Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, and More Join Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau is already in production on his nearly entirely CG-animated The Jungle Book for Disney, but Warner Bros. has now filled out the cast for its own adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story.  Andy Serkis directs the terribly titled Jungle Book: Origins, and fresh off the news that Benedict Cumberbatch will be voicing Shere Khan, THR reports that Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan have joined the cast.  Moreover, Bad Words star Rohan Chand has been selected to fill the live-action role of Mowgli.  The film will be a mix of motion-capture, CG animation, and live-action with Serkis also set to star as Baloo.

Hit the jump to find out who the aforementioned actors will be playing in Jungle Book: Origins.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom Talk THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

by     Posted 31 days ago

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third in a trilogy of films that bring the masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, to life.  It is an epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves, who have reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, but have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.  And there are even greater dangers ahead, as darkness converges on their escalating conflict, and the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must either unite or be destroyed while the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom spoke to press at a conference, in which they talked about why the title of the third film changed, the progression of the tone, from the first film to this one, perfecting the voices of Smaug and Gollum, the creation of Tauriel, the experience of revisiting characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and how long it might be before any of the films get remade.  Peter Jackson also talked about why The Silmarillion will probably never get adapted for film, and how he feels about a new King Kong film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Trailer and Poster: Peter Jackson’s Trilogy Concludes in Epic Fashion

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer for the final chapter in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy.  This is the trailer they showed us at Comic-Con on Saturday, and it’s interesting to see how the prequel trilogy is trying to pull into The Lord of the Rings by using “The Steward of Gondor”, which was sung by Pippin (Billy Boyd) in The Return of the King.  The song still works here because it’s sad and somber, but the line that sticks with me from this trailer is when Thorin asks his company, “Will you follow me one last time?”  It’s a line that’s really directed towards the audience, but there’s a weariness to it that’s surprising.  It’s almost like saying, “Well, we’ve already come this far.  May as well finish it out.”

Check out the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer and new poster after the jump, and click here to read our full Comic-Con panel recap.  The film stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando BloomThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill in Talks for HAIL CAESAR!; Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett to Lead TRUTH; John Goodman Joins VALENCIA

by     Posted 53 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill are in talks to join the cast of the Coen brothers’ next film Hail, Caesar!.
  • Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett will play Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, respectively, in Truth.
  • John Goodman is in talks to star in the low-budget thriller Valencia, from Bad Robot.

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned casting.

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU and RED RIVER Criterion Blu-ray Reviews

by     Posted 77 days ago

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The Criterion Collection has issued both The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Red River recently, and though the two would seemingly have little in common, it turns out there are a number of parallels.  Both films begin with the main character losing someone close to them in a way that drives the narrative, both follow a driven and arrogant man who needs to see the error of his ways, both deal with great adventure, both deal with a father/son relationship, and both conclude with the main character coming face to face with their supposed enemy, only to realize violence may not be the answer.  Bill Murray and Owen Wilson star in the Aquatic for Wes Anderson, while John Wayne and Montgomery Clift star in Red River for Howard Hawks.  My review of both The Life Aquatic on Blu-ray and Red River follows after the jump. 

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 Review

by     Posted 80 days ago

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2010′s How to Train Your Dragon is a wonderful movie.  In addition to being beautifully animated, it’s a story about understanding, ingenuity, and compassion wrapped in the almost-always-endearing child-and-his/her-pet tale.  Dean DeBloisHow to Train Your Dragon 2 physically expands the canvas of the original by bringing in new characters, new locations, and new dragons, but in his attempt to make the sequel bigger, he’s also spread it thin.  Although it still keeps the central focus on the relationship between Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless, the pacing is erratic as the story tries to hop between plotlines, themes, and scattered characters.  The movie is still sprinkled with charm, humor, and warmth, but it never holds together as tightly as the original.

5 Clips from HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

by     Posted 107 days ago

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Following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, DreamWorks Animation has released a batch of How to Train Your Dragon 2 clips.  The film picks up five years after the events of the first film, as Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are exploring new territories while the rest of their friends are enjoying dragon races.  During one of Hiccup and Toothless’ journeys, they discover a secret ice cave, hundreds of new wild dragons, and the mysterious Dragon Rider.  This continues to be one of my most anticipated films of the year, and these latest clips only serve to make the wait seem that much longer.

Hit the jump to watch the How to Train Your Dragon 2 clips.  The film also features the voices of Cate BlanchettGerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen WiigHow to Train Your Dragon 2 opens in 3D on June 13th.

Producer Simon Kinberg Says CINDERELLA Is “Very Loyal” to the Original Film and Filled with “Heart, Sweetness, Fun, and Magic”

by     Posted 111 days ago

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The latest in Disney’s series of animated-to-live-action adaptations hits theaters later this month by way of Maleficent, but the studio already has another update of a beloved classic in the can: Cinderella.  The film was in development for years and initially had Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) attached as director, but when he fell off, Disney signed Kenneth Branagh to take the helm.  The cast is led by Lily James (Downton Abbey) in the lead role with Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother and Game of Thrones’ King of the North Richard Madden as the prince, making for quite a promising pedigree.

While speaking with writer/producer Simon Kinberg in anticipation of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Steve also asked Kinberg about Cinderella, which he produced.  Kinberg described the live-action take as “very loyal” to the 1950 animated film, but also noted that the pic has some twists and changes to keep things interesting.  Read on after the jump.

