Note that because of the July 4 holiday, Film Friday will not appear next week.
Two new trailers for Looper
In Looper, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hired gun who cleans up the mob’s problems... 30 years in the past. That’s right, time travel exists, but it’s only available on the black market, so when his bosses send back his future self (played by Bruce Willis), Gordon-Levitt is in a bit of a conundrum: he must hunt down and kill... himself. With an intriguing premise and a gritty sci-fi look, Johnson’s third film (he previously directed Brick 72 and The Brothers Bloom 55) could be a surprise hit when it comes to theaters September 28th. The supporting cast includes Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, and Garret Dillahunt, and the international trailer reveals a bit more than the domestic trailer, so watch at your own risk.
A peek inside David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell’s follow-up to 2010’s Oscar nominated The Fighter 79 is the tale of a former high school teacher played by Bradley Cooper, who, after being released from a mental institution, moves back in with his parents and strikes up a relationship with an odd, mentally unstable girl played by Jennifer Lawrence. Cooper’s parents are played by Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, and Chris Tucker plays his friend. The screenplay by Russell is based on Matthew Quick's novel, also titled The Silver Linings Playbook. Look for the film in theaters beginning November 21st.
The latest look at Total Recall
“You’re going to wish you had three hands.” With that, director Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard 69) gives a nod to Paul Verhoeven’s original Total Recall 57 and then packs in the action in this latest trailer for his Colin Farrell-starring remake. Like the prior film, Wiseman’s adaptation is loosely based on Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, with writers Kurt Wimmer (Salt 65) and Mark Bomback (Unstoppable 69) also taking inspiration from the original film. There’s no “Get your ass to Mars” moment, but Kate Beckinsale does play Farrell’s “loving” wife Lori, and Jessica Biel is Melina, a member of the Bill Nighy-led resistance battling Bryan Cranston’s evil Vilos Cohaagen. Total Recall hits theaters August 3rd.
Putting the F-U in Kung Fu
If any rapper was going to make a kung fu movie, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA would seem the obvious choice. His group was heavily influenced by kung fu movies, and he’s contributed to the soundtracks of Kill Bill, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai, and Blade: Trinity. Most recently, he starred as a rapper looking to become an actor in season five of Californication. Now he is the star in his own directorial debut, The Man with the Iron Fists. RZA collaborated with another Tarantino veteran—Eli Roth—on the script, which finds RZA starring as a blacksmith caught between warring clans. The supporting cast includes Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Pam Grier, and Jamie Chung. No release date has been set, but expect it in theaters sometime this fall.
Sessions with a Surrogate
A big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was titled The Surrogate and won the Audience Award for U.S. drama and the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for ensemble acting, The Sessions stars John Hawkes as real-life poet and polio victim Mark O’Brien and Helen Hunt as sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen Green. Written and directed by Ben Lewin, the film explores the relationship of O’Brien and Green as he decides at age 38 to lose his virginity. The Sessions features William H. Macy and Moon Bloodgood as O’Brien’s priest and caretaker, respectively. Find out what the critics are raving about when it comes to theaters October 26th.
There's a new Alex Cross
Tyler Perry stars as Alex Cross, a role previously played by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls 46 and Along Came a Spider 42, in this adaptation of James Patterson’s novel Cross. This time Cross, a forensic psychologist, faces off against Matthew Fox’s very scary serial killer. Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious 58, xXx 48, Stealth 35) directs a supporting cast that includes Ed Burns, John C. McGinley, Jean Reno, Giancarlo Esposito, Cicely Tyson, and Jean Reno. Check out Alex Cross in theaters beginning October 19th.
Here Comes the... Zookeeper
From the team that brought you Zookeeper 30 comes this comedy about a high school teacher played by Kevin James who decides to go into MMA in order to raise funds for his school’s music programs. Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer 59 and The Waterboy 41) directs a cast that includes Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, and mixed martial artist Bas Rutten. Here Comes the Boom hits theaters October 12th.
