Lying somewhat quietly between two of David Fincher‘s most beloved works is The Game (1997) starring Michael Douglas. Although it failed to reach the level of critical and box office success enjoyed by Seven (1995) or the cult classic status of Fight Club (1999), after watching its Criterion Collection DVD release this past week I came away thinking that it may actually be one of Fincher’s best directorial efforts. Working from a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (2/3 of the writing trio that helped bring you the 2004 Catwoman screenplay that you enjoyed so much), Fincher’s cold/muted color palette, striking visual style, and fantastic pacing help elevate the interesting, albeit occasionally absurd, screenplay to another level. The result is a haunting work that expertly sets up and tears down the callous, calculated world of corporate wealth by forcing Douglas’ Ebenezer Scrooge archetype to see the shell of a life he has outside of his work and possessions. The Game may go off the rails at times, but with Fincher’s steady hand guiding the story it does so in all the extremely dark, right ways.
My Fincher recommendation aside, I should mention that the Top 5 will take a quick week hiatus to allow me to travel next weekend. In the meantime, this week’s installment highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII casting news involving Adam Driver, the new trailer for director Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla, a review and interviews for Non-Stop, worlds colliding as Brendan’s Cinemath meets Adam’s Oscar Beat, and our Veronica Mars set visit coverage. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Adam Driver has been in talks with some big studios for some major roles in recent months, but a new report has him nearing a deal to play the villain in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. The deal isn’t done just yet, and there are (obviously) no details to the role itself, but Driver is apparently close to signing on for a role that would rival the iconic Darth Vader. Were this to become official, it would be the first casting news for the highly anticipated film, due out December 18, 2015. Hit the jump for more.
As we’ve reported in the past, just about everyone in Hollywood has auditioned or been contacted about Star Wars: Episode VII. That may seem like a bit of an exaggerating, but the production also put out an open casting call for people living in the United States and the United Kingdom, so they’re casting a pretty wide net. But among the Hollywood crowd, we can add two more names who have gone on record about talking to the producers of the highly-anticipated sequel.
“I just went and met with [producers],” Zac Efron said to MTV. “So I don’t know. It would be cool. I love [the Star Wars movies], I love them, but … who knows?” and Gary Oldman told Sky Movies, “They’ve called. You know, I’m more cynical about it now. I’ll believe it when I’m on the plane home. The deal isn’t done, but yeah, they’ve inquired.” Oldman also pointed out that he’s no stranger to gigantic franchises: “I mean Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter, Batman, and Star Wars… bloody hell!” So if you want to have a successful franchise, you need some of that Oldman magic. Hit the jump to check out video of the stars talking about their meetings. Star Wars: Episode VII opens in 3D on December 18, 2015.
Perhaps you missed Rabbit Hole, but between Footloose, 21 & Over, The Spectacular Now, all the buzz coming out of Sundance for Whiplash and the fact that he’s clearly earned himself a place in the incessant blockbuster rumor mill, it’s obvious that Miles Teller is one to watch.In his latest release, That Awkward Moment, Teller steps in as Daniel, a 20-something living in New York City who’s busy at work by day and picking up ladies at night. When Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) gets hit with a divorce, Daniel and Jason (Zac Efron) decide it’s time to embrace the single life together. However, it’s easier said than done because when Daniel starts to fall for his wing-woman, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), he’s genuinely thrilled to start the relationship, but just can’t build up the nerve to tell his friends.
With That Awkward Moment heading towards its January 31st wide release, Collider got the chance to sit down with Teller and discuss how the film has made him an honorary love guru. Check out Teller’s dating advice as well as what he told us about his preparation process, the challenge of establishing a comedic rhythm, his audition for Star Wars: Episode VII, potentially beefing up for Fantastic Four, his thoughts on the final book of the Divergent trilogy and much more in the interview below. Hit the jump for more.
Here’s a round-up of the latest Star Wars news:
- Though it’s not official (as in, no word from the studio via press release), Carrie Fisher recently remarked on her expected start date on the production of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, alongside co-stars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.
- The most recent rumor outside of Star Wars: Episode VII is that Pixar will now get into the Star Wars game with a collaborative future film.
- It’s not news, per se, but we have some forced perspective images using Star Wars vehicles that are pretty darn cool.
Hit the jump for more on each story.
The ever-prolific J.J. Abrams was in attendance at the NBC portion of the TCA Press Tour, to talk about his latest TV venture Believe, created by Alfonso Cuarón and for which he is executive producer. As expected, the conversation turned to Star Wars: Episode VII and possible updates.
During the interview, JJ Abrams talked about how the Star Wars script is done and they’re in deep prep on the film, that they’re working really hard on casting, just how many crazy rumors there have been, that he has spoken to actor Jesse Plemons about a role, and how, even though he’ll be shooting Star Wars on film, he’d like to shoot in IMAX again, at some point, when the cameras become more manageable. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Star Wars fans may want to sit down for this one. While J.J. Abrams has now been onboard to direct Star Wars: Episode VII for nearly a year, solid news with regards to the pic has been very, very hard to come by. As the film’s production start date looms closer, we all knew this was about to change, and last night we learned that Friday Night Lights actor Jesse Plemons is being eyed for a role in the pic. Now THR has dumped a huge quantity of info about the follow-up, including word that Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, and Adam Driver are all being eyed for roles. More interestingly, though, the script for Episode VII has apparently changed significantly since screenwriter Michael Arndt was pushed off the project, and the lead characters for Episode VII may now be the original trilogy stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford.
