Most people expected the first sequel from filmmaker Zack Snyder to be a follow-up to his 2005 film 300. Instead, as 300: Rise of an Empire (which he co-wrote and produced) is about to hit theaters, Snyder is currently knee-deep in prep on the highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s Superman reboot Man of Steel. Not only does the film continue the adventures of Warner Bros.’ brand new Superman franchise, but it also reboots the Batman franchise and kicks off the DC Cinematic Universe at the same time. There would be immense pressure in tackling any one of those feats alone, but Snyder appears giddy at the prospect of juggling all three.
Though most have been tight-lipped about what we can expect from the untitled Man of Steel follow-up (aka Batman vs. Superman), Snyder recently gave a status update on the film and bluntly addressed fan criticisms about some of his casting choices. Read on after the jump.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this morning. First up, Joel Edgerton has signed back on to play corrupt FBI Agent John Connolly in Scott Cooper‘s Black Mass. The film stars Johnny Depp as notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and centers on how he amassed his power with the help of his childhood friend Connolly by turning informant on rival operations, and then being warned by Connolly when the feds were closing in. Edgerton signed on almost a year ago, and remained when Depp dropped out, but eventually left the project as well. Depp signed back on three weeks ago, and there was the possibility of Tom Hardy playing the Connolly role, but now Deadline reports that the part is Edgerton’s again. Production is set to begin in two months in Boston, and Warner Bros. is eyeing an October 2015 release. [Update: Deadline adds that, since WB has picked up Black Mass, it has dropped Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's planned Whitey Bulger film, which was to star Damon and be directed by Affleck and just had a new draft of the script turned in by Terrence Winter.]
Hit the jump for the first word on Todd Strauss-Schulson‘s The Final Girls in over two years.
It’s pilot season, folks, and with that all the networks are putting together shows that they hope will make this year’s fall schedule. Briefly, here’s some of the latest casting news:
- Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) will stick around CBS, as the actress has joined the cast of the comedy pilot More Time with the Family, which boasts Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as executive producers.
- With the Murder She Wrote reboot now defunct, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will lead the potential Fox drama series Red Band Society.
- Jason Isaacs will star in the six-episode event series Dig on USA from Heroes creator Tim Kring.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
Although they are very active as producing partners, it’s been quite a few years since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon starred in a movie together. So it’s fun to see them banter and bicker for a charity video to help Eastern Congo Initiative and Water.org. For $10, you can enter to win a trip to Hollywood to be Affleck and Damon’s “VIP guests to a private star-studded event.” Affleck mocks Damon’s height, lack of Oscars, and shallow questions, but Damon has the ultimate trump card: Gigli.
Hit the jump to check out Ben and Matt (er, Matt and Ben) tease for a good cause and find out how to enter.
With an Oscar nod for Best Documentary under its belt and Matt having named it his favorite film of 2013, the last thing Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing needs is an endorsement from me. And yet, here it is. I watched the film on Netflix several weeks ago and, to be honest, I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it. It’s the most the surreal and disturbing look at human atrocity I’ve seen and the more I think about its subjects and overall approach, the more I’m in awe of the fact that it exists. I drown in hyperbole when thinking of words to describe it because it’s so profound that calling it a “good film” seems not like an understatement but a complete inaccuracy. The Act of Killing is not a “good film”, it’s a stunning work of humanity that makes awards, critical reception, the sentence I’m typing at this very moment, etc., seem absolutely trivial.
Speaking of trivial, in what may go down as one of the worst segues in Collider history, I’ll now attempt to jump into this week’s Top 5. Highlighted today is Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joining Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, Steve’s Neighbors set visit coverage, the first trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar being exempt from Paramount’s digital mandate, and the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
After making his first foray into directing television last year with House of Cards, David Fincher is back with a brand new feature film in 2014. The filmmaker’s latest effort is an adaptation of the dark Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, which revolves around a man whose wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, only to have all roads point to him as her killer. Fincher enlisted Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike to play his two leads, Nick and Amy Dunne, and Flynn wrote the screenplay herself, adapting her own novel. The book has plenty of twists and turns as the central mystery begins to unfold, but now word comes that Flynn has significantly reworked the ending to her book for the film, so much so that the third act of Fincher’s Gone Girl will be entirely different.
Hit the jump for more, including the director’s thoughts on casting Affleck and Pike. Gone Girl opens October 3rd.
Based on a bestselling novel and directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl is already one of the hottest films of the year. So it’s no surprise that even though 2014 is only a week old, the movie has taken the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. The story centers on Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) a man whose wife (Rosamund Pike) disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, only to have all roads point to Nick as her killer. Fincher photographed the cover of the magazine, and if it’s any indication for the tone of the film, it’s going to be rather creepy.
Hit the jump to check out the cover, and click here for the first image from the movie. The film also stars Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Scoot McNairy, Missi Pyle, Casey Wilson, Emily Ratajkowski, and Neil Patrick Harris. Gone Girl opens October 3rd.
For the third year in a row I find myself looking through previous Top 5 installments on the last Saturday of the year, trying to whittle the hundreds of stories I’ve covered in the past 52 weeks down to the five that I find most interesting, important, popular, etc. At its most basic, this is just an exercise of further reducing a list that I’ve been trimming and prepping on a weekly basis all year long. That’s likely the most boring/tedious way of looking at it, but true nonetheless.
