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

  • Publish Date: December 6, 2013
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A first look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and Emma Stone is back as Gwen Stacy, but director Marc Webb’s sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man features a whole new set of villains. Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dean DeHaan) are all up to no good as the director and cast explain in the trailer breakdown. Watch the first trailer below and listen to the commentary to prepare for the May 2, 2014 release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Her again

This week, the National Board of Review announced awards for both director Spike Jonze and his film, Her, boosting his and the film’s chances for further recognition in the coming months. The story of love in the near future between Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and an advanced operating system named Samantha also earned Scarlett Johansson best actress accolades at the Rome Film Festival for her voice-only role (though her lack of screen time means that she won’t be eligible for a Golden Globe). The film opens in select theaters on December 18th (and nationwide on January 10, 2014), with Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Olivia Wilde in supporting roles.

The Monuments Men prepare for war

To allow more time for effects work, George Clooney’s The Monuments Men was pushed from its original December release date to February 7, 2014. The film hits the UK a week later, and the trailer below sells the film first as an Ocean’s 11 get-the-band-back-together caper and then as a slightly more serious war film. Clooney has admitted to just wanting to make an entertaining picture, and by the looks of it, he has. An adaptation of Robert M. Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, the film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett.

Wonder Woman joins Superman and Batman

Warner Bros. announced this week that Gal Gadot, a former Miss Israel and Gisele in Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast & Furious 6, will play Wonder Woman alongside Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel. Director Zack Snyder noted, "Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character." Heat Vision rounds up a few Twitter reactions and asks what role Wonder Woman will play in her first big screen appearance, while Variety addresses the Justice League rumors and the possible casting of Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hunter) as the villain.

Dom Hemingway is entertaining (but NSFW)

Jude Law’s foul mouth and bare ass are on display as Dom Hemingway, a violent, safe-cracking ex-con ready to celebrate his freedom with his buddy Dickie (Richard E. Grant). To get the party started, Dom seeks out his boss, Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir), so he can collect his reward for keeping his mouth shut during his twelve years in prison, but when a night of partying gets out of hand, Dom ends up on his daughter’s doorstep. Dom Hemingway, Richard Shepard’s first feature film since 2005’s The Matador, hits theaters on April 4, 2014.

Mia Wasikowska makes Tracks

Mia Wasikowska stars as Robyn Davidson in Tracks, a true tale of Davidson's 1977 trek across 1,700 miles of Australian desert. Accompanied by camels, a dog and, occasionally, National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (played by Girls’ Adam Driver), Davidson’s journey is brought to life by director John Curran (Stone, The Painted Veil) and cinematographer Mandy Walker (Australia). Early reviews have been positive, especially for Wasikowska’s performance, but Tracks does not have a U.S. release date yet.

Shhh ... it's the trailer for In Secret

Based on Émile Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin, In Secret tells the story of Thérèse (Elizabeth Olsen), who is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille (Tom Felton) by her aunt, Madame Raquin (Jessica Lange). When Thérèse begins an affair with Laurent (Oscar Isaac), tragic consequences follow. Reviews out of Cannes were lukewarm for director Charlie Stratton’s feature debut, but the film will hit select theaters on February 21, 2014.

300: Rise of an Empire gets a second trailer

Zack Snyder is in the producer’s chair while Noam Murro (Smart People) takes over directing duties for this sequel to 300. Based on the Frank Miller graphic novel Xerxes, 300: Rise of an Empire takes the battle to the seas as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) and Queen Gorgo, a returning Lena Headey, battle Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and Artemisia (Eva Green, featured heavily in this trailer). Prepare for plenty of slow-motion when 300: Rise of an Empire hits 2D, 3D, and IMAX theaters on March 7, 2014.

Pompeii: let the lava flow

Kit Harington (Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow) plays Milo, an enslaved gladiator who falls for Cassia, a noblewoman played by Emily Browning, in this Titanic-like take on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. As they race to avoid the flow of lava, Milo confronts the Roman Senator (Kiefer Sutherland) responsible for his family’s death and tries to save Cassia’s father Lucretius (Jared Harris). Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Paz Vega also star in this film from director Paul W.S. Anderson, who has two 3D releases in 2014—Resident Evil 6 on September 12th, and Pompeii on February 21st.

