Scott Cooper to Direct Drama Based on Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighting Tragedy

by     Posted 148 days ago

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You may remember about a year ago when I suggested that someone in Hollywood tackle the tales of the courageous men and women who fight wilderness fires.  The story of their sacrifice was made all the more apparent last year when 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives battling an Arizona blaze.  Now, we have word that Crazy Heart writer-director Scott Cooper will indeed be directing an adaptation of their story.  Black Hawk Down’s screenwriter Ken Nolan is writing the script with Lorenzo di Bonaventura among the film’s producers.  In order to hew as close to the real story as possible, the filmmakers are already consulting with the family members and loved ones of those who were lost in service.

Hit the jump for more on this picture.

Director Scott Cooper Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, the Film’s Subtlety, Working with Johnny Depp on BLACK MASS, Leaving THE STAND, and More

by     Posted 252 days ago

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From writer/director Scott Cooper, Out of the Furnace (now available on Blu-ray/DVD) is a gripping and powerful drama that tells the story of Russell Baze (Christian Bale), a man leading a dead-end life, working a meaningless steel mill job and caring for his terminally ill father.  When his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from Iraq, he is lured into a ruthless crime ring and mysteriously disappears, causing Russell to want to seek justice.  The film also stars Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Scott Cooper talked about his desire to tell very personal stories, his process for working with actors who all have very different approaches to their craft, why his acting experience works to his advantage, how music is one of the most important things in his life, how Eddie Vedder came to re-record the Pearl Jam song “Release” for the movie, and what he’s most proud of with the film.  He also talked about his next film, the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, why the compelling nature of the story appealed to him and that he’s already deep into collaborating with its star Johnny Depp, as well as why he ended up walking away from the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, and how his kids want him to make a movie that they can see.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Director Scott Cooper Talks Working with Johnny Depp on the Whitey Bulger Biopic BLACK MASS

by     Posted 267 days ago

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The powerful, intense and gripping family drama Out of the Furnace, from writer/director Scott Cooper, will be available on Blu-ray/DVD on March 11th.  Collider spoke to him about the release and got some great insight on his process, how he works with actors and what he wanted to achieve with that film, and we will run that portion of the interview closer to when it’s due out.  In the meantime, we also spoke to him about his next project, which he’s currently prepping, and wanted to share what he had to say about that.

Black Mass will tell the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger and what placed him on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, and it will star Johnny Depp in the lead role.  During the exclusive phone interview, Scott Cooper talked about getting to the root of the psychology and behavior, how he’s doing endless amounts of research, that he’s working from an already existing script that he’s personalizing and trying to make more humanistic, why the compelling nature of the story appealed to him, and that he’s already deep into collaborating with Johnny Depp, who he sees as one of the best actors in American screen history.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Johnny Depp Confirmed to Star as Whitey Bulger in BLACK MASS; Tom Hardy in Talks to Co-Star

by     Posted 285 days ago

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Last year, Johnny Depp was attached to star in Black Mass, a biopic about the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger.  However, Depp dropped out because he reportedly wouldn’t reduce his salary, and the project went into stasis although Barry Levinson remained in the director’s chair and Joel Edgerton was still on board to co-star as John Connolly, an FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger.  That combination ultimately fell apart, but last month Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper signed on, and Depp started circling the project again.  Today, Deadline confirms that Depp has returned to play Bulger, and now talks are underway with Tom Hardy to play Connolly.

Hit the jump for more.  The script is by Mark Mallouk, who adapted the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between The FBI and The Irish Mob.  Production begins in May.

OUT OF THE FURNACE Director Scott Cooper in Talks to Helm Whitey Bulger Film BLACK MASS; Johnny Depp May Return

by     Posted 309 days ago

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The Whitey Bulger drama Black Mass is materializing once again.  The project was gearing up to begin production with Barry Levinson directing, Johnny Depp playing Bulger, and Joel Edgerton in a supporting role, but it fell apart when Depp departed over a salary dispute.  Now the film is heating back up again, this time with Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper in talks to take the helm.  Cooper most recently directed the dark drama Out of the Furnace, and the story of Bulger—a ruthless Boston crime kingpin who topped the FBI’s Most Wanted before turning informant to get rid of his competition—seems right up Cooper’s alley.  Moreover, Deadline adds that talks have rekindled with Depp to return to the role of Bulger.

Depp is currently shooting the comedy Mortedcai and will be shooting Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and Alice in Wonderland 2 later this year.  As for Cooper, he was most recently working on an adaptation of The Stand with Warner Bros., but he subsequently left the project over creative differences.

Woody Harrelson and Writer/Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Collaborating on the Character, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 346 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Harrelson and Cooper.  They talked about the way they collaborated to flesh out Harrelson’s character, the film Cooper was trying to make, the characters, deleted scenes, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Trailer, OUT OF THE FURNACE, Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, Sundance 2014, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 347 days ago

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This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey‘s The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of “first times”. As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90′s will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don’t want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it’s a class final that’s worth 75% of your overall grade.

