With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now. We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony. Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race. After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.
Director Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) started filming Into the Woods last week in London. Tonight brings our first look at the film with an image of Meryl Streep as The Witch. The Disney musical is full of stars in such flash fairy tale roles. Johnny Depp is The Wolf, Anna Kendrick is Cinderella, and Chris Pine is her prince. James Corden and Emily Blunt play the baker and his wife at the center of the story, on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family. The couple encounter Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters along the way in the feature adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical.
Into the Woods is scheduled for a Christmas 2014 release. See the image after the jump.
Filming is underway in London on director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of James Lapine’s Tony-winning stage musical Into the Woods. The Disney prouduction stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Along the way, they run into a number of familiar characters like Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Meryl Streep plays the villainous witch, Johnny Depp is set to portray the Big Bad Wolf, Chris Pine is Cinderella’s prince, and Anna Kendrick steps into the role of Cinderella.
Talented actors and actress from the stage and screen fill out the rest of the cast, and Stephen Sondheim has contributed a new original song to the feature. Lapine penned the screenplay, and the behind-the-scenes team includes legendary costume designer Colleen Atwood. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which runs down every role. Into the Woods opens in theaters December 25, 2014.
We closed out our D23 experience with a presentation from Disney’s upcoming slate of live-action films. Yesterday’s animation panel – featuring looks the films of Disney/Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios - was a difficult one to top. We’ve already covered the superpowered side of things with our Marvel recap, so now we’ll move on to the live-action fairy tales, original sci-fi mysteries, puppet sequel capers and nature documentaries you’ve all been waiting for!
The second half of today’s presentation included advanced looks at Saving Mr. Banks, Into the Woods, Cinderella, Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Muppets Most Wanted and DisneyNature’s Bears. There was quite literally something for everyone in this batch of upcoming films. Hit the jump to read my recap and see which one(s) strikes your fancy!
Plenty of names in tonight’s casting report:
- Will Forte, Tatum O’Neal, Joanna Lumley, and Debi Mazar have signed on to Peter Bogdanovich‘s show business comedy Squirrels to the Nuts. Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and Imogen Poots star.
- Michael Bay cast Titus Welliver in Transformers 4. Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, and Jack Reynor star.
- MacKenzie Mauzy and Bily Magnussen will join Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and Anna Kendrick in the star-studded supporting cast of the the Disey musical Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides).
Hit the jump for more on each project.
The Disney musical Into the Woods technically follows a baker and his wife (played by James Corden and Emily Blunt) on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family. But the sell is in the twist: the couple encounter fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel along the way. Director Rob Marshall recruited a stellar cast to portray the Brothers Grimm creations, including Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Anna Kendrick, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Unfortunately, we have to scratch that last name. Gyllenhaal had to bow out of the project due to scheduling issues with the independent thriller Nightcrawler. Details after the jump.
The world will soon have dueling Cinderellas to contend with; and from the same studio no less. Lily James is poised to play the title character in Disney’s Kenneth Branagh-directed redo Cinderella, and now the lovely Anna Kendrick is in talks to put on the glass slipper for Disney’s musical Into the Woods. Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, the Rob Marshall-directed film stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Along the way, they run into a number of familiar characters like Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, which is where Kendrick’s Cinderella comes in. The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise, as Kendrick actually read the Cinderella part during a big table read of the script that Marshall set up last year.
Hit the jump for more on this star-studded project.
Disney has announced a slew of release date debuts and shifts, along with a title for the Muppets sequel. Briefly:
- Two new untitled Marvel films have been set for release on May 6, 2016 and May 5, 2017.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner has been set for release on October 10, 2014.
- The star-studded musical Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, will open on December 25, 2014.
- The Muppets sequel has been titled Muppets Most Wanted.
- The bestseller adaptation The Hundred-Foot Journey, produced by Oprah Winfrey, opens on August 8, 2014.
- A presumed animated sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue will hit theaters on July 18, 2014 in 3D.
- Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, now opens in limited release on December 13th before expanding wide on December 20th.
- Director Brad Bird’s mysterious new film Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, has been moved up to December 12, 2014 from its previously announced December 19th date.
