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

  • Publish Date: November 16, 2012
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Let the battle for "the next Twilight Saga" begin

With the Twilight Saga coming to an end this weekend, studios are doing their best to usher in new young adult franchises with three new trailers ready-made for the Twilight audience. First up is Lily Collins as shadowhunter Clary Fray in an adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Harald Zwart (2010‘s The Karate Kid 61) directs the first of this best-selling six book series. Jamie Campbell Brown plays Jace Wayland, Collins’ romantic interest/gateway to the ways of demon hunting. Look for it in theaters beginning August 23, 2013.

Following in her own footsteps is Twilight scribe Stephenie Meyers, whose The Host will make its way to theaters on March 29, 2013, courtesy of director Andrew Niccol (In Time 53). This futuristic look at a world taken over by aliens stars Saoirse Ronan as Melanie Stryder, a rebellious human battling the “Souls” until her body is taken over by a Wanderer. Max Irons plays Melanie’s boyfriend (when she was a human) while Jake Abel and Diane Kruger play supporting roles.

Getting the jump on the other two films with an early February 13, 2013 release will be Richard LaGravenese’s adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s best-selling young adult novel Beautiful Creatures. Set in South Carolina, the story revolves around Lena (Alice Englert), whose 16th birthday marks the day when her magical powers are claimed by either the Light or the Dark. Alden Ehrenreich plays Lena’s love interest, Ethan, and Emmy Rossum plays her evil cousin Ridley. This latest trailer provides the first extended look at Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson.

From the guys who wrote The Hangover...

Who is Jeff Chang and why do his best friends call him by his full name? Well, he’s turning 21 and is about to have the wildest night of his life, which makes his disapproving father from Lost very angry. Justin Chon plays Jeff Chang, and Jeff Chang’s friends are played by Miles Teller (continuing to enjoy partying on screen Project X style after his feature debut in the drama Rabbit Hole) and Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect). Look for booty, boobs, and booze in theaters beginning March 1, 2013.

Admission ain’t easy

Paul Weitz (Being Flynn 53, About a Boy 75) directs Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in this story of a Princeton admissions officer (Fey) whose life is thrown out of balance after she is introduced to a high school senior (Nat Wolff) who might be the son she gave up for adoption when she was in college. The strong supporting cast includes Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, Lily Tomlin, and Gloria Reuben. Admission comes to theaters March 8, 2013.

Can zombies fall in love?

In the horror comedy Warm Bodies, Nicholas Hoult stars as R, a zombie whose heart starts pumping at the sight of Julie, played by Teresa Palmer. Unfortunately for the star-crossed lovers, Julie’s dad (John Malkovich) is seriously anti-zombie, and Julie’s best friend (Analeigh Tipton) has many questions for the thawing R. Luckily, R’s best friend M, played by Rob Corddry, supports the new couple. Jonathan Levine (50/50 72) directs his own screenplay based on Isaac Marion’s book of the same name. Find out if love can change the world when Warm Bodies arrives in theaters on February 1, 2013.

File under "When will they learn?": More games coming to the big screen

Variety reports that Tom Hardy will play Sam Fisher in the upcoming adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. The Ubisoft game series will be written for the screen by Eric Singer (The International 52). Hardy’s signing follows the recent announcement that Michael Fassbender will star in an adaptation of the Assassin’s Creed series. Unlike that film, Splinter Cell is not set up at a studio quite yet, but Hardy’s attachment gives it a good chance. Yet another videogame getting the film treatment is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. THR reports that CBS Films has signed Sinister 53 director Scott Derrickson to co-write (with Robert Cargill) and direct. Using the latest game (that takes place 25 years before the first), the film will tell the origin story of a former SWAT specialist whose body is mechanically augmented during a life saving operation. Derrickson is also attached to Beware the Night, which Eric Bana joined this week according to The Wrap, so a Deus Ex film could still be a ways off.

Oz, the technicolor dream world

In this prequel of sorts to the classic 1939 film, we discover the origins of the great Wizard of Oz. It turns out that he’s Oscar Diggs, a morally dubious circus magician who looks quite a bit like James Franco. Transported to Oz via the familiar tornado express, Oscar meets three witches—Theodora (Mila Kunis), Glinda (Michelle Williams), and Evanora (Rachel Weisz—and must prove himself to be the savior of their land. Sam Raimi directs for the first time since 2009’s Drag Me to Hell 83 and for the first time in 3D. Oz The Great and Powerful comes to theaters March 8, 2013.

On the Road again

Arriving in limited release on December 21st is director Walter Salles’ (Central Station 80, The Motorcycle Diaries 75) attempt to adapt Jack Kerouac’s unadaptable novel, On the Road. The cast includes Sam Riley as Sal Paradise, Garret Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, and Kristen Stewart as Moriarty's teen bride Marylou. The semi-autobiographical story follows Kerouac stand-in Sal Paradise as he adventures across America with his pal Dead Moriarty (Neal Cassady in real life). Along the way they encounter characters like Viggo Mortensen’s Old Bull Lee, based loosely on William S. Burroughs, as well as those played by Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Terrence Howard, Alice Braga, Steve Buscemi, and Elizabeth Moss. Jose Rivera penned the script, and Gustavo Santaolalla provides the score.

Mad Men meets Friday Night Lights

While on a weekend getaway at his family’s house in upstate New York, Seth (FNL's Zach Gilford) and Andie (Jena Malone) are interrupted by his father (Mad Men’s John Slattery) and his new, much younger partner (Gabrielle Union). Dealing with old wounds and new tensions becomes the order of the weekend as father and son wrestle with the bonds of family. In Our Nature is Brian Savelson's feature writing and directing debut, and it will get a limited release beginning December 7th.

