Neil Burger Talks DIVERGENT, HUNGER GAMES Comparisons, Why He Didn’t Direct INSURGENT, Possibly Returning for ALLEGIANT, and More

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Earlier this year, Summit Entertainment launched a new franchise with Divergent.  The adaptation of the first novel in author Veronica Roth’s trilogy bore some resemblance to another post-apocalyptic franchise, but director Neil Burger ensured that his futuristic sci-fi thriller would stand alone.  He began by assembling an excellent cast led by Shailene Woodley, opted for a colorful visual approach heavy in luminosity, and took care in pleasing passionate fans of Roth’s source material.  The result was a fun, thrilling, and somewhat surprising film that took in over $270 million at the worldwide box office and paved the way for the sequel, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which is poised for release on March 20, 2015.

With Divergent being released on Blu-ray and DVD this week, I recently got the chance to speak with Burger over the phone.  During the course of our interview, he discussed his reaction to the film’s success, the double-edge nature of the pre-release Hunger Games comparisons, the pain of removing the eye-stabbing subplot in the editing process, how much he knew about Allegiant ahead of time, and more.  Additionally, Burger revealed that he was actually going to direct Insurgent but reshoots made the timetable impossible, and talked about the possibility of returning to the franchise to helm one of the Allegiant films.  Read the interview after the jump.

Mark Rylance Joins Spielberg’s Cold War Thriller; Dave Franco Joins THE ROOM Movie; Marion Cotillard in MAL DE PIERRES; Duo Set for INSURGENT

by     Posted 71 days ago

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We have a few casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Stage actor Mark Rylance is the second actor to join the cast of Steven Spielberg’s next film, a Cold War thriller fronted by Tom Hanks.
  • Dave Franco is set to star opposite his brother James Franco in the film about the making of The Room, titled The Disaster Artist.
  • Marion Cotillard will lead the period romance Mal de Pierres.
  • The roles of Uriah and Lynn have been filled for the sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

Djimon Hounsou in TARZAN; Daniel Dae Kim in THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT; Ray Liotta, Rose Leslie, Justin Bartha & More in STICKY NOTES

by     Posted 76 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Djimon Hounsou will join David Yates’ Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz.  The picture is due to open July 1, 2016.
  • Daniel Dae Kim is set to star in Robert Schwentke’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent (and, yes, this is the new official title), starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James.  The sequel will open March 20, 2015.
  • Ray Liotta, Justin Bartha, Gina Rodriguez, and Rose Leslie will star in Amanda Harlib’s directorial debut, Sticky Notes.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

Naomi Watts Joins INSURGENT and ALLEGIANT; Tim Roth Added to SELMA; James Ransone Set for Western IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE

by     Posted 77 days ago

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We have a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Naomi Watts has landed the critical role of Evelyn in the Divergent sequel Insurgent, as well as the two-part conclusion to the franchise Allegiant.
  • Tim Roth will play Governor George Wallace in the Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma.
  • The Wire alum has joined John Travolta and Ethan Hawke in director Ti West’s (The Sacrament) Blumhouse Pictures Western In a Valley of Violence.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

Rhys Ifans in Talks for ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2; Katie Holmes Joins WOMAN IN GOLD; Rodrigo Santoro to Lead DOMINION; INSURGENT Adds Two

by     Posted 83 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting announcements to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) will join Johnny Depp in the Alice in Wonderland sequel Through the Looking Glass.
  • Katie Holmes has signed on to star opposite Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren in the Holocaust drama The Woman in Gold.
  • Rodrigo Santoro (300) has joined Dominion, a film about the last day of poet Dylan Thomas’ life.
  • The currently-filming Divergent sequel Insurgent has added Jonny Weston (Chasing Mavericks) and Suki Waterhouse (Pusher).
  • The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal has Emily Blunt in the cast of Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve‘s upcoming film Sicario.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

DIVERGENT Sequel INSURGENT Begins Filming in Atlanta

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Lionsgate has announced that the Divergent sequel Insurgent has begun production in Atlanta, barreling towards the film’s March 20, 2015 release date.  That’s a rather quick turnaround for the futuristic thriller since Divergent only just opened in theaters this past March, and especially given that director Robert Schwentke (Red) has only been on the project for a couple of months.  Schwentke takes over directorial duties from Neil Burger, who was too busy completing post-production on Divergent to be able to prep and shoot Insurgent in the allotted time.

