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

  • Publish Date: November 30, 2012
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New Django Unchained trailer gets dirty

The latest trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained fills the screen with gun barrel blasts and blood, but Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson still get to steal a few moments of your attention. With the film’s Christmas Day release approaching, The Weinstein Company also revealed the tracklist for the soundtrack, which includes original songs created for the film, a first for Tarantino. The director also made news this week when he went on record during THR’s Directors Roundtable on what film he thinks is his worst, stating, “Death Proof has got to be the worst movie I ever make. And for a left-handed movie, that wasn't so bad, all right?”

Dark Skies approaching

Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton play Lacey and Daniel Barrett, average suburban home dwellers whose world becomes increasingly terrifying as a dark force invades their lives. Scott Charles Stewart (Legion 32, Priest 41) writes and directs, and J.K. Simmons is a welcome sight as someone who has expertise on the freakish events. Look for Dark Skies in theaters beginning February 22, 2013.

Bier finds Love in new rom-com

Director Susanne Bier’s filmography veers towards the more serious and dramatic with films like Brothers 76 (which was later remade with Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal), After the Wedding 78, and In a Better World 65, but her latest, Love Is All You Need, is a simple romantic comedy set mainly in Italy. Pierce Brosnan plays Philip, the 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. Will these two find love as their children have? Early reviews from THR (“neither unpredictable nor exactly fresh”), The Playlist (“by no means a disaster”), and Variety (“corny as a vat of polenta”) haven’t been great, but expect it in U.S. theaters in 2013.

X-Men return

In his first major announcement since taking over directing duties from Matthew Vaughn, Bryan Singer revealed this week the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen would be back as Professor X and Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past. As the title indicates, the latest X-Men film is comprised of dual story-lines. The “present day” story will have James McAvoy and Nicolas Hoult battling Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, while in the future timeline, Sentinels rule the United States and mutants reside in internment camps. Yes, there will be two Charles Xaviers and two Erik Lehnsherrs, but there can be only one Logan/Wolverine, so according to THR, Hugh Jackman will also appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Jackman recently wrapped The Wolverine, which comes to theaters July 26, 2013, and he had a memorable cameo in X-Men: First Class 65. Who will join the X-Men reunion next? Could Ellen Page reprise her role as Kitty Pride? How about Famke Janssen? She’s rumored to be appearing as Jean Grey in The Wolverine. There’s plenty of time for more news as X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t come to theaters until July 18, 2014.

Catching Up with Michael Apted

Michael Apted’s series of Up documentaries is an amazing thing. Beginning in 1964 and returning to it’s subjects every seven years has provided a chronicle of British life, and humanity in general, that few projects are able to accomplish. The latest, 56 Up, checks in on the now 56 year-old Neil, Jackie, Lynn, Susan, and Tony as their lives continue to evolve in surprising ways. The film will appear in U.S. theaters beginning January 4, 2013, so use the next month to catch up on the previous installments, and go here to see if 56 Up will be playing in your town.

Black Rock

Katie Aselton’s first film as director, The Freebie 54 was an improvisational relationship dramedy about a couple giving each other a one-night “hall pass.” Her new film, written by Mark Duplass, goes in the completely opposite direction, stranding three women (Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, and Aselton) on an island with three hunters. Let’s just say they don’t get along. The film premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival to mixed reviews. Eric Kohn at Indiewire called it a “guilty pleasure.” THR found it to be a “satisfying genre item,” but Variety thought the film contained “inauthentic chick-flick banter and survivalist action so ineptly staged as to appear laughable.” Decide for yourself when Black Rock opens in limited release on May 17, 2013.

Broken Lizard’s Freeloaders

The latest Broken Lizard film follows a group of slackers living in the luxurious mansion of a rock star (Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz, playing himself) who find their comfortable lifestyle in jeopardy when the house is put up for sale. Jane Seymour plays the realtor, and Olivia Munn, Clifton Collins Jr., Nat Faxon, Josh Lawson, Kevin Sussman, Zoe Boyle, Warren Hutchinson, and Dave Foley also star. Unlike previous Broken Lizard films (Super Troopers 48, Club Dread 45, Beerfest 46) Jay Chandrasekhar does not direct. Those duties are left to Dan Rosen (Dead Man’s Curve). Look for it on VOD beginning December 11th and in limited release in January.

A few more scenes from This is 40

Early screenings have generated positive buzz for Judd Apatow’s This is 40, so to further whet your appetite for this semi-sequel to Knocked Up 85, here’s a featurette on Jason Segel’s return and a couple clips highlighting the humor and the tension of Pete and Debbie’s relationship. Look for the comedy in theaters beginning December 21st.

