Django Unchained: Vengeance, Tarantino-style
The first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is here, and it’s another slice of revisionist history set in his own movie world where Christoph Waltz is a bounty hunter who mentors and then aids Jamie Foxx’s Django in his search for his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Leonardo DiCaprio plays evil plantation owner Calvin Candie, and Tarantino looks to be up to his usual trick of mixing violence and comedy. The supporting cast is strong (Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson, Walton Goggins, M.C. Gainey, James Remar and more) but not really seen here. The film opens on Christmas.
Denzel Washington and Robert Zemeckis take Flight
Robert Zemeckis has been spending time in the motion capture lab the last few years directing The Polar Express 61, Beowulf 59, and A Christmas Carol 55, but he’s returning to live-action film directing for the first time since 2000’s Cast Away 73 with Flight. Denzel Washington stars as a heroic commercial airline pilot whose life is anything but easy after he saves the lives of almost a hundred passengers. Supporting players include Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman, Kelly Reilly and Melissa Leo. See it in theaters beginning November 2nd.
Can Fernando Meirelles do a 360?
Critics embraced City of God 79 and The Constant Gardener 82, but many thought Fernando Meirelles’ third film Blindness 45 was a misstep. His latest is an international multi-story look at the lives of characters played by Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, and many others. The critical reception was lukewarm when it played the fall festivals in 2011, but moviegoers will finally get to see it beginning August 3rd.
George Clooney is staying busy
While we wait for George Clooney’s next picture as an actor—Alfonso Cuaron’s delayed Gravity—he’s lining up directing projects. Earlier this year, it was reported that Clooney was going to produce, write, direct and star in The Monuments Men, the story of a group of art experts selected to find artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The film would be an adaptation of Robert M. Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. This week, Deadline reports that Clooney is now attached to direct an adaptation of David Grann’s New Yorker article, The Yankee Commandante, in which he explores the life of William Alexander Morgan, an American who helped Castro during the Cuban revolution, ultimately receiving the designation of Commandante only to be imprisoned under suspicion of spying and killed at the age of 32. You can read the article here. Sounds like another interesting political thriller from the producer, writer, director, and star of The Ides of March 67.
A first look at The Babymakers
The films of Broken Lizard are an acquired taste for some, but Super Troopers 48, Club Dread 45, and Beerfest 46 found a loyal audience, and now the comedy team, or at least a few members, are back with The Babymakers. Jay Chandrasekhar returns to feature directing (and a little acting) along with Kevin Heffernan, but the stars of the film are Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn, who play a couple having trouble conceiving. Luckily, Schneider’s Tommy donated sperm, so a plan is hatched to steal back what is rightfully his and make some babies. Aisha Tyler, Nat Faxon, and M.C. Gainey also lend their comedy chops to the proceedings. Look for it in theaters August 3rd.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky directs this adaptation of his own critically acclaimed novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The film focuses on the shy and unpopular Charlie (Logan Lerman) who finds friends in Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller). The supporting cast includes Paul Rudd, Mae Whitman, Melanie Lynskey, Kate Walsh, and Dylan McDermott. Check it out in theaters beginning September 14th.
A new look at the House at the End of the Street
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games 67) plays Elissa, a young girl new to the neighborhood who becomes friends with Ryan (Max Thieriot), the young boy down the street. It’s innocent enough until Lawrence’s mom (Elizabeth Shue) informs her that Ryan’s sister murdered their parents in that very house and then disappeared leaving Ryan as the lone survivor... or is he? Kids, listen to your parents when they tell you stories of double murder. Mark Tonderai directs from a script by the house-obsessed David Loucka (Dream House 35). House at the End of the Street (aka HATES) hits theaters September 21.
Noah and White House Down build their casts
Two big budget films continued to fill out their casts this week. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which already has Russell Crowe starring as the titular character, is still looking for Noah’s wife (Jennifer Connelly and Julianne Moore are in the running) and his nemesis (Liev Schreiber is a possibility), but Deadline reports that they’ve found Noah’s sons. Logan Lerman (2011’s The Three Musketeers) will play Ham, and Douglas Booth will play Shem, who will form a close relationship with Emma Watson’s Ila. Variety reveals that Watson will get the role because Elle Fanning had a scheduling conflict. Meanwhile, Roland Emmerich’s White House Down will be much less biblical but assuredly more explosive. Already cast is Channing Tatum, and word comes from Variety this week that Jamie Foxx is interested in playing the president of the United States. Tatum will play a secret service agent trying to protect the president when a paramilitary group takes over the White House, and he will be aided by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s equally patriotic Secret Service agent, but if Jamie Foxx is the president, he might be able to take care of himself.
Animated film news
With Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted 59 hitting theaters this week, the studios unveiled a few new trailers and clips for animated films coming out later this year. First up is Wreck-It Ralph, a playful look at the life of the titular video game character who begins to jump into other arcade games, causing trouble for his whole community. Wreck-It Ralph is voiced by John C. Reilly, and other recognizable voices include Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, and Sarah Silverman. See it in theaters November 2nd.
