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

  • Publish Date: August 19, 2011
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The first look at Roman Polanski's Carnage

Carnage is Roman Polanksi’s adaptation of the the Tony-winning play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza. The dark comedy revolves around two sets of parents who meet to discuss their sons' involvement in a schoolyard fight. While the Broadway production boasted a stellar cast headed by James Gandolfini and Hope Davis, Polanski has signed up a new group of stars, including Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodi Foster, and John C. Reilly, for his film version, which will come to theaters December 16.

Nic Cage rides again in Spirit of Vengeance

Nicolas Cage returns as Marvel hero Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, that sequel to 2007's Ghost Rider 35 you must have been clamoring for. The action takes place in eastern Europe, with Ciaran Hinds assuming the position of devil held in the first film by Peter Fonda. The cast is rounded out by Idris Elba, Johnny Whitworth and Christopher Lambert, with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank 57) taking over as directors. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance comes to theaters in 3D beginning February 17, 2012.

Ridley Scott agrees to direct another Blade Runner

Yesterday, in a surprise to many that know the long history of the Blade Runner property, Deadline reported that Ridley Scott would direct a new Blade Runner movie for Alcon Entertainment producing partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. After the official press release, 24 Frames interviewed Kosove about landing Scott, and got an update on the film’s potential production schedule: “The soonest Kosove could see the movie beginning shooting is early 2013—it would take at least 18 months to hire a writer, get a script in working order under Scott's guidance, cast the film and move into production.” In other words, don’t expect the film before 2014. And you probably shouldn't expect Harrison Ford’s involvement, either; added Kosove, “In no way do I speak for Ridley Scott, but if you're asking me will this movie have anything to do with Harrison Ford, the answer is no. This is a total reinvention, and in my mind that means doing everything fresh, including casting.” Scott is currently working on Prometheus, his Alien-influenced (but not really a prequel) thriller starring Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Patrick WIlson, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce. In other Scott family news, brother Tony is in talks to remake Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 classic The Wild Bunch with a script by Brian Helgeland, who wrote Ridley’s Robin Hood 53. Deadline also reports that Tony is interested in Hell’s Angels from screenwriter Scott Frank. That film is based on the River Run Riots of 2002 when a war erupted between the Angels and “rival biker gang The Mongols” in the Harrah’s Laughlin casino.

Gerard Butler is the Machine Gun Preacher

This true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing Hell's Angles biker who found god and opened a orphanage in Sudan, stars Gerard Butler as Childers, Michelle Monaghan as his wife, Madeline Carroll as his daughter, plus Michael Shannon and Souleymane Sy Savane (Goodbye Solo). Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace 58) directs from a script by Jason Keller. Machine Gun Preacher comes to theaters September 23.

A first look at Underworld: Awakening

This fourth film in the vampires vs. Lycans series (following Underworld 42, Underworld: Evolution 36, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans 44) brings back original star Kate Beckinsale as Selene after she sat out the last film. Swedish directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein direct this very blue and, yes, 3D installment about a newly escaped Selene discovering a world where humans hunt both vampires and Lycans. The cast includes Charles Dance, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rea, Sandrine Holt, and India Eisley. Underworld: Awakening hits theaters January 20, 2012.

Cage and Kidman make for an odd couple in Trespass

Joel Schumacher’s last movie (Twelve 22) was, like many of the director's recent films, neither a critical nor a commercial success, but he was able to convince Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage (who probably doesn't take a whole lot of convincing, since he’s Nicolas Cage) to star as husband and wife in his latest movie, Trespass. The home invasion story also stars Liana Liberato (Trust), Cam Gigandet, and Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom). Trespass will get a simultaneous theater and VOD release on October 14.

The Hysteria trailer tries to create some buzz

Hysteria: sounds serious. Well, don’t let the title fool you. Tanya Wexler’s Victorian-era comedy tells the story of the invention of the first electro-mechanical vibrator. It seems the cases of hysteria were just too numerous for a doctor’s hands to relieve, so Mortimer Granville sought a solution. Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, and Felicity Jones star. Hysteria premieres at TIFF next month, but no U.S. release date has been set.

