Remember that really uplifting story back in 2010 about the Chilean miners? The 33 miners in Chile who were trapped for sixty-nine days underground but all managed to survive? To not make it into a movie would be a crime, and today, Variety is reporting that Antonio Banderas, Martin Sheen, and Rodrigo Santoro (300) are set to star in The 33. Directed by Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna) and written by Mikko Alanne and Jose Rivera, the movie will dramatize the already dramatic events of the miners’ struggle for survival and the international rescue effort. Santoro will be playing Florencio, the first miner to surface in the rescue. Banderas will play the role of Mario Sepulveda, the charismatic miner known as “Super Mario.” I’m not sure how he earned this name, but presumably he got it from his ability to collect coins and devour giant mushrooms.
Last year, producer Mike Medavoy (Apocalypse Now) picked up the “miners’ exclusive life rights last year and developed the project in collaboration of the miners, the rescuers and their families. He had lived for a decade in Chile.” Production is set to begin in Chile this fall.
From acclaimed director Jean-Jacques Annaud, Day of the Falcon is an epic story of honor, greed, betrayal and love, set in early 20th century Arabia. After years of bloody conflict, the leaders of two rivals kingdoms – Nesib, Emir of Hobeika (Antonio Banderas) and Amar, Sultan of Salmaah (Mark Strong) – reluctantly agree to end the fighting, only to have that war reignite when oil is discovered between their territories. Now it is up to their children, Princess Leyla (Freida Pinto) and Auda (Tahar Rahim), who are young lovers that married in hopes of bringing the families together, to find a way to end the violence and bring peace to the land.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actress Freida Pinto talked about how she came to be a part of Day of the Falcon, the more than 20-year journey it took to bring the story to the big screen, what it means to her to be a part of such a special cinematic experience, her process for understanding her character, the incredible wardrobe and sets, and working with co-stars Antonio Banderas and Tahar Rahim. She also talked about her upcoming role in Desert Dancer, based on the inspirational true story of an Iranian dancer who risked his life for his dream despite a nationwide dancing ban, and the experience of working with director Terrence Malick on Knight of Cups. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Director Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills now has a release date, as the continued adventures of the titular Machete will commence on September 13th of this year. The pic is the second in a planned trilogy (the third film supposedly takes place in space) and centers on Machete’s (Danny Trejo) quest to stop an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has plans to spread war and anarchy across the planet. On the September release date, the pic will open opposite the dancing film Battle of the Year and the Aaron Eckhart-led action horror adaptation I, Frankenstein.
Hit the jump to read the full press release. The colorful cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alex Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and of course Mel Gibson.
A double-barrel of good news on the Machete Kills front, as the Robert Rodriguez-directed and Danny Trejo-starring sequel has been picked up for North American distribution in 2013 by Open Road Films and has released its first official image! The second installment in a planned trilogy features Trejo as the former Mexican federale out to stop a madman and a billionaire arms dealer from unleashing war across the globe.
The crazy cast which crowds Trejo out of his screen time features Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson. Hit the jump to check out the first image of Machete Kills. Mr. Machete, what are you doing to Miss San Antonio?
Premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Sergio Castellitto‘s Twice Born. Based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Mazzantini, the film stars Penelope Cruz as a single mother who returns with her teen son to present-day Sarajevo where her son’s father (Emile Hirsch) died during the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s. As she tries to repair the relationship with her son, new revelations force her to rethink everything. The film also stars Mira Fulran and Jane Birkin and you can watch the first trailer here.
Before the world premiere, I landed an exclusive interview with Penelope Cruz. We talked about a broad array of things, such as premiering at TIFF, social networking and email, why she wanted to make Twice Born, the type of research she does for a role, rehearsals, how many takes she likes to do and the way Woody Allen works, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Pedro Almovodar‘s I’m So Excited (where she finally works with Antonio Banderas) and more. In addition, with Cruz currently filming Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor, we talked about why she signed on to the project and who she plays. Hit the jump for the audio and transcript.
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that it has acquired North American rights to writer/director Pedro Almodovar’s next film, I’m So Excited. Plot details are firmly under wraps, but the pic is described as an ensemble comedy written and directed by the Talk to Her filmmaker. The cast for I’m So Excited includes Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raul Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, and more, with “special collaborations” from Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and Paz Vega.
Almodovar’s most recent film, last year’s The Skin I Live In, was met with a mixed yet enthusiastic response. Production on I’m So Excited is scheduled to get underway next month for a release date sometime next year. Hit the jump to read the press release, which includes the full cast list.
