Film Friday: This Week's Movie News and New Trailers

  • Publish Date: June 17, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

Leading off: The first trailer for Moneyball

Moneyball, based on the Michael Lewis book about the Oakland Athletics and their general manager Billy Beane, took a circuitous route to the screen. Steven Soderbergh originally planned to direct it, but in the summer of 2009, due to major script revisions Soderbergh requested, Sony put the movie on hold. Prior to that, David Frankel had been slated to direct from a script by Steve Zaillian. In the end, it's Bennett Miller (Capote) who gets the honors with a script that's been written by Aaron Sorkin and Zaillian. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays A's manager Art Howe, and Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand, a fictional character based on assistant manager (and future Dodgers general manager) Paul DePodesta. Moneyball comes to theaters September 23.

A new trailer for Larry Crowne

While Tom Hanks might be embracing new technology by tweeting the arrival of a new trailer, his second directorial feature looks to be an old-fashioned romantic comedy, and that will be just fine for many filmgoers looking for something to see other than Transformers on July 4th weekend. Hanks co-wrote the film -- about a man who returns to community college after losing his job -- with My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos. Julia Roberts stars as Hanks' teacher and love interest, and the supporting cast includes Cedric the Entertainer, George Takei, Wilmer Valderrama, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, Taraji P. Henson, and many more. Larry Crowne comes to theaters July 1.

Another look at Cowboys & Aliens

After taking a backseat to the glut of comic book movies hitting theaters this summer, Cowboys & Aliens is now ready to get the hype machine rolling. So why did they choose to premiere the new footage at the Spike Guy's Choice Awards, whatever they are? No matter, the footage quickly made its way online, and the action is definitely ratcheted up in this latest trailer. The western/sci-fi mash-up, based on the Scott Mitchell Rosenberg comic book of the same name, stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, and Paul Dano (seen for the first time in this trailer). Check it out when it hits theaters July 29.

Who will play Superman's dad in Man of Steel?

Variety reports that Russell Crowe is in talks to play Jor-El, Superman's biological father, a role famously played by Marlon Brando in Richard Donner's Superman and also, strangely, in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns. If an agreement is reached, the circumcision hating actor would join Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adam as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Antje Traue as Faora, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Ma and Pa Kent. Latino Review is also reporting that Crowe's Gladiator co-star, Connie Nielsen, might be playing Superman's biological mother, Lara. Man of Steel will be directed by Zack Snyder from a script by David S. Goyer and is expected in theaters in late 2012.

The final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 trailer

This is it, the final trailer for the Harry Potter franchise. Harry and his friends face off against Lord Voldemort one last time. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes and all the supporting characters are back. David Yates returns to the director's chair, and Steve Kloves handles the adaptation from J. K. Rowling's beloved book series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will hit screens July 15, 2011. The final question might be, will you see it in 3D?

Our Idiot Brother trailer

Paul Rudd stars as Ned, the idiot brother, in this independent comedy that received good reviews when it premiered at Sundance this year. The film follows Ned as he's kicked out by his girlfriend and taken in by each of his three sisters, who are played by Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, and Zooey Deschanel. The strong supporting cast includes Steve Coogan, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Hugh Dancy, and Kathryn Hahn. Jesse Peretz (The Chateau) directs form a script by David Schisgall and Evgenia Peretz. Look for Our Idiot Brother in theaters beginning August 26.

Another Muppets teaser

The first two teasers for the The Muppets were clever plays on a romantic comedy trailer and The Hangover Part 2 wolf pack trailer; the latest takes a swing at this week's big release, Green Lantern. Enjoy another look at the upcoming film written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, starring Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, a slew of other actors and, of course, your favorite Muppets. Check it out in theaters beginning November 23.

Two sequels get their directors

According to Deadline, Simon West (2011's The Mechanic, Con Air) and James Mangold (Knight and Day, 2007's 3:10 to Yuma) have been selected to take on the tough task of directing sequels that other directors chose to leave. West will step in for Sylvester Stallone and direct The Expendables 2. This would be the easier of the two jobs considering the relatively low expectations (quality-wise, not financially) for the sequel and West's history of making big, dumb action films. Mangold, on the other hand, gets the unenviable task of filling the shoes of Darren Aronofsky, who left the Wolverine sequel back in March. Once the film is complete, everyone will posit how the film could have been better if Aronofsky had directed it. Christopher McQuarrie penned the Wolverine sequel, so lets hope for Mangold's sake its more The Usual Suspects and less The Tourist.