The official teaser trailer for The Woman in Black

Daniel Radcliffe’s post-Harry Potter film work begins with this gothic-horror thriller based on Susan Hill’s well regarded 1983 book of the same name. Radcliffe stars as a lawyer who travels to a remote village to wrap up the affairs of a deceased client, only to be haunted by a scorned woman’s vengeful ghost. James Watkins (Eden Lake) directs from a script by Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class 65). Look for The Woman in Black in theaters February 3, 2012.

Puncture trailer

Captain America, aka Chris Evans, stars in this legal drama based on the true story of a drug-addicted Houston lawyer who took on a medical supply company after an ER nurse was pricked by a contaminated needle. Brothers Adam and Mark Kassen make their feature directorial debut, and Mark stars as Evan’s law firm partner. Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers) stars as the nurse. Puncture will get a limited release beginning September 23.

The latest trailer for Tarsem Singh’s Immortals

Gods vs. Titans. Superman vs Mickey Rourke. The new trailer for Immortals sets up the conflicts at the heart of the effects-heavy film starring Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, Freida Pinto, Kellan Lutz, Stephen Dorff, and John Hurt. Director Tarsem Singh (The Cell 40, The Fall 64) has a way with visuals and short titles. Check out Immortals when it hits 2D and 3D theaters November 11.

Who will be stripping in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike?

Steven Soderbergh quickly continues to put together his cast for Magic Mike, the stripper drama based on the early life of star Channing Tatum. Alex Pettyfer has already been cast as a young stripper that Tatum’s Magic Mike mentors, and Variety reports that Matthew McConaughey will play “Dallas, a former exotic dancer who now owns and operates Xquisite, the club where Magic Mike works.” In addition, Deadline has Matt Bomer (White Collar) joining the cast, and EW has Joe Manganiello (True Blood) playing another stripper, the aptly named Big Dick Richie. So with all these six-packs dancing around, who will provide a feminine touch to the proceedings? E!’s Ted Casablanca reveals that Riley Keough (The Runaways) beat out Lindsay Lohan to play Pettyfer’s troubled girlfriend. The busy Soderbergh has Contagion and Haywire hitting screens over the next five months and also plans to make The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with George Clooney and Liberace with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Michael Winterbottom follows comedy with tragedy

Like Soderbergh, Michael Winterbottom is one of the most prolific directors working today. He also seems to be a fan of Thomas Hardy’s novels, having already directed The Claim 62, based on The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Jude 68, based on Jude the Obscure. His latest film, following this year’s The Trip 82, is a modern, India-set adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The tragic love story involves Freida Pinto’s Trishna, the daughter of an auto rickshaw owner and Riz Ahmed’s Jay, the son of a property developer. Trishna will premiere at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, but no U.S. release date has been set.

A second look at a familiar Footloose

Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow 68, Black Snake Moan 52) directs this remake of the classic 1984 dance film Footloose that starred Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Chris Penn and John Lithgow, and he doesn’t seem to be straying too far from the successful formula since many scenes look awfully familiar. Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Miles Teller, and Dennis Quaid replace the original stars in the updated version of Footloose, arriving October 14.

A red band trailer for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Jason Sudeikis wants to have one last end-of-the-summer blow out before his family’s home is sold, so he tries to convince his friends to ... have an orgy. Awkward? Sure, but so are foot cramps when you’re trying to have sex. The cast includes Will Forte, Lake Bell, Tyler Labine, Lucy Punch, Martin Starr, Leslie Bibb and Don Johnson. King of the Hill and Letterman writers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck make their directorial debut. Celebrate your Labor Day weekend with a A Good Old Fashioned Orgy beginning September 2.

The Lone Ranger: Hi-yo, Silver! Hold on!

