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

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  • Publish Date: February 3, 2012

The second trailer for The Hunger Games

The latest (and last?) trailer for The Hunger Games, which comes to theaters March 23, focuses on Katniss’ motivation for volunteering for the Hunger Games: to protect her sister Prim (Willow Shields). Also featured is Stanley Tucci as the reporter Caesar Flickerman. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, and is directed by Gary Ross, who will also direct the sequel, Catching Fire. It was also announced this week that the film will get a one week run in IMAX theaters after being digitally re-mastered for the format.

A first look at The Cold Light of Day

Superman, John McClane and Ripley (otherwise known as Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, and Sigourney Weaver) star in this action thriller from JCVD 64 director Mabrouk El Mechri. The story revolves around a young American (Cavill) whose family is kidnapped in Spain, leading to the revelation that his father (Willis) works for the CIA. Weaver plays the villain. Check it out in theaters April 6.

The high-bodycount red-band trailer for Bobcat's God Bless America

Bobcat Goldthwait’s directing output has always been interesting—Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie 63, World’s Greatest Dad 69—and his latest looks to add to that body of controversial and divisive work by, well, piling up the bodies. God Bless America tells the story of Frank (Joel Murray) who, being loveless, jobless, fed up with American culture, and recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, decides to go on a killing spree. He only kills those who “deserve it,” of course, and, along the way, he is joined by a teenage girl (Tara Lynne Barr) fascinated by, and willing to participate in, his world view. Check it out on VOD beginning April 6 and in theaters starting May 11.

The trailer for Sundance thriller Red Lights

Reviews were mixed for this thriller at Sundance, but it still got picked up for $4 million dollars by Millennium Entertainment. Red Lights stars Cillian Murphy and Sigourney Weaver as university professors and paranormal investigators whose latest target is a mysterious psychic played by Robert De Niro. Rodrigo Cortés (Buried 65) writes and directs a cast that also includes Elizabeth Olsen, Joely Richardson, Toby Jones, and Craig Roberts. A U.S. release date hasn’t been set yet, but expect it sometime in 2012.

Rooney Mara replaces Blake Lively in Soderbergh's latest

As reported last week, there was trouble with Steve Soderbergh’s latest project, Side Effects. He’d lost some financial backing and rumors were that star Blake Lively was the issue. Well, it looks like the rumors might have been true, as Deadline reports this week that Rooney Mara will take over for Lively. This will be Mara’s first lead role since her Oscar-nominated performance in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 71. She will play Emily Hawkins, a young woman taking prescription drugs to deal with the anxiety and depression related to her husband’s impending release from prison. Channing Tatum will play her husband while Jude Law and Catharine Zeta-Jones co-star as the psychiatrists in charge of her care. THR also reports that since Mara’s addition, Endgame Entertainment has stepped in to help finance the film, which is also reverting to something close to its original title, not The Bitter Pill but Bitter Pill.

Willem Dafoe is The Hunter

Willem Dafoe stars as Martin, a mercenary sent into the wilderness to find the last living Tasmanian tiger, in this thriller based on Julia Leigh’s novel of the same name. You may recognize Leigh’s name from her film directing debut, last year’s Sleeping Beauty 57. But she is not behind the camera for this adaptation of her book; that honor goes to Daniel Nettheim. He’s gathered a solid cat that includes Sam Neill and Frances O’Connor. The Hunter comes to iTunes March 2 and North American theaters on April 6.

A first look at the Oscar-nominated doc Undefeated

Admittedly, there’s been a lot of grumbling about this year’s (and well almost every year’s) Academy nominees for best documentary feature, most notably about The Interrupters 86 being left out. (That movie, by the way, airs on PBS on February 14). But instead of bemoaning those not recognized, let's praise a little-seen documentary that did get nominated. Sure, Undefeated may look like a documentary about Friday Night Light’s Coach Taylor, but it also looks pretty affecting. Set in Memphis, Tennessee, the film chronicles the Manassas Tigers’ 2009 football season. Check it out in theaters beginning February 17.

Russell Crowe is a wanted man ... again

A trio of projects announced their desire to cast Russell Crowe this week. The first, and seemingly the most certain, was Akiva Goldsman’s directing debut, Winter’s Tale, based on Mark Helprin's 1983 novel. Vulture revealed that Crowe will play the main villain, a gangster boss trying to kill the main character (which has not yet been cast). Will Smith will play the role of a judge. While this role seems confirmed (if the movie can get into production), the other roles mentioned for Crowe this week are just speculation. First, Deadline reported that Darren Aronofsky wants Crowe to play the title character in Noah, his biblical epic. Crowe’s name is the first to surface since Christian Bale got wrapped up in two Terrence Malick films and couldn’t find time to do Noah. Liam Neeson is also wanted for a role in the film. Following that news was Variety’s Jeff Sneider with a tweet that read, “Sure, Russell Crowe, MIGHT star in Aronofsky's NOAH... but do you know what else he MIGHT star in? Three words: Ro. Bo. Cop.” Seems like a long shot, but MGM did hire Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) this week to work on the script for the Robocop remake for director Jose Padilha (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within 71). If you were Russell Crowe, which would you choose?

