Hugh Jackman Talks X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Joe Wright’s PAN, Filming X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and Next WOLVERINE Movie Back-to-Back, and More

by     Posted 185 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.  As most of you know, Days of Future Past finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants.  The film also takes place in the future, so we’re going to see the original X-Men cast and what will happen if Wolverine fails.  I caught a screening last week and am very happy to report the film is great.  It’s loaded with awesome character moments and tons of mutant action.  You’re all going to love it.  For more on the film, watch these five clips and nine minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, and click here for all of our coverage.

At the New York City press day, I landed a great video interview with Hugh Jackman.  He talked about the challenge of putting the two casts in the same film, how he’d like to shoot  X-Men: Apocalypse and the next Wolverine movie back to back, his thoughts on another actor taking on the role when he retires or having Fox reboot the character, how he still enjoys playing Logan, Joe Wright’s Pan, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Rooney Mara in Talks to Play Tiger Lily in Joe Wright’s PAN

by     Posted 252 days ago

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Director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) continues to fill out the cast for his large-scale Peter Pan reimagining Pan.  We have Hugh Jackman onboard to play the villainous Blackbeard, Garret Hedlund set in a lead role as Hook, and now Rooney Mara is in negotiations to play Tiger Lily.  The Warner Bros. film “tells the untold story of how a young orphan boy from London is spirited away to the magical Neverland where he finds great adventures that shape him into the hero known to generations as Peter Pan.”  Hit the jump for more on the project, including Wright’s plans for an international reimagining of Neverland.

Hugh Jackman in Talks to Play Blackbeard in Joe Wright’s PAN

by     Posted 336 days ago

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Hugh Jackman may soon need to trade in his Wolverine claws for a proper pair of swords.  Variety reports that Jackman is in talks to play the villainous pirate Blackbeard in director Joe Wright’s (Hanna) upcoming Peter Pan origin film Pan.  The adventure pic is based on the J.M. Barrie tale and tells the story of “an orphan who is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against the evil pirates.”  Warner Bros. initially approached Javier Bardem about playing the Blackbeard role, but he passed, leading the studio to then approach Jackman.  Hit the jump for more, including how Hook fits into the story and what kind of actor is being eyed to play the titular Peter Pan.

Warner Bros. Sets Joe Wright’s PAN for June 26, 2015 Release

by     Posted 342 days ago

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Warner Bros. has not only confirmed that the Peter Pan adaptation Pan will be filmmaker Joe Wright’s next project, but they’re also throwing the film into the midst of the blockbuster logjam that is 2015.  The studio has staked out a June 26, 2015 release date for Pan, which puts it directly opposite the comedy sequel Ted 2 and a week before the Terminator reboot.  This iteration of the J.M. Barrie tale tells the story of “an orphan [who] is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savior of the natives and leads a rebellion against the evil pirates.”  With Wright attached to direct, though, we can safely assume that this will be something considerably different that the previous Peter Pan adaptations we’ve seen before.

Wright has shown a swell amount of versatility as of late, as the Pride and Prejudice and Atonement director tackled the thriller genre with a fairy tale spin to great success with 2011’s Hanna before offering a stylistic stage-like take on the classic novel Anna Karenina last year.  Casting is currently underway on Pan, and I very much look forward to seeing what Wright puts together.

Joe Wright in Negotiations to Helm Warner Bros.’ Peter Pan Origin Story, PAN

by     Posted 1 year, 8 days ago

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Joe Wright, the director of Oscar-winning films Atonement and Anna Karenina, is currently in negotiations to helm Warner Bros. Peter Pan origin picture, Pan.  This particular iteration of the J.M. Barrie creation is based on a take scripted by Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift).  As Deadline reports, the tale centers on “an orphan [who] is taken to the magical world of Neverland, where he becomes the savoir [sic] of the natives and leads a rebellion against the evil pirates.”  Best known for his period work, Wright also has a worthy actioner under his belt in the 2011 film, Hanna.  Both strengths make him a great choice for this origin story project, as Peter Pan, Or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was an action adventure tale originally taking place in the early 1900s.  (Who wants to put money on Saoirse Ronan and Keira Knightley for one or both of the female leads?)

Joe Wright Becomes Frontrunner to Direct FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

by     Posted 1 year, 194 days ago

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Sorry, Gus Van Sant.  Apparently the proof-of-concept scene you shot with Alex Pettyfer did not convince Universal and Focus Features you are the man to direct the feature adaptation Fifty Shades of Grey, because they are still looking.  THR reports that Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) has emerged as a frontrunner to direct Fifty Shades.  Given its reputation, I am surprised the project is attracting acclaimed directors.  But Wright makes sense as a candidate, continuing his relationship with Focus Features after Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina.  Wright has recently been linked to the Neil Gaiman adaptation The Ocean at the End of the Lane and a Houdini biopic.

Kelly Marcel is adapting E.L. James‘ novel about a literature student who “embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair” with young entrepreneur Christian Grey.  Read the book synopsis after the jump.

ANNA KARENINA Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 243 days ago

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Tackling a seminal work of fiction always presents a filmmaker with a unique set of challenges, even more so than book adaptations in general.  For director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard on Anna Karenina, those included not only condensing a mammoth book into a slightly over two-hour movie but doing so in a manner that stood out from the numerous previous adaptations.  The result is a mixed bag with many parts to love individually but a whole that simply falls short. 

Joe Wright to Direct Neil Gaiman’s THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE Adaptation

by     Posted 1 year, 264 days ago

 

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Author Neil Gaiman (Coraline) will release his first adult book since 2005′s Anansi Boys with The Ocean at the End of the Lane, due to drop later this summer.  Focus Features and the Playtone team of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are currently closing a deal to acquire the novel’s feature rights.  It looks like the producers are tapping Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) to direct the adaptation.

