A few more films from the Sundance Film Festival have been acquired for distribution.
- Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will release the darkly comedic drama The Skeleton Twins, starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. It was one of my favorite films from the festival, and you can read my review here.
- IFC Films has picked up the feature directorial debut of Mad Men star John Slattery, God’s Pocket. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, and Christina Hendricks, and you can read Matt’s review here.
- Per Deadline, IFC Films has also picked up the genre-hopping crime film Cold in July, starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson. Read Matt’s review here.
Hit the jump to read the press releases for Skeleton Twins and God’s Pocket, and click here to catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage.
Comedic actors moving into dramatic territory is not a new concept. Many make the transition with ease, while some have trouble crossing over or getting audiences to buy into them doing “serious” things. SNL veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig make a striking move to drama to excellent results in The Skeleton Twins, a darkly comic drama from director Craig Johnson. This isn’t a “look how serious I can be” performance from the Hader/Wiig duo, as the film does have some very funny moments, but the two bring a formidable about of weight to the characters, with Hader in particular turning in a stellar performance as one half of the troubled sibling pair. Read my full review after the jump.
The lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival competition films was announced today, and we’ve got some first-look images and synopses from a selection of said films to share:
- Life After Beth – Written and directed by Jeff Baena; starring Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Paul Reiser.
- Low Down – Directed by Jeff Preiss; starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Flea.
- The Skeleton Twins – Directed by Craig Johnson; starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, and Joanna Gleason.
- The Sleepwalker – Directed by Mona Fastvold; starring Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, and Stephanie Ellis.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.
It’s tough to believe that Sundance 2014 is just around the corner, but the today the fest announced the films that will be screening in the U.S. Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition, and NEXT categories. Notable entires include the Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig drama The Skeleton Twins, Mad Men star John Slattery’s feature directorial debut God’s Pocket, the Kristen Stewart film Camp X-Ray, writer/director Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas, the Joe Albany biopic Low Down, the Anne Hathaway-starrer Song One, and many more.
Hit the jump to take a look at the full lineup and look for our full coverage from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 16 – 26th.
This week I was invited to take an early look at the hilarious new animated adventure, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn. The press day was held at Sony Pictures Animation Studios where I had an opportunity to talk to Anna Faris, Benjamin Bratt and Bill Hader who return in the sequel. The plot picks up right where the first film ends and reveals what happens after the island of Swallow Falls is evacuated to clean up the food disaster and Flint (Hader) discovers his infamous invention is still active and churning out deadly food monsters.
During our roundtable interview, Faris, Bratt and Hader talked about returning to their characters, working with new directors, why mining the funny in an animated feature is a unique challenge, how they often don’t know how their work looks until they experience it in a theater, why El Gallo Negro would be a cool addition to the Cloudy universe, and how they’d return if there was a Cloudy 3. They also discussed their upcoming projects including Faris’ new CBS TV show, Mom; Bratt’s PBS documentary, American Latinos; and Hader’s roles in The To Do List, The Skeleton Twins, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and writing on South Park.
Comedienne Kristen Wiig, who’s known for her genius work on Saturday Night Live and in Bridesmaids, plays Special Agent Lucy Wilde, Gru’s (Steve Carell) new partner in the comedy adventure sequel, Despicable Me 2. A cunning secret agent, she teams up with Gru to hunt down a dangerous super-villain and loves one-upping Gru with her quirky gadgets and mixed martial arts. Unlike Gru, she has trouble containing hera natural exuberance, which works against her when going undercover, but attracts Gru’s attention and sparks a romance between them. Opening July 3rd, the film also features Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand and Ken Jeong.
At the film’s recent press day, Wiig talked about why she loved doing the movie and had fun playing her character, how her comedic background helped her in the animation booth, why voicing an animated character is the next best thing to doing SNL, why she doesn’t think she’d make a good secret agent in real life, why the Minions are her favorite characters, how Pharrell’s music set a great tone for the film, which comedians influenced her growing up, and her upcoming movies: Anchorman 2, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Girl Most Likely, Hateship, Loveship, and The Skeleton Twins. Hit the jump to read the interview:
Some (un)casting news today. Check out the highlights below:
- Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is reportedly out of American Assassin, the CBS Films’ adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel. A source cited scheduling conflicts.
- Ty Burrell (Modern Family) will join Adventureland duo Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins as Hader’s lover.
- Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) is in consideration for Our Kind of Traitor, an adaptation of the John le Carre novel. Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Jessica Chastain (Lawless) are also rumored.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Saturday Night Live alumni Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Bill Hader (Superbad) are set to reunite in The Skeleton Twins. The indie comedy, produced in part by Jay and Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions, will co-star Luke Wilson (Old School); Craig Johnson (True Adolescents) will direct from a script he co-wrote with BAFTA-nominated screenwriter, Mark Heyman (Black Swan). The Skeleton Twins will team up the Adventureland duo as two estranged twins who reunite after cheating death and are forced to confront their pasts. Hit the jump for more.
One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Colin Trevorrow‘s Safety Not Guaranteed. Written by Derek Connolly, the film’s about a trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad that seeks a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and tries to discover what he’s really up to. It’s based on a real ad that was passed around the internet in 2005 and the movie stars Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni. Shortly after premiering, FilmDistrict bought the film, so you can look forward to seeing it at some point in the future. For more on the film, you can read Matt’s review.
After seeing the movie, I got to sit down with Mark Duplass for an extended interview. We talked about being at Sundance, how he got involved in Safety Not Guaranteed and what it’s about, what it was like to watch the film for the first time with a big crowd at Sundance, and how the film changed during production. In addition, since Duplass is involved in a number of other projects, we talked about the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman (Welcome to People), The Skeleton Twins (Bill Hader and Anna Faris as twins), Jeff Who Lives at Home, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, The League, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
Steve recently spoke with actor and writer Bill Hader about his upcoming projects. One movie he might try to shoot while he’s on hiatus from Saturday Night Live is his wife’s Maggie Carey’s script, The Hand Job. The script landed on the 2009 Black List (a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood) and we reported back in October that Aubrey Plaza was attached to play the lead role of a 17-year-old who wants to learn about various sexual activities before she goes to college. Hader says that he, Andy Samberg, Donald Glover, Connie Britton, Alia Shawkat, Mae Whitman, and Johnny Simmons are attached to co-star, and if that cast doesn’t make you excited, then you must not recognize these actors by name. You should work on that.
Hit the jump for what Hader told Steve about the project as well as a more dramatic film he may do called The Skeleton Twins with Anna Faris and Mark Duplass. Click here for what Hader had to say about his SNL character “Stefon”, and be sure to check back later today for more of Steve’s interview with Hader.
UPDATE: Steve here. Just spoke to Bill Hader again and he told me that Chris Mintz-Plasse is now attached to Hand Job as well! Hope this thing gets made this summer.