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

  • Publish Date: July 20, 2012
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The first full trailer for The Master

Each of the last two months has given us a glimpse at Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The first focused on Joaquin Phoenix. The second added Philip Seymour Hoffman to the mix. While rumors swirled that the film was Anderson’s examination of Scientology, there was little evidence to support it. Well, now that we have an official trailer (and the first poster), I think we can say that something resembling Scientology is at the heart of the story. The film follows Phoenix as Freddie Sutton, an ex-Navy man struggling with post-war life, who falls under the influence of Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd. Amy Adams, who plays Hoffman’s wife, has one view of what her husband is building: “The only way to defend ourselves is to attack.” Meanwhile, a perfectly cast Jesse Plemons, who plays his son, has a decidedly different attitude, “He’s making all this up as he goes along. You don’t see that?” If the trailer is any indication, the film should be a major player around awards time. See it in theaters beginning October 12th.

Another look at The Campaign (the funny one)

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis play rival North Carolina politicians in this comedy from director Jay Roach (Game Change 74, Dinner for Schmucks 56). Ferrell plays Cam Brady, the incumbent whose series of public mistakes motivates a few wealthy CEOs from the region to try to get Galifianakis’ naive Marty Huggins elected. Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott play the contentious pair’s campaign managers. Look for it in theaters August 10th.

Marvel’s Phase 2

Comic-Con was a major showcase for Marvel Studios. They revealed the titles for the sequels to Thor 57 and Captain America: The First Avenger 66. Thor: The Dark World will hit theaters November 8, 2013. The film lost its main villain, Mads Mikkelsen, a few weeks back, but an on-set stunt man revealed this week that director Alan Taylor had requested the stunt men to play elves. This might be misinformation, but if not, Thor could face off against Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves. Maybe Latino Review can dig up the truth. Marvel seems quite concerned about the source of the breaking news, enough to send a letter. The title of Captain America: The Winter Soldier also hints at the storyline for the Captain America sequel that will come to theaters April 4, 2014. The Winter Soldier is Cap’s friend, Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan in the first film. It sounds like he could return, but don’t expect him to be quite as friendly. Heat Vision followed up the Comic-Con news with word that Anthony Mackie could also be joining the film that will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Mackie would play Sam Wilson (aka Falcon) who partnered with Cap in the 1970s comics. Marvel also officially announced Guardians of the Galaxy and its release date (August 1, 2014) as well as Ant-Man; however, Edgar Wright’s long developing take on the latter superhero was not given an official release date. Last but not least on Marvel’s slate is their next release, Iron Man 3. The film, directed by Shane Black, comes to theaters May 3, 2013, and, yes, Ben Kingsley is now officially The Mandarin.

Billy Bob Thornton’s new ride: Jayne Mansfield’s Car

Billy Bob Thornton’s directing career hasn’t fulfilled its early promise. Sling Blade 84 was a critical success, and All the Pretty Horses 55, while flawed, was rumored to have an amazing, longer cut that got taken out of Thornton’s hands. His latest effort, his first since 2001’s Daddy and Them, is Jayne Mansfield’s Car, an ensemble piece set in 1969 which brings together two families, one southern and one English, who have one woman in common; unfortunately she is dead and being brought back to her ex-husband in Alabama to be buried. Robert Duvall plays the ex-husband, and the rest of the cast is filled out by John Hurt, Frances O’Connor, Ray Stevenson, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, and Billy Bob himself. No U.S. release date has been set, but check out the international trailer below.

Chicken with Plums

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud surprised many with their 2007 animated film Persepolis 90, based on Satrapi’s memoir. Their latest has been making its way around the film festival circuit since last year’s Venice and Toronto festivals. Reviews haven’t been as glowing for their second feature, but the film will open in Los Angeles and New York on August 17th. In the film, Mathieu Amalric stars as a gifted violinist who decides to take his own life after his prized violin is destroyed by his wife. While waiting for death, he takes a surreal look into his past and at his children’s future without him.

The Hunger Games: an update

Casting continued this week for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Amanda Plummer (you might know her as Honey Bunny in Pulp Fiction 94) has joined the cast as Wiress (aka Nuts), an important character in the 75th Hunger Games or Quarter Quell. Also in the casting mix, according to Variety, is Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman 57). He’s up for the pivotal role of Finnick Odair. Director Francis Lawrence also has his eyes on Tony Shalhoub for the role of Beetee, while Lionsgate has their eyes on another director. Thompson on Hollywood reports that Lawrence will not be able to direct the last two films based on the final book, Mockingjay, due to the tight production schedule, but there’s no word yet on who might be in the running to take his place. One director we can count out is Gary Ross, who guided The Hunger Games 67 to an enormous take at the box office. THR reports that Ross is developing an adaptation of the book Peter and the Starcatcher, a Peter Pan prequel that has already been adapted into a Tony-award winning play.

