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

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  • Publish Date: October 28, 2011

An action-filled trailer for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

If this trailer is any indication, director Brad Bird’s live-action debut looks to be as visually stunning as his animated work. Throwing Tom Cruise into the middle of explosions and out the window of the world’s tallest building will tend to get people excited for the early IMAX release of the fourth Mission: Impossible film. This time, the team is made up of Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and returning players Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg. The rest of the cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Josh Holloway, Léa Seydoux, Vladimir Mashkov, Michael Nyqvist and Anil Kapoor. Check out Ghost Protocol in IMAX December 16 (with a six-minute The Dark Knight Rises preview) or on regular screens when it goes wide on December 21.

Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey

Angelina Jolie’s debut as writer and director tells the story of two lovers, a Serbian played Goran Kostic and a Bosnian played by Zana Marjanovic, and how the Bosnian War impacts their relationship. Rade Serbedzija (most recently seen as the Russian General in X-Men: First Class) also stars. In the Land of Blood and Honey opens December 23.


Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, together again

In addition to Deadline reporting that Warner Bros. has selected Ben Affleck to direct an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand (it doesn’t seem like a done deal, but there’s no mention of the previously attached Harry Potter team of Steve Kloves and David Yates), Deadline announced later in the week that Affleck would direct and co-star with best bud Matt Damon in a biopic about notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. Bulger has been in the new since his arrest on June 22, 2011 in Santa Monica after sixteen years of being on the lam. Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos) will write the script. Damon will star as Bulger, and Ben’s brother Casey Affleck will play a supporting role. Damon spoke to GQ about the film before Deadline confirmed the details: “We're doing a Whitey Bulger movie. . . .There are a couple of competing movies and I don't think it's been announced yet that we're doing it, but the sooner it's announced the better, just because everyone else will back off, hopefully. I'm really excited about it." Affleck followed up, saying, “Matt and I have been looking for something to do together for some time. We’ve heard about Whitey Bulger since we were kids, and we are excited by the prospect of putting it on screen.”

A new trailer for Scorsese’s Hugo

Two weeks ago, Martin Scorsese premiered an unfinished version of his fist 3D film, Hugo, for audiences at the New York Film Festival, and the initial reaction was very positive. With the release of the the film approaching, a new trailer appeared this week for the film starring Asa Butterfield as Hugo Cabret, an orphaned boy living in a Paris train station in the 1930s. Hugo, an adaptation of Brian Selznick children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, also stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, and Christopher Lee. See it in theaters beginning November 23.

An official trailer for The Secret World of Arrietty

Studio Ghibli’s latest film, The Secret World of Arrietty, is based on Mary Norton’s novel The Borrowers and is written by Hayao Miyazaki (the director of Spirited Away 94 and Ponyo 86) and Keiko Niwa and is the directorial debut of Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The studio’s films are popular in any language, and in the U.S, Disney distributes the films after dubbing them in English with a new cast. This release features the voices of Bridgit Mendler as Arrietty, Amy Poehler as her mother, Will Arnett as her father, and Carol Burnett. The film will come to theaters February 17, 2012.

The first trailer for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Set to The Polyphonic Spree’s "Light and Day," the first trailer for the animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax adds a new twist to the beloved children’s story. In this version, Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) goes searching for a tree to impress Ashley (Taylor Swift) only to encounter The Lorax (Danny DeVito) and his nemesis, the tree-chopping Once-ler (Ed Helms). Chris Renaud (Despicable Me 72) and Kyle Balda direct from a script by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul. Check it out in 2D or 3D when it comes to theaters March 2, 2012.

Muppets parody trailer

They’ve tackled the romantic comedy, The Hangover Part II, Green Lantern and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and now the team behind the Muppets parody trailers has one final teaser to unveil. This time they go after Paranormal Activity, Puss in Boots, Happy Feet, and Twilight. The Muppets, directed by James Bobin, written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller and starring Segel, Amy Adams, and Chris Cooper (and all your favorite Muppets), comes to theaters November 23.

A fun international trailer for The Pirates! Band of Misfits

We featured the first U.S. trailer for the latest stop-motion picture from Aardman Animation back in July. The U.K. trailer for what is known as The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists internationally and The Pirates! Band of Misfits in the U.S. reveals a bit more about the story of Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), his crew (including Martin Freeman and Brendan Gleeson), and his rivals in the Pirate of the Year competition, Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek). Peter Lord, the director of Chicken Run 88, co-directs with Jeff Newitt. Gideon Defoe provides the screenplay from his own series of stories. See it in theaters March 30, 2012.

Joss Whedon’s secret Shakespeare

On Sunday, The Wrap broke a story about Joss Whedon filming a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and after that appeared with a cast list and, later, a press release. The press release reveals that Whedon shot the film at his home in 12 days, and it “is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.” The film was shot in black and white, and Whedon says, “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The cast includes Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as Beatrice and Benedick, Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Clark Gregg as Leonato, Fran Kranz as Claudio and Reed Diamond as Don Pedro.” EW got an exclusive interview with Whedon, in which he reveals that he shot the film after wrapping The Avengers, and calls it “the best vacation I’ve ever taken.” Look for it on the festival circuit in 2012.

Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss

Werner Herzog’s almost 50-year directing career is nothing if not prolific. Since 2005 alone, Herzog has made eight feature films, including narrative films as different as Rescue Dawn 77, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans 69, and My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done 59, and documentaries as varied as Grizzly Man 87, Encounters at the End of the World 80, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams 86. His latest film, Into the Abyss, is a documentary about life and death told through interviews of Texas death row inmate Michael Perry and the people impacted by his crime. Early reviews have been good, with Variety calling the film “undeniably profound.” The film will get a limited release beginning November 11.

The U.S. release trailer for Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

For a film that won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008, Elite Squad 33 has a surprisingly low Metascore, and users seem to be baffled as well, giving the film a 9.5. Disregarding the U.S. critical reception and instead listening to his fans, director José Padilha (Bus 174 83), directed a follow-up, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, that became Brazil’s highest grossing film of all time. That film finally gets a limited U.S. release in New York on November 11 before expanding to LA on November 18. Check out the official U.S. trailer below.

Django Unchained finally casts Broomhilda

Since the script was leaked in May, speculation has run rampant on the the casting of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and with most major and minor roles filled, one remained: Django’s wife, Broomhilda. No need to wonder anymore. Deadline reports that Kerry Washington, the front-runner form the beginning, will play the wife of Jamie Foxx’s Django. She joins a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Don Johnson, Dennis Christopher, Laura Cayouette, M.C. Gainey, Tom Savini, and the recently added Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Variety). Shooting begins in New Orleans in January.

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

  • Steve McQueen’s Shame, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, will be rated NC-17 when it comes to theaters December 2.
  • Albert Finney has joined Sam Mendes’ still untitled Bond 23 as a higher-up in the British Foreign Service. - Baz Bamigboye
  • Premium Rush, the bike messenger thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and directed by David Koepp, has been moved from January to August 24, 2012.
  • Sherlock Holmes 3 is already in the works. - Deadline
  • Eric Bana will play Elvis, and Danny Huston will play Nixon, in Elvis & Nixon, which will be the directorial debut of Cary Elwes. - THR
  • With Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) now set to direct, casting rumors began this week for the live-action adaptation of Akira. “Gary Oldman has been offered the role of Colonel while Helena Bonham-Carter has been offered Lady Miyako.”  - Twitch
  • Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott will join Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Baker, and Katherine LaNasa in the Jay Roach-directed Dog Fight (formerly titled Southern Rivals) a comedy about two political rivals in South Carolina. - Risky Business & Deadline
  • Sony wants Aaron Sorkin to adapt Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. - 24 Frames
  • Peter Jackson will direct the next Tintin film after he completes The Hobbit. - The Playlist / THR
  • Red 2, the sequel to the retired assassins action flick Red, will hit theaters August 2, 2013.
  • Louis Leterrier’s magician heist film Now You See Me starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, and Woody Harrelson will be revealed July 18, 2013.
  • Warm Bodies, directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and starring John Malkovich and Nicholas Hoult, will be out August 10, 2012.
  • Brad Pitt has joined Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography Twelve Years a Slave. - The Playlist
  • Check out some character bios for the upcoming Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy adaptation over at Apple.
  • Hayley Atwell, Diane Kruger, and Kate Beckinsale are all in the running to star opposite Tom Cruise in Joseph Kosinski’s latest sci-fi flick, Horizons. - Deadline
  • Are you ready for two Independence Day sequels? - Vulture
  • After wrapping up The Three Stooges, the Farrelly brothers might jump into a Dumb and Dumber sequel. - Deadline
  • Steve Soderbergh’s male stripper movie Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello, will be released June 29, 2012.
  • Sean Penn will direct Robert De Niro and Kristin Wiig in The Comedian. “De Niro will play Jackie Burke, a raging comic past his prime who clings to any recognition that comes from his days as a beloved TV character as he tries to reignite his stagnant career. Sentenced to community service for hitting a heckler in the head with a microphone, the comic meets Harmony, a dazzling and defiant redhead who turns his life sideways.” - Deadline
  • The noir thriller Broken City, starring Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones and directed by Allen Hughes, will hit theaters January 18, 2013. - THR
  • Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Judy Greer, Sarah Silverman and Jessica Biel are all vying for the lead opposite Steve Carell and Jim Carrey in the rival magician story Burt Wonderstone. - Deadline
  • The break-dancing documentary Planet B Boy 63 is being turned into a feature film starring Chris Brown, Josh Holloway, Laz Alonso, Josh Peck, and Caity Lotz. The director of the documentary, Benson Lee, will also direct this fictionalized take. - THR
  • Spielberg kinda sorta blames Lucas for Indy 4. - Empire

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