Mark Duplass got his start in very low-budget independent cinema with dramatic films like The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, and Jeff, Who Lives At Home, which he co-wrote and co-directed with his brother Jay Duplass. Recently, Mark teamed up with producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions—the studio behind the low-budget horror movement that has spawned Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Sinister franchises—for a different kind of low-budget feature: a psychological horror film called Creep. The film revolves around a man (Patrick Brice) who answers a cryptic online ad asking for a filming service. He arrives at a remote location and begins filming his subject, Josef (Duplass), but as the day goes on, he begins to suspect Josef isn’t really who he says he is.
The pic recently debuted at the SXSW Film Festival to a positive response, and not only has RADiUS-TWC now picked the film up for distribution, but it has also signed on to carry out a trilogy of Creep films. Hit the jump for more on the latest horror franchise.
Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Ben Falcone’s upcoming road trip comedy Tammy. The film stars Melissa McCarthy as a woman who takes a road trip with her diabetic/alcoholic/foul-mouthed grandmother (Susan Sarandon) after she’s laid off from a fast food restaurant and discovers that her husband is having an affair. This first teaser focuses squarely on McCarthy, who appears to be doing her best Shia LaBeouf impression right off the bat. It’s a great example of a teaser, since only the barest bones of a plot are on display. If you like the humor in this minute-plus, there’s a good chance you’ll want to check out the full movie.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette, Nat Faxon, Dan Aykroyd, and Kathy Bates. Tammy opens July 2nd.
Continuing our coverage in anticipation of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we’ve got some more first look images and synopses for films that will be screening as part of the Premieres category. Briefly:
- Love Is Strange – Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons.
- A Most Wanted Man – Directed by Anton Corbijn; starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright.
- Nick Offerman: American Ham – Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts; starring Nick Offerman.
- The One I Love – Directed by Charlie McDowell; starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ted Danson.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.
The first clip from writer-director Peter Landesman’s JFK assassination drama Parkland is now available. It features Zac Efron as doctor Jim Carrico, who is shocked to see the President wheeled in on a stretcher as a Secret Service agent (Mark Duplass) and attending nurse Doris Nelson (Marcia Gay Harden) look to Carrico to save him. While parts of the recently-released trailer looked promising, I was a bit concerned with some of the forced dialogue and hammy performances. Unfortunately, this clip seems to highlight those weaknesses so perhaps it wasn’t the strongest choice as an introduction for potential audiences.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Ron Livingston, Colin Hanks, Tom Welling, Jeremy Strong, and David Harbour. Parkland opens October 4th.
Girls, Veep, Family Tree, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Eastbound & Down—that is a solid, eclectic comedy roster on HBO. Still, with Eastbound & Down and down entering its final season and Curb Your Enthusiasm waiting on Larry David‘s desire to a ninth season, HBO is looking to bring more comedies to the network. They ordered Mike Judge‘s Silicon Valley; a dramedy about a group of San Francisco gay men starring Jonathan Groff; Stephen Merchant‘s Hello Ladies, and British import Getting On to series.
Togetherness is the latest to receive a series order from HBO. The half-hour comedy developed by the Duplass Brothers follows two couples living under the same roof going through relationship difficulties as each individual pursues their own dreams. Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zissis star. Hit the jump for more.
Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass are set to team up for a new thriller set within the world of medicine. Variety reports that Wilde and Duplass will lead Lionsgate’s Reawakening, which “follows a team of research students that discovers the secret to bringing subjects back from the dead—however, their actions result in a series of sinister consequences.” So it’s kind of like a horror film version of Flatliners with more dead people. Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb will be taking the helm, with Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater handling scripting duties.
Horror guru Jason Blum—who is behind the Paranormal Activity series, Sinister, and a number of other spooktacular films from the past few years—will produce the pic through his Blumhouse banner. The incredibly busy Duplass recently committed to starring in an HBO comedy pilot that he and his brother Jay Duplass created, and Wilde will be seen later this year in Ron Howard’s F1 racing drama Rush.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Kiefer Sutherland is in talks to play the villain opposite Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) in Paul W.S. Anderson’s disaster epic Pompeii.
- Mark Duplass is joining Melissa McCarthy and Shirley MacLaine in the roadtrip comedy Tammy, which McCarthy will co-direct.
- Michael Angarano (Red State) is set to costar in the remake of Heat with Jason Statham.
Hit the jump for more details.
Two of Mad Men’s brassiest ladies have just landed new projects:
- Christina Hendricks will play the lead role in Campbell Scott’s (Company Retreat) adaptation of the Joan Didion novel A Book of Common Prayer.
- Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed), and Ted Danson will star in The One I Love from first time director Charlie McDowell (Fighting Jacob).
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
The official synopses for a couple of upcoming Universal Pictures films have been released. Director Peter Cornwell’s (The Haunting in Connecticut) supernatural thriller Mercy is based on the short story of the same name by Stephen King and stars Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead) and Joel Courtney (Super 8) as two young boys who, after moving with their mother to take care of their dying grandmother at a decrepit farmhouse, encounter a dark spirit. Shirley Knight, Frances O’Connor, Mark Duplass, and Dylan McDermott also star in this Jason Blum-produced (Paranormal Activity) thriller.
Additionally, we’ve got an official synopsis for the action-comedy Ride Along. Directed by Tim Story (Fantastic Four), the film stars Kevin Hart as a fast-talking aspiring police officer who must team up with his girlfriend’s brother, a hot-tempered cop (Ice Cube), to prove that he’s worthy of being her husband. The film also stars John Leguizamo, Jay Pharoah, and Laurence Fishbourne and opens on January 17, 2014. Hit the jump to read the full synopses.
The sci-fi comedy genre is one that’s incredibly tricky to pull off, but director Justin Reardon will certainly give it his best shot with the upcoming Convention. We already knew that Ben Kingsley, Jennifer Aniston, and Mark Duplass were set to star in the film, but K5 International made it official today with a press release that also includes an intriguing full synopsis for the pic. The story centers around a box convention, at which an intrepid inventor (Duplass) premieres his creation: a five-sided box. His revolutionary design seems destined to turn the world of folded boxes on its end until he learns that his production process alters the space-time continuum.
Kingsley is set to play a “maniacal box magnate” appropriately named Bobby Schroedinger (I see what you did there), and Reardon just recently wrapped his debut feature, A Many Splintered Thing starring Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan. Hit the jump to read the full synopsis for Convention. Production will get underway this summer.
In a move that surprises no one, HBO has renewed its highly discussed, popular and divisive series Girls for a third season with an expanded episode count, totaling twelve. The series was already brought back early this year (returning in January after premiering last spring in April with the sharp political comedy Veep), and HBO seems eager to ride the zeitgeist wave and bring even more of the series as fast as it can.
Elsewhere, the premium cable channel has ordered a half-hour pilot from Jay and Mark Duplass who are set to write, direct and produce (though not star or appear in) the series called Togetherness. Togetherness will focus on two couples living under one roof, working through their relationships and pursuing their dreams. Hit the jump for more.
A couple of interesting acquisitions have been announced. First up, Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions—known for its small budget, big profit model with the Paranormal Activity films and Insidious—has acquired a found footage movie called Peachfuzz, produced by the incredibly hard working brothers Mark and Jay Duplass. Plot details on the project are being kept under lock and key, but Mark stars in the film that centers on a young man who answers a Craigslist ad “and gets much more than he bargained for.” Production on the Patrick Brice film has already wrapped.
Hit the jump for news regarding writer/director Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson.
Good news awaits fans of FX’s comedy series The League. Coming off of strong ratings for season four, the network announced today that they have ordered a 13-episode fifth season of the heavily improvised show. Quality-wise the series has showed no signs of slowing down, and the stellar ensemble of Mark Duplass, Stephen Rannazzisi, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, Katie Aselton, and Jon Lajoie continue to kill it week after week, not to mention those glorious way-too-brief appearances of Jason Mantzoukas’ Raffi. The show’s fourth season wraps up tonight with back-to-back episodes, while production on season five will begin next summer for a fall 2013 debut. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
by Jackson Posted 1 year, 252 days ago
I have yet to embrace fully the mumblecore genre. I want to love it, having come of age as a filmmaker working on the indies of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, but perhaps that is my problem: I see mumblecore as the natural progression of so many films on which I crewed that never saw the light of day. Like any other genre, simply creating a movie and actually executing a good movie are two different things, and too often mumblecore-type pics feel like a means to an end rather than well-crafted films. Which does not mean the best of the bunch are not good, entertaining films, exactly how I felt about Jeff, Who Lives At Home (and I was not a fan of the Duplass brothers’ break-out picture, The Puffy Chair). Hit the jump for my review of the Blu-ray.
Two more bits of casting news this evening. Here they are in brief:
- Yancy Butler, who appeared as Angie D’Amico in Kick-Ass, is set to return in the same role for the Jeff Wadlow-directed sequel.
- Jonathan Daniel Brown (Project X) is set to join the cast of the horror comedy Milo, also starring Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs and Peter Stormare.
Hit the jump for details on both projects.