The Avengers assemble for a second official trailer
Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, and Clark Gregg all reprise their roles from their previous Marvel outings for Joss Whedon’s take on the The Avengers. “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” assemble to battle Loki and his army when they threaten to take over Earth, and it looks like Nick Fury might need to use some team building exercises for the group. Trust fall anyone? Mark Ruffalo makes his first appearance as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, and Cobie Smulders joins the cast as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill. Check it out in IMAX 3D, regular 3D, or good old fashioned 2D beginning May 4.
Who does Guy Pearce play in Prometheus?
One mystery surrounding Ridley Scott’s not-quite-an-Alien prequel was solved this week. Guy Pearce will play Peter Weyland, the owner of the Prometheus, the spaceship from which the new film gets its name. Fans of Alien will remember that the mega-corporation Weyland-Yutani owned the Nostromo and had a hand, and a dangerous one at that, in all the Alien films. Scott went on to say (according to a translation at Alien Prequel News), “That’s the connection between the two films, and nothing more. Prometheus is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well.” Scott’s statement was later verified with the release of Peter Weyland’s TED Talk from the year 2023. There is a dedicated page to Peter Weyland’s talk, which includes his bio as well as the following, “Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade. Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, “If we can, we must.” After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he’s heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.” The talk was not directed by Ridley but by his son Luke Scott. Damon Lindelof, the writer of the piece as well as the film, spoke about the creation of the TED Talk on the TED blog. Check out Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland below, and catch Prometheus in theaters on June 8th.
Richard Linklater returns with Bernie
Some fans might not realize that Richard Linklater’s most recent feature directorial effort was 2009’s Me and Orson Wells 73. The director of such iconic indie films as Slacker, Dazed and Confused 78, Before Sunrise 77, and Before Sunset 90 finally returns this spring with Bernie, starring Jack Black as a small-town Texas mortician who is accused of killing 80-year-old millionaire heiress Marjorie Nugent, played by Shirley MacLaine. Linklater and writer Skip Hollandsworth based the screenplay on a true story that occurred in Carthage, Texas and was covered by Hollandsworth for Texas Monthly. Matthew McConaughey plays the town's DA, Danny Buck Davidson, and Carthage locals provide interview-style comments throughout the film. Bernie comes to theaters April 27.
A first (red-band) look at Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy
With a record 11 Razzie nominations, Adam Sandler certainly had a banner year in 2011. After the more family-oriented Jack and Jill 23 and Just Go With It 33, Sandler is going blue in 2012 with That’s My Boy, previously titled I Hate You Dad. In the film, Sandler returns, uninvited, to his son’s life just as he’s about to get married. Andy Samberg plays Sandler’s son, and Leighton Meester plays Samberg’s fiance while Susan Sarandon, James Caan, Will Forte, Vanilla Ice, Ian Ziering and Dan Patrick also join the party. Check out the very NSFW trailer below before seeing (or avoiding) it in theaters June 15.
A teaser for Neighborhood Watch
Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade (director of 2011’s Submarine 76) are the Neighborhood Watch. They have matching jackets and a minivan, so when they stumble upon a suburban alien invasion, they’re ready to take back the neighborhood. Right? Let’s hope. At the very least, they might confuse the aliens with their banter. This first teaser doesn’t hint at the alien story, but if does set the tone for the film and the four leads’ inflated sense of importance. Neighborhood Watch is directed by Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod 43) and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the duo behind Superbad 76). See it in theaters beginning July 27.
A look at Frankenweenie, Tim Burton's return to stop-motion animation
Tim Burton has two movies hitting the big screen in 2012. His Dark Shadows adaptation comes to theaters May 11, and his long-gestating animated film Frankenweenie arrives October 5. Burton originally directed a live action Frankenweenie short film in 1984, but this full length feature is a 3D stop-motion look at the story of a boy who reanimates his beloved dog. The voice talent includes Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau, and Charlie Tahan.
Despicable Me 2 set for 2013
This quick teaser for Despicable Me 2 features the minions in song. There’s little else to it, but then again, the film doesn’t come out until July 3, 2013. You'll see the promo in 3D this weekend if you check out Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 49.
