Here’s today’s casting news:
- Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is set to star in The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on the Diana Ackerman novel about the true story of Warsaw zoo owners Jan and Antonina Zabinski’s rescue of hundreds of Jewish refugees during the Nazi invasion of World War II.
- Brad Pitt was courted to play the world’s greatest assassin in The Gray Man a number of years ago, but it looks like the veteran has departed this particular picture.
- Gael Garcia Bernal (No) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend) are set to star in El Ardor, pitched as a modern-day Western, a tale of survival and revenge set in in the Amazon jungle.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Things are moving very quickly on director David Ayer’s WWII film Fury. The writer/director sold his spec script to QED in February for a cool $1 million off the success of his 2012 cop drama End of Watch, and last week he landed some major starpower by way of Brad Pitt who signed on to topline the film as an army sergent named “Wardaddy.” Now Columbia Pictures has acquired domestic distribution rights for the film and has set a November 14, 2014 release date, with production poised to begin this coming September. The pic will open opposite Matthew Vaughn’s comic book adaptation The Secret Service and will be sandwiched between Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi pic Interstellar and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
The story of Fury takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five-man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army. Hit the jump for more, including the full press release.
A new poster for director Marc Forster’s zombie apocalypse drama World War Z has landed online. The film stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who traverses the globe in a race to stop a growing zombie pandemic that threatens to put an end to humanity. This new poster highlights the sheer enormity of the pandemic, giving the audience a good idea of the epic scope of the film. Steve recently saw some extended footage from the pic and sat down with Forster for an interview, and the filmmaker said that more than a zombie film, he wanted to make a global film about a global crisis. This poster certainly does a nice job of highlighting that aspect, and it’ll be interesting to see just how big the full film goes.
Hit the jump to check out the new poster and click here to read Steve’s recap of footage and interview with Forster. The film also stars Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale, and David Morse. World War Z opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 21st.
It looks like Brad Pitt might be getting in the driver’s seat of a tank in Fury, the World War II pic from writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch). Reports have Pitt in final negotiations to lead the picture, which “takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army.” Ayer previously said that his goal with the film is “to bring tank combat to life in a way that lands with a modern audience.” With Pitt possibly on board, Ayer will certainly have that audience to play to. Hit the jump for more.
Fox Searchlight is getting its Oscar plans in order by announcing that they’ve set Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave for December 27th. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northup, an educated and married black man living in 1853 New York. Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery. The film has lined up one of the best casts in recent memory. In addition to Ejifor, the film also stars Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Fox Searchlight’s Oscar odds also go up when you consider that two films involving slavery—Lincoln and Django Unchained—grabbed Best Picture nominations last year (somehow, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter missed the cut).
The only other film set for December 27th’s is The Weinstein Company’s Oscar-hopeful Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. I can’t wait to see Twelve Years a Slave, and I hope it will play at TIFF like McQueen’s first two features, Hunger and Shame.
Paramount has released a new trailer for director Marc Forster’s (Quantum of Solace) zombie apocalypse film World War Z. The film stars Brad Pitt as a United Nations employee who traverses the globe in a race to stop a growing Zombie pandemic that threatens to put an end to humanity. This trailer does a better job at humanizing Pitt’s character as a family man as well as hinting at the plot arc he’ll have to follow. While the CG still looks a bit suspect, the zombie hordes of World War Z have proven to be not only resilient but rather resourceful in getting around.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale, and David Morse. World War Z opens on June 21, 2013.
A new poster has been released for Marc Forster‘s World War Z. Per the brief official synopsis, “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.” What is the word missing from that sentence? If you said, “Zombie”, you win a lifetime supply of shotguns. Like we saw in the trailer, World War Z is big on selling zombies as a horde rather than gruesome individuals, which they can’t really get away with since it’s a PG-13 movie. I’m sure audience can figure out that it’s a zombie pandemic, but these are zombies we’re not used to seeing: pile-zombies. Fear the pile.
Hit the jump to check out the poster, and click here to see some great fan-made posters. The film also stars Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale, and David Morse. World War Z opens June 21st and the new trailer hits tonight at midnight.
David Fincher will require a massive budget if/when he gets 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea into production. Fincher courted his Benjamin Button/Fight Club/Seven star Brad Pitt to headline, partly to secure a big name that would push Disney to greenlight the project. Pitt even said he’d love to do it if “schedule and time allocation” allowed. Contrary to reports posted earlier today, Pitt is not set to star. However, Disney may have found a way to forge on financially with or without Pitt. The Australian government is ready to offer a 30% tax rebate worth almost $20 million if Disney shoots the remake Down Under. Hit the jump for details.
