Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan and More Set for LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT; Emma Watson Joins Ethan Hawke in Thriller REGRESSION

by     Posted 72 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to address today.  First up, it was announced that Ewan McGregor will lead the cast of writer/director Rodrigo Garcia’s (Albert Nobbs) new drama Last Days in the Desert.  McGregor will be joined by Ciaran Hinds (Harry Potter), Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel), and the young Tye Sheridan (Mud) in the pic, which follows a holy man and a demon on a journey through the desert.  McGregor will play both the holy man and the demon, and the story finds the former encountering a family struggling to survive in the harsh environment that forces the man to confront his own fate.  Production is currently underway in the Southern California desert with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life) lensing the film.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning Harry Potter alum Emma Watson tackling the thriller genre and for the full press release for Last Days in the Desert.

Revisionist Western JANE GOT A GUN Set for August 29, 2014; Stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Ewan McGregor

by     Posted 144 days ago

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For cinephiles, the behind-the-scenes drama on the revisionist western Jane Got a Gun will overshadow the film until at least the first trailer.  Natalie Portman stars as a woman who must call on an ex-lover to help defend her farm and injured outlaw husband from the husband’s gang.  Michael Fassbender was going to play the ex-lover and Joel Edgerton was to play the gang leader.  Then Fassbender left because of a scheduling conflict, Edgerton moved to the ex-lover role, and Jude Law signed on to play the villain.  Then matters got crazier when director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk about Kevin) unexpectedly dropped out on the first day of shooting, and the production scrambled for a replacement.  They got Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), but then Law left because he wanted to work with Ramsay.  Bradley Cooper came on to play the villain, then he left, and finally the production landed on Ewan McGregor.

It’s impressive that the production survived all of this hullaballoo, and The Wrap reports the movie will be released on August 29, 2014.  The light competition is the horror film Jessabelle, and the thriller The Loft, which has been on the shelf for well over a year.

Casting Call: Weaver Joins CHAPPIE; Greer in Talks for MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN; McGregor and Saldana Might KILL THE TRUMPET PLAYER

by     Posted 172 days ago

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We’ve got a few brief casting stories for you this afternoon.  First up, Sigourney Weaver has joined the cast of Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi comedy, Chappie.  The film tells the story of a robot (voiced by Sharlto Copley) imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes.  The movie stars Hugh Jackman and Dev PatelVariety has no details on Weaver’s character, but she’s a welcome addition to any cast.  Weaver is currently busy re-teaming with Ridley Scott for the biblical epic, Exodus.

Hit the jump for Judy Greer being in talks to join Jason Reitman‘s next film, Men, Women & Childen; and Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana looking to Kill the Trumpet Player in Don Cheadle‘s Miles Davis movie.

Filming Begins on David Koepp’s Action-Comedy MORTDECAI Starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ewan McGregor

by     Posted 179 days ago

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Lionsgate has announced that principal photography has begun on MortdecaiDavid Koepp‘s action comedy stars Johnny Depp as the roguish Charlie Mortdecai, an art dealer who finds himself in a race to recover a stole painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.  The official plot synopsis adds some fun details like “angry Russians”, “Mi5″, “international terrorist,” and an “impossibly leggy wife”.  It sounds a bit madcap and it could be a pretty fun flick.

Hit the jump for the press release.  The film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, and Olivia MunnMortdecai will likely open some time next year.

New Trailer for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 219 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County.  The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.  This trailer is interesting in that it paints the film as a heartwarming story of familial reconciliation, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I caught the film at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and it is incredibly dark, but also very, very funny.  The performances are pretty fantastic all around and Meryl Streep is unsurprisingly great, but if you’re expecting a nice Lifetime movie-esque film, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Julia RobertsEwan McGregorBenedict CumberbatchMargot MartindaleChris Cooper, Dermot MulroneyJuliette LewisAbigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard.  August: Osage County opens on December 25th.

TIFF 2013: AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Review

by     Posted 221 days ago

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It’s tough to decide if August: Osage County is foremost an insightful work about the dark, twisted, occasionally humorous nature of family, or if it’s good platform to showcase big performances.  Either way, it’s an engaging picture that features memorable turns from its stellar cast, especially (and unsurprisingly) Meryl Streep, and also throws together a complicated, abrasive portrait of a shattered family that can’t put the pieces back together.  They can only break into smaller pieces, and the only thing stopping the audience from breaking down is the black comedy permeating the family affair.

Rumor: Obi-Wan Kenobi Will Be in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII because People Can Speculate Endlessly at This Point

by     Posted 245 days ago

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Some people can’t wait for Star Wars: Episode VII because they love Star Wars.  I like Star Wars, but I can’t wait because I find rumors so tiresome, and they’re going to be tiresome for at least a decade as people try to dig up every scrap of information on these movies.  We didn’t even report the Emperor Palpatine rumor because it was so thin, but news is slow this morning, and I figured I’d make a comment on how little stock you should put into these early reports.  Our test case will be the latest rumor that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be in Episode VII.

Hit the jump for more, and why the Force is weak with this one.

Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow May Join Johnny Depp in MORTDECAI; Abigail Breslin Set Opposite Schwarzenegger in MAGGIE

by     Posted 268 days ago

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The cast for director David Koepp’s (Premium Rush) crime drama Mortdecai is coming together rather quickly.  Johnny Depp signed on to star in the adaptation of author Kyril Bonfiglioli’s novels just a couple of weeks ago, and now Variety reports that Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow are in talks to join the cast.  Depp plays an antihero art dealer who finds himself in “a race to recover a stole painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.”  No word on which characters McGregor or Paltrow would play in the Lionsgate pic, but they are in line to co-star.  Filming is looking to get underway later this year after Depp wraps the musical Into the Woods.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning Arnold Schwarzenegger’s zombie movie.

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 282 days ago

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Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer was doomed to failure.  The film was delayed from summer of 2012 until March of 2013, and the advertising could never find the right tone to sell the film.  And so its eventual release was met with yawns.  But it’s actually a moderately entertaining little adventure film.  Nicholas Hoult stars as the titular Jack, who comes across some magic beans that change his life.  The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Ian McShane, and my review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.

THE IMPOSSIBLE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 319 days ago

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The Impossible is a tricky film to write about because there’s just something inherently tricky about the film itself. Maybe that’s because it’s based on a true story that often feels a little too impossible to believe. Or maybe it’s because that story has been so blatantly Hollywood-ized – with Spanish 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami survivors María Belón Alvárez and Tomás Belón recast as the impossibly blonde-haired and blue-eyed Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Or maybe it’s because the finished film falls into a Hollywood genre that typically encourages us to revel in the onscreen wreckage, only here it’s impossible to do so without feeling weird – I mean, over 200,000 people died as a result of that really cool-looking wave! Anyway, these were the issues I had when I first saw The Impossible and which resurfaced while watching it on Blu-ray.  Hit the jump for my review.

First Trailer for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 343 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County.  The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.  While a bit lighter in tone than the actual story, this trailer does a swell job of teasing the film’s absolutely terrific ensemble cast, led by a characteristically great Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in what could potentially be her best role in years.  Given the talent involved both onscreen and behind the scenes (Argo‘s George Clooney and Grant Heslov produce), this thing is a surefire Oscar contender that also promises delectable interplay amongst the film’s incredible ensemble.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam ShepardAugust: Osage County opens on November 8th.

Ewan McGregor to Play JANE GOT A GUN Villain; Benicio del Toro in Talks for INHERENT VICE; Sophia Myles Joins TRANSFORMERS 4

by     Posted 347 days ago

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The forced theme of tonight’s casting report is One Word In The Title Causes Destruction:

  • Ewan McGregor is in negotiations to play the villain in Jane Got a Gun, directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior).  Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Noah Emmerich co-star.
  • Benicio del Toro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice.
  • Michael Bay cast Sophia Myles (Tristan + Isolde) in Transformers 4Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, and Kelsey Grammer co-star.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Review

by     Posted 1 year, 49 days ago

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There are two ways to read a bedtime story to a child.  The first is to be animated, and to draw the child into the world.  You move around, you do the voices of the characters, you pause for dramatic affect, and you help the child craft a dream.  The other way is to lethargically read the words on the page, and hope the damn kid goes to bed already.  Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer plays like bored parent who begrudgingly recites the same familiar tale.  Most of the cast seems to have no idea what to do with their one-dimensional characters, and they’re stuck in a bland world that offers few challenges.  Furthermore, the film looks astoundingly cheap from the CGI effects right down to the costumes.  There’s no imagination to Jack the Giant Slayer, and it fails to make a case for why it even needs to exist.

3 New Featurettes from JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Highlight the Film’s Digital and Practical Effects with Commentary from the Cast and Crew

by     Posted 1 year, 56 days ago

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Up until this point, I wasn’t entirely clear on the tone of Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer, but these three new featurettes help to clarify that issue.  In terms of recent fairy tale movies, Jack the Giant Slayer appears to be more tonally in line with the lighter Mirror Mirror than the more “gritty and realistic” Snow White and the Huntsman.  Approaching the film with this expectation (and knowing that Ewan McGregor gets rolled up in dough like a pig in a blanket), one would probably enjoy it more for the fun family adventure film that it is.

Also starring Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson and Ian McShane, Jack the Giant Slayer opens in 3D on March 1st.  Hit the jump to watch three new featurettes. 

Over 50 New High-Resolution Images from Bryan Singer’s JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

by     Posted 1 year, 63 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a slew of high-resolution images from director Bryan Singer’s upcoming fantasy adventure epic Jack the Giant Slayer.  The images highlight the film’s massive scale and large amount of visual effects, as well as the impressive ensemble cast which includes Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, and Bill Nighy.  There’s a lot to sift through, but they definitely give us a good idea of what to expect from the full film.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images.  If you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage, be sure to check out 15 things to know plus a video blog recap, and his interviews with SingerNicholas HoultEwan McGregor, and Eleanor TomlinsonJack the Giant Slayer opens in 3D on March 1st.

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