The first trailer for director Lenny Abrahamson’s dark comedy Frank has been released online. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender. The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, as Fassbender sports an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film. I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s incredibly weird, very funny, and oddly sweet. Fassbender is excellent as the titular Frank, and Gleeson shines once again as the straight man opposite a bounty of strange characters.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s full review. The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy. Frank opens in the U.K. on May 9th and in the U.S. later this year.
The latest Sundance Film Festival pictures that have been acquired for distribution:
- Writer-director Jeff Baena’s zombie rom-com Life after Beth, starring Dane DeHaan, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick, has been acquired by A24 for U.S. distribution. Read up on our Sundance interviews with Baena here, and DeHaan and Plaza here.
- Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons, Love Is Strange has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. Read up on Matt’s review of the film from Sundance here.
- Frank, directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for North American distribution. Read Matt’s Sundance review here.
Hit the jump to read the press releases for Love Is Strange, Frank, and Life after Beth, and click here to catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage.
“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scott McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender). Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own. It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.
The Premieres lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was just unveiled, and along with it a collection of first look images and synopses for said films are now online. Briefly:
- The Raid 2 – Directed by Gareth Evans; starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, and Alex Abbad.
- They Came Together – Directed by David Wain; starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, and Christopher Meloni.
- Frank – Directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy.
- Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, and Mark Webber.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival has already announced its lineup for competition films and the At Midnight and NEXT categories, and today they’ve unveiled the multitude of world premieres that will take place in Park City next month. These films include the action sequel The Raid 2, director Lynne Shelton’s new film Laggies, director Anton Corbijn’s John le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, the David Wain comedy They Came Together, writer/director Jake Paltrow’s sci-fi pic Young Ones, the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, and many more. Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.
The first image has been released for Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd) as man “who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).” The film is based off the memoir by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and “is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.” As you can see from the image, Fassbender looks like he’s really gotten in shape for the film, and that shape is terrifying.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Scoot McNairy, Carla Aza, and Francois Civil.
A few casting notices:
- Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to play Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Paradise Lost, which is not exactly a Pablo Escobar biopic.
- Scoot McNairy booked two roles. He will star opposite Michael Fassbender in Frank, and joins Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in The Rover.
- The full cast list for Reach Me features Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Thomas Jane, Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelsey Grammer, Nelly, Terry Crews, Ryan Kwanten, and more.
Details on each project after the jump.
The incredibly talented (not to mention charming) Michael Fassbender is looking to try his hand at comedy. Variety reports that Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter) are attached to star in director Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank. The film is loosely based on the life of musician/comedian Chris Sievey and will center on an aspiring musician (Gleeson) “who finds himself in over his head when he joins an eccentric rock band fronted by Fassbender.” Gleeson is probably best known for his turn as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films, but he also had memorable parts in True Grit and Never Let Me Go. He appears in this fall’s Dredd and Anna Karenina.
Fassbender recently wrapped a re-team with Shame director Steve McQueen on Twelve Years a Slave and is currently filming Ridley Scott’s drama The Counselor. He’ll return for the X-Men: First Class sequel early next year, and he’s also set to produce and star in an adaptation of Assassin’s Creed. No word on when he’ll be available to squeeze Frank into his tight schedule, but I’m interested to see the actor’s comedic chops.
After directing 2007′s highly-acclaimed Enchanted, Kevin Lima has finally settled on his next project. ProductionWeekly reports that Lima will direct Hugh Jackman in the comedy Avon Man. 20th Century Fox picked up Kevin Bisch’s pitch back in July with Variety reporting the following synopsis:
Story follows men laid off from an auto dealership. One is reluctantly recruited into becoming an Avon salesman, and while the experience is initially emasculating, he uses his charm and good looks to become a top seller. The comedy takes on a “Full Monty” vibe when the car salesman sets out to save his financially strapped family and town by conscripting his buddies into the makeup business to win a regional contest.
Lima has also been attached to several projects including The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Tom Thumb, The Spook’s Apprentice, and Frank, all of which fall around the light-hearted comedy realm. PW reports that filming on Avon Man is set to begin this April in Atlanta.
If you think you are more popular than director Kevin Lima, you are incorrect. His success with directing 2007′s “Enchanted” has attached him to several films including “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”, “Tom Thumb”, and “The Spook’s Apprentice” because it’s a lot easier to say “From the Director of Enchanted” than “From the Director of 102 Dalmations”.
But because your high-concept-comedy-not-starring-Eddie-Murphy can’t possibly go forward without him, Variety is reporting that Lima is now also attached to “Frank”. The premise is as follows:
Story centers on a teenage prodigy who’s on the cutting edge of cell research in medical school and is encouraged by her guidance counselor to take a break from the lab and make some friends. After several unsuccessful attempts at socializing with her peers, she decides to use her scientific prowess and piece together a friend out of the med school’s instructional cadavers.
Okay, dropping the snark and the cynicism for a moment, that actually sounds pretty cute and if “Enchanted” is any indication, Lima sounds perfect for directing it. Ugh. What is this warm, fuzzy feeling? I must go find something fresh to hate and belittle. Damn you and your charming projects, Lima!