Among the many great films premiering this week at Sundance Film Festival is Ryan Coogler’s drama Fruitvale. The writer/director brings us his representation of the final day in the life of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot by a police officer in the Fruitvale BART station on New Year’s Eve, 2008. Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Redtails) plays the man who was a father, a fiancé, a son and a friend whose life was tragically ended that fateful day. The film also stars Melonie Diaz as Grant’s fiancé and Octavia Spencer (The Help, Smashed) as his mother.
Shortly after the film’s premiere, I was able to chat with star Michael B. Jordan about his portrayal of main character and real-life person Oscar Grant. Jordan told me how he prepared to tackle this role, including research and time spent with Grant’s real family and friends. He told me all about the pressure he felt to do the character justice and what he hopes people will take away from the film. Finally, I got the scoop on his upcoming projects (Are We Officially Dating? with Miles Teller and Zac Efron) and his plans to branch out in the industry. Click after the jump to read the whole interview.
We’ve got two new additions to leading lady casting news today. Check them out in brief below:
- Viola Davis (The Help) will join Prisoners, a Black List script from Aaron Guzikowski (Contraband) that stars Hugh Jackman (X-Men) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) to be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Incendies).
- Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later) will star opposite Zac Efron (17 Again) in Are We Officially Dating?, a romantic comedy from debut writer/director Tom Gormican.
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon. First up, Glenn Close, James Franco, and Brit Marling have been set to star in the adaptation of Tom Bailey’s novel The Grace That Keeps This World. The family drama centers on a father and his sons as they prepare for an upcoming hunting trip, and the familial divisions that are revealed as the events unfold. Deadline reports that Azazel Jacobs (Terri) will direct from a script by Matthew Aldrich, but has no details concerning the characters that Close, Franco, and Marling will play.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the Zac Efron-fronted romantic comedy Are We Officially Dating?
It appears that Zac Efron is ready to have himself a DTR (“Determine The Relationship”) talk. Variety reports that Efron has signed on to star in the indie romantic comedy Are We Officially Dating?. Written by Tom Gormican, the story “follows three friends in Manhattan who make a pact to remain single just as they each start to fall in love.” Gornican will direct the pic with Treehouse Pictures’ Justin Nappi and Kevin Turen producing.
Efron has been stretching his acting chops lately as he stars in Lee Daniels’ upcoming polarizing drama The Paperboy alongside Nicole Kidman, he’s set to star in Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the novel This Is Where I Leave You with Jason Bateman, and he’ll appear opposite Seth Rogen in the Nicholas Stoller comedy Townies.