Gravity pulls you in
After a long development process which saw Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard and Robert Downey Jr. attached to (and then departing from) the project, a rigorous 3D shoot with rumors of an uninterrupted 15 minute opening shot, and a post-production cycle that has pushed the boundaries of movie effects, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is finally ready to make its debut. Sandra Bullock stars as a doctor on her first space mission, and George Clooney stars as a veteran astronaut, but the real star looks to be space as the two take a routine spacewalk only to have their shuttle destroyed, leaving them alone and connected only to each other. Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, who collaborated with Cuarón’s on his last feature (2006's Children of Men 84) and has lately been Terrence Malick’s right-hand man, Gravity will get an IMAX release (which seems appropriate, given the setting) on October 4th.
The first trailer for Ender’s Game
Based on the award-winning science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game tells the story of Ender Wiggin (Hugo’s Asa Butterfield), a young man recruited to Battle School, where he trains to to fight an invading alien race known as Formics. After he impresses Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford), Ender is promoted to Command School, where he trains under Mazer Rackham (a heavily tattooed Ben Kingsley) and prepares to lead Earth’s fleet into battle. Written and directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the film also stars Hailee Steinfeld as another recruit, Abigail Breslin as Ender’s sister, and Viola Davis as a military psychologist. Look for it in theaters beginning November 1st.
The World’s End begins here
The World’s End marks the end of Edgar Wright’s Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (previous entries include Shaun of the Dead 76 and Hot Fuzz 81), but what a wonderful end it looks to be. Written by Wright and Simon Pegg, the sci-fi comedy follows five friends (Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan) as they try to repeat an epic pub crawl they attempted 20 years prior. But in those two decades, more has changed than one might expect. (Hint: this is a sci-fi comedy.) American moviegoers will have to wait until August 23rd to see the film, but look for early reviews from the UK when The World's End opens there on July 19th.
Martin Scorsese’s Silence
Variety reports that Andrew Garfield will join Ken Watanabe in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. Garfield will play Father Rodrigues, “a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church.” Watanabe will play his interpreter. The mostly Japanese-language production has been in Scorsese’s mind for 25 years, but it has been difficult to get off the ground. Scorsese has never shied away from religion in his films, even addressing it head on with The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. With the first Jesuit pope now leading the Catholic Church, maybe the time is just right.
The Coen Brothers look Inside Llewyn Davis
In preparation for its premiere at Cannes next week, the first official (red-band) trailer has been released for Inside Llewyn Davis. The footage is similar to what was released in January with a few minor tweaks and CBS Films' official approval (since they acquired the film in February). Oscar Isaac plays the titular character, a struggling folk singer in the thriving early '60s folk scene of Greenwich Village. He stars alongside his Drive co-star, Carey Mulligan, and another folk singer played by Justin Timberlake. The rest of the eclectic cast includes Coen Brothers stalwart John Goodman as well as F. Murray Abraham, Garrett Hedlund, and Adam Driver. The original screenplay drew inspiration from The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the memoir by Bob Dylan’s friend and lesser known folk singing contemporary Dave Van Ronk. The film features live song performances by the lead actors, and with an awards-friendly December 6th release date, hopes are high for this latest offering from Joel and Ethan Coen.
Tom Hanks captains Paul Greengrass's ship
Paul Greengrass returns to the true-story suspense of Bloody Sunday 90 and United 93 90 with this story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Phillips in this adaptation of Phillips's memoir, A Captain’s Story: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea. The adaptation is by Billy Ray, the writer/director of the based-on-true-event movies Breach 74 and Shattered Glass 73. With that kind of pedigree, expect plenty of award-season buzz for Captain Phillips once it hits theaters on October 11th.
With half of Hollywood in its cast, Lee Daniels’ The Butler arrives as a potential course correction on the heels of his much debated (some might say ridiculed) last feature, The Paperboy 45. Danny Strong wrote the screenplay based on Wil Haygood’s article about Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served under eight presidents. Forest Whitaker plays the title role (renamed Cecil Gaines for the movie), and the ensemble includes Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, Melissa Leo as Mamie Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Orlando Eric Street as Barack Obama and Nelsan Ellis as Martin Luther King Jr. But why stop there? Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo, Vanessa Redgrave, and Alex Pettyfer also appear in the picture, but the big news is the return of Oprah Winfrey to the big-screen. She plays the butler’s wife in her first major role since Beloved. Look for The Butler in theaters beginning October 18th.
August: Osage County
Another oft-mentioned possible contender for year-end awards is John Wells’s upcoming adaptation of Tracy Letts’s play August: Osage County. Meryl Streep leads the cast as the matriarch of the Weston family. After their alcoholic father (Sam Shepard) goes missing, the clan returns to the house where they grew up. Julia Roberts plays Streep’s daughter, who is separated from her husband (Ewan McGregor) and has a daughter (Abigail Breslin) of her own. Juliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson play Streep’s other daughters, while Margo Martindale plays Streep’s sister, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Cooper are Martindale’s son and husband. The Weinstein Company will release August: Osage County on November 8th.
Now You See the first 4 minutes
Louis Leterrier, who kicked off The Transporter 51 franchise and rebooted Clash of the Titans 39, returns to theaters this month with Now You See Me, a heist film that focuses on a group of four magicians (and criminals) comprised of Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson. In the new clip below, we are introduced to these magicians, their particular skills, and their place in the world. Known as the Four Horsemen in the film, they steal from corrupt businesses and give the money to their audiences, which attracts the attention of Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Melanie Laurent. Now You See Me opens on May 31st.
