Opening this weekend
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
We will see the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer now
It’s only the first trailer, and there’s already controversy. No, not about stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, but about NBC’s Today airing the trailer during its 8am hour. The PTC (Parents Television Council) told THR, “Today is helping to promote mommy porn,” and Variety quotes Morality in Media’s statement claiming the trailer “glamorizes and legitimizes violence against women.” Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of E.L. James’ novel doesn’t come out until February 13, 2015 (just in time for Valentine’s Day), so we have many more months to hear from every group involved. Billionaires into BDSM, are you next? Defend your rights.
A second soak in the Hot Tub Time Machine
In this sequel to the surprise 2010 hit Hot Tub Time Machine, writer Josh Heald, director Steve Pink, and stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke are all back for another soak in the hot tub. Who’s missing? Previous lead John Cusack, whose absence is not addressed in this first (NSFW) red-band trailer. This time, the remaining pals jump into the future to prevent Corddry’s Lou from being shot. Joining the fun this time around are Adam Scott, Gillian Jacobs (her Community castmate Chevy Chase returns as well) and Thomas Lennon. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 hits theaters on December 25th.
Fall film festival announcements
Once again the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival will have impressive slates of films. Playing in competition in Venice with Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman will be Fatih Akın's The Cut, David Gordon Green's Manglehorn with Al Pacino, Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes starring Andrew Garfield, The Look Of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to The Art Of Killing, Andrew Niccol's The Good Kill, and Abel Ferrera’s Pasolini (starring Willem Dafoe). Playing out of competition are Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way (formerly titled Squirrel To The Nuts, and starring Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, and Jennifer Aniston), Barry Levinson's adaptation of Philip Roth's The Humbling starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig, Joe Dante’s horror-comedy Burying The Ex with Anton Yelchin, Ulrich Seidl’s In the Basement, and Lars von Trier’s director's cut of Nymphomaniac Volume 2. The premieres at TIFF include The Equalizer, The Judge, This Is Where I Leave You, The Drop (formerly titled Animal Rescue), Chris Evans’s directorial debut Before We Go, Cake starring Jennifer Aniston, The Good Lie starring Reese Witherspoon, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, Mia Hansen-Love’s Eden, and many more.
Miles Teller stars as an aspiring jazz drummer at a top music conservatory, and J.K. Simmons is his demanding teacher, in Whiplash, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s Grand Jury Prize- and Audience Award-winning feature debut from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. An expansion of his 2013 Sundance award-winning short, the film has earned excellent early reviews and comes to theaters on October 10th.
The Imitation Game
The incredible true story of British mathematician Alan Turing is the subject of The Imitation Game, Morten Tyldum’s follow-up to Headhunters. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Turing, who led a team that cracked the German Enigma Code, helping the Allies win World War II. That success was short-lived, however, as Turing was convicted of homosexual acts in 1952. The strong supporting cast includes Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey). Look for early reviews from its premiere at the BFI London Film Festival before it opens in U.S. theaters on November 21st.
Writer Dan Gilroy (Real Steel, The Bourne Legacy) makes his directorial debut with this story about Lou Bloom, a go-getter who takes a liking to the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Jake Gyllenhaal’s plays Bloom, and Rene Russo plays Nina, a local TV veteran who works with him. Bloom was introduced to the world through a Craigslist ad earlier in the week, and now we have a full trailer. Nightcrawler hits theaters on October 17th.
Pay a visit to Space Station 76
Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Marisa Coughlan, Matt Bomer, Jerry O'Connell, and Kylie Rogers star in actor Jack Plotnick’s feature directing debut set on a 1970s-era space station. The comedy earned solid reviews when it premiered at SXSW, with Wilson’s portrayal of Capt. Glenn getting special notice. While it doesn’t have a release date yet, the first trailer for Space Station 76 reveals the film’s comedic tone well.
The November Man arrives in August
In The November Man, Pierce Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, an ex-CIA operative brought back in on a very personal mission, in this adaptation of Bill Granger’s novel There are No Spies. Devereaux finds himself up against his former protégé, Luke Bracey’s David Mason, as he tries to protect a key witness played by Olga Kurylenko. Director Roger Donaldson (The Bankjob) also cast Will Patton, who made a strong impression in Donaldson’s No Way Out over twenty-five years ago. Donaldson’s latest comes to theaters August 27th.
