Next Batman movie casts two villains
Warner Bros. announced this week that Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), and Tom Hardy (Inception) will play Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s third and supposedly final Batman film. Catwoman has a long history on screen (from Julie Newmar and others in the 60’s to Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry more recently) and off (first appearing as The Cat in Batman #1 in 1940). It is unknown how Nolan plans to use Selina Kyle since she has a love/hate relationship with Batman throughout the series. In fact, Catwoman isn’t even mentioned in the press release, so could Nolan be focusing on her origin story? On the other hand, Bane is a more recent creation, having first appeared in January 1993 in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1. He is best known for breaking Batman’s back and turning him into a paraplegic. Would Nolan end his trilogy on that dark note? Answers will come July 20, 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters.
Alien prequel no longer a prequel
According to Deadline, the much talked about Ridley Scott-helmed Alien prequel has morphed into Prometheus, a film with what Scott calls “strands of Alien’s DNA.” The new script came from a collaboration between Scott and Damon Lindelof (Lost), based on an earlier draft by Jon Spaihts. The film will be an original story with a new mythology and universe. The only actor currently signed to the project is Noomi Rapace, but Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron are said to be circling the other main female role. Prometheus will be released March 9, 2012.
A second trailer for Scream 4
Wes Craven returns to direct his fourth Scream movie along with original screenwriter Kevin Williamson and key original cast members - Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox. It wouldn’t be a Scream movie without fresh meat, so welcome Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, and Alison Brie to the party. Check it out in theaters April 15.
Greg Araki’s (Mysterious Skin) Kaboom premiered at Cannes in 2010 to generally favorable reviews. In typical Araki fashion, there’s plenty of sex, gender-bending, and paranoia in this story of a college freshman (Thomas Dekker) who discovers a vast conspiracy. Trip along with the film’s characters in theaters beginning January 28 or on VOD starting this weekend.
Alexander Payne hits the road again
Alexander Payne has been relatively quiet since 2004’s Sideways, but this year will see the release of The Descendants starring George Clooney, and he’s already planning his next film, Nebraska. The Playlist reports that the film will again take place on the road as an alcoholic father and his son journey from Montana to Nebraska to cash in what the father believes is a winning ticket from Publisher’s Clearing House. No actors have been announced but production should begin later this year.
A second look at Red Riding Hood
Catherine Hardwicke’s update of the Little Red Riding Hood folk tale looks like a retread of the first Twilight film she directed just, you know, back in the day. The story revolves around Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), whose love is torn between Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), a blacksmith, and the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Gary Oldman shows up as a famous werewolf killer, and Julie Christie makes an appearance as Valerie’s grandmother. See it in theaters March 11, if you dare.
Directed by Lee Chang-Dong (Oasis) and winner of Best Screenplay at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Poetry tells the story of an older woman who finds empowerment and purpose after enrolling in a poetry class. The film has been widely praised by critics and will receive a limited release in the US starting February 11 in New York. For other release dates, go here.
Mr. Oizo might be a familiar name to dance music fans, but to film fans Mr. Oizo is known by his birth name, Quentin Duplieux, and he’s directed what might be the year’s most original release, Rubber. The film follows the wave of destruction wrought by a killer tire with psychic powers. See for yourself below, on demand beginning February 25, or in a limited number of theaters April 1.
A Star is Born, again
According to Deadline, Clint Eastwood will direct Beyonce in the fourth version of A Star is Born. The previous films include the original 1937 version directed by William Wellman, George Cukor’s 1954 film starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and the 1976 Barbra Streisand vehicle with Kris Kristofferson. All three films share the same arc of an older alcoholic star helping a young woman achieve stardom while his career fades. While the first two focus on Hollywood, Streisand’s version takes place in the world of music with Kristofferson playing an aging rock star. There is no word yet on who will play the male lead, but Eastwood plans on starting production as soon as he wraps up J. Edgar which Josh Lucas joined this week (to play Charles Lindbergh) and which begins shooting next month.
Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen in The Twilight Saga) and Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood) star in this homage to skating rinks, teen angst, and the '80s written and directed by first time feature director Anthony Burns. The filmed premiered at Sundance 2010 and will get a limited release March 25.
An Annie remake starring the Smith family?
Having already hit box office gold in remaking The Karate Kid with his son Jaden in the lead, Will Smith is now in talks with Sony to make a new film version of the musical Annie with his daughter, "Whip My Hair" singer Willow. While the musical premiered on Broadway in 1977 and ran for almost six years, the only film version (excluding the 1999 made for TV Annie) came out in 1982 and was directed by John Huston with Albert Finney in the role of Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan. Variety also reports that Jay-Z could collaborate on the music, which makes sense considering Jay-Z already sampled one of the more famous songs, "It’s a Hard Knock Life," for his own "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" back in 1998, but whether the film (and its music) will be updated to modern times is still unknown.
Rango behind the scenes featurette
Here’s a look at the voice recording process for the animated film Rango starring Johnny Depp. The film tells the story of a chameleon that becomes an unlikely hero to a Western town threatened by bandits. Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Timothy Olyphant, Alfred Molina, and Ray Winstone also lend their voices. See it in theaters March 4.
The Adjustment Bureau featurette
After being delayed multiple times, The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, finally arrives in theaters March 4. This is George Nolfi’s first shot at directing after writing Ocean’s Twelve, The Sentinel, and The Bourne Ultimatum. Check out the featurette below to learn more about the film, which is based on a Philip K. Dick short story.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Emma Stone revealed that Spider-Man’s webs will come from a device not from his wrist in the upcoming Marc Webb directed film. - MTV
- Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary will be released this year. - The Playlist
- Are you ready for a Lethal Weapon remake? How about The Wild Bunch? Westworld? Well, they are all in development over at Warner Bros. - Heat Vision
- James Gray (Two Lovers) will direct an adaptation of The Gray Man, a spy-thriller written by Mark Greaney. - Deadline
- In anticipation of the Oscar nominations this coming Tuesday, the Academy released the Best Foreign Language Film shortlist this week.
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s dual-role dictator comedy directed by Larry Charles will be released May 11, 2012. - Deadline
- James Franco will play serial killer Richard Ramirez in the film adaptation of Philip Carlo’s book, The Night Stalker. - NY Post
- A sequel to the 2010 action-comedy RED is in the works. - Collider
- Robert Duvall has joined Jayne Mansfield’s Car which Billy Bob Thornton co-wrote and plans to star in and direct - EW
- Mike White will not be directing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Deadline), though he will be returning to The Amazing Race this season (Zap2It)
- Sam Raimi’s next film, Oz, the Great and Powerful, has lost Robert Downey Jr., but Johnny Depp may step into the lead role. - Heat Vision
- Keira Knightly has stepped in for a pregnant Marion Cotillard in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis adaptation. - LA Times
For descriptions and trailers for over 160 films coming in 2011, visit our 2011 Movie Preview.