Re-teaming Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski after their success with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was probably a no-brainer for Disney, but the company has since had second thoughts about the pair’s latest venture, an update of The Lone Ranger originally scheduled for a Christmas 2012 release. According to Deadline, the film’s budget needs to be reduced from $250 million to $200 million for the film to move forward. THR reports that Verbinski is reworking the script to reduce costs, and that he and “[producer Jerry] Bruckheimer are said to have given up a total of $10 million from their fees.” Another big issue is “three massive action set pieces involving trains ... including one described as the biggest train sequence in film history.” It also doesn’t help that the most recent big budget western flick, Cowboys & Aliens 50, was a box office disappointment. Reached via email, Depp replied cryptically to a LA Times inquiry, saying “I think everything will work out as it should.”

Texas Killing Fields trailer

Ami Canaan Mann, Michael Mann’s daughter, makes her feature directing debut with this story of a small town Texas homicide detective and a transplanted New York City cop who try to track down a serial killer before he takes another victim. Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan star as the cops. The cast also includes Chloe Moretz, Jessica Chastain, Stephen Graham, and Jason Clarke. Texas Killing Fields will get a limited release beginning October 7.

Red Tails trailer and poster

This latest trailer for the George Lucas-produced Red Tails ups the action but doesn’t improve on the rather stodgy dialogue. The film tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American pilots to fly combat missions in World War II, and stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Michael B. Jordan, Method Man, Gerald McRaney and Bryan Cranston. Directed by TV veteran Anthony Hemingway, Red Tails hits theaters January 20, 2012. Until then, check out the new poster.

James Gray wants Brad Pitt as his Gray Man

Brad Pitt, who is currently filming World War Z and recently wrapped Cogan’s Trade, is, according to Variety, in negotiations to star as an assassin trying to save the life of his handler and his family in The Gray Man. The film is based on Mark Greaney’s book of the same name, and James Gray (Two Lovers 74) will direct. No word yet on when production will begin.

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

  • Check out some cool on-set photos from famous movies. - Urban Savior
  • Bryan Cranston plans to write and direct an adaptation of the David Wiltse novel Home Again, a murder-mystery and “very strong father-son story” about an ex-FBI agent who moves his family to small town Nebraska. -
  • Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go 69) might direct an updated live-action version of Cinderella. - Deadline
  • Mike Meyers is ready for Austin Powers 4. Are you? - HitFix
  • Rosamund Pike (An Education) beat out Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Alexa Davalos (Clash of the Titans) to star opposite Tom Cruise in Christopher McQuarrie's adaptation of Lee Child's One Shot. Pike will play the defense attorney for the accused man Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher is trying to prove innocent. - Deadline
  • Kevin Smith’s next (last?) film, Hit Somebody, will be released in two parts. - Hour Community & /Film
  • Bradley Cooper will not star in The Crow. Channing Tatum and Mark Wahlberg are possible replacements. - Heat Vision
  • Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy will star in the comedy ID Theft. - Deadline
  • Walton Goggins (Justified) has joined G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation - Variety
  • Rosemarie Dewitt (Rachel Getting Married) will play Ben Stiller’s wife in the comedy Neighborhood Watch, and Jonah Hill might also join the cast. - Heat Vision & Vulture
  • Steve McQueen (Hunger 82) will direct Chiwetel Ejiofor in Twelve Years a Slave, the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who in 1853 was kidnapped and forced to be a slave. - THR
  • Anna Paquin and Ryan Phillippe will star in Straight A’s for director James Cox (Wonderland 43). - Variety
  • David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, starring Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, will be released November 23.
  • The Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand comedy My Mother’s Curse has been moved from a late March 2012 release date to November 2, 2012.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the third in the series, will be released August 8, 2012.
  • Dakota Fanning will star as Euphemia Gray, the young wife of the famous art critic John Ruskin, in the Emma Thompson-scripted Effie. The marriage was notoriously bad and annulled in 1854 after Effie fell for Ruskin’s protege, the painter John Everett Millais. - Deadline
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) will star in the comedy A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce). - Deadline
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu will direct an adaptation of Michael Punke’s The Revenant, the story of a fur trapper in the 1800s who is left for dead but survives to seek revenge. - The Wrap
  • Brian De Palma will direct the thriller The Key Man. - Deadline
  • Check out this clip of famous walking scenes using the Dardennes' favorite camera angle. How many movies do you recognize?

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