Hit the jump for the Star Wars: Episode VII motherload.
The latest Star Wars: Episode VII news has Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) being eyed for a lead role. Nothing is official yet and Plemons hasn’t been cast, but he’s reportedly returning to audition again for director J.J. Abrams. His first audition, one that was taped and sent in, was apparently received well enough to land him a second go, this time in a face-to-face meeting with Abrams himself. Nothing about the potential role has been revealed just yet, but it’s possible that Plemons is being sought to play an offspring of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. Hit the jump for more.
While production is poised to begin on Star Wars: Episode VII early next year, it appears that there’s still a bit of script work left to do for the highly anticipated sequel. We know that Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine scribe Michael Arndt had a treatment prepared when Disney first purchased Lucasfilm and announced plans for more Star Wars films, and while he worked with director J.J. Abrams on the screenplay once Abrams was hired on, it sounds like Arndt’s take on the material is being significantly reworked.
It was announced a few months ago that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan were taking over scripting duties on Episode VII, and now Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn has revealed that he hasn’t yet received the script. Hit the jump for more.
The Star Wars: Episode VII casting rumor mill has been so quiet for a few weeks that I was almost starting to miss it. Today, it’s fired back up with an exciting possibility. The latest actor rumored for a role in the movie is Jack O’Connell. O’Connell is mostly unknown to American audiences, but after seeing his work in Starred Up at TIFF, he’s definitely an actor to watch. He’s magnetic, charismatic, and could be on the verge of a big breakthrough when he stars in Angelina Jolie‘s adaptation of the bestselling book, Unbroken, which opens next Christmas.
Hit the jump for more on how O’Connell might be headed to a galaxy far, far away.
It’s no secret that director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy are currently deep into the casting process on Star Wars: Episode VII. Saoirse Ronan herself admitted that nearly every actor her age was auditioning for the film, and even 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor hinted that he’s up for a role. Now it appears that we have another actor to add to the “potential Star Wars star” pile, as Jason Flemyng (Snatch) has not-so-subtly revealed that he may be reading for a part. Flemyng’s connection to Episode VII actually goes all the way back to when Matthew Vaughn was in the mix for the director’s chair, as he sorta kinda confirmed that Vaughn might be taking the helm in a video interview.
Now Flemyng has posted an image on Instagram that he claims is the “script” for Star Wars: Episode VII. Hit the jump for more.
As if there was any doubt, R2-D2 will definitely be making an appearance in J.J. Abrams upcoming sequel Star Wars: Episode VII. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot recently teased an image of Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy standing alongside R2 in the Star Wars “workshop,” hinting at the droid’s appearance in the film, and now Variety has confirmed that R2 is in Episode VII. Moreover, the two other men in the photo are Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, members of the creature effects team for Episode VII. The two initially came into contact with Kennedy this summer in Germany, where they impressed her with the droids they built as part of the R2-D2 Builders Club. When it came time to staff up the effects team for Episode VII, Kennedy put in a good word for the duo.
Production on Star Wars: Episode VII will begin next spring in anticipation of a December 18, 2015 release date, but we still don’t have any confirmed cast members. That will likely change before Hollywood breaks for the holidays, so keep an eye out over the next month.
Disney and director J.J. Abrams are widening their search for actors to play characters in Star Wars: Episode VII. As Saoirse Ronan said about a month ago, they’re auditioning everyone in Hollywood, and now they’re auditioning anyone nationwide who wants to send in a video submission. Casting calls will still happen in the U.K. and a few U.S. cities, and there’s a possibility of a meet-and-greet with casting director Maryellen Aviano (Inception). I can only imagine the nightmare of who has to watch all of these even though they obviously won’t watch from start to finish, and they may not even start based on a headshot.
Hit the jump for more including descriptions of the roles, and how to submit an audition tape. Star Wars: Episode VII opens in 3D on December 18, 2015.
After much speculation, Disney has announced that J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: Episode VII will open in 3D on December 18, 2015. It will be the first Star Wars movie to be released outside of May. As we previously reported, Disney refused to move the film to 2016, and in order to meet the studio’s time frame, Abrams teamed up with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) to handle the script.
At first it seems like the move gives Disney some breathing room between Star Wars and the studio’s other 2015 behemoth, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, Disney has also announced that Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland has been pushed from November 2014 to May 22, 2015, which is just three weeks after Joss Whedon’s highly-anticipated sequel and a week before Pixar’s Inside Out. Hit the jump for more.
A couple weeks ago, we learned that screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) had left Star Wars: Episode VII, and director J.J. Abrams would write the script with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back). A week later, it was reported that although producer Kathleen Kennedy had sought to push the film’s release to 2016, but Disney refused to budge and held on to the previously-announced 2015 release. Now the two stories have converged with J.J. Abrams explaining that in order to meet the release date, they needed to bring in Kasdan.
Hit the jump for more. [Update: Disney has announced that Star Wars: Episode VII will be released in 3D on December 18, 2015]