Hit the jump for more on Marvel’s newly announced projects.
Casting for a notable biopic, a Disney fairy tale, and an indie music drama:
- Eddie Redmayne is close to landing the lead role in the Stephen Hawking biopic Theory of Everything, which focuses on the relationship bewteen Hawking and his wife.
- Tracey Ullman is in negotiations to join Disney’s Into the Woods, an adaptation of the Broadway musical in which Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Blunt will play classic fairy tale characters.
- Laura Dern has joins Josh Duhamel, Maria Bello, Lucas Till, and Tom Everett Scott in Strings, the feature directorial debut of Daniel Duran.
More on each project after the jump.
Disney has been furiously casting director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) musical adaptation Into the Woods over the past few weeks, and now a couple more exciting cast members are being added. Variety reports that Emily Blunt is in talks to play the female lead in the film, which centers on a Baker and his wife as they venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Broadway actor James Corden is set to play the film’s male lead, the Baker, while Meryl Streep is set as the witch and Johnny Depp is signed on in an unspecified role.
We learned last night that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are also in talks to play the love interests of Cinderella and Rapunzel in the film (yes, they’ll sing), and The Wrap adds that Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) is in talks to reteam with her Chicago director on the pic. Production is expected to get underway this fall on what is turning out to be one hell of a musical ensemble.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
- Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) are in discussions to join Into the Woods, the Rob Marshall-adaptation of the Broadway musical that stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep.
- Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) has joined Stephen Gaghan’s The Candy Store, which stars Robert De Niro, Jason Clake and Omar Sy.
- RZA (The Man with the Iron Fists) and Catalina Denis (Sleepless Night) will join Paul Walker in Brick Mansions, the Camille Delamarre-directed remake of Luc Besson’s District B13.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
Johnny Depp is looking to stretch his musical chops once more. The Sweeney Todd actor has entered talks to join Meryl Streep in Disney’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Into the Woods, which will be helmed by Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. The film has been in the works for some time now, and it’s a fairy tale-infused story that centers around “a childless baker and his wife who attempt to life a family course by journeying into the woods to confront the witch that put a spell on them.” During their journey, they encounter a number of classic fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. Hit the jump for more.
One of the many films to premiere footage at this year’s New York Comic-Con was director James Wan‘s (Insidious) supernatural thriller The Conjuring. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as “a husband and wife team of demonologists and psychic investigators who enter the most horrifying case of their career, spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse.” Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor play a couple who unknowingly move into the haunted farmhouse with their kids. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s recap of the Comic-Con panel.
Shortly before the panel started, I saw down with Wilson for an exclusive video interview. We talked about how he got involved in The Conjuring and what attracted him to the material, what it’s like attending a comic convention after playing Nite Owl in Watchmen, what’s his favorite cut of the film, his thoughts on walking around a future convention in costume as Nite Owl, an adaptation of Caught Stealing, the status of an Insidious sequel, what it was like to do a reading for Rob Marshall‘s screen adaptation of Into the Woods, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up. After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film. Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more. Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.
Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.
Since her breakout Oscar-nominated role as the desperately happy mother-to-be in Junebug, it’s almost seemed as though Amy Adams has put together two separate acting careers. Sometimes she’s an impossibly perky comedienne perpetually waiting to burst into song in films like Enchanted or The Muppets. And then almost as if suffering from acting bi-polar disorder, she’ll turn up in quiet and pained dramatic performances as a character actress in films like The Fighter or Doubt. Her latest turn in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master slots firmly into the latter category. As the coldly manipulative wife Peggy to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s twisted religious leader Lancaster Dodd, Adams delivers another one of her wonderfully dark turns and should inevitably receive plenty of attention along with the awards-bound film.
Collider got a chance to speak with Adams at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (as part of a group interview) and she talked about delving into her interpretation of the complex role, the challenges of shooting in 70mm, and working with talents like Anderson, Hoffman, and Joaquin Phoenix. Plus, we also got around to asking her about that little movie she made this summer called Man Of Steel and what it was like to put her own stamp on Lois Lane. Hit the jump for all those details and even more tasty info nuggets.