We’ve got a number of exciting acquisitions to report on this afternoon from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Briefly:
- The F Word – This fantastic relationship comedy from Goon director Michael Dowse stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who strikes up a close relationship with a girl (Zoe Kazan) who has a boyfriend (Rafe Spall). It was one of my favorite films from TIFF this year and CBS Films has acquired US rights to the pic. Read Matt’s review here.
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers – The ambitious two-part feature about a relationship between James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain is told from each partner’s point of view in two separate portions, and The Weinstein Company is now acquiring the U.S. rights to the Ned Benson-directed 190-minute pic per Deadline.
- The Railway Man – The Weinstein Company is also acquiring (per THR) this war/post-war drama starring Colin Firth as a former POW suffering from PTSD who attempts to reconcile the events of his capture. The pic as a whole never really comes together, but Jeremy Irvine stands out in flashbacks. Read my review here.
- Life of Crime – Deadline also repots that Lionsage and Roadside Attractions are nearing a deal for this Elmore Leonard adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, and John Hawkes.
Hit the jump for more details in the full press releases.
Lionsgate has released the first UK trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama The Railway Man. Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore. As he suffers from sever psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering. I caught the film at TIFF this past weekend and found it to be pretty disappointing. In splitting the film up between the PTSD portion in the present and the war portion in the past, Teplitzky fails to tell either story effectively. By far the best part of the film is a 40-minute flashback sequence featuring Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as the young Lomax that chronicles his time at the POW camp, but that’s not enough to make up for the rest of the film. Read my full review here.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, but be warned that it verges on revealing the entire plot, so tread lightly if you’re especially looking forward to this one. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada and is currently awaiting a US release date.
War is an undeniable certainty. For as long as there is civilization, there will be war. With conflict comes tragedy, but it does not end when the war concludes; the effects a human being are long lasting and not easily forgotten. We’ve see countless aspects of war explored onscreen in various films, some focusing on the battles at hand, some zeroing in on the psychological experience, and some chronicling the lasting effects years after the actual conflict. The Railway Man tries to have it both ways by telling two stories: one of atrocities during World War II and one of the after effects on man’s psyche nearly half a decade later. By splitting its focus in two, though, the film fails to wholly capture either story, resulting in a disappointing feature all together. Hit the jump for my full review.
This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival announced its terrific line-up for their Galas and Special Presentation programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:
- Life of Crime (Directed by Daniel Schechter) Starring John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def), Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Jr.
- The Railway Man (Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky) Starring Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, and Nicole Kidman.
- Third Person (Directed by Paul Haggis) Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger, and Moran Atias.
- The Art of the Steal (Directed by Jonathan Sobol) Starring Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon, Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kenneth Welsh, and Jason Jones.
- Bad Words (Directed by Jason Bateman) Starring Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohan Chand.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013. The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime. In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more. Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it. Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.
Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations. Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
We’ve got a smattering of casting news to throw your way this morning. First up, Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada (the upcoming action flick 47 Ronin) have joined the Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s drama The Railway Man. Firth plays real-life World War II British officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese. Decades later, he’s persuaded by his wife (Kidman) to find and confront one of his captors in order to repair the psychological damage. Irvine plays the younger Lomax who was in the war. According to Variety, “Skarsgard will play the best friend who accompanies the older Lomax (Firth) back to the scene of his torture. Sanada plays a Japanese officer from the prison camp whom Lomax tracks down.” This is turning out to be a terrific cast, and judging by the synopsis, this could be a big role for Sanada, whose previous credits include Speed Racer, Sunshine, and Lost.
Hit the jump for more casting news on the indie flicks Jobs, Kilimanjaro, and You Are Here.
Nicole Kidman has replaced Rachel Weisz to play Colin Firth‘s wife in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s The Railway Man. Per Variety, the movie is “based on Eric Lomax‘s autobiography about his horrific experiences as a Japanese prisoner in World War II, and his remarkable reconciliation with one of his captors 30 years later.” Patty Lomax was instrumental in helping her husband deal with his psychological damage and brought him together with one of the Japanese officers who was responsible for his torture. I assume the reconciliation wasn’t along the lines of a “My bad, man—All good, bro” exchange. Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) will play the younger Lomax.
Weisz had to drop out of the role due to additional shooting for the blockbuster films The Bourne Legacy and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Kidman is also attached to star in My Wild Life and The Family Fang, and she will be seen later this year in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy.
The Railway Man was one of the first projects Colin Firth signed on to after he won the Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech. Earlier today we received the first synopsis for The Railway Man, based on the memoir of World War II POW Eric Lomax:
“What if all your life, all you had ever wanted was a chance at revenge? If the moment came – would you take it? What if love gave you a different choice?”
The key part for this casting notice is the phrase “all your life.” Firth is a great actor, with the Oscar to prove it, but the role of Young Colin Firth is beyond even his range. That part will instead go to Jeremy Irvine, the young star poised for a breakout as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s Christmas offering War Horse. More after the jump.
Each year, a number of films are presented and sold at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. The 2011 AFM takes place this week, and in preparation for the AFM, Lionsgate has compiled production information and synopses for the properties that they plan to sell at the convention to both domestic and international buyers (for the territories that they have the rights). Lucky for us, that info is now public, and we’ve pulled together cast, director, and writer information as well as official synopses for some high profile 2012 Lionsgate films. We’ve got info on the Evil Dead remake, Spike Lee’s English-language adaptation of the now classic Park Chan-wook film Old Boy, Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, the comedy Murder of a Cat starring Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, and Rob Lowe, and much more. Hit the jump for all the details.
What do you do after giving a rousing performance as the struggling King of England? You play a British POW, that’s what you do. The King’s Speech actor Colin Firth is now set to star in the adaptation of the non-fiction book The Railway Man. THR reports that Firth has boarded the drama which tells the true story of British army officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II. Lomax was forced to work on the construction of the “death railway,” and later reconciled with one of his tormentors.
Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) is directing the adaptation, while Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) and Andy Paterson are taking on scripting duties. Lionsgate International is currently shopping the project to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival. Firth will next be seen in the fantastic-looking spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and also stars in the Coen brothers-scripted pic Gambit alongside Cameron Diaz, which is set for release sometime next year. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of The Railway Man.