Opening this weekend in theaters and IMAX is director Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Based on the Tom Clancy character, the original story follows Jack Ryan (played by Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot. Starring alongside Pine is Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley with Branagh as the film’s antagonist.
A few days ago I landed an exclusive phone interview with Branagh. Since I recently did a video interview with him, I tried to ask all new questions. We talked about acting while being the director, whether there was anything cut for budgetary reasons, why he always works with composer Patrick Doyle, if he has seen Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing since he also directed a feature based on the material, whether he’s thinking about doing another Shakespeare movie, which Shakespeare work he would recommend someone to start with, his next film, Cinderella, and more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
In this special two-night, four-hour event that’s airing simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime, Bonnie & Clyde retells the fascinating tale of the legendary couple whose crime spree enraptured the American public. Directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Clyde Barrow (Emile Hirsch) and Bonnie Parker (Holliday Grainger) were able to stay one step ahead of the law and escape capture, time and time again, which led to riskier and more dangerous crimes, making them the most famous criminals of the modern era. The film also stars Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Sarah Hyland, Lane Garrison, Elizabeth Reaser, Austin Hebert and Dale Dickey.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actress Holliday Grainger talked about how she won this role from an audition she put on tape, what she most loved about this script, how she viewed Bonnie Parker, how she found her performance, working with her partner-in-crime Emile Hirsch, having such a beautiful wardrobe, and just how bizarre it was to film Bonnie and Clyde’s fatal final shoot-out. She also talked about playing one of the evil stepsisters in Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and feeling like they’re making a fairy tale come to life, as well as how she misses being a part of the Showtime series The Borgias, in which she played Lucrezia. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Principal photography has begun on Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action version of Cinderella, and Disney has provided a press release containing the first image and official synopsis. For the most part, it’s the story we all know: nice girl, treated badly by step-mothers and step-sisters, eventually gets to a happily ever after with the prince. Looking at the synopsis, there are two big changes: she meets the prince in the woods one day without knowing he’s the prince, and “a kindly beggar woman” is probably the fairy godmother considering she’s “armed with a pumpkin and a few mice.” Because if a beggar woman comes to you with a pumpkin and some mice, she’s clearly going to make your dreams come true.
Hit the jump for the image and the press release. The film stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden, Sophie McShera, Holliday Granger, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, and Stellan Skarsgard. Cinderella opens March 13, 2015.
With this weekend’s holiday comes the official close of the 2013 Summer Movie Season. We’ve seen our share of flops (The Lone Ranger), hits (Iron Man 3), and surprises (Now You See Me), and while there are definitely some exciting films on tap for next year, keen fans have already started looking excitedly at 2015. Why skip over an entire year, you ask? Well, if all goes according to plan, 2015 will see a perfect storm of sorts, as a crazy number of massive franchises are poised to launch some highly anticipated properties. Two years from now, The Avengers follow-up will square off against Batman vs. Superman, and a brand new Star Wars film is poised to open alongside the long-promised Jurassic Park sequel.
As the Labor Day weekend is normally a time of relaxation, we thought it might be fun to look ahead to the craziness that will ensue two years from now. Hit the jump as we run down the nutty release schedule for 2015, including what we know about each film thus far.
We closed out our D23 experience with a presentation from Disney’s upcoming slate of live-action films. Yesterday’s animation panel – featuring looks the films of Disney/Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios - was a difficult one to top. We’ve already covered the superpowered side of things with our Marvel recap, so now we’ll move on to the live-action fairy tales, original sci-fi mysteries, puppet sequel capers and nature documentaries you’ve all been waiting for!
The second half of today’s presentation included advanced looks at Saving Mr. Banks, Into the Woods, Cinderella, Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Muppets Most Wanted and DisneyNature’s Bears. There was quite literally something for everyone in this batch of upcoming films. Hit the jump to read my recap and see which one(s) strikes your fancy!
Casting updates on two projects that Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class) is producing:
- Dev Patel is in early talks to star opposite Sharlto Copley in Chappie, the next sci-fi project from Neill Blomkamp (District 9).
- Stellan Skarsgard is in talks to join Cinderella. Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, and Helena Bonham Carter star in Kenneth Branagh‘s adaptation of the classic fairy tale.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
Just over a week ago, Disney announced release dates for two untitled Marvel films in 2016 and 2017. Now, in keeping with what looks to be a firm “two films a year” strategy, Disney has dated yet another untitled Marvel picture for 2016. The new film will hit theaters on July 8, 2016, which is just a couple of months after the other untitled Marvel film opens on May 6, 2016. This is in keeping with Marvel’s new strategy of releasing two films a year, though it breaks the pattern a bit as all of the other pics are separated by a larger release gap (eg. Iron Man 3 in May, Thor: The Dark World in November). The identities of at least some of these “untitled” films will likely be announced at Comic-Con next month.
