Mark Romanek in Talks to Direct BOSTON STRANGLER Starring Casey Affleck

by     Posted 99 days ago


Though we sadly won’t be seeing Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek’s take on Cinderella, it appears that the filmmaker has found a promisingly dark piece of material for his next project.  Variety reports that Romanek is in negotiations to take the helm of the crime drama Boston Strangler for Warner Bros.  Casey Affleck came aboard to executive produce and star in the project last year, and the film tells the true story of a detective trying to solve the titular case of a notorious Boston serial killer in the early 1960s.  The tone is described as being in the vein of Seven and Zodiac, which is fitting given that Romanek is good friends with David Fincher.

The One Hour Photo filmmaker has flirted with larger properties in recent years, having developed both The Wolfman and Disney’s upcoming Cinderella before dropping out of both films over creative differences, but Boston Strangler feels like a film on which Romanek could comfortably stretch his creative instincts.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 124 days ago


Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar.  The sci-fi pic stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Though this teaser trailer features very, very little footage from the still in-production film, it’s a surprisingly moving piece that draws on the human spirit’s drive to keep moving forward.  I’ll say no more and let you experience the teaser for yourself, but the prospect of seeing Nolan further explore these themes in the full film is definitely exciting.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt DamonInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

Michael B. Jordan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Casey Affleck in Talks to Star in John Hillcoat’s TRIPLE NINE

by     Posted 125 days ago


Director John Hillcoat (The Road) is assembling one hell of a cast for his upcoming crime thriller Triple NineThe Wrap reports that current awards contenders Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as well as the incredibly talented Casey Affleck are all in talks to star alongside Oscar winners Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett in the film.  Talk about a killer lineup.  Scripted by Matt Cook, the story centers on a group of thieves who plan to murder a cop in order to draw attention away from the heist they’ll be pulling on the other side of town.  The film has been in development for some time with Charlie Hunnam previously attached to play the targeted cop, but Affleck is now in talks to take on that role.

Ejiofor is mulling over an offer to play the mastermind behind the heist, while Jordan is in talks to play a young cop working with the thieves who partners up with Affleck’s character with the intention of setting him up.  Production will begin next year on what is shaping up to be an incredibly promising project.

TOP 5: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Trailer, OUT OF THE FURNACE, Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, Sundance 2014, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 131 days ago


This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey‘s The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of “first times”. As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90′s will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don’t want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it’s a class final that’s worth 75% of your overall grade.

Home entertainment recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for director Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Out of the Furnace interviews with Christian Bale and more, Gal Gadot landing the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, Sundance 2014 announcing its competition lineup along with a slew of first/new images from many of the entries, and the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters in May 2016. For more, check out a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Casey Affleck Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Shooting Entirely On Location, Why He Doesn’t Work More Often, and More

by     Posted 135 days ago


Opening this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. 

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Casey Affleck.  He talked about how shooting the film on location added a lot to the story, how he prepares for a role, the amount of takes he likes to do, why he doesn’t work more often, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming Entirely On Location, and More

by     Posted 136 days ago


Acclaimed writer and director Scott Cooper has long been drawn to the personal stories of people living on the margins of society.  His new film, Out of the Furnace, takes audiences on a tragic yet inspiring journey into the heart of a fading American Dream where fate, family and loyalty drive an ordinary man to take heroic measures to fight for those he loves.  Opening in theaters on December 6th, the film was shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania and features an impressive cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.

At the film’s recent press day, Bale, Affleck, Harrelson, Saldana and Cooper revealed what appealed to them about the story and its characters, how shooting on location helped inform their performances, why it’s important to be cool and calm when playing an intense character, how trust is essential when a high level of physicality is involved, what Bale and Affleck did to create an authentic chemistry between their characters, what it was like for Cooper to bring the story to life with such a talented group of actors, and why he feels it’s important to be true to yourself and to your artistic world view.  Hit the jump to read the interview.


by     Posted 145 days ago


Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Casey Affleck Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming in Pittsburgh, Playing a War Veteran with PTSD, and Working with Writer-Director Scott Cooper

by     Posted 150 days ago


From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Casey Affleck (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) stars as Rodney, a veteran of the Iraq War who returns home with post-traumatic stress disorder, which complicates his search for a job.

During a set visit, Affleck took some time out of his shooting schedule to talk to our group of reporters about filming in Pittsburgh, researching for his part, and working with writer-director Scott Cooper.  Also starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.


by     Posted 151 days ago


New high-resolution images from a trio of upcoming releases have landed online.  Briefly:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – A new image from director Marc Webb’s superhero sequel features Jamie Foxx’s villain pre-transformation, along with hi-res versions of a couple of previously released photos.  The film opens in 3D on May 2, 2014.
  • Out of the Furnace – A large batch of new hi-res images from director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama, starring Christian Bale as an ex-con who goes searching for his missing brother (Casey Affleck).  The film opens on December 6th.
  • Grudge Match – A few new images from the Robert De Niro/Sylvester Stallone comedy, which revolves around a rematch between two old, bitter boxing rivals.  The film opens on Christmas Day.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images.

