From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience. When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting. In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.
At the film’s press day, Collider got the opportunity to speak with producer Joe Roth during both the press conference and a 1-on-1 interview about how this project came about, his prior experience with the original The Wizard of Oz film, how involved he was in shaping which Baum tales they would blend together to tell this origin story, how important it was to center the film around a flawed hero, why Sam Raimi was the right director, assembling this talented cast, and the most challenging aspects of such a big production. He also talked about the high-risk and high-reward involved in taking on such iconic characters (he’s done it with Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White), their spin on the Sleeping Beauty story for Maleficent and how crucial the casting of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning was, how they’re approaching the Alice in Wonderland sequel, and that he hopes to go into production on a very low-budget movie based on the book Heaven is for Real in the summer. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Disney has announced a slew of release date changes. Briefly:
Hit the jump for more details, including the confirmation of George Clooney in 1952 and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 5. [Update: Brad Bird has now stated via Twitter that 3D has not been discussed for 1952, so Disney's press release may have been mistaken. This doesn't mean the film absolutely won't be in 3D, just that Bird hasn't OK'd it yet.]
Little Birds is an indie drama that follows 15-year-old Lily (Juno Temple) and her best friend Alison (Kay Panabaker), who live in a rundown trailer park on the shores of the Salton Sea. When they meet a trio of visiting street kids, Lily’s rebelliousness kicks in and she convinces Alison to follow the boys to Los Angeles, but once there, they quickly fall into the boys’ world of scams and petty crime. While Lily is determined to stay and make it work, her actions threaten to tear apart her friendship with Alison. Written and directed by Elgin James, the film also stars Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Kyle Gallner and Neal McDonough.
At the film’s press day, actress Juno Temple spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about what attracted her to the script and character, learning that the writer/director wanted her for either of the lead roles, how much she enjoyed working with co-star Kay Panabaker, what it was like to spend time in the Salton Sea, and why she’s more comfortable with sexuality in film than violence. She also talked about the appeal of big studio movies versus smaller indies, what attracted her to the role of a fairy named Thistletwit in Maleficent (starring Angelina Jolie in the title role), which she starts shooting soon, and the experience of working with director Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories concerning relative newcomers to share this afternoon. First up, Disney announced today that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter Vivienne will appear in a minor role in the big-budget fantasy pic Maleficent. Jolie stars in the film as the titular Disney villain, and the film focuses on “the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora. Vivienne will be playing the child version of Princess Aurora, as Elle Fanning stars as the older version of the heroine. Vivienne turned four years old this past July.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Charlotte Riley, who was a contender for the Catwoman role in The Dark Knight Rises.
The black and white, stop-motion animated 3D film Frankenweenie, from director Tim Burton and based on the ideas in his 1984 live-action short, is a tale about a boy and his beloved dog. After unexpectedly losing Sparky, young Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) sews him back together and harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life, but quickly faces unintended and sometimes monstrous consequences for his actions. The voice cast also includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Atticus Shaffer and Winona Ryder. Here’s the recent trailer. Frankenweenie hits theaters October 5, 2012.
Last week I got to sit down with producer Don Hahn at Comic-Con. During our wide ranging interview we talked about making Frankenweenie, if it was tough to get the studio on board, if the current popularity of The Nightmare Before Christmas helped get the film made, and more. In addition, with Hahn producing Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, we talked about how that’s been going, what Easter Eggs people should look for at Disneyland and Disney World, what he collects, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
A few set photos from the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS have surfaced, giving us a look at Ashton Kutcher doing his best “Steve Jobs on acid” impression. The Apple visionary made no secret of his past experimentation with LSD, and it appears that director Joshua Michael Stern’s indie biopic has at least one scene in which Kutcher’s Jobs goes tripping in a field. Noah Wyle did a hell of a job portraying Jobs and tackling his fascination with LSD in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, so Kutcher has his work cut out for him.
Additionally, a couple more images of Angelina Jolie in character in Disney’s Maleficent have surfaced. The story centers on the Sleeping Beauty villain and “reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.” Yesterday some set photos landed online that gave us a look at Jolie performing some flying stunts, but this batch is much less death-defying. Hit the jump to check out the set photos from both jOBS and Maleficent.
Disney wisely released the first image of Angelina Jolie in character for the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining Maleficent merely one day before the first set photos surfaced, and now some new set photos have landed online that give us a look at Jolie in stunt mode. The film tells “the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain” and “reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.” I’m not really sure why Maleficent is getting her britches in a twist because she looks to be having a damn good time flying around and being evil in this batch of images. We also get a look at a small band of soldiers on horses that’s a tad reminiscent of Snow White and the Huntsman.
