The first look at Alexander Payne's The Descendants
It has been seven years since Alexander Payne’s last film, Sideways 94, but this trailer for his new film, The Descendants, will quickly remind viewers of his unique sensibility. George Clooney stars as a man struggling to be more than a “back-up parent” to his two daughters after his wife is injured in a boating accident. The film is based on the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel of the same name and stars Shailene Woodley (TV’s The Secret Life of an American Teenager) and Amara Miller as the daughters, as well as Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, and Beau Bridges. The Descendants comes to theaters December 16.
Two teaser trailers for The Muppets
The marketing campaign has begun for Jason Segel’s Muppet revival, The Muppets, and two teasers were released this week. One, "Green with Envy," plays off the familiar tropes of romantic comedies, while the second, "The Fuzzy Pack," takes inspiration from the first The Hangover Part II teaser involving “The Wolf Pack." The story revolves around the Muppets trying to save their theater from an evil oil tycoon. James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords) directs a cast that includes Segel, Amy Adams, and Chris Cooper in lead roles and a ridiculous number of stars in smaller roles including Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Selena Gomez, Ricky Gervais, Katy Perry, Danny Trejo, and the list could go on. The Muppets comes to theaters November 23. So which teaser do you prefer?
A full Transformers: Dark of the Moon trailer
After a few teaser scenes last week, Michael Bay returns to providing what his fans have come to expect: action, explosions, destruction on a massive scale, and looks of awe/fear on actors’ faces. The third Transformers film takes its subtitle from a story point introduced at the beginning of the trailer: the space race of the '60s and '70s started because something crashed on the moon. Shia LaBeouf returns as the oddly named hero, Sam Witwicky, and Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays his new girlfriend. Check out Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D (this one’s supposed to be worth it) when it hits theaters Wednesday, June 29, two days earlier than originally scheduled.
Another Green Lantern trailer
The latest trailer for Green Lantern does an excellent job of providing the mythology behind the story for any comic newbies. There are also plenty of new clips, so it doesn’t feel like retread of previous trailers. On earth, Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan; Peter Sarsgaard plays Hector Hammond, and Blake Lively plays Carol Ferris. On Oa, Mark Strong plays Sinestro; Geoffrey Rush provides the voice of Tomar-Re (and narrates this trailer), and Michael Clark Duncan voices Kilowog. Lots of CG fills in the blanks. See it in 2D and 3D theaters beginning June 17.
The Dark Knight Rises news
It has been a few weeks since the last The Dark Knight Rises update, so here goes. The first photo of Thomas Hardy as Bane was released. He looks like he could kill someone rather easily. There is an official website now, but don’t get too excited. There’s nothing on it except for a black screen and an indecipherable chant that someone deciphered anyway as “The Fire Rises,” which also happens to be a Twitter account which decodes the Bane photo. In addition, Variety reported this week that Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket), Tom Conti (most recently in The Tempest), Chris Ellis (Armageddon or pick a TV crime series, he’s been on it), Brett Cullen (Goodwin on Lost and many other supporting roles in TV and film), and eleven year-old Joey King (Battle: Los Angeles) have been cast in the film. Modine will play a character named Nixon (no other details are available); Cullen will play a judge, and Ellis will play a priest. Production has begun, so hopefully it stays on schedule for its July 20, 2012 release.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop trailer
After the Tonight Show fiasco with NBC and Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien went on a nationwide comedy tour much more successful than Charlie Sheen’s, and this documentary by Idle Hands director Rodman Flender tries to capture the warts and all planning and performance of the show. The film received very good reviews after its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop will get a limited theatrical run beginning June 24.
Take Shelter trailer
After receiving glowing reviews at Sundance and winning the Grand Prize at the Critics Week in Cannes, Take Shelter has some major buzz building for its October 7 release. The film stars Michael Shannon as a family man plagued by apocalyptic nightmares and visions who can’t stop himself from building a storm shelter even though he knows his mother was troubled by mental illness and he might be too. Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) plays Shannon’s wife, and Jeff Nichols, who directed Shannon in Shotgun Stories, takes on that role here as well.
Tom Cruise chooses Oblivion
According to Deadline, Tom Cruise has found his next film after he wraps up his role as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages. He will star in Oblivion, which “takes place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population lives in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered uninhabitable. Cruise will play a soldier who's stuck alone on the planet, repairing the drones that patrol and destroy a savage alien life form. He encounters a beautiful woman who crashes in a craft, and their experience together forces him to question his world view.” The film will be directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) and based on his own graphic novel. The script was initially written by William Monahan (Body of Lies, The Departed) and re-written by Karl Gajdusek. Production will begin in October.
