Sony Drops New “In Franco and Rogen We Trust” THE INTERVIEW Promo Touting Christmas Release; Is a VOD Debut on the Way?

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In my four years of writing for Collider professionally, this may have been the weirdest movie news week I’ve ever seen.  The Sony hack hit a crucial moment as theater chains began refusing to show The Interview, followed by Sony Pictures officially pulling the theatrical release altogether.  The studio said it had “no further release plans” after the announcement despite some speculation that they might just release the film on VOD, but today the studio uploaded a new The Interview promo with the Christmas Day release intact.  Moreover, the video addresses the controversy directly, with a giant “In Franco and Rogen We Trust” blasted over new footage from the movie, which includes a character asking Franco, “How many times can the U.S. make the same mistake?”  Does this mean a VOD release is actually in the cards?  More after the jump.

First TRUE STORY Trailer: Jonah Hill and James Franco Go Dramatic in Dark Thriller

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Fox Searchlight has released the first True Story trailer for director Rupert Goold‘s upcoming drama.  Based on real events, the film stars Jonah Hill as disgraced New York Times journalist Michael Finkel, who strikes up a head-spinning relationship with accused murderer Christian Longo, played by James Franco.  After watching them play off each other in such hilarious fashion onscreen in This Is the End, I’ll admit there’s a bit of whiplash in seeing Hill and Franco play opposite each other in something as dark and serious as this.  That said, both actors have separately proven themselves to be formidable dramatic talents and the story here is incredibly compelling, so I’m really looking forward to catching this one next month at Sundance.

Hit the jump to watch the True Story trailer.  The film also stars Felicity JonesTrue Story will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January and opens in theaters April 10, 2015.

Sundance Lineup Adds TRUE STORY with Jonah Hill and James Franco Plus Robert Redford’s A WALK IN THE WOODS; First Images Released

by     Posted 3 days ago

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The 2015 Sundance Film Festival lineup already looked pretty great, but now they’ve slated a couple more additions to make the fest even more exciting.  Director Rupert Goold’s drama True Story and director Ken Kwapis’ adaptation of the Billy Bryson novel A Walk in the Woods have both been added to the Premieres lineup, while the animated Shaun the Sheep will also screen at the festival.  True Story stars Jonah Hill as disgraced New York Times journalist Michael Finkel, who strikes up a head-spinning relationship with accused murderer Christian Longo, played by James FrancoFelicity Jones also stars in this incredibly promising drama, which is immediately one of my must-sees of the fest.  A Walk in the Woods, meanwhile, stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte as an aging travel writer and his estranged high school buddy, respectively, who set out to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Check out the first True Story images, plus the first look at A Walk in the Woods, after the jump.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22 – February 1st.

Watch: Seth Rogen and James Franco Pitch Familiar Movie Ideas to Blake Griffin

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Since their very first scenes on Freaks and Geeks, Seth Rogen and James Franco have had excellent chemistry together.  They’ve worked opposite one another on a number of films over the years, and their latest collaboration—the fantastic-looking comedy The Interview—is due out in theaters in just a couple of weeks.  In anticipation of the release, Rogen and Franco recently shot some promo videos for ESPN featuring Los Angeles Clippers player Blake Griffin (Boomer Sooner).  A lot of times when athletes are brought into these types of things they’re really just there to be recognized, but Griffin is genuinely funny and he does a swell job holding his own opposite Rogen and Franco in these promos.  The gist of the gag is that Rogen and Franco are pitching very familiar movie ideas to Griffin for him to make his Hollywood debut.  Hilarity ensues, but my vote is for the Griffin-led Space Jam to actually happen.

Watch the promo videos after the jump.  The Interview opens in theaters on December 25th.

Sundance 2015 First Images from MISTRESS AMERICA, SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE, GRANDMA, and I AM MICHAEL

by     Posted 10 days ago

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The Sundance Film Festival announced today which films will be screening as part of the Premieres category, and debut images from said pictures were released as well.  In this article, we’ve rounded up the first images from the following films:

  • Mistress America – Directed by Noah Baumbach; Starring Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke.
  • Sleeping with Other People – Written and directed by Leslye Headland; Starring Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet, Jason Matnzoukas, Natasha Lyonne.
  • Grandma – Written and directed by Paul Weitz; Starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott.
  • I Am Michael – Directed by Justin Kelly; Starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts.

