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

  • Publish Date: November 15, 2013
  • Comments: ↓ 2 user comments

Before the flood: Aronofsky goes big with Noah

Following the more intimate stories of Black Swan and The Wrestler, director Darren Aronofsky turns to the epic drama of Noah and his ark. Russell Crowe stars as Noah, Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, and Ray Winstone as his nemesis, with Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Douglas Booth in supporting roles. As with any religious-themed work, controversy has followed the production, with rumors of Aronofsky and Paramount fighting over final cut, so here are two versions (U.S. and U.K.) of the first trailer for Noah. Look for it in theaters beginning March 28, 2014.

Dare to be different

Neil Burger (Limitless) directs an adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley as Tris Prior, who discovers she’ doesn’t fit into any of the five factions—Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave) and Erudite (the intelligent)—of futuristic Chicago society. She’s divergent, and this puts her in danger. Luckily, she has Theo James’ Four on her side. With a cast that also includes Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Miles Teller, Mekhi Phifer, Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, and Ansel Elgort, Divergent hits cinemas on March 21, 2014.

Angelina Jolie is Maleficent

Last seen on-screen in 2010’s The Tourist, Angelina Jolie returns as Maleficent in this re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty tale from the perspective of the “Mistress of All Evil” in Disney’s 1959 animated classic. Robert Stromberg makes his directorial debut with a talented cast that includes Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, and Lesley Manville. Maleficent comes to 2D and 3D theaters on May 30, 2014.

Watch Wes Anderson’s new short

The Grand Budapest Hotel will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 6, 2014, a month before it opens in the States, but Wes Anderson fans don’t have to wait until then for new material from the director. A Prada-sponsored short film starring Jason Schwartzman premiered this week, and while it’s no Hotel Chevalier, it’s still worth a look. Anderson also participated in a tribute to Kumar Pallana that showed at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. His thoughts on the man who played Mr. LittleJeans and Pagoda are at the end of the video. Lastly, Screen Daily has highlights from an interview with Anderson, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman from the Rome Film Festival. Anderson admits to an interest in making a 3D film as well as having an idea for an violent animated feature.

Cuban Fury

In the comedy Cuban Fury, Nick Frost stars as a former salsa prodigy who attempts to make a comeback in order to win over Rashida Jones. Chris O’Dowd plays his rival, while Ian McShane, Olivia Colman, and Kayvan Novak round out the talented cast. James Griffiths makes his feature directorial debut from a script by Jon Brown. Cuban Fury doesn’t have U.S. release date yet, but British audiences can enjoy it beginning on Valentine’s Day 2014.

Heaven Is For Real

Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly play Todd and Sonja Burpo, the parents of Colton (Connor Corum), a young boy who survives a near-death experience and is able to recount the details of his journey. Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church have supporting roles, and Randall Wallace (Secretariat) directs this feature based on Todd Burpo’s book, Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. Heaven Is For Real comes to theaters April 16, 2014.

Neil LaBute’s Velvet Morning

Early reviews have been good for Neil LaBute’s latest, Some Velvet Morning. The film stars Stanley Tucci as Fred, who arrives at the apartment of his ex-mistress, Velvet (Alice Eve), to announce that he has left his wife. When she doesn’t embrace his unannounced visit as he had hoped, the history of their relationship is slowly revealed. Look for it on iTunes and VOD beginning December 10th and in select theaters December 13th.

S#x Acts

Johnathan Gurfinkel’s debut feature follows Gili (Sivan Levy) as she attempts to improve her social status by hooking up with the most popular guys at her new school, eventually allowing herself to be photographed and filmed. S#x Acts won three awards at the Haifa International Festival, including Best Actress and Best Debut Feature Film as well as an Ophir Award (Israel's Academy Awards) for Best Actress. See it beginning December 3rd on iTunes and VOD or in select theaters beginning December 6th.

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

  • Mission: Impossible 5 will be released on December 25, 2015, just one week after Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18th.
  • Speaking of Episode 7, J.J. Abrams hangs out with R2-D2 in the first behind-the-scenes photo from the film's production.
  • Brad Bird's Tomorrowland has been bumped from December 2014 to May 2015, taking the slot where Episode 7 was originally expected to open.
  • The release of Fifty Shades of Grey has been delayed until February 13, 2015. Plan your Valentine’s Day accordingly.
  • Josh Brolin has dropped out, and Chris Pratt is in early talks to join Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World. - The Wrap
  • Jason Statham will replace Daniel Craig in Viva La Madness, the sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake. Author J.J.Connolly will write the script from his own novel as he did for Layer Cake. - Deadline
  • Idris Elba will star in Bastille Day. Andrew Baldwin’s script concerns a U.S. operative who discovers his target, a young boy with connections to a series of terrorist attacks, could be innocent. - Variety
  • Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) is in talks to direct a script by Jason Fuchs that reimagines the origins of Peter Pan. - Deadline
  • Kate Upton is being considered for the female lead in the Entourage movie. - The Wrap
  • Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) has added the biopic Napoleon to his directing slate. - Deadline
  • Warner Bros. is in talks to bring the game Temple Run to the big screen. - THR
  • Dwayne Johnson will star in Not Without Hope, the true story of Nick Schuyler and his three football-playing friends whose boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico. - Variety
  • Don Cheadle will direct and star in Kill the Trumpet Player, a look at a few days in the life of Miles Davis as he returns from his silent period. Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana will also star. -
  • Lee Pace will star opposite Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears’ biopic on the controversial cyclist. - The Wrap
  • Shawn Levy (The Internship) will direct Will Smith in the Audrey Wells-penned The City That Sailed about a father and daughter on the island of Manhattan after it separates from the continental U.S. and floats across the Atlantic Ocean. - Deadline

Comments (2)

  • LamontRaymond  

    What's with this S#x Acts movie? Underage gang-bangs that get filmed? Big surprise that it wins all sorts of awards in Europe. I'm guessing Peter Bogdonovich was a judge? The trailer cites a critic who says that it's more shocking than any horror movie. No sh t! Another race to the bottom, lowest common denominator situation. And by all means, let's keep heaping it with awards and praise.

    On another note, it's great to see Neil LaBute donig another film. Excited for that one.

  • ACriticalFox  


    What's with this 12 Years a Slave movie? Slave torture that gets filmed? Big surprise that it wins all sorts of awards in North America. I'm guessing Spike Lee was a judge? They say it's more shocking than any horror movie.

    Remember, Raymond, a film is judged not by its subject, but by its handling of the subject.

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