Tintin international trailer
Last week some people thought I was disregarding the source material for The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (which looks like it has now lost its subtitle and will be known simply as The Adventures of Tintin), but my intentions were much more toward the performance capture method of filmmaking. I’m not a big fan. So, while I know the Belgian comic by Hergé is popular worldwide, my enthusiasm doesn’t run wild in anticipation for this film, even with the name Steven Spielberg attached to it. Maybe I still haven’t forgiven him for his last film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but from here on out I will be my impartial self and hope that this is a good adaptation of quality material. Maybe this international trailer will help. The cast includes Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Cary Elwes, Andy Serkis and many more. Find it in 2D and 3D theaters beginning December 23.
Jenna Fischer needs A Little Help
Jenna Fischer (The Office) stars in this debut feature from King of Queens creator Michael J. Weithorn. After her husband (Chris O’Donnell) dies, Fischer gets caught up in an elaborate series of lies started by her twelve year-old son (Daniel Yelsky). The film’s supporting cast includes Lesley Ann Warren, Brooke Smith (Fair Game), Aida Turturro (The Sopranos), and Rob Benedict (Waiting). A Little Help is scheduled for release on June 24.
I Don’t Know How She Does It trailer
Sarah Jessica Parker stars in this adaptation of Allison Pearson’s novel as Kate Reddy, a finance executive who struggles to find balance between her work and family. Greg Kinnear plays her husband, and supporting roles are filled by Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, Christina Hendricks, and Jessica Szohr. Doug McGrath (Infamous, Nicholas Nickleby) directs. I Don’t Know How She Does It hits theaters September 16.
Salvation Boulevard trailer
This week we seem to be getting our yearly doses of Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear, as they also star in this comedic look at the lengths a popular pastor (Brosnan) will go to protect his image -- like falsely accusing one of his church members (Kinnear) of murder. George Ratliff (Joshua) directs a cast that includes Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Marisa Tomei, Ciaran Hinds, and Jim Gaffigan. Salvation Boulevard will get a limited release beginning July 15.
The first trailer for The Guard
Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, and Liam Cunningham star in the comedic crime drama about a small town policeman (Gleeson) who teams up with an uptight FBI man (Cheadle) to take down an international drug-smuggling ring. Writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s previous film was Ned Kelly, starring Heath Ledger. The Guard received good notices at Sundance this year. Look for it in theaters July 29.
Takashi Miike: Ace Filmmaker
Takashi Miike can make a film in just about any genre (or a mash up of genres), and he makes them quickly (2-4 per year). Lately he’s been remaking old samurai films. The well reviewed 13 Assassins is in select theaters now, and Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, his first foray into 3D filmmaking, premiered at Cannes last week to average reviews. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Miike spoke of his next film, “It is a very light comedy that I am filming now, a court drama, based on a video game, the Nintendo game DS.” It didn’t take long for the blogoshpere to deduce that the game he is most likely talking about is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The adventure game is an extremely popular title (especially in Japan) that first appeared on the DS and in English translation in 2005. Many iterations have followed, including an iPad/iPhone version in 2010. The story gained more traction when Joystiq posted photos of sets in Kyoto that look like the “Gourd Lake location where that game's fourth case, 'Turnabout Goodbyes,' takes place.” So can Miike work his magic with a Nintendo DS game the same way he has with old samurai films?
The Whistleblower trailer
In this film based on a true story, Rachel Weisz plays Kathryn Bolkovac, a cop who joined the UN peacekeeping effort in post-war Bosnia only to expose a cover-up of a sex trafficking scandal. The strong cast includes Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Liam Cunningham, and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock). Written by newcomers Larysa Kondracki and Ellis Kirwin and directed by Kondracki, The Whistleblower premiered at least year’s Toronto International Film Festival to generally positive reviews, and comes to U.S. theaters August 5.
Happy Feet 2 teaser
Director George Miller’s strange career evolution continues with a sequel to his 2006 hit, Happy Feet 77. It’s not that he hasn’t directed sequels before, it’s just that early in his career, those were sequels to Mad Max; lately, however, they have been follow-ups to Babe (Babe: Pig in the City) and now Happy Feet. This time, the story centers around Mumble’s son, Erik, who can’t quite pull off the cool dance moves his father can. The original voice cast (Elijah Wood, Pink, Robin Williams) returns with a few new additions (Sofia Vergara, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon). Happy Feet 2 comes to 2D and 3D theaters November 18.
A Smurfy new trailer for The Smurfs
Well, at least it’s an improvement on previous trailers. The Smurfs stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays (Glee), and Sofia Vergara, plus Hank Azaria as the wizard Gargamel, and a host of voice talent as the little blue creatures (Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Paul Reubens, Kenan Thompson, B.J. Novak, Jeff Foxworthy, etc.). The story transports the Smurfs to New York City, where they try avoid getting hit by cars (Gargamel doesn’t seem to have much luck). Smurf The Smurfs in SmurfD July 29.
One Day UK trailer
Here’s a slightly better trailer from the UK for One Day, the adaptation of the best-selling David Nicholls novel starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Em and Dex. The story revisits their relationship for one day each year over the span of 20 years. Lone Scherfig (An Education) directs. One Day comes to U.S. theaters August 19.
