Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for director Will Gluck‘s (Easy A) new musical adaptation Annie. The redo stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move. The film is very clearly a modern day update of the story, as it bears little resemblance to the 1982 film adaptation of the same musical. Wallis appears to be sufficiently charming in the lead role, and Diaz puts an interesting spin on the mean Miss Hannigan sans drinking habit. Some of the music is rather heavy on the auto-tune, but all-in-all this looks to be a fairly entertaining musical aimed squarely at families looking for an agreeable holiday movie outing.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay-Z, the film also stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas. Annie opens in theaters on December 19th.
Last year, when director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) R-rated comedy Neighbors was filming here in Los Angeles, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters. The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young couple with a newborn baby that has a fraternity–headed up by Zac Efron‘s character –move in next door. The thirty-somethings soon find themselves the victims of pranks and other unsightly activities after an attempt to welcome the Delta Psi Beta chapter goes awry. Neighbors also stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, Jason Mantozoukas, and Lisa Kudrow.
During breaks in filming, I was able to participate in group interviews with Rogen, Efron, Mintz-Plasse, Franco, Barinholtz, Stoller, producer Evan Goldberg and screenwriters Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. They talked about making the film, what it’s about, the atmosphere on set, Mintz-Plasse’s massive penis, Efron’s abs, their extremely graphic, homoerotic handshake for the fraternity in the film, and so much more. Hit the jump for 35 things to know about the film. Neighbors opens May 9th.
Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell‘s 2011 creeper Insidious was a box office success, even though the general consensus was that the second half sucked. But since it made a profit, a sequel was only natural. The filmmaking duo have fallen into the trappings of sequels before with the Saw franchise that they started, but for Insidious: Chapter 2 they decided to take the reigns themselves. The result is a mixed bag of cheap jump scares and effective atmosphere that makes you wonder, was this a story that really needed to be told? Now Insidious: Chapter 2 is available on a solid Sony Blu-ray. Hit the jump for my review of the package.
Universal Pictures has released a new theatrical trailer and poster for director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) comedy Neighbors. The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a married couple who must deal with a fraternity—headed up by Zac Efron—when it moves in next door. This trailer features some of the same jokes from the previous (and very funny) red-band trailer, but we also get a taste of just how wild things get as the film takes a promising premise and pushes things further and further. The De Niro stuff with Efron and Dave Franco is still great, and Jason Mantzoukas (Raffi from The League) pops up at the end of the trailer in what’s sure to be a fun hospital sequence.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and to check out the new poster. The film also stars Jake Johnson, Carlo Gallo, Lisa Kudrow, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Neighbors opens May 9, 2014.
Brother’s Keeper, a new indie dramedy executive produced by Mark and Jay Duplass, has landed Nick Kroll (The League), Rose Byrne (Insidious: Chapter 2) and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire). Scripted by Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive, the story centers on “a young, narcissistic entrepreneur who crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s launch. He leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged, pregnant sister and his brother-in-law (to be played by real-life item Byrne and Cannavale) and his 3-year-old nephew, only to end up becoming their nanny.” Ross Katz (Taking Chance) will direct the film, which plans on starting production in New York in January. (Via THR)
Universal has released a new trailer for Nicholas Stoller‘s new comedy, Neighbors. The film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Bryne as a married couple who must deal with a fraternity when it moves in next door. Universal is getting a big jump on the movie (it doesn’t open until May), but they could have a great one here. Like the red-band trailer, I got plenty of laughs not only from Rogen and Byrne, but also from Zac Efron, who plays the lead frat boy. My only concern from a marketing standpoint is that Universal might give away too many jokes in the long lead-up to the film’s release. Hopefully, that won’t be the case.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Carlo Gallo, Lisa Kudrow, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Neighbors opens May 9, 2014.
Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig has settled on the “female James Bond” pic Susan Cooper as his next project, and he’s assembling a little Bridesmaids reunion in the process. Melissa McCarthy is already set to lead the film in the title role, and now The Wrap reports that Rose Byrne is in early talks to sign on. Feig penned the script for the potential franchise starter, which will begin filming next spring while McCarthy is on hiatus from her CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. Byrne will be seen early next year opposite Seth Rogen in the comedy Neighbors.
Additionally, in a Les Miserables reunion Deadline reports that Amanda Seyfried has been set to play Russell Crowe’s daughter in director Gabriele Muccino’s (Seven Pounds) drama Fathers and Daughters. The film takes place in two time periods: one in the 1980s where Crowe’s famous novelist and widower character struggles with mental illness while he raises his 5-year-old daughter, and another in present day New York where the grown up daughter battles her childhood demons.
