First Synopses for Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY and Focus Features 2012 Slate Including SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

     December 19, 2011


We’ve got a few synopses to share with you today. First up is the very first logline for director Alfonso Cuaron’s ambitious 3D sci-fi flick Gravity. While all we’ve previously known about the mysterious project is that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts, and Bullock occupies much of the screentime alone, stranded in space. This synopsis sheds a bit more light on what to expect, and Gravity still stands as one of my most anticipated films from 2012.

Additionally, Focus Features has released a batch of synopses for their 2012 slate including Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, the apocalyptic flick Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, the 3D stop-motion comedy ParaNorman, and more. Hit the jump to get a peek into what 2012 has in store.

alfonso_cuaron_01Here’s the synopsis for Gravity courtesy of MarketSaw:

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

being-flynn-posterHere’s Focus Features’ upcoming slate:

BEING FLYNN – March 2, 2012 (select cities)

Being Flynn is the new dramatic feature from Academy Award-nominated writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Adapted from Nick Flynn’s 2004 memoir Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City, the movie explores bonds both unbreakable and fragile between parent and child. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood) portrays Nick Flynn, a young writer seeking to define himself. He misses his late mother, Jody (four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore), and her loving nature. But his father, Jonathan, is not even a memory, as Nick has not seen the man in 18 years. Jonathan Flynn (two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro) has long defined himself as a great writer, “a master storyteller.” Suddenly facing eviction from his apartment, Jonathan impulsively reaches out to Nick and the two come face-to-face.

Director: Paul Weitz “About a Boy,” “In Good Company”)

Writers: Paul Weitz; Based on the memoir Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn

Cast: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Olivia Thirlby, Lili Taylor, Wes Studi, Julianne Moore


The feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria stars Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell and Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley. Set in a too-near future, the movie explores what people will do when humanity’s last days are at hand. As the respective journeys of Dodge (Mr. Carell) and Penny (Ms. Knightley) converge, the two spark to each other and their outlooks – if not the world’s – brighten.

Writer/Director: Lorene Scafaria (“Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”)

Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Gillian Jacobs, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, TJ Miller, Mark Moses, Patton Oswalt, William Petersen

MOONRISE KINGDOM – May 25, 2012 (select cities)

The new feature from two-time Academy Award nominee Wes Anderson. Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, the film follows a young boy and girl (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) falling in love. When they are moved to run away together, various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down – which might not be such a bad thing. Bruce Willis plays the town sheriff; two-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton is cast as a camp leader; and Academy Award nominee Bill Murray and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents.

Director: Wes Anderson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Rushmore,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox”)

Writers: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola (“The Darjeeling Limited”)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton,

Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward

PARANORMAN – August 17, 2012 (wide)

The new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA, reteaming the company with Focus Features after the groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated “Coraline.” “ParaNorman” is, following “Coraline,” the company’s second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. In “ParaNorman,” a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

Directors: Sam Fell (“The Tale of Despereaux,” “Flushed Away”) and Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Cast: Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein, Jodelle Ferland, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Elaine Stritch


In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Academy Award nominee Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) host the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York – the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR’s domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one. Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Academy Award nominee Laura Linney), Franklin’s neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy – and through her, for us all – a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.

Director: Roger Michell (“Venus,” “Notting Hill,” “Persuasion”)

Writer: Richard Nelson; Based on his radio play

Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams,

Elizabeth Marvel, Elizabeth Wilson, Eleanor Bron


The third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with director Joe Wright, following the award-winning boxoffice successes “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement,” is the epic love story “Anna Karenina,” adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”). The story unfolds in its original late-19th-century Russia high-society setting and powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, from the passion between adulterers to the bond between a mother and her children. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness, change comes to her family, friends, and community.

Director: Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “Hanna”)

Writer: Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”); Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy

Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen,

Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson

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