Shark Night 3D trailer
In the tradition of Piranha 3D and Turistas comes the new horror film from David R. Ellis, the director of The Final Destination (which it was not), Asylum, and Snakes on a Plane. Lunch and dinner for the sharks is served in the form of Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left), Joel David Moore (Avatar), Chris Zylka (Kaboom), and Christine Quinn (Humans Versus Zombies). Shark Night is in 3D, so check it out that way, if you’re so moved, when it hits theaters September 2.
Total Recall remake adds to its cast
Heat Vision reported this week that Bill Nighy will rejoin his Underworld director, Len Wiseman, for his remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger hit, Total Recall. Nighy will play Quatto, the leader of the resistance. It was a memorable role played by Marshall Bell (with a small mutant attached to him) in the original. Colin Farrell will take over the Arnold role of Douglas Quaid, while Collider confirms reports that Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale have been cast as well. Beckinsale will play Quaid’s “wife,” Lori, the role filled by Sharon Stone in the original, and Biel will play Melina, Quaid’s love interest in his other life. EW reports that John Cho will play McClane, the slick representative of the fantasy implant company, Rekal. In addition, Bryan Cranston will try to live up to Ronnie Cox’s performance as main baddie, Vilos Cohaagen, and Ethan Hawke is rumored to have a small role. Specifics on whether the new film will follow Philip K. Dick’s story, "We’ll Remember It For You Wholesale," or the 1990 film more closely are unavailable for now, but expect it in theaters August 3, 2012.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana as an avenging assassin, will now be released on August 26.
- Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Zach Braff, will open March 8, 2013.
- Disney’s 1994 animation hit, The Lion King, will be re-released in 3D theaters on September 16.
- The Snow White release date slap fight continued this week with Relativity moving its Untitled Snow White Project (previously titled The Brothers Grimm: Snow White), starring Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer and Lily Collins, to March 16, 2012, almost three months before Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, hits theaters June 1, 2012. To see who’s playing the dwarves in Relativity’s Snow White project, check out THR.
- John Carter from Mars will now be titled John Carter, even though he’s still from Mars. - Deadline
- David O. Russell will not be directing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune after all. This makes sense considering the news two weeks ago about The Silver Lining Playbook. - Variety
- Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) will not direct the live-action remake of the beloved Japanese animation film, Akira. - Deadline
- The suddenly prolific Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, in theaters this weekend), who has already finished shooting another film with Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Barry Pepper, is also planning an IMAX documentary titled Voyage of Time that will be narrated by Brad Pitt and begin with the birth of the universe and end with its final collapse. - 24 Frames
- Director Matthew Vaughn has an idea for a sequel to X-Men: First Class, and it involves the assassination of John F. Kennedy. - HitFix
- Lenny Kravitz has been cast as Cinna, the stylist to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss, and Toby Jones will play games announcer, Claudius Templesmith, in The Hunger Games. - Deadline
- Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) will star as Tybalt in the latest film version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, to be directed by Carlo Carlie (Flight of the Innocent) and starring Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. - Variety
- Emma Roberts (Scream 4), Elijah Wood, Chris Messina (Monogamy), and Ari Graynor (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) have joined Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg in the romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever. - Variety & Heat Vision
- Richard Jenkins will re-team with his Happythankyoumoreplease director, Josh Radnor, for Liberal Arts, also starring Sundance 2011 phenom Elizabeth Olsen. - Variety
- Jeff Bridges has joined Ryan Reynolds as a fellow deceased cop still fighting crime in the film adaptation of the comic R.I.P.D., to be directed by Robert Schwentke (RED). - The Wrap
- Director Matt Reeves (Let Me In) is now attached to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, another in a long line of Frankenstein films in development. - Deadline
- Cary Fukunaga, the director of 2011’s Jane Eyre, will direct No Blood, No Guts, No Glory, a fictionalized account of the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase when 20 Union soldiers stole a train and wreaked havoc on the rail and telegraph system between Georgia and Tennessee. - Variety
- Kim Basinger, Heather Graham, Catherine O'Hara and Jason Patric will star in the dark comedy Fortune about “a petty thief who pledges to save his life after a roadside killing; and two financially destitute sisters who grudgingly team up to track down a female mobster for bounty.” Clark Johnson (S.W.A.T., The Wire) will direct.- Variety
- Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) will direct a film about the Tri-Border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The film will be written by Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) and explore the crime organizations and police forces of the area though the eyes of a DEA agent. - Heat Vision
- Stephen Dorff (Somewhere) will star in Boot Tracks as an ex-convict who teams up with a porn star played by Michelle Monaghan to fulfill a promise he made to his jail buddy played by Ray Winstone. - Variety
- Michael Mann is in early talks (his schedule is already busy) to direct an adaptation of the book Go Like Hell, the story of Ford vs Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans. - Deadline