Home entertainment recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for director Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Out of the Furnace interviews with Christian Bale and more, Gal Gadot landing the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, Sundance 2014 announcing its competition lineup along with a slew of first/new images from many of the entries, and the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters in May 2016. For more, check out a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming Entirely On Location, and More

by     Posted 352 days ago

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Acclaimed writer and director Scott Cooper has long been drawn to the personal stories of people living on the margins of society.  His new film, Out of the Furnace, takes audiences on a tragic yet inspiring journey into the heart of a fading American Dream where fate, family and loyalty drive an ordinary man to take heroic measures to fight for those he loves.  Opening in theaters on December 6th, the film was shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania and features an impressive cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.

At the film’s recent press day, Bale, Affleck, Harrelson, Saldana and Cooper revealed what appealed to them about the story and its characters, how shooting on location helped inform their performances, why it’s important to be cool and calm when playing an intense character, how trust is essential when a high level of physicality is involved, what Bale and Affleck did to create an authentic chemistry between their characters, what it was like for Cooper to bring the story to life with such a talented group of actors, and why he feels it’s important to be true to yourself and to your artistic world view.  Hit the jump to read the interview.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 361 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Scott Cooper Says His THE STAND Adaptation Is “Harrowing and Searingly Realistic” [UPDATE: No Longer Attached to Direct]

by     Posted 364 days ago

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A feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Stand has been in the works for quite some time, but as of yet no filmmaker has been able to crack the sprawling post-apocalyptic pic for Warner Bros.  Harry Potter helmer David Yates initially flirted with the idea of directing the feature as his first post-Potter project, but he subsequently dropped out after admitting he couldn’t figure out how to turn the book into a satisfying film.  Ben Affleck then came onboard to write and direct, and after he too admitted the adaptation was a tough nut to crack, he moved on in favor of focusing on Live by Night and playing Batman in Batman vs. Superman.

The project is now in the hands of Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper, and while promoting his second film Out of the Furnace, the filmmaker discussed his approach to the material with a fair amount of confidence and even addressed the notion of Christian Bale taking on a role in the eventual feature.  Hit the jump to read on. [Update: That was fast.  The Wrap now reports that Cooper has fallen off The Stand due to creative differences with the studio.  Perhaps Warner Bros. wasn't keen on Cooper's no-soundstages approach?]

Scott Cooper Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, His Artistic Influences, Filming Christian Bale Working in an Active Steel Mill, & Exploring a Violent but Vanishing Culture

by     Posted 1 year ago

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From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Writer-director Scott Cooper took time out of his schedule to talk to our visiting group of reporters about the film.  He listed his various influences for both visual cues and references in the picture, shooting scenes in and around a live steel mill furnace, and showing a violent but vanishing way of life in America.

Starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Four New Images from OUT OF THE FURNACE Starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, and Woody Harrelson

by     Posted 1 year, 12 days ago

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Four new images have been released for Scott Cooper’s drama Out of the Furnace.  The film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  The pic seems to be flying under the radar when it comes to awards prognostication.  Perhaps that’s because of early buzz amongst Oscar bloggers (where’s Adam when you need him?!) or because the plot doesn’t reach for something as lofty as other contenders even thought it looks like a compelling character drama.  Perhaps its awards fortunes will change when it premieres at AFI Fest later this month.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, and Forest WhitakerOut of the Furnace opens in theaters December 6th.

New Trailer and Poster for OUT OF THE FURNACE Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, and Casey Affleck

by     Posted 1 year, 46 days ago

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Relativity Media has released a new trailer for director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama Out of the Furnace, and the film looks fantastic.  The pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  This new trailer has a stronger focus on Woody Harrelson’s character, who promises to be a rather menacing force in the film.  The performances look great all around, and like the first trailer, this new look teases a character-focused story with a strong thematic undercurrent of redemption and family told through the lens of America’s working class.  No wonder the pic landed on our Most Anticipated list of fall films.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, and Forest WhitakerOut of the Furnace opens in theaters December 6th.

OUT OF THE FURNACE to Premiere at AFI Fest; New Images Released

by     Posted 1 year, 50 days ago

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AFI Fest was put in bit of a bind last week when the disappointing news broke that Sony Pictures Classic was opting to push director Bennett Miller’s excellent-looking drama Foxcatcher to 2014.  The film had been poised to be AFI Fest’s centerpiece premiere film, and so the festival organizers were no doubt left scrambling to find a replacement.  In Foxcatcher’s stead, AFI Fest announced today that director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) new film Out of the Furnace will now make its world premiere at the festival.  The promising pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Additionally, Nebraska and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty have been added to the AFI Fest slate.

Hit the jump to check out some new images from Out of the Furnace.  The film also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepard and opens in theaters on December 6th.

Scott Cooper to Replace Ben Affleck as Director of Stephen King Adaptation THE STAND

by     Posted 1 year, 88 days ago

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When Warner Bros. announced last night that Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up, the future of Affleck’s incredibly successful directorial career was thrown into question.  Presumably Affleck will  be getting a standalone Batman film in the near future, and he’s all but guaranteed to star in Justice League (which he might even end up directing).  It now appears that the first directorial casualty of Affleck donning the cape and cowl has surfaced, as word comes that Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper is in talks to replace him as the writer and director of Warner Bros.’ feature film adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Stand.

Hit the jump for more, including the status of Affleck’s other directorial projects.

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