Mark Wahlberg Drops 60 Pounds in First THE GAMBLER Images

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first The Gambler images from director Rupert Wyatt’s (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) remake of the 1974 drama, and the first thing you’ll notice is that star Mark Wahlberg has undergone a pretty striking physical transformation for the role—especially in relation to his appearance in Transformers: Age of Extinction.  The actor plays a literature professor whose gambling spirals out of control, and Wahlberg lost 60 pounds to play the role.  Speaking with USA Today, though, Wahlberg says dropping the weight wasn’t the toughest part of the film: “Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words.”  Paramount is releasing the film in the heat of awards season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the pic can land Wahlberg another Oscar nod.

Take a look at the first The Gambler images after the jump.  A trailer should be debuting shortly.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, John Goodman, and Michael K. WilliamsThe Gambler opens in limited release on December 19th.

Mark Wahlberg Talks TRANSFORMERS 4, Rupert Wyatt’s THE GAMBLER, Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 208 days ago

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Just a short time ago in Las Vegas, I landed a great video interview with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet before Paramount’s presentation at CinemaCon.  During the interview Wahlberg talked about making Transformers: Age of Extinction, the action sequences, working for director Michael Bay on a big budget summer movie versus a smaller film like Pain & GainRupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, Peter Berg’s American DesperadoWilliam Monahan’s Mojave, and the New England Patriots (we’re both fans of the team).

The big news is that Wahlberg revealed American Desperados will be shooting this September and he has a small role in Monahan’s Mojave (which hadn’t been revealed until tonight).  For those unfamiliar with the story for American Desperado, it’s based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, who was the focus of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.  Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Brie Larson in Talks to Star Opposite Mark Wahlberg in THE GAMBLER; Rupert Wyatt Confirmed to Direct

by     Posted 1 year, 1 day ago

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Actress Brie Larson has been on the rise for a few years now, but her breakthrough role in this year’s highly regarded indie Short Term 12 finally gave her the chance to shine as a leading lady.  As a result, the actress has landed the female lead opposite Mark Wahlberg in Paramount’s remake of the 1974 James Caan film The Gambler, which has gone through a number of iterations over the years.  Oscar-winning The Departed scribe William Monahan penned the initial script for Martin Scorsese to direct and Leonardo DiCaprio to star, then The Hangover director Todd Phillips entered talks to take over when Scorsese left the project.  Hit the jump for more on the project, including who will now be taking the helm.

Mark Wahlberg and Rupert Wyatt Take a Chance on THE GAMBLER at Paramount; Wyatt Unofficially Endorsed by J.J. Abrams to Direct STAR TREK 3

by     Posted 1 year, 37 days ago

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Paramount’s remake of Karel Reisz’s 1974 film The Gambler had previously courted director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio.  When Scorsese left, Todd Phillips (The Hangover) was in talks to direct.  Now, it looks as if Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) could be sitting in the captain’s chair while Mark Wahlberg (2 Guns) could land the role originally played by James Caan.  While no offer is officially on the table, the studio is keen to keep Wyatt involved, including the possibility of him helming Star Trek 3 even if The Gambler doesn’t work out.  Hit the jump for more.

Jon M. Chu’s Reps Deny He’s Up for STAR TREK 3; Is Rupert Wyatt the Frontrunner to Direct?

by     Posted 1 year, 74 days ago

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A rumor surfaced earlier today that Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) is the top candidate to direct Star Trek 3.  It seemed unlikely, because Chu would have to drop out of G.I. Joe 3 to helm the sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness.  Plus, our editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub noted that he’s been “hearing a different name than Jon M. Chu” for Star Trek 3.

Two developments since that posting.  1) Chu’s representatives denied that their client is up for the project.  2) A new report raised the name Steve has been hearing: Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt.  More after the jump.

Rupert Wyatt to Direct Crime Thriller NIGHT FILM

by     Posted 1 year, 185 days ago

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Director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has once again joined with Chernin Entertainment (Oblivion, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) to direct the crime thriller Night Film.  Based on bestselling author Marisha Pessl’s upcoming novel of the same name, Night Film follows the story of a journalist named Scott McGrath who uncovers some unexpected details when investigating the alleged suicide of a beautiful young woman.  Pessi’s book will be released in August.  The film’s release date is TBA.  Hit the jump for more details. 

Rupert Wyatt Drops Out of Directing THE EQUALIZER Starring Denzel Washington

by     Posted 1 year, 227 days ago

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The feature film adaptation of the 1980s crime series The Equalizer just can’t catch a break.  Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn was initially attached to take the helm before departing the project in JanuaryRise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt subsequently entered early talks to direct late last month, but now it appears those talks have broken off as Deadline reports that a scheduling conflict forced Wyatt to drop out of the director’s chair.  Presumably the dates conflicted with Wyatt’s upcoming WWI drama Birdsong, which recently landed Nicholas Hoult as the lead.

Sony and Escape Artists are itching to get The Equalizer going and are expected to attach a new director shortly.  Denzel Washington has long been set as the lead as a former covert operations officer who dedicates his life to helping people in trouble.  Hopefully the next director attached to the project sticks.