New Trailer for OUT OF THE FURNACE Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Woody Harrelson

by     Posted 155 days ago


Relativity has released a new trailer for writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama Out of the Furnace.  The film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  The pic finally premiered at AFI Fest last week to a fairly positive if somewhat muted response, with many nothing that the pic is very, very dark.  That’s completely fine by me, and I’m still very much impressed with everything we’ve seen thus far.  This latest trailer has some bits of new footage scattered throughout, and it still seems to be driving home the film’s theme of familial bonds with regards to Bale and Affleck’s characters.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Zoe SaldanaWillem DafoeSam Shepard, and Forest Whitaker.  Out of the Furnace opens in theaters December 6th.

New Trailer and Poster for OUT OF THE FURNACE Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, and Casey Affleck

by     Posted 195 days ago


Relativity Media has released a new trailer for director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama Out of the Furnace, and the film looks fantastic.  The pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  This new trailer has a stronger focus on Woody Harrelson’s character, who promises to be a rather menacing force in the film.  The performances look great all around, and like the first trailer, this new look teases a character-focused story with a strong thematic undercurrent of redemption and family told through the lens of America’s working class.  No wonder the pic landed on our Most Anticipated list of fall films.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, and Forest WhitakerOut of the Furnace opens in theaters December 6th.

OUT OF THE FURNACE to Premiere at AFI Fest; New Images Released

by     Posted 199 days ago


AFI Fest was put in bit of a bind last week when the disappointing news broke that Sony Pictures Classic was opting to push director Bennett Miller’s excellent-looking drama Foxcatcher to 2014.  The film had been poised to be AFI Fest’s centerpiece premiere film, and so the festival organizers were no doubt left scrambling to find a replacement.  In Foxcatcher’s stead, AFI Fest announced today that director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) new film Out of the Furnace will now make its world premiere at the festival.  The promising pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Additionally, Nebraska and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty have been added to the AFI Fest slate.

Hit the jump to check out some new images from Out of the Furnace.  The film also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepard and opens in theaters on December 6th.

New High-Resolution Images from OUT OF THE FURNACE, THE FAMILY, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s DON JON

by     Posted 236 days ago


New images from a trio of upcoming Relativity Media films have been released online for your viewing pleasure.  Briefly:

  • Out of the Furnace – Writer/director Scott Cooper’s character-centric crime drama stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard round out a stellar supporting cast.  The film opens on December 6th.
  • The Family – Director Luc Besson’s action comedy centers on a mob family headed up by Robert De Niro that moves to Italy as part of the witness protection program.  They soon learn, though, that old habits die hard.  Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer also star.  The film opens on September 13th.
  • Don Jon – The excellent directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt centers on a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself.  Gordon-Levitt stars alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore in the thought-provoking comedy, which opens on September 27th.  Read Matt’s review here.

Hit the jump to check out the new images from the aforementioned films.

Casey Affleck to Reteam with AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS Director David Lowery on Sci-Fi Film TO BE TWO

by     Posted 238 days ago


The Ain’t Them Bodies Saints team is getting the band back together.  Saints writer/director David Lowery has closed a deal to write and direct the sci-fi pic To Be Two, and Heat Vision reports that Saints star Casey Affleck is attached to star in and executive produce the film.  Described as tonally similar to Looper, the film is an adaptation of Paul Brooks’ short story collection Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology and takes place in a world where people are able to be teleported to Mars, where they are reconstructed atom by atom, after which their original self is vaporized.  When the teleportation machine malfunctions and fails to vaporize the original, questions of self and “who is the real me?” arise.

It’s suitably heady stuff for Lowery, who made his directorial debut on Saints after working as an editor on films like Upstream Color.  The filmmaker is also working on a Pete’s Dragon reimagining for Disney, an adaptation of the graphic novel Torso, and is attached to direct The Old Man and the Gun with Robert Redford set to star.


by     Posted 244 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  Ain't Them Bodies Saints opens today in limited release.]

David Lowery‘s confident feature Ain’t Them Bodies Saints lives between old life and a new beginning; between past crimes and future punishment; between the intimate and the distant. But for me, the emotions fall through the beautiful cinematography, lyrical music, and excellent performances. This is the X-factor of any viewer: an emotional connection we struggle to explain. Lowery has made a strong movie, and one that will put him on the radar of everyone who sees Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. But for reasons I have difficulty articulating, I couldn’t feel anything from his gorgeous film.

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