Last week at the European Film Market (EFM), Steve landed some images of promo art for upcoming movies. EFM is loaded with promotional materials as production companies attempt to woo financing and distribution deals. Among the materials was a promo poster for Terry Jones‘ Absolutely Anything. The story revolves around Neil Clarke, “a disillusioned school teacher who suddenly finds he has magical powers, bestowed upon him by aliens.” Simon Pegg is set to star and the voice cast will include Jones, fellow Monty Python alums John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Palin as well as Robin Williams.
Hit the jump to check out the image. Production on Absolutely Anything is set to begin in London on March 24rd.
We here at Collider are very happy to exclusively debut the first trailer for director Peter Chelsom’s upcoming drama/comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness. Based on the book of the same name by François Lelord, the film stars Simon Pegg as the titular Hector, an eccentric psychiatrist who’s going nowhere and whose patients aren’t getting any happier. One day, he musters up the courage to set out on a quest to find out if happiness really exists. The pic looks to be an excellent showcase of Pegg’s comedic sensibilities while also touching on some promising dramatic themes as well, and it’s bolstered by an incredibly solid ensemble cast.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out a couple of new images. The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgard, and Jean Reno. Hector and the Search for Happiness opens in the U.K. this Autumn.
As part of Collider’s new column, Oscar Beat, I’ve been covering the in’s and the out’s of this year’s awards race for the past few months. While there are plenty of excellent films contending for a number of different awards, there are also a number of films that, for one reason or another, don’t fit the “Oscar mold” but deserve recognition all the same. The Academy is loathe to recognize any kind of comedic work despite the fact that the “Best Actor” or “Best Picture” categories lack disclaimers that would disqualify genres other than drama, and smaller pictures have a hard time drumming up support against the studio-backed fare.
After the jump, I run down a number of films, performances, and screenplays from 2013 that are deserving of awards attention despite failing to drum up serious support.
Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for director Crispian Mills’ dark comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything. Simon Pegg stars as a children’s author who tries to switch careers and write a gruesome Victorian murder mystery, but his wide range of phobias throws him into horrifying nightmares where he’s forced to confront his demons, which includes his love life, his laundromat, and a mysterious stop-motion animated hedgehog. The film continues to look like a wonderfully odd adventure, and it appears to be a nice starring vehicle that showcases Pegg’s impressive range.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Amara Karan, Clare Higgins, Alan Drake, and Paul Freeman. A Fantastic Fear of Everything will be available on iTunes January 7, 2014 and opens in theaters February 7, 2014.
The Monty Python folks will be joined by another immensely talented Brit in their new film. Screen Daily reports that Simon Pegg will star in the sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything, which will feature the voices of Python members John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones. The story revolves around Neil Clarke, “a disillusioned school teacher who suddenly finds he has magical powers, bestowed upon him by aliens.” The Monty Python members will voice the aliens, while Pegg will play the lead character of Clarke. The film will be a mix of live-action and CGI, with Jones also directing the pic in addition to lending his voice. Additional casting is underway, but Robin Williams is also set to voice Clarke’s pet dog.
Filming will get underway in London on March 23rd, and Pegg already has a pretty big 2014 lined up. He’ll reprise his role as Benji in the Christopher McQuarrie-directed Mission: Impossible 5, set to begin filming next year, and Paramount is also hoping to start production on Star Trek 3 in 2014 as well. The first order of business on the Trek sequel, though, is finding a new director.
Since Frank Darabont‘s much-discussed break-up with AMC over The Walking Dead, fans have continued to keep a close eye to where the producer and showrunner would land next. It didn’t take long for him to strike a deal with TNT to create and develop a series for them based on John Buntin’s book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, now called Mob City (formerly L.A. Noir and Lost Angels), which chronicles the true story of the ongoing battle between the police and the mob in the 1940s. Hit the jump for more on the series, and why it might succeed where other mob shows have failed.
Last week, I took a trip to London for the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Download release of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. While I’ll have a full recap of my trip tomorrow, part of the trip involved sitting down to a nice meal with stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at the St. Stephens Tavern. Usually, interviews with actors are around ten to twenty minutes, but my fellow movie website writers and I got to spend an hour-and-a-half eating lunch and chatting with the charming actors. I wish all interviews could go like this since it’s more laid back, the conversation flows more freely, and delicious fish and chips are always a welcome bonus.
Instead of transcribing the entire 90-minute interview, I’ve pulled out some of the highlights, which includes more details about the robots (a.k.a “blanks”), the actors’ past films, the story behind the infamous Ant-Man photo Pegg posted to Twitter, Internet rumors, the culture of arrested development, and much more. Hit the jump to read the recap. The World’s End as well as the “Cornetto Trilogy”, which also contains Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, are now available for Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download.
In today’s continuing casting news:
- Simon Pegg, who starred as tech specialist Benji Dunn in Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, recently confirmed his return to the franchise in Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible 5, due out Christmas Day, 2015.
- Nick Eversman (The Runaways) has been cast as a young Mick Jagger in Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic, Get on Up, starring Chadwick Boseman (42).
