The first trailer for director Dito Montiel’s (Fighting) new film Empire State has been released online, but despite the impressive lead cast, the film is actually skipping a theatrical release and going direct-to-DVD. The crime drama stars Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth and is based on the true story of a 1982 NYC armored car company robbery that was thought to be the largest cash heist in U.S. history. Hemsworth and Michael Angarano play two childhood friends who plan to rob an armored car depository, while Johnson plays the NYPD detective out to bring them down. The trailer doesn’t look that bad and Johnson has basically been box office steroids this year having opened three films at number one and another at number two (Snitch), so I’m not sure why Empire State was denied a theatrical release.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Emma Roberts, Nikki Reed, Chris Diamantopoulos, James Ransone, Shenae Grimes, and Jerry Ferrara. Empire State will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 3rd.
Tonight brings the first images from a pair of upcoming films. The first is notable because of the cast. The second is notable because it involves punching an eye out of someone’s face.
- Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth play two friends who rob an armored car company in Empire State, directed by Dito Monteil (Fighting).
- RZA will make his directorial debut on the kung fu picture The Man with the Iron Fists; RZA plays a blacksmith who must defend a small village in feudal China, which requires some eyeball punching.
Hit the jump for the images and more on both projects.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Kevin Hart is joining Kevin James in the comedy Valet Guys.
- Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) joins the cast of Grown Ups 2.
- SNL cast member Taran Killam has joined Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Twelve Years a Slave.
- Chris Diamantopoulos has been added to Empire State alongside Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth.
Hit the jump for more on each casting addition.
As everyone knows, director Gary Ross‘ The Hunger Games is now playing in theaters. During the recent Los Angeles press junket, I landed an exclusive interview with Liam Hemsworth. Since he’s been doing so much press recently, I tried to ask new questions like what’s his favorite movie, director and actor, what’s his karaoke song, what surprised him about making the film and the promotion that has come with it, deleted scenes, the mall tour and more. In addition, with Hemsworth busy with a number of other projects, we also talked about The Expendables 2, Phillip Noyce‘s Timeless, Dito Montiel‘s Empire State, and more.
Based on Suzanne Collins’ novel and produced by Nina Jacobson, The Hunger Games stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley , Alexander Ludwig, Isabelle Fuhrman and Amandla Stenberg. For more on the film, here’s three clips and six minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, as well as all our previous coverage. Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
Scream 4 star Emma Roberts is set to join Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth in the heist drama Empire State. Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) is onboard to direct the pic, which is based on the true story of a 1982 NYC armored car company robbery that was thought to be the largest cash heist in U.S. history. Hemsworth plays one of two childhood friends who plan to rob an armored car depository, while Johnson plays the NYPD detective out to bring them down (naturally). Variety reports that Roberts will play a waitress who acts as a potential love interest for Hemsworth’s character.
I thought Roberts was impressive in Scream 4, and she recently starred in two Sundance indies: The Art of Getting By and the upcoming Celeste and Jesse Forever. I was a fan of Montiel’s A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and I like everyone involved in the cast so far, so I think this has the potential to be an interesting flick. Production is set to star this spring, which means we’ll likely hear who Montiel casts opposite Hemsworth as the other potential thief soon. Roberts is currently filming the comedy Adult World with John Cusack.
Liam Hemsworth will lead Dito Montiel‘s indie heist flick Empire State (formerly titled The Sentry Keep). Hemsworth will play “Chris” and Dwayne Johnson is in talks to play “Ransone” in the film, which “is based on the true story of a 1982 NYC armored car company robbery thought at the time to be the largest cash heist in U.S. history.” Adam Mazer (Breach) co-wrote the script with Montiel (The Son of No One). According to Deadline, filming is set to begin in April.
Johnson is a fun actor who has great charisma, but he has an awful track record with his movies. He’ll next be seen in the terrible-looking family film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Hemsworth is still a bit of an unknown for me. I somehow missed The Last Song, but I’ll form an opinion on him this year since he’s co-starring in The Hunger Games and The Expendables 2. As for Montiel (who also wrote and directed A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Fighting), he continues his streak of working with seriously muscular gentlemen.