Ray Liotta plays real-life mobster Roy Demeo in Ariel Vromen’s crime drama, The Iceman, based on the story of notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) whose career prospects expand when Demeo offers him the opportunity to earn a living as a mob enforcer. The role marks the second time in 30 years that Liotta has played a real-life mobster since his acclaimed performance in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic, Goodfellas.
At the film’s recent press day, Liotta talked about getting back into that world again, why he likes playing pretend, how he researched his larger than life character, what it was like working opposite Michael Shannon, how he’s met real life mobsters, why he was reluctant to play Frank Sinatra in The Rat Pack, and why he tries to avoid typecasting and chooses roles that are diverse and challenging. He also revealed his upcoming projects including playing himself in The Muppets…Again!, a hitman in the crime thriller Pawn, a preacher in The Identical, and a guy cheating on his wife in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Hit the jump to read more:
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this evening. First up, Ray Liotta is the latest actor to join the human cast of The Muppets sequel. Ricky Gervais is set as the lead with Ty Burrell and Tina Fey poised to co-star, and Variety now reports that Liotta is joining the sequel in an unspecified role. This isn’t Liotta’s first time with The Muppets, as he also appeared in 1999’s Muppets from Space. The Europe-set film will be directed by James Bobin and production is scheduled to begin in London this month.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink.
When news broke a couple of weeks ago that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had joined Robert Rodriguez’s in-production sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the source report noted that other “tough guy actors” would be announced for the cast soon. Indeed, just a day later Josh Brolin joined the pic in a lead role and Christopher Meloni signed on to portray a supporting character, and now The Playlist reports that Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, and the lovely Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) have been added to the cast.
Details on their characters are unknown at the moment, but Rodriguez is filling out the follow-up with a pretty impressive lineup. The current cast now also includes Mickey ROurke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Dennis Haysbert, and Jamie Chung. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on October 14th.
A new trailer for the thriller The Iceman has landed online. The film stars Michael Shannon and chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski, a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track. This trailer makes the film feel a bit more dramatic than the action-oriented first trailer, but it looks like it might reveal a tad too much of the film’s plot. Matt caught the film at the Toronto Film Festival and was not impressed by director/co-writer Ariel Vromen’s shallow take on Kuklinski, saying the pic is “about a hitman and nothing else.”
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, and James Franco. The Iceman opens on May 3rd.
The first trailer for director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines has gone online. The film centers on two fathers: one is a pro-motorcycle rider and bank robber (Ryan Gosling) while the other is a rookie cop on the rise (Bradley Cooper). Though the two leads are instantly set on a collision course, it’s hard to know who to root for with such compelling actors in their respective multi-dimensional roles. You can also check out two clips from the film here and read Matt Goldberg’s review from TIFF.
The Place Beyond the Pines also stars Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta. The film opens March 29, 2013. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
A new trailer for director Andrew Dominik’s crime drama Killing Them Soflty has been released. The film stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer called in to investigate the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The film’s first trailer was pretty great, but this clip ups my anticipation level even more. We see a bit more of the plot and character interactions, and there’s a scene set in the rain that shows off some fantastic visuals. Dominik displayed tremendous talent with The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, and I’m highly encouraged by what we’ve seen of his second go-around with Pitt thus far.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn. Killing Them Softly opens November 30th.
[This a re-post of my review from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The Details opens today in limited release.]
The Details is a darkly comic tale that can never quite seem to get a handle on its tone. The film plays with notions of fate but only a fate that will deal out punishment and retribution no matter how much good you do or if you even receive a kindness. That’s not a problem for a black comedy, but The Details grinds to a halt as its main character receives valuable life lessons or as he heads into another predictable comic set-up. Director Jacob Aaron Estes’ best attempt to tie it all together is with an insufferable Danny Elfman-esque score. Stars Tobey Maguire and Laura Linney do a great job handling the comedy, but even their scenes eventually feel repetitive. The Details has a lot to offer, most notably frustration.
We’ve got a couple more casting stories to share this afternoon, straight from the American Film Market (AFM). First up, Amanda Seyfried and Patrick Dempsey are set to team up for the romantic comedy Wonderful Tonight. The “feel good” story centers on a wealthy bachelor and a free-spirited woman whose one-night stand results in a child. The Wrap reports that Christine Jeffs (Sunshine Cleaning) will direct from a script by J. Mills Goodloe (Ride).
