Earlier tonight, HBO released the first teaser trailer for The Normal Heart. Directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee), the film follows the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, and looks at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. While I’ll certainly tune in to see it, I’m not a big fan of Murphy’s work, and I’m worried this is going to come off as schmaltzy and melodramatic. I hope I’m wrong, because it’s certainly an important story and one worth telling.
Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts. The Normal Heart airs Sunday, May 25th at 9pm on HBO.
It’s tough enough to perform in a film loaded with heart, military logistics, and action, but in Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana were also tasked with delivering an authentic and admirable representation of real Navy SEALs who lost their lives in the hills of Afghanistan during a devastating mid-mission attack.
With the film now playing in limited release and its January 10th nationwide expansion approaching, all four actors sat down for a press conference in New York City to talk about working with the sole survivor of the real-life ambush, Marcus Luttrell, the connections they built with members of the SEAL community, the pressure to honor their sacrifice, and more. Hit the jump for the full discussion.
After watching Battleship and Lone Survivor, I have no doubt that director Peter Berg has a deep and earnest respect for America’s military. While one movie is a silly blockbuster and the other is based on a true-story tragedy, they both celebrate the honor and dedication of men and women in uniform. Where I take issue with Berg is how he expresses his adoration of the troops. In Battleship, a movie with aliens, spaceships, and explosive pegs, throwing in an appreciation of sailors is a nice sentiment. In Lone Survivor, appreciation isn’t a sentiment; it’s a cause. Berg’s desire to honor the Navy SEALs who lost their lives on a FUBAR mission is admirable, but the film’s heavy emphasis on action makes physical endurance appear more commendable than deeds and intentions.
Friday Night Lights is sure to go down in history as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, but fans have been clamoring for just a bit more since the NBC show’s series finale in 2011. Executive producer Peter Berg and many FNL castmembers have been teasing the possibility of a Friday Night Lights movie for the past few years now. Though the show initially began as a spinoff of Berg’s Billy Bob Thornton-fronted 2004 film of the same name, this proposed new film would follow Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor and Connie Britton’s Tami Taylor.
Steve recently had a chance to speak with Berg in anticipation of his upcoming feature directorial effort Lone Survivor, and during the course of their conversation he provided an update on the status of the Friday Night Lights movie by saying it’s most likely not going to happen. Hit the jump for more.
Universal Pictures has released some new images from director Peter Berg’s (The Kingdom) adaptation of the non-fiction book Lone Survivor. The film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The film has drawn positive responses from early screenings, and Berg has more than proven himself to be a skilled action director. Hopefully the dramatic character interplay is on point here as well.
Hit the jump to check out the new images. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Ali Suliman, and Rohan Chand. Lone Survivor opens in limited release on December 27th before going wide on January 10th.
Universal has released a new trailer for Peter Berg‘s drama Lone Survivor. The film is based on a true story, and centers on four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. This is a much better trailer than the first one because even though there’s a much heavier emphasis on the action, this is a case where the action sells the drama. These four SEALs were fighting for the lives, and Berg looks like he’s nailed the intensity without being exploitative. The only moments in the trailer that give me pause are the pull quotes from Bill Simmons, Pete Hammond, and Peter Travers—three guys whose opinions I couldn’t trust less.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana. Lone Survivor opens in limited release on December 27th and goes wide on January 10, 2014.
Here’s some more casting news:
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
Universal has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor. The film centers on four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. This behind-the-scenes featurette explains the real story behind the film, and the ethos of the SEALs. There’s a heavy emphasis on brotherhood and fighting for the sake of the man next to you. The tragic aspect is that at the end, there was only the “lone survivor”, Marcus Luttrell, who went on to write about his experiences, and his book became the basis for the movie. It looks like Berg has tried to create a film in the vein of Black Hawk Down, and I hope he’s succeeded.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, and Eric Bana. Lone Survivor will premiere at AFI Fest, open in limited release on December 27th, and go wide on January 10, 2014.
Universal Pictures have released the first trailer, poster, and images for Peter Berg‘s adaptation of the non-fiction book Lone Survivor. The film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Berg is a wildly uneven director, but I have so much good will towards him for The Rundown and The Kingdom that I want him to succeed. Unfortunately, this trailer makes the film look like a military recruitment ad of the worst kind. The best way to respect the troops is to paint them honestly, and I fear that honesty is absent from Berg’s picture. I hope this trailer is misleading and Berg hasn’t made Act of Valor but with real actors.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer, poster, and images. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Eric Bana. Lone Survivor will open for an awards-qualifying limited release on December 27th before going wide on January 10th.
