Preview the summer animation slate
With The Croods opening today, studios have seized the opportunity to reveal new trailers for their animated films arriving this summer. First out of the gate will be Epic, opening on May 24th. Amanda Seyfried voices the movie’s heroine, who gets transported to the world of the Leaf Men and joins their efforts to keep peace in the forest despite the meddling of Christoph Waltz’s evil Mandrake. Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, and Beyoncé Knowles also provide voices.
After Pixar’s Monsters University takes over theaters June 21st, another sequel, Despicable Me 2, arrives in cineplexes on July 3rd. Steve Carell returns in the latter as Gru and, yes, those scene-stealing minions are back as well in a story that finds Gru defending the world against a supervillain voiced by Al Pacino.
Next up is DreamWorks’ Turbo, which speeds into theaters on July 19th. Ryan Reynolds (who provides the voice of Guy in The Croods) voices a snail whose wish to be fast comes true in a freak accident. How this leads to the Indy 500 is anyone’s guess. The voice cast includes Paul Giamatti, Snoop Dogg, Bill Hader, and Michelle Rodriguez.
Finishing out the summer's animation lineup will be Disney’s Planes on August 9th. Plan your weekends accordingly.
The Star Trek Into Darkness international trailer shows off the action
Another new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness? Yes, but this one is longer than last week’s, and has more to offer in the new footage department: Benedict Cumberbatch sitting down looking scary, Peter Weller, Benedict Cumberbatch walking down a hallway, Alice Eve in her underwear (or about to go for a swim), Benedict Cumberbatch saying “cold corpses” (try that 10 times), and Benedict Cumberbatch claiming superiority in all things. Oh, and there’s plenty of action too. See Benedict Cumberbatch in IMAX, 2D and 3D theaters beginning May 15th, or May 9th if you live outside the U.S.
The Kings of Summer got rhythm
Known as Toy’s House when it premiered to strong reviews at Sundance earlier this year, The Kings of Summer is a coming-of-age tale about three friends who decide to spend the summer building a house in the woods. The new teaser features the boys—Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso), and Biaggio (Moises Arias)—but the supporting cast is strong as well, with Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie. The Kings of Summer comes to theaters on May 31st.
We need to talk about Lynne Ramsay
When a director doesn’t show up on set for the first day of shooting, there’s a problem. When that director is the critically acclaimed Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher 76, Morvern Callar 78, We Need to Talk About Kevin 68), and she’s about to make a western starring Natalie Portman, well, it makes headlines. Deadline reported her no-show status on Tuesday, and by Wednesday Deadline had Gavin O’Connor (Warrior 71) replacing her. Then Jude Law, who had only recently joined the cast as a replacement for Michael Fassbender, dropped out, leaving Portman and Joel Edgerton (who worked with O’Connor on Warrior) without a third lead. The L.A. Times reported yesterday that Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Jeff Bridges are on the shortlist to replace Fassbender/Law as the main villain. So what happened? Did the indie director, who took nine years between her second and third releases (with much of the lost time due to developing The Lovely Bones, which eventually went to Peter Jackson), get cold feet before the highest profile picture of her career? THR has conflicting reports, but the source of the departure seems to be disagreements between Ramsay and producer Scott Steindorff over the script, final cut, and budget. (Basically, what directors and producers typically argue about.) So does this increase your interest in seeing the completed film (if that ever happens), or diminish it?
Love Is All You Need
Director Susanne Bier’s filmography tends towards the dramatic, with films like Brothers 76 (which was remade with Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal), After the Wedding 78, and In a Better World 65, but her latest is a simple romantic comedy set mainly in Italy. Pierce Brosnan plays Philip, the irascible, widowed father of the groom, and Trine Dyrholm plays Ida, the mother of the bride. Philip is a workaholic, and Ida is recovering from chemotherapy while dealing with her cheating husband. Could they possibly be right for each other? Love Is All You Need comes to theaters May 3rd.
Greg Kinnear is stuck in love
Previously titled Writers, Stuck in Love stars Greg Kinnear as a successful author suffering from writer’s block ever since his wife (Jennifer Connelly) left him. His two teenage children, played by Lily Collins and Nat Wolff, also want to be writers, but they are going about it in very different ways. The supporting cast includes Kristen Bell as Kinnear’s friend with benefits and Logan Lerman as a romantic who has his eyes on the cynical Collins. Writer-director Josh Boone’s first feature comes to theaters June 14th, but he has already lined up his next project: an adaptation of John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars. That film will star Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) as Hazel, a teenager struggling with cancer who falls in love with fellow cancer victim Gus. No word yet on who will play Gus.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is back ... again
At one time it was going to be Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney bringing The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to the big screen. Then Clooney dropped out and Soderbergh couldn’t get it going with another actor, so he dropped out as well. Now it’s Guy Ritchie’s turn, and Deadline is reporting that Tom Cruise is in early talks to star. Cruise has been staying busy, but Ritchie has been quiet since 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 48, so it’s about time for him to get back behind the camera.
