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

  • Publish Date: February 17, 2012
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Whit Stillman is back with Damsels in Distress

Whit Stillman’s first feature film since 1998’s The Last Days of Disco 76 stars Greta Gerwig as the leader of a clique at the fictional Seven Oaks University with a very specific idea of how to help a transfer student, Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love), adjust to life at this particular college. Megalyn Echikunwoke and Carrie MacLemore form the rest of Gerwig’s team while Adam Brody, Hugo Becker, Ryan Metcalf, and Billy Magnussen play the boys who cause the girls to question their beliefs. Check out Damsels in Distress when it comes to theaters April 6th.

A pair of trailers for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The media blitz began in earnest this week for Timur Bekmambetov’s (Wanted 64) adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The story follows Lincoln from his youth to his time as President as he seeks revenge for the death of mother. Benjamin Walker stars as Lincoln while Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Mary Todd Lincoln and Dominic Cooper (featured in the international trailer) plays Henry Sturgess, his vampire friend. Other key roles are filled by Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, and Alan Tudyk. Check out the trailers and featurette below before seeing it in 2D or 3D beginning June 22.

A new red-band look at Friends with Kids

Writer/actress Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein 72, Ira & Abby 62) makes her feature directing debut with this romantic comedy about two best friends who decide to have a baby together while maintaining a platonic relationship. Their relationship is reflected by those of two other couples—the Bridesmaids 75 pairings of Jon Hamm and Kristen Wiig and Chris O’Dowd and Maya Rudolph. Megan Fox and Edward Burns act as temptation for the friendly couple post-baby. Friends with Kids comes to theaters March 9.

At least two beauties (and their beasts)

After last week’s announcement that Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux would star in a new version of Beauty and the Beast to be directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf 57, Silent Hill 30), it was only a matter of time before a rival Beauty and the Beast picture presented itself. (After all, it worked for Snow White.) Variety reports that Guillermo del Toro will direct Harry Potter star Emma Watson in another version of the tale, this one written by Andrew Davies (Brideshead Revisited 64, The Three Musketeers 35). It seems to be contagious, however; the two films could also be joined by a pair of unrelated Beauty and the Beast television series now in development.

Another trailer for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

While many might think Lasse Hallström peaked years ago with his Oscar nomination for The Cider House Rules 75—or even further back with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape or My Life as a Dog—he has continued directing a steady stream of films that include 2010‘s Dear John 43 and 2006‘s The Hoax 70. His latest film is an adaptation of Paul Torday’s novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He’s gathered a very likable cast in Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, and Kristen Scott Thomas, and the screenplay comes from Simon Beaufoy, writer of Slumdog Millionaire 86. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen premiered at TIFF last year and comes to theaters March 9th.

Not yet interested in John Carter? Take another look (or six) ...

With a sequel already in the works despite reports of poor tracking, Disney is trying to get the word out on John Carter. Andrew Stanton’s live action debut, after his Pixar triumphs Finding Nemo 89 and WALL-E 94, must introduce a new world to moviegoers as well as a new hero played by Taylor Kitsch. With the success Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol 73, another animator turned live-action director, hopes should be high, but that was an established franchise with a bankable star. Stanton, working from a 100-year-old story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is scaling a much higher wall. Check out the featurettes and clips below and get excited to check out John Carter when it hits theaters March 9th.

John Carter clips at YouTube:
1: Cliff Escape / 2: I'm on Mars? / 3: Nice... monster... dog / 4: Virginia

Oprah and The Butler

THR reports that Lee Daniels wants Oprah Winfrey to join The Butler, the “story of Eugene Allen, a black man who worked as butler in the White House, serving eight presidents from 1952 to 1986.” It would be Oprah’s first live-action feature since Beloved 57. David Oyelowo (Red Tails) is wanted for the role of Allen, and also in the mix for various parts are Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis and John Cusack. Daniels (Precious 79) recently completed The Paperboy with Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Cusack, and Oyelowo.

The first domestic trailer for The Snowtown Murders

Justin Kurzel’s debut feature tells the true story of the string of murders committed by John Bunting (Daniel Henshall). The film approaches Bunting through the eyes of 16-year-old Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) who lived with Bunting along with his mother. The film screened at Cannes last year, and IFC will give the film a limited release beginning March 2nd.

Intruders alert

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later 78) directs Clive Owen in this horror film about Hollow Face, an imaginary character made up by Owen’s daughter (Ella Purnell). Or is he imaginary? Daniel Brühl, Carice van Houten, and Kerry Fox also star. Intruders hits theaters March 30th.

A trippy first look at Beyond the Black Rainbow

Written and directed by Panos Cosmatos, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a sci-fi fable about a young girl (Eva Allan) imprisoned at the bizarre Arboria Institute and her relationship with her captor, a doctor played by Michael Rogers. See it on demand or in a limited theatrical release this spring (date TBD).

 Dance, dance, revolution: A red-band trailer for The FP

The epic battle for Frazier Park comes down to a game of Beat-Beat Revelation as JTRO (Jason Trost) battles to avenge his brother BTRO’s death at the hands of L Dubba E in dark comedy The FP, written and directed by brother Brandon and Jason Trost. Check it out in theaters March 16th.

The first official trailer for festival favorite Natural Selection

Writer/director Robbie Pickering’s drama Natural Selection won seven awards at last year’s SXSW Film Festival including Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, and Breakthrough Performances for the leads. It stars Rachel Harris (The Hangover) as a Christian housewife who sets off to find her dying husband’s 23 year-old illegitimate son (Matt O’Leary). The film will get a limited release beginning March 16th.

