Last night I managed to pull myself away from Titanfall long enough to check out Veronica Mars which, surprisingly enough, is playing in a theater within an hour of me. As a fan of the series, the movie hit every note I could have asked for but also confirmed my suspicion that Mars is best suited for the type of long-form storytelling that television permits. Creator/director Rob Thomas does an admirable job of bringing us up to speed on the lives of our favorite Neptune characters against the backdrop of a ten year high school reunion. That said, 107 minutes doesn’t leave much time for breathing in between the introduction, mystery set-up, and resolution. I often felt rushed through the process, longing for 20-22 episodes for Veronica to crack the case as opposed to 75 minutes or so. This small gripe aside, Veronica Mars is a movie made for the fans (and, in no small financial part, by the fans) and I can’t imagine anyone who loved the series walking away from it disappointed by anything other than the fact that it had to end too soon.
We’ll talk a little more about VM in this week’s Top 5 which also includes a considerable amount of Captain America: The Winter Soldier content, our SXSW 2014 coverage, interviews for and Matt’s review of Need for Speed, and President Barack Obama‘s hilarious appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Keep doing what you’re doing for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Need for Speed helped me understand why I like the later Fast and Furious movies and not the first few. While I don’t necessarily have anything against car chases in movies, their purpose matters. If it’s a cop chasing a criminal, then reckless driving is in service of a greater good. If it’s a good guy trying to get away from bad guys, we’ll understand not obeying the speed limit and traffic signals. But street racing is selfish, and its callous nature of putting innocent people at risk for the gleeful joy of fame and glory is somewhat despicable depending on the tone. If your characters are going to be oblivious and self-indulgent, then the movie should follow suit. Unfortunately, Scott Waugh takes his material far too seriously, and even though lead actors Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots give the film some life without winking at the camera, Need for Speed is too blind to check the periphery and too slow to have a good time.
Based on the hugely popular video game series, Need for Speed chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey that begins as a mission for revenge, but ultimately proves to be one of redemption. When Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is framed for the death of a friend, his focus on vengeance leads him to want to tear down his enemies, at any cost. From director Scott Waugh, who pulled off some incredible practical car stunts and race scenes, the film also stars Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi, Dakota Johnson and Michael Keaton.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Dominic Cooper (who plays the wealthy and pompous Dino Brewster) talked about what made him want to sign on for the film, the excitement of living out a childhood dream by getting to drive fast cars, how he could never personally own a car as expensive as the ones in the film, and the stunts that were scariest for him. He also talked about the crazy but fun experience he had on the mini-series Fleming, playing both the leading man and the villain, at this stage of his career, what drew him to director Duncan Jones‘ Warcraft, and how accurate and responsible they’re being with the world from the game. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
While Marvel has done a lot of smart things, one of the best decisions they made was casting Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. Unlike some of the Marvel movies where the love story feels forced and unrealistic (see: Thor), the relationship between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Peggy Carter (Atwell) was fantastic thanks to the actors’ chemistry and a great script. With her character becoming an instant favorite after the film’s release, it was no surprise Marvel asked her to appear in one of their One Shot short films, Agent Carter, which was included on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray. The short picked up where the events of Captain America: The First Avenger left off—right as Carter joins this new organization called S.H.I.E.L.D.: “As she searches for the enigmatic ‘Zodiac’ key, Agent Carter also battles her sexist, bureaucratic boss, Agent Flynn (Bradley Whitford), who thinks women have no place in the secret-agent business.” Dominic Cooper also reprised his role as Howard Stark.
Almost immediately after fans got a look at the short at Comic-Con, people began asking about a possible Agent Carter TV series. I was one of them. Thankfully, ABC thought it was a good enough idea that they started developing it with Captain America screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Yesterday at the Winter Solider junket, I asked them the status of the pilot, what the show would focus on, its timeline, whether Atwell is still interested in playing the character, and more. They also revealed that the show is envisioned as more of a limited series with 13-episode seasons or less. Hit the jump to see what they had to say.
Showtime has made a few announcements during the network’s TCA panel. Briefly:
- The sixth season of Nurse Jackie will premiere Sunday, April 13th at 9pm ET followed by the seventh and final season of Californication at 9:30pm and the docu-series Years of Living Dangerously at 10pm.
- The new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful will premiere Sunday, May 11th at 10pm ET. Click here to watch the new trailer.
- Showtime has added two new original series to its lineup with full series orders. The one-hour drama The Affair starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson has been given a 10-episode order, and the half-hour comedy series Happyish starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn has also been given a 10-episode order.
Hit the jump to check out the first images from the two new series and for more info on the upcoming shows.
Opening this weekend in theaters and on VOD is director Peter Howitt’s drama, Reasonable Doubt. Per the official synopsis, “When up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden (Dominic Cooper) commits a fatal hit-and-run, he feels compelled to throw the case against the accused criminal (Samuel L. Jackson) who was found with the body and blamed for the crime. Following the trial, Mitch’s worst fears come true when he realizes that he acquitted a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up.” The film also stars Gloria Reuben.
Last week I landed an exclusive interview with Dominic Cooper. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about how he got involved with the film, how the script changed during production, working with Samuel L. Jackson, just how cold it was filming in Winnipeg, and more. In addition, we also talked about his work in The Devil’s Double, getting to play Howard Stark in the Marvel universe, how he still hasn’t seen the Agent Carter one-shot, whether he would consider reprising the role if Agent Carter became a series, his Marvel contract, Dracula Untold, Fleming, Duncan Jones’ Warcraft, and more. Hit the jump for what he has to say.
