The star and director of 2005′s The Upside of Anger will re-unite for Black and White, an on-the-nose title for a drama centering on racial issues. Written and directed by Mike Binder, Black and White is an indie that will star Kevin Costner as a man left widowed after his wife died in a car crash. He’s then left alone to raise his bi-racial granddaughter when his own daughter dies during childbirth. The plot thickens when the child’s paternal grandmother begins to wage a custody battle and raises questions about race and where the child should grow up. Deadline reports that the indie will start shooting in New Orleans this summer.
Hit the jump for more casting news concerning Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) in Woody Allen’s next picture and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) in talks for The Coward.
Last month, we reported that director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) was set to adapt Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons‘ comic The Secret Service. The story is about a veteran secret agent who takes his ruffian nephew from the streets of London and into a British spy school that molds its students into suave 007-types. According to Heat Vision, Colin Firth is being courted for the role of the uncle. Vaughn was looking to reteam with his Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson for the role of the nephew, but the actor was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict.
Hit the jump for more. Firth will next be seen in Atom Egoyan‘s West Memphis Three drama, Devil’s Knot. The Secret Service is set for release on November 14, 2014.
The indie dramedy Arthur Newman tells the story of two unlikely souls for fall in love while they are exploring and discovering who they really are. Divorced, disconnected, dissatisfied and depressed, Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is tired of his life, so he hits the road as Arthur Newman. On his road trip, he meets Michaela “Mike” Fitzgerald (Emily Blunt), who is fleeing from her own turmoil, and the unexpected couple learn who they can be through each other.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Colin Firth and Emily Blunt talked about what interested them in these characters, playing people who take on different personas, how they stuck to the specific tone and dialogue of the script with little improvisation, finding the voice of a character, and what audiences will make of the film. Emily Blunt also talked about her recent experience making All You Need Is Kill with Tom Cruise, and Colin Firth said that he won’t be doing Bridget Jones’s Baby. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
The trailer and poster have been released for the dramedy Arthur Newman. Colin Firth stars as a has-been golfer who fakes his death, abandons his family, and takes on the new identity of “Arthur Newman”. On his trip to become a golf pro, he meets a wayward young woman (Emily Blunt) who’s running from her own problems. They both decide to escape from their troubles by breaking into people’s homes so they can playact the residents’ lives. I saw the film at TIFF and found it to be the worst kind of indie, and even the trailer plays by the same generic indie trailer beats: problem, quirkiness, drama, uplift.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. Arthur Newman opens April 26th.
Moves are being made on The Weinstein Company’s English-language remake of the smash hit French film The Intouchables. The story follows a wealthy white aristocrat who suffers a tragic paragliding accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. After cycling through a number of caretakers, the man bonds with a young, troubled immigrant caregiver. The original pic was a massive hit overseas, taking in over $420 million against a budget of just $9 million, and so TWC has been working hard to get the English-language remake together.
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) was at one point in talks to direct and Colin Firth has been circling the lead role for some time, and now it looks as though prolific comedy director Tom Shadyac is looking to make his big Hollywood comeback with the film. Hit the jump for more.
One might not immediately think this year’s “over 60”-geared comedy/drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel lends itself to a sequel, but the film was a sizeable succcess, garnering positive reviews and netting over $130 million at the box office. As such, development on a follow-up recently got underway with Ol Parker (who wrote the first film) penning the script and John Madden poised to return to direct. Cast members Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and Tom Wilkinson are all expected to return, and now a couple of newcomers may be added to the list: Helen Mirren and a young whipper snapper by the name of Colin Firth.
Per Showbiz 411, Firth and Mirren are “likely additions” to the cast. The story will apparently continue the adventures of the older crew in India, though no details regarding Mirren or Firth’s characters are given. Producers are also said to be looking for an American actress to round out the cast.
A retro poster for the remake of Gambit has gone online. The update was written by Joel and Ethan Coen and stars Colin Firth as a London art dealer who enlists a Texas Rodeo Queen (Cameron Diaz) to help him con the richest man in England (Alan Rickman). The original 1966 film, which starred Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, and Herbert Lom, is a must-see, and while it sets a high bar, I’m still excited to see what the remake has to offer. At the very least, it’s got a nice poster that recalls the original without copying it.
Hit the jump to check out the poster. Gambit opens in the U.K. on November 21st, and will hit the U.S. in early 2013.
I dubbed our earlier Jon Hamm/Daniel Radcliffe article today’s “most good-looking story,” but it appears that I may have spoken prematurely. Academy Award winner Colin Firth and the Academy Award worthy Michael Fassbender are now set to team up for the real life drama Genius. The film is based on A. Scott Berg’s biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius and tells the story of the relationship between Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and editor Max Perkins (Firth). Perkins served as an editor for a number of literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and his role as a devoted friend and surrogate psychoanalyst made him privy to the intricate details of these men’s lives. Sean Penn was previously eyeing the role that Firth will now step into.
