Black Friday is almost here, and like most people who love a good deal, you’ve mapped out your plan of attack (make sure this attack doesn’t involve trampling). You know what you want, where to get it, and Thanksgiving dinner be damned, you’re going to camp out in front of a store or in front of your computer. While we admire your enthusiasm, we have some suggestions for items you might want to add to your wish list. And they don’t necessarily have to be for you; they could also be for someone you know.
Adam, Dave, and I have nine items we’d like to recommend: three small items (“Stocking Stuffers”), three moderately priced items (“Under the Tree”), and three expensive items (“Extra Nice”). More importantly, we each have a charity to recommend since we truly believe it’s better to give than to receive (unless you’re receiving a trip to outer space; nothing beats a trip to outer space). Hit the jump to check out our 2013 Gift Guide.
Release dates for a few promising upcoming films have been announced. Briefly:
- Disney’s sure-to-be CGI-filled sequel Alice in Wonderland 2 will be released on May 27, 2016.
- Disney has also set a release date for director Jon Favreau’s new adaptation of The Jungle Book, which joins the box office apocalypse of 2015 on October 9, 2015.
- The closest release date comes to us by way of director Ron Howard’s real-life drama Heart of the Sea, which has been dated by Warner Bros. for release on March 13, 2015.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned properties.
Rush was one of Ron Howard‘s best films in decades, and hopefully this is the beginning of career resurgence when it comes to quality. His next film, In the Heart of the Sea, certainly has the potential with its incredible true story. In 1819, the whaling ship Essex was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism. Howard has released a couple set photos of the production working on the last day of their interior tank work.
Hit the jump to check out the images, and click here for more photos from the set. In the Heart of the Sea stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, and Benjamin Walker.
The HBO Films presentation Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight tells the story of how boxer Cassius Clay became the world’s best-known and most controversial athlete. After joining the Nation of Islam and changing his name to Muhammad Ali, he was stripped of his title and banned from the sport after he refused to be drafted into the U.S. military, based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1971, his case for being a conscientious objector reached the United States Supreme Court, with Nixon-appointed conservative Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Frank Langella) at its helm, leaving his case in the hands of nine justices. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film also stars Christopher Plummer, Benjamin Walker, Danny Glover, Ed Begley Jr. and Pablo Schreiber.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Benjamin Walker – who plays Justice Harlan’s (Plummer) idealistic new clerk, Kevin Connolly – talked about how he became a part of this project, why he wanted to help tell this largely unknown story, how he felt about the decision to let Muhammad Ali do all of his own talking in the film instead of having an actor play him, and what it was like to work with an actor as accomplished as Christopher Plummer. He also talked about working with Ron Howard on In the Heart of the Sea (based on the 1820 event when a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home), all of the training the cast got to do together, the extreme physicality of the role, and how the goal is to be done shooting around Christmas. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Ron Howard’s F1 racing drama Rush opens in theaters everywhere this weekend, but the filmmaker is already knee-deep in production on his next film. It was announced today that filming is underway in the UK on Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, which tells the story of the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvile’s Moby Dick. In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism.
We’ve already seen some set photos of Howard’s period-specific sets and ships, and there will likely be a frame story device in the pic since Ben Whishaw has been cast as Melville and Brendan Gleeson is poised to play an older version of Tom Holland’s character. Chris Hemsworth leads a cast that also includes Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, and Jordi Molla. Hit the jump for the full press release, and click here to watch Steve’s recent interview with Howard.
We’ve cobbled together a collection of new images from the following films:
- Need for Speed – Scott Waugh’s film adaptation of the street racing video game franchise starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Kid Cudi, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton opens March 14, 2014.
- Horrible Bosses 2 – The Sean Anders-directed sequel (which star Jason Bateman recently talked about in an interview with Steve) is about to kick into production with stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.
- In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard’s film about the whaling ship Essex that inspired Herman Melville’s famous whale tale stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Benjamin Walker.
Hit the jump to check out the images.
