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

  • Publish Date: March 18, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

First trailer for Tom Hanks' Larry Crowne

Starring Tom Hanks, directed by Hanks, and written by Hanks and Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Larry Crowne is the story of a man who loses his job, heads back to college, and strikes up a relationship with his public-speaking class teacher, played by Julia Roberts. The film also stars Bryan Cranston, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, Pam Grier, and Wilmer Valderrama. It is Hanks’ first feature directing gig since 1996‘s That Thing You Do!. See it in theaters July 1.

Friends with Benefits trailer

If Tom Hanks in his underwear skews a bit old for you, then your romantic comedy choice for the summer might be Friends with Benefits, in which Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis seem to spend plenty of time in their underwear. Though comparisons to the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman-starring No Strings Attached are inevitable, this film might benefit from the skill director Will Gluck showed in Easy A last year, and two stars from that film -- Emma Stone and Patricia Clarkson -- provide this new trailer with a comedic punch. The cast also includes Woody Harrelson, Andy Samberg, Richard Jenkins, Rashida Jones, Brian Greenberg, and Jenna Elfman. Check it out in theaters July 22.

Tom Hanks is also taking on pirates

Larry Crowne isn't the only project on Tom Hanks' increasingly busy schedule. Deadline reports that Hanks will play Captain Richard Phillips, the man who gave himself up to Somali pirates in exchange for his crew’s safety and was later rescued by Navy SEALs in a dramatic raid that left three pirates dead. The script, written by Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach), is based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea. There is no word on when filming will begin, but it may not be anytime soon, considering Hanks is currently shooting Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close with director Stephen Daldry (The Reader) and is also attached to Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker follow-up Triple Frontier (about the drug trade in South America) as well as Disney’s Jungle Cruise with Tim Allen.

Behind the scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The release of the final Harry Potter film is July 15, and we still haven’t seen a trailer, but this week a short, anticipation-building look at the film appeared on Facebook. It is a mix of new footage and interview snippets, but it should provide fans with plenty to examine.

Jennifer Lawrence cast in The Hunger Games

Many industry followers expect the next big movie franchise to be The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy about a post-apocalyptic world where girls and boys are selected to fight to the death on television. The story centers on 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to compete in the games, so it was a bit of a surprise when The Wrap confirmed that Jennifer Lawrence, now 20, was cast in the lead role. Fans have already argued that part of the power of the series comes from the youth of its protagonist and that Lawrence doesn’t look anything like how the character is described in the book. Hair, make-up, and wardrobe will take care of the latter concerns, and director Gary Ross defended his choice to EW saying, “Suzanne saw every single audition. And not only did Suzanne not have an issue with Jen’s age, she felt you need someone of a certain maturity and power to be Katniss.... Far from being too old, she was very concerned that we would cast someone who was too young. In Suzanne’s mind, and in mine, Katniss is not a young girl. It’s important for her to be a young woman.” Now the search begins for the other major roles -- Katniss’ sister Prim and the male lead, Peeta Mellark. Names mentioned for the Peeta role include Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Hunter Parrish (Weeds).

Conan the Barbarian teaser

There’s not much to see in this first look at Conan the Barbarian, starring Jason Momoa, but at least we get a glimpse of Conan’s world view -- “I live. I love. I slay, and I am content.” -- and we can look forward to seeing what Ron Perlman might bring to the film. Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder) directs from a script by Sahara screenwriters Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. The film will be released in 3D on August 19.

Superman: Man of Steel update

This week, director Zack Snyder spoke to Hero Complex about the approach he and producer Christopher Nolan are taking toward Superman: Man of Steel: “Respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the movies.” Nolan took a very similar approach with Batman Begins, so it would make sense that they try to replicate a successful formula. Henry Cavill has been cast as Superman, with Diane Lane and Kevin Costner (now official according to Heat Vision) as Ma and Pa Kent.

Darren Aronofsky will not direct The Wolverine

Twentieth Century Fox and Darren Aronofsky released a statement this week dissolving what many fans thought would be an intriguing marriage of indie director and franchise property. Aronofsky stated, “As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.” Fox expressed their disappointment in losing Aronofsky but promised, “Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making The Wolverine. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.” Possible replacements are already being rumored. Who would be your choice?

A second look at Bridesmaids

After the film received good reviews at its SXSW premiere, a second trailer for Bridesmaids landed this week. Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph star in this comedy about pre-wedding plans and the disasters that ensue. The bridesmaids also include Rose Byrne (Get Him to the Greek), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Wendi McLendon-Covey (Reno 911!), and Ellie Kemper (The Office). The film, directed by Paul Feig, comes out May 13.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan trailer

Director Wayne Wang has had an eclectic career -- Smoke, The Center of the World, Maid in Manhattan, The Joy Luck Club -- but with his latest film he returns to his Chinese roots to tell the story of the friendship between two women in 19th century China who struggle to stay in touch due to the cultural mores of the time. The film is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Lisa See, but Wang's version adds an additional parallel story that looks at the difficulties of maintaining friendships in modern Shanghai. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan will be in theaters July 15.

Watch the first five minutes of Source Code

Summit has released the first five minutes of its upcoming thriller Source Code. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier repeatedly sent back in time to find the bomber of a Chicago-bound train. Duncan Jones (Moon) directs a cast that also includes Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace). See the remaining 88 minutes of the film when it hits theaters April 1.