Rupert Wyatt in Early Talks to Direct THE EQUALIZER Starring Denzel Washington

by     Posted 1 year, 241 days ago

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It appears as though the feature film adaptation of The Equalizer may have found a director.  The adaptation of the 1980s crime series has seen a number of filmmakers flirt with the idea of taking the helm, with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn most recently attached to direct before dropping out last month.  With an eye towards starting production in June and Denzel Washington set to star, Sony is ready to get this thing moving, and now it looks like Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt might be the man for the job as he’s entered early negotiations to take the helm.  Hit the jump for more.

Rupert Wyatt to Direct WWI Drama BIRDSONG

by     Posted 1 year, 255 days ago

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It looks as though Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt has settled on his next project.  Wyatt had been attached to helm the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but he and Fox apparently didn’t see eye-to-eye on the future of the franchise and he was subsequently replaced by Matt Reeves.  Now ScreenDaily reports that Wyatt will helm an adaptation of author Sebastian Faulks’ World War I novel Birdsong.  The story spans three generations and centers on a young Englishman who strikes up a love affair with a French woman and then enters the war.

Wyatt wrote the script and will direct the film with Alan Moloney set to produce through Parallel, alongside Embankment.  The director had previously been eyeing the KGB spy movie Londongrad with Michael Fassbender in the lead, but its unknown how that project has progressed since.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the novel Birdsong.

Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns Talks David Fincher’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 1 year, 260 days ago

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Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns has been working on quite a few interesting projects over the past couple of years.  Director David Fincher enlisted the scribe to work on his big-budget remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Burns was also tapped to pen a draft of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Steve recently sat down with the screenwriter to talk about his upcoming thriller Side Effects, and during the course of the conversation Burns talked about the status of both 20,000 Leagues and Apes, discussing why Rupert Wyatt dropped out of the director’s chair for the Apes sequel.  Hit the jump to read on.

Matt Reeves Heads Short List of Directors for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Others Include J Blakeson, Guillermo del Toro and Jeff Nichols

by     Posted 2 years, 22 days ago

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After reporting that director Rupert Wyatt was exiting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox is now looking for a replacement.  As of this writing, it looks like Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In) is leading the pack.  Rounding out the short list of directors is J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and Jeff Nichols (Mud).  Longer shots being reported are Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro (doubtful), Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) and Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart).  Hit the jump to get this sorted out.

Is Director Rupert Wyatt Leaving DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES?

by     Posted 2 years, 30 days ago

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Although the release date is more than 18 months away, it looks like director Rupert Wyatt may be stepping away from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Wyatt directed the 2011 reboot/prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and was expected to return for multiple sequels along with star Andy Serkis.  Now, reports are coming out that Wyatt is exiting the production with the explanation that he doesn’t feel comfortable making the expected release date of May 23, 2014.  Hit the jump for much more, including what this move means for the future of the sequel and for Wyatt’s career.

Fox Sets Release Dates for X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Sequel and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Pushes ROBOPOCALYPSE to 2014

by     Posted 2 years, 139 days ago

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20th Century Fox has made a doozy of a release date announcement today, with the first dates for two highly anticipated sequels and a big shift for Steven Spielberg’s next film.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for much more.

Scott Z. Burns to Write RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Sequel

by     Posted 2 years, 155 days ago

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes proved to be a sizable sleeper hit for Fox last summer. In an interview at CinemaCon, Fox CEO Tom Rothman told Steve that the studio was “pushing forward aggressively” on a sequel, in anticipation of a possible summer 2014 release date. Director Rupert Wyatt and star (no offense to James Franco) Andy Serkis were both already set to return; today comes news that Contagion and The Bourne Ultimatum scribe Scott. Z. Burns will write the script.

The first film saw a scientist (James Franco) experimenting on apes in search of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The result was super-intelligent chimp Caesar (Serkis), who, disgusted by the mistreatment he and his kind endure at the hands of man, leads an uprising. The sequel will, predictably, see Caesar and co. making use of their hard-won freedom to gain dominion over the planet (making it a sort of, “Planet of the Monkeys,” if you will). Hit the jump for more.

Fox CEO Tom Rothman Talks 48fps, THE WOLVERINE, PROMETHEUS, CHRONICLE 2, DIE HARD 5, Comic Book Movies, and a Lot More

by     Posted 2 years, 167 days ago

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At this year’s CinemaCon, I was able to land an exclusive interview with Tom Rothman (Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment).  While we posted selected portions of the interview last week, after the jump you can read the entire conversation which covers a lot more than comic book movies.  I love getting to speak with actors and directors, but if you really want to find out which projects are moving forward and why certain decisions were made, a studio head has all the answers.

During the wide-ranging conversation we talked about 48 frames per second, the shift towards higher quality films on Fox’s slate, Prometheus (and it’s rating), Daredevil, Fantastic Four, the Chronicle sequel, The Wolverine, the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, a New Mutants movie, A Good Day to Die Hard (Die Hard 5), and more.  Hit the jump to read what he had to say.

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