Here’s today’s casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker is lining himself up a fairly high profile television gig. THR reports that Walker will lead an HBO drama pilot called The Missionary. The series takes place during the 1960s and centers on an American missionary who gets caught up in Cold War intrigue while helping a young woman escape East Berlin. Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Levinson, and Mark Wahlberg—who are clearly fans of Showtime’s Homeland—will executive produce the pilot while Charles Randolph will pen the script.
Walker had been set to lead the 15th century supernatural pic The Great Wall alongside Henry Cavill before that project was postponed due to financing issues. Edward Zwick has since dropped out as director, so it’s unlikely The Great Wall will retain the same cast if/when it gets going again. A series order decision on The Missionary won’t be made until the pilot is finished, and as we saw with The Corrections even the highest caliber of talent doesn’t guarantee that HBO will give the go-ahead for a full series. Nevertheless, this is one to keep an eye on.
Ed Zwick (The Last Samurai) is no longer onboard to direct the supernatural epic The Great Wall. The film was recently postponed due to lack of financing and weather issues, at which point Zwick committed to directing the Bobby Fischer biopic Pawn Sacrifice with Tobey Maguire. Now Deadline reports that Zwick is off The Great Wall altogether. The period pic, based on an idea by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks, explores “the mysteries” behind the construction of The Great Wall in China. Two 15th century British soldiers get caught up in the havoc caused by some inhuman element that the builders of the wall are trying to keep out.
Before the project was postponed, Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) were set as the leads, but it’s unclear if they’ll still be available when the film moves forward again. Though Zwick has dropped off, Legendary East apparently still plans on starting production next year.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter attempts to walk the line between solemn grit and bombastic action. The film stumbles around the line, falls off of it, gropes in the dark to find the line again, give a big goofy smile at no one in particular, regains a wobbly balance before taking a proud stride forward only to constantly repeat this bizarre range of motions. The film is an exercise in pushing the limits of going big while keeping a straight face. In its action scenes, there’s not a shred of doubt that director Timur Bekmambetov is trying to find laughs in lunacy to make up for the dearth of humor in the “serious” scenes. But what appears to be an attempt at balance simply comes off as measured schizophrenia, and what should be a fun twist on half-remembered American history instead becomes a dark twist on historiography.
Opening this weekend is director Timur Bekmambetov‘s (Wanted) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Based on the book of the same name from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith and produced by Tim Burton, the film imagines that Lincoln’s mother and grandfather were killed by a vampire and that the president’s resolve to end slavery was due in part to the “fact” that vampires were involved with the slave trade. Playing Lincoln is newcomer Benjamin Walker and he stars alongside Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage and three clips with twenty minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.
A few days ago I got to speak with Walker and Mackie. We talked about their favorite movies, their reaction to seeing the finished film and how it compared to what they thought it would be when they signed on, deleted scenes, and future projects like The Great Wall and Gangster Squad. Hit the jump to watch.
We’ve been provided with three clips and 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel of the same name, the film delves into the “secret” past of our nation’s 16th president and documents his quest to cut as many vampires in half as possible after they murder his mother. Wanted helmer Timur Bekmambetov directs with producer Tim Burton onboard to make sure things stay strange, which is crucial when your film’s title is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. Be sure to check out Steve’s set visit coverage including 30 things to know plus a video blog, and interviews with Bekmambetov, Benjamin Walker, and Dominic Cooper. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in 3D on June 22nd.
Apologies for the lack of a Top 5 last weekend. I was so busy prepping to get married, and eventually getting married, that I had to cash in a “sick day” on the best weekend job a person could ask for. The good news is that I have no intention on making this a routine (either the “sick day” or the getting married) so we should be good to go on the regular Top 5 installments for the foreseeable future. The bad news is that I doubt the substantial pile of wedding cards filled with cash/gift cards will catch on as a routine either. You win some you lose some, I guess.
In this week’s return edition you can find a recap of our Total Recall set visit coverage, a new trailer for Breaking Bad Season 5 alongside a fan-made recap of Seasons 1-4, continuing coverage of Prometheus such as Blu-ray details, a sequel recap and more, the first full trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution, and our Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter set visit. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each.
