Film Friday: This Week's Movie News and New Trailers

  • Publish Date: May 11, 2012
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The first trailer for Ben Affleck’s Argo

Ben Affleck’s third feature as director tells the true story of the CIA’s mission to rescue six American diplomats during the 1979 Iranian revolution by disguising them as a Canadian film crew working on a fake science fiction movie titled Argo. The screenplay by Chris Terrio is based on the Wired article How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran. If you don’t mind spoilers, it’s worth a read. In the film, Affleck stars as Tony Mendez, the organizer of what some call the Canadian Caper, and he’s supported by a strong cast that includes John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall and others. With Gone Baby Gone 72 and The Town 74 already under his belt, Argo could be Affleck’s third critical success in a row when it comes to theaters October 12th.

Our first glimpse at Gangster Squad

If the first trailer for Gangster Squad is any indication, making the jump from Zombieland 73 and 30 Minutes or Less 49 into serious drama territory might not be too easy for director Ruben Fleischer. The tone seems all over the place—almost like a comic book at some points, but maybe that’s intended. It’s only a trailer, after all. The film chronicles the formation of a squad of LAPD officers whose assignment is to kick the Mickey Cohen-led Mafia out of Los Angeles. Making up the force are Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, and Robert Patrick. Nick Nolte plays LAPD chief Bill Parker, and Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen, while Emma Stone plays a woman who catches Gosling’s eye. Originally given an October 19 release date, Gangster Squad has been pulled from the schedule, though it is still expected to surface in 2012.

A first look at candidates Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis

Is the presidential election too boring for you? Jay Roach's upcoming comedy The Campaign boasts two slightly more unconventional candidates in aspiring congressmen played by Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. The film features a script by Eastbound & Down's Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy and a cast that also includes Dan Aykroyd (in his first live-action film in four years), John Lithgow, and Jason Sudeikis. This week brought not only the first official trailer, but also a few of the candidates' campaign ads. Vote for The Campaign at your local cineplex beginning August 10.

A parody of another kind from the Wet Hot American Summer crew

Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler will star in They Came Together, a romantic comedy parody written by David Wain and Michael Showalter. Wain, whose most recent directorial effort was Wanderlust 53, will also helm the picture, which Variety describes as having “rom-com staples such as the jealous ex-girlfriend, the office jerk, scary in-laws, a boring dentist, a wise dog and beautiful shots of New York City in autumn.” The film charts the predictably roller-coaster relationship of Rudd, who works for a mega-corporation, and Poehler, who owns a tiny store threatened by Rudd’s company. You’ve Got Mail anyone? It’s a script that’s existed since just after Wet Hot American Summer 42, so let’s hope it captures some of the magic of that underrated film.

The first extended look at The Watch is a red-band one

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade star in the newly retitled comedy The Watch. The action comedy, formerly titled Neighborhood Watch, has had to undergo some rebranding since the Trayvon Martin tragedy. The first full trailer includes a new emphasis on the alien-invasion aspect of the storyline, something only hinted at in the previous teaser. In the film, the fours stars stumble upon something they seem laughably (lucky for us) unequipped to handle. Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod 43) directs from a script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Filling out the cast are Billy Crudup, Rosemarie DeWitt, Will Forte, and R. Lee Emry. Check it out in theaters on July 27th.

A final red-band trailer for The Dictator

Admiral General Aladeen of Wadiya has been in power since the age of seven, so when his trip to New York City renders him powerless and cast out amongst the masses, it takes him a while to adjust. Aiding him in his transition is Anna Faris’ Zoey, the manager of the Free Earth Collective, but from the looks of the latest trailer, change doesn’t come easy to the Admiral General. Early reviews have been solid for Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy, so check out The Dictator when it comes to theaters on Wednesday.

Get ready for The World’s End

Deadline reports that Edgar Wright is looking to start shooting the final film in his Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (aka The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy) that began with Shaun of the Dead 76 and Hot Fuzz 81. As with the first two films, The World’s End will be written by Wright and Simon Pegg and star Pegg and Nick Frost. Here’s the story: “20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.” Look for it in theaters in the spring of 2013.

Killer Joe: NC-17 for a reason

Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, and Juno Temple star in this combination of black comedy and violent thriller from veteran director William Friedkin and writer Tracy Letts, who also collaborated on 2006’s Bug 62. In Killer Joe, Hirsch hires McConaughey to kill his mom (Gina Gershon), so he can get her life insurance money and pay off the debts he owes to some very bad men, but when Hirsch can’t pay upfront, McConaughey takes his sister (Juno Temple) as collateral. Check out the film and what Gershon can do to a chicken leg in select theaters beginning July 27th.