I'm tired of these monkey-fighting Turtles on this Monday to Friday plane

CBS Films' 7500 is a trapped-in-a-plane horror film from Takashi Shimizu, director of both Ju-on: The Grudge 48 (and its English counterpart The Grudge 49) and The Grudge 2 33, and it stars Jamie Chung, Leslie Bibb, Turtle (aka Jerry Ferrara), Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, and Scout Taylor Compton. They have the unfortunate task of trying to survive on a plane for ten hours while something (no, not a snake) runs wild. 7500 hits theaters August 31.

Mel Gibson is the gringo in Get the Gringo

It has been a tough year for Mel Gibson. There were the nasty phone calls with his girlfriend, the losing of half his fortune to his now ex-wife, the ousting from the cast of The Hangover Part II 44, and the disappointing box office performance of The Beaver 60 (which he was actually quite good in). Now, his latest film is getting a straight-to-VOD release on Direct TV. As Deadline explains, Get the Gringo, re-titled from its original How I Spent My Summer Vacation, tracks the exploits of Gibson’s Driver, “who, during a high-speed car chase with the U.S. Border Patrol and a bleeding body in his back seat, crashes into the border wall as he tries to escape.” He’s taken prisoner by the Mexican police and eventually helped out by a 10-year-old boy. Peter Stormare plays a supporting role. Check out the trailer below.

Ridley Scott and Joe Carnahan vie for the title of Man with the Most Projects

While he’s finishing Prometheus and already attached to a Blade Runner sequel, a movie based on the board game Monopoly (no word yet on how he'll address the controversial Free Parking rule), Reykjavik (about the Cold War summit between Reagan and Gorbachev), and projects with Angelina Jolie (a Gertrude Bell biopic), Natalie Portman (about the fashion house Gucci), and Gerard Butler (about British army officer/mercenary Simon Mann), Deadline reports that Ridley Scott’s next film could possibly, maybe, be The Counselor, Cormac McCarthy’s spec screenplay about “a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe in to the drug business without getting sucked down.” Has there ever been a better (potential) match of septuagenarians? Probably not. Meanwhile, Joe Carnahan, much like Ridley Scott, has many projects on his plate, including James Ellroy’s White Jazz and the Pablo Escobar pic Killing Pablo, and 24 Frames reports that he has added a remake of Death Wish to his to do list. Carnahan later confirmed it in several tweets: “Guys. I'm doing 'Death Wish.' But this version is a re-imagining of the book and set in present day Los Angeles. The L.A. of 'Collateral.'... It's on buses, cabs, metro trains. I want to show an unseen version of L.A. L.A. on foot. Prowling. Hunting. The vast emptiness of downtown... The only role I'm writing in 'Death Wish' which will mark the ONE time I've ever written exclusively for an actor, will be for @FrankGrillo.”

And now, a word from your Super Bowl sponsors

We know that you will be watching Super Bowl XLVI this Sunday on NBC strictly for the ads. But recent tradition has many Super Bowl commercials and trailers premiering on the internet prior to the big game. This year, we have Ferris Bueller selling Hondas, the odd combination of a dog’s struggle with weight loss and Star Wars selling Volkswagens, and new (but short) trailers for John Carter, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and The Avengers.

David Lynch's coffee will freak you out

And while we’re on the subject of commercials, David Lynch has made a very David Lynchian commercial for his own line of coffee. See it below, courtesy of THR.

More films coming from Hasbro

Stretch Armstrong, the action figure you could twist into any shape and it would return to its original form, has survived Hollywood development hell and ended up at Relativity after originally being set up at Universal as a Taylor Lautner vehicle (thanks to the performance of Abduction 25, Lautner is no longer attached). THR has the original report, and Deadline has the press release which announces a release date of April 11, 2014. Mark you calendars now. Hasbro, Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison productions also announced this week that beloved (by 4-year-olds) board game Candy Land will now be an Adam Sandler vehicle. Sandler will star and is in talks to write the script with Robert Smigel, though you'd think a Candy Land movie would pretty much write itself. Kevin Lima (Enchanted 75) is set to direct. Who would you like to see cast as Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Mr. Mint, and King Candy? Are David Spade, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and Kevin James already cast?