A second look at ParaNorman
Laika, the animation house that brought Coraline 80 to life under the direction of Henry Selick, brings ParaNorman to 2D and 3D theaters starting August 17. The film follows Norman, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee, as he uses his ability to talk to all kinds of dead creatures and tries to save his town from a centuries-old curse. John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, and Jeff Garlin provide voice talent to Chris Butler’s original script, which he co-directs with Sam Fell (Flushed Away 74, The Tale of Despereaux 53).
Emma Watson will lead Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola has begun casting her follow-up to 2010’s Somewhere 67. In a press release, Emma Watson was announced as the lead of The Bling Ring. Coppola will write and direct as well as produce with her brother Roman and Youree Henley. According to the official synopsis, “The Bling Ring shows a group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and fame who burglarized the homes of celebrities in Los Angeles. Tracking their targets’ whereabouts online, the teens would break-in and steal designer clothes and possessions. Reflecting on the naiveté of youth, amplified by today’s culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession, the members of the Bling Ring introduce us to temptations that nearly any teenager would find hard to resist. What starts out as youthful fun spins out of control and reveals a sobering view of our modern culture.” It’s unknown how closely Coppola will stick to true events, but another look at the lives of the rich and famous or, in this case, the wannabe rich and famous should be in her comfort zone. Variety followed the initial report with news of Taissa Farmiga, the daughter on American Horror Story, also joining the cast. Shooting will being in Los Angeles this spring (i.e. soon) so expect more casting news in the coming weeks.
A look at Attenberg
The odd coming-of-age story Attenberg follows Marina (2010 Venice Film Festival Best Actress Ariane Labed) as she deals with her dying father and burgeoning sexuality. Athina Tachel Tsangari’s film has received comparisons to Dogtooth 73, mainly because both are Greek films that tell of very particular parent-child relationships, but also because Dogtooth’s director, Giorgos Lanthimos, has a small role in the film. Marina and her father are obsessed with David Attenborough’s nature documentaries, and the title of the film derives from Marina’s mispronunciation of his surname. See it in limited release starting March 9.
Piranha 3DD unites Busey and the Hoff
The title pretty much says it all. This festival of boobs, bodies and blood is the sequel to 2010’s Piranha 3-D 53. Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd return and are joined this time by Gary Busey, David Hasselhoff, David Koechner, Katrina Bowden, and Danielle Panabaker. It’s not a lake that’s in danger this time, but a water park and other more private places. John Gulager (Feast 43) directs from a script by Saw 3D 24 scribes Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. The official US release date has not been set.
Mary Harron returns with The Moth Diaries
Mary Harron (American Psycho 64, The Notorious Bettie Page 64) directs this adaptation of Rachel Klein’s 2001 vampire themed novel. Lily Cole stars as Ernessa, a mysterious new boarding school student who comes between best friends Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) and Lucie (Sarah Gadon). Reviews from last year’s Venice Film Festival were poor, with the main complaint being that the film lacks suspense. Judge for yourself when The Moth Diaries gets a limited release beginning April 20.
Terence Davies visits The Deep Blue Sea
Based on Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play, The Deep Blue Sea stars Rachel Weisz as Hester Collyer, a woman ruined by her love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot played by Tom Hiddleston. Simon Russell Beale plays her husband, a well-off British judge, and Terence Davies (The House of Mirth 78) directs. See it in limited release beginning March 23.
Safe finds Jason Statham in his comfort zone
Jason Statham stars, per usual, as a serious badass in this action thriller that has him taking on the Triads, the Russian Mafia, and corrupt NYC cops all while trying to protect a young Chinese girl. Boaz Yakin’s eclectic career (Remember the Titans 48, Uptown Girls 33, Death in Love 39) takes a turn to action with this film, which he also wrote. The latest trailer is full of the typical Statham moves, so if that’s what you’re looking for, Safe should satisfy when it hits theaters April 27.
A first look at Touchback
This football themed time travel flick stars Brian Presley as Scott Murphy, a promising football player whose career ends when he breaks his leg in his final high school game. But how would his life be different if he hadn’t broken his leg? He gets to find out when he’s taken back in time and forced to confront the decisions he’s made. Kurt Russell plays his coach, Melanie Lynskey plays his wife/girlfriend, and Christine Lahti plays his mom. Touchback will get a limited release on April 13.