While 20th Century Fox could have easily gone after a “name” actor, I think they made a smart decision casting Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln in director Timur Bekmambetov‘s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Walker’s an excellent choice because when you see the movie, you are hopefully going to think you’re watching President Lincoln on screen rather than an actor playing a part. If the studio had cast a huge movie star, it’s sometimes hard to get past all the previous roles you’ve seen that actor play.
Last summer when the movie was filming outside New Orleans I got to participate in a group interview with Walker during a break in shooting. He talked about how he got cast, his research, the physical and vocal aspects of the role, working with Bekmambetov, the violence in the film, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
Just a few days ago, we learned that the co-lead opposite Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill in director Edward Zwick’s The Great Wall was down to either Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) or Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). The decision-making process wasn’t stretched out much further, as Variety now reports that Walker has landed the role. The period pic explores “the mysteries” behind the construction of The Great Wall in China, and apparently involves some inhuman element that the builders of the wall are trying to keep out. Cavill and Walker will play 15th century British soldiers who stumble upon the construction of the wall, and presumably get caught up in the havoc that this supernatural presence brings.
Walker is a relatively untested actor on the big screen. He had bit parts in Kinsey and Flags of Our Fathers, but he stretched his chops in the Broadway play Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. We’ll get our first good look at Walker in a starring role in this summer’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai) is gearing up to start production on his period epic The Great Wall, and producers are now mulling over two actors to take on the co-lead role opposite Man of Steel star (aka the new Superman) Henry Cavill. Deadline reports that the decision is now between True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. Previously all we’d known about the film was that it “looks at the mystery behind how China’s Great Wall was constructed.” Now a new logline shines a bit more light on the project, as the film centers on British warriors traveling through 15th Century China who realize “there is something inhuman and more dangerous” that the builders of the titular wall are trying to keep out. Hit the jump for more.
A new green band trailer for director Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has landed online. While I’ve been pretty iffy about the stylized historical reimagining thus far, the most recent red band trailer and this green band one show promise. In lieu of the jarring, quick-cut action sequences from the first few trailers, this clip slows things down a bit and features some nice sweeping shots and more character-driven dialogue.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in 3D on June 22nd.
You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
I’ve been running cold on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but Fox has now released a new red-band trailer for the film, and I’m starting to warm up to the flick. While it looks like half of the movie will be speed-ramped, I can now make out the action on screen, and characters are actually talking to each other. I’m also surprised at how bloody this looks, and I’m starting to wonder if Fox will release two R-rated blockbusters this summer (the other is Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus). Keep in mind that director Timur Bekmambetov‘s previous film, Wanted, went out in the summer of 2008 with an R-rating and raked in $341 million worldwide, although having Angelina Jolie in your movie doesn’t hurt.
Hit the jump to check out the “Red-Band” (unrated would be a more accurate description) trailer. The film stars Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opens in 3D on June 22nd.
A new featurette for director Timur Beckmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has gone online. Bits and pieces of new footage are interspersed with Beckmambetov, writer Seth Grahame-Smith, and producer Tim Burton talking about the film. Essentially they’re selling the movie as a valid entry in the superhero genre, with Burton going so far as to compare their Abraham Lincoln to Batman. I wasn’t a huge fan of Beckmambetov’s Wanted, and I’m still not convinced that Vampire Hunter won’t be a series of action sequences filled with so-earnest-it’s-cheesy dialogue. I’d love nothing more than to be pleasantly surprised, but I still feel like the film would’ve been a lot more fun if the premise had been played tongue-in-cheek.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. The pic stars Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and opens in 3D on June 22nd.
Colin Farrell has been offered the male lead in Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, Winter’s Tale. The female lead is set with Jessica Brown Findlay playing a dying young woman who falls in love with a thief who breaks into her West Side Manhattan mansion. Farrell, if he takes the role in the Warner Bros. picture, would play the thief in this supernatural drama that occurs both in the 19th century and in contemporary times. Winter’s Tale, based on the 1983 novel by Mark Helprin, also stars Russell Crowe and Will Smith in supporting roles. Shooting is set to begin in New York on October 15th. Hit the jump to see who else could fill the role if Farrell opts out.