As the old joke goes, the Super Bowl is three hours of commercials interrupted by football. For football fans, this year has a great match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and there’s the possibility of them playing in the snow, which would be awesome. But you don’t get to dominate the ratings every year by only appealing to football fans. The ads are the comic interludes where everyone can join with an opinion, and I’m always surprised when they’re released online early. This year, a Super Bowl spot will cost a record $4.5 million, and companies are deciding to jump to gun in order draw attention before Sunday. Not that anyone’s complaining, and after the jump you’ll find three ads that will play during the Super Bowl. As always, celebrities sell, so one ad has Scarlett Johansson (although it will be edited for game night since there’s a dig at major advertisers Coke and Pepsi), another has Terry Crews driving around with the Muppets, and a third ad has Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong, and Ben Kingsley being villainous.
Hit the jump to check out the ads.
Shooting has begun on The Imitation Game. The drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the brilliant British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing. The story will center on Turing breaking the German enigma code at the end of World War II, and his prosecution by his own government for being a homosexual. We previously reported that Keira Knightley and Mark Strong were attached to co-star, and today a press release has announced that the cast will also include Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, and Matthew Beard.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
We’ve got some casting news to attend to this morning. Briefly:
- Mark Strong will be reteaming with his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy co-star Benedict Cumberbatch for the true story The Imitation Game.
- Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson are set to star in the drama Learning to Drive.
- Delroy Lindo has joined the cast of the contemporary Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline.
Hit the jump for more on each casting.
The gritty, edgy and provocative crime drama Low Winter Sun is about what happens after Detroit detective Frank Agnew (Mark Strong) murders a dirty cop in an act of retribution, setting events in motion that will forever alter the detective’s life and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld. Based on the 2006 award-winning British two-part mini-series of the same name, which starred Mark Strong in the same role, the 10-episodes tell an intense story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption, in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Mark Strong talked about how he came to revisit this role, having a rough arc of the story but not all the details, not wanting to do a typical cop show, working with Lennie James, how he sees his character, living and working in Detroit, and how he hopes to do future seasons. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Another bald man, more moral ambiguity, and a healthy dose of a bad thing done in the name of the greater good. AMC’s new noir drama Low Winter Sun is hoping that when viewers are finished watching Breaking Bad on Sunday night, they will stick around for what looks, on the surface, like another series of the same ilk. Unfortunately, Low Winter Sun‘s dense, dour nature forgets the one thing that elevates shows like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and other dark series: humor. Without it, Low Winter Sun runs the danger of becoming too much of a slog. Still, there are moments that might suggest later episodes could turn things around. Hit the jump for more.
Director Nick Murphy made an auspicious debut with his 2011 gothic horror film, The Awakening. It was atmospheric but left enough leeway to let his excellent actors help carry the drama. I had high hopes for his follow up feature, Blood, but the result could not be more disappointing. Unwilling to simply be a bland crime drama, Blood never misses an opportunity to grab hold of a coincidence that’s either laughably contrived or painfully forced. Furthermore, the excellent cast is completely wasted by going through the repetitive motions of feeling guilty before feeling guilty followed by more feeling guilty. This exploration of guilt would feel more rewarding if the film ever dared to push beyond the obvious moral ramifications, but the film is too busy running around in gorgeously shot circles.
This August, Breaking Bad will come to an end, but AMC might have a worthy successor waiting in the wings with Low Winter Sun. Based on the 2006 British miniseries of the same name, the show is described as “a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge, and corruption” and centers on the fallout from the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. The show stars the excellent Mark Strong (Zero Dark Thirty), an incredibly versatile actor who always gives a strong performance. If Breaking Bad is going to have a replacement, a show that also features an intense bald guy lying to everyone isn’t a bad choice. The new poster even copies the recent Breaking Bad poster by superimposing words over the main character.
Hit the jump to check out the poster. Low Winter Sun premieres on August 11th at 10pm EST, and will use Breaking Bad as its lead-in.
I really enjoyed Nick Murphy‘s directorial debut, The Awakening, and back in 2011, we reported on his follow-up, the crime-thriller Blood. The plot centers on two policemen who kill a murder suspect and are then plunged into chaos when they are forced to investigate their own crime. I’m ashamed to admit that I had forgotten about the movie, but now a trailer has been released, and it looks like Murphy has nailed the genre just like he did with gothic horror in The Awakening. Also, I’m not going to turn down a movie with a lead cast that includes Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham, Brian Cox, and Mark Strong.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Blood is set to hit U.K. theaters and VOD on May 31st, and be released on Blu-ray & DVD on June 10th. That short release window isn’t a great sign, but I’m still eager to see the flick, and hopefully a U.S. release will be announced soon.
