An American, a Canadian and a German each found work in the movies today. Here’s who was cast in what:
- Denis Leary has been added to the ensemble of football drama Draft Day.
- Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) has signed up for Pompeii, Paul W.S. Anderson’s latest 3D actioner.
- Antje Traue (Man of Steel) will get her Ancient Greek on as the latest recruit for Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
The cast is filling out for director Brett Ratner’s new take on Hercules. Dwayne Johnson is set to star as the titular hero, and MGM announced today (per The Wrap) that Ian McShane, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes, and Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) will be rounding out the cast. This film takes a grounded approach to the story, as Johnson’s titular character is portrayed as a mortal with a fearsome reputation rather than as the demigod son of Zeus. In addition to the aforementioned actors, we learned yesterday that Rufus Sewell (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is joining the cast as well, and Askel Hennie (Headhunters) signed on last month to play a warrior devoted to Hercules. Production on Hercules is slated to begin this November, with a July 25, 2014 release date planned. [Update: Hit the jump to see who the new additions will be playing.]
Check out the new release dates below:
- Hercules – The Brett Ratner-directed fantasy film starring Dwayne Johnson (Snitch) in the title role has been moved up a couple of weeks to July 25, 2014.
- The Best Man Holiday – Director Malcolm D. Lee’s sequel to his 1999 debut The Best Man now has an official title and a new release date of November 15, 2013.
Hit the jump for more on both of these pictures.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this morning. First up, Taylor Kitsch may soon be tackling a serial killer film. Though the talented Friday Night Lights actor didn’t have the best 2012 when it came to box office success, Kitsch seems to be taking everything in stride. The folks over at Bloody Disgusting report that the actor is attached to star in the thriller Exit 147, which centers on a small town sheriff who arrests a man driving across the desert at night and holds him captive as part of a sadistic game. Kitsch would play the sheriff, and Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, The Girl) is attached to direct from a script by Travis Milloy (Pandorum).
We haven’t heard any official confirmation regarding Kitsch’s casting Exit 147 just yet, so it’s one to keep an eye on the in the near future with regards to the actor’s upcoming schedule. Kitsch most recently wrapped the contemporary true-life Navy SEAL story Lone Survivor from director Peter Berg alongside Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch. Hit the jump for casting news concerning director Brett Ratner’s Hercules.
Paramount Pictures has announced that director Brett Ratner’s Hercules will hit theaters on August 8, 2014. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which paints the popular character with a darker tone. Dwayne Johnson is set in the title role as “a mercenary who turned his back on the gods following the loss of his family, ‘finding solace only in battle.’” Currently the only other film slated for release in August of 2014 at the moment is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens on August 1st. With a firm release date set, production on the film should get underway later this year.
The first images from the R-rated comedy omnibus Movie 43 have gone online. The film has been in development for years since it takes a while to find time in the schedules of a gigantic cast whose ranks include Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Terrence Howard, Halle Berry, and Jason Sudeikis just to name a few. The films in the collection were directed by Brett Ratner, Elizabeth Banks, Mike Judge, Peter Farrelly, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Baker, Damon Escot, and more. While I’m sure the collection will be a mixed bag, these images show off the potential for some hilarious short films. There will also be a major plotline, but Farrelly, who also produced the film with Charlie Wessler, wouldn’t tell EW what it is.
Hit the jump to check out the images and to learn about some of the plots. The film also stars Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Chloe Moretz, Josh Duhamel, Johnny Knoxville, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Richard Gere, Anna Faris, Justin Long, Liev Schreiber, Uma Thurman, Seann William Scott, Kieran Culkin, Leslie Bibb, Jimmy Bennett, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Kate Bosworth, Patrick Warburton, Tony Shalhoub, Chris Pratt, Jack McBrayer, Aasif Mandvi, and Bobby Cannavale. Movie 43 opens January 25, 2013.
And the remakes keep on coming. Walt Disney Pictures is moving forward with an update of director Garry Marshall’s 1984 comedy The Flamingo Kid. The original film starred Matt Dillon as a working class kid who takes a summer job at a beach resort, only to be taken under the club owner’s wing and coerced to leave his blue-collar roots behind in favor of the luxury-living lifestyle. Deadline reports that Brett Ratner (but of course) will produce the remake for Walt Disney Pictures alongside Michael Phillips (The Sting). Music video director Nzingha Stewart has been tasked with writing the screenplay, but no director has been set on the project just yet.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the original The Flamingo Kid.
It’s obvious that Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) was the right man for the director’s chair as The Hunger Games is off to a roaring start at the box office. But what would the film have looked like if it were helmed by a different director? Michael Bay, Brett Ratner and Roger Corman would certainly have emphasized the sex appeal and violence. Garry Marshall and Nancy Meyers would probably focus on the romantic side. How would Terrence Malick, Federico Fellini and Werner Herzog have approached the source material? What about Christopher Nolan or Woody Allen? Thanks to these alternate reality movie posters for The Hunger Games, we can get a glimpse of what might have been. Hit the jump to check them out.