After years and years of development, production is finally getting underway in Vancouver on the feature film adaptation Warcraft, based on the incredibly popular video game. Sam Raimi was initially onboard to take the helm a few years ago, but he subsequently stepped down. Now, with Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones onboard, filming is beginning on what is poised to be a very long shoot. The impressive cast is led by Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Rob Kazinsky, and Dominic Cooper, and while we know very little about the story of the pic, Cooper recently teased some of the themes that Warcraft will be dealing with while also possibly revealing that he plays a human in the pic. Hit the jump to read on.
While the last couple of press releases from Legendary confirms some of the cast for Duncan Jones’ Warcraft adaptation, they’ve yet to confirm Dominic Cooper’s role beyond being in final negotiations. Now, in an interview with Cooper for his upcoming film Reasonable Doubt, he confirms that Warcraft is indeed on his shooting schedule. There’s no word yet on just what role he’ll be playing, but it sounds as if you can safely add his name to the cast list.
Also starring Ben Foster, Travis Fimmell, Paula Patton, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, and Toby Kebbell, Warcraft opens March 11, 2016. Hit the jump to see what Cooper had to say.
A new trailer for Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond is now available thanks to BBC America. The mini-series features Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Ian Fleming, the man who would become best known as the author behind the suave super-spy James Bond, but not before he’d have a few adventures of his own. While I don’t know for sure whether or not Fleming’s real-life exploits were anywhere near as explosive as this new trailer, the series certainly looks to be a fun watch.
Also starring Lara Pulver (True Blood, Sherlock), Annabelle Wallis (Hello Carter, The Tudors), Lesley Manville (Maleficent, Another Year), Anna Chancellor (The Hour, How I Live Now) and Samuel West (Van Helsing), the four-week event stars Wednesday, January 29th at 10pm/9C on BBC America. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures just announced that they’ve closed deals with Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Toby Kebbell (The Counselor), and Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) for writer-director Duncan Jones’ Warcraft. Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) is also in final negotiations to star. Production is scheduled to begin in Vancouver this coming January. Warcraft will open March 11, 2016. Hit the jump for more.
Today, we’ve got four exclusive images from the upcoming thriller, Reasonable Doubt. Per the official synopsis, “When up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden (Dominic Cooper) commits a fatal hit-and-run, he feels compelled to throw the case against the accused criminal who was found with the body and blamed for the crime. Following the trial, Mitch’s worst fears come true when he realizes that he acquitted a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up.”
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Gloria Reuben and Samuel L. Jackson. Reasonable Doubt opens in theaters and VOD on January 17th.
DreamWorks has released a new full-length trailer and some high-resolution images for the upcoming Need for Speed movie. Directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor), the film chronicles a cross-country race against time as a blue-collar mechanic (Aaron Paul) who was framed for manslaughter by a wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver (Dominic Cooper) sets out for revenge in a high-stakes underground racing tournament. This new trailer plays up the revenge angle while also highlighting some genuinely thrilling race sequences, but I’m interested to see how much humor is layered throughout the film. One of the keys to the success of the Fast & Furious franchise is that it’s fun and has increasingly embraced its outlandishness. Waugh seems to be taking a more dramatic approach to racing in Need for Speed, but as we’ve seen on Breaking Bad, Paul certainly has comedic chops; hopefully some of that has the chance to shine through.
Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and images, and click here to read our recent interview with Paul, Waugh, and the film’s producers on the practical stunts. The film also stars Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, and Michael Keaton. Need for Speed opens in theaters on March 14, 2014.
DreamWorks has released the first trailer for director Scott Waugh’s (Act of Valor) video game adaptation Need for Speed. The film chronicles a cross-country race against time as a blue-collar mechanic (Aaron Paul) who was framed for manslaughter by a wealthy, arrogant ex-NASCAR driver (Dominic Cooper) sets out for revenge in a high-stakes underground racing tournament. Judging by the trailer, Need for Speed is almost the opposite of what I expected. I assumed it would simply try to rival the Fast & Furious movies, and instead it looks far more dramatic. There’s no rule that an adaptation of a video game can’t be serious, and the car stuff looks good. Consider me interested.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, and Michael Keaton. Need for Speed opens in theaters on March 14, 2014. [Update: DreamWorks has released two new images from the film, which are now included after the jump.]
We’ve cobbled together a collection of new images from the following films:
- Need for Speed – Scott Waugh’s film adaptation of the street racing video game franchise starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Kid Cudi, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton opens March 14, 2014.
- Horrible Bosses 2 – The Sean Anders-directed sequel (which star Jason Bateman recently talked about in an interview with Steve) is about to kick into production with stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.
- In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard’s film about the whaling ship Essex that inspired Herman Melville’s famous whale tale stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Benjamin Walker.
Hit the jump to check out the images.
Some authors write their protagonists as wish fulfillment, but Ian Fleming was able to use his life experience working in British Naval Intelligence and as a journalist to create one of the coolest and most memorable characters in fiction, James Bond. It’s true that Bond is a darker character in Fleming’s novels, but there are still the trademarks that made him popular, and some of those traits came from the author’s life. Now that life has received the biopic treatment in Sky Atlantic’s four-part miniseries, Fleming. This is different from Duncan Jones‘ biopic, which we reported on over a year ago, and seems to be stuck in development hell while the director turns his attention to World of Warcraft. As for Sky’s four-part miniseries, it looks like it could be interesting. I particularly like the shot of the twisting staircase that evokes the famous gun-barrel shot from the movies. It doesn’t hurt that if you were casting a new James Bond, lead actor Dominic Cooper wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Hit the jump to check out a teaser trailer and images for Fleming. The mini-series co-stars Lara Pulver (Da Vinci’s Demons) as Ann O’Neill, “the love of his life” according to Fleming’s official bio. No air date has been announced.