The final trailer for John Carter
Will it be the first blockbuster of the year or the first box office bomb? We’ll find out next weekend when John Carter hits theaters. Until then, here’s the final action-filled trailer for Andrew Stanton’s first live action feature film. Taylor Kitsch stars as John Carter, a Civil War vet transported to Mars (known in the film as Barsoom) and blessed with special powers. Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Dominic West, Samantha Morton and many more star.
Glee's Ryan Murphy is a One Hit Wonder
According to Deadline, Ryan Murphy will write and direct a musical comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, and Cameron Diaz for Sony Pictures. It’s early, but plans are for One Hit Wonders to be Paltrow’s debut as a producer with Murphy helping out on that end as well. Glee writers Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan will join Murphy in the writing department for a story about three singers (Paltrow, Witherspoon, and Diaz) who “each scored a top hit song in the 1990s before watching their careers go down the drain.” To turn their luck around, they decide to form a super group. Word is that Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island boys will provide the music. Murphy is currently directing The Normal Heart, an adaptation of Larry Kramer's play about the rise of HIV/AIDS in New York City during the early 80s.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Check out The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Short, here.
- The Sundance hit Safety Not Guaranteed will come to theaters June 8th.
- Russell Crowe is in talks to play Noah in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic. - Variety
- Joel Kinnaman (TV’s The Killing, Safe House) is the favorite to play Robocop in the upcoming reboot from Elite Squad director Jose Padilha. - Deadline
- Director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) wants Christian Bale and Robert Duvall in his next feature, Out of the Furnace, which follows a recently released convict on a quest to avenge his brother’s murder. Viggo Mortensen is wanted for the villain, while Casey Affleck, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch or Channing Tatum could play the brother. - THR & Variety
- Expect more vampire films. Sony is developing a Dracula origin story. Dracula Year Zero is also in the works, and Guillermo del Toro has his own project based on his book series with Chuck Hogan that began with The Strain. Read about them all at Deadline.
- Horrible Bosses writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein will direct a reboot of the Vacation franchise following a grown-up Rusty Griswold as he tries to take his family on the holiday road. Ed Helms is in the running to star. - THR
- John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) is in talks to direct Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicles Walt Disney’s 14 year struggle to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to sell him the rights to make a film. - Deadline
- Mark Forster, who’s currently working on World War Z with Brad Pitt and previously directed Quantum of Solace, will helm an adaptation of the graphic novel Cowboy Ninja Viking about a schizophrenic who is programmed to be an assassin only to turn on those who programmed him. - Deadline
- Elizabeth Olsen is in talks to star opposite Josh Brolin in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake. - Heat Vision
- Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster are in talks to play three of the four Navy SEALs in Peter Berg’s adaptation of the Afghanistan ambush story, Lone Survivor. - Deadline
- Tony Shalhoub will play the kidnap victim and supermodel Bar Paly will play a former beauty queen in Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. - Variety
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead (2011’s The Thing) will play Adam Scott’s girlfriend in A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce). - Deadline
- Scarlett Johansson and James D’Arcy (W.E.) will play Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins in Sacha Gervasi’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. Anthony Hopkins will play Hitchcock, and Helen Mirren will play his wife. - Variety
- Bruce Willis has been cast in Five Against a Bullet, the story of “A Mexican politician who, after his father is killed by a drug cartel, hires the five best bodyguards from around the world to protect him through a contentious election.” - THR
- Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, the Academy Award-winning co-writers of The Descendants, have sold an original action-comedy script with Kristen Wiig attached to star. - Variety
- Dan Aykroyd tells the Telegraph that Bill Murray will not be in Ghostbusters 3 which is now in “suspended animation.” At least we can look forward to Top Gun 2, right?
- Robert Luketic will re-team with his The Ugly Truth star, Gerard Butler, for the diamond heist film Brilliant. - Variety
- Looks like there will be another Muppets movie, but because of his busy schedule, Jason Segel won’t be writing it. That duty will fall to his co-writer, Nicholas Stoller. - Vulture
- Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) will direct The Pet, a comedy about a man abducted by aliens, taken to their home planet, and adopted as a family pet. - Variety
- Peter Jackson has posted a new Hobbit video blog.
- Who’s ready for a 4D sequel to the 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy? - Twitch