What happened in 2008 with America’s economy could have been the sort of disaster that sent the country (and possibly much of the world) into a depression. America – through deregulation and bad planning – created toxic assets where people were given loans that they had no real hopes of paying them off. Too Big to Fail attempts to turn how Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt) dealt with the problem. The cast is studded with people like James Woods, Bill Pullman, Billy Crudup, Topher Grace, Paul Giamatti, and many more. Curtis Hanson directed the film, though he can’t get over the massive amount of exposition. Our review of the Blu-ray of Too Big to Fail follows after the jump.
Some casting info, including news that should make fans of Sean Bean very happy. Here it is in brief:
- Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) will star in the three-film adaptation of Devil’s Peak, a suspense novel trilogy by South African author, Deon Meyer.
- Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) is set to star in Baggage Claim, a comedy adapted and directed by David Talbert from his bestselling 2003 novel.
- Jamie Hector (The Wire) joins the phenomenal cast of Blood Ties, which includes Mila Kunis (Black Swan) , Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) and Marion Cotillard (Inception).
Hit the jump for more on each film.
Clive Owen and Billy Crudup are set to lead Guillaume Canet‘s crime thriller Blood Ties. Based off the French novel Les liens du sang, Canet’s English-language debut “centers on a younger brother (Crudup) who has to ask his convict older brother (Owen) to go back into the underworld to help out the family.” As we reported back in November, Mark Wahlberg, Zoe Saldana, and Marion Cotillard were circling the picture. In addition to the casting news regarding Owen and Crudup, THR reports that Saldana and Cotillard have signed on along with Mila Kunis and James Caan. Kunis and Cotillard will play love interests. Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts has been offered role, and if he signs on, this cast will be even more impressive.
Canet co-wrote the script for Blood Ties with We Own the Night writer-director James Gray. For those unfamiliar with Canet, I strongly recommend checking out this 2006 mystery flick Tell No One. If the financing on Blood Ties comes together, filming will begin in April in New York.
Douglas Booth and Billy Crudup have signed on to star in the sports drama Life at These Speeds. The story centers on “a rural teenager (Booth) who loses his best friends in a tragic accident and channels his survivor’s guilt into an addiction to running, becoming a world-class distance runner in the process.” More than a decade after portraying famed long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine in Without Limits, Crudup will return to the track world to play Booth’s coach and confidante. Leif Tilden will direct Life at These Speeds from a script by Marc Novak, adapted from the novel of the same name by Jeremy Jackson. Sam Rockwell is executive producing alongside Scott William Alvarez and Peter Holden. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
After forgiving Melancholia director Lars Von Trier for his ill-advised Nazi-humor during an interview at Cannes earlier this year, Best Actress Palme-winner Kirsten Dunst is moving on to other indie fare. In January, Dunst will start in another indie film adapted from the stage in Red Light Winter. A bleak theatrical drama by Adam Rapp (The L Word), Red Light Winter is an honest and graphic depiction of erotic fixation and the damage it inflicts on sensitive souls. Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) will play two friends who find themselves embroiled in a love triangle, vying for the affections of a French prostitute (Dunst). Hit the jump for more on Dunst and Red Light Winter.
Jaimie Alexander, who played Sif in this summer’s Thor, has landed herself a prime role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Governator’s comeback film The Last Stand. Directed by Kim Jee-Woon, the film centers on the Sheriff of a sleepy border town who is the only thing that stands in the way of a drug kingpin headed for Mexico. Variety reports that Alexander will play “a beautiful cop under Schwarzenegger’s command” who strikes up a romance with an officer played by Rodrigo Santoro. Peter Stormare and Zach Gilford also star in the pic, which is set to begin shooting later this month in Albuquerque. Alexander is expected to return for Thor 2. The Last Stand opens January 18th, 2013.
Hit the jump for casting news on the Ben Stiller comedy Neighborhood Watch.
by Tommy Cook Posted: December 4th, 2010 at 9:34 am
With Sundance having announced their 2011 feature film line up, images for the selected films have begun to be released – case in point new stills from Terri and The Convincer (previously covered here). Terri, starring newcomer Jacob Wysocki and John C. Reilly (Cyrus), focuses on a lonely high school outcast (Wysocki) who slowly comes into his own. Stills from the film include director Azazel Jacobs talking with one of his young actors behind the scenes and an image of Reilly and Wysocki having what appears to be a stern conversation within the film. It’s hard to gauge from the stills whether Reilly will be going super serious (alla Magnolia) or outlandishly silly (see any of the Adam McKay films) or painfully funny (see Cyrus). Perhaps the “not knowing” is indicative of Reilly’s versatility. There are very few actors with the capability to pull of such opposite extremes of emotion with as much ease as Reilly does. Most people look forward to a new Brad Pitt performance or Johnny Depp performance; but for myself it is John C. Reilly’s performances that I eagerly anticipate.
