First trailer for Robert Redford's The Conspirator
Robin Wright and James McAvoy star in this true story of Mary Surratt, the only female charged with conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. McAvoy plays her lawyer alongside supporting turns by Tom Wilkinson, Kevin Kline, Alexis Bledel, Evan Rachel Wood, and Johnny Simmons (Young Neil in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). The film is Robert Redford’s first directorial effort since 2007’s Lions for Lambs. Hopefully this look at American politics will succeed where that one didn’t, but early word of mouth has not been kind. See it in theaters April 15.
From writer/director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) comes the story of a young man, played by Ewan McGregor, who begins to re-examine his life after his father (Christopher Plummer) comes out of the closet after 44 years of marriage and is then diagnosed with terminal cancer. Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) plays McGregor’s love interest. Beginners gets a limited release beginning June 3.
Jackass 3.5 trailer
Not coming to theaters but to Joost on April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day) is Jackass 3.5, the follow-up to last year's very successful Jackass 3D. The film’s distribution is also unique because the 85 minutes of footage will be released as weekly episodes instead of in its full length (until it eventually comes out on DVD, VOD, and download-to-own). What do you think of the Jackass crew returning to their episodic roots? Would you prefer a full theatrical release?
The latest news on Ridley Scott's Prometheus
After receiving a new release date earlier in the week, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus cast its second major star. According to THR, Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds, and the upcoming Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class) will play an android opposite star Noomi Rapace. The second female lead is still not cast. Speculation continues as to how much Alien mythology will be present in the film, but H.R. Giger’s aliens will make an appearance, according to SkyMovies, and the film could involve a trip to the aliens’ home planet. Whatever the story, all will be revealed in theaters beginning June 8, 2012.
Of Gods and Men trailer
After premiering at Cannes in 2010 and receiving 11 César (France’s version of the Oscars) nominations, Xavier Beauvois’ film about Christian monks and the danger that surrounds them in mid-1990s Algeria comes to American theaters February 25. Some reviewers have complained of the film’s slow pace, but like Beauvois’ last feature, 2005‘s The Young Lieutenant, it has been well received overall.
Kevin Smith will self-distribute Red State
Some of the biggest buzz going in and coming out of Sundance surrounded Kevin Smith’s latest film, Red State. Described by Smith as a horror film, the movie focuses on a preacher played by Michael Parks (Kill Bill) and his congregation, who murder people they believe to be homosexual. The preacher is based on Fred Phelps, the leader of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church which is notoriously homophobic and, as was expected, protested the screening while Smith supporters protested them. After the screening, Smith announced that he would be self-distributing the film after purchasing it for $20. The film will be exhibited first on a U.S. tour. (To see the dates, go here.) This approach did not go ever well with many executives who showed up expecting an auction of the film’s rights. Smith later defended his actions in a two-hour, 69-tweet assault. Vulture has the text assembled for your reading pleasure. Does all the hype make you more or less excited to check out Red State, a film that received mixed reviews overall at Sundance?
Drive Angry 3D clip
Here’s a clip from the over-the-top action film starring Nicolas Cage as Milton, an escapee from Hell, who goes on a bloody rampage against the men who murdered his wife and abducted his daughter. Along for the ride is Amber Heard and chasing them down is William Fichtner as The Accountant (kind of a debt collector for the Devil). Drive Angry 3D was directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine 3D), and hits theaters February 25.
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play parents of a comatose (and possessed) child in this horror film from the original Saw team of director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell. Early word of mouth is positive, so if you like a good scare, check it out in theaters April 1.
Dark Tower rumors
A film you will be hearing maybe too much about over the next few years is Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The current plan is to film three theatrical features, with a pair of television series bridging the gap between the films. The first film’s release date is currently set at May 17, 2013, and Akiva Goldsman (Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code) will write at least the first film and the first television series. Currently composed of seven books with a possible eighth on the way, the story, an amalgamation of fantasy, western, sci-fi, and horror elements, follows Roland Deschain, the last of a knightly order known as Gunslingers and his quest to find the Dark Tower. Naturally, the first question is who will play Roland Deschain? Early reports had Viggo Mortensen in the lead, but this week the NY Post moved Christian Bale to the front of the pack, only to be contradicted by Deadline who claimed that Javier Bardem has been offered the part. No one knows how this will shake out, but once it’s official, we’ll let you know.
