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

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  • Publish Date: April 27, 2012

The first trailer for John Hillcoat’s Lawless

Selected to play in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Lawless (previously titled The Wettest County) is an adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s book The Wettest County in the World about his family’s bootlegging past in Franklin County, Virginia. The Bondourant brothers at the center of the story are played by Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, and Jason Clarke. They are threatened by both sides of the law: Guy Pearce plays a ruthless lawman, and Gary Oldman plays a gangster who’s handy with a Thompson gun. Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska try to balance out the testosterone-filled screen, and John Hillcoat (The Road 64) directs from a script by Nick Cave, who previously wrote and scored Hillcoat’s The Proposition 73. Look for Lawless in theaters beginning August 31st.

Hope Springs eternal for Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones

In Hope Springs, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play Kay and Arnold Soames, a couple who have been married for 31 years and no longer have that “spark.” Kay’s solution is a week of intense marriage counseling in a picturesque Maine town with specialist Steve Carell. Director David Frankel previously worked with Streep on The Devil Wears Prada 62, but his last outing as director, the bird-watching dramedy The Big Year 53, did not catch on with viewers. Maybe a strong cast and an August 10th release date will bring in a crowd wanting something funny and familiar after a summer full of explosions.

Catherine Keener finds Peace, Love & Misunderstanding

Catherine Keener is an uptight New York City lawyer going through a divorce, and Jane Fonda is her mother, a hippie who lives on a farmhouse, in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding. When Keener brings her two teenagers (Elizabeth Olsen and Nat Wolff) for a visit, mom tries to have a positive influence on their lives. Possible love interests pop up for Keener (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Olsen (Chace Crawford), and Wolff (Marissa O’Donnell) in a film that will probably not rank with Bruce Beresford’s best (Tender Mercies). See it in limited release beginning June 8th.

Cannes lineup

While we were away last week, the Cannes Film Festival announced it’s 2012 lineup. We already knew that Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival, and now we know it will compete as well. Also screening in competition are David Cronenberg’s Don DeLillo adaptation Cosmopolis, John Hillcoat’s Lawless, Andrew Dominik’s Brad Pitt-starring Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), Walter Salles’ On the Road, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone starring Marion Cotillard, Michael Haneke’s Amour, Abbas Kiarostami's Like Someone In Love, and MUD by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter 85). Other international directors of note with films in competition are Ken Loach, who won the Palm d’Or in 2006 for The Wind that Shakes the Barley 82, Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, who won the Palm d’Or in 2007 for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days 97, Thomas Vinterberg, who won the Jury Prize in 1998 for The Celebration, and Carlos Reygadas, whose first three features (Japan 76, Battle in Heaven 54, and Silent Light 79) all played at Cannes. It’s a strong field that promises some great new films. See the full list of films here; the festival kicks off May 16th.

A new Brave trailer and a Pixar update

Pixar’s Brave comes to theaters on June 22nd, and the latest trailer (below) offers the most extensive look yet at what could be a return to critically acclaimed form for the studio after last year's detour in Cars 2 57. The beginning of the spot is narrated by Kelly Macdonald’s Princess Merida as she introduces her family (Emma Thompson voices her mother, Queen Elinor, and Billy Connolly provides the voice of King Fergus), but it eventually expands to reveal a little more about the story. Meanwhile, this week at CinemaCon, Pixar also provided some news on its future projects. As Variety reports, Pixar announced a new film to be directed by Toy Story 3 92 helmer Lee Unkrich that will revolve around the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. The studio also revealed that its planned dinosaur movie will be titled The Good Dinosaur and will come to theaters May 30, 2014, though you'll have to wait until June 19, 2015 to see Pete Docter’s The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind.

A teaser trailer for Hotel Transylvania

In Hotel Transylvania, Dracula has gathered all his monster friends—Frankenstein and his bride, The Mummy, Quasimodo, The Invisible Man, a family of werewolves—to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday, but his plans are disrupted when an ordinary guy crashes the party and expresses interest in Mavis. The latest teaser avoids any plot details in favor of a quick introduction to the world of the film. That’s My Boy father and son, Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, voice Dracula and regular guy Jonathan respectively, and Selena Gomez (Mavis), Kevin James (Frankenstein), David Spade (Quasimodo), Cee Lo Green (Murray the Mummy), and Fran Drescher (the Bride of Frankenstein) also lend their voice talent to the film that opens on September 21.

Two new trailers for G.I. Joe Retaliation

If it’s action you want, it’s action you’ll get in these two new trailers for Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Chu looks to have graduated quite comfortably from the dancing of Step Up 2: The Streets 50 and Step Up 3D 45 to the action of Ray Park’s Snake Eyes and Elodie Yung’s Jinx battling Cobra ninjas on the side of a mountain. Channing Tatum might not last the first fifteen minutes of the film, but it looks like Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock, Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton, Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye, and D.J. Cotrona as Flint can handle taking on Ray Stevenson as Firefly, Byung-hun Lee as Storm Shadow, and Arnold Vosloo as Zartan, who has taken over the presidency from Jonathan Pryce. Check it out in theaters beginning June 29th.

