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

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  • Publish Date: September 2, 2011

A bite-size look at The Hunger Games

What do you see in this teaser to The Hunger Games, the first film based on the best-selling Suzanne Collins trilogy? Not much, really, but if you don’t care about The Hunger Games now, Lionsgate will try to change your mind over the next six months. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death. (If only they tried that on Big Brother.) Josh Hutcherson plays Peeta; Liam Hemsworth plays Gale, and the supporting cast includes Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, and many others. Gary Ross (Seabiscuit 72) directs. The Hunger Games hits theaters March 23, 2012 and will be followed by Catching Fire on November 22, 2013.

A first glimpse at Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress

The first film from writer-director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona) since 1998's The Last Days of Disco 76 stars Greta Gerwig, Analeigh Tipton, and Adam Brody in a comedy set at an East Coast university. This low-key but humorous clip below indicates that Stillman hasn't lost his knack for dialogue in the intervening years. You can also watch two additional short clips at Rope of Silicon, though we are still eager to get a look at the film's less conventional elements (it's said to include musical dance numbers, for instance). Damsels in Distress screens at the Toronto International Film Festival later this month, though it doesn't yet have a U.S. release date.

Tom Tykwer’s 3 trailer

Director Tom Tykwer hasn’t had the international success some might have expected after his 1999 breakout hit Run Lola Run 77, and his last film, The International 52, might have been his least successful, but he’s currently working on an adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas with the Wachowskis. Before that, his next project, 3, will get a limited release on September 16. The film looks at what happens to a restless married couple when they separately fall in love with the same man.

The Double trailer

Warning: the trailer for The Double looks to be even more full of spoilers than the usual preview, so read and watch at your own risk. The thriller stars Richard Gere as a retired CIA operative who is paired with a young FBI agent, played by Topher Grace, to investigate a Soviet assassin once thought dead but who now seems to be up to his old tricks. Unless there’s a major twist, watching the trailer is like giving away the ending of No Way Out at the beginning. Co-written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted 64) and directed by Brandt, the film also stars Martin Sheen, Stephen Moyer and Odette Annable. The Double comes to theaters September 23, 2011.

Scorsese decides to Gamble

THR reports that Martin Scorsese will team up with his The Departed screenwriter, William Monahan, on another remake. This time, the duo will tackle The Gambler, the 1974 film starring James Caan, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his lead performance. Originally directed by Karel Reisz (The French Lieutenant’s Woman) and written by James Toback, The Gambler tells the story of an English professor whose gambling addiction begins to ruin his life and the lives of those around him. Paul Sorvino, Lauren Hutton and Burt Young also starred. In whom are the filmmakers interested for Caan’s role? None other than Scorsese’s new De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio. When this film will actually go into production is anyone’s guess since Scorsese is already attached to Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel, a Sinatra biopic, as well as The Wolf of Wall Street and other projects. One person that’s not happy about the remake, or at least how it all came about, is James Toback; read his letter to Deadline. Even if you don’t agree with it, it’s entertaining, as Toback typically is.

Kenneth Lonergan’s long delayed Margaret gets a trailer

Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me 85) finished shooting Margaret in 2005. Now, six years later after multiple lawsuits and offers from many talented people (Martin Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker, Sydney Pollack) to help him edit the film, a September 30 release date has been set, and a trailer has finally emerged. The film revolves around Anna Paquin’s Lisa Cohen, a 17-year-old New York City high-school student struggling to cope with the guilt she feels for possibly causing a bus accident. Mark Ruffalo stars as the bus driver, Matt Damon plays Paquin’s teacher, while Matthew Broderick, Kieran Culkin, and Jean Reno also appear.

Fireflies in the Garden trailer

It is the week of the long delayed drama based around a vehicular accident. Finished in 2008, writer/director Dennis Lee makes his feature film debut with this story about a family reunion turned tragic when an accident takes the life of the one person that holds the family together. Fireflies in the Garden stars Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Julia Roberts, and comes to theaters October 14.

