Just yesterday, we brought you the word that director Ron Howard’s Formula 1-inspired Rush had gotten a new release date. Now we can bring you the first official images and synopsis from the picture. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as F1 racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, Rush centers on the real-life rivalry between the two. Rush, also starring Olivia Wilde, Natalie Dormer and Alexandra Maria Lara, opens September 20th, 2013. Hit the jump to see the new images and check out the official synopsis.
The ever-busy Bradley Cooper is setting up an adaptation of the Navy SEAL autobiography American Sniper at Warner Bros. THR reports that Cooper will produce alongside Andrew Lazar and Peter Morgan, and will likely star in the film. Jason Dean Hall is set to write the script, and the book recounts Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s exploits as a Texas native who recorded the highest number of sniper kills for an American. He was so feared by Iraqi insurgents that they gave him the nickname al-Shaitan (“the devil”). An emotional center comes in the form of passages from Kyle’s wife, “who slowly watches as her husband’s affection turns from her to the SEALs and war.”
It sounds like a refreshingly frank piece of military non-fiction, and should prove to be a fascinating role for Cooper to take on. The actor is currently filming the period drama Serena with Jennifer Lawrence, and he’s being eyed to star in Woody Allen’s next film. He’s also set to shoot The Hangover Part III later this year. Hit the jump for a synopsis of American Sniper.
Ron Howard is currently at work on the Formula One racing drama Rush. The movie is based on the true story of the 1970s rivalry between Austrian driver Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl) and British driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). Howard recently spoke about how he’s going to try to sell Formula One to an American audience, which prefers NASCAR. My pitch would be, “Hey! Do you want to see what happens when the cars don’t have to go in a circle for ten hours? Do you want to see racing that’s far more dangerous? Then come see Rush!” Howard has a slightly more sophisticated approach and it’s one that I find slightly encouraging.
Hit the jump for what Howard had to say about Rush as well as an update on his epic adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower.
While Ron Howard has had more than a tough time trying to get his ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower off the ground, the director has moved on for the time being and is currently busy working on the Formula One racing drama Rush. The pic centers on the 1970s rivalry between Austrian driver Niki Lauda and British driver James Hunt, with Inglorious Basterds star Daniel Brühl playing Lauda and Chris Hemworth taking on the role of Hunt.
Steve recently got the chance to speak with producer Brian Oliver about his upcoming political drama The Ides of March, but during the course of the conversation Oliver talked extensively about Rush. In addition to confirming that Academy Award-winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) will be the director of photography on the project, he spoke about why they started production early even though Hemsworth isn’t available until January, Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan’s development process, Mantle’s unique approach to filming the races, and whether or not the film will be in 3D. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Hannibal Lecter returns! Kinda. Anthony Hopkins, who won the Oscar for his chilling role in The Silence of the Lambs, is set to return to the serial killer genre with Solace. Variety reports that Hopkins is in final negotiations to star in the film, though this time he’ll be the good guy. The thesp will play a former doctor with psychic abilities who works for the FBI. He gets drawn into a serial killer case where his gift is put to good use (because a psychic doctor/FBI agent is a terrible thing to waste). A director has yet to be set, but the script has a nice pedigree. Sean Bailey and Ted Griffin wrote the first draft, which was subsequently rewritten by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man). Peter Morgan (The Queen) made the most recent pass, and production is now set to begin sometime early next year.
Earlier today Ron Howard seemed pretty optimistic that his Dark Tower adaptation would be coming in at budget and perhaps moving forward in the near future. The director is now throwing all of that optimism into question as Variety reports that he is in early talks to direct the Formula 1 biopic Rush. Written by Frost/Nixon scribe Peter Morgan, Rush focuses on three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda who returned from a fiery crash in 1976 just in time to continue his rivalry with fellow driver James Hunt. Paul Greengrass was interested in heading Rush before taking the helm of Sony’s A Captain’s Duty adaptation.
As for what this means for Howard’s Dark Tower, it’s important to note that the director is still attached to Dark Tower and that his Rush talks are in the very early stages. Given that Dark Tower is a massive undertaking and is moving along slowly/cautiously as a result, it makes sense from a professional standpoint that Howard would dip his toe in other projects while waiting for the go-ahead from Universal. If anything, news of his interest in Rush reaffirms what we already knew: that the Dark Tower series adaptation still has a lot of work to do. That said, if Howard ends up taking on Rush, it should act as evidence that Tower is further away than his recent sentiments may have suggested.