Josh Schwartz moves to the big screen with Fun Size
Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C., Chuck, and Gossip Girl, makes his feature directorial debut with this story Wren and April, two best friends played by Victoria Justice of Nickelodeon’s Victorious and Jane Levy of Suburgatory. After being tasked with taking care of Wren’s little brother, Albert, on Halloween, the girls subsequently lose him and spend the rest of the night searching for him (and committing “social suicide”). Chelsea Handler plays Wren’s irresponsible mother, and Thomas Mann (Project X) returns to the role of high school nerd. Johnny Knoxville also makes an appearance in Fun Size, which comes to theaters October 26th.
Tim Burton's animated Frankenweenie
Tim Burton’s second release of 2012, following the somewhat disappointing Dark Shadows 55, is his long-gestating animated film Frankenweenie. Burton originally directed a live-action Frankenweenie short film in 1984, but this full-length feature is a 3D, black-and-white story about a boy who reanimates his beloved dog Sparky and the resulting implications of his actions on his town. The screenplay comes from John August, who collaborated with Burton on Big Fish 58, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 72, and Corpse Bride 83. Frankenweenie comes to theaters October 5th with the voice talent of Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, and Charlie Tahan.
A first look at an animated Epic
Fox and Blue Sky Films have their fourth Ice Age film, Ice Age: Continental Drift coming to theaters in two weeks, but this week we get a look at their next collaboration, Epic, which arrives on May 24, 2013. Based on the children’s book The Leaf Men by William Joyce, Epic tells the story of a teenage girl who finds herself transported to a world where the creatures of the forest pick sides in a battle of good vs. evil. Amanda Seyfried voices the human girl while Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudeikis, Aziz Ansari, and Beyoncé Knowles voice the forest creatures. The film is directed by Chris Wedge, who co-directed the original Ice Age 60 and Robots 64.
The official U.S. release trailer for Easy Money
Known as Snabba Cash when it was released in Sweden in 2010, Easy Money follows three men trying to make their way in the drug trade of Stockholm. Jorge (Matias Padin Varela) is an escaped convict trying to put together a major cocaine deal. Mrado (Dragomir Mrsic) is an enforcer for the Serbian mob trying to take control of the drug trade, and J.W. (Joel Kinnaman of The Killing and your new Robocop) is a student whose need for money gets him involved with some unsavory characters. Director Daniel Espinosa used this film as a calling card for Hollywood, and when he got his chance he produced this year’s first hit, Safe House 52. Check out Easy Money when it comes to theaters July 11th; after all, Snabba Cash 2 is already complete. Maybe we won’t have to wait two years to see it in the U.S.
A first look at Arbitrage
Richard Gere, Tim Roth, Susan Sarandon, and Brit Marling star in this story of a hedge fund billionaire trying to avoid financial ruin amidst a personal scandal. Arbitrage is the feature debut of writer/director Nicholas Jarecki, and it received solid reviews when it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Getting special notice were Gere and Marling as father and daughter. Look for it in theaters and on demand beginning September 14th.
Your Marvel news update
Latino Review and Heat Vision are reporting that Marvel intends to announce that Guardians of the Galaxy will be their second release in 2014, along with Captain America 2. According to sources, Nicole Perlman’s script for Guardians is what made the studio commit. Who are the Guardians? Well there are many different incarnations, and there's no word yet on which characters will be used in the film, but Wikipedia has a basic breakdown. Could this lead to a massive assembly of Avengers and Guardians in 2015? We’ll have to wait and see. In other Marvel film news, it was confirmed that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead 76, Hot Fuzz 81, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 69) has shot test footage for the Ant-Man script he has been working on with Joe Cornish (Attack the Block 75). Even if it gets the green light, though, Wright has the final installment in his Blood and Ice Cream trilogy, The World’s End, to complete first, so don’t expect to see it anytime soon.