Attack the Block red band trailer

The buzz around Attack the Block has been building for months since its screening at South by Southwest. Recently, Screen Gems has been holding promo screenings in select cities, and this week, an official release date for the U.S. was announced: July 29. The film is written and directed by Joe Cornish and produced by his friend and Ant-Man writing partner Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). The film follows a group of kids as they defend their hood from an alien invasion. Wright regular Nick Frost as well as Jodie Whittaker (Venus) and Luke Treadaway (Heartless) star, along with with a group of newcomers as the kids.

Bellflower trailer

This indie from writer/director/star Evan Glodell tells the story of two friends (Glodell and Tyler Dawson) who spend their time preparing for the apocalypse by building flamethrowers and outfitting their car, Medusa, until their friendship is tested when one of them falls in love with Jessie Wiseman's Milly. Bellflower received enough positive buzz, especially for its innovative camera work, to get picked up for a limited release in the U.S. beginning August 5.

Django will be unchained on Christmas (in 2012)

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained might be next year's "Feel Bad Movie of Christmas" (a tagline associated this year with David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which lands on December 21) now that a December 25, 2012 release date has been announced. Tarantino's film is still in the early stages of casting with Christoph Waltz being the only "almost" confirmed member. Last week, Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to be close to signing on as lead villain Calvin Candie, and this week rumors had Jamie Foxx as the candidate for the role of Django with the Will Smith chatter dying down. Since winning an Oscar for Ray, Foxx's film career has been filled with mainly supporting roles while he's focused more on music. A jump back into a lead role might be just what he's looking for now.

A new trailer for Dolphin Tale

Morgan Freeman flexes his narrating skills in this latest trailer for Dolphin Tale. Based on the true story of Winter, who lost her tail in a crab trap at three months old, the film follows her recovery and the special bond formed with a boy played by Nelson Gamble. The film stars Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., and Kris Kristofferson. Charles Martin Smith (Stone of Destiny) directs from a script by Karen Janszen (Duma) and Noam Dromi. Dolphin Tale will be released in 2D and 3D on September 23.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked teaser

A third film is unfortunately inevitable when the first two are unquestioned hits (at least financially). So, America and the world, prepare yourself for another Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, since you apparently asked for it. Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are back, and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (as well as Shrek Forever After) director Mike Mitchell will take over chipmunk wrangling duties. And no, I don't know what "munk yourself" means, but I'm afraid to find out. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked comes to theaters December 11.

The Place Beyond the Pines casting

This week brought multiple casting announcements for The Place Beyond the Pines, Derek Cianfrance's follow-up to Blue Valentine. Early in the week, Deadline announced that Eva Mendes was set and Greta Gerwig was in talks to join stars Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper while yesterday, Variety revealed that Ben Mendelsohn, the menacing brother in Animal Kingdom, will also join the cast. The story revolves around the relationship between Gosling's character, a pro motorcycle racer who turns to robbery to care for his newborn son, and Cooper's character, a cop turned politician. Mendes will play Gosling's love interest (and mother of his child), and if signed, Gerwig would play Cooper's wife. Mendelsohn will bring a dangerous edge to the film as the colorfully named Robin Van Der Zee, a mechanic who introduces Gosling to his bank robbing crew. Filming should begin in late July.

Casting updates for zombie tale World War Z

Two actors who are used to playing men who have seen bad times and lived to tell about it are close to coming aboard Marc Forster's adaptation of the Max Brooks novel World War Z. Deadline reports that Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are in talks to join Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos (The Killing), and James Badge Dale (The Pacific, Rubicon) in the tale of a reporter (Pitt) collecting stories ten years after a world wide zombie epidemic. It is unknown how screenwriters J. Michael Straczynski (Changeling) and Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom) will adapt a book that is basically an oral history of the zombie epidemic, but it should be interesting.

Billy Bob Thornton returns to the director's chair

Billy Bob Thornton hasn't directed a feature film since 2001's Daddy and Them, but he's casting his comeback. Deadline reports that Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson have all been cast in Jayne Mansfield's Car. Thornton co-wrote the script with Tom Epperson (The Gift). The film is a culture-clash comedy that Duvall described to EW back in January as the story of "a guy in between WWI and WWII who raises a family after his wife left him for an Englishman and moved to England. When the wife dies, she asks to be brought back to Alabama to be buried, and at that point the character hasn't seen her in 20 or 30 years. The two families -- her original family she abandoned and her English family -- meet and then things get really interesting."

