PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Finally Shooting in September With Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote

by     Posted 17 days ago

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I wasn’t expecting to write this piece of news today, especially since I remarked in conversation just a few days ago that I considered this project dead, but it appears the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is finally happening.  And soon, with shooting due to start this coming September.  The film will star Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote and will be directed by Burr Steers (who has been onboard since Lily Collins came on and fell off) from a script credited to Steers and David O. Russell (who was at one point attached to direct).  Cross Creek Pictures has acquired the domestic rights.

Hopefully this thing will be good.  I imagine that O. Russell was able to do something worthwhile with the script because the project has been attracting (and losing) a lot of talent for a genre mash-up.  Natalie Portman was at one point going to star (she’s still listed as a producer).  After that Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy were bandied about. Then Emma Stone was offered the role before they went to Blake Lively.  None of it stuck.  On the creative front, Mike White took the reigns briefly before Craig Gillespie became attached (and subsequently left).  Buffy writer Marti Noxon took a crack at the script at one point. You get the idea.  Hit the jump for more on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies finally heading into production.

TOP 5: MALEFICENT, ANT-MAN Director Search, New SNOWPIERCER Trailer, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, LEFT BEHIND Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

by     Posted 82 days ago

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I’m a week late to the game on this one but I’m going to share my thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past today nevertheless. While not on par with the excellent X-Men: First Class, I found DOFP to be a worthy follow-up that does an admirable job of bringing continuity to the movie tapestry while mercifully retconning X-Men: The Last Stand out of the discussion almost entirely. Also, for all of the cynicism I threw the film’s way over Quicksilver’s costume design, Evan Peters steals the show during his all too brief screen time. Without giving away too much to those who still haven’t caught the movie, his primary scene is the best that DOFP has to offer and tops Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2 which is not praise that I heap lightly. While not without its flaws (the scenes set in the future are far less compelling than the story playing out in the past), DOFP is still a solid entry in the series that has me looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse.

All DOFP reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Maleficent interviews and review, Marvel’s ongoing search to find someone/anyone to direct Ant-Man following Edgar Wright‘s departure, the new trailer for Snowpiercer, Matt’s review of A Million Ways to Die in the West and an interview with Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage starring in the first trailer for the new Left Behind film because he can. Keep reading for brief recaps and links for all of the above.

Sam Riley Talks MALEFICENT, Settling on the Final Make-Up Design, His Favorite Disney Film, Studying Ravens, and More

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Every villain is the hero of their own story, which can certainly be said for the title character in Maleficent.  This untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic Sleeping Beauty shows the level of betrayal that ultimately turned Maleficent’s (played to wickedly delightful perfection by Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie) pure heart to stone and led her to place an irrevocable curse upon the infant Aurora.  Directed by Robert Stromberg and written by Linda Woolverton, the film also stars Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Brenton Thwaites.

During a roundtable at the film’s press day, actor Sam Riley (who plays Maleficent’s constant companion Diaval, a raven that she transforms into whatever suits her) talked about his daily make-up process, going through different versions before they settled on the final one, seeing Angelina Jolie in her full costume and make-up, his favorite Disney film, growing up, studying the behavior and movements of a real raven, how this is the only film of his that his son will be able to watch before he’s 18, the character’s deadpan humor, how he came to acting, and his failed dream of becoming a rock star.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

New Character Posters for MALEFICENT Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Sharlto Copley

by     Posted 108 days ago

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Disney has released new character posters for Maleficent.  The film tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the titular villain (Angelina Jolie), and how a betrayal sets off a drive for revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides.  While those familiar with the tale of Sleeping Beauty know Maleficent and Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), these character posters also shine a spotlight on previously minor characters such as the nefarious King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) and Maleficent’s right-hand, Dival (Sam Riley), who can transform into a raven.

Hit the jump to check out the Maleficent character posters.  The film also stars  Imelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville.  Maleficent opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 30th.

