Opening this weekend
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
Rock, Ratner, Hercules
Previously titled Hercules: The Thracian War, the second Hercules film of 2014, following Renny Harlin’s disappointing Kellan Lutz-starring Hercules: The Legend Begins, now has the simple title of Hercules. Brett Ratner directs Dwayne Johnson in this story (adapted from Steve Moore's comic) of the son of Zeus as he leads a band of mercenaries into battle to return a king to his throne. The supporting cast includes Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, Irina Shayk, and Rebecca Ferguson. Below are two looks at the film that hits 2D, 3D and IMAX theaters beginning July 25th.
Take this new Giver trailer
Based on Lois Lowry’s Newbery-winning novel The Giver, director Phillip Noyce's (Salt) adaptation follows Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) as he begins to question the rules of his conformist society when he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory. Jeff Bridges plays the Giver, and Meryl Streep is the evil Chief Elder. The cast also includes Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgård, Odeya Rush, and Taylor Swift. Look for it in theaters beginning August 15th.
Here you are: The first look at a Mad Man's Are You Here
Titled You Are Here when it premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, Matthew Weiner’s debut feature as writer-director failed to garner the same critical response as his TV work. The film, a project in the works long before Weiner’s Mad Men became a hit, stars Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis as stoner best friends who travel to Galifianakis’s home after he inherits a large sum of money from his deceased father. While they are there, Galifianakis battles it out with his sister (Amy Poehler), and Wilson falls for the dead father’s young widow (Laura Ramsey). Are You Here comes to On Demand and select theaters on August 22nd.
Very Good Girls
Lily (Dakota Fanning) and Gerry (Elizabeth Olsen) are best friends. While they are home for one last summer before leaving for college, they make a pact to lose their virginity, but when they both fall for the same guy (Boyd Holbrook), Lily starts seeing him in secret. For her debut feature, writer-director Naomi Foner gets support from Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Barkin, Peter Sarsgaard, and Clark Gregg, and a soundtrack by Jenny Lewis. Very Good Girls comes to iTunes on June 24th before opening in select theaters on July 25th.
This week on Tatooine
With shooting underway on Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm announced that Lupita Nyong'o, a recent best supporting actress Academy Award winner for 12 Years a Slave, and Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, have joined a cast that already includes John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, and original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
While none of these actors have been seen on set yet, TMZ did publish pictures of some sets, creatures and extras as well as one of the Millennium Falcon being built. As someone who values secrecy on his movie sets, J.J. Abrams replied with a photo and a light-hearted note on Twitter, “I wish people would stop leaking photos from Episode VII and making ridiculous claims that the Millennium Falcon is in the movie.”
The last piece of Star Wars news this week concerns another one of the planned stand-alone movies. Gareth Edwards is directing the first of these films (due out in December 2016), and this week Josh Trank (Chronicle) was announced as the director of another one of the “new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”
Another year, another Nicholas Sparks movie
James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan star in the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me. They play former high school sweethearts (Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato play their younger selves) who reunite at a friend’s funeral after being apart for 20 years. Michael Hoffman (The Last Station) directs. Look for The Best of Me in theaters beginning October 17th.
A prologue trailer for If I Stay
Seemingly inspired by the text of Gayle Forman's 2009 novel, the latest trailer for If I Stay once again tries to induce tears. Directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) from a script by Shauna Cross (Whip It), the drama stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia Hall, a gifted cellist who has been admitted to Juilliard. Those school plans are put on hold when she is hospitalized after a car wreck and stuck between life and death, able to watch those around her while trying to decide her next step. See it in theaters beginning August 22nd.
Made in America
Ron Howard directs this documentary look at the Made in America music festival organized by Jay Z. The film features a mix of interviews and performances by Pearl Jam, Run-D.M.C., Gary Clark Jr., Skrillex, Kanye West, D’Angelo, Santigold, Jill Scott, Janelle Monáe, Odd Future, Rita Ora, Passion Pit, Santigold, Dirty Projectors, The Hives, and Miike Snow. Made in America opens in select theaters on July 11th.
Is this a 12-Step program?
The Step Up franchise continues with Step Up All In, the fifth installment in a series that began with the Channing Tatum-starring Step Up in 2006 and has continued with Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3-D and Step up Revolution. In this latest chapter, all-stars from previous installments (Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Misha Gabriel, Alyson Stoner, Adam Sevani) come together in Las Vegas to battle for a victory that could define their dreams and change their careers. Trish Sie of OK Go video fame directs from a script by John Swetnam (Evidence). The film steps into 2D and 3D theaters beginning July 25th.