King's Speech director wants Jackman for Les Mis film

Variety reports that Hugh Jackman is close to signing on as Jean Valjean in Tom Hooper's musical adaptation of Les Miserables. Jackman would seem like the perfect choice considering his comfort with singing and dancing on the Broadway stage. This latest version of the Victor Hugo novel will be penned by William Nicholson (Gladiator) and based on the musical produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The original score by Claude-Michel Schoenberg will be used. There have been numerous adaptations both in French and in English of the Victor Hugo novel. Billie August directed Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes in a non-musical 1998 version that failed at the box office. The story of the recently released prisoner, Jean Valjean, and his nemesis, police inspector Javert is set against the history of France over a seventeen year period beginning in 1815 and ending in 1832. Deadline reports that Paul Bettany is the lead candidate to play Javert.

Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more

  • Darren Aronofsky want to make a $130 million film about Noah and his Ark, and he wants Christian Bale to star in it. - Vulture
  • Alan Arkin has been cast as Hollywood producer Lester Siegel in Ben Affleck's Argo, the story of how the C.I.A. used a fake movie to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1979. - Variety
  • Ben Affleck is also attached to direct a remake of the French thriller Tell No One. - Deadline
  • Barry Levinson and Al Pacino, who worked together on HBO's You Don't Know Jack, will re-team for an adaptation of Philip Roth's novel The Humbling. The film will shoot before they work together again on Gotti: Three Generations. - Deadline
  • Adam Scott has joined Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in My Mother's Curse, a road trip comedy to be directed by Anne Fletcher (The Proposal). - THR's Risky Business
  • Universal announced release dates for three films this week. Oliver Sone's Savages will hit theaters September 28, 2012. Despicable Me 2 will be released July 3, 2013, and the second film from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise, will be in theaters July 19, 2013.
  • Elodie Young (District 13: Ultimatum) is in talks to play Jinx opposite Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. - Heat Vision
  • Anthony Mackie has joined Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad opposite Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Michael Pena. - Variety
  • Jeremy Renner will produce and star in Slingshot, set in the world of rally car racing. - Variety
  • Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) will star as the tattoo artist who dumps Greta Gerwig's Lola just before their wedding in the romantic comedy Lola Versus. - THR
  • Tom Cruise is in talks to re-team with his Valkyrie writer, Christopher McQuarrie, for One Shot, based on the Jack Reacher series of novels by Lee Child. - Deadline
  • Jason Clarke (Chicago Code) will play cuckolded husband George Wilson in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He joins Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, and Joel Edgerton. - THR
  • Ellie Kemper (The Office) has joined Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in the upcoming big-screen version of 21 Jump Street. - Variety
  • How many films will be nominated for Best Picture at next year's Academy Awards? Anywhere from five to 10, but you won't find out until the nominees are announced. - Oscars
  • Anyone want to see a Commando remake? - Collider
  • How about Jurassic Park 4? - Heat Vision
  • Check out what David Fincher and Christopher Nolan have to say about Terrence Malick and The Tree of Life - Fox Searchlight
  • Steven Soderbergh's Haywire will be released on January 20, 2012 (instead of in August as originally planned). Don't worry; the director's Contagion should still arrive this fall to tide you over.
  • Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin will star in Labor Day, Jason Reitman's follow-up film to his currently in-production Young Adult. - EW
  • There will be a sequel to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. - 24 Frames

Comments (3)

  • MarcDoyle  

    Great cast for Moneyball. Who would've dreamed that Billy Beane would get the Brad Pitt treatment?

  • LamontRaymond  

    Attack the Block (July 29) looks phenomenal. Why is such good fare like that a little-know limited release and garbage like Green Lantern (which, yes, I'm seeing tonight) is opening in 3500 theaters? I can answer my own question. I've seen "The Player."

  • pqrs  

    Trailer 2 for Harry Potter & TDH is brilliant. Hats off to the preditor who made the promo! 3D and IMAX, count me in!
    Bellflower promo caught my attention as well, I hope they release this film in theaters in Holland.
    I have high hopes for Cowboys and Aliens and hope the trailer does it justice.

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