David O. Russell’s next project

Variety reports that Jeremy Renner will replace Christian Bale in David O. Russell’s drama American Bullshit (title change pending, for obvious reasons). The script by Eric Warren Singer is based on the true story of F.B.I. agent Jimmy Boyle and his relationship with con artist Mel Weinberg. After busting Weinberg, Boyle worked with him on the Abscam sting operation that targeted corruption in the government. Renner will play Boyle while Russell has selected Bradley Cooper, his Silver Linings Playbook star, to play Weinberg. THR reports that Russell will also reunite with Amy Adams, with whom he worked on The Fighter 79. Adams will play Maxine Gardner, Weinberg’s mistress and co-conspirator.

After Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe has stayed busy since wrapping Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 87. He starred in The Woman in Black 62 and then played Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, which should come to theaters in 2013. This week he added two more films to his schedule. Variety reveals that he will star in Horns, a fantasy thriller based on Joe Hill’s book of the same name. In the film, “Radcliffe will portray the number one suspect for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. He awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their impulses -- an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend's tragedy.” The film will be directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes 52, Piranha 3D 53. According to Variety, Radcliffe has also been cast to star in his first romantic comedy The F Word. He’ll be joined by Zoe Kazan in a film that will explore the dreaded “Friend Zone,” so, no, it wasn’t the “F word” we expected. The two leads will meet cute and hit it off with the one complication that Kazan has a long-term boyfriend. The film will be directed by Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight 42, Goon 64) from a script by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan 37).

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

  • Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a non-vampire-hunting version of the president, will come to a handful of theaters on November 9th before expanding nationwide on November 16th.
  • Stoker, Oldboy director Chan-wook Park’s English-language debut starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode, will be released on March 1, 2013.
  • The Impossible, Juan Antonio Bayona’s follow-up to 2007‘s The Orphanage, is a drama based around the tsunami of 2004, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Look for it in New York and LA for an Oscar-qualifying run beginning December 21st.
  • Andrew Stanton will leave John Carter on Mars and return to the more comfortable waters of animation to direct a sequel to his 2003 hit, Finding Nemo. Victoria Strouse will write the script. - Deadline & THR
  • According to Deadline, Johnny Depp will star in Wes Anderson’s next film, now titled The Grand Budapest Hotel. Depp was one of many names on Anderson’s wishlist mentioned last week.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, who has already flirted with the food scene by writing a cookbook and touring the world with chef Mario Batali, will star in an adaptation of Blood, Bones, and Butter, the memoir of Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of New York’s Prune restaurant. - THR
  • Dianna Agron (Glee) is in talks to play Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer’s daughter in Luc Besson’s Malavita, the story of a mob boss and his family living in witness protection in France. Tommy Lee Jones could also join the cast. - Heat Vision
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Ken Marino (most recently seen as the dickish brother in Wanderlust) will star in the horror-comedy Milo. - Heat Vision
  • Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids) will direct an adaptation of Troy Cook’s comic novel 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers. - Variety
  • Emma Roberts is in negotiations to play Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston’s daughter in We’re the Millers, a comedy about a pot dealer creating a fake family to help him make one last deal in Mexico. - Deadline
  • According to The Rock’s twitter feed, Dwayne Johnson might play the superhero Lobo.
  • Richard Jenkins will play the Speaker of the House in Roland Emmerich’s White House Down. - Variety
  • Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) is in talks to write a Hugh Hefner biopic for producer Jerry Weintraub. - THR
  • Kevin Kline will join Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Douglas as the fourth buddy in the old guys throw a bachelor party comedy Last Vegas. - Deadline
  • Robin Williams will play President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. - ComingSoon
  • After talks broke down for Jessica Biel to play Viper in James Mangold’s The Wolverine, Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is now the favorite to take on the role. - Twitch
  • Kenneth Branagh, who is already directing a Jack Ryan reboot starring Chris Pine, is now in talks to play the main villain as well. - Variety
  • Steven Spielberg wants Chris Hemsworth to star in Robopocalypse. - Deadline
  • Check out the new interactive website for Rian Johnson’s Looper.
  • Restore your faith in cinema (if you ever lost it) with this compilation of 135 shots over at Vimeo.

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