The Dark Horse Joss Whedon panel definitely drew a huge crowd of Whedonites Friday night. Tthe panel basically turned into an hour of great back and forth questions and answers between Whedon and the fans. Whedon has claimed his rightful place as one of the demigods of Comic-Con, having earlier that day taken par tin the panel for his new ABC television series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite the crowd’s warm reaction to the pilot episode, Whedon still has to fight against the fatigue of his own bustling and insane career at the moment.
After a slight introduction from Dark Horse editor Scott Allie, Whedon got underway, Starbucks coffee in hand, talking about everything including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Angel, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, The Avengers and The Avengers 2, and Much Ado About Nothing. Hit the jump for the highlights.
I am one of those stupid people who goes to Comic-Con and knows very little about comics. I apologize for my ignorance, but if you came to Collider for comics coverage, you’re in the wrong place. Movies are our specialty, so at Joss Whedon’s panel for his comics label Dark Horse, I took note of everything he said that related to the cinematic arts, including the reveal that he is actively working on Dr. Horrible 2. Even without the comics, there’s still a lot to talk about. Ninety percent of the hour left Whedon up on stage alone to answer questions from fans who mostly have the same interests I do. Hit the jump for a bullet point recap.
The name Charles Fort may not be familiar to many, so perhaps H.P. Lovecraft will ring a few more bells. Some of Lovecraft’s works were influenced by the scientific work of American writer and paranormal researcher Charles Fort in the early 20th century. Now, in an adaptation of the Dark Horse comic Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained, Robert Zemeckis will attempt to bring this relatively unknown character to the screen. Converting the comic will be Evan Spiliotopoulos, who has most recently worked on the script for Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. If that hasn’t sold you yet, Charles Fort is being billed as a “period Ghostbusters.”
For more on Charles Fort, hit the jump.
If you like your comedies dark or your characters deeply eccentric and emotionally fraught, then chances are you’ve stumbled onto the work of writer/director Todd Solondz. The filmmaker found himself a success straight out of NYU, landing a three-picture deal with 20th Century Fox off of the strength of his student films. However, the lack of control and immense disappointment saddled on Solondz during his first feature Fear, Anxiety, And Depression (a potential subtitle for any of his movies) was enough to send him fleeing from the film industry for six years. He returned with the independently financed high school humiliation comedy Welcome To The Dollhouse, which promptly won awards at Berlin and Sundance. He then achieved infamy with his multi-character masterwork Happiness (which notoriously brought a compassionately and frighteningly written pedophile into his harsh comedy world). The self-conscious Storytelling and experimental semi-sequels Palindromes and Life During Wartime followed, inevitably garnering controversy, critical acclaim, and cult appreciation.
Few comedy directors are as fearless or divisive. Solondz has a special knack for latching onto outcasts and discovering the pain and sorrow of their existence through laughs designed to stick in his audience’s throat. Solondz returned to the Toronto International Film Festival this year with his latest movie Dark Horse, his version of the regressed manchild comedies made popular by the Apatow crowd starring Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair (reprising her role from Storytelling), Mia Farrow, and Christopher Walken. Collider got a chance to sit down with the Solondz during his stay in Toronto to discuss his latest feature, his unique sense of humor, his interest in revisiting former characters, and how his movies can so often be misunderstood. Hit the jump for all the Solondzian goodness.
Following his surreal and reflective Happiness sort-of-sequel Life During Wartime, dark comedy specialist Todd Solondz returns with Dark Horse, a film that only initially appears to be his most mainstream outing to date. As a filmmaker who revels in the world of societal outcasts, it was inevitable that the writer/director would eventually find his way to creating an entry in the recent spat of manchild comedies. However, Solondz is no Apatow and his tale of a 35-year-old man who still lives with his parents and spends most of his time pondering his latest action figure purchase isn’t merely a gently comedic take on the subject. Laughter is only the starting and as the film wears on, it soon becomes a sad deconstruction of manchild comedies and a hallucination-fueled nightmare of immaturity and failure. Not exactly a light date movie for the Seth Rogen crowd, but a comedy that cuts deep into the current filmgoing infatuation with unjustly glorified juvenile behavior. Hit the jump for more.