Miss Bala trailer

This Mexican crime thriller from director Gerardo Naranjo (Drama/Mex 65) looks at the drug war between rival gangs and the DEA through the eyes of an aspiring beauty queen played by Stephanie Sigman. Miss Bala earned praise when it premiered at Cannes in May and recently received a U.S. release date of October 14.

A new trailer for Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In

Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film is his first collaboration with Antonio Banderas since 1990’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! 54. When it premiered at Cannes, reviews were mixed, but the story does have plenty of Almodóvar’s signature style as well as some of the themes (sexual identity, revenge) he enjoys exploring. In the film, Banderas plays a plastic surgeon haunted by the deaths of his wife and daughter and obsessed with creating an indestructible synthetic skin. The Skin I Live In will get a limited release October 14.

Dogtooth director returns with Alps

Giorgos Lanthimos’ controversial Dogtooth 73 surprisingly earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film last year. Some found the film disturbing, some quite funny, and some both, and it looks like Lanthimos is up to his same tricks in this teaser for his next film, which will premiere in the coming week at the Venice Film Festival. Alps centers on a group of people who are hired to stand in for the dead loved ones of their clients with the aim of helping them through the grieving process. Check out the list of rules for Alps members (the name of the group), and check out the teaser below. No U.S. release date has been set.  

Soderbergh needs a new man (from U.N.C.L.E.)

Steven Soderbergh will not go quietly into retirement. He has two films coming out in the next five months: Contagion on September 9, and Haywire on January 20. He’s wrapping up the casting of his next film Magic Mike, a male stripper story starring Channing Tatum which should begin shooting next month. And, in the meantime, he’s been shooting 2nd unit for Gary Ross on The Hunger Games and talking to the NY Times about becoming a painter. Now comes word from Deadline that George Clooney might be leaving Soderbergh’s other upcoming film project, an adaptation of the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. According to the report, Warner Bros. still wants to begin production in February 2012, but no replacement for Clooney has been mentioned. Don't worry; if they can’t work it out, Soderbergh still has Liberace with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon to occupy his time.

Janie Jones trailer

In this film from writer/director David M. Rosenthal, Alessandro Nivola plays a rock star who is surprised to learn that he has a thirteen-year-old daughter in the form of Abigail Breslin (presumably named Janie Jones after the Clash song). Elisabeth Shue plays her ex-groupie mom that can no longer take care of Janie, and Peter Stormare makes an appearance as well. The trailer features a version of the song "Find Love" by Clem Snide, whose lead singer, Eef Barzelay, along with Gemma Hayes, provides music for the film. Janie Jones will get a limited release on October 28.

TIFF gets animated for A Monster in Paris

From Bibo Bergeron, the director of Shark Tale 48, and the prolific producer (and sometimes writer and director, though not in this case) Luc Besson comes an animated tale set in 1910 Paris, where Emile, a movie projectionist, Raoul, an inventor, and Lucille, a cabaret singer, help protect an gigantic flea with a beautiful singing voice. Vanessa Paradis, Sean Lennon, Adam Goldberg, Danny Huston, and Catherine O’Hara provide the voices for A Monster in Paris, which will show at TIFF but does not yet have a U.S. release date.

Spend a minute watching one more trailer for In Time

If you’ve wanted to learn a little bit more about In Time, the futuristic new thriller from director Andrew Niccol that stars Justin Timberlake, then this international trailer should satisfy that desire. Along with the typical international emphasis on the action and sex in the movie, the trailer reveals the rules of the world as well as the death of a major character, so be warned. In Time, which also stars Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Matt Bomer, and Alex Pettyfer, hits theaters October 28.