Midnight Run is about to get Ratner-fied. Development on a sequel to the 1988 buddy action-comedy began in early 2010 when word came that Universal was working on a follow-up with star Robert De Niro attached to reprise his bounty hunter role from the original. Now comes word that Mr. Brett Ratner is in talks to direct the sequel and screenwriters David Elliot and Paul Lovett (G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra) have been tapped to perform a rewrite. For those unfamiliar, the first film starred De Niro as a bounty hunter tasked with escorting an embezzler (Charles Grodin) across the country. Hit the jump for more on Midnight Run 2.
Brett Ratner may soon be putting his immense knowledge of the music video industry to good use. Variety reports that Ratner and Sony are nearing a deal to turn the non-fiction book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum into a feature film. The book is an oral history of the rise of MTV in the late 80s and early 90s told from those involved in bringing the channel to prominence. Ratner is producing the project with an eye towards directing, with Jody Lambert (People Like Us) attached to write the script. Though I’m not the biggest fan of Ratner’s films, I have to admit that this is a pretty great marriage of director and material. Ratner started out as a music video director in the early 90s, helming numerous videos for Mariah Carey (including “Heartbreaker”), LL Cool J, and Wu-Tang Clan.
The Tower Heist director continues to helm videos to this day, so he hasn’t exactly lost touch with his roots. There’s certainly some interesting material to be mined from MTV’s rise; for those too young to remember, the channel basically ruled pop culture throughout the 90s and early 2000s. There’s no guarantee that Ratner will sign on to direct, but I genuinely hope he does. Ratner is next set to tackle Hercules with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role. Hit the jump for a synopsis of I Want My MTV.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that Dwayne Johnson was in talks to star in Brett Ratner‘s Hercules. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, and is a dark take on the popular Grecian character. In the comic, Hercules is “a mercenary who turned his back on the gods following the loss of his family, ‘finding solace only in battle.’” If you combine this film with Tarsem Singh‘s Immortals, we can get pretty close to a God of War movie.
Johnson will next be seen in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. A few weeks ago, he said that filming on Fast Six (tentative title) will take place in May. He’s also set to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in Michael Bay‘s crime-drama Pain and Gain. According to Variety, filming on Hercules is set to begin in October in New Zealand. No word yet if Hercules will ride a bumblebee. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the graphic novel.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a badass character that Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) can’t play. He’ll be seen as Roadblock in the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation, he’s been circling the role of Goliath in the aptly named Goliath, and now Variety reports that Johnson is in talks to star as the one and only Hercules. We first learned that Brett Ratner (Tower Heist) was circling Hercules back in 2010, but now it appears attached himself to the project for MGM. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars with a script by Ryan Condal (Paradise Lost). Hit the jump for more.
“Men on a mission” films and the heist genre (arguably the same thing) in general are virtually impossible to screw up. Even Brett Ratner, a director that (perhaps unfairly) gets beaten up regularly for the insensitive things he says in the press, and his party-boy image can deliver a film like Tower Heist, and it plays fairly well at home. You’ve got an ensemble of actors with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy playing against Michael Pena, Casey Affleck, Mathew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Alan Alda, and with that cast you’re not going to get bored, even if you can see where the film needed a little more oomph. It’s all about seeing a plan come together, and how that plan gets complicated. And if the film isn’t as great as it could have been, well there’s that, but it’s just good enough. Our review of Tower Heist on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
by Jason Barr Posted: November 12th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I’m going to bypass my usual opening paragraph musings this week and simply wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day weekend. Given that I don’t have any immediate family or friends who serve, I won’t claim to know the first thing about the sacrifices that each serviceman/woman and their respective families and friends are continually asked to make. I reap all of the benefits of their service without any of the concessions. As a result, I owe a debt of gratitude to each and every one of them.
In this week’s “Top 5″ installment you can find the first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, a cornucopia of interviews for Immortals and Cars 2, new set images from the set of The Expendables 2 featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and a look at the road that led Billy Crystal and Brian Grazer to the top of the 2012 Oscars. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.
Yesterday, Brett Ratner resigned as the producer of the 84th Academy Awards after he made homophobic remarks to the surprise of no one. Now host Eddie Murphy has followed his Tower Heist director’s lead and exited the awards ceremony. Academy president Tom Sherak released a statement about Murphy’s departure, saying: ” I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.” The Academy usually hires its producer and host well in advance in order to build buzz and provide plenty of lead time on the ceremony. Now there will be a bit of a scramble to bring on a new producer and host with only three months to go until the 84th Academy Awards. Maybe this time the Academy will hire a producer who is unlikely to say something like “Rehearsal is for fags.”
Hit the jump for the press release, which includes a statement from Murphy. The 84th Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2012. Someone place a call to Neil Patrick Harris right now.