As we see more from the two Snow White movies, I believe my mind will categorize Snow White and the Huntsman as the straightforward action movie and Relativity’s still untitled project as the weird one directed by Tarsem where Snow White looks like this. Appropriately, Melissa Wallack, the screenwriter behind the “weird one,” has just signed on to adapt the Dark Horse comic Emily the Strange. Chloe Moretz is attached to play the titular goth created by skateboarder Rob Rieger. Heat Vision says the precise storyline is under wraps, but indicates Wallack’s assignment is “to tell the origin of the punk and gothic figure and how she comes to gain her abilities that fuse technology and imagination.” Also, expect the story to focus on Emily’s relationship with her four cats: “troublemaker Sabbath, schemer Nee-Chee, imaginative Miles, and leader Mystery.” Hit the jump for background on the character.
The announcement of the films playing at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has brought with it a deluge of first images from major upcoming movies. After the jump you’ll find the first images from Rodrigo Garcia’s Albert Nobbs (starring Glenn Close and Mia Wasikowska), Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse (starring Selma Blair, Justin Bartha, and Christopher Walken), Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea (starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston), and Jennifer Westfeldt’s Friends with Kids (starring Westfeldt, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, and Adam Scott).
Hit the jump to check out all of the images. We’ve also provided the synopses. The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th – 18th. For all the new TIFF images we’ve posted today, click here.
In my article yesterday about the Venice Film Festival, I made some predictions on which films would make their world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and not Venice. It turns out a few of my guesses were only the tip of the iceberg. Moneyball, 50/50, and The Descendants are all going to premiere at TIFF. But my lord, does Toronto have an incredible line-up this year. I’m praying my application gets approved because when you hit the jump and check out this line-up, you’ll understand my agony if I’m stuck in Atlanta while these films are premiering.
Hit the jump for the line-up of Galas and Premieres for this year’s festival. The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th – 18th.
Fan-favorite Joss Whedon took the stage for a full hour today to field questions from the fans. After receiving a standing ovation, a horde of audience members lined up behind the mic to get their burning questions answered. While most of them involved his work in the comics industry, Whedon did give a few soundbites about the future of Firefly/Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and, of course, The Avengers. While there has been no progress on the cult favorite Firefly/Serenity, Whedon’s bitterness hasn’t subsided and neither has the fans’ vitriol at its unjust cancellation. However, there are some bits of news concerning his other projects you might want to read about. Hit the jump to check them out.
The Cannes Film Festival is only halfway finished but we’re already looking ahead to another major European film fest: Venice. Early selections have been announced for the 68th Venice Film Festival and there are already some fantastic additions. Roman Polanski’s Carnage and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method will both be making their world premieres at the festival along with Steve McQueen’s Shame, Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse, Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary PJ20, and more. Variety also reports that films submitted but not yet approved for the festival include Madonna’s W.E., Walter Salles’ On the Road, and Luc Besson’s The Lady. Then there’s the film that are being tipped to premiere at Venice: Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, Steven Sodebergh’s Contagion and Haywire, and a toss-up between Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
So if you’re already seething with jealousy that you’re not attending Cannes this year, hold on to that jealousy because it looks like you’re going to need it when Venice rolls around. The 68th Venice Film Festival runs from August 31st to September 10th.
Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow, Selma Blair, Jordan Gelber, Aasif Mandvi, Justin Bartha, Zachary Booth, and Donna Murphy have all joined the cast of Dark Horse, the latest from writer/director Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime). THR provides a brief outline for the indie drama:
The film centers on a thirtysomething man (Gelber) in arrested development who lives with his parents (Walken and Farrow), reluctantly works for his father and avidly collects toys. He seeks out a thirtysomething woman (Blair) in arrested development in an attempt to shed the “dark horse” status in his family and finally accomplish something.
Mandvi plays Blair’s “not quite ex-boyfriend,” Bartha and Booth are Gelber’s more successful brother and easygoing cousin (respectively); Murphy will portray Walken’s secretary. Filming began earlier this week in New York.
Hit the jump for news details on Vanessa Hudgen’s role in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and the teaming of Jessica Lange and Sam Neill for The Vow.