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Ray Liotta in a film noir.
A new international trailer for Killing Them Softly has been released. The film stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer called in to investigate the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The domestic trailer showed us some of the other characters and plot points, but this international trailer is short, to the point, and it works.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn. Killing Them Softly opens November 30th.
We have the pleasure of debuting an exclusive alternative poster for writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes‘ The Details. A darkly comic movie, The Details stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) as Jeff, a married man who notices a family of raccoons infesting his yard, a discovery which spirals into a chain reaction of tension, infidelity and murder. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company at Sundance 2011 and was reviewed there by our own Matt Goldberg.
The Details, also starring Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Kerry Washington, is now available on VOD and opens theatrically November 2nd. Hit the jump to check out the new alternative poster.
The Toronto Film Festival is widely considered to be the place where a majority of the buzz for so-called “awards films” begins, and this year one of the biggest surprises was Derek Cianfrance’s (Blue Valentine) crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines. The pic stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and centers on the intense feud between a professional motorcycle rider turned bank robber (Gosling) and a rookie police officer (Cooper). The film premiered to an enthusiastically positive response at TIFF, with heavy praise given to the film’s scope and impact; our own Matt Goldberg called it an “epic family saga” in his positive review.
Focus Features acquired the film for 2013 distribution, and many figured the drama would be poised for an awards season release sometime in the fall. Now Box Office Mojo reports that we’ll see the pic much sooner than expected, as The Place Beyond the Pines has been dated for a limited release on March 29th, 2013. This is great news for those of us eager to see what everyone was buzzing about back at TIFF, but it’s a little surprising that Focus is dropping this one so early in the year.
The first trailer for The Details has been released. The film stars Tobey Maguire as a married, philandering man who makes a series of very bad decisions and suffers through the repercussions. The pic actually debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where it was picked up by The Weinstein Company, but the fact that they’ve held on to it this long isn’t exactly a good sign. The trailer is rather strange, and it looks like one of those off-kilter dark comedies that either really works or really doesn’t (you can read Matt’s mixed review right here). Given the significant delay, I’m betting it’s the latter.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, and Ray Liotta. The Details will be available VOD on October 5th followed by a theatrical release on November 2nd.
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from director Nick Cassavetes (his last effort was 2009′s My Sister’s Keeper) but now we have a first look at his new film, Yellow. Written by Cassavetes and star Heather Wahlquist (Alpha Dog), Yellow centers on Mary Holmes (Wahlquist), a substitute teacher and mother of four with a drug addiction and a complicated past to say the least. This new video for Yellow features Wahlquist’s protagonist and a few trippy transition scenes that only twenty tabs of Vicodin can provide. Also starring Max Thieriot, Sienna Miller, Ray Liotta and David Morse, Yellow will be screening at this weekend’s 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Hit the jump to check out the video and synopsis.
The first trailer for the thriller The Iceman has been released. The film chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski, a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track. “Michael Shannon as a hitman” was really all I needed to hear to get me in the theater, but the film looks to have some great scenes between Shannon and Ray Liotta. Moreover, Chris Evans is nearly unrecognizable in dirty long hair as Kuklinski’s mentor. James Franco was originally slated to play that role before Evans took over, but it appears that Franco is still in the film as a supporting character.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Directed by Ariel Vromen, the film also stars Winona Ryder. The Iceman recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is slated to play at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
Earlier today, TIFF announced that they were adding new films to their already stellar Galas and Special Presentations line-up. Among the new additions are:
- Passion (directed by Brian De Palma) Starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, and Paul Anderson.
- Love Is All You Need (directed by Susanne Bier) Starring Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, and Paprika Steen.
- Spring Breakers (directed by Harmony Korine) Starring Selena Gomez, James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, and Heather Morris.
- Yellow (directed by Nick Cassavettes) Starring Sienna Miller, Gena Rowlands, Ray Liotta, David Morse, Lucy Punch, Max Theoriot, Riley Keough, Daveigh Chase, Heather Wahlquist, and Melanie Griffith.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.