Hit the jump for more on Insurgent, including the full press release and official synopsis.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, and Maggie Q.

Noomi Rapace to Star Opposite Will Smith in BRILLIANCE; Octavia Spencer Joins DIVERGENT Sequel INSURGENT

by     Posted 100 days ago

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It appears that Will Smith has committed to his next project.  THR reports that Noomi Rapace is in talks to star opposite Smith in the sci-fi thriller Brilliance, firming up the pic as Smith’s next film.  Scripted by David Koepp (War of the Worlds), the film is based on the Marcus Sakey novel of the same name and takes place in a world where one percent of people are born with heightened cognitive abilities, dubbed “brilliants.”  Smith plays a federal agent whose gift is put to good use hunting terrorists, but he meets his match when he must track down another “brilliant” who is bent on igniting a civil war.  Rapace will play “a tattooed and pierced brilliant identified as a terrorist by the government.”  Julius Onah is directing the Legendary/Universal film, and production is looking to begin this summer.

Hit the jump for a major casting development concerning the Divergent sequel Insurgent.

Lionsgate Splitting Adaptation of Final DIVERGENT Book, ALLEGIANT, into Two Parts

by     Posted 131 days ago

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This is what Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has wrought.  From now on, the final chapter of every major franchise will be split in two.  Mark my words: Eventually the adaptation of the final book in a trilogy will be split into thirds.  Xzibit will have to appear before every franchise and say, “I heard you like trilogies so I put a trilogy inside your trilogy.”  The latest franchise to get the split treatment is Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy.  It’s not a surprising move.  Lionsgate split the final Twilight book—Breaking Dawn—into two parts and they’re doing the same thing with Mockingjay, the finale of the Hunger Games series.  You have to milk these franchises for all their worth even though I have yet to hear a single good thing about Allegiant.

Hit the jump for the press release regarding the Allegiant movie split.  The next installment, Insurgent will open on March 20, 2015.  Allegiant – Part 1 will be released March 18, 2016 and Allegiant – Part 2 will open on March 24, 2017.

Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher Talk DIVERGENT, Director Neil Burger, Sequels, the Cast, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 148 days ago

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With Divergent now playing in theaters, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher.  For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities.  Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.”  Hit the jump to watch the interview.  Divergent also stars Theo James, Ansel ElgortRay StevensonZoe Kravitz, Tony GoldwynAshley Judd, Ben Lloyd-HughesMaggie QMekhi Phifer, Christian Madsen, and Kate Winslet.

During the interview, Wick and Fisher talked about how the project came together, casting the great group of young up and coming actors, deleted scenes, landing director Neil Burger, why he isn’t doing the sequel, when they’re planning on filming the next installment, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Shailene Woodley Talks DIVERGENT, Taking on Her First Big Movie, Having Fun with the Cast Away from Set, the Stunts, and More

by     Posted 156 days ago

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With director Neil Burger’s (LimitlessDivergent opening next weekend, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with Shailene Woodley.  During the interview, Woodley talked about if she was nervous to take on her first big Hollywood movie, why the police were called to the building where the cast was staying when they were filming in Chicago, if she was nervous doing the stunts, the sequel Insurgent, and more.

For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities.  Tris (Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.”  Hit the jump to watch the interview.  Divergent also stars Theo James, Ashley JuddRay StevensonZoe KravitzJai CourtneyTony GoldwynAnsel Elgort,Maggie QBen Lloyd-HughesChristian Madsen, and Kate Winslet.

