Film Friday (3/21): This Week's Movie News and New Trailers

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  • Publish Date: March 21, 2014

Film Friday will be off for a few weeks; look for our return on April 11, 2014.

One last preview for The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The final trailer for Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features a little more bonding between Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker and Dean DeHaan’s Harry Osborn before all the fighting breaks out. The questions surrounding superhero movie saturation and the glut of villains in this movie (Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, The Green Goblin) will all be put to rest when the movie hits 2D, 3D and IMAX theaters on May 2nd.

Let's play YA franchise bingo

And so it goes: the search for the next young adult hit. This week’s contestants are The Giver (coming to theaters August 15th) and The Maze Runner (September 19th). Based on Lois Lowry’s Newbery award-winning novel, The Giver follows Brenton Thwaites’ Jonas, who begins to question the rules of his conformist society when he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory. Jeff Bridges plays the Giver, and Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgård, and Taylor Swift also star for director Phillip Noyce (Salt).

Director Wes Ball makes his feature directing debut with The Maze Runner, based on James Dashner’s best-selling book. The film tells the story of Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), who wakes up trapped in The Glade, which is surrounded by a gigantic maze. Things change when Kaya Scodelario’s Teresa arrives with a message that claims she’s the last one. Together, they try to figure out a way to escape.

Another look at Angelina Jolie in Maleficent

Robert Stromberg makes his directorial debut with this live-action re-imagining of Disney’s 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty. Elle Fanning plays Princess Aurora, who finds herself in the middle of a battle between her father (Sharlto Copley, chewing scenery again) and Angelina Jolie's Maleficent, a fairy who once had wings (which we finally get a glimpse of here). Also starring Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites, Miranda Richardson, and Juno Temple, Maleficent comes to 2D and 3D theaters on May 30th.

The Raid 2 brings the pain

If you enjoyed writer-director Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption, then you’ll like The Raid 2. It picks up hours after the original, with Rama (Iko Uwais) going undercover to protect his family and expose the criminal underworld at the heart of the corruption in Jakarta. Early reviews praise Evans’ ability to orchestrate action scenes in a variety of locations and on a grand scale. Enjoy this intense last look at The Raid 2 before it hits select theaters on March 28th.

The Signal makes some noise

Brenton Thwaites has a big year ahead with The Giver, Maleficent, and now The Signal, a sci-fi film directed by William Eubank. Thwaites plays Nic, a college student on a road trip with two friends (Beau Knapp and Olivia Cooke) when everything goes dark, and he wakes up in a hospital surrounded by people in hazmat suits. One of those people, Dr. Wallace Damon (Laurence Fishburne), starts to ask him some questions, but Nic only wants to escape. Look for The Signal in select theaters beginning June 13th.

This week in Star Wars: Episode VII news

Nothing is official. That seems to be what Lucasfilm and Disney are insisting in their latest official announcement about J.J. Abrams’ soon-to-shoot seventh film in the Star Wars series. Despite reports that Adam Driver has been cast as the villain, nothing has been confirmed. The THR report that Lupita Nyong’o met with Abrams a few weeks ago? Move along. There’s nothing to see here. At least we know when the new story will take place. In an official statement, Disney and Lucasfilm revealed, “Star Wars: Episode VII is set about 30 years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces. No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.” So we know that, and that R2D2 will make an appearance, oh, and that it will be released in IMAX.

Earth to Echo

Working from a script by Henry Gayden, Dave Green directs this found-footage take on E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The film follows four friends (Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Linnea Wahlestedt) as they film their discovery of an alien they dub Echo. Earth to Echo opens on July 2nd.

It's your next movie, Charlie Brown

On November 6, 2015, Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip will make its theatrical debut as a 3D CGI-animated feature (following several conventionally animated features in the 1970s). Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: Continental Drift) will direct from a script by Craig & Bryan Schulz (son and grandson of Charles) and Cornelius Uliano. The writers are also producers on the project, as is Paul Feig. Below is a quick first look at what Charlie Brown and Snoopy will look like.

Godzilla goes international

The destruction is massive in this international trailer for Godzilla. As Bryan Cranston declares himself not crazy, the images prove him right. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) is definitely going epic in scale to bring back the most famous of movie monsters. The cast includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Ken Watanabe, but little has been seen of the film’s main star. Godzilla will appear in full 2D, 3D, and IMAX theater glory beginning May 16, 2014.

A second look at Paul Walker in Brick Mansions

The new trailer for the Paul Walker-starring remake of District B13 plays up the revenge angle of Walker’s cop character. He wants to take down RZA’s Tremaine because it’s personal, but parkour expert David Belle, reprising his role from the original French film, will have to help him out. Camille Delamarre (the editor of Taken 2 and Lockout) directs, and the script comes from the writers of the original, Luc Besson and Bibi Naceri. Brick Mansions hits theaters on April 25th.

Will this be a 12-Step program?

The Step Up franchise shows no signs of abating after beginning with the Channing Tatum-starring Step Up in 2006 and continuing with Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3-D, and Step Up Revolution. Now comes Step Up All In, the fifth installment. In this latest chapter, all-stars from previous installments (Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Misha Gabriel, Alyson Stoner, Adam Sevani) come together in Las Vegas to battle for a victory that could define their dreams and change their careers. Trish Sie of OK Go video fame directs from a script by John Swetnam (Evidence). Look for it in 2D and 3D theaters beginning July 25th.