We need more Paul Greengrass in our lives. The kinetic energy and thoughtful subtext he brings to his movies is exhilarating and satisfying and he’s been searching for a new project since Green Zone. He’s circled a remake of Fantastic Voyage, a Cleopatra biopic, and he almost got his MLK assassination drama Memphis off the ground before Universal pulled the plug. Now he’s searching for new projects and Vulture reports that they’re Maersk Alabama, which is an adaptation of A Captain’s Duty, the racing drama Rush, and an untitled project.
We first reported on A Captain’s Duty in March when is was announced that Tom Hanks would play Richard Phillips, the captain of the cargo ship the Maersk Alabama, who agreed to become the hostage of Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew. His memoir recounts his three days as their hostage. Hanks is shooting Cloud Atlas for the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer this summer, and it’s possible that Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier could still go before cameras this fall if she manages to wrap up Kill Bin Laden. No one likes waiting (except for Tom Hanks in The Terminal), so Greengrass is also considering other projects. Hit the jump for more.
It’s always a great time to be a Queen fan, but especially now. Last September, we reported that Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a film about the rock musician’s life. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor have told Queen Online that screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) has delivered a first draft of the script, and that the team behind the flick is planning to shoot later this year with an eye towards a fall 2012 release. May and Taylor also say that they’re developing the Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You into a movie.
Hit the jump to read their full statement.
Now that MGM’s financial mess is settled, it looks like James Bond is finally back on track. Deadline reports that Bond 23 (tentative title, obviously) is currently set for November 9, 2012. Sam Mendes is still attached to direct and Daniel Craig will return as 007. Production is set to begin late this year. While a script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) was previously going to be used, Deadline is now reporting that Mendes will work from a script by Purvis, Wade, and Gladiator screenwriter John Logan. Now let the title and Bond girl speculation begin!
Currently, the only other film holding the November 9, 2012 release date is McG’s Ouija. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is due out a week later.
The drama Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of three people who are each haunted by mortality. When screenwriter/executive producer Peter Morgan read a book about a woman who lost her sister and really sought to connect with her, he was so moved that it inspired him to explore the ways in which death touches different individuals in different ways. The film stars Matt Damon, Cecile de France and Frankie & George McLaren.
As a writer who has spent much of his career telling stories that are fact-based, Peter Morgan admits that writing something that was more instinctual and emotional was very different for him. During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, he talked about doing more of a mixture in his storytelling now, how encouraging it is to work with someone who puts trust in you as a writer in the way that Clint Eastwood does and how, when a story grabs him in a particular moment, he just has to jump on it. He also spoke about how he became involved as executive producer on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, being directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), and that the biopic about Freddie Mercury, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, is where his focus is now. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
With Clint Eastwood’s latest Hereafter opening in limited release this weekend and everywhere on October 22, we’ve been given 4 clips. Hereafter stars Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jay Mohr, and Frankie/George McLaren and it tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Hit the jump for the official synopsis and the clips:
Rachel Weisz is re-teaming with her The Constant Gardner director Fernando Meirelles for the psychosexual drama 360. According to Variety, the story is about airs of characters and their sexual encounters and that the “project is based on the 1900 play Reigen that inspired French drama La Ronde and has provided the dramatic structure for scores of plays and films.” Screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) is handling the script.
Weisz won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Constant Gardner. She recently wrapped filming on the drama Dream House with Daniel Craig. Last month, Weisz signed on to costar in Terrence Malick’s new film, which is currently filming in Oklahoma.
Here’s a bit of exciting casting news: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) has signed on to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic. The film will be written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) and will focus on “the band’s formative years, leading up to Queen’s appearance at Live Aid in 1985.” According to Deadline, a rights package has been set for the band’s music, but it’s still unknown if Cohen will be providing his own vocals, or whether Mercury’s voice will be used.
This won’t be Cohen’s first foray into musicals given his memorable appearance in Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd. The comedian is, in my opinion, a perfect and excellent choice to play Mercury, and I look forward to seeing who signs on to direct the film. I would also love to see Cohen attempt to match Mercury’s unique and amazing vocals, but I wouldn’t hold it against him if he decides to lip synch his way through the film. In the meantime, you can next see Cohen starring in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret, which is set to open next December.
Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson looks to make his English-language debut with an adaptation of the John Le Carre 1974 spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy. Variety reports that the Swedish director has landed an excellent starring cast of Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, and Michael Fassbender. Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) scripted the adaptation, which revolves around the British Secret Intelligence Service in the aftermath of the Cold War. More after the jump:
With two Oscar nominations in recent years for his Frost/Nixon and The Queen screenplays, I’m sure Peter Morgan’s quote is on the rise. But that hasn’t stopped wise studios from seeking his services, however: Summit hired Morgan to rewrite Richard McBrien’s script for Riptide, a “whodunit” set on the high seas. The studio was confident enough in said screenplay to present it to Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, coupled with an offer to star. Details on the lead roles after the jump.