Check out the images and loglines after the jump.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 22nd – February 1st.

Watch: SNL Takes on the STAR WARS Trailer with Elderly Han, Luke, and Leia

by     Posted 11 days ago

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It wasn’t necessarily a surprise given that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer debut was a massive cultural event, but last night’s James Franco-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live premiered its own version of the Star Wars trailer.  The crux of the joke is that the returning cast members (whom we didn’t glimpse in the official trailer) are all quite old now, and SNL’s take on their return is pretty great.  Taran Killam’s “old Harrison Ford” voice is spot on, and Bobby Moynihan makes for a swell “old Leia”.  Seeing as how it will be a while until we see another official Star Wars trailer (probably attached to Avengers: Age of Ultron), this’ll do for now.

Watch the SNL Star Wars trailer after the jump.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Kim Jong-Un and James Franco Are Katy Perry Fans in New THE INTERVIEW Trailer

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Sony has released a new The Interview trailer for This Is the End directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s upcoming comedy.  James Franco and Rogen star as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  This new trailer introduces the film’s iteration of the North Korean dictator, played by Veep standout Randall Park.  We only get a brief glimpse of the character here, but it’s a promising introduction and I’m very eager to see how far Rogen and Goldberg take things as the full film progresses.

Watch the new (and apparently final) The Interview trailer after the jump, and if you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage be sure to check out interviews with Rogen, Goldberg & Franco, Park, and his full set visit reportLizzy Caplan also stars.  The Interview opens in theaters on December 25th.

James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams Set as SNL Hosts for December

by     Posted 28 days ago

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NBC has announced the next three hosts of Saturday Night Live for the month of December, and they’re mighty promising.  James Franco will kick things off on December 6th with his third appearance as host, accompanied by musical guest Nicki Minaj.  Franco is well-versed in SNL lore having directed the incredibly fascinating documentary Saturday Night, which provided a first-ever behind-the-scenes look at the weeklong process of making an episode.  The actor will of course be promoting his upcoming comedy The Interview in which he stars opposite Seth Rogen, so a Rogen cameo on the episode seems likely.  More after the jump.

THE COLOR OF TIME Trailer and Poster: James Franco, Jessica Chastain, Mila Kunis, and More Go through the Life of Poet C.K. Williams

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Starz Digital Media has released The Color of Time trailer and poster.  We last reported on this film over two years ago, and at the time it looked like it was an adaptation of the poetry of Pulitzer Prize-winner C.K. Williams, but as this new trailer and synopsis explain, it’s really more of a biopic.  The plot has Williams (James Franco) preparing for a reading in New York City, but he’s haunted by memories from his past.  The Color of Time has the hook of being handled by 12 directors, and the cast also includes Mila KunisJessica Chastain, Zach Braff, Henry Hopper, and Bruce Campbell.  However, looking at this trailer, it seems like the ensemble of directors really wanted to make The Tree of Life minus dinosaurs.

Hit the jump to check out The Color of Time trailer and poster.  The film will be available for early digital download on December 2nd, On Demand and on iTunes on December 9th, and in theaters on December 12th.

First MICHAEL Image Featuring James Franco and Zachary Quinto

by     Posted 44 days ago

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The American Film Market kicks off tomorrow and there are a number of high profile projects foreign film distributors could go after like Michael Winterbottom’s latest, The Emperor’s New Clothes, J.C. Chandor’s Deepwater Horizon and The Hateful Eight from Quentin Tarantino.  However, right in the middle of all those big names is a first timer, Justin Kelly.  He’s Gus Van Sant’s protégé and has completed three short films, but Michael starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto will mark his feature directorial debut.

With AFM due to kick off tomorrow, the very first Michael image has surfaced.  Hit the jump to check it out and to get some additional information on the project.