The Nurse 3D

When nurse Abbey Russell (Paz de la Huerta) becomes obsessed with new recruit Danni (Katrina Bowden), bodies (and clothes) start dropping and blood begins to flow. Director Doug Aariniokoski (Highlander: Endgame) wrote the script with David Loughery (Lakeview Terrace), and the supporting cast includes Kathleen Turner, Judd Nelson, and Corbin Bleu. Nurse 3D opens February 7, 2014.

Devil’s Due

Newlyweds Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and Allison Miller (Go On) have to deal with a pregnancy that’s a surprise in more ways than one in this crossbreed of Rosemary’s Baby and Paranormal Activity. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (known for their V/H/S segment "10/31/98") direct from a script by Lindsay Devlin and Zoe Green. Devil’s Due hits theaters January 17, 2014.

Nymphomaniac news

Yesterday, Magnolia Pictures announced the U.S. release dates for Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, and today, new posters were released for the two-part release. “Part One” will come to VOD on March 6, 2014, followed by a theatrical release on March 21st. “Part Two” will be available On Demand beginning April 3rd, and will come to theaters on April 18th. (The films will make their world debuts in Denmark on Christmas Day.) While we were away last week, a clip was released for "Chapter 6: The Eastern & Western Church (The Silent Duck)," which was described thusly: “The Eastern Church is often referred to as the Church of Joy, and the Western Church as the Church of Suffering. Should you make a mental journey from Rome eastwards, you'll find that you move away from guilt and pain, and towards light and joy. However, what Joe comes to learn is that pain and pleasure can be closer than you'd think.” As usual, the typical Nymphomaniac NSFW warning applies.

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

  • With the passing of Paul Walker, Universal announced that they have shut down production on Fast & Furious 7. Universal also released a video tribute to Walker that can be seen here.
  • Sundance has announced the various lineups for its 2014 Film Festival. The dramatic competition includes films directed by John Slattery, Joe Swanberg, and the Gitmo-based drama Camp X-Ray starring Kristen Stewart.
  • Bryan Singer announced that the next X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse, would be released on May 27, 2016. That film follows X-Men: Days of Future Past, due next summer.
  • Warcraft, Duncan Jones’ adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft, will hit theaters on March 11, 2016 with a cast that includes Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Rob Kazinsky, and Dominic Cooper. -
  • Amanda Seyfried will star in the comedy He’s F-ing Perfect. - Variety
  • Judd Apatow’s next film will be Train Wreck starring comedian Amy Schumer. - THR
  • J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) will write and possibly direct a biopic on legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. Chandor already has his next film, A Most Violent Year, lined up with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in the lead roles. - Deadline & THR
  • Zach Galifianakis will replace Jim Carrey and join Owen Wilson in Jared Hess’ true event-based heist comedy Loomis Fargo. - The Wrap
  • Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me) will direct Sacha Baron Cohen in the spy comedy Grimsby. - Variety
  • Marcia Gay Harden will play Christian Grey’s mom in Fifty Shades of Grey. - Variety
  • Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Brie Larson (Short Term 12) are the favorites to play Sarah Conner in the new Terminator film coming to theaters July 1, 2015. - Deadline
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) is in talks to direct a Warner Bros. live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Disney also has a Jungle Book film in development with Jon Favreau directing. - Deadline
  • Peyton Reed (The Break-Up) will direct The Fifth Beatle, the story of The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. - Deadline
  • Kevin Hart will co-write (with Chris Spencer, Harry Ratchford, and Joey Wells) and play LeBron James’ brother in Ballers. - Deadline
  • Dustin Hoffman has joined Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd, Lee Pace, Guillaume Canet, and Jesse Plemons in Stephen Frears’ Lance Armstrong biopic. - Variety

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