Russian X-Men: First Class trailer

Typically, an international trailer might have a few extra scenes -- maybe a larger focus on action or sex -- but doesn't veer too far from the domestic trailer for the film. But while this new Russian trailer for X-Men: First Class does provide more action, it also includes plenty of new footage unseen in the last domestic trailer, including our first looks at Beast (Nicolas Hoult), Banshee (Caleb Landry), and Havok (Lucas Till). Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men origin story stars Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy and comes to theaters June 3. Translations of the title cards and dialogue can be found at The Playlist.

Sucker Punch animated shorts

Two animated trailers were released this week to get you ready for the March 25 release of Sucker Punch. They provide a backstory for a mechanized soldier with human memories and a deadly fire-breathing dragon, two of the foes Baby Doll (Emily Browning) and her band of scantily clad heroines (Abbie Cornish, Jenna Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung) will face off against as they try to escape Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino), the High Roller (Jon Hamm), and Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) with the help of the Wise Man (Scott Glenn). Director Zack Snyder collaborated with animator Ben Hibon on the shorts. Check them out below.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams trailer

Werner Herzog has made some great narrative films and some great documentaries. His latest, which falls in the latter category, is Cave of Forgotten Dreams, his first film shot in 3D. For the film, Herzog got access to the Chauvet caves in Southern France, where some of the oldest known artistic creations of man still exist in their original setting. See it in limited theaters beginning April 29.

Beautiful Boy trailer

Maria Bello (A History of Violence) and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) star in this drama about a couple struggling to come to terms with their son committing mass murder and then killing himself. The film also stars Kyle Gallner (Jennifer’s Body) as the son and Alan Tudyk (Serenity) and Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Bello’s brother and sister-in-law. Director Shawn Ku’s previous feature-length experience is limited to a TV movie, The American Mall, and reviews out of Toronto were solid but not glowing. Beautiful Boy gets a limited release beginning May 20.

Exporting Raymond trailer

Just as Hollywood adapts foreign films and television series for American consumption, foreign countries adapt our programming to fit their tastes. In this documentary, Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal goes to Russia to help them reshape his hit comedy series for a Russian audience. Check out his struggle to make Russians laugh below and catch the film in theaters April 29.

Do we need another Daredevil movie?

2003’s Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, might have produced a marriage, but it wasn’t as successful at the box office ($103 million in domestic receipts and another $76 million worldwide) as Twentieth Century Fox had hoped. Sure, they were able to spin off Elektra (which earned only $24 million), but a sequel never got any momentum. Now it seems Fox is ready to give it another go by signing David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) to direct a “continuation,” according to Variety. A writer has not yet been hired, so don’t look for this anytime soon, but maybe, with Aronofsky’s departure, Slade can direct The Wolverine while he waits for a script.

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

  • Megan Fox and Albert Brooks are in talks to join Judd Apatow’s next film, which revisits the marriage of Pete and Debbie, the characters Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann played in Knocked Up. - THR and Deadline
  • It’s on! Liam Neeson will kick some more ass in Taken 2. - Deadline
  • Danny Huston has joined Nicolas Cage and Malin Akerman in Medallion. - Playlist
  • Mark Ruffalo will play jazz pianist Joe Albany in Low Down, based on Albany’s daughter’s memoir of the same name. - Variety
  • A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas will be released November 4.
  • Seth MacFarlane’s feature directing debut, Ted, with Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, and Joel McHale, will hit theaters July 13, 2012.
  • Pixar’s Brave -- the studio's first fairy tale-style story -- will be released June 22, 2012.
  • J.K. Simmons (Juno) will narrate Jason Reitman’s next film, Young Adult. -
  • Marisa Tomei and Sarah Jessica Parker are in talks to star in the indie comedy Married and Cheating. - Variety
  • Clash of the Titans 2 (Wrath of the Titans) will hit theaters a week later than originally announced, on March 30, 2012.
  • Christina Hendricks has joined Brendan Fraser, Julia Stiles, Matt Dillon, and Kristen Scott Thomas in Seconds of Pleasure, which Mike Figgis will direct from a script by Neil LaBute. - Deadline
  • Alec Baldwin has had to drop out of MiB III due to scheduling conflicts. - Vulture
  • Drew Barrymore’s follow-up directing gig to 2009‘s Whip It will be a romantic comedy titled How to Be Single - THR
  • Richard Linklater is the top choice to helm a new version of The Incredible Mr. Limpet. - 24 Frames
  • The Red Dawn remake will change its Chinese villains to North Korean. - LA Times
  • An American Pie reunion is in the works. - THR
  • Having already played Doc Holliday, Val Kilmer will now get a shot at playing Wyatt Earp in The First Ride of Wyatt Earp. - Variety
  • Matthew Fox and Ed Burns have joined I, Alex Cross, which stars Tyler Perry and will be directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious). - Deadline
  • Aaron Johnson and Jude Law are in talks to join Keira Knightley in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. - Variety
  • David O. Russell could continue his biopic success with the story of B-movie auteur Russ Meyer. - Deadline

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Comments (1)

  • Mitch Tough  

    That Hanks movie looks a little whack.

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