FAULT IN OUR STARS Scribes to Pen James Franco’s THE ROOM Movie THE DISASTER ARTIST

by     Posted 52 days ago

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James Franco’s movie about Tommy Wiseau is really happening, and he’s enlisted two unlikely screenwriters to pen the script.  Franco is set to direct and star in The Disaster Artist, which revolves around eccentric The Room writer/director/producer/star Tommy Wiseau, and now The Wrap reports that The Fault in Our Stars and The Spectacular Now screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber have been hired to pen the script.  They will be adapting the book of the same name by The Room actor Greg Sestero and journalist Tom Bissell, and Dave Franco is already attached to play Sestero in the film.

Franco describes his take as a “funny, heartfelt story about trying to make your dreams come true,” and I’m rather curious to see how he navigates the line between parody and earnestness in his chronicle of Wiseau’s path to making The Room—truly one of the most entertaining bad movies ever made.  More on The Disaster Artist movie after the jump.

Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and More Join James Franco’s ZEROVILLE

by     Posted 55 days ago

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Back in September, James Franco hit the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival rocking a shaved head with a tattoo of A Place in the Sun’s Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on the back of it.  It wasn’t some oddball stunt like what Shia LaBeouf pulled at Berlin, but rather, while attending the festival to debut The Sound and the Fury and also to accept his Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award, he decided to get a little work done.  Franco took the opportunity to shoot some shots for his next directorial endeavor, a film called Zeroville.

But even though Franco started knocking off shots last month, his co-cast is first being announced now.  It’s being reported that Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Dave Franco, Craig Robinson, Joey King and Horatio Sanz will all join him in the film.  Hit the jump for more on Zeroville.

James Franco to Produce Adaptation of Frat Hazing Memoir GOAT

by     Posted 77 days ago

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The big screen rendition of Brad Land’s book Goat: A Memoir has been around for a while.  David Gordon Green penned the initial draft of the script and also planned to direct it as well, but in 2008, he passed directorial duties over to Mud’s Jeff Nichols.  However, now it’s being reported that the film is finally moving forward and that Andrew Neel (King Kelly), not Nichols, will direct it.

James Franco is also on board to produce the film, which follows the story of a 19-year-old boy recovering from a vicious assault who pledges a fraternity with his brother and faces brutal challenges to prove his loyalty to the brotherhood.  Hit the jump for more on Goat.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco Talk Real-Life Inspiration, Improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, and More on the Set of THE INTERVIEW

by     Posted 78 days ago

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Last year when directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were filming The Interview (their directorial follow up to This is The End) in Vancouver, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  As most of you know from the extremely funny red and green band trailers, James Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.

During a break in filming, I participated in a group interview with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco.  They talked about how the project came together, pulling from real-life inspiration, improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, how they wanted to do things people don’t usually do in comedy and “abandon how comedies look as much as we possibly could,” how the film should play out like a serious, political thriller that’s loaded with jokes, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either listen to or read the interview.

20 Things to Know About Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s THE INTERVIEW From Our Set Visit

by     Posted 78 days ago

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Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and Dave Skylark (James Franco) are inside a tank in North Korea talking about Katy Perry and margaritas.  They’re debating if drinking fruity margaritas and loving Katy Perry’s music means you’re gay.  After saying the lines a few different ways, directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg call out a few new ways to say the dialogue and I erupt with laughter.  And I’m not alone.  The other reporters I’m with on the Vancouver set of The Interview are also laughing out loud.  So much so that after the take ends, an assistant director comes in the room where we’re watching playback and says they can hear us laughing on set.  While I’m sure they were mad at us for possibly ruining a take, I’m sure it made them happy to know they were making comedy gold.  While I’ve done a lot of set visits, I’ve never laughed as much on a movie set as I did on The Interview.  As a huge fan of what Rogen and Goldberg accomplished with their directorial debut, This is the End, I left Vancouver thinking they were making another home-run.

As most of you know from the red and green band trailers for the film, Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un.  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.  Besides getting to watch the tank scene, I was able to speak with most of the cast during breaks in filming.  From the on-set interviews, I’ve put together a list of 20 things to know about the film.  Hit the jump to learn more about The Interview which arrives in theaters December 25.

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