A trailer for Todd Solondz's Dark Horse

The latest twisted tale from Todd Solondz looks at the real (and fantasy) life of Abe (Jordan Gelber), a man in his mid-30s who still lives with his parents (Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken), works for his dad, buys action figures on eBay, and doesn’t have too high an opinion of humanity. Abe’s life changes when he pursues a relationship with Selma Blair’s Miranda. When it screened in Venice and Toronto last fall, critics were split on how Dark Horse measured up to the director's earlier work (Welcome to the Dollhouse 83, Happiness 81) or his more recent films (Storytelling 50, Palindromes 53 and Life During Wartime 69). Judge for yourself when it opens in limited release beginning June 8th.

Oslo, August 31st

Director Joachim Trier released Reprise 79 in 2006 in his native Norway and it finally made it to select U.S. theaters two years later. His second feature, Oslo, August 31st, finally debuted in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film, in which he reunites with Reprise star Anders Danielsen Lee, is a day in the life look at a heroin addict fresh out of rehab. Strand Releasing will bring the film to New York on May 25th and Los Angeles on June 1st.

Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street cast

Leonardo DiCaprio is playing the wolf in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, but he’s not the only Oscar nominee in the cast. According to THR, Jonah Hill has joined the cast as a close friend and business partner to Leo’s character. Also joining the project is Kyle Chandler (aka coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights).  Deadline reports that Chandler will play the FBI agent that takes DiCaprio’s Belfort down. The film, which should hit theaters sometime in 2013, comes from the pen of Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter.

Some Brave new spots

Disney released a little something for the men and the mothers this week. The men get information on kilts in a clever short with a little new footage from Brave, and if the Happy Mother’s Day featurette is any indication, it looks like the relationship between mother and daughter will be a central theme in the film that comes to 2D and 3D theaters on June 22nd.

Two major female roles close to being cast

Rebecca Hall and Cameron Diaz closed in on some highly sought after roles this week. After Jessica Chastain dropped out last week, Hall is now the frontrunner to join Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.  Variety reports that Hall is in talks to play scientist Maya Hansen, an old flame of Stark’s in the Extremis arc of the comics. Release for the film is still set for May 3, 2013. There’s also major buzz for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, based on Cormac McCarthy’s first spec script. The role of the femme fatale Malkina has been linked to Penelope Cruz and Angelina Jolie, but now Twitch reveals that Cameron Diaz, in an upset, has snagged the role. This is not a comedy, so prepare to see Diaz in a new light. Obviously there isn’t anything official yet, so Cruz still could come back into play in another role, but with Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and Javier Bardem locked the cast is already excellent. It was also announced this week that Diaz is attached to Agent: Century 21 a less than promising action comedy with Benicio Del Toro. Oh well, one good, one bad, so she comes out even.

Behind the scenes of Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom opens the Cannes Film Festival next week before arriving in limited release in the U.S. on May 25th. Until then, fill your Wes Anderson whimsy void with the featurette below and even more behind the scenes footage over at /Film, Moviefone, and MTV.

Another look at two summer blockbusters

Men in Black 3 and Prometheus hit theaters two weeks apart—on May 25th and June 8th respectively—but one comes with higher box office expectations while the other (now R rated) carries the burden of critics’ expectations. New featurettes won’t change anyone’s mind about either film, but there’s a little new footage for fans to ponder. If you need more, EW also has a series of new images of the Prometheus crew.

A Django Unchained update

As shooting continued this week on Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino found himself having to make more adjustments to his cast. He already lost first choices Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jonah Hill, and Kevin Costner to busy schedules, and now Sacha Baron Cohen and Kurt Russell walked away. Baron Cohen was another victim of a packed schedule with promotion of The Dictator taking up most of his time, but Russell’s departure was more of a mystery.  AICN shed some light on the situation, revealing that Russell left the production without any drama and no explanation and that his role of Ace Woody would not be recast but instead absorbed by Justified’s Walton Goggins, who was already playing Billy Crash, another henchman of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie. The film is still scheduled for a December 25th release.