The fourth film in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift, follows the main characters—Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Scrat (Chris Wedge)—as they embark across newly created oceans with an iceberg as their ship. On their trip, they encounter new characters voiced by Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage, Aziz Ansari, and Rebel Wilson. Check it out in theaters beginning July 13th.
Pixar’s Brave has not lacked for promotional material. This week’s featurette sets up the world and characters of the film through the words of the film’s director (Mark Andrews) and the voice talent (Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly). Brave comes to theaters June 22nd.
That’s My Boy
Former SNLers Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg have a new movie coming out next Friday: That’s My Boy. In the film, Sandler returns, uninvited, to his son’s life just as he’s about to get married, and proceeds to wreak havoc. Take a look at the two new trailers released this week—a red band trailer and a special, seemingly South Park-inspired trailer cut by Andy Samberg—and tell us which one looks better.
Behind the scenes of The Hobbit and Skyfall
Django Unchained isn’t the only highly anticipated December release this year. Peter Jackson has his first of two Hobbit movies, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hitting screens on December 13th. The latest video blog for the film takes fans behind the scenes of Stone Street Studios. Coming out a month earlier on November 9th is the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig and directed by Sam Mendes. Take a look at the costumes, a few new scenes, and a familiar car in this latest peek behind the scenes.
Beasts of the Southern Wild featurette
Beasts of the Southern Wild won both the Grand Jury Prize and Excellence in Cinematography at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and the Camera d’Or for Best First Feature at Cannes. The film follows Hushpuppy and her father Wink, who live in an abstract water-world in Louisiana known as “The Bathtub.” They struggle to survive when their community is threatened by a devastating flood and an approaching herd of beasts known as aurochs. This week saw the release of a featurette and a clip from writer/director Ben Zeitlin’s film. Check them out below before the film comes to theaters June 27th.
David Gordon Green returns to his roots
Before he started directing major comedies like Pineapple Express 64, Your Highness 31, and The Sitter 39, David Gordon Green was a serious indie filmmaker, and Variety learned this week that he recently returned to his roots by shooting a low budget remake of the 2011 Icelandic comedy Either Way with Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch in the starring roles. Gordon Green wrote and shot the film, titled Prince Avalanche, in Austin last month prior to getting started on his remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, and it’s described as following “two men whose lives intersect while working on a road striping crew together.” If you’re interested in what the original has to offer, Twitch has a trailer.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis will hit U.S. theaters August 17th. - IndieWire
- The hit U.K. teen comedy based on the TV series The Inbetweeners will finally get a U.S. release on September 7th; in the States, the film will also be titled The Inbetweeners. – The Playlist
- Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Emerson (Ben Linus on Lost) have been cast in the latest Woody Allen picture. - Deadline
- Are you ready for Guy Ritchie’s Treasure Island? - Deadline
- Phil Lord and Chris Miller (2012‘s 21 Jump Street) are in talks to direct an adaptation of Glen David Gold’s novel Carter Beats the Devil - Heat Vision
- Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre) is planning to adapt Stephen King’s It into two movies. - Heat Vision
- Chris Columbus will produce, write and direct an adaptation of John Grisham’s Calico Joe. - Variety
- Joining the CBGB cast this week are Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins (who will play Iggy Pop), Ashley Green (who will play Lisa Kristal, the daughter of the club's owner), and Mickey Sumner (who will play Patti Smith). - THR & Variety
- Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, and Garret Dillahunt all joined Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave this week. - Variety and Deadline
- Jon Favreau is the favorite to direct the big screen adaptation of the hit musical Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. - Variety
- Warner Bros. has hired Will Beall (Gangster Squad) to write a Justice League movie and Michael Goldenberg (Green Lantern) to write Wonder Woman. - Variety
- Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) is in negotiations to direct the earthquake disaster movie San Andreas 3D. - Heat Vision
- Anthony and Joe Russo, who are best known for directing You, Me and Dupree and TV comedies like Community, will helm Captain America 2. - Heat Vision
- Samuel L. Jackson will play a media mogul in Jose Padilha’s new Robocop starring Joel Kinnaman as the titular character and Gary Oldman as the scientist who creates him. - Heat Vision
- Surprise, surprise. A sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman is in the works. - Deadline
- Rebecca Hall will star in the WWI-set romance A Promise, Patrice Leconte’s (Intimate Strangers) debut English-language feature. - Variety
- Actor Michael Rapaport, who directed the documentary Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, will make his feature narrative directing debut with an adaptation of Jason Starr’s novel, Tough Luck. - Deadline
- Latino Review says Marvel is planning a Black Panther movie.
- Will there be a Jackass 4: Bad Grandpa? - What Culture
- It’s the End of the World and everyone’s at James Franco’s house. - Screen Crush