Wanderlust red-band trailer

David Wain (Role Models 60, Wet Hot American Summer 42) directs this comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as couple who decide to leave New York City after Rudd gets fired from his job. They eventually end up at a commune called Elysium where Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman and Alan Alda provide a mellow hippie/sexual vibe to relax the once stressed-out couple. Rudd and Aniston previously starred together in 1998’s The Object of My Affection 51, and Rudd was a part of Wain’s Role Models and WHAS as well as The Ten 50. Wanderlust hits theaters February 24.

International trailers for Prometheus and The Amazing Spider-Man

Two of this year’s major summer blockbusters released international trailers this week with a few shots not seen in their American counterparts. First up is Ridley Scott’s Prometheus starring Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender, and next is a new look at The Amazing Spider-Man, which just debuted its U.S. trailer last week. Prometheus comes to theaters June 8th, and The Amazing Spider-Man comes to theaters July 4th.

Michael Mann might ...

Even though he’s busy with Luck on HBO and has lined up Go Like Hell, the Ford vs. Ferrari racing movie, next, Michael Mann is in talks to direct The Big Stone Grid, a cop thriller that the director of Heat 76, Miami Vice 65, and Public Enemies 70 should be able to handle quite easily. The story revolves around “two decorated detectives who uncover a terrifying extortion ring that operates within the secret underbelly of New York City.”

The first glimpse at Dark Tide

Halle Berry has had a string of films come and go from theaters rather quickly (Perfect Stranger 31, Things We Lost in the Fire 63, Frankie and Alice), so expectations are pretty low for Dark Tide. John Stockwell (Into the Blue 45, Turistas 36) directs this story of a shark expert (Berry) haunted by the death of a fellow diver who is coaxed back into the water by her ex-boyfriend (Olivier Martinez) and a lucrative offer from a thrill-seeking billionaire (Ralph Brown). See it on VOD beginning March 8th or wait for its theatrical opening March 30th.

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

  • Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade, starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Ray Liotta, will open September 21.
  • Fans of the horror spoof Scary Movie series will have to wait to see number five as its release date has moved from April 20, 2012 all the way to January 11, 2013.
  • Butter, the comedy starring Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, and Ty Burrell originally expected to premiere last fall and then this spring, will now come to theaters on October 5th.
  • Jonathan Levine’s 50/50 follow-up, the zombie romance Warm Bodies, won’t be seen in theaters until February 1, 2013.
  • Peter Berg spoke to MTV about the script to the still-possible Friday Night Lights movie (based on the TV show).
  • Tahar Rahim will star in Fatih Akin’s The Cut, the third film in his Love, Death, and the Devil trilogy that is currently made up of Head-On and The Edge of Heaven.
  • Yes, Transformers 4 is happening. Michael Bay is directing, it will be in theaters June 27, 2014, and, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, will be some type of “reboot.” - MTV
  • Brian Taylor (Crank, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) will make his solo directing debut with an adaptation of the popular video game Twisted Metal. - Deadline
  • Will Ferrell is attached to star in The Flamingo Thief, another dramatic role for the actor which will see him play a man who copes with a personal tragedy by stealing flamingos. - Variety
  • Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts will play mother and daughter in the long gestating big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer- and Tony award-winning play August: Osage County. - Deadline
  • Patton Oswalt and Adam Scott will join Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, and Ben Stiller in Stiller’s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. - Variety & Deadline
  • Saoirse Ronan will star in The Order of the Seven which began as Snow and the Seven, another re-telling of the Snow White tale, but has morphed into a martial arts movie in which a group of warriors find redemption with the help of an English ex-pat (Ronan) in 19th Century Hong Kong. - Variety
  • Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) will join Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson in Once director John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life? - THR
  • Jennifer Aniston has agreed to star in Miss You Already, a Beaches-like story about best friends whose “relationship gets torn to bits when one becomes pregnant and the other sick.” - Deadline
  • Evan Rachel Wood will play a Hungarian girl and Mads Mikkelsen her estranged husband determined to keep her away from Shia LaBeouf in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman a dark romance written by Matt Drake (Project X). - Variety
  • Angelina Jolie could make Maleficent, a live-action re-imagining of "Sleeping Beauty," her first acting gig since 2009’s The Tourist. - THR
  • Billy Bob Thornton tells The Playlist that Bad Santa 2 is getting closer to becoming a reality, and Variety reports that Thornton has another script in the works called And Then We Drove which he will direct and star in. But don’t claim it’s about his relationship with Angelina Jolie.
  • Dominic Cooper will replace Clive Owen in the Roger Donaldson thriller Cities. - Variety
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones) will join Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko in Joseph Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy follow-up, Oblivion. - Deadline
  • Haywire star Gina Carano has found her next film. In the Blood will feature Carano as a wife on the hunt for her husband’s captors after he disappears during a Caribbean vacation. John Stockwell (Into the Blue) will direct. - Heat Vision
  • Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles, Wrath of the Titans) is in talks to direct a live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. - Variety
  • Forest Whitaker will play Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Roland Joffe’s The Archbishop and the Antichrist. - Screen Daily
  • As expected, Peter Jackson will go from The Hobbit to Tin Tin 2. - Total Film
  • Lucky Strike is another potential project for director Tony Scott. Vince Vaughn is attached to star as a DEA agent who “teams with a drug runner to take down a drug cartel.” - Deadline
  • Jennifer Aniston and Dennis Quaid are in talks to join the cast of the Jackie Brown prequel Switch. The film has already cast John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey in the roles of Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie previously played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson. - Deadline
  • Clay Weiner has been hired to turn the classic 1983 comedy Valley Girl into a movie musical. Sure, the cast will be singing 80s hits from the Go-Go’s and The Cars, but will Nicolas Cage’s replacement shave his chest hair in honor of Superman? I don’t think so. - Deadline

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