Hit the jump to check out the set photos. Directed by Robert Stromberg, the film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent opens in 3D on March 14th, 2014.
A mere 24 hours after the first official photo of Angelina Jolie as Disney villainess Maleficent first came to light, a few shots from the film’s set have surfaced. In them we see Jolie, in her sorceress costume, chatting with crew members and milling around with some of her horned brethren.
Disney has described the film as “the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain, Maleficent, from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. The film reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.” For more on the project as well as the pics, hit the jump.
Principal photography has begun on the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining Maleficent, and Disney has released the first shot of Angelina Jolie as the eponymous horned sorceress. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, here’s the brief logline: “This is the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain, Maleficent, from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” The film reveals the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.“ I assume what hardened her heart what high cholesterol. That stuff is a killer, and 9 out of 10 doctors-I-made-up agree that it causes you to hate babies.
Hit the jump to check out the full image. The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent is due out in 3D on March 14, 2014.
Here are some casting tidbits for you to enjoy today:
- Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) is set to topline Long Nights Short Mornings, an erotic indie for director Chadd Harbold (Revenge for Jolly!).
- AMC’s The Killing star, Mireille Enos will join Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth in Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, a drama about the West Memphis Three.
- Disney’s Maleficent has crowned Brenton Thwaites (Home and Away) to play the prince in the Robert Stromberg-directed adaptation.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Juno Temple has joined the cast of the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining, Maleficent. The movie is from the point-of-view of the eponymous evil sorceress (Angelina Jolie), who cursed Aurora (Elle Fanning) to a permanent sleep on her 16th birthday. According to THR, Temple will play Temple will play the pixie Thistletwit who, like the other two pixies, Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton) and Flittle (Leslie Manville), is neglectful and superficial. The cast also includes Sharlto Copley, Miranda Richardson, Kenneth Cranham, Sam Riley, and India Eisley.
I feel like I’ve missed a movie where Juno Temple was great and led her to be in plenty of other movies. I’ve seen her in Year One, Killer Joe, Greenberg, Cracks, and Small Apartments, and I’ve found her forgettable every time. If someone could please direct me to her breakthrough film, I would greatly appreciate it. There’s plenty more Temple on the way as the actress co-stars in The Dark Knight Rises, The Brass Teapot, Lovelace, Truck Stop, Little Birds, and Wild Side. Maleficent opens March 14, 2014.
Director Robert Stromberg just took a major step forward in assembling his cast for Disney’s live-action fantasy Maleficent. Angelina Jolie is already set as the titular lead in this retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale from the villain’s point of view, and we recently learned that District 9 star Sharlto Copley had joined the cast as the male lead. Now it appears that Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Kenneth Cranham (Hot Fuzz), Sam Riley (On the Road), and Lesley Manville (Another Year) have been added to the roster. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: Variety adds that India Eisley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) will play a younger version of Jolie's character in the opening sequence of the film.]
It’s turning out to be a very exciting month for District 9 star Sharlto Copley. He recently landed the villain role in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake, he’s poised to star in the thriller Open Grave, and now he’s set in a starring role opposite Angelina Jolie in a tentpole Disney release. Deadline reports that Copley is in talks to play the male lead in the Mouse House’s Maleficent. He’ll play the character of King Stefan in the pic, which tells the Sleeping Beauty story from the villain’s point of view.
We heard in March that the very talented Elle Fanning was in talks to star as the do-gooder princess, but this latest report makes no mention of the actress. It’s possible that she’s still in negotiations, or things might have gone south and she’s now out of the project completely. Nevertheless, production is set to begin next month in London under the direction of Robert Stromberg, the production designer of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland who is making his feature directorial debut with the fantasy pic. Maleficent is slated for March 14th, 2014.
Release dates have been announced for The Dictator and Maleficent. Here’s the breakdown:
- Paramount has moved back the comedy The Dictator five days to May 16th in order to avoid sharing the May 11th weekend with Tim Burton‘s comedy Dark Shadows. [Deadline]
- Disney has slated the Sleeping Beauty re-imagining, Maleficent, for March 14, 2014. The film stars Angelina Jolie as the eponymous evil sorceress.
Hit the jump for more on both films and their box office competition.
After getting behind the camera for the drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie will get back in front for the fairy-tale re-imagining Maleficent. Director Robert Stromberg‘s spin on the Sleeping Beauty tells the story from the eponymous villain’s point of view. Jolie recently commented on what we can expect from the upcoming film, which is scheduled to start shooting in June.
Hit the jump for what Jolie had to say about Maleficent including her take on the character’s personality, how Maleficent can be good for young girls, and how the sorceress will look.