Yes, Ghostbusters the Third is still happening

Deadline reports that in the wake of Harold Ramis‘s death, Ivan Reitman has decided to step down as the director of the third Ghostbusters film and take on a producing role. In addition, with Bill Murray not participating and only Dan Aykroyd involved, the roles of the previous Ghostbusters will be further reduced, leading to a film that's more reboot than sequel. The good news in all of this is Nikki Finke’s report that Sony is hoping to get The LEGO Movie directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, to replace Reitman. The two have already worked their magic rebooting a TV property for the big screen with 21 Jump Street, so perhaps they can bring something special to the Ghostbusters franchise as well.

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

  • David Fincher wants Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in Sony’s Aaron Sorkin-scripted biopic. - The Wrap
  • Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm will star in Keeping Up With the Joneses. Greg Mottola (Adventureland) will direct from a script by Mike LeSieur about a suburban couple who discover their new neighbors are undercover agents. - THR
  • Sienna Miller has joined Bradley Cooper in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Miller will play Kyle's wife. - The Wrap
  • Joel Edgerton has joined director Anton Corbijn’s Life, a look at the relationship between photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan). - Variety
  • Ciarán Hinds will join Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto and Thomas Kretschmann in the Hitman sequel Agent 47. - Heat Vision
  • Steve Carell will produce and star in an adaptation of David Menasche’s cancer memoir The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons. - THR
  • Alison Brie will star alongside Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart in director Etan Cohen’s comedy Get Hard. Ferrell plays a wealthy businessman preparing to go to prison with the help of Hart, while Brie will play Ferrell’s fiancée. - Deadline
  • Levi Miller will play Peter Pan opposite Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, in Joe Wright’s Pan. - Variety
  • Sofia Coppola is in talks to direct a live-action version of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid. Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) is rewriting the script. - Deadline
  • Zhang Yimou (Hero) is in talks to direct The Great Wall. Director Ed Zwick and stars Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker were previously attached to the project that would investigate the mystery behind the building of China’s Great Wall. - Heat Vision
  • Woody Harrelson will play the Sergeant Detective uncle of Casey Affleck’s cop in John Hillcoat’s Triple Nine. The script by Matt Cook follows a crew of dirty cops as they try to pull off an impossible heist. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Michael B. Jordan, Aaron Paul, Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer, and Gal Gadot star, and Anthony Mackie is in talks to join. - Deadline & Variety
  • John Travolta and Ethan Hawke will star in In a Valley of Violence, a western written and directed by Ti West (The Innkeepers). - Heat Vision
  • Director Judd Apatow’s Amy Schumer-scripted (and starring) Trainwreck filled out its cast this week with Tilda Swinton, Barkhad Abdi, Ezra Miller, Mike Birbiglia, Jon Glaser, Vanessa Bayer and John Cena joining Brie Larson, Bill Hader, and Colin Quinn. - THR
  • Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) will direct Section 6, a WWI spy thriller starring rising star Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Unbroken). - The Wrap
  • Ryan Gosling will produce and possibly star in a biopic based on Jeffrey Spivak’s book Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley. - THR
  • Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) is attached to direct the crime thriller Times Square from a Black List script by Taylor Materne & Jacob Rubin. - Deadline
  • Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) is in talks to direct an adaptation of Ubisoft’s video game Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell starring Tom Hardy. - THR
  • Sam Raimi will produce a Jeff Buhler- (Midnight Meat Train) scripted reboot of Takashi Shimizu’s The Grudge. - Deadline
  • Andy Serkis, who played Gollum and did some second unit directing on The Hobbit films, will direct Warner Bros.'s live-action version of The Jungle Book. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Ron Howard were previously attached. - Heat Vision
  • John M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) will direct a live-action adaptation of Hasbro’s cult 1980s animated series Jem and the Holograms. See the announcement (and how you can participate) at the official website.
  • With Josh Trank’s The Fantastic Four scheduled for a June 19, 2015 release, Fox has already set the sequel to come out on July 14, 2017.
  • Another stand-alone Wolverine film will hit theaters on March 3, 2017.
  • An untitled Ridley Scott film (could it be Prometheus 2?) is planned for a March 4, 2016 release.
  • Taken 3, with Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, and Famke Janssen, will bring a special set of skills to theaters beginning January 9, 2015.
  • Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson, comes to theaters on October 24, 2014, a few months earlier than originally planned.

Comments (3)

  • Duke_Challenger  

    The Maze does look quite interesting. It's not just some dystopia movie like all these teen novels are presenting.

  • TheQuietGamer  

    Looking forward to the Raid and Spider-Man sequels. Not sure how I feel about the upcoming Godzilla movie. I can say that I am completely against a third Taken movie. The first one was excellent. The second was only decent. I don't want to see them butcher the series with a third. But who knows it could end up being good.

  • silasbodnick  

    Even though I'm not in the target audience for the maze it looks like a really good suspenseful movie. That lead actor has always done a really nice job on teen wolf and it's good to see him getting rewarded with a lead role. And bring on the next Ghostbusters. Love the first one but I could have missed the second. Certainly helped that I was a little tweaked in the process.

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