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

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  • Publish Date: August 12, 2011

Celebrate Christmas in November with Harold & Kumar

John Cho, Kal Penn, and Neil Patrick Harris return for their third adventure together in this follow-up to 2008’s Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay 57. This time, a now married Harold must find a replacement for his father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree after it somehow burns down, and don’t expect the drug references to end with burning trees. There’s a baby with munchies, a drink-induced claymation trip, and an odd emphasis on 3D. Todd Strauss-Schulson makes his feature directing debut from a script by three-time vets Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas comes to theaters November 4.

A second look at Taylor Lautner in Abduction

Taylor Lautner wants a career after The Twilight Saga comes to an end, and Abduction is his first attempt to convince you he deserves it. Lautner stars as young man who must unravel the mystery of his life after finding his photo on a missing persons website. John Singleton directs, and the strong supporting cast includes Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Nyqvist, and, in what looks to be short-lived parts, Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello. Lilly Collins, the future Snow White, plays the love interest. Abduction hits theaters September 23.

The odds are good that there's a new 50/50 trailer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in this dramedy from The Wackness 61 director Jonathan Levin. The film is based on writer Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer. Seth Rogen plays Gordon-Levitt’s friend, Anna Kendrick plays his therapist, and Anjelica Huston plays his mom. While the film might be a tough sell to audiences (hence this new, more comedy-oriented trailer), early buzz has been very good, and you'll have a chance to check it out when it comes to theaters September 30.

An impressive cast is set to fight in World War Z

Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace 58) has the difficult task of adapting Max Brooks’ novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War for the big screen, but at least he’ll have a strong cast to help him. THR reports that Bryan Cranston will join Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos (The Killing), and James Badge Dale (Rubicon) in the zombie-apocalypse thriller. The film will depart from the book’s structure in which a researcher travels the world collecting the stories of survivors of a war between zombies and humans. The official plot description released this week reveals that Pitt will play Gerry Lane, a UN employee, “who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.” The film has begun production and LatinoReview has some early set photos. Look for it in theaters December 21, 2012.

And now, The Sitter ... with less cursing

There are a few new clips in this green-band trailer for The Sitter, but the trailer follows the basic steps of its red-band predecessor from last week. Jonah Hill plays a reluctant babysitter who’s quick to neglect his duties when he’s promised sex from Ari Graynor. A crazy night ensues—cue obligatory Adventures in Babysitting reference—including a run-in with drug dealers played by Sam Rockwell and J.B. Smoove. David Gordon Green, sticking with comedy for the time being, directs. The Sitter hits theaters December 9.

New Anonymous trailer

When director Roland Emmerich (2012 49) stops destroying the world for a moment, what does he do instead? He tries to destroy the reputation of William Shakespeare. Who wrote all the plays credited to Shakespeare? Emmerich posits that Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, played here by Rhys Ifans, was the man with the pen in his hand. (And you were going to answer "Shakespeare.") John Orloff (A Mighty Heart 74) wrote the screenplay, and the cast includes Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I, Rafe Spall as Shakespeare, and David Thewlis as William Cecil. If you like a good conspiracy theory, see it in theaters October 28.

Robert Redford gets his cast

This week, two casting announcements were made for Robert Redford’s next directorial feature, The Company You Keep. Variety reported that Brit Marling, 2011 Sundance darling and star of Another Earth 65, would be joining the cast, and that was followed by a Deadline report that revealed three more members of the cast - Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, and Richard Jenkins. The film, scripted by Lem Dobbs (The Limey 73) from the novel by Neil Gordon, tells the story of a former Weather Underground member (Redford), who after 30 years of hiding from the FBI is exposed by a young reporter (Shia LaBeouf) and must go on the run. Marling will play the female lead, but details beyond that are unavailable. Jenkins will play a college professor with links to the Weather Underground, while Sarandon and Christie will play former members. Redford’s last directorial effort (The Conspirator 55) failed to excite critics or moviegoers. Lets hope this gets him back on track.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green trailer

Peter Hedges, the writer and director of 2003’s Pieces of April 70 and 2007’s Dan in Real Life 65, takes on both roles again with The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The film is based on a story credited to Ahmet Zappa about a childless couple, played by Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner, who bury a box full of wishes for the child they cannot have, only to have those dreams come true in the form of a young boy. The supporting cast includes Ron Livingston, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Dianne Wiest. Check out the odd trailer for The Odd Life of Timothy Green before it comes to theaters August 15, 2012.

Tanner Hall trailer

Rooney Mara, the future Lisbeth Salander, stars in this coming of age story set at an all-girls boarding school in New England. Written and directed by first-time filmmakers Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesca Gregorini, the film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and is only now getting a limited release on September 9. Georgina King (the upcoming One Day), Brie Larson (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Thomas Everett Scott, Chris Kattan, and Amy Sedaris complete the eclectic cast. Check out the trailer to see if Tanner Hall has been worth the wait.

Jeff Nichols to make Mud

With his Cannes Critics Week Grand Prize Winner, Take Shelter coming to theaters September 30, writer/director Jeff Nichols is already putting the cast together for his next film, Mud. Deadline reports that Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Tye Sheridan (the youngest of the three boys in The Tree of Life) will star in the story “of a charismatic fugitive (McConaughey) and his unlikely friendship with a 14-year-old kid who is determined to help Mud escape from the law and some tough bounty hunters so he can reunite with his soul mate Juniper (Witherspoon).” Chris Pine had been mentioned for the role of Mud, but McConaughey, who has had a bit of a career resurgence since getting out of his rom-com rut by starring in The Lincoln Lawyer 63 and lining up William Friedkin’s Killer Joe and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, got the job. Maybe Witherspoon, after two disappointing films (Water for Elephants 52 and How Do You Know 46), can get back on track as well. No word yet if Michael Shannon, the star of Take Shelter (as well as Nichols’ debut, Shotgun Stories 76), will find time away from playing General Zod to make an appearance in Mud.