Take note, filmmakers: if you don’t want paparazzi and amateur photogs snagging set photos, send them out yourselves. We’ve rounded up some new images from across the social media landscape to bring to you today in one place, incuding:
- Mad Max: Fury Road – A new, cleaned-up image of Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky. Also starring Nicholas Hoult, Charlize Theron, Mel Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, and Riley Keough, George Miller’s newest Mad Max film opens in 2014.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past – A viral image from the film’s Twitter account featuring a brief shot of what we presume to be a Sentinel from Trask Industries. Bryan Singer’s X-Men Days of Future Past, starring James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry, opens in 3D on May 23, 2014.
- In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel about the whaling ship, Essex, that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson.
- Fury – David Ayer’s World War II thriller starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Scott Eastwood and Michael Peña opens November 14, 2014.
Hit the jump to see the new images.
While Ron Howard’s F1 racing drama Rush doesn’t open in theaters until next month, the filmmaker is already hard at work prepping his next project. Filming begins in a few weeks on Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, which tells the story of the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvile’s Moby Dick. In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism. Chris Hemsworth leads a cast that includes Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson.
While rehearsals for In the Heart of the Sea begin next week, it appears that Howard has had some significant work done on the script by his Oscar-nominated Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan. Hit the jump for more, including some official production photos.
Here’s more of today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each announcement.
Here’s today’s latest casting information:
- Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream), Mackenzie Foy (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) and Timothee Chalamet (Homeland) will join Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
- Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man) has joined Jon Favreau’s restaurant comedy, Chef.
- Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas) and Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) may join Ron Howard’s “Moby Dick” picture, In the Heart of the Sea.
- Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz is in negotiations to join writer-director Noah Baumbach’s indie picture, While We’re Young.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
A couple more actors have joined the ranks of director Ron Howard’s upcoming ocean-set drama In the Heart of the Sea. The film tells the story of the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvile’s Moby Dick. In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism. Variety reports that Brendan Gleeson has joined the cast and is set to play an older version of one of the surviving crewmembers who is interviewed years later by Melville. Additionally, Sam Keeley (Godzilla) is set to play one of the crew members aboard the ship.
Gleeson and Keeley join an impressive ensemble that includes Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Holland. Production begins this September. Hit the jump for casting news concerning the indie Walter.
Two veteran directors have added a couple of very talented actors to their next films. First up, Jason Schwartzman has signed on to star alongside Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, and Krysten Ritter in director Tim Burton’s true story Big Eyes. The story focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret (Adams) and Walter (Waltz) Keane. Walter became famous in the 1950s and 60s for paintings featuring saucer-eyed kids, though it was the shy Margaret who really did the work. Margaret eventually tired of the misplaced credit, which led to a divorce and a heated court battle to prove authorship of the paintings.
It’s refreshing to see Burton stepping out of his comfort zone casting-wise with this film, as Schwartzman makes yet another Burton-newbie added to the cast. The Wrap reports that the actor will play a San Francisco art gallery owner named Ruben in the film. Hit the jump for casting news concerning Ron Howard’s next film.
Here’s today’s casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
We’ve got casting news for every taste this evening. Here’s the latest:
- Noah Emmerich will be teaming up with Warrior director, Gavin O’Connor once again. This time for the production-troubled Western Jane Got a Gun.
- Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is ready for another frontier round, as she joins the cast of Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman.
Hit the jump for more details on each casting.
Ron Howard is all over this week, becoming attached to direct two fantasy adaptations: Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book and Israeli import All I’ve Got. Before Howard launches into those worlds, though, he may first tackle a project more grounded in reality. Vulture hears Howard is circling the adaptation of Nathaniel Philbri‘s In the Heart of the Sea, which could take precedence as his next project and shoot this fall with Warner Bros. financing. Chris Hemsworth, per usual, is a major selling point. Howard is now in post-production on Rush, a Formula One biopic led by Hemsworth, and Hemsworth is set to star in In the Heart of the Sea. The 19th century drama follows the surviving crew who drifted for 90 days in the South Pacific after their whaleship was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale. (That sperm whale went on to inspire Moby Dick.)
Howard has not yet committed, but you can see why the story and the star would attract him. A period piece shot on the sea would likely be a massive undertaking, and if WB plays their cards right, a viable prestige picture come awards season. Read the book synopsis after the jump.