Featurettes for upcoming films

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premiered in New Zealand this week and early word has been positive, even for the controversial 48fps. The film hits 2D, 3D, and IMAX theaters in two weeks, so until then check out one last featurette as Peter Jackson guides you through the post production process. You can also find Jackson and many of the film's stars guesting on a LOTR-themed week of Colbert Report episodes beginning Monday.

The Tom Cruise-starring Jack Reacher might be in jeopardy of getting lost in the Christmas shuffle, so here’s a little introduction to the character by the author of 17 Reacher novels, Lee Child. Look for the film in theaters beginning December 21st.

Delayed multiple times, the last for re-shoots, Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad will finally come to theaters on January 11, 2013. Here’s a short reminder of what the film has to offer, including period costumes and cars, plenty of gunfire, and an impressive cast that includes Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, and Nick Nolte.

Your weekly dose of Star Wars rumors and news

Last week it was reported that Lawrence Kasdan, the man who penned The Empire Strikes Back, and Simon Kinberg, the writer of the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, had been hired to write and produce Episodes VIII and Episode IX, but this week the news has become a bit more cloudy about what exactly they have been hired to do. THR reports that the pair have actually been hired to write spin-offs that will expand the Star Wars universe, but the report hedges a bit by saying, “Their scripts could turn into official 'Episodes' in the main Skywalker storyline, or they could form the basis for spinoffs focusing on side characters.” In other Star Wars news, Brad Bird confirmed he will not direct Episode VII, and Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed 72) took himself out of the running when Variety revealed that he and writing partner Derek Connolly are working on a remake of the 1986 sci-fi film Flight of the Navigator for Disney. So the big scoop remains: who’s going to direct Episode VII?

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

  • Awards season kicked off this week with the Film Independent Spirit Award nominations and with Moonrise Kingdom winning Best Feature at the Gotham Awards (see a full list of nominees and winners here). Look for our complete coverage of awards season and year-end top ten lists next week, when the New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review, and other organizations begin announcing their year-end awards.
  • The program for Sundance 2013 was also announced this week.
  • Frances Ha, the surprise black-and-white collaboration between director Noah Baumbach and star Greta Gerwig, will come to theaters May 17, 2013.
  • The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, will hit theaters on May 31, 2013. - THR
  • Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing will be released June 7, 2013.
  • Paul Greengrass will direct and George Clooney will star in and produce a new script set in the world of New York crime syndicates from Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio.
  • Casting for James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy has begun and here’s a long list of names vying for the lead role of Peter Quill: Joel Edgerton, Lee Pace, Eddie Redmayne, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Garrett Hedlund, James Marsden and Sullivan Stapleton. Got a favorite? - Deadline
  • Ben Mendelsohn will be directed by Ryan Gosling, his The Place Behind the Pines co-star, in How to Catch a Monster, Gosling’s directorial debut. - Movie Hole
  • Laura Linney will join Daniel Bruhl (who is replacing James McAvoy due to a scheduling conflict) and Benedict Cumberbatch in Bill Condon’s Wikileaks movie. - The Wrap & THR
  • Lenny Kravitz will play Marvin Gaye in a biopic to be directed by Julien Temple (Absolute Beginners, Earth Girls Are Easy). - Deadline
  • Cate Blanchett will play the evil stepmother in Mark Romanek’s live-action update of the Cinderella fairy-tale. - The Wrap
  • Joe Carnahan will direct the vampire love story Undying Love based on the graphic novel by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman. - Deadline
  • Charlize Theron will star, and William Monahan will pen the script for, a remake of Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. - Heat Vision
  • Guy Pearce, Rosamund Pike and Bryan Brown will star in Violet Town, an adaptation of Steven Carroll’s The Art of the Engine Driver to be directed by Mark Joffe. - Deadline
  • J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) is in talks to direct an adaptation of Wool, Hugh Howey’s self-published e-book about a post-apocalyptic world. - Vulture
  • Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Jennifer Hudson will star in director Kasi Lemmons’ adaptation of Langston Hughes’ musical Black Nativity. -
  • Hailee Steinfeld will star alongside Kevin Costner in McG’s now-untitled action film, previously known as Three Days to Kill. - Deadline
  • Park Chan-wook’s Stoker has an interactive website.
  • Nick Hornby will pen the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild for Reese Witherspoon. - Deadline
  • Star Trek Into Darkness now has a plot synopsis.
  • Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film, Pacific Rim, has a new viral website.

While we were away for the holidays...

  • Check out the first trailer for The Heat, Paul Feig’s Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy-starring follow-up to Bridesmaids.
  • I Give It a Year looks like a pleasant British rom-com in this first trailer.
  • Did Jesse Eisenberg and his young magician pals pull off a real life heist in Now You See Me? The first trailer might provide clues.
  • The animated Epic got a new trailer. As did Jack the Giant Slayer.
  • Is Dwayne Johnson a Snitch, or just a caring father? Find out in this trailer.

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