Snow White and the Huntsman casting rumors
Variety reported this week that Viggo Mortensen (possibly because he’s no longer in the running for The Dark Tower) is nearing a deal to star as the huntsman in the re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale to be directed by Rupert Sanders. In the story, the huntsman becomes Snow White’s protector as they flee the evil queen. The roles of Snow White and the evil queen have yet to cast, but some intriguing names have been rumored. According to Deadline, Kristen Stewart is currently the lead candidate for Snow White, but Emily Browning (star of the upcoming Sucker Punch) is also in the running. Charlize Theron is in talks to star as the evil queen. This is one of two Snow White films currently in the works. The other will be directed by Tarsem Singh (The Fall, The Cell) and has the working title The Brothers Grimm: Snow White.
Abraham Lincoln to be played by Andrew Jackson
While Robert Redford’s The Conspirator tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination from a new angle, Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, gives the 16th president a completely different biography: that of a skilled vampire hunter who looks to rid America of vampires by abolishing slavery. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) will direct from Grahame-Smith’s own adaptation, and Variety reports that Benjamin Walker will play Abraham Lincoln. Walker’s star rose on his performance as Andrew Jackson in the (on- and off-) Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He previously appeared on film in Flags of Our Fathers and Kinsey. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is scheduled to hit theaters June 22, 2012.
Peep World trailer
A strong cast including Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson, Ron Rifkin, Lesley Ann Warren, and Ben Schwartz star in this story of four siblings whose lives are turned upside down when the youngest sibling publishes a novel revealing family secrets. Barry W. Blaustein (The Ringer) directs from a script by Peter Himmelstein. Peep World will be in theaters March 25 and on VOD February 9.
Son of No One controversy and trailer
Son of No One produced some interesting press at its screening in Sundance this week. THR’s Risky Business reported that the film bombed and at least a dozen people walked out. Later, the film’s sales agent, responding through Deadline, blamed the exits on the projectionist. Then, just yesterday, Risky Business had to respond to a claim that THR wasn’t even present at the screening (which they say is untrue). So why all the fuss over Dito Montiel’s directorial follow-up to A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and Fighting? Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, but as is typical on the net, negative hyperbole typically wins out and there were some “movie is horrible/worst film this year” tweets coming from viewers after the screening. The film features some major names -- Channing Tatum (in his third film with Montiel), Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Jordan, Ray Liotta, and Juliette Binoche -- but the story looks pretty standard: a young cop returns to work the precinct where he grew up. Maybe the trailer will help you decide which side of the story you believe.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- The Avatar sequels will be released Christmas 2014 and 2015 - EW
- David Milch (Deadwood) will adapt the game Heavy Rain for the big screen. - Variety
- Peter Jackson was hospitalized due to a perforated ulcer, delaying the start of filming on The Hobbit. - Deadline
- Director Brian De Palma will return to directing with a remake of the French film Love Crime (Crime d’amour). - Variety
- The first movie in the Hunger Games series will be released March 23, 2012.
- Oscar-winning documentary director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer) has found his latest subject: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. - Deadline
- Naomi Watts will play J. Edgar Hoover’s longtime personal secretary, Helen Gandy, in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. - Variety
- The Annie remake we reported on last week is now official. - THR
- As expected, Judi Dench will return as M in Bond 23 - MI6
- James Gandolfini will rejoin the creator of The Sopranos, David Chase, in the latter’s feature directing debut, Twylight Zones, about a New Jersey rock band. - Deadline
- James Franco is moving forward with his adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying. - MTV
- The Razzie nominations were announced this week. Did any of your least favorite films make the cut?
For descriptions and trailers for over 160 films coming in 2011, visit our 2011 Movie Preview.