Additionally, Disney has set director Kenneth Branagh’s new take on Cinderella for release on March 13, 2015, where it currently has the weekend all to itself. The film stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Sophie McShera, and Holliday Granger. Hit the jump for more news concerning Marvel’s upcoming slate.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this evening. First up, Helena Bonham Carter has been tapped to play the fairy godmother in Disney’s Cinderella redo, directed by Kenneth Branagh. The godmother will have an expanded role in Branagh’s take on the story, as Carter will also appear as an elderly woman before she surprises the titular Cinderella and reveals herself to be the wish-granting fairy. Lily James (Downton Abbey) won the lead role in the film, and she’ll star opposite Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as the Prince and Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother. Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) and Holliday Granger (The Borgias) are in talks to play the nasty stepsisters. This marks Carter’s third time working with Disney, having starred in the studio’s Alice in Wonderland and the upcoming The Lone Ranger.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Tim Burton’s next film and the villain in Dwayne Johnson’s passion project.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
- Krysten Ritter (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) has joined Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams.
- Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) is in negotiations to join Disney’s live-action Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James, Richard Madden and Cate Blanchett.
- Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) has landed a starring role in the indie picture The Guest, directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
- Ed Helms (The Hangover) is set to star in director Joe Carnahan’s low-budget comedic thriller, Stretch, starring Patrick Wilson and Chris Pine.
- Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) is in talks to star in Disney’s live-action Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James, Richard Madden and Cate Blanchett.
- Josh Peck (Red Dawn) is in negotiations to star opposite Al Pacino in Dan Fogelman’s directorial debut, Imagine, starring Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner and Michael Caine.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Mark Romanek is an incredibly talented filmmaker from whom we have seen far too little. The director first gained notice for his work in the world of music videos, helming Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer”, Michael and Janet Jackson’s “Scream”, and most notably Johnny Cash’s hauntingly beautiful “Hurt.” Then in 2002, Romanek directed his second feature, the psychological thriller One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams. The film was met with both critical and commercial success, and is now getting its long-deserved HD treatment with a Blu-ray transfer that was supervised by Romanek himself.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Romanek on the phone in anticipation of the Blu-ray release for One Hour Photo (available now), and during the course of our conversation, the Never Let Me Go filmmaker talked about what it was like to revisit one of his films so extensively a decade after its release, the Blu-ray’s extras, developing a limited series at FX, what happened with Cinderella, his future projects, and more. Romanek also spoke about his departure from 2010’s The Wolfman and what his vision for that film entailed, and he talked about his desire to make a film on a larger canvas. Hit the jump to read the full interview.
For the past couple of months, casting has been underway to find an actress for the title character in Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action Cinderella. Emma Watson was circling the role, but decided to pass. Earlier this month, we reported that Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows), Lily James (Downton Abbey), and Margot Robbie (Pan Am) were in the running for the part. Today, Disney has announced that the role has gone to James. There’s currently no word on Branagh’s take on the material, and if he’ll try to go the big, colorful, and expensive route of Disney’s recent fairy tale re-imaginings such as Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful.
As for James, I’ll be interested to see what she’ll do with the role. Her part on Downton Abbey is fairly one-dimensional (she represents the roaring 20s in conflict with 19th century aristocracy). She’ll be starring along Cate Blanchett, who will play the evil stepmother. Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) is currently the frontrunner to play the Prince. Filming is expected to begin this fall for a 2014 release.
Disney is closing in on its titular female lead for Cinderella. The project suffered a bit of a hiccup when director Mark Romanek exited the film this past January over creative differences. Kenneth Branagh subsequently stepped in to take the helm, only to see Emma Watson come and go from the lead role in the span of a week. Cate Blanchett is still set to star as the wicked stepmother, and now Branagh has narrowed down the lead to three actresses. Hit the jump to find out who’s testing for the lead role and which Game of Thrones actor is being eyed to play the Prince.
Last month Emma Watson was linked to new live-action fairy tale remakes: Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Playing both Belle and Cinderella is probably too much princess for any one actress, so Watson has understandably ruled out one project. Variety’s Marc Graser tweeted, “Emma Watson has decided NOT to star in Disney’s CINDERELLA.” Graser did not explain Watson’s reasoning, but did tweet in reply, “Details to come.” So stay tuned.
Disney may go back to the drawing board with the original shortlist: Saoirse Ronan (Hanna), Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair). Cate Blanchett is expected to play the evil stepmother. Kenneth Branagh (Thor) will direct. The studio hopes to get Cinderella in front of cameras in London this fall for a possible 2014 release.
It looks like Disney is eyeing Emma Watson (Harry Potter series) to don the iconic glass slipper in their live-action Cinderella picture. Saoirse Ronan, Gabrielle Wilde and Alicia Vikander were previously reportedly as being eyed for the role, though Watson is still in very early talks. Cate Blanchett is expected to play the evil stepmother and Kenneth Branagh will direct, having replaced Mark Romanek earlier this year. Disney hopes to begin shooting in London this fall for a possible 2014 release. Hit the jump for more.