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
The Cornetto Trilogy (aka “Three Flavours Trilogy”) is a cinematic delight in every sense of the word, and its status as such was solidified with the third and final entry in the loosely connected trio of films, The World’s End. Much more than simply riffs on the horror, action, and sci-fi genres respectively, writer/director Edgar Wright, co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and star Nick Frost have crafted three masterworks of structure that are as entertaining as they are emotionally satisfying. Following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, The World’s End may be the toughest and most mature work of the three, capping off the trilogy with a pair of career best performances by Pegg and Frost and wonderfully innovative visual storytelling courtesy of Wright. Read my full review of The World’s End on Blu-ray after the jump.
To help celebrate the end of filming on director Peter Chelsom’s drama/comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness, Simon Pegg has tweeted the first official image from the film. Based on the book of the same name by François Lelord, the film stars Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgård, and Jean Reno. Here’s the synopsis:
“Pegg plays Hector, an eccentric yet irresistible London psychiatrist in crisis: his patients are just not getting any happier! He’s going nowhere. Then one day, armed with buckets of courage and an almost child-like curiosity, Hector breaks out of his sheltered vacuum of a life into a global quest to find out if happiness exists. More importantly, if it exists for Hector. And so begins a colorful, exotic, dangerous and hysterical journey.”
Hit the jump to check out the first image. Hector and the Search for Happiness doesn’t have a release date, but I’d imagine with the great cast, we’ll hear more about the project very soon.
Filming is already underway in Bulgaria on the action sequel The Expendables 3, but there’s still one more actor to add to the cast. Deadline reports that Kelsey Grammer is signing on to the pic to play Bonaparte, an ex-mercenary who aids the titular aging heroes in their mission. This is the part that was initially earmarked for Nicolas Cage, but now Grammer will be handling the role. This is the second franchise film in a row for the Frasier actor, as he recently wrapped Michael Bay’s upcoming Transformers 4.
The Expendables 3 cast now includes Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and Wesley Snipes. Directed by Patrick Hughes, The Expendables 3 is slated to open in theaters on August 15, 2014. Hit the jump for casting news regarding the “Simon Pegg assassin” movie Kill Me Three Times.
Only at a party to celebrate the release of the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray/DVD could you find yourself standing at the California Science Center beneath the wings of the awe-inspiring Space Shuttle Endeavour, as an obvious reminder of the human race’s enduring fascination with space and its exploration. Along with being invited to attend the glamorous shindig, Collider was also given a spot on the white carpet to do interviews and get updates on where things stand with the Star Trek franchise.
Before heading into the party, J.J. Abrams (who will still be a producer on the third film, even though he’ll be too busy to direct with his attention focused on Star Wars: Episode VII) talked about why he enjoys including extensive behind-the-scenes footage on home entertainment releases, the daunting task of putting your own stamp on a much-loved franchise, how important it is for him to stay involved creatively (he’s already giving input as screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci break the story), and how the next director needs to be someone who’s going to bring their own sensibility and not just do what they think he would want. Actor Simon Pegg (“Scotty”) talked about how strange it will be not to have J.J. Abrams directing the next film, that he thinks a new director can only be good for the story, as long as it’s the right person, and how he’d love to see Scotty more involved in the action. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Labor Day brings an official end to Hollywood’s busiest season which means it’s time to parse the numbers. If you’ve been following the box office for the past few months it won’t surprise you to learn that 2013 was the most profitable summer of all time with over $4.6 billion in domestic earnings. That’s a jump of almost 8% from last summer: a figure that is especially impressive when you recall that the 2013 lagged 14% behind 2012 in yearly earnings before the season started.
As expected, summer’s giant blockbusters closed that gap, but Tony Stark didn’t do it alone. Hit the jump for a breakdown of summer’s most notable box office moments.
With Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg‘s awesome movie The World’s End now playing around the world, the other day I got a chance to sit down with Frost and Pegg for an extended video interview. Since they’ve been traveling the world promoting the film, I tried to ask new questions and a lot of them came from you guys via Twitter, so a big thank you to everyone that sent me a question.
During the very wide-ranging interview, they talked about making The World’s End, the overwhelming response to the film on Twitter, not compromising the film’s Britishness to potentially be more successful in the U.S., accomplishing what they wanted to do within the constraints of the budget, changes along the way, filming the action sequences, and so much more. In addition, they talked about Ben Affleck playing Batman, what we have to do to get Frost cast as Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four movie, Pegg posting a picture on Twitter pointing at Ant-Man, their personal collections of art, the weirdest thing they saw in America during their road tour, their friendship, and Pegg addresses recent headlines that said, “Simon Pegg Says ‘Fuck You’ to Star Trek Fans.” Trust me, if you’re a fan of Pegg and Frost, you’re going to enjoy this interview. Hit the jump to watch.
[This is a re-post of my review from San Diego Comic-Con 2013. The World's End opens tomorrow.]
Before I went off to college, several people told me, “It will be the best four years of your life!” In my head, my response was, “That’s horrible!” I didn’t want my life to peak at 22 and then have it all go downhill from there. Furthermore, that comment is rooted in a fear of the future, and has a death grip on the past because at least those were “the glory years.” Edgar Wright’s The World’s End thoughtfully explores the importance of coming to own your past rather than letting it own you. Of course, he does this in the same bravura directing style of his past films, and with the rapid-fire comedy he and co-writer/star Simon Pegg brought to the first two parts of “The Cornetto Trilogy”, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. However, the trilogy’s conclusion makes a firm break with the structure and style of those movies in favor something that’s a little looser, more mature, and just as funny and emotionally honest.