Watch the First 5 Minutes of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

by     Posted 132 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released the first five minutes from How to Train Your Dragon 2 online.  The long-awaited DreamWorks Animation sequel picks up five years after the events of the first film, as Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are exploring new territories while the rest of their friends are enjoying dragon races.  During one of Hiccup and Toothless’ journeys, they discover a secret ice cave, hundreds of new wild dragons, and the mysterious Dragon Rider.  I assume this clip is for one of two groups: 1) People who can’t stand the four-year wait for the sequel any longer, and just need to get another glimpse right now (two clips have already been released); or 2) People who plan on being super late to the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the new How to Train Your Dragon 2 clip.  The film opens in 3D on June 13th, and features the voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig.

Sheep Are Used as Game Pawns in New HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 Clip; Plus New High-Resolution Images

by     Posted 135 days ago

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A new How to Train Your Dragon 2 clip has been released online, and it should bring to mind another recent fantasy franchise.  The long-awaited DreamWorks Animation sequel picks up five years after the events of the first film, as Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are exploring new territories while the rest of their friends are enjoying dragon races.  During one of Hiccup and Toothless’ journeys, they discover a secret ice cave, hundreds of new wild dragons, and the mysterious Dragon Rider.  This new clip provides a look at the aforementioned dragon races, as the main characters take part in a Quidditch-esque game that involves picking up sheep and dropping them into baskets.  It highlights the film’s great sense of humor, gorgeously colorful animation, and soaring score, making the wait for its release that much harder.

Hit the jump to watch the new How to Train Your Dragon 2 clip and to check out a batch of new high-resolution images.  The film also features the voices of Cate Blanchett, Gerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen WiigHow to Train Your Dragon 2 will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May and opens in theaters everywhere on June 13th.

New Trailer and Poster for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

by     Posted 143 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released a new How to Train Your Dragon 2 trailer and poster.  Director Dean Deblois’ animated sequel takes place five years after the first installment, as Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are exploring new territories while the rest of their friends are enjoying dragon races.  During one of Hiccup and Toothless’ journeys, they discover a secret ice cave, hundreds of new wild dragons, and the mysterious Dragon Rider.  This trailer has the blend of humor and drama I was hoping the movie would provide, and I’m surprised and encouraged that they’re leaning more heavily on the emotional side than the comedy even though the jokes are still funny.  The first How to Train Your Dragon set a high bar.  The sequel could very well meet it.

Hit the jump to watch the new How to Train Your Dragon 2 trailer and to check out the new poster.  The film opens in 3D on June 13th and also features the voices of Cate Blanchett, Gerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig

Amy Poehler to Join Tina Fey in THE NEST, Cate Blanchett in Talks for THE DIG, and John Magara Added to CAROL

by     Posted 145 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • The brilliant Golden Globes hosting duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler may be reuniting for another feature, as Poehler is looking to co-star with Fey in the comedy The Nest.
  • Cate Blanchett is in talks to star in director Susanne Bier’s (In a Better World) archaeological drama The Dig.
  • Not Fade Away star John Magara has signed on to star alongside Rooney Mara in director Todd Haynes’ (I’m Not There) drama Carol.

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned casting.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Wins Best Picture; GRAVITY Wins Seven Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 182 days ago

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For the first time in at least six year, we have a Best Picture winner that will stand the test of time.  Cynics thought the Academy’s highest honor would go to American Hustle, the numbers were pointing slightly towards Gravity, but the Oscar ultimately went to 12 Years a Slave, the definitive major motion picture about slavery.  The ceremony itself was an absolute chore, but it was wonderful to see Steve McQueen’s harrowing drama pick up the win at the end.  Additionally, Gravity–another great movie–received plenty of love by earning seven Oscars including Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director.  Among the acting categories, there were no surprises: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress.  It was not a shocking night, and the biggest “upset” was Mr. Hublot beating out Get a Horse! for Best Animated Short Film.  Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s winners, especially since Spike Jonze took home Best Original Screenplay for Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of this year’s Oscar winners, and click here for my live-blog.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Wins Big at Independent Spirit Awards with Best Film, Director, Supporting Actress, and More

by     Posted 183 days ago

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On the eve of the 86th Academy Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards honored the very best in independent cinema, but the big winner at the Spirits and the Oscars could very well be one and the same.  12 Years a Slave took the top prize at the Spirit Awards as well as four other trophies: Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Cinematography (Sean Bobbitt), and Best Screenplay (John Ridley).  The pic is neck-and-neck in the heated Oscar race for Best Picture with Gravity, but I think the latter might eke out the win.  Elsewhere at the Spirits, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto continued to steamroll the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories, respectively, for Dallas Buyers Club, and Fruitvale Station won Best First Feature.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of winners, and check back on Collider tomorrow night as our own Matt Goldberg live blogs the Academy Awards ceremony.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 3: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and More

by     Posted 184 days ago

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After running down predictions for the Oscars in a number of categories over the past two days, we’ve now come to the big ones.  As I’ve said many times before over the course of this awards season, this is quite possibly the closest Best Picture race in history; a coin flip would not be unwarranted.  And while some of the acting categories are pretty sewn up, Supporting Actress remains a bit tricky and there’s some intense competition in the race for Best Original Screenplay.  I’ve had a lot of fun covering this year’s awards race over the last five months with Oscar Beat and I look forward to doing it all over again this fall, but for now here’s the culmination of this season’s coverage.

After the jump you’ll find my predictions for the final categories ahead of this weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony as well as my full predictions list for the ceremony, and if you missed Part 1 or Part 2 be sure to check them out.  The 86th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 2nd on ABC, during which time our own Matt Goldberg will be live-blogging the ceremony right here on Collider.

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