Paula Patton stars as a flight attendant who wants to find a boyfriend before her youngest sister’s wedding in this romantic comedy from writer/director David E. Talbert (First Sunday 41). With a little help from her friends, Patton stalks her ex-boyfriends hoping to find a quick fix. Filling out the cast are Taye Diggs, Adam Brody, Jill Scott, Trey Songz, and Derek Luke. Baggage Claim hits theaters September 27th.
Another fun look at The Kings of Summer
The Kings of Summer comes to theaters on May 31st. Here’s another featurette for director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ coming-of-age tale (and Sundance hit) about three friends who decide to spend the summer building a house and living in the woods so they can get away from their parents. The cast includes Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias (who play the boys) as well as Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie.
Argo make another movie
Coming off the success of Argo 86, Ben Affleck has decided to return to the author that provided the source of his first directorial effort Gone Baby Gone 72—Denis Lehane. According to Deadline, Affleck will write, direct, and star in Live By Night. Lehane’s novel is a period piece that takes place during Prohibition and centers on Joe Coughlin, the son of a cop who gets increasingly involved in organized crime. The tale takes place in Boston, Tampa, and Cuba as it traces Coughlin’s rise through the ranks of colorful mobsters. Shooting is scheduled to begin in September, so it looks like a 2014 release.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Luke Evans, recently cast as Dracula in Universal’s new take on Prince Vlad, has now been cast as the Crow in F. Javier Gutierrez’s reboot of that franchise. - Deadline
- Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West will be released on May 30, 2014; MacFarlane will also star in the film.
- Originally set to reach theaters this August, 300: Rise of an Empire has been bumped to March 7, 2014.
- Doug Liman’s Tom Cruise-starring All You Need Is Kill is also moving, from spring to the prime summer date of June 6, 2014.
- Mission Impossible 5 is happening, and Tom Cruise will star. There’s no word yet on who will direct, or if his co-stars from Ghost Protocol will return. - Deadline
- Adam Scott will take over for John Cusack in Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Rumors have him playing a new leading role. - The Wrap
- Vince Vaughn will play the biological father who thwarts Will Ferrell’s efforts to become stepdad of the year in the comedy Daddy’s Home. - THR
- Christopher Nolan will not work in Hollywood without Michael Caine, so Michael Caine will be in Interstellar. - Deadline
- Jeff Nichols will write and direct a sci-fi epic starring Michael Shannon for Warner Bros. - Variety
- Mia Wasikowska and Olivia Williams will join Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, and Sarah Gadon in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars. - THR
- Jane Got a Gun finally got another actor to take the role Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper all had to drop. It’s Ewan McGregor. - Deadline
- Owen Wilson will join Joaquin Phoenix and Benicio Del Toro in Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. - The Wrap
- James Mangold will direct Reese Witherspoon (and possibly Amanda Seyfried) in the adaptation of Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir Three Little Words. - THR
- Robert De Niro will star alongside Jason Clarke and Omar Sy in Stephen Gaghan’s cop drama Candy Store. - Variety
- James Ponsoldt will write and direct the big-screen adaptation of the musical Pippin. - THR
- Keira Knightley is in talks to replace Anne Hathaway (now that she’s in Nolan’s Interstellar) in Lynn Shelton’s Laggies. - EW
- Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) will write and direct a remake of the 1968 Cold War submarine thriller Ice Station Zero. - THR
- Babak Najafi will direct Inside the Machine, an action film set in El Paso about an ATF agent trying to stop a gang of mercenaries. - Coming Soon
- James Franco will star as a writer who accidentally causes the death of a child in Wim Wenders’ 3D film Everything Will Be Fine. - THR
- Shane Black will go from Iron Man 3 to Doc Savage. - The Wrap
- Warner Bros. is developing a movie based on Dungeons & Dragons. - Deadline
- The long gestating, John Travolta-starring biopic of John Gotti has a new director: Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger). - THR
- Richard Madden (Robb Stark on Game of Thrones) will play the Prince opposite Lily James’ Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s live action adaptation of the Disney animation classic. - Coming Soon
- Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) has joined Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer in Guy Ritchie’s A Man from U.N.C.L.E. - THR
- Joe Dante (Gremlins) will direct Simon Pegg in Casting the Runes, based on the M.R. James ghost story. - Bleeding Cool
- Robert Redford will direct and star alongside Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods, the adaptation of Bill Bryson's book. - Screen Daily
- Joachim Trier (Oslo August 31st) will direct his first English-language film, Louder Than Bombs, about a deceased war photographer (Isabelle Huppert) whose secret past is discovered by her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and son (Jesse Eisenberg). - Screen Daily
- In the the romantic comedy How to Make Love Like an Englishman, Pierce Brosnan will play a professor whose interest in Kristin Scott Thomas hits a roadblock when he discovers he’s impregnated her stepsister, a grad student played by Jessica Alba. - Coming Soon
- Joe Wright (Anna Karenina) is in the running to direct Fifty Shades of Grey. - THR
- Chloe Moretz will star opposite Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer. - Deadline
- Big Hero 6 will be the first Disney-Marvel animation collaboration. Check out some early footage at Hero Complex.