Trance trailer and featurette
Early reviews for Danny Boyle’s Trance are all over the map—The Guardian calls it a disappointment, while The Playlist includes it among Boyle's best work to date—so it will be interesting to see how the Metascore shakes out after more critics see it. The film opens in the U.K. next week and gets a limited release stateside beginning April 5th. The hyper-stylized thriller stars James McAvoy as an auction house employee who steals a painting to relieve gambling debts owed to a gangster played by Vincent Cassel. Rosario Dawson plays the hypnotherapist tasked by Cassel to extract the location of the painting after McAvoy suffers memory loss due to a blow to the head. Check out the latest trailer below.
Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out
This sequel to the 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired 78 looks at Polanski’s arrest at the Zurich Film Festival in 2009, his resulting imprisonment, and his battle to avoid extradition to the U.S. Marina Zenovich’s film, Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, comes to theaters March 26th in limited release. Polanski, meanwhile, is currently working on adaptation of the play Venus in Fur with Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner.
A documentary look at WikiLeaks
Alex Gibney and his team produce documentaries at an alarming pace. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks will be his third release in roughly six months, following Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God 73 and The Last Gladiators 61. His latest looks at Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, but also at the impact of WikiLeaks on the life of Bradley Manning, an Army Private arrested for leaking classified military documents. Look for the film in limited release beginning May 24th.
A Divergent cast
Summit Entertainment is looking to extend its YA success streak that began with The Twilight Saga (and is continuing with The Hunger Games 67), and director Neil Burger (Limitless 59) has put together a strong cast for the studio's upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA thriller Divergent. At the end of last week, Heat Vision reported that Theo James (currently on TV’s Golden Boy) will star as “Four” opposite the omnipresent Shailene Woodley. Joining them will be Woodley’s The Spectacular Now co-star Miles Teller, as well as Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, Aaron Eckhart, and, as confirmed by EW, Kate Winslet. Divergent comes to theaters March 21, 2014.
Rogen & Goldberg plot their next project
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have already committed to their next directorial effort following their upcoming June 14th release This Is the End. THR reports that the new project, The Interview, could re-team Rogen with James Franco in a story that follows a
talk show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who “find themselves in way over their heads when they get involved in a plot to assassinate the prime minister of North Korea.”
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Ridley Scott would like Christian Bale to play Moses in the biblical epic Exodus. - Deadline
- Christina Applegate is in talks to play Ed Helms’ wife in the upcoming Vacation reboot. Helms plays Rusty Griswold. - THR
- Gary Oldman will play the head of police keeping an eye on fellow cop Tom Hardy in Daniel Espinosa’s adaptation of the Soviet-set novel Child 44.- Heat Vision
- Chris O’Dowd (The Sapphires), will play a Catholic priest opposite Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in the comedy St. Vincent De Van Nuys. - Deadline
- Daniel Cudmore will return as Colossus in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Fan Bingbing will join the cast as Blink. - Coming Soon
- Kate Beckinsale is in talks to play a patient at a mental institution who poses as a doctor in Brad Anderson’s Eliza Graves, which is based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story. - Heat Vision
- Tim Heidecker and Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids) will join Joel McHale and Robin Williams in the comedy A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle. - The Wrap
- Sarah Silverman is in talks to play a prostitute opposite Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, and Giovanni Ribisi in Seth MacFarlane’s western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. - Heat Vision
- Another attempt will be made to reboot Escape from New York, this time as a planned trilogy. - Deadline
- David Goyer will direct a new adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo (the most recent came to theaters in 2002 with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce). - THR
- Hugh Jackman will star in Six Years, an adaptation of Harlan Coben’s novel that was released this week. - THR
- MGM hopes to have the next James Bond movie in theaters within three years. - Reuters
- Alex Garland, the writer behind Dredd, Never Let Me Go, and 28 Days Later will make his directorial debut with Ex Machina, an original screenplay about an artificially intelligent female robot. - THR
- The Weinstein Company will release Shane Salerno’s documentary Salinger, about the reclusive author J.D. Salinger, on September 6, 2013.
- Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton will join Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, and Vincent D’Onofrio in David Dobkin’s The Judge. - THR & Variety
- Rob Letterman (Monsters Vs. Aliens) will direct the first feature film adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. - Deadline
- Kiefer Sutherland will play the lead villain in Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii. - Heat Vision
- Rufus Sewell, Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, John Hurt, and Rebecca Ferguson will star alongside Dwayne Johnson in Brett Ratner’s Hercules. - Deadline & Heat Vision
- Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Mark Duplass are set to join Melissa McCarthy in Tammy. - THR & Deadline
- Kristen Wiig is in talks to star opposite Will Ferrell in the indie comedy Welcome to Me. - THR
- Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde will star in Universal’s remake of Endless Love. - THR
- Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) could re-team with his Training Day star, Denzel Washington, for The Equalizer. - Deadline
- Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) will direct Dreamworks’ remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. - Deadline
- Yes, there could be a Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2. Thank you, foreign box office. - Deadline