The first trailer for Sundance crowd-pleaser Robot and Frank
This story about a former thief (Frank Langella) and his robot caretaker turned partner warmed the hearts of many festival-goers at Sundance, where it shared the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for its focus on science and technology. First-time feature director Jake Schreier’s impressive cast includes Susan Sarandon as a librarian with an interest in Frank, James Marsden and Liv Tyler as Frank’s kids, and Peter Sarsgaard as the voice of Robot. Look for it in theaters on August 24th.
Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer
When it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (Spike Lee’s first film to do so), most critics categorized Red Hook Summer as a mess, with its strengths equally balanced out by its flaws. The story revolves around a 13-year-old suburban boy names Flick Royale (Jules Brown) who is sent to stay with his grandfather, a bishop played by The Wire’s Clarke Peters. The rocky start to their relationship is helped when Flick meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a girl his age willing to show him another side of Brooklyn. Red Hook Summer will get a limited release August 10th.
Takashi Miike’s Death of a Samurai
After the success of 13 Assassins 87 and more than a year after it made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival where it failed to meet expectations, Takashi Miike’s remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s Jury Prize winning film of 1963, Harakiri, will finally get a U.S. release this summer. The story follows a poor ronin who plans to commit ritual suicide but also questions its place in the samurai code of honor. It was Miike’s first 3D film and the first 3D film to play in competition at Cannes. The prolific filmmaker already has three more films completed (including an adaptation of the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) and is working on a fourth. Hara-Kiri: Death of Samurai will be released on demand on July 18th and into a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles on July 20th.
A red-band trailer for Hit and Run
Dax Shepard wrote, co-directed (with David Palmer) and stars (with girlfriend Kristen Bell) in this action-comedy about a former getaway driver whose witness protection cover is blown when an old colleague (played by a dreadlocked Bradley Cooper) comes looking for him. Car chases, jokes about rape (prison and date), and old naked people are all featured along with Kristin Chenoweth and Tom Arnold in Hit and Run, which comes to theaters August 24th.
Casting continues on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
After speculation this week about who would play Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Deadline reports that “Zoe Aggeliki has the edge over Jena Malone” for the role. Aggeliki has roles in the upcoming R.I.P.D. and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters but not near the filmography of Malone who has been working steadily since she was 12. The question really should be which one can handle an axe.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- The Bourne Legacy release date has moved back one week to August 10th.
- Aaron Eckhart will play the President of the United States and Angela Basset will play the head of the Secret Service (and Gerard Butler’s boss) in Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen. - Variety & Deadline
- Rob Reiner will direct You Belong to Me, a psychological thriller penned by David Murray. - THR
- Michael K. Williams, best known for playing Omar Little on The Wire and Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire, will play a mutinous slave alongside Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, and many others in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave. - Deadline
- Christopher Meloni will play Paul Rudd’s boss in David Wain’s send up of romantic comedies, They Came Together. - THR
- Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will get made, but with a new cast (Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe, D.B. Sweeney as John Galt, and Esai Morales). Look for it in theaters, if you must, October 12th. - THR
- An animated Popeye feature is in the works with Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky attached. - Variety
- Richard Dreyfuss has joined the cast of Robert Luketic’s Paranoia and Naomi Foner’s Very Good Girls starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen. - Variety
- Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis has been postponed. - The Playlist
- Catherine Keener will play Mark Ruffalo’s estranged wife in John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life?, which also stars Keira Knightley. - Deadline
- James Marsden will play Mark Wahlberg’s boss alongside Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Edward James Olmos, and Bill Paxton in Baltasar Kormakur’s adaptation of the graphic novel 2 Guns. - Variety
- Kevin Hart will star in a remake of About Last Night which itself was an adaptation of the 1974 David Mamet play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. - THR
- Martin Scorsese’s next film, The Wolf of Wall Street, will not be shot on film. Instead, one of the staunchest supporters of film will shoot digital for the first time. - Empire
- Shailene Woodley will star in Gregg Araki’s White Bird about a young woman dealing with the mysterious disappearance of her mother. - Variety
- A Think Like a Man sequel is in the works. - THR
- M83 will score Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion, his Tom Cruise-starring sci-fi follow-up to Tron: Legacy which was scored by Daft Punk. - The Playlist