15 New High-Resolution MALEFICENT Images Featuring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Fairies, and a Giant Dragon

by     Posted 127 days ago

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Disney has released a batch of new high-resolution Maleficent images from director Robert Stromberg’s upcoming fantasy-adventure film.  The pic tells the story of how the titular Sleeping Beauty villain turned antagonist, as Angelina Jolie plays a woman whose betrayal sets off a drive of revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides.  As we get closer to the pic’s release date, more and more visual effects shots are being completed.  Thus far this looks to be a very VFX-heavy outing, and these new Maleficent images give us a look at some of the CGI creatures—both big and small—that populate the fantasy tentpole.

Hit the jump to check out the new Maleficent images.  The film also stars Elle FanningSharlto CopleySam RileyImelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville.  Maleficent opens in 2D and 3D on May 30th.

Japanese Trailer for MALEFICENT Contains New Footage Putting the Emphasis on Princess Aurora

by     Posted 149 days ago

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A Japanese trailer for Disney’s Maleficent has gone online.  The film tells the story of how the Sleeping Beauty villain went bad.  Angelina Jolie plays the titular character, a woman whose betrayal sets off a drive of revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides.  While previous trailers have unsurprisingly pushed Jolie’s presence, this one takes a closer look at Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning), which is a nice change.  I have nothing against Jolie, who looks like she’s having a lot of fun playing the role, but there’s a larger story at play, and I’m glad they’re showing some it with this new footage.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Sharlto CopleySam RileyImelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville.  Maleficent opens in 2D and 3D on May 30th.

New Trailer for Disney’s MALEFICENT Starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning

by     Posted 156 days ago

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Disney has released a new full-length trailer for director Robert Stromberg’s upcoming film Maleficent.  The pic tells the story of how the Sleeping Beauty villain became went bad.  Angelina Jolie plays the titular character, a woman whose betrayal sets off a drive of revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides.  This trailer offers a much broader view of the film, highlighting the characters played by Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning, delving a bit deeper into Maleficent’s backstory, and even teasing a giant dragon.  I’m still not crazy about the over-abundance of CGI (it brings to mind the lackluster Jack the Giant Slayer and Snow White and the Huntsman), but the costumes and makeup are excellent and Jolie appears to be having a lot of fun with the lead role.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Sam RileyImelda StauntonJuno Temple, and Lesley Manville.  Maleficent opens in 2D and 3D on May 30th.

FANTASTIC FOUR’s Doctor Doom Shortlist Down to Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne, Toby Kebbell, and Domhnall Gleeson

by     Posted 163 days ago

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Remember when there was a rumor that The Fantastic Four’s version of Doctor Doom (aka Victor von Doom) might be a woman?  Well, if a new casting shortlist is to be believed, it looks like that rumor doesn’t hold water.  The villainous role has apparently been narrowed down to these four blokes: Sam Riley (On the Road), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans), or Domhnall Gleeson (About Time).  Whoever ends up with the part, it’s going to be a 30-something actor from the U.K. who goes up against Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell in the title roles.  Hit the jump for more.

New Trailer for MALEFICENT Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Sharlto Copley

by     Posted 207 days ago

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Disney has released a new trailer for the live-action Sleeping Beauty reimaging, Maleficent.  The film tells the famous fairy tale from the perspective of the eponymous villain, played by Angelina Jolie.  There was a new trailer last week, and while it was good, I like this one better because it puts the emphasis on the eye-catching visuals, which isn’t too surprising when you consider that the director is Robert Stromberg, who earned Oscars for his art direction on Alice in Wonderland and Avatar.  It also looks like Jolie is having a blast with the role without chewing the scenery.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Elle Fanning, Sharlto CopleySam RileyImelda StauntonMiranda RichardsonJuno Temple, and Lesley ManvilleMaleficent opens in 3D on May 30th.