The latest of Gaiman’s works to be put into development, The Ocean at the End of the Lane centers on a narrator who tells a tale from his childhood that involves suicide, horrible monsters and the protection provided him by three strange women in a rundown farm at the end of the lane.  Hit the jump for more details.

Director Joe Wright Talks ANNA KARENINA, When and Why He Decided to Tell the Story in an Unconventional Way, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 355 days ago

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Joe Wright’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s classic novel Anna Karenina is now playing in theaters.  The film takes place in late 19th century Russian society, and stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness.  In true Wright fashion, this isn’t exactly a straightforward adaptation; the director has set much of the film in a lush theater that uses over 100 interconnected sets to allow the action to move fluidly through various settings.  The film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Olivia Williams.  For more on Anna Karenina, here’s Matt’s review, five clips, and all our previous coverage.

At the press day, I spoke to Joe Wright.  We talked about when he decided to tell the story in an unconventional way and whether he ever thought about going with a more conventional telling, the studio’s reaction when he told them of the change, whether things got altered on set as a result, deleted scenes, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

ANNA KARENINA Review

by     Posted 2 years, 2 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  Anna Karenina opens today in limited release.]

Joe Wright is a gifted director. His direction is daring, inventive, captivating, and unforgettable. But that doesn’t make him a great director. A great director finds a way to take the material he’s given and bring it to its maximum potential. Joe Wright doesn’t elevate his movies; he exceeds them. Pride and Prejudice and Hanna are marvelous, but Atonement and The Soloist are terrible. Granted, any director can only do so much with a script he’s given, but Wright seems content to leave his poor stories in the dust so that we can sit in awe at his bold direction like the long take of Dunkirk in Atonement or the musical colors in The Soloist. In his new film, Anna Karenina, Wright has once again blown past his story by using a melodrama to wrap his fascinating framing device rather than the other way around. Anna Karenina is a wonder to behold, but it leaves you wondering what you’re holding.

5 Clips from Joe Wright’s ANNA KARENINA Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson

by     Posted 2 years, 12 days ago

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Five clips from director Joe Wright’s adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina have been released.  The film takes place in late 19th century Russian society and stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness.  In true Wright fashion, this isn’t exactly a straightforward adaptation; the director has set much of the film in a lush theater that uses over 100 interconnected sets to allow the action to move fluidly through a door and into a separate setting entirely.  Early word has praised the gorgeous framing device, and it should be fun to take it all in when the pic hits theaters later this month.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Olivia WilliamsAnna Karenina opens on November 16th.

Joe Wright to Direct HOUDINI Biopic?

by     Posted 2 years, 37 days ago

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Long before glorified street performers David Blaine played with electricity or Criss Angel freaked your mind, there was the one and only Harry Houdini.  For a life (and death) as theatrical and dramatic as Houdini’s was, with a career that’s a good old-fashioned, American success story, it’s surprising that there aren’t more biopics about the escape artist.  Director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) may remedy that.  Wright is reportedly in talks with Lionsgate about helming Houdini, a picture based on the biography, The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman.  Hit the jump for more.

Three New TV Spots for ANNA KARENINA Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson

by     Posted 2 years, 68 days ago

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Three new TV spots for director Joe Wright’s (Hanna, Pride & Prejudice) adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy classic Anna Karenina have landed online.  The romance pic stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness, and Wright has boldly chosen to set most of the film’s action inside a rundown theater with over 100 interconnected sets that allow the action to move fluidly through a door and into a separate setting entirely.  The stunning visuals are on full display in these TV spots, highlighting the gorgeous settings in which Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson interact.

Hit the jump to check out the TV spots, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from the Toronto Film Festival.  The pic also stars Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Matthew Macfadyen and Domnhall GleesonAnna Karenina opens on November 9th.

TIFF 2012: ANNA KARENINA Review

by     Posted 2 years, 73 days ago

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Joe Wright is a gifted director.  His direction is daring, inventive, captivating, and unforgettable.  But that doesn’t make him a great director.  A great director finds a way to take the material he’s given and bring it to its maximum potential.  Joe Wright doesn’t elevate his movies; he exceeds them.  Pride and Prejudice and Hanna are marvelous, but Atonement and The Soloist are terrible.  Granted, any director can only do so much with a script he’s given, but Wright seems content to leave his poor stories in the dust so that we can sit in awe at his bold direction like the long take of Dunkirk in Atonement or the musical colors in The Soloist.  In his new film, Anna Karenina, Wright has once again blown past his story by using a melodrama to wrap his fascinating framing device rather than the other way around.  Anna Karenina is a wonder to behold, but it leaves you wondering what you’re holding.

New Images from LAWLESS and ANNA KARENINA

by     Posted 2 years, 104 days ago

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Some new images from two promising fall releases have surfaced.  First up is new images from director John Hillcoat’s (The Road) prohibition-era drama Lawless.  The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke as three brothers who became bootleggers in the South during Prohibition.  I caught the film at Comic-Con and thought it was great.  The violence is brutal and hard-hitting, but the film is grounded with engaging characters and bits of dark humor.  Moreover, Guy Pearce is terrifying as a corrupt FBI agent who’s obsessed with bringing the Bondurant brothers down.  Lawless opens on August 31st, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Additionally, we’ve got a couple of new images from director Joe Wright’s (Hanna) adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel Anna KareninaKeira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson star in this visually impressive period pic that’s definitely high on my list of anticipated fall titles.  Anna Karenina opens on November 16th.  Hit the jump to check out all the images.

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