After the blockbuster success of Bridesmaids, actress Kristen Wiig announced she’d be skipping the requisite sequel to try her hand at a more darkly comic role in a black comedy then-titled Imogene. Its basic storyline – a failed playwright (Wiig) moves in with her gambling addict mother (Annette Bening) after faking her own suicide – sounded teasingly reminiscent of beloved ‘90s seriocomedy Postcards from the Edge. But any hopes I had that Wiig and Bening might recapture that classic Streep/MacLaine chemistry quickly went out the window as the finished film – blandly re-titled Girl Most Likely - unspooled. Less a mother/daughter story than a young woman/weird world yarn, Girl Most Likely is a meandering film that fails as black comedy (it’s not black enough) or plain comedy (it’s not funny enough). Instead, it plays as 104 minutes of quirk, with Wiig stuck in the mediocre middle playing against her strengths. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.
Today’s casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each project.
New posters have been released for World War Z, Girl Most Likely, and Getaway. The international poster for World War Z gives us a look at Mireille Enos (who plays the wife of Brad Pitt‘s character) and their two daughters not really showing a lot of panic as the stampeding zombie horde closes in behind them. If anything, it looks like one of the daughters has a tummy-ache. Moving on to the international poster for Girl Most Likely (formerly Imogene), it’s about as lazy as posters get, which is fine since the film follows suit with its forced quirky humor. Finally, there’s the teaser poster for Getaway, which tells you nothing about the movie other than it stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez getting away in a car. I would be more interested if the garage door slightly opened to reveal a rascal scooter.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. World War Z opens in 3D on June 21st. Girl Most Likely opens on July 19th. Getaway opens August 30th.
Three first-time directors and a Brett Ratner did some casting today:
- Annette Benning and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire) are in negotiations to star opposite Al Pacino in Imagine, the directorial debut of writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love).
- Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Gillian Jacobs (Community) star as two opposites in a co-dependent friendship in Life Partners, the directorial debut of Susanna Fogel. Adam Brody, Gabourey Sidibe, Abby Elliott, and Beth Dover co-star.
- Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) is in negotiations for the female lead in Dracula. Luke Evans stars in Gary Shore‘s directorial debut.
- Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Chernobyl Diaries) landed the female lead in Ratner’s Hercules. Dwayne Johnson plays the titular Greek hero. Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes co-star.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released the first trailer for Girl Most Likely (previously titled Imogene). Kristen Wiig stars as Imogene, a girl who wrote a hit play when she was a child but is now a total loser. After faking a suicide attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend, Imogene is forced to move back in with her kooky mother (Annette Bening), her mom’s kooky boyfriend (Matt Dillon), and her kooky brother (Christopher Fitzgerald). While the beginning of the trailer is heavy on the “zany antics” aspect of the story, the rest teases a potentially cute mother/daughter story.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from TIFF 2012. Girl Most Likely also stars Darren Criss and opens on July 19th.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have re-titled the indie comedy Imogene. The film will now be called “Girl Most Likely“. The title refers to formerly-eponymous character (played by Kristen Wiig) who wrote a hit play when she was a child but is now a total loser. After faking a suicide attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend, Imogene is forced to move back in with her kooky mother (Annette Bening), her mom’s kooky boyfriend (Matt Dillon), and her kooky brother (Christopher Fitzgerald). It’s not a good movie, and I’m surprised Lionsgate is giving it a nationwide release.
Hit the jump to check out the press release. Girl Most Likely will open on July 19, 2013.
Over the years, I’ve written at length at how far too many indie comedies mistake quirk for character. Characters feel like people. They have emotions, goals, fears, etc. A character can have quirks, but they can’t be quirks. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini‘s Imogene is yet another example of an indie comedy that derives its comedy not from clever jokes, thoughtful set-ups and payoffs, or believable characters. It attempts to get laughs from its miserable eponymous protagonist interacting with her goofy family of one-dimensional eccentrics. As much as Imogene strives to coast on the wackiness of the characters, the best jokes in this shapeless comedy come from the little off-handed moments that slip through the tortured, hollow idiosyncrasies.
The first trailer for Orlando director Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa has gone online. The film centers on the title characters, played by Elle Fanning (Super 8) and Alice Englert (8) respectively, as they grow up in London in the early 1960s. Their adolescent interests in boys and hairstyles quickly become marginalized with the advent of the Cuban Missile Crisis looming over their heads.
Ginger & Rosa, also starring Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Alessandro Nivola opens in the UK on October 19th. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Andy Garcia’s directorial project about the relationship between author Ernest Hemingway and fishing boat captain Gregorio Fuentes has been in development since 2009, but financing has now finally been secured. THR reports that Hemingway & Fuentes is a go with Anthony Hopkins, Annette Bening, and Garcia all set to star. Hopkins plays Hemingway while Garcia is set as Fuentes, and the film follows the relationship that eventually inspired Hemingway’s literary classic The Old Man and the Sea. Garcia wrote the script alongside Hemingway’s granddaughter, Hilary Hemingway
Production on Hemingway & Fuentes is scheduled to begin in January 2013, with Bening poised to play the author’s third wife, Mary Welsh Hemingway. Actor Corey Stoll’s Hemingway in Midnight in Paris is gonna be a tough performance to beat, but if anyone can do it it’s Hopkins. The actor is currently playing the legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock, which centers on the director’s troubled production of Psycho.
The first trailer for Ruby Sparks, the follow-up feature for Little Miss Sunshine directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, has gone online. The film stars Paul Dano as a once-great novelist who writes his dream girl who then comes to life. The trailer is expectedly quirky with brief touches of Stranger Than Fiction, but overall I think it looks like a lot of fun. The premise is certainly enticing, and Dano and Kazan (a couple in real life) seem to have some great onscreen chemistry. As a character hints in the trailer, I’m incredibly interested to see how this ends. It’s a brilliant plot device to play around in, but I’m assuming the success of the film as a whole will hinge on how the story concludes. In the meantime, Faris and Dayton seem to promise a follow-up not dissimilar in tone to Little Miss Sunshine.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould. Ruby Sparks opens on July 25th.
Production is gearing up to begin on the romantic drama Look of Love, and Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams, Amy Brenneman and Jess Weixler have been announced as the cast. The film centers on a widow (Bening) who, several years after the death of her husband, meets a man (Harris) who looks exactly like her deceased spouse. No details are given regarding Williams’’ role, but Weixler will play Bening’s daughter. Arie Posin (The Chumscrubber) will direct the pic from a script he co-wrote with Matthew McDuffie, and production is set to begin on April 9th in Los Angeles.
Bening recently starred in the indie comedy Imogene opposite Kristen Wiig, and will also appear in the indie He Loves Me. Hit the jump to read the press release concerning Look of Love.
Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton scored a huge hit with Little Miss Sunshine, but had difficulty getting a follow-up off the ground. The duo was attached to Will, which was set to star Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis, but the project fell apart. There was also the possibility of the comedy The Abstinence Teacher starring Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell, but that fizzled out. Then Faris and Dayton were attached to try and get the long-in-development Used Guys into production, but it didn’t happen. Last year, they finally got a new movie in front of cameras. The film, He Loves Me, stars Paul Dano as “a once-great novelist who is creativity blocked due to heartache and loneliness, only to be turned around when he writes his dream girl (Zoe Kazan) who then comes to life.” The movie co-stars Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll.
Today, Fox Searchlight sent out a press release announcing that the title had been changed to Ruby Sparks. The studio also revealed an official synopsis and a release date. Hit the jump for more.
The big takeaway from Mad Men is that Christina Hendricks belongs in the 1960s. In lieu of time travel, we can keep casting her in period dramas. Writer/director Sally Potter (The Man Who Cried) is doing her part by casting Hendricks in Bomb, which follows two teenage rebels (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert) who “become involved in the Ban the Bomb movement and the sexual revolution.” Alessandro Nivola also stars as a freethinking writer who wrecks his relationship with his daughter (Fanning) when he has an affair with her friend. According to the Daily Mail, Annette Bening is in talks for an unspecified role.
Even before Bening joins, Potter has a nice cast. Hendricks is terrific. I have fond memories of Nivola in Junebug. Fanning is perhaps the best actress in Hollywood who can’t drive yet. I haven’t seen Englert in anything, but her mother is Jane Campion, and that has to count for something. With Christopher Sheppard producing, Bomb is scheduled to shoot in February in England.
We have a couple quick casting stories to report this morning. First up, rising star Brit Marling (Another Earth) has chosen between Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep and the Tom Cruise action flick One Shot and cast her lot with the former. Variety reports that Marling will co-star with Redford and Shia LaBeouf in the flick which centers on a former Weather Underground militant (Redford) who goes on the run when his identity is revealed by an ambitious reporter (LaBeouf). Nick Nolte will also star in the flick but there’s no word on what role he or Marling will play. Marling is also committed to reunite with her Sound of My Voice director Zal Batmanglij for the thriller The East.
In other casting news, Matt Dillon will join Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Imogene. Wiig plays a playwright who fakes suicide in order to win back her ex but ends up in the custody of her Jersey Shore-esque mother (Bening). Deadline reports that Dillon will play Bening’s love interest and “he claims to be in the CIA, but his behavior suggests he just might be crazy.”
Last week we reported that Annette Bening would co-star with Kristen Wiig in the comedy Imogene. The story, which has been a passion project for Wiig, has the Bridesmaids actress as a playwright who fakes her suicide to get back with an ex only to have the plan backfire and place her in the custody of her gambling-addicted mother (Bening). Vulture now has new details on the project and they sound delightful. Wiig’s character is from New Jersey and she’s not too proud of it, but even better is that Bening’s character is very much in the Jersey Shore/Real Housewives of New Jersey-mold. Producer Celine Rattray says of Bening’s character, “Her outfits, her makeup. She’s the mother who’s a little inappropriate all the time, nothing is ever too much, and it’s going to be fun.” It sounds like a great role for Bening and unlike anything she’s played before.
Rattray also confirmed that Darren Criss (Glee) will be smooching up Wiig in the film, but that’s all we know about his character. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) will to direct from a script by Michelle Morgan (Middle of Nowhere). Filming is set to begin next month.