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

  • If you’re looking for a primer on the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, check out the official website and click on any of the Competition films for images, clips, and trailers.
  • Joss Whedon thanked his longtime fans for the success of The Avengers. Read it here.
  • Liberal Arts, Josh Radnor’s follow-up to Happythankyoumoreplease, will come to theaters September 14th.
  • Flight, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Denzel Washington will be released on November 10th.
  • The Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand comedy Guilt Trip will now come to theaters on December 25th instead of a few months earlier.
  • Roland Emmerich’s return to action movies, White House Down, will hit theaters on November 1, 2013.
  • CBS Films has delayed the release of 7500 until 2013 and has moved Gambit, written by the Coen brothers and starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz, to an October 12th release date.
  • Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head starring Sylvester Stallone will come to theaters February 1, 2013.
  • Roman Polanski’s next film will be D, a political thriller about the Dreyfus Affair, which got its name from Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French Army, who was sentenced to life in prison for spying and later exonerated. - Deadline
  • Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas will star in Last Vegas, the story of four friends who gather for a late-in-life bachelor party. Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) penned the script, and John Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) will direct. - THR
  • Jon Hamm is attached to play sports agent J.B. Bernstein, who created the reality show Million Dollar Arm in India to find pitchers for Major League Baseball. Tom McCarthy (Win Win) wrote the script, but there’s no word on whether he will also direct.- Deadline
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger will star in the action film Ten written by Skip Woods (A Good Day is Hard to Find) and directed by David Ayer (End of Watch). - Heat Vision
  • Sophia Vergara has joined Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Amber Heard, and Michelle Rodriguez in Machete Kills. - Variety
  • The Maleficent cast now includes Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Sam Riley, and Lesley Manville. - Heat Vision
  • Kick Ass 2 is in the works at Universal with Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) set to write and direct. - Deadline
  • Tommy Lee Jones will write, direct, and produce The Homesman, the story of “a pioneer woman and a claim-jumping rascal of a man (Jones) who usher three insane women on an odyssey from Nebraska to Iowa, braving the elements along the way.” - Variety
  • Gareth Evans, director of the action-packed The Raid, is attached to direct Breaking the Bank “based on the life of former UFC fighter 'Lightning' Lee Murray, a mixed martial arts street brawler who masterminded the largest cash heist in history of England in 2006.” - Deadline
  • Juliette Lewis will star in The Days of Mary, a remake of Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria. - THR
  • Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, directors of Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3, will helm an adaptation of Edward Abbey’s novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. - Deadline
  • John Hawkes, Peter Bogdanovich, and Natalie Zea will star in the indie Too Late, Dennis Hauck’s feature debut about a troubled investigator and his relationship with the missing woman he’s hired to find. - THR
  • Vince Vaughn is in talks to star in a remake of the French-Canadian comedy Starbuck about a man “whose life is turned upside down when he learns he has fathered 533 children through sperm donation.” - Variety
  • Cole Hauser will play a villain opposite Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney in A Good Day to Die Hard. - Deadline
  • Clark Gregg (The Avengers) has been cast alongside Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, and James Van Der Beek in Jason Reitman’s adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s novel Labor Day. - THR
  • Gil Junger, who wrote and directed 10 Things I Hate About You starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, is planning a sort of-sequel titled 10 Things I Hate About Life starring Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger). - Variety
  • Paula Patton will star as a flight attendant trying to find a husband in Baggage Claim, from writer/director David Talbert (First Sunday). - Deadline
  • Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, and Alan Rickman could all be joining Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, and Jane Fonda in Lee Daniel’s The Butler, which chronicles the life of Eugene Allen, who worked for eight presidents in the White House. - THR
  • Guillermo Del Toro will co-direct a stop motion version of Pinocchio with Mark Gustafson, the animation director on Fantastic Mr. Fox. - Variety
  • Warrior director Gavin O’Connor will helm Yakuza, the story of “an American intelligence expert who becomes embroiled in the affairs of a notorious yakuza godfather.” - Deadline
  • Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) will re-team with Liam Neeson on Non-Stop, an action thriller that takes place on a plane. - Variety
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog will be brought to the big screen in a live action/animation hybrid by Illumination Entertainment, the team behind Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. - Heat Vision
  • Andre 3000, Hayley Atwell, and Imogen Poots will star in a Jimi Hendrix biopic written and directed by John Ridley, but the Hendrix estate isn’t too happy about it. - WSJ
  • RED 2 has added Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byung-Hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) to the old school gang of Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich. - Deadline
  • Rachel McAdams will star in Love Actually director Richard Curtis’ latest romantic comedy, About Time. - THR
  • Shawn Levy has replaced the previously attached Brett Ratner on the “epic family adventure” 39 Clues. - Deadline
  • Having already played a vampire in Let Me In, Chloe Moretz is now in talks to play the zombie daughter of Paddy Considine in Maggie. - Variety
  • Want to see Batman’s ride? Well it’s coming to 26 towns in North America. Check out the tour dates here.
  • Get to know your Bond Girls.

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