A new trailer for director Atom Egoyan’s real-life drama Devil’s Knot has been released online. The film is based on the story of the West Memphis Three, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of the murder of three young boys in Arkansas in the 1990s. Reese Witherspoon stars as the mother of one of the victims while Colin Firth plays a private investigator hired to look into the defense case. I caught the pic at TIFF last fall and found it to be a massive disappointment. The film has no real focus and the performances—by talented actors, mind you—are bafflingly atrocious. Moreover, the story of Witherspoon’s character verges into exploitation territory.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Stephen Moyer, Dane DeHaan, Mireille Enos, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, and Amy Ryan. Devil’s Knot opens in theaters May 9th.
Though Reese Witherspoon just dropped out of the next Nancy Meyers film, she already has another project moving forward rather quickly. Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara attached themselves to the MGM comedy Don’t Mess with Texas last year, and now the film has found its director. Deadline reports that The Proposal and 27 Dresses director Anne Fletcher has entered talks to helm the pic, which is aiming to begin production this spring in order to coincide with Vergara’s hiatus from ABC’s Modern Family. Written by David Feeney and John Quaintance, the project is described as a female-driven Midnight Run and revolves around a police officer (Witherspoon) and a prisoner (Vergara) who are forced to go on the run together.
Fletcher last directed the Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand road trip comedy The Guilt Trip. Witherspoon most recently wrapped Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Valle’s new film Wild and she’ll be seen later this year in Inherent Vice. Vergara, meanwhile, appears in Jon Favreau’s Chef, opening this May.
A few months back, Robert De Niro and Reese Witherspoon were reported as circling roles in Nancy Meyers’ workplace comedy, The Intern. While De Niro appears to still be involved, Witherspoon has apparently left the project, with Anne Hathaway in talks to replace her. The story centers on “an owner of an Internet company who gets assigned an intern who’s a retiree (De Niro). He becomes a valuable resource and the two develop a relationship.” Witherspoon left the project mid-January citing scheduling conflicts. Hathaway will next be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar this November. (Via THR)
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Last week, production began on the adaption of Cheryl Strayed‘s best-selling memoir, Wild. Reese Witherspoon stars as Strayed, who decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone after the dissolution of her marriage and death of her mother. Witherspoon has tweeted the first image from the set, and it confirms our suspicions that such a trip will require a large backpack. It’s good to know they’re playing to the reality of the situation.
Hit the jump to check out the image. Additionally, Deadline reports that Laura Dern has joined the cast. Wild also stars Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom), the film will also co-star Michiel Huisman (World War Z), W. Earl Brown (The Lone Ranger), Gaby Hoffman (Veronica Mars), and Kevin Rankin (Dallas Buyers Club).
Principal photography has begun in Oregon for the drama Wild. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) and starring Reese Witherspoon, the story is about a woman who decides to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone after the dissolution of her marriage and death of her mother. The script by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of the same name. The press release also announces that in addition to Thomas Sadoski (The Newsroom), the film will also co-star Michiel Huisman (World War Z), W. Earl Brown (The Lone Ranger), Gaby Hoffman (Veronica Mars), and Kevin Rankin (Dallas Buyers Club).
Hit the jump for the full press release, which contains the official synopsis.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
The injustice perpetrated against The West Memphis Three—three teenagers who in 1994 were wrongly convicted of the brutal slayings of three young boys in Memphis, Arkansas—was powerfully revealed in the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. Directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky proceed to keep interest in the case alive with their two sequels, and the accused were finally released from jail in 2011. Berlinger and Sinofsky did the hard work and compelling filmmaking that captured the drama and tragedy of the case. Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot takes that hard work and turns it into a based-on-true-events movie that’s not only pointless, but also exploitative and disrespectful.
Writer/director Jeff Nichols has been a burgeoning talent in the filmmaking world for a few years now following his one-two punch of Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, but his latest release is proving to be his most successful yet. Not only has Mud caught on with general audiences (to the tune of $26.8 million and counting), but the film provides a unique, enthralling, and almost mythic take on the coming-of-age genre that boasts a magnetic performance by Matthew McConaughey and truly stunning breakthrough work from the young Tye Sheridan. The result is one of the best films of the year, and it’s now available on home video. Hit the jump for my review of Mud on Blu-ray.
Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced its line-up for their Galas and Special Presentation programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- Devil’s Knot (Directed by Atom Egoyan) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan, and Stephen Moyer.
- You Are Here (Directed by Matthew Weiner) Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, and Laura Ramsey.
- Can a Song Save Your Life? (Directed by John Carney) Starring Keira Knightley, Adam Levine, and Mark Ruffalo.
- Dallas Buyers Club (Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th. [Update: We have removed the image from Labor Day at the request of the studio]
Here’s today’s newest casting announcements:
- Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) has been confirmed for Nick Hornby’s adaptation, Wild.
- Linda Cardellini (ER), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Machinist) and Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) will join Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me.
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
File this one away in your “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game: Reese Witherspoon (Mud) and Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) are set to team up on screen for Don’t Mess with Texas. Universal won a bidding war for the comedy spec script from screenwriters John Quaintance and David Feeney (Ben and Kate). Witherspoon will produce with Bruna Papandrea through their Pacific Standard banner along with Dana Fox, who both wrote for and executive produced the recently-canceled Ben and Kate. The fast-tracked picture is expecting to start production next March. Hit the jump for more.
Last month, we reported that The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt would helm Rodham. Per the synopsis, “During the height of the Watergate scandal, rising star Hillary Rodham is the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon, but she soon finds herself forced to choose between a destined path to the White House and her unresolved feelings for Bill Clinton, her former boyfriend who now teaches law in Arkansas.” Since playing a famous person in a drama is a prime recipe for netting an Oscar, it’s a role that’s ripe to net an A-list actress.
Today, The Independent reports that Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, and Amanda Seyfriend have emerged as “frontrunners” to play the title role. I put “frontrunners” in quotations because these actresses are probably high on every list for most projects. Ponsoldt commented, “They’re all wonderful actresses. We’re very fortunate that a lot of really great actors are interested in playing these roles. We’re in an enviable position.” Of course, once the role of Rodham has been cast, we can rev up the speculation machine on who will play a young Bill Clinton.
It looks like Reese Witherspoon is quite eager to reunite with her Walk the Line crew. The Oscar winner recently signed on to star in Walk the Line director James Mangold’s memoir adaptation Three Little Words, and now she’s joining Joaquin Phoenix in writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pychon novel Inherent Vice. Set in 1970 Los Angeles, the film follows a pot-smoking private investigator (Phoenix) as he investigates the alleged kidnapping of a woman he used to date. Deadline reports Witherspoon’s casting, but has no details regarding her role in the film.
Witherspoon is just the latest A-lister to sign on to Anderson’s The Master follow-up, as the filmmaker is assembling a stellar ensemble that thus far includes Benicio Del Toro and Owen Wilson. As production is gearing up to begin soon, expect to hear more casting news in the coming weeks. [Update: The Wrap adds two new cast members. Jena Malone is expected to play a former drug addict who asks Phoenix's private eye for help—Martin Short has been cast in an unspecified role.] Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book.
It appears that The Wolverine director James Mangold has settled on his next project, and it’s looking like it will mark a reunion of sorts for the helmer and his Oscar-winning Walk the Line star Reese Witherspoon. THR reports that Witherspoon will star in an adaptation of Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir Three Little Words, which Mangold will produce and direct. Rhodes-Courter entered the child welfare system in Florida at the age of four, and years later an unpaid volunteer discovered the girl and set out to convince her biological mother to surrender her parental rights so that the teen could begin a new life.
Witherspoon will play the volunteer and Amanda Seyfried is in talks to play the young girl’s biological mother. The project, written by Lewis Colick (The Fighter) and Michael Petroni, marks a bit of a palate clenser for the versatile Mangold after The Wolverine, but he’s already proven adept at the Western (3:10 to Yuma), biopic (Walk the Line), and action-comedy (Knight and Day) genres so one presumes he’ll do a fine job with the drama-leaning Three Little Words. Production is hoping to begin this September in Florida. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the memoir.