Directed by Michael Grandage, the film will begin production in early 2014 with a script by John Logan (Skyfall, Hugo). That may seem far off, but Firth and Fassbender are understandably busy guys. Fassbender most recently filmed the period drama Twelve Years a Slave and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, while Firth shot the real life drama The Railway Man and the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot this summer. Hit the jump for the press release.
Though we got out first look at some footage from the film just yesterday, the first full trailer for Gambit has now landed online. The pic is a remake of the 1966 film starring Michael Caine as a cat burglar who recruits a showgirl (Shirley MacLaine) to help him heist a priceless antiquity. The update was written by Joel and Ethan Coen and stars Colin Firth as a London art dealer who enlists a Texas Rodeo Queen (Cameron Diaz) to help him con the richest man in England. The trailer makes the film look like a lot of fun, and the Coen brothers’ touch is quite evident. The goofiness is reminiscent of Raising Arizona, and Alan Rickman is delightfully eccentric as the target of the con. Performance-driven comedies are few and far between these days, and Gambit appears to be a breath of fresh air.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Directed by Michael Hoffman, the film also stars Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman. Gambit will be released on November 21st in the UK and sometime in early 2013 in the US.
Michael Hoffman‘s remake of Gambit needs to stop being pushed back so I can see it. In the original 1966 film, a cat burglar (Michael Caine) recruits a showgirl (Shirley MacLaine) to help him heist a priceless antiquity. The remake was written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and stars Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz, and was originally due out in the U.S. this year, but was pushed back to winter 2013. However, as we saw from recent posters (that ripped off the tagline from Bowfinger), it will still hit theaters in the UK this November. A portion of the trailer has landed online, and it looks like a lot of fun, although the Caine character is “a London art dealer who enlists a Texas Rodeo Queen (Diaz) in a scheme to con the richest man in England (Alan Rickman).” Although this is only a brief glimpse, I like what I’m seeing, and hopefully we’ll get a full trailer in the near future.
Hit the jump to check out the partial trailer, and if you haven’t seen the original, be sure to track it down.
I walked out of Arthur Newman thinking it was a nice movie. It had pleasant performances, a light directorial touch, and a positive message. But the more I kept thinking about Arthur Newman, the more I realized that “nice” isn’t worthy of an independent film. It isn’t a sweet movie, or an uplifting one. The performances are nowhere near what leads Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are capable of. The direction is inoffensive. And if a bad indie comedy is too reliant on quirk, then a bad indie drama is too reliant on strained premises so the story can provide fortune cookie wisdom. Arthur Newman tiny slip of paper would like us to consider the puddle-deep lesson of not running away from our problems.
Let’s round up some posters, shall we?
- Sinister, a horror film from writer/director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and starring Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Vincent D’Onofrio and Clare Foley, opens October 5th.
- Hotel Transylvania, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade and Steve Buscemi, opens September 28th.
- Rust and Bone, the mystery/drama from director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) that stars Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead), opens November 23rd.
- Gambit, which Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day) directs from a Coen Brothers script, stars Alan Rickman, Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz. Gambit opens next year.
Hit the jump to see all the posters and synopses.
Earlier today, TIFF announced that they were adding new films to their spectacular line-up. Among the new additions are:
- Song for Marion (directed by Paul Andrew Williams) Starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, and Christopher Eccleston.
- Emperor (directed by Peter Webber) Starring Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, and Eriko Hatsune.
- Arthur Newman (directed by Dante Ariola) Starring Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, and Anne Heche.
- Disconnect (directed by Henry Alex Rubin) Starring Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgård, Max Theriot, Jonah Bobo, Colin Ford, and Haley Ramm.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
Production has officially commenced on two upcoming projects. First up, filming is underway in Atlanta on the real-life drama Devil’s Knot, directed by Atom Egoyan. The film stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth and follows the true story of the West Memphis 3 case, in which three teenagers were wrongfully charged with murdering three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in the 1990s. Witherspoon plays the mother of one of the victims, while Firth plays the private investigator hired to look into the case. The cast also includes Amy Ryan, Dane DeHaan, and Stephen Moyer.
Additionally, production has begun in New York on the relationship drama Very Good Girls. Directed by Naomi Foner, the film stars Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen as two best friends determined to lose their virginity, only to fall for the same boy. The cast also includes Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Skarsgaard, and Clark Gregg. The score will be composed by Jenny Lewis. Hit the jump to read press releases for both films.
More casting additions for you today. Here they are in brief:
- Stephen Moyer (True Blood) is set to join director Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, a feature starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon based on the true life tale of the West Memphis Three.
- Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) will star in Shawn Levy’s The Internship, which reunites Wedding Crashers comics, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.