Producer Todd Lieberman Talks MUPPETS MOST WANTED, Planning the Cameos, His Involvement with the DIVERGENT Sequel, and More

by     Posted 156 days ago

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With Muppets Most Wanted opening next weekend, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with producer Todd Lieberman.  During the interview he talked about the first time he heard they’d get to make a sequel, the process of developing the sequel and the urgency to get a story together, the cameos and the process of organizing them, his thoughts on Muppets TV specials or possibly a Muppets series, filming in London, his thoughts on getting the Muppets in LEGO form, how he came to be producing Insurgent (the sequel to Divergent), and a lot more.

In the sequel, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets mistaken for his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine.  The film stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey, and features a ton of celebrity cameos.  For more on the film, watch 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, or check out all our previous coverage which features TV spots, clips, interviews, and more.  Muppets Most Wanted opens March 21.

Theo James Talks DIVERGENT, the Stunts, Why the Police Came to the Building Where the Cast Was Staying, and More

by     Posted 157 days ago

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With director Neil Burger’s (Limitless) Divergent opening next weekend, I recently landed an exclusive video interview withTheo James (who plays Four).  During the interview, James talked about how happy he is with the  way the film turned out, if he was nervous doing the stunts, the sequel, why the police were called to the building where the cast was staying when they were filming in Chicago, what it was like working with Johnny Depp on London Fields, and more.

For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities.  Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.”  Hit the jump to watch the interview.  Divergent also stars Ashley JuddRay StevensonZoe KravitzJai CourtneyTony GoldwynAnsel Elgort,Maggie QBen Lloyd-HughesChristian Madsen, and Kate Winslet.

Writer-Director Akiva Goldsman Talks WINTER’S TALE, Finding Inspiration Through Loss, Filming His Flying Horse on the Fly, INSURGENT, and More

by     Posted 189 days ago

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Even though he’s a prolific writer and producer, having won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind and produced acclaimed features including Lone Survivor and I Am Legend, Akiva Goldsman decided it was time to give directing a go.  However, it wasn’t because Goldsman had dreamed of eventually directing a feature, but rather because he found material that struck such a chord that directing the piece himself became the only option.  Come Valentine’s Day, we’ll get the chance to check out Goldsman’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s 1983 novel, Winter’s Tale. The film focuses on Colin Farrell’s Peter Lake, an expert thief who walks into a home intending to steal and winds up having something stolen from him – his heart.  (Come on; Valentine’s Day is on the way!)

Now, in addition to Goldsman’s The Dark Tower update, you can catch what he told us about bringing Winter’s Tale to screen including how the loss of a loved one made him particularly passionate about the narrative, what happened when their visual effects company shut down prior to filming, the decision to cast Will Smith as well as what we can expect from his script for the Divergent sequel, Insurgent, and loads more in the full video interview below.

Robert Schwentke to Direct DIVERGENT Sequel, INSURGENT

by     Posted 190 days ago

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About two months ago, we reported that Divergent director Neil Burger would not be returning to helm the sequel, titled Insurgent.  Now, it looks as if Summit has found a new director in Robert Schwentke, who is best known for directing the comedic actioner Red, and most recently helmed R.I.P.D.  Insurgent, the second book in the Veronica Roth novel series, was initially adapted for the screen by Brian Duffield, with work currently being done by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, and Kate Winslet, Divergent opens March 21st.  Hit the jump for more.

Akiva Goldsman to Work on Script of DIVERGENT Sequel, INSURGENT

by     Posted 205 days ago

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With the recent news that Neil Burger – the director for Summit’s upcoming Divergent adaptation – would not be returning to helm the sequel, the search is still on for a new director.  On the screenwriting front, however, Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) has been tapped to work on the follow-up film, Insurgent.  The first draft of the film was written by Brian Duffield (Jane Got a Gun).  Shooting on the adaptation of the second book in Veronica Roth’s YA trilogy is scheduled to begin this spring.  Hit the jump for more.

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