The first images from the set of Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy’s upcoming HBO film The Normal Heart have landed online. Murphy directs the feature film adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play of the same name, which chronicles the rise of HIV/AIDS among New York’s gay community in the 1980s. Kramer wrote the screenplay for the pic, which boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer (White Collar), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), and Jonathan Groff (Glee). In these NYC set photos, we see Ruffalo and a blonde Kitsch sharing a scene together, as well as some possibly spoilery images featuring Kitsch and Groff on the street.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The Normal Heart will premiere on HBO sometime in 2014.
Universal Pictures announced today that it will be releasing director Peter Berg’s (The Rundown) Navy SEAL film Lone Survivor on January 10, 2014. Based on the bestselling non-fiction book of the same name, the film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The film’s impressive cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Eric Bana.
Berg and Kitsch are coming off of last summer’s bomb Battleship, but both have proven themselves to be quite talented in the past, so hopefully Lone Survivor is a return to form. The film will likely open in New York and Los Angeles at the end of December to qualify for awards season, and will face off against the Sylvester Stallone/Robert De Niro boxing film Grudge Match and the Lionsgate horror pic Jessabelle when it opens wide on January 10th.
Check out the latest casting news from the following films:
- Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) will join The Normal Heart, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play that stars Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons, and will debut on HBO.
- Zach Gilford (The Last Stand) will star opposite Allison Miller (17 Again) in Devil’s Due, the Twentieth Century Fox thriller with found footage elements.
- Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens) has joined Beautiful Now, an indie drama from writer/director Daniela Amavia that centers on a passionate dancer who asks herself if she likes what she sees when her life flashes before her eyes.
Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this morning. First up, Taylor Kitsch may soon be tackling a serial killer film. Though the talented Friday Night Lights actor didn’t have the best 2012 when it came to box office success, Kitsch seems to be taking everything in stride. The folks over at Bloody Disgusting report that the actor is attached to star in the thriller Exit 147, which centers on a small town sheriff who arrests a man driving across the desert at night and holds him captive as part of a sadistic game. Kitsch would play the sheriff, and Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, The Girl) is attached to direct from a script by Travis Milloy (Pandorum).
We haven’t heard any official confirmation regarding Kitsch’s casting Exit 147 just yet, so it’s one to keep an eye on the in the near future with regards to the actor’s upcoming schedule. Kitsch most recently wrapped the contemporary true-life Navy SEAL story Lone Survivor from director Peter Berg alongside Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch. Hit the jump for casting news concerning director Brett Ratner’s Hercules.
Oliver Stone has always hit home runs controversially and commercially, but lately he’s been striking out critically. Savages, which came out back in July, is a break from Stone’s controversial oeuvre. Revolving around a drug cartel kidnapping and an unlikely friendship, Savages is one well-crafted, sexy-ass slugfest. It’s more U-Turn Stone than W. (I have no idea what Wall-Street: Money Never Sleeps was supposed to be) and despite its mediocre run in theaters (nothing this summer fared well in the shadow of The Avengers), it was one of the most entertaining films of summer 2012. Hit the jump to find out how the Universal Blu-ray holds up.
After starring in a couple of big budget, high profile pics, Friday Night Lights alum Taylor Kitsch is lining up a smaller scale dramatic feature. THR reports that Kitsch and Brendan Gleeson have joined the cast of Don McKellar’s English-language remake of the Quebec film The Grand Seduction. The story centers on a tiny village in dire need of a full-time doctor, and the residents’ scheme to lure such a professional into taking up permanent residency. Gleeson will play one of the village’s residents, while Kitsch will play the desirable MD. Ken Scott, who wrote the Canadian original film, was initially set to direct before departing to helm an English-language remake of his film Starbuck.
McKellar is now set to helm from a screenplay by Scott and Michael Dowse (Goon). The ensemble cast includes Gorden Pinset, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones and Liane Balaban. Kitsch, a native Canuck, is an undeniably talented guy and will hopefully get the chance to shine opposite Gleeson. He’s next set to star opposite Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch in Peter Berg’s real-life war drama Lone Survivor.