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

  • Publish Date: August 26, 2011
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The first look at The Rum Diary

Johnny Depp’s friendship with the the late Hunter S. Thompson is well documented. He played Thompson stand-in Raoul Duke in Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 41, and now he plays Paul Kemp, the main character in Thompson’s The Rum Diary, based on the author's experiences in Puerto Rico. Thompson wrote the novel in the early 60s, but it wasn’t published until 1998. Bruce Robinson, the writer/director behind Jennifer 8, adapted the book and directs a cast that includes Amber Heard, Richard Jenkins, Aaron Eckhart, Giovanni Ribisi, and Michael Rispoli. The Rum Diary comes to theaters October 28.

What they're talking about: a new Artist trailer

A surprise hit with audiences at Cannes 2011, this black-and-white silent film starring Jean Dujardin, who took home the Best Actor prize at the festival, tells the story of a silent film star whose career declines with the beginning of talkies, as his protege, played by Berenice Bejo, becomes a star. John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller also star. Director Michel Hazanavicius already had success pairing Dujardin and Bejo together in the spy spoof Oss 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies 62, but early buzz for The Artist has created Oscar nomination hype for the silent film. Will it live up to it, and will American audiences take to a silent movie? Check it out in theaters beginning November 23 to find out.

Two very different trailers for Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olsen’s performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene won praise at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and the film’s writer and director Sean Durkin won the Dramatic Directing Award. This week saw the premiere of new trailers for the film which could be activated by two QR code posters. The first trailer provides a look at Olsen’s character trying to assimilate back into her old life after leaving a cult headed by John Hawkes, and the second focuses more on her time with the cult. The film will get a limited release beginning October 21.

Where does the story of the West Memphis Three go from here?

The story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelly Jr. did not begin with Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, but that film, along with its sequel Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, brought a spotlight to the injustice. Last Friday, after eighteen years of imprisonment, the three men were released. 24 Frames has an interview with Berlinger about a third film, Paradise Lost: Purgatory, which will now require a different ending. In addition, Deadline reports that Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) already has plans to direct a film called Devil’s Knot based on Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. THR has an interview with Egoyan about his plans for the film, and EW reports on Peter Jackson’s continued support of the investigation to find the real killer.

Luc Besson shows a more serious side with The Lady

Luc Besson (The Professional 64, The Fifth Element 52) directs this film about Aung San Suu Kyi (played by Michelle Yeoh), the Burmese pro-democracy leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The film follows Suu Kyi’s advocacy for democracy and her 15 years under house arrest as well as her love for her husband, the academic Michael Aris (played by David Thewlis) who only saw her five times after Suu Kyi initially returned to Burma to care for her ailing mother. The Lady premieres at TIFF next month.

The Way trailer

Emilio Estevez (Bobby 54) directs his father, Martin Sheen, in this story about a father who goes to France to collect the remains of his son and decides to walk the same path, "El Camino de Santiago," on which his son died. Also know as St. James’ Way, the pilgrimage leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain where some believe the apostle St. James was buried. Estevez also wrote the script, and the film’s cast includes Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, and Yorick van Wageningin. The Way comes to theaters October 7.

Le Havre trailer

Named after the Normandy port town where it takes place, Aki Kaurismaekis’ latest film looks at the relationship between a shoe shiner and a young African refugee. The film was an audience and critic favorite when it premiered at Cannes a few months ago, and it will show again at TIFF in September. The Finnish filmmaker might be best known for 2003’s The Man Without a Past 84, and Kaurismaekis’ unique deadpan style is on display in this trailer for Le Havre.

R.I.P.D. Casting

For his follow up to Red 61, director Robert Schwentke will adapt another graphic novel, R.I.P.D., written by Peter Lenkov. R.I.P.D. stands for Rest In Peace Department and centers on two dead detectives, one a veteran played by Jeff Bridges and another a newly slain police officer played by Ryan Reynolds. Variety reports that Mary Louise Parker has joined the cast and will play “the woman overseeing the division who explains to Reynolds' character what has happened when he dies.” Also joining the cast according to Heat Vision is model Marisa Miller, but her role won’t be quite so straightforward. Miller will play Bridges' human avatar, “the form humans see when Bridges' character is in his earthly form.” Yes, Jeff Bridges’ ghost will take the form of Marisa Miller when on Earth. The dude abides. Not to be left out of the casting news, Deadline reports the Mike O’Malley (Kurt’s father on Glee) has also joined the cast as another ghost.

Blackthorn trailer

What if Butch Cassidy survived the shootout in Bolivia? That is the premise that the new film Blackthorn explores. The western stars Sam Shepard as an older Cassidy (now going by the name James Blackthorn) looking to make it back home before he dies; but when he crosses paths with a young robber played by Eduardo Noriega, his plans change. Mateo Gil, the writer behind Open Your Eyes, The Sea Inside 74 and Agora55, makes his feature directing debut. Blackthorn will get a limited release October 7.