At its best, I see the “End of the Year Edition” as a Collider time capsule of sorts. A snapshot that is in no way comprehensive enough to properly acknowledge the amount of time, work, thought, travel, money, etc. that goes into making this site what it is. And yet, representative enough of our content as a whole that someone who stumbles upon it can see what we were trying to accomplish: to cover the things that we’re passionate about in the most interesting and sincere way possible and to completely and utterly dominate the Internet by way of Star Wars and superhero movie casting rumors. Keep reading for the five stories/pieces of content that in many ways defined our 2013.
As everyone looks to put the finishing touches on their 2013 Top 10 lists, it’s time to look ahead to the films on tap for 2014. One of the more exciting pics coming our way is director David Fincher’s next feature, an adaptation of the bestselling Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl. The story centers on a man whose wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, only to have all roads point to him as the woman’s killer. Ben Affleck stars in the lead role as Nick Dunne, and we now have our first official look at the actor in character standing next to a missing persons portrait of his wife, played by Rosamund Pike. The book is one hell of a page-turner, and I’m really excited to see what Fincher does with this darkly dramatic material.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Scoot McNairy, Missi Pyle, Casey Wilson, Emily Ratajkowski, and Neil Patrick Harris. Gone Girl opens October 3, 2014.
Two script deals to report tonight:
- John Krasinski (Promised Land) and Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street) sold their action-adventure spec script Warner Bros. According to Deadline, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will produce alongside Uziel and Scott Z. Burns (Side Effects). The logline is under wraps, and it is unclear whether Krasinski intends to star.
- American Zoetrope acquired the feature rights to Alysia Abbott‘s memoir Fairyland, “a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene in the 1970s and ’80s.” Sofia Coppola (The Bling Ring) and Andrew Durham will adapt the screenplay. Sofia and brother Roman Coppola will produce.
Check out the Fairyland press release after the jump.
The fantastic folks at Mondo have a knack for putting together some really cool poster series relating to specific genres, film franchises, or holidays, but today they’ve unveiled a series of posters focusing on one filmmaker: Ben Affleck. Mondo has commissioned some excellent prints for Affleck’s three directorial efforts: Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone, designed by Matthew Woodson, Daniel Danger, and Adam Simpson respectively. They’re all really great designs, and Affleck had this to say about the series:
“I’ve always loved Mondo and their passion for film, as well as their talented stable of artists. I was initially drawn by their ability to offer a unique perspective on so many beloved films and am thrilled to see my films become the newest additions to their work.”
Hit the jump to take a look at each design. The posters will be on sale at a random time on Monday, December 9th. As always, follow @MondoNews on Twitter for the on-sale announcements.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are on board to produce Sleeper for Warner Bros. The adaptation of the Ed Brubaker comic book series will be penned by the writing team of Shawn Ryan and David Wiener. Set in noir universe where certain characters develop superpowers at random, the story centers on Holden Carver, a man who has the ability to absorb pain and pass it on to others. Sleeper follows Carver “as he infiltrates a criminal organization on behalf of a law enforcement agency. His allegiances come into question, especially when he falls for the alluring killer, Miss Misery.” Hit the jump for more.
One of the themes of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy capping The Dark Knight Rises was that Batman is a symbol that is bigger than any one person, and that theme manifested itself last week in the heartwarming story of BatKid. As part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the city of San Francisco rallied around a young boy suffering from Leukemia who wanted to be Batman for a day. The result was a wonderful bit of role playing in which BatKid got to save the day in front of hundreds of onlookers, thwarting evil bank robbing villains and working alongside his younger brother, who played Robin.
The new Batman Ben Affleck weighed in on the event on Twitter by calling Batkid “the best Batman ever,” and now Christian Bale has shared his thoughts on the matter, also revealing the advice he shared with Affleck about taking over the role for Batman vs. Superman. Hit the jump to read on.
Warner Bros. has announced release dates for a pair of the studio’s more prestigious upcoming projects. First up, Ben Affleck’s directorial follow-up to last year’s Argo will get a prime holiday release, as Live By Night has been officially dated for December 25, 2015 (now the busiest year in film history). The crime drama is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, which takes place in Boston during the 1920’s. Affleck was originally planning on going into production this year, but he subsequently signed on to star in David Fincher’s Gone Girl and agreed to don the cowl for Batman vs. Superman. Live by Night will now start production later next year after Affleck wraps his Batman role, making the Christmas 2015 release date a rather quick turnaround. And yes, Batman vs. Superman also opens in 2015.
Additionally, Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys will arrive in theaters on June 20, 2014, where it will open opposite the comedy sequel Think Like a Man Too. Aside from Christopher Walken, the cast of Eastwood’s film is mostly made up of stage actors.
Before he dons the cape and cowl, Ben Affleck will develop a geopolitical thriller set in Africa for Warner Bros. Affleck is expected to direct and star in the big-scale actioner, which has Will Staples (Myth) on board to script. The story centers on a group of mercenaries who are hired to kill a warlord who has been victimizing his own people. As Deadline puts it, in addition to the action, there’s also “an examination of the moral ambiguities of how philanthropy and foreign assistance veers into modern day neocolonialism”, because that’s what all the kids want these days. Continuing a theme from his Oscar-winning film Argo, the untitled picture will also explore how the reality on the ground of foreign countries is always more complicated than assumed in the initial planning stages. Affleck will produce alongside Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd through their Warner Bros-based Pearl Street production company.