AMC has released the first trailer for the network’s newest drama series, Low Winter Sun. Based on the 2006 British miniseries of the same name, the show is described as “a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge, and corruption” and centers on the fallout from the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Mark Strong looks to give a solid performance in the lead, and fans of AMC’s other series will recognize a few familiar faces like Lennie James (The Walking Dead’s Morgan) and David Costabile (Breaking Bad’s Gale). The tone feels like a cross between The Wire and Breaking Bad, and I’m looking forward to checking out the pilot.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Low Winter Sun premieres on AMC this summer with a 10-episode first season.
A new clip and featurette are now available for writer/director Eran Creevy’s Welcome to the Punch, a London-set crime thriller starring James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes). The picture pits the respective dogged detective and master criminal against each other when an incident forces the latter to return to London. The new clip, from the beginning of the film, shows off that inciting event while the featurette gives a little more backstory behind it.
Also starring Andrea Riseborough (Happy-Go-Lucky), Welcome to the Punch opens March 15th in the U.K., March 27th in the States. Hit the jump to watch the new clip and featurette.
Hot on the heels of the news that AMC is resurrecting the previously-cancelled series The Killing for a third season comes word that the network has made a commitment to a new series for the upcoming season. Per THR, AMC has ordered 10 hourlong episodes of the drama Low Winter Sun. Based on the 2006 British miniseries of the same name, the series is described as “a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge, and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred.” Mark Strong, who also starred in the British miniseries, fronts the AMC show alongside Lennie James. The show will be run by executive producer Chris Mundy.
Director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty has stirred up quite a lot of awards buzz lately, thanks in part to Jessica Chastain’s performance. Chastain is front and center in this final trailer for the picture. There’s plenty of new footage to go around in addition to the reveal of more side-plots, since we already know how the operation to kill Osama bin Laden worked out. The added musical accompaniment of a children’s choir singing Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” puts this thing over the top; I wish it was in theaters right now.
Written by Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty also stars Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton and James Gandolfini. The film opens in limited release on December 19th, then expands nationwide on January 11th. Hit the jump to watch the powerful final trailer.
The first trailer for the British crime thriller Welcome to the Punch has landed online. Directed by Eran Creevy (Shifty), the film stars James McAvoy as a cop whose nemesis, played by Mark Strong, suddenly reappears after having eluded capture years earlier. The trailer plays like a mash-up between Heat and Snatch, with less comedy and 1000% more bullets and explosions. I’m not exactly sure how everything comes together plotwise, but I’m sufficiently intrigued by the talented ensemble and Creevy’s impressive visuals. This is a British thriller through and through, which is something we’ve seen far too little of lately. Fans of The Walking Dead will also be happy to spot one David Morrissey in the cast, who plays The Governor on the AMC series.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Andrea Riseborough, Daniel Mays, Elyes Gabel, and Peter Mullan. Welcome to the Punch opens on March 15, 2013.
Check out the latest casting news in brief below:
- Imogen Poots (Fright Night) has been cast opposite Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) in the Need for Speed adaptation directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor).
- Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) will join Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge!) in Before I Go to Sleep, director Rowan Joffe’s psychological thriller adapted from S.J. Watson’s best-selling book.
- Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) will star in in the indie coming-of-age drama, Mixtape, directed by Tom Vaughan (What Happens in Vegas).
Hit the jump for more info on each picture, plus the first poster and synopsis for Before I Go to Sleep.
Oscar season must be getting closer, as couple of interesting awards-related stories have surfaced today. First up, Lionsgate’s comedy Stand Up Guys is getting an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 14th, per THR. The film stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin as retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night where, naturally, everything goes to hell. I’m not sure how strong the chances are of generating a nomination or two for some of the cast, but it can’t hurt for Lionsgate to try. The pic opens wide on January 11th.
Additionally, it looks like Sony may be rethinking their release strategy with the highly anticipated “kill Bin Laden” drama Zero Dark Thirty. Hit the jump for more.