The Convincer, a film noir directed by Jill Sprecher (Clockwatchers), concerns an insurance salesman who gets in way over his head. Stills from the film feature stars Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets), Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) and Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) pointing at one another and looking very serious. For the stills in question, hit the jump.
With some major casting additions, HBO’s telepic Too Big to Fail now lives up to its name. William Hurt has already signed on to star in the behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 financial crisis, directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential). James Woods, Paul Giamatti, Billy Crudup, Ed Asner, Kathy Baker, Cynthia Nixon, Ayad Akhtar, Topher Grace, Dan Hedaya, Michael O’Keefe, Tony Shalhoub, and Joey Slotnick have now joined the cast. Hit the jump to see the real-life personas they’ll assume.
Though a great film essentially requires fantastic performances from its actors, those performances and their respective actors alone cannot make the film great. Herein lies the problem with Pretty Bird, an official selection from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The good news is that Billy Crudup and Paul Giamatti shine in this story of invention that combines the eccentricities of The Aviator with the peculiarity and silliness of The Men Who Stare at Goats. However, a messy story (not to mention a poorly conceived title) tends to overshadow their performances in a film that doesn’t come together as easily as the infamous rocket belt on which the story is focused. After the jump, find out why Pretty Bird just doesn’t quite take flight.
Sony has released a bunch of new high resolution images from some of their big summer movies. Included in the bunch are Salt (starring Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Andre Braugher), The Karate Kid (starring Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson) and Eat Pray Love – which stars Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup and Javier Bardem. Hit the jump for detailed synopses and tons of high resolution images.
We have three quick pieces of casting news for you today. First up, Deadline reports that Cameron Diaz and Benecio Del Toro have signed on to co-star in the romantic comedy An Ex to Grind. Next, Production Weekly tweets that Billy Crudup and Toby Jones will join Zooey Deschanel in Bruce Beresford’s biopic Enchantress of Numbers. Finally, PW also tweets that Kurt Russell, Adrien Brody, and Sharon Stone have come on board Rupert Wainwright’s historical drama Waco.
Hit the jump for details on all three projects.
Will Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood be able to succeed where Michael Mann and Billy Crudup did not? Deadline broke the news that the Shutter Island star is in preliminary talks to star as the title character in Hoover, a drama about the formation of the FBI directed by Eastwood and written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk). Crudup played the same role in Mann’s Public Enemies.
Hoover was originally set up at the same place as Public Enemies, Universal, but after the disappointing domestic gross on that film, which obviously covers some of the same subject matter in the same period, they passed on the script. The film’s producer Brian Grazer then brought it to Eastwood, who is at Warner Brothers. That’s where the film is likely to end up.
Hit the jump for more on DiCaprio and the character of J. Edgar Hoover himself.
THR reports that Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, and Billy Crudup have signed on to star in the crime drama The Convincer. Written by Jill and Karen Sprecher and directed by Jill Sprecher, the film is about “a desperate insurance salesman who gets his hands on a rare violin.” I wonder if its frustrating for writers to see a logline like this appear and think, “It’s really much better than that! We didn’t just think of an attitude, a profession, and an item and run from there!”
The Sprechers’ previous works include Clockwatchers and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. Kinnear will next be seen in Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone; Arkin will appear next in Todd Phillips’ Due Date; and you can catch Billy Crudup this August co-starring alongside Julia Roberts, James Franco, and Javier Bardem in Eat, Pray, Love.
I root for Michael Mann even when he missteps, because he is one of America’s premier filmmakers, and one of the great visionaries of cinema. And, really, he’s only been building up steam. TV seemed to occupy him in the 80′s (even with three efforts, the best being Manhunter), but it wasn’t until 1995 that he really struck gold with Heat, and followed that up with The Insider. Both of which qualify as two of the best films of the 90′s. Since then it’s been a film every two or three years, and though none have been as great as those two, they run from the interesting to awesome. Public Enemies falls more into the interesting than awesome camp, but it is definitely solid, albeit familiar ground. My review after the jump.
After over two decades of controversy, fan anticipation, lawsuits, and thousands of naysayers claiming that it could never actually happen, Alan Moore’s groundbreaking graphic novel Watchmen finally got its silver-screen translation. Although Moore’s name is conspicuously absent from the film’s credits (Dave Gibbons is oddly given solitary “co-creator” credit for the graphic novel), this is an adaptation that does more than stick to its source material. It literally becomes it. Warner Bros. has released director Zack Snyder’s extended cut in a two disc DVD set. The added sequences manage to enhance the movie and further Snyder’s testament of devotion to the source material. Read my review after the jump: