Warner Bros. has announced early 2015 release dates for a pair of its upcoming films.
- Director Guy Ritchie’s 1960s spy thriller The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been given the surprisingly unceremonious release date of January 16, 2015. The film stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.
- The con man film Focus, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), will hit theaters on February 27, 2015. Crazy, Stupid, Love. scribes Glenn Ficarra and John Requa direct.
Hit the jump for more on both films and what kind of competition they will face at the box office.
Director Guy Ritchie is looking to kick off another franchise at Warner Bros., and this is one that the studio has been trying to get off the ground for years. If you’ll remember, Warner Bros. developed a take on the King Arthur legend called Arthur & Lancelot a couple of years ago with David Dobkin (The Change-Up) attached to direct. The project went so far as to cast Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) in the lead roles, but WB pulled the plug when the budget got two high. It looked as if things might pick up when Colin Farrell then entered talks to take on a lead role, but that casting didn’t work out and Dobkin went on to direct Robert Downey Jr. in the upcoming drama The Judge.
Now Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie is looking to revive a King Arthur film at the studio, this time as part of an ambitious six-film franchise. Hit the jump to read on.
Bill Murray is poised to team up with Wag the Dog and Rain Man director Barry Levinson on the aptly named Rock the Kasbah. The Wrap reports that Murray will lead the pic, which centers on a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client. Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.” QED is producing the film, which boasts a script by Mitch Glazer (The Recruit, Magic City).
Hit the jump for a familiar cast addition to Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. along with an official synopsis for the film.
Warner Bros. is keen on continuing its relationship with filmmaker Guy Ritchie for quite some time, it seems. Ritchie and the studio have paired on his last three films, RocknRolla, Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and the filmmaker is currently gearing up to direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for WB as well. Now THR reports that Warners has acquired the rights to the Thomas Kelly novel Empire Rising and will develop the project as a potential directing gig for Ritchie. The story takes place in 1930 and centers on events surrounding the construction of the titular Empire State Building, as a romantic triangle develops between Irish immigrant steelworker Michael Briody, Mayor Jimmy Walker’s criminal underworld liaison Johnny Farell, and a beautiful artist named Grace Masterson. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the novel.
Casting continues on director Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as another female role has been filled. The pic has been in development for years with a number of different directors coming and going, but Ritchie will finally be the one to see this thing through. After losing Tom Cruise in one of the lead roles, Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill was subsequently tapped to play U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo alongside Armie Hammer as fellow agent Illya Kuryakin. Alicia Vikander signed on to the film a few months ago, and now The Great Gatsby actress Elizabeth Debicki is set to play another female role in the pic. Hit the jump for more, including plot details for Ritchie’s “serious” take on the popular TV series.
In a rather unexpected development, director Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the popular TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has lost its leading man. Tom Cruise was originally set to star in the Warner Bros. spy pic, which is being planned as a potential franchise-starter, but with a fall production start-date looming Cruise has now vacated the starring role in order to focus his efforts on getting Mission: Impossible 5 off the ground. The film had recently started filling out its cast with Armie Hammer signing on to co-star and Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) entering talks to play the film’s female lead, but Ritchie must now start searching to fill his leading role . Hit the jump for more on the future of both U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible 5.
For a 125 year old, Sherlock Holmes is a pretty popular guy. The character is currently being portrayed on two different television series (the BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’ Elementary), and Warner Bros. has a very successful Sherlock Holmes film franchise on their hands. Director Guy Ritchie’s 2009 period take, Sherlock Holmes, struck a chord with audiences thanks to the electric chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and Ritchie’s interesting visual approach to the story, and its worldwide gross of over half a billion dollars spawned a sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Game of Shadows saw Ritchie and Co. tackle the classic Arthur Conan Doyle villain Moriarty (played by Jared Harris), and again grossed over $500 million worldwide. Back in October of 2011, Warner Bros. unsurprisingly hired Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3) to start working on a screenplay for Sherlock Holmes 3. Steve recently got the chance to interview producer Dan Lin in anticipation of the upcoming crime drama Gangster Squad, and Lin provided a promising update on the status of SH3. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and a number of highly anticipated video game titles are hitting stores over the next few weeks to make for some great stocking stuffers. We recently saw the David Fincher-produced launch trailer for Halo 4, and now a live-action trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) has been released. It continues the series’ clever “there’s a gamer in all of us” campaign, but it goes one further as Ritchie’s buddy/frequent collaborator Robert Downey Jr. makes a fun cameo. It’s a fun watch that also teases the future-set game’s new array of weapons and, of course, zombies.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) and Dave Anthony, the game features the voices of Sam Worthington and Michael Rooker, with music composed by Trent Reznor and Jack Wall. Call of Duty: Black Ops II hits stores on November 13th.
Though Robert Downey Jr. is currently busy shooting the third installment of his Marvel franchise Iron Man, he has another popular series that’s poised to get the threequel treatment at some point in the near future. The success of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (it grossed over $540 million worldwide) spurred Warner Bros. to get working on another entry in the action sleuth series, as the studio hired Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce to handle the screenplay last October.
Word on the project since then has been quiet, but Steve recently sat down with Jude Law at the Toronto Film Festival to talk about his upcoming romantic drama Anna Karenina. Towards the end of the conversation, Law provided a brief update on Sherlock Holmes 3, expressing his excitement at the prospect of reuniting with the Sherlock team for another go-around. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
There are so many versions of Sherlock Holmes that having “the Robert Downey Jr. one” in the mix only adds a different flavor to the character. His version is more of an action hero than problem solver (though there’s much of that too), and the latest adventure Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – directed by Guy Richie and co-starring Jude Law as Dr. Watson – is entertaining enough, and it ends well. But it feels a little routine. If the first film was clever and had more of a sense of discovery, this is just more of the same. Our review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
Warner Bros. has set Guy Ritchie to direct a new iteration of Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate tale Treasure Island. Deadline reports that Alex Harakis has been tapped to write the screenplay, and Ritchie will produce alongside partner Lionel Wigram. The duo teamed up on the reimaging of Sherlock Holmes which itself spawned last year’s sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Ritchie most recently signed on to produce and possibly direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros. after Steven Soderbergh left the project.
Wigram has been developing Treasure Island for the past couple of years, with Paul Greengrass eyeing the project as a directorial vehicle at one point. There’s no word on how this update will differ from Stevenson’s original story, and though the kid in me is screaming “space pirates!” I’d love to see a hardened, high seas adventure a la Master and Commander from Ritchie.
The first Sherlock Holmes had to overcome the challenge of readjusting the legendary detective to a modernized version who lived in a jacked-up version of Victorian England. The film was a hit, audiences accepted director Guy Ritchie‘s re-imagined Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.), and the sequel moves on to broadening the world, upping the ante, and refining the rough parts of the original. Like its predecessor, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is fun, easily-digestible entertainment, but the sequel simplifies the mystery and misses a major opportunity to highlight one of literature’s great villains.
In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the world most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Accustomed to being the smartest man in the room, criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) throws Holmes off of his game, with his capacity for evil and lack of a moral compass keeping him steps ahead. As Holmes’ investigation into Moriarty’s plot becomes more dangerous, it also puts his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson (Jude Law), at risk and threatens to alter the course of history.
At a press conference to promote the film’s December 16th theatrical release, Robert Downey Jr. talked about the challenge of taking the character and story to another level for the sequel, always keeping Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in mind when playing the role, transforming into a woman this time around, and working with Jared Harris and developing the adversarial relationship between Holmes and Moriarty. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Warner Bros. looks to have found their point man for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The studio has been searching for a suitable replacement since director Steven Soderbergh left the long-in-development project over budget and casting disagreements, and now Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie has signed on as producer with an eye to direct. Deadline reports that Ritchie and his Sherlock Holmes partner Lionel Wigram have signed on to produce the pic, with the intention of having Ritchie take the helm.
The film is based on the 1960s spy TV series and has a script by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). There’s no word on whether Ritchie will want a new draft, but one assumes he’d like to tailor the project to his strengths. Production was set to begin this spring, but depending on how drastically Ritchie wants to change the project it may be a while before it goes in front of cameras. As for the lead role, Ritchie has gotten along famously with Robert Downey Jr. on the two Sherlock Holmes pics and the actor would certainly bring a great deal of fun to the role, so I’d be all for the two teaming up again on U.N.C.L.E. At this point though, there’s no new information regarding casting. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.
We’ve been provided with nine clips from Guy Ritchie’s upcoming Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows to share with our readers. The sequel finds Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes and Jude Law’s Watson going head-to-head with supervillain Moriarty, played by Mad Men’s Jared Harris. This time around Holmes and Watson have a new companion in Noomi Rapace, who plays a gypsy tagging along on their quest to get to the bottom of Moriarty’s dastardly plan.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. If you missed any of Steve’s coverage from the set, be sure to check out his interviews with Downey Jr. and Law, Rapace, Harris, producers Susan Downey and Lionel Wigram, as well as his video blog recapping the events of the set visit. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opens December 16th.