A new international trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

It doesn’t always work, but it sure is exciting to see great source material (John Le Carré’s novel) matched with a director coming off a well regarded film (Let the Right One In’s Tomas Alfredson) and a cast of skilled actors (Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, and Ciaran Hinds). The only misstep so far might be the unnecessary narration in this latest trailer for the Cold War espionage thriller. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy comes to the theaters November 18.

International trailer for Drive

On one hand, any new footage from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive is a good thing, but too much of a good thing might spoil the fun, so approach the following with caution. Yahoo has three clips from the film (two of which have been available since the film’s Cannes premiere) and below is the latest international trailer. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks, and Ron Perlman, and hits theaters in the U.S. on September 16.

More Terrence Malick news

Since the release of The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick continues to stay in the news. First there was word of a new film starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem that has already completed production and is now in post. Then his documentary about the creation of the universe, Voyage of Time, recruited two narrators, Brad Pitt and Emma Thompson. Now Twitch reports that Christian Bale, who worked with Malick on The New World 69, has been cast in a project that expects to begin shooting in early 2012. Up for the female lead are Rooney Mara, Haley Bennett, Clemence Poesy and Mia Wasikowska. According to Variety, Bale has also been rumored to have his pick of a few other films. While Malick is moving on, Sean Penn and others are still talking about The Tree of Life.

Tyrannosaur trailer

At Sundance 2011, Paddy Considine took home the World Cinema directing award and two of the stars of his film, Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, were awarded the Special Jury Prize for acting. That film, Tyrannosaur, now has a trailer, and the skills of the actors are on full display. The story focuses on the relationship between the angry, self-destructive Joseph (Mullan) and Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker with her own secret. Considine, known for his acting roles in films like In America and the recent Submarine, adapted the film from his own short, Dog Altogether. Early reviews have been strong, so check it out in limited release beginning November 18.

Disney’s new movies

At its D23 Expo, Disney announced to new Pixar films that will follow the already announced Brave (due in theaters June 22, 2012) and Monsters University (June 21, 2013). The first is the Untitled Pixar Movie about Dinosaurs. The film will be co-directed by Bob Peterson (co-director on Up 88) and Peter Sohn (director of the short Partly Cloudy). The second film, according to THR, will be directed by Peterson’s co-director on Up, Pete Docter, and has been “titled” Untitled Pixar Movie that You See Inside the Brain. “It's eyeing a summer 2014 release and is in the early stages of work. Docter said the story will take the audience inside the head, 'how we forget, why certain songs get stuck in our heads... It's a place that we've all been to but have never seen.'" What do you think of Pixar’s plans post Cars 2?

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

  • Cody Horn, recently seen on The Office and Rescue Me, will play the female lead and love interest of Channing Tatum in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, and comedian Gabriel Iglesias will play the DJ at the strip club. - The Playlist & THR
  • Djimon Hounsou will play Abdiel, the angel of death, opposite Bradley Cooper’s Lucifer and Benjamin Walker’s archangel Michael in Alex Proyas‘ Paradise Lost. - Variety
  • Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) is in talks to star opposite Brit Marling (Another Earth) in The East, the story of a female agent infiltrating an eco-terrorist group, written by Marling and her collaborator on Sound of My Voice, Zal Batmanglij. - Heat Vision
  • Jessica Chastain, Olga Kurylenko, Brit Marling, Noomi Rapace, and Olivia Wilde are all in the running to star opposite Tom Cruise in Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion (now re-titled Horizons). - Variety
  • Ben Affleck is in negotiations to direct and star in Line of Sight. What makes this commandos transporting valuable cargo story different from other action films? The conceit is that it will be told in from a point-of-view similar to first-person shooter games. - THR
  • Twitch reveals that Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Ip Man 2) has been offered a part in Expendables 2. The L.A. Times also reports that talks have begun to make the film a Chinese co-production, which will require shooting in China.
  • Alex Winter (Bill of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and director of Fever) will direct a documentary about the rise and fall of Napster. - Deadline
  • The Todd Phillips-produced Project X, a comedy about three high-schoolers who throw a party that goes out of control, has been moved to a March 2, 2012 release date.
  • Bullet to the Head, starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by Walter Hill, will hit theaters April 13, 2012.
  • Edward Zwick has signed on to direct and co-write The Great Wall, a film about the creation of China’s famous structure. - Deadline
  • After rumors swirled last week, Jonah Hill is now confirmed for the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughn-starring comedy Neighborhood Watch. “Hill will play Vaughn’s sidekick, one who constantly embellishes his past to include a rough and dark side.” - Heat Vision
  • Clifton Collins Jr. will join Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Charlie Day in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. - Variety
  • Director Shawn Levy might be moving from Fantastic Voyage to Frankenstein. - Deadline
  • Chazz Palminteri will play mob boss Paul Castellano (for a second time) in Barry Levinson’s Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. - Variety
  • While talking on The Dennis Miller Show, Dan Aykroyd promised that Ghostbusters 3 would in fact be made. -
  • Olivia Wilde will replace the now pregnant Jennifer Garner in Better Living Through Chemistry. - ScreenDaily
  • Fireflies in the Garden, the long delayed family-drama directed by Dennis Lee and starring Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Ioan Gruffudd, and Hayden Panettiere, will get a limited release October 14. -

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