This week in wild Episode VII speculation

What’s the latest news on who might direct Episode VII? Well, it seems J.J. Abrams is not interested, as he informed HollywoodLife, “I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!” Don’t look for Guillermo del Toro’s name on the marquee either, due to the number of projects he’s developing. He told Fanhattan, “I haven’t approached them, they haven’t formally approached me.” (What about informally?) Directors who have not yet pulled their names out of contention include Jon Favreau, Colin Trevorrow, Joe Johnston, and Matthew Vaughn, and producer Frank Marshall, whose wife is now the president of Lucasfilm, tells MTV that the search is down to “a couple of candidates, but I don't know how soon that will be revealed.”

Sequel news: The sequel

Star Wars 7 wasn't the only sequel in the news this week. Revealing a little more information about Anchorman 2 was its director, Adam McKay. In talking to The Playlist, McKay disclosed that the new movie would use the 24-hour news cycle as a jumping-off point for what is going to be “a big silly movie” with musical numbers of some sort: “We were going to do Anchorman 2 as a Broadway musical first, for like six months and then go shoot the movie. That was our initial idea.” Fans can also count on seeing plenty of recognizable actors appear in small roles, with McKay adding, “We're talking about for Anchorman 2 creating a murderer's row of the best day players ever. Like having every single one line or three line role, just be someone we just love.”

Last, and possibly least surprising, is word that Michael Bay is testing plenty of fresh-faced young actresses to play Mark Wahlberg’s daughter in the upcoming Transformers 4. THR reports that Isabelle Cornish (sister of Abbie), Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender), Gabriella Wilde (next year's Carrie remake), and Alex Frnka (MTV's The Inbetweeners) are all up for the role, and in the film, they will have a race car driver as a boyfriend (it is a Michael Bay film, after all). Testing for that role will be Luke Grimes (Taken 2), Landon Liboiron (Terra Nova), Brenton Thwaites (Blue Lagoon: The Awakening), and Hunter Parrish (Weeds). Who will be the next Shia? Only time will tell, but, according to Vulture, they might want to brush up on their Chinese, since the film could be set in China four years after the action of the last film

ABCs = NSFW

With 26 directors comes 26 (or more) ways to die in The ABCs of Death.  The alphabet-based horror anthology features segments by Ben Wheatley (Kill List), Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Xavier Gens (Frontiers), Ti West (House of the Devil), Nacho Vigalando (Timecrimes), Srdjan Spasojevic (A Serbian Film) and segments like “D is for Dogfight,” “N is for Nuptials,” “O is for Orgasm,” “Q is for Quack,” and “W is for WTF.” The film hits VOD on January 13, 2013, or wait until it comes to theaters on March 8, 2013, if only to find out why “T is for Toilet.”

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

  • One reason to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in IMAX 3D: nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness will screen before the film.
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 will come to theaters September 25, 2015.
  • George Clooney is in talks to star in Brad Bird’s sci-fi themed 1952, scripted by Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen. - Variety
  • Morgan Spurlock will direct a 3D behind-the-scenes concert film for the boy band One Direction. Look for it in theaters on August 30, 2013. - THR
  • Bullhead director Michael Roskam is in talks to direct Animal Rescue. Tom Hardy could star in Dennis Lehane’s adaptation of his own short story about a Boston bartender mixed up with the mob. - Variety
  • Cameron Diaz is attached to star in the comedy The Other Woman, and Kristen Wiig could join her. - The Wrap
  • James McAvoy is in talks to play Daniel Domscheit-Berg alongside Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks movie Bill Condon is set to direct. - Variety
  • Sean Penn is in negotiations to star in the action-thriller Prone Gunman, based on a story by French existentialist/crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette about an international operative at war with the organization that betrayed him. - THR
  • James Wan (Saw, Insidious) will direct a movie based on TV’s MacGyver, and it won’t be titled MacGruber. - Variety
  • Robert Downey Jr. wants Jack Nicholson to play his dad in dramedy The Judge. - THR
  • John Hawkes will play jazz pianist Joe Albany in Low Down, a biopic based on the book of the same name. - Variety
  • Christopher McQuarrie, who recently directed Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, is the actor’s choice to helm Mission: Impossible 5. - Deadline
  • Chris Hemsworth will play a deep cover operative turned beat cop in Candy Store, to be written and directed by Steven Gaghan. - The Wrap
  • Paul W. S. Anderson’s disaster pic, Pompeii, has found its star: Kit Harington of Game of Thrones. - Variety
  • Evan Rachel Wood will star in 10 Things I Hate About Life, the story of a young man and woman who meet while attempting suicide. - Deadline
  • Alexander Skarsgard is the frontrunner for David Yates’ new take on Tarzan, which finds the ape man returning to the Congo after being accepted into society so he can battle a warlord controlling the local diamond mine. - Variety
  • Josh Gad and Ryan Dixon will write Triplets, the sequel to the 1988 comedy Twins. Eddie Murphy is attached to play the third brother. - Deadline
  • Isla Fisher will join Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), and Ty Burrell in the Elmore Leonard novel adaptation The Switch, a prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (based on Leonard’s Rum Punch). - Variety
  • Warner Bros. will release 20 films in IMAX over the next three years. - Coming Soon
  • Get directed by Quentin Tarantino at TarantinoShootsYou.net.
  • Want to contribute to a documentary about Bruce Springsteen? Go to the film’s website, Springsteen and I to learn how.

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