Warner Bros. recently acquired Pontius Pilate, a script by Vera Blasi (Woman on Top) about the Roman prefect who presided over Jesus’ trial and was convinced by the crowd to sentence Jesus to death. Even in his limited appearance in the Biblical canon, Pilate is portrayed as conflicted, reluctant to send a man he believes to be innocent to such a fate. Blasi has stated that in addition to “the available facts from Roman and Jewish history books and the four gospels,” she speculates to follow Pilate from childhood, showing his time in the military and his rise to political office. Blasi intends to use this character study as a launching point for “an investigation of the politics of Judea at the time, and what it was like to be occupied by Rome.”
All that is enough to intrigue me… and Brad Pitt. Deadline reports Pitt is circling the lead role. Pontius Pilate will provoke controversy no matter who stars, but Pitt’s star power and politics would magnify that, should he sign on. Hit the jump for more on Pilate.
A few new images from some anticipated upcoming 2013 releases have been released online. Briefly:
- Oblivion – Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski helms this original sci-fi pic that sees Tom Cruise working as a drone repairman on a dystopian Earth. The film opens on April 19th.
- World War Z – Brad Pitt fronts the epic zombie apocalypse pic from director Marc Forster. The film opens on June 21st.
- Oz the Great and Powerful – This prequel to The Wizard of Oz is brought to life by director Sam Raimi. The film opens in 3D on March 8th.
- Despicable Me 2 – The sequel to 2010’s animated hit finds those adorable minions front and center. The film opens in 3D on July 3rd.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.
Those hoping for another Brad Pitt/David Fincher collaboration in the near future have reason to keep their fingers crossed. Fincher has been developing a big-budget remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Disney for quite some time, and last month we reported that the Mouse House was set to take a close look at the project for greenlight consideration while Fincher was courting Pitt for a lead role. Now Pitt himself has spoken up about the prospect, and he sounds enthusiastic about teaming up with his Fight Club director for a fourth time. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
A new clip and featurette have debuted for writer/director Judd Apatow’s This Is 40. Starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in a spin-off film for their characters in Knocked Up, This Is 40 centers on the real-life problems of a mid-life marriage. The clip highlights some funny pillow talk between Rudd and Mann, while the featurette reveals Jason Segel’s role in the picture. Also starring Albert Brooks, John Lithgow and Megan Fox, This Is 40 opens on December 21st.
We also have a new clip from writer/director Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly. Centering on Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer, this clip reveals a conversation between Pitt and James Gandolfini’s character, New York Mickey, aka Mickey Fix-It. Also starring Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, Killing Them Softly opens November 30th. Hit the jump to check out the clips.
A new trailer for director Andrew Dominik’s crime drama Killing Them Soflty has been released. The film stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer called in to investigate the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The film’s first trailer was pretty great, but this clip ups my anticipation level even more. We see a bit more of the plot and character interactions, and there’s a scene set in the rain that shows off some fantastic visuals. Dominik displayed tremendous talent with The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, and I’m highly encouraged by what we’ve seen of his second go-around with Pitt thus far.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn. Killing Them Softly opens November 30th.
Some images from the set of a couple of upcoming films have surfaced online. First up, though we just saw the first trailer for the film last week, Brad Pitt is back on set doing reshoots for director Marc Forster’s zombie apocalypse pic World War Z. We know that the third act was reworked by Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard, so presumably these images are from the film’s finale – which explains why Pitt is so bloody. World War Z opens on June 21, 2013.
Additionally, following a five-year break from acting Jared Leto is back in a big way on the set of the AIDS drama The Dallas Buyers Club. Based on a true story, Matthew McConaughey plays a Texas electrician who, after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other patients. We previously heard that Leto would be playing a flamboyant cross-dresser with HIV who helps McConaughey’s character, and these set photos prove that the actor isn’t doing this thing half-heartedly. Hit the jump for the images from both films.
by Jason Barr Posted: November 10th, 2012 at 1:05 pm
Last night I uncovered a gem from 2011 for the first time and my only regret is that I didn’t take the time to seek it out sooner. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy‘s dramedy Win Win is not only consistently funny but also chock full of both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The performances are terrific all-around, the script is strong albeit somewhat easy to telegraph, and the wrestling scenes are even surprisingly intense at times (I mean, it was nominated for a prestigious ESPY for “Best Sports Film” after all). Matt gave the film his full endorsement when he reviewed it at Sundance 2011 and I’m doing the same here today.
Movie recommendations aside, in what was yet another busy week around these parts, the five standouts include our Skyfall interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, director Sam Mendes and more, a Beautiful Creatures set visit recap, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, even more set visit goodness from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, and ongoing development news for the next Star Wars trilogy. Keep reading for brief recaps and links to all of the above.