everyone, her performance with fellow Pitch Perfect cast members must have struck a chord. Universal announced today during its presentation at CinemaCon that sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit is now in development for a planned 2015 release, and original writer Kay Cannon (30 Rock) is back on board as well. Pitch Perfect focused on the world of collegiate a capella groups, detailing the struggles of an all-female group, the Barden Bellas, who desperately want to redeem themselves at the national championships.
The cast featured Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hanna Mae Lee, and Ben Platt. No word on if the entire cast, director Jason Moore, or producer and cast member Elizabeth Banks are returning, but as development progresses, we can expect those announcements to be released. Hit the jump for more.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The Company You Keep opens tomorrow in limited release.]
Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians. Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen. Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf. Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs (provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience).
The first red-band trailer director Paul Middleditch’s post-apocalyptic comedy Rapture-Palooza has been released online. The film stars Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and John Francis Daley (Freaks and Geeks, Bones) as a couple who must battle their way through the end of the world following The Rapture in order to defeat the Antichrist (Craig Robinson). I was born and raised in the Bible Belt so the rapture comedy aspect of the film certainly hits home for me, and the cast looks to be having fun with the pic’s outlandish premise.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Rob Corddry, Thomas Lennon, Rob Heubel, John Michael Higgins, Ana Gasteyer, and Ken Jeong. Rapture-Palooza will be available in theaters and on demand on June 7th.