Coming to theaters on October 17th is Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones. Set in a future where water is scarce, the film stars Michael Shannon as the father of two kids played by Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee. They come into contact with a young man (played by Nicolas Hoult) who disrupts their lives. Early reviews tout the film’s visuals over its narrative.
Simon Pegg searches for happiness
Simon Pegg is the titular Hector in Hector and the Search for Happiness. Directed by Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance, Serendipity), who co-wrote the screenplay (based on the French novel by François Lelord) with Maria von Heland and Tinker Lindsay, the film follows Hector, a psychiatrist, as he travels the world in search of what makes people happy (and leaves behind Rosamund Pike). Toni Collette, Stellan Skarsgård, Jean Reno, and Christopher Plummer also star in this September 19th release.
Dear White People
Dear White People earned good reviews when it premiered at Sundance this year, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent. This feature debut from writer-director Justin Simien looks at the state of race relations on the campus of Winchester University through the lives of four black students played by Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonha Parris, and Brandon P. Bell. Find it in theaters beginning October 17th.
Another look at If I Stay
Directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) from a script by Shauna Cross (Whip It), this adaptation of Gayle Forman's 2009 novel stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia Hall, a gifted cellist who has been admitted to Juilliard. But her plans are put on hold when she’s hospitalized after a car wreck and is suspended between life and death, able to watch those around her while trying to decide whether to live or die. If I Stay opens on August 22nd.
Not your dream Honeymoon
Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Harry Treadaway star as a young newlyweds who travel to a remote cabin in the woods. It’s no surprise then that something creepy is in those woods, and their honeymoon will not be the romantic getaway they had hoped. Look for Honeymoon in theaters and On Demand beginning September 12th.
J.J. Abrams talks about Star Wars: Force for Change in this video from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Taylor star in the time-travel thriller Predestination. No U.S. release date has been set.
An Education director Lone Scherfig returns to school for her adaptation of Laura Wade’s play Posh (now titled The Riot Club). Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Douglas Booth star.
Writer-director Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound looks like a fun blend of horror and comedy.
Opening August 15th in New York and the 22nd in Los Angeles is director Philippe Garrel’s Jealousy, starring his son Louis and Anna Mouglalis.
News and notes
- Cameron Crowe’s still-untitled Hawaii-set project starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, and Rachel McAdams has been moved from a December 25 release date to May 29th, 2015.
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice will premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 4th before opening in limited release on December 12th. A nationwide release follows on January 9, 2015. - Variety
- At Comic-Con, Sony announced a re-shuffling of the Spider-Man franchise, with The Amazing Spider-Man 3 moving from 2016 to 2018, and Drew Godard’s Sinister Six getting a November 11, 2016 release date.
- Edgar Wright has found his post-Ant-Man project. It’s titled Baby Driver and is described by Deadline as “a collision of crime, action, music and sound.”
- Angelina Jolie will star alongside and direct husband Brad Pitt in By the Sea, a project written by Jolie that will find them playing a married couple. - THR
- Naomi Watts is in talks to join Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, Jean-Marc Vallée’s follow-up to Dallas Buyers Club. - The Wrap
- Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Even Hewson, and Billy Magnussen have joined Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Cold War thriller. - THR
- Idris Elba is in talks to play a “Merlin-esque” character in Guy Ritchie’s take on the King Arthur legend. - Variety
- Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) is in talks to direct Overlook Hotel, a prequel to The Shining. - Variety
- Michael Caine has joined Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in director Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter. - Heat Vision
- Steve Carell will star in Brooklyn Family Robinson. - THR
- Sinister 2, the sequel to 2012’s Ethan Hawke-starring Sinister, will hit theaters on August 21, 2015.
- Tommy Lee Jones has joined Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman in Criminal, writer-director Ariel Vromen's follow-up to The Iceman. - Heat Vision
- Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley have joined Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone in Woody Allen’s next project, which is currently shooting in Rhode Island. - THR
- The Soska sisters (American Mary) will direct the adaptation of the comic Painkiller Jane. - Heat Vision
- Uma Thurman has joined Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Emma Thompson, Lily James, Omar Sy, Jamie Dornan, Sam Keeley, Sarah Greene, and Alicia Vikander in Adam Jones (previously titled Chef). - THR
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth film in the series, will come to theaters on July 7, 2017.
- A sequel to Last Vegas is in the works that would reunite director Jon Turteltaub and stars Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline, and take them to their old (and now very different) neighborhood of Brooklyn. - Deadline
- Uncharted, director Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief) adaptation of Sony’s popular video game franchise, will hit theaters on June 10, 2016.