Jack Ryan returns in Shadow Recruit
With the sad news of Tom Clancy’s death this week comes the comfort of the prolific writer’s novels and characters. Jack Ryan is one of Clancy’s best known creations, and now a fifth film centered around the CIA analyst is ready for the big screen. Chris Pine follows in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in playing Ryan in this reboot of sorts—it's an original story from writers David Koepp and Adam Cozad—that finds Ryan trying to stop a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy. The villain behind the scheme is played by the film’s director, Kenneth Branagh, while Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley have supporting roles. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit hits theaters December 25th.
A first look at I, Frankenstein
Aaron Eckhart stars as a very different monster in this adaptation of Kevin Grevioux‘s graphic novel in which Frankenstein’s creation comes to the defense of the human race as it faces extinction at the hands of immortal clans led by Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto. Yvonne Strahovski and Jai Courtney appear as well in this film written and directed by Stuart Bettie (Tomorrow, When the War Began). Look for I, Frankenstein in theaters beginning January 24, 2014.
Another look at The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The second of Peter Jackson’s three-part, 3D, 48fps expansion of The Hobbit continues the story of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) as they fight to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Standing in their way is the dragon Smaug (motion capture and voice by Benedict Cumberbatch). Joining the fight are Lee Pace as Thranduil, Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, Luke Evans as Bard The Bowman, Stephen Fry as Master of Lake Town, Mikael Persbrandt as the shapeshifting Beorn and, making a welcome return, Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes to theaters on December 13th.
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in fall festival hit Philomena
Adapted from Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, this Stephen Frears (The Queen) film earned plenty of cheers at its premiere in Venice. In the film, Coogan plays Sixsmith, an ex-BBC correspondent doing a human-interest story on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), who is searching for the son she gave up (with a strong push from the Catholic Church) as a young unwed mother. With Oscar buzz surrounding Dench’s performance, The Weinstein Company will now bring Philomena to a few theaters in Los Angeles and New York on November 22nd before expanding the film nationwide on the 27th.
A final preview for Captain Phillips
Captain Phillips opens next Friday, but if you can’t wait to see it, there are screenings across the U.S. tomorrow. Early reviews have been good for this collaboration between screenwriter Billy Ray (Breach, Shattered Glass), director Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum) and star Tom Hanks. The true story comes from Captain Richard Phillips’ memoir, A Captain’s Story: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea, a recounting of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. Here’s one last action-packed trailer.
Getting the boys back together
In Last Vegas, Michael Douglas plays an aging bachelor who’s finally tying the knot, so he asks his buddies (Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline) to join him in Vegas for a little pre-nuptial fun. We hope that none of the members of this silver-haired wolf pack get stranded on the roof of a hotel. Written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love) and Adam Brooks (Definitely, Maybe) and directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure 1 and 2, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), Last Vegas comes to theaters November 1st.
Costa-Gavras returns with Capital
Written (with Jean-Claude Grumberg and Karim Boukercha) and directed by Academy Award winner Costa-Gavras (Z, Missing), this adaptation of Stéphane Osmont’s book Le Capital follows a ruthless executive Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh) as he climbs the corporate ladder of France’s Phenix Bank. Along the way he faces business challenges from the leader of an American hedge fund played by Gabriel Byrne and extracurricular distractions from an international supermodel (Liya Kebede). Look for Capital in select theaters beginning October 25th.
Jackie Chan is back in CZ12
Previously known as Chinese Zodiac, CZ12 finds Jackie Chan writing, directing and starring as Asian Hawk in this third Armour of God film following 1986‘s Armour of God and 1991’s Operation Condor. This time, Hawk must hunt down 12 stolen bronze heads representing the Chinese zodiac animals. The supporting cast includes Oliver Platt, Shu Qi, and Daniel Wu, but the film looks to be all about Chan’s ageless ability to awe viewers with amazing stunts. CZ12 hits theaters October 18th.
Two animated films for 2014
The Nut Job follows Surly (Will Arnett), a squirrel struggling to survive after being banished from his park, who finally finds the answer to all his nutty prayers: Maury’s Nut Store. With his crew assembled, Surly plans to set his whole community up for winter. Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, and Brendan Fraser also lend their voices to writer-director Peter Lepeniotis' debut feature. Look for it in theaters January 17, 2014.
Rio 2 doesn’t come to theaters until April 11, 2014, but here’s the first full trailer for the continuing story of Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) as they take the family to the Amazon. Andy Garcia joins the cast as Jewel’s father, and Rita Moreno and Bruno Mars also lend their voices to this sequel.
James Franco's Sal
James Franco directs this look at the final day in the life of actor Sal Mineo, who earned a best supporting actor Oscar nomination for his role alongside James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Val Lauren plays Sal, and he’s joined in the cast by Franco as director Milton Katselas and Jim Parrack as actor Keir Dullea. Lauren has received good reviews for his lead performance, but the film hasn’t won over critics so far. Sal comes to iTunes and VOD on October 22nd and theaters November 1st.
These Birds Walk
First-time directors Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq filmed for three years to tell the story of humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edh, the street children of Karachi, Pakistan and the good samaritans who look after them. These Birds Walk follows one particular runaway, Omar, and the ambulance driver, Asad, a former street kid himself, tasked with taking Omar back to his family’s village. Look for it in select theaters beginning November 1st.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) will play Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. - Latino Review
- Rob Riggle will play twins, and Jennifer Lawrence will play a young version Kathleen Turner’s character, in Dumb and Dumber To. - THR
- Hugh Jackman will be in Neill Blomkamp’s next film, Chappie, alongside a robot voiced by Sharlto Copley and gangsters played by Ninja and Yolandi Visser. - Screen Daily
- Brad Furman (Runner Runner) will write and direct Bigger, a biopic of bodybuilding pioneers Joe and Ben Weider. - Deadline
- Lem Dobbs (The Limey) will write the adaptation of Frederick Forsyth 2013 novel The Kill List for director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman). - L.A. Times
- Cruella, a live-action movie based around Cruella de Vil of 101 Dalmatians will be written by Aline Brosh McKenna, who wrote the currently shooting Cinderella. - Heat Vision
- Lizzy Caplan is in talks to star with James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview. Rogen and Evan Goldberg will write and direct the comedy about a “talk show host and his producer who are unwittingly caught up in an international assassination plot.” - Variety
- Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) will adapt Tim Madigan’s memoir I’m Proud of You, about a father whose life changes after meeting Fred “Mr.” Rogers. - The Wrap
- Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) will write the Fantastic Four reboot for director Josh Trank (Chronicle). - Heat Vision
- Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (American Reunion) will direct the previously titled (now untitled) comedy Cherries about three dads trying to prevent their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. - Deadline
- Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in Happily Ever After, a comedy that will catch up with a prince and princess ten years after they’ve declared their love for each other. - THR
- Samuel L. Jackson revealed that Elizabeth Olson will play Scarlet Witch in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. - The Wall Street Journal
- Kim Jee-woon (The Last Stand, I Saw the Devil) will direct an adaptation of Ed Brubaker’s comic book, Coward, the first volume in his Criminal series. - Variety
- David Yates, the director of the last four Harry Potter films, is attached to helm the adaptation of the comic book Who Is Jake Ellis?. - Heat Vision
- Check out the Guillermo del Toro-directed opening to the The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXIV and play spot the movie reference.