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

  • Justin Timberlake will play a scout and potential love interest for Amy Adams in the Clint Eastwood-starring baseball drama Trouble with the Curve, which will come to theaters September 28. - Variety
  • Oliver Stone’s Savages, starring Blake Lively, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta and Salma Hayek, will now hit theaters on July 6 after originally being scheduled for a fall release.
  • Sara Jessica Parker will play Gloria Steinem in Lovelace, a role previously slated for Demi Moore. - Variety
  • John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) will write and direct an adaptation of John Grisham’s The Partner - Deadline
  • Elizabeth Banks and Paul Reubens have joined Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, Kevin Kline, and Catherine Keener in Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis. - THR
  • Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence will star in an adaptation of Ron Rash’s novel Serena for director Susan Bier (In a Better World). The story revolves around a young couple in 1929 North Carolina with ambitions of building a timber empire. - Vulture
  • Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton, and John Hurt will star in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive. - THR
  • Matthew Vaughn will direct the sequel to his own X-Men: First Class. Will it involve the Kennedy assassination as rumored? - Deadline
  • Vera Farmiga will play Fleetwood Mac singer/keyboardist Christine McVie opposite Aaron Eckhart in The Drummer, the biopic of the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson. Their love inspired her to write the hit “Hold Me,” which has an awesome video. - Variety
  • John Turteltaub (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) will direct a remake of the 2009 Israeli comedy A Matter of Size. Check out the original’s trailer here. - THR
  • Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) has selected Samantha Barks to play Eponine in his musical adaptation of Les Miserables. Her experience playing the role twice on stage helped her beat out the more famous names of Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele and Evan Rachel Wood. She joins Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Eddie Redmayne. - Variety
  • Richard Ayoade will follow-up 2011‘s Submarine with a loose, modern adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Double with Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. - THR
  • Colin Firth with play private investigator Ron Lax in Atom Egoyan’s take on the West Memphis Three story. Reese Witherspoon has already signed on to play Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the murdered boys who comes to believe Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are innocent. - Deadline
  • Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin will star in Stand Up Guys, an action comedy about “two aging criminals, one of whom has been hired to kill his friend.” Fisher Stevens will direct. - THR
  • John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) will star in Switch, Elmore Leonard’s prequel to Rum Punch, which was the basis for Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Hawkes and Bey will play younger versions of Robert De Niro’s Louis Gara and Samuel L. Jackson’s Ordell Robbie. - Variety
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Carey Mulligan, Amy Adams, and Samantha Morton are all attached to the latest Spike Jonze project which was written by him and centers on a man who falls in love with the Siri-like voice of a computer. - Deadline
  • Kate Hudson will star in Everly as “a down-on-her-luck woman, stuck in her apartment, fending off waves of assassins sent by her ex, a dangerous mob boss.” - Variety
  • Gary Oldman is in talks to play the villain in Albert Hughes’ Motor City. Dominic Cooper stars as a falsely convicted petty criminal who, upon his release from prison, is bent on revenge and a reunion with the woman he loves (Amber Heard). - Heat Vision
  • Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall will star in an untitled suspense thriller for director John Crowley (Boy A 75). Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) wrote the script. - Deadline
  • Katherine Heigl will star in Face Blind as a psychologist afflicted with prosopagnosia, or the inability to recognize people’s faces. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Milla Jovovich starred in the the straight-to-video thriller Faces in the Crowd. - Deadline
  • Octavia Spencer has joined the increasingly impressive cast of Bong Joon-Ho’s sci-fi flick Snow Piercer. - Heat Vision
  • Sharon Stone will star as a married teacher who has an affair with a student in Attachment, Tony Kaye’s follow-up to Detachment. - THR
  • Catherine Keener will play Andrea Phillips (aka the wife of Tom Hanks’ Captain Richard Phillips) in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass‘ adaptation of A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea. - Variety
  • Viola Davis will play a psychologist in Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game adaptation, and a caregiver to an orphaned boy in Richard LaGravenese’s adaptation of Beautiful Creatures. - Variety
  • A sequel to last year’s horror hit Insidious 52 is in the works. - THR
  • Bridget Jones' Baby, the planned third film in the series, is having script trouble. Anyone who saw the second isn’t surprised. - THR
  • The cast of Red Machine (think The Grey but with grizzly bears instead of wolves) will include James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Billy Bob Thornton, Scott Glenn, Piper Perabo, and Adam Beach. Saw V’s David Hackl will direct. - Variety

Comments (1)

  • LamontRaymond  

    The Cold Light of Day looks bad-ass.... thanks for posting!

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