Swinging with the Finkels

Trailers can be enticements and warnings. This is the latter. With an odd cast (Martin Freeman, Mandy Moore, Melissa George, Jonathan Silverman, Jerry Stiller) and a tired premise (sexually frustrated couple tries swinging to spice things up), writer/director Jonathan Newman’s debut feature looks to be a surprising choice to make its way across the pond, but maybe the swinging communities of America are just that strong. If in fact you are enticed by what you see, Swinging with the Finkels will be in limited release beginning August 26.

Another look at Like Crazy

A second trailer for Sundance winner Like Crazy debuted this week. It goes into a few more details about the relationship between stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, providing a heartbreaking look at their long-distance relationship. Written by Ben York Jones and Drake Doremus and directed by Doremus (Douchebag 56), Like Crazy comes to theaters October 28.

The Hughes brothers go their separate ways

Having directed four feature films together, their latest being 2010’s The Book of Eli 53, the Hughes brothers will direct their next projects solo. Twitch reports that Albert Hughes, who recently left the live-action Akira adaptation, will direct Motor City, “a revenge film about a small time crook who is framed and sent to jail only to go after those who put him there upon release.” The kicker is that the script supposedly only contains one line of dialogue. Joel Silver is producing, and he wants Captain America himself, Chris Evans, to star. Meanwhile, Allen Hughes will direct Broken City, which Deadline reports just cast Russell Crowe. Crowe joins Mark Wahlberg, who plays “an ex-cop-turned-private detective who is hired by the mayor [the role Crowe will play] to see if his wife is cheating on him. The private eye confirms those suspicions, and when the mayor's wife's cheating partner ends up dead, the private eye immerses himself in the mayor's business and uncovers a real estate scandal that involves the pol dealing himself choice city-owned properties.” It will be good to see Crowe playing a bad guy again, something he hasn’t really done since 3:10 to Yuma.

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

  • Even though The Amazing Spider-Man will not be hitting theaters until July 3, 2012, Sony has already scheduled a sequel for May 2, 2014.
  • The same goes for The Hunger Games, which first hits theaters March 23, 2012. Its sequel, Catching Fire, will follow on November 23, 2013.
  • Disney teased some release dates for new Marvel and Pixar pictures this week. Mystery Marvel movie #1 will hit theaters May 16, 2014 and another will follow June 27, 2014. The Pixar film will come to theaters May 30, 2014. Any guesses on what these might be? A second Captain America? Ant-Man? Doctor Strange?
  • The thriller Parker, based on the Donald Westlake book Flashfire, starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, and Nick Nolte and directed by Taylor Hackford, will hit theaters October 12, 2012.
  • A sequel to The Smurfs has already been planned for an August 2, 2013 release. Mark your calendars. All of them.
  • Texas Killing Fields, directed by Michael Mann’s daughter Ami Canaan Mann and starring Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz, will get a limited release beginning October 7.
  • Stacy Keach will join Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, and Albert Finney (reprising their roles) in Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy. - Variety
  • A Dirty Dancing reboot/remake is happening, and original choreographer Kenny Ortega (This is It) will direct. Deadline has the full press release.
  • Music video vet Hype Williams will direct Lust, a sexual thriller written by Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct). - Variety
  • Matt Dillon will join Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, and Darren Criss (Glee) in the indie comedy Imogene, to be directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) - Deadline
  • Mireille Enos will play Josh Brolin’s wife in Ruben Fleischer’s period crime drama, Gangster Squad. The film stars Sean Penn as gangster Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling as a good cop trying to bring Cohen down. - THR
  • Rose Byrne has replaced Greta Gerwig in Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine follow-up, The Place Beyond the Pines. - Vulture
  • Bruce Willis is in talks to play the original G.I. Joe (General Joe Colton) in Jon M. Chu’s G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation. - Heat Vision
  • A fifth Resident Evil film (Resident Evil: Retribution) will be made. Paul W.S. Anderson will direct, and Milla Jovovich will star again as Alice. - Bloody Disgusting
  • Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to star in an adaptation of the graphic novel 2 Guns. - Deadline
  • The Grey, Joe Carnahan’s follow-up to The A-Team starring Liam Neeson as the leader of a group of stranded oil rig roughnecks trying to survive brutal cold and deadly wolves, will come to theaters January 27, 2012.
  • Check out the character profiles and hear a bit of Trent Reznor’s score at the official website for David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
  • Morgan Freeman has joined the cast of Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me as an ex-magician who exposes the secrets behind his colleagues’ illusions. - Variety
  • Dermot Mulroney will star alongside Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Jackie Weaver in Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, Stoker. - THR
  • David Yates, the director of four Harry Potter films, and Steve Kloves, the writer of all but one, will team up to adapt Stephen King’s The Stand. - HitFix
  • Speaking of Stephen King, Jonathan Demme is planning to write, produce, and direct an adaptation of King's yet-to-be-released time travel novel 11/22/63, which centers on the JFK assassination. - THR
  • Bridget Jones Diary 3 is happening. - EW

Comments (3)

  • MarcDoyle  

    The new Like Crazy trailer makes the film look REALLY good. I'm fired up to see that one.

  • 2hip2beahipster  

    Why the hell are they making another Bourne film?

  • LamontRaymond  

    Wow, those trailers really stink this week. Esp Harold & Kumar, Tanner Hall, and Swinging.... Hopefully this doesn't bode poorly for the months ahead in film. And yeah, Bridget Jones 3 had better be MUCH better than 2, because that sucked.

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