Al Pacino’s Wilde Salome

In 2006 while putting on a production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, Al Pacino brought along a camera crew and decided to make a film about his obsession with Wilde, with the play, and with the part he had played multiple times, King Herod. The production starred the then-unknown Jessica Chastain, whose 2011 rivals any actors’ best year: Tree of Life 85, The Help 62, The Debt 66, and the upcoming Take Shelter. Pacino travels to Dublin (Wilde’s birthplace) as well as Paris (where Wilde died) and interviews Wilde’s grandson as well as other writers (Tom Stoppard, Gore Vidal, Tony Kushner). Currently, Wilde Salome has no U.S. release date.

New info on the Coen brothers’ next film

Back on July 1, we reported on the new Coen brothers film based on the life of '60s folk singer and “Mayor of MacDougal Street” Dave Van Ronk. Now, Variety reports that the film will be titled Inside Llewyn Davis and will focus on “Llewyn Davis' struggles as a folk musician during the genre's 1960s heyday in New York City.” So it seems Van Ronk’s memoir might be used more as a general inspiration instead of as the basis for the lead character, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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

  • Check out these set photos of the new Man of Steel in action. - SuperHeroHype
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has been moved from its November 18 release date to December 9.
  • Michel Gondry is currently shooting his next film, The We & The I, which appears to be a low-budget time travel story featuring a young, amateur cast. - The Playlist
  • Would you like to see Taylor Lautner and Dwayne Johnson face off as David & Goliath? - Heat Vision
  • John Moore (Max Payne 31) will direct Die Hard 5. - Deadline
  • Zoe Saldana is attached to star as a half-human/half-angel in the supernatural thriller Dominion. - THR
  • Roman Coppola's first directorial effort since 2002's CQ 56 will be called A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, though few other details have emerged. - The Playlist
  • Nick Nolte will play chief of police Bill Parker in Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer’s period crime drama based on the true story of the L.A.P.D. unit set up in the 1940s to rid the city of the influence of East coast gangsters like Mickey Cohen, who will be played in the film by Sean Penn. - Deadline
  • In more Argo casting news, Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Taylor Schilling, Tate Donovan, and Nelson Franklin have all joined Ben Affleck’s hostage drama about how the CIA worked with Hollywood to extract a group of diplomats in Iran after the 1979 revolution. - USA Today & Variety
  • Ben Ripley (Source Code 74) has been hired to write a contemporary remake of Flatliners, Joel Schumacher’s 1990 film about medical students conducting near-death experiments on themselves that starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon. - Deadline
  • The Lucky One, an adaptation of the Nicolas Sparks novel starring Zac Efron as a Marine who returns from his third tour of duty and tries to find the mystery woman in the photograph he keeps for good luck, will be released August 24, 2012.
  • As expected, Josh Brolin will star in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. - Deadline
  • The Playlist reports that Peter Sarsgaard and Paul Dano will star in Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, her new film about eco-terrorists. Rooney Mara has also been approached about the lead female role. In more Dano news, The Wrap reveals that he will play Karl Rove in Richard Linklater’s College Republicans.
  • David Koepp, who directed Johnny Depp in Secret Window 46, will write a new version of The Thin Man for Depp, who plans to play the hard-drinking ex-detective Nick Charles. - Deadline
  • Chloe Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, and Johnny Lee Miller have officially joined Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows - THR
  • Prepare yourself: Human Centipede II (The Full Sequence) will be in theaters October 7. And we do mean prepare yourself.

Comments (1)

  • MarcDoyle  

    3 looks stylish and preposterous, yet fun. I'll check it out. I'm betting Miss Bala will be outstanding. Margaret, sadly, doesn't look promising at all - and You Can Count on Me is one of my all-time faves, so that's disappointing to say. And Fireflies in the Garden? Great cast, but it's not surprising it's been delayed for so long. If that trailer is meant to pull the film-goer in, they might want to try again. The Skin I Live in by dont-call-me-Pedro Almodovar is right in my wheel-house - definitely freaky-looking, and a must-see in my book. And on that note, we'll see if I have the guts (and the stomach) to see Human Centipede II in the theater. Seeing the first one on DVD, allowing me to pause it a few times, is what got me through it. I guess I've got a month to decide.

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