First Trailer and New Images for Disney’s MALEFICENT Starring Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 281 days ago

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Disney has released the first teaser trailer for Maleficent.  Directed by Robert Stromberg, the film is a reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty story told from the villain’s point of view.  Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent, a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman who becomes the protector of her village when an invading army threatens its harmony.  Following a brutal betrayal, Maleficent becomes bent on revenge and her pure heart begins to turn to stone, paving the way for the story that plays out in Sleeping Beauty. This first trailer is very much a teaser in that we only get quick glimpses of Jolie as the titular character, with the focus actually turning to Elle Fanning as the young Aurora.  It’s very clear from this trailer that the film will be in the vein of Disney’s other CG-heavy fantasy pics Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful (Stromberg served as production designer on both), but I’m interested to see how the arc of Jolie’s character plays out.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out some new images.  The film also stars Sharlto CopleySam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, and Lesley ManvilleMaleficent opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.

New Domestic Trailer and Poster for BYZANTIUM Starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton

by     Posted 1 year, 92 days ago

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A new domestic trailer and poster for director Neil Jordan’s vampire drama Byzantium have been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  We’ve already seen a couple of international trailers for the pic, but this one does a nice job of teasing the kind of moody, dramatic vampire story that Jordan has crafted, not unlike his previous film Interview with the Vampire.  We see a lot of Ronan’s character mulling over her immortality, and in a bit of a twist it appears that women are forbidden from being turned into vampires.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the new poster, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from TIFF.  The film also stars Sam RileyCaleb Landry Jones, and Jonny Lee Miller.  Byzantium opens on June 28th.

New International Trailer for BYZANTIUM Starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan

by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago

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A new international trailer for Interview with the Vampire director Neil Jordan’s upcoming vampire drama Byzantium has been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  This latest trailer certainly highlights the film’s impressively stylish visuals, while also showcasing the intensity of the story.  Matt caught the film at TIFF last year and expressed his disappointment with the finished product in his review, and I’m interested to see how Jordan sets this pic apart from Interview with the Vampire, which also explores the notion of cursed immortality.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jonny Lee MillerByzantium opens on June 28th.

New International Trailer for Vampire Drama BYZANTIUM Starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton

by     Posted 1 year, 201 days ago

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A new international trailer for director Neil Jordan’s (Interview with the Vampire) new film Byzantium has been released online.  The film stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan as a mother/daughter vampire duo who arrive in a small British town where their secret doesn’t stay kept for long.  This trailer makes the film look very much like a companion piece to Interview with the Vampire, as we see the duo’s struggle play out over multiple time periods and situations.  As a fan of Jordan’s previous entry into the vampire genre, I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Jonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, and Sam Riley.  Byzantium is currently awaiting a U.S. release date.

ON THE ROAD Review

by     Posted 1 year, 242 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  On the Road opens today in limited release.]

Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road is a novel that inspired a generation of restless young men and women to break free from their comfort zones, broaden their horizons, and look to the majesty of America. Walter SallesOn the Road is a film adaptation that will inspire a generation of lazy high school kids to watch the movie instead of reading the book. Salles snaps up the words of Kerouac’s novel, but not their spirit. The movie shouldn’t simply regurgitate the book because adaptation should be a work of inspiration and not imitation. But there’s nothing inspired about Salles’ picture. It’s safe where it should be dangerous. It’s lugubrious when it should be explosive. It’s derivative when it should be daring. Despite glimmers of an emotionally moving story, On the Road rarely has the energy to get up and bravely venture forth beyond the plot constraints of a book that’s not driven by its plot.

New Trailer for ON THE ROAD

by     Posted 1 year, 278 days ago

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On the eve of the release of the final installment in the Twilight franchise, we’ve got a Kristen Stewart news bit of a different sort to share: a new trailer for the Jack Kerouac adaptation On the Road.  Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, and Sam Riley star as the central characters Marylou, Dean, and Sal, respectively, and this impressive trailer takes a more character-centric approach to the story, attempting to relay at least a little of what the film’s about.  I’m interested to see how Kerouac’s Beat Generation portrait translates to film (read Matt’s review right here), but I continue to be impressed by the brief glimpses of Hedlund’s performance that we’ve seen in the trailers thus far.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Viggo MortensenKirsten DunstAmy Adams, and Elizabeth MossOn the Road opens on December 21st.

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