Eli Roth returns with The Green Inferno
While he has been producing and starring in plenty of films, Eli Roth has not directed a film since 2007’s Hostel: Part II. Now he’s back, and he’s brought Amazonian cannibals with him. The Green Inferno follows a group of college students on a mission to stop the deforestation of the Peruvian jungle. Unfortunately, their plane crashes, and they discover the tribe they intended to help only wants their flesh. Look for The Green Inferno in theaters beginning September 5th.
Written by Patrick Doody and Chris Valenziano and directed by Ben Katai, Beneath tells the story of a group of coal miners who are trapped 600 feet underground. Jeff Fahey and Kelly Noonan play a father and daughter who are on one last dig together. The best picture winner at last year’s Screamfest is available on VOD beginning June 27th and opens in select theaters on July 25th.
My Man Is a Loser
In My Man Is a Loser, two married men, Marty (Michael Rapaport) and Paul (Bryan Callen), ask their single friend (John Stamos) for some advice on how to reconnect with their wives. Writer-director Mike Young makes his feature debut with a supporting cast that includes Sean Young and Tika Sumpter (Ride Along). See it in theaters or On Demand beginning July 25th.
A School Dance you don’t want to attend
Nick Cannon co-wrote (with Nile Evans) and directs this story about Jason (Bobb'e J. Thompson from Role Models), a high schooler who has found his dream girl (Kristinia DeBarge), but she doesn't know he exists. If he can win a spot on the school's dance crew, he might have a shot, but before he does, he'll have to deal with his mom, her father, and his brother, and pass the crew's initiation. With a cast that includes George Lopez, Mike Epps, Katt Williams, and Wilmer Valderrama, School Dance comes to select theaters and On Demand on Wednesday, July 2nd.
In brief ...
- David O. Russell's next film will be Joy, with Jennifer Lawrence likely starring as Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. It has been scheduled for an awards-friendly Christmas 2015 release. - Rope of Silicon
- Jupiter Ascending’s release date has been pushed back from next month all the way to February 6, 2015.
- Ghostbusters will return to more than 700 theaters over Labor Day weekend in honor of its 30th anniversary. - EW
- A week later, Forrest Gump will get a 20th anniversary IMAX release on September 5th. - ERC Box Office
- Ant-Man is still looking for a director. Adam McKay was in. Now he’s out. Rawson Thurber also passed, and Ruben Fleischer is the new favorite for the Ghostbusters reboot.
- Josh Brolin will voice Thanos, who was seen at the end of The Avengers and will appear briefly in Guardians of the Galaxy. - Latino Review & Vulture
- Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, The Mindy Project) will play the male lead in the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy The Nest. - THR
- Frank Darabont, Gavin O’Connor, and Andy Muschietti are the favorites to direct the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. - Deadline
- Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate, Dreamgirls) will direct a live action version of Beauty and the Beast for Disney. - Variety
- Oliver Stone will make a film about Edward Snowden, based on Luke Harding's book The Snowden Files. - The Guardian
- MGM would like to pair star Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua for a third time for a remake of The Magnificent Seven. - Deadline
- Naomi Watts and Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) have joined the cast of Insurgent. - Variety & Heat Vision
- Tim Roth will play Alabama governor George Wallace opposite David Oyelowo’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Tom Wilkinson’s Lyndon B. Johnson in Middle of Nowhere director Ava DuVernay’s Selma. - Deadline
- Anna Camp will reprise her role of Aubrey alongside the returning Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson and new additions Katey Sagal and Hailee Steinfeld in Pitch Perfect 2. - THR
- Djimon Hounsou has joined Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie in David Yates’s live-action version of Tarzan. - Deadline
- Writer-director Damien Chazelle (Sundance winner Whiplash) wants Miles Teller and Emma Watson to star in his next feature, the musical La La Land. - The Wrap
- Josh Brolin and Jon Bernthal have joined Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. - Deadline & THR
- George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) will direct Birth of the Dragon, a Bruce Lee biopic “inspired by his historic 1965 duel with Wong Jack Man, China’s most famous kung fu master.” - Variety
- Christian Slater has joined James Franco in Pamela Romanowsky’s adaptation of The Adderall Diaries. - Deadline
- Scott Derrickson (Sinister, the upcoming Deliver Us From Evil) will direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange. - Variety
- Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) is in talks with Sony to direct an adaptation of the popular video game Metal Gear Solid. - Deadline
- Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) will direct an adaptation of Freddie Wilkinson’s story “Massacre in the Himalayas” about mountain climbers attacked by extremists while trying to climb K2 in Pakistan. - Variety
- The Other Guys co-stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg could reunite in Daddy’s Home. Ferrell would play the responsible stepdad to Wahlberg’s kids. - Deadline