Though we’ve most recently only seen her in brief roles in both Contagion and The Avengers, Gwyneth Paltrow is lining up a major role in the drama Guernica 33 Days. The story centers on Pablo Picasso’s emotional turmoil as he painted his masterpiece, with Antonio Banderas onboard to play the legendary artist. Variety reports that Paltrow is in talks to play Picasso’s lover Dora Maar, a Spanish-speaking French photographer who snapped the stages of “Guernica’s” creation. Paltrow speaks Spanish, having lived as an exchange student in Spain during her teenage years, and she recently flaunted her Español skills as a substitute Spanish teacher on Glee (for which she actually won an Emmy for some reason).
Paltrow’s a strong actress when given the right material, so hopefully she can shine in Guernica. Carlos Saura (The Hunt) is set to direct, and production will begin in mid-September. The Spain-financed pic also stars Imanol Arlas and Barbara Goenaga. Paltrow is next set to shoot Iron Man 3.
Steven Soderbergh approached Haywire as a chance to turn Gina Carano into a movie star. As she’s been cast in the next Fast and Furious movie, it’s likely that we’ll see more from her. But Soderbergh approached doing an action movie as an art project, so he played with the structure and style of the modern action film. It’s ambitious, and not entirely successful. But he was right on the money that Carano can carry a movie. Haywire costars Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGreggor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton, and our review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
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.
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.
We have a couple of quick casting stories to report this morning. First up, Antonio Banderas will play Pablo Picasso in Carlos Saura‘s drama 33 dias (33 Days). Per Variety, the movie is “about the painter’s emotional turmoil as he worked on masterpiece ‘Guernica.’ 33 dias refers to the time Picasso spent on the mural, which captured his reaction to the destruction of Basque town of Guernica in 1937 by the Nazi Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War.” I would much rather see a biopic done in this fashion; taking a pivotal point of an artist’s life and putting all of the focus on that event rather than lumping it into a “greatest hits” narrative. The story will also show his relationship with his lover, French artist Dora Maar, and how the painting was Picaso’s “salvation.” Even though Banderas has done drama in the past, his recent turn in Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin I Live In was powerful and deeply unnerving, and I can’t wait to see how he plays Picasso. Filming is set to begin next summer in Paris and Guernica.
Hit the jump for more casting news on the action flick The Tomb.
Men are taught (or at least they should be taught) to never hit a woman. The lesson is based on the assumption that women are physically weaker and don’t have the strength to defend themselves (also, hitting people isn’t very nice in general). But what if the woman can not only hit back, but her job is to hit back and she knows how to hit back harder than anyone? In Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, mercenary Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is that woman, and Soderbergh is unapologetic about having her hit in return. The film forces us to confront our convictions about the fragility of women, and where that belief comes from. Is the movie a blow for equality in showing that women can take and dish out a beating like a man? Is a woman’s physicality always sexual? Haywire doesn’t have easy answers to these questions, but it has no problem asking them under the cover of a badass European flavored action-thriller.
With director Steven Soderbergh’s spy-action pic Haywire opening January 20th, this past weekend I got to sit down with most of the cast to talk about making the movie. Starring MMA fighter Gina Carano as a burned spy who takes revenge against her handlers, Haywire also stars Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton. I’ve seen Haywire twice now and it’s fantastic. On top of Carano’s star-making performance, the action scenes are some of the best I’ve seen in years. It’s absolutely something you should see in a theater.
During my interview with Banderas we talked about how he got involved in Haywire, his feelings on not being involved in more of the action scenes, karaoke, his home recording studio, and what’s up with the Puss in Boots sequel. In addition, he talked about a sci-fi project that he’s developing (called Solo) which he would direct, produce and star in. Hit the jump to watch.
With director Steven Soderbergh’s spy-action pic Haywire opening January 20th, we’ve been provided with three clips and almost forty images from the film. Staring MMA fighter Gina Carano as a burned spy who takes revenge against her handlers, Haywire also stars Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton.
I’ve seen Haywire twice now and it’s fantastic. On top of Carano’s star in the making performance, the action scenes are some of the best I’ve seen in years. It’s absolutely something you should see in a theater. Hit the jump for the clips and images and look for my exclusive video interviews with the cast next week.
A new trailer for director Steven Soderbergh’s spy-action pic Haywire has gone online. The movie centers on a burned spy (MMA fighter Gina Carano) who takes revenge against her handlers. Soderbergh has surrounded Carano with a stellar ensemble of familiar faces (including Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, and Michael Douglas), and the action scenes here look absolutely brutal. This new trailer delves a bit more into the plot, and it’s actually a tad spoiler-heavy by way of revealing a couple of the deaths that take place onscreen. Soderbergh’s an incredibly interesting director, and I’m intrigued to see how he handles a film this action-heavy so it’s safe to say I’m anticipating Haywire quite a bit.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton. Haywire opens January 20th.