Following the impressive box office success of Insidious: Chapter Two, another sequel in the horror franchise is moving forward. eOne, FilmDistrict, and Sony Pictures Worldwide announced today that they are developing a third Insidious film, with Insidious and Insidious: Chapter Two screenwriter Leigh Whannell returning to pen the screenplay. James Wan directed the first two installments, but after the back-to-back successes of The Conjuring and Insidious 2, he has stated his intention to move away from the horror genre and try his hand at other kinds of films. He’s currently busy directing Fast & Furious 7 and the press release makes no mention of his involvement with Insidious: Chapter Three, so it’s unlikely that he will return to direct.
Jason Blum and Oren Peli are producing the third installment, but further details about the horror sequel are unknown. The second film made over $40 million in its opening weekend against a $5 million budget, so clearly continuing the series is in the best interest of the studios. Hopefully Whannell develops a worthwhile story. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Having played in limited release since August, director James Ponsoldt‘s high school drama The Spectacular Now finally made its way to my Midwestern neck of the woods this weekend and I jumped at the chance to see it last night. Although it elicited fewer laughs than I expected, the film levied an emotional punch that I’m still shaking off today. As has been noted by many before me, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley‘s performances are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable from beginning to end (one scene in which Woodley’s Aimee describes her dreams of a perfect marriage stands out to me in particular). Moreover, Kyle Chandler‘s turn as Teller’s estranged father is as powerful as it is short-lived. If you have the slightest interest in the coming-of-age genre, and this film is playing nearby, take the time to see it. Few in the genre capture the nuance of high-school love and personal demons as honestly as The Spectacular Now.
With that ringing endorsement behind me, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of Insidious: Chapter 2 interviews, Adam keeping his finger on the pulse of awards season with his recurring Oscar Beat feature, news that Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling are teaming up for a new film series inspired by Harry Potter, a new installment of Cinemath that takes a look at the history of movie ticket prices, and a recap of our robust TIFF 2013 coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Opening in theaters this weekend is James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2. The follow-up to the 2011 surprise hit picks up exactly where the first left off. Josh (Patrick Wilson) has returned from the Further feeling not quite himself, and when Renai (Rose Byrne) begins seeing familiar signs of the paranormal the Lambert family is thrust once more into a world of psychics, demons and ghosts. Insidious: Chapter 2 also stars Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, and Ty Simpkins.
During a recent New York press day I hopped on the phone for an interview with Byrne. She talked about what brought her back for an Insidious sequel, working with James Wan, and acting alongside screenwriter Leigh Whannell. She also talked about the diversity of her career, her recent work in comedy, Annie and more. Hit the jump to see what she had to say.
Universal Pictures has released the first red-band trailer for director Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) new comedy Neighbors. Previously titled Townies, the film stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young couple who move in next door to a fraternity house. The thirty-somethings soon find themselves the victims of pranks (and other unsightly activities) after an attempt to welcome the Delta Psi Beta chapter goes awkwardly awry. There are plenty of great snippets of what are sure to be funny moments throughout the picture as Neighbors takes a look at the hard-partying Greek life of films like Old School, Animal House and PCU from the viewpoint of the squares on the outside. And while Christopher Mintz-Plasse doesn’t get any dialogue, he sure does get a moment.
Hit the jump to watch the red-band trailer. The film also stars Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, Jason Mantozoukas, and Lisa Kudrow. Neighbors opens in theaters on May 9, 2014.
FilmDistrict has released a new batch of images from Insidious: Chapter 2. Additionally, the studio invites you to participate in a séance at the official site. It is a neat bit of interactive promotional material as long as you don’t mind granting access to your webcam—worth a couple minutes if you are a fan of the first movie and care to role the dice.
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, and Barbara Hershey star. The James Wan-directed sequel opens September 13. See the images after the jump.
The “family drama” genre is usually one that is relegated to saccharine films that feel like movies of the week, or small-scale character pieces that explore dynamics within a contained story. With The Place Beyond the Pines, however, writer/director Derek Cianfrance boldly expands the scope of the “family drama” to an epic scale with an ambitious, unique structure that succeeds without sacrificing the compelling character interplay that grounds the story’s emotions. Themes of legacy and parenthood play out across three distinct acts buoyed by a magnetically reserved and nuanced Ryan Gosling performance that reverberates throughout the entire feature, culminating in one of the best films of 2013. Hit the jump for my review of The Place Beyond the Pines.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. I Give It a Year opens tomorrow in limited release.]
Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one. Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical. And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate. But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.
Tonight’s casting report is led by two actors who have starred in an FX drama:
- Charlie Hunnam is attached to star in Triple Nine, a crime thriller directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless). Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett are in talks to join the cast.
- Rose Byrne is in talks to join Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz in Annie, a new adaptation of the Broadway musical directed by Will Gluck (Easy A).
Hit the jump for details on both projects.