Just two days after signing on to topline Focus, Will Smith seems intent on keeping himself busy, with two films possibly lined up after the grifter pic. The action star is reportedly considering two projects he’s had on his radar for quite a while, the first of which is the drama American Can, where he’d be taking the role of a “reluctant hero” during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina for director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai). On top of that, there is the possibility that Smith would also star in the thriller The Accountant. Hit the jump for more.
It looks like CBS Films has found their terrorist hunter in Chris Hemsworth (Thor) for American Assassin. Hemsworth would be playing Mitch Rapp, a college scholar and athlete who becomes a relentless anti-terrorism agent for the CIA as a result of a personal tragedy. The adaptation is actually from Vince Flynn’s 11th novel in his best-selling series, but since it’s a prequel, it acts as a good jumping off point for a potential movie franchise. Other talent involved with the picture is director Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor, Homeland), writers Ed Zwick (Defiance) and Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai), and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler. Oh and did I forget to mention that Bruce Willis is circling a role as a CIA mentor of sorts? Hit the jump for more.
Ed Zwick (The Last Samurai) is no longer onboard to direct the supernatural epic The Great Wall. The film was recently postponed due to lack of financing and weather issues, at which point Zwick committed to directing the Bobby Fischer biopic Pawn Sacrifice with Tobey Maguire. Now Deadline reports that Zwick is off The Great Wall altogether. The period pic, based on an idea by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks, explores “the mysteries” behind the construction of The Great Wall in China. Two 15th century British soldiers get caught up in the havoc caused by some inhuman element that the builders of the wall are trying to keep out.
Before the project was postponed, Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) were set as the leads, but it’s unclear if they’ll still be available when the film moves forward again. Though Zwick has dropped off, Legendary East apparently still plans on starting production next year.
Ed Zwick (Love and Other Drugs) has signed on to direct Pawn Sacrifice, a biopic about chess master Bobby Fischer. Tobey Maguire is attached to star and produce. The current draft of the script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) focuses on Fischer’s rise to prominence in the 1960s, leading up to his famous match against Soviet chess player Boris Spassky in 1972.
THR reports that Zwick’s schedule opened up once The Great Wall—a supernatural epic that Zwick is attached to direct—was delayed as Legendary Pictures seeks funding. That leaves Zwick free to step in for David Fincher, who was previously linked to direct. I imagine Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice will be very different than Fincher’s Pawn Sacrifice—the directors are on the opposite ends of the cinematic emotion spectrum. Zwick is the safer choice, but I think the story is inherently interest, and Zwick is certainly competent enough to tap into that potential.
Director Edward Zwick is going to China. The Last Samurai director is set to helm the inaugural film for Legendary East, The Great Wall. Zwick and his longtime writing partner Marshall Herskovitz will pen the screenplay for the flick that “reveals the legend behind a great mystery of our age: why this magnificent structure came to be.” The script will be based on a story by Legendary Entertainment Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks. Tull is also producing alongside Jon Jashni, Alex Gartner, Charles Roven (The Dark Knight Rises) as well as Zwick and Herskovitz.
The wall itself was originally constructed in the 5th century BC to keep out nomadic groups from the Chinese Empire, but has a storied history as it has been rebuilt, added to, and maintained throughout multiple culturally significant periods in China’s history. Hit the jump for more, including the full press release.
Director Ed Zwick recently tried his hand at romantic dramedies with Love and Other Drugs. That didn’t work out so well. Now he’s moving on to spy thrillers with an adaptation of Vince Flynn’s novel American Assassin. The book is the 11th in the series about CIA Agent Mitch Rapp, but it’s a prequel that tells “how, as a college scholar and athlete, tragedy forged Rapp’s path to become a ruthless hunter of terrorists for the CIA.” You may recall that last January, CBS Films planned to adapt the first book in the series, Consent to Kill, with Antoine Fuqua attached to direct and Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, and Matthew Fox all being considered to play Rapp. Deadline reports that CBS Films now considers American Assassin a better starting point for the franchise and it allows them to choose from a younger crop of actors. I haven’t read any of the Rapp books but judging by Zwick’s track record, I’m sure the character will save lots of minorities.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of American Assassin.
Oliver Platt is like a terrible curse. Platt is a great actor – he’s one of the best working actors in the world – but often he’s in great movies that no one sees (The Ice Harvest) or is the best thing in bad movies that either make money (2012) or don’t (Year One). Love and Other Drugs didn’t find its audience, but like always Oliver Platt is one of the best things in it.
Alas, the movie – which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway – is two bad movies for the price of one. One half is a drippy, slightly period romantic comedy, and the other is a disease of the week film. Together they equal a rather terrible effort that will always have an audience because of the nudity that will across in Google searches for people looking to see Hathaway naked. My review of the Blu-ray of Love and Other Drugs follows after the jump.
After having playing a couple with a slightly strained marriage in “Brokeback Mountain” due to the husband getting, as Jonah Hill so eloquently put it, “a mouthful of Ledger”, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are reuniting for Ed Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs” based off Jamie Reidy’s nonfiction book “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman.”
According to THR, Reidy was a drug rep for Pfizer in the late 1990s who eventually wrote a memoir that shined a light on the practices of the pharmaceutical industry. Gyllenhaal will play the salesman, who begins a relationship with a woman who has Parkinson’s (Hathaway) while on one of his sales calls. Their love story plays out in the political and social context of the time. This is opposed to love stories that play out completely in a vacuum. It’s almost as if someone said “You know, a love story involving someone with Parkinson’s isn’t difficult enough; let’s make sure the characters are constantly commenting on the social and political context of the time. That’ll hook audiences.”
My big question is how will Zwick (“The Last Samurai”, “Blood Diamond”) find a way to have white people be the savior of a minority?
In the past year or so there have been a slew of holocaust dramas released in cinemas that attempt to show the second world war from a different cinematic perspective. Defiance is another film to add to the list, and the “gimmick” that director Ed Zwick has decided to employ is that the characters in Defiance are Jews fighting for their freedom – rather than being helpless victims like they are in most WW2 films.
Defiance follows three Polish-Jewish brothers -Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Live Schreiber) and Asael (Jamie Bell) whose family have been killed by the invading Nazi forces, they’ve taken refuge in the woods and on one of their searches for food they discover a young boy whose family has been killed. Soon word spreads of their deed and soon more Jews come in search for them and soon a community is set up in the woods and the brothers become local legends.