Two more projects not involving tattoos or piercings for Rooney Mara

Since she starred in David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 71, Rooney Mara has been cast in Terence Malick’s Austin music scene-set love story Lawless (which is now looking for a new title since he loaned it to John Hillcoat for The Wettest County), and she is currently shooting Steven Soderbergh’s The Bitter Pill (an early photo can be found here). This week, she booked two more parts, and the first is with another major director: Spike Jonze. Variety reports that Mara will replace Carey Mulligan, who had to back out due to scheduling conflicts, in the director's next project, which is thought to revolve around “a man who falls in love with the voice of a computer.” Mara’s role is unknown, but she will join a cast that already includes Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Samantha Morton. THR also reports that Mara has been cast in an upcoming adaptation of Colm Toibin's best-selling novel Brooklyn that will be scripted by novelist (and screenwriter) Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About A Boy). Mara will play the lead in a story “set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s about a young woman torn between her family in Ireland and the American who wins her heart.” What does this mean for those Dragon Tattoo sequels? Well, it’s not a good sign, but Mara seems to be doing just fine.

A beautiful trailer for Samsara

If you see one film in the theater this year, Samsara might be the one to see. Directed and shot in 70mm by Ron Fricke, the director of Baraka and the cinematographer/editor of Koyaanisqatsi, Samsara is another visual feast shot in twenty-five countries over five years. See it in theaters this August.

Hick red-band trailer

Hick is director Derick Martini’s adaptation of Andrea Portes’ coming-of-age novel about a young girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who hitchhikes her way to Las Vegas to escape her neglectful parents. Along the way she meets a questionable character played by Eddie Redmayne before settling with Blake Lively’s Glenda, a hard-living grifter. Juliette Lewis plays Moretz’s drunkard of a mom, and Alec Baldwin has a small role. Martini previously directed Lymelife 64, but early reviews have not been kind to this one. Hick comes to theaters May 11th.

Watch a few random minutes from Moonrise Kingdom

Warning! Do not watch the clips below if you’re looking for context or a narrative arc or even the film’s internal rhythm. They’re just a collection of scenes from Wes Anderson’s upcoming Moonrise Kingdom, the 1960s-set story of two young lovers (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman) who run away together. If you decide to watch them, you’ll see Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and Jason Schwartzman in what can only be a Wes Anderson film.

The first two minutes of The Dictator

Still wondering if you should check out Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator when it comes to theaters May 16th? Check out the first two minutes below, and see if you’re swayed one way or the other. Aladeen?

Two featurettes for two major releases

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows are two of the most highly anticipated films of the summer, and both could be a return to form for their esteemed directors. Prometheus lands in 2D and 3D theaters on June 8th, and Dark Shadows reveals itself on May 11th.

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

  • Francis Lawrence (Water for Elephants, I Am Legend) will direct the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. - THR
  • Keanu Reeve’s samurai flick, 47 Ronin, will now hit theaters on February 8, 2013 instead of this fall.
  • Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer will be released in New York on August 10th before spreading to 30 other cities. - Deadline
  • Guy Pearce will play Aldrich Killian in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, and Jessica Chastain is also in talks to join (possibly as Killian’s co-scientist Maya Hansen?). - Variety & Deadline
  • Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, is now a two-part film eyeing a Cannes 2013 debut. - The Playlist/Screen Daily
  • Jennifer Lawrence is in talks to star in an adaptation of Jeanette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle.  - Deadline
  • Gina Carano (Haywire) could join the crew of Fast & Furious 6. - Heat Vision
  • Sean Penn could be joining Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, and Adam Scott in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. - Deadline
  • Jennifer Connelly and Saoirse Ronan have joined Russell Crowe in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. - THR
  • Charlie Kaufman, who’s currently directing his second feature (the musical/Hollywood satire Frank or Francis), has been hired by Lionsgate to adapt the first book in the Carnegie Medal-winning young adult series Chaos Walking.- Deadline
  • Michael Sheen will play Tina Fey’s boyfriend (as he did on 30 Rock) in Admission, a comedy to be directed by Paul Weitz (Being Flynn) and also starring Paul Rudd. - THR
  • Despite all his troubles, Mel Gibson could join Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. - Deadline
  • Colin Farrell is in talks to lead Akiva Goldsman’s adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel Winter’s Tale. - Variety
  • Armie Hammer, Ben Kingsley, John Malkovich, Michael Sheen and Teresa Palmer will star in the crime thriller Cut Bank about “a young auto mechanic and former high school football star who wants to get the hell out” of the titular Montana town. - Deadline
  • Owen Wilson will star in The Coup, a thriller that follows “an American family that moves to Southeast Asia and finds themselves embroiled in a violent coup where rebels mercilessly attack the city.” The film will be directed by John Erick Dowdle (Devil). - Deadline
  • Josh Gad is in talks to play Steve Wozniak opposite Ashton Kutcher in the indie biopic Jobs. - THR
  • Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Star Trek) will write the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. - Deadline
  • Jack White will score Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger. - Variety
  • Director Tate Taylor’s follow-up to The Help will be a big screen adaptation of the 2002 British miniseries The Jury, which follows the lives of jurors on a case involving “a young Sikh student charged with murdering a classmate tormenter.” - Deadline
  • The Duplass brothers will adapt Tony D’Souza’s novel Mule for director Todd Phillips. The story follows a young couple struggling with a surprise pregnancy during the economic downturn who turn to transporting marijuana across the country to make money. - Deadline
  • Adam McKay is in talks to direct Will Smith and Denzel Washington in a remake of Uptown Saturday Night, the 1974 comedy starring Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier as pals who must track down the criminals who steal Poitier’s wallet because it contains a winning lottery ticket. - Deadline
  • Check out Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, and Jamie Foxx in the latest Django Unchained photos. - EW

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