Prepare yourself for Sunday's ceremony with our Oscar Preview, featuring predictions from 45 industry experts.
Watch a few minutes from Pixar’s Brave
More of a scene than a trailer, this latest look at Brave provides the best sense of what viewers will enjoy when the film comes to 2D and 3D theaters June 22nd. The first Pixar film with a female lead character revolves around Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) whose independence and love of archery inadvertently threatens her father’s kingdom. Emma Thompson voices her mother, Queen Elinor, and Billy Connolly provides the voice of King Fergus. Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, and Craig Ferguson also lend their talents, and, as has become expected of Pixar films, the animation looks amazing.
The Wrath of the Titans is mighty
Sam Worthington returns as Perseus along with Liam Neeson as Zeus, Ralph Fiennes as Hades, and Danny Huston as Poseidon in this sequel to 2010’s remake of Clash of the Titans 39. In this new adventure, Perseus must enter the underworld to save Zeus after Hades and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) capture him. Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles 37) directs a cast that also includes Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, and Toby Kebbell. Wrath of the Titans hits 2D and 3D theaters March 30th.
Another look at American Reunion
The original American Pie 58 gang was last seen on screen together in 2003’s American Wedding 43. What followed were American Pie-branded straight-to-video releases, but now Jim (Jason Biggs), Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), Stifler (Sean William Scott), Oz (Chris Klein), Heather (Mena Suvari), Vicky (Tara Reid), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) are all getting together for their high school reunion. They’re a little older and most are more mature, but little seems to have changed in the American Pie world. Original writer Adam Herz is joined this time by directors Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz, the guys behind the Harold and Kumar films. American Reunion will be in theaters April 6th.
The Raid is now The Raid: Redemption and part of a series
Garth Evan’s The Raid has been a hot property since its screening at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival where Variety claimed, “moviegoers may wish the projectionist could replay some of the spectacular sequences in this incredible and incredibly violent cop-vs.-gangster fight-athon.” Screen Gems purchased the remake rights, and Sony Pictures Classic acquired the original as well as the rights to Evan’s planned sequel (The Raid: Retaliation) which should begin shooting at the end of the year. Prior to its screening at Sundance this year, the film got a controversial (for fans of the original and haters of Linkin Park) new soundtrack by Mike Shinoda, but even with this change and a new sequel-ready title, The Raid: Redemption still looks awesome. Check it out beginning March 23, when it opens against The Hunger Games.
Johnny Depp and Edgar Wright stalk the night
According to Deadline, Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead 76, Hot Fuzz 81, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 69) is now attached to direct a remake of the made-for-TV movie and series The Night Stalker. The original followed reporter Carl Kolchak on investigations that would inevitably involve vampires, zombies, or some other form of supernatural or paranormal creature. Johnny Depp will produce and star in the new film, which will be “tailored to fit Disney’s family film mandate and likely a PG-13 rating.” Depp is currently working on The Lone Ranger with Disney and is highly valued by the studio after his turns in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Alice in Wonderland. Wright has been working on Ant-Man for Marvel and Disney, as well as The World’s End, the third feature in the “blood and ice cream” trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. No word yet on where The Night Stalker fits in their schedules.
The Dictator responds to his Oscar ban
Sure, it was a marketing stunt to begin with, but when reports surfaced that the Academy kind-of-sort-of barred Sacha Baron Cohen from attending the Oscars as the title character from his upcoming film The Dictator, did we expect a video response from Baron Cohen as The Dictator? I guess we should have. It’s probably better than the trailers we’ve seen so far, so enjoy jokes at Hilary Swank’s and Brett Ratner’s expense before seeing the film in theaters beginning May 11.
Sound of Noise trailer
Written and directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sound of Noise tells the story of a tone-deaf police officer from a family of famous musicians whose life is turned upside down when he must investigate a band of six percussionists who are “terrorizing” the city. The film won best picture at Fantastic Fest 2011 as well as the Young Critics Award at Cannes 2010. Check it out when it comes to limited theaters March 9.
Andrey Tautou plays a recently widowed businesswoman who gets her romantic spark relit by an unlikely source in this romantic comedy based on writer/director David Foenkinos’ own novel (the film is also co-directed by his brother, Stéphane Foenkinos). Those who have seen Heartbreaker 59 or JCVD 64 might remember the very funny Francois Damiens who co-stars with Tautou as her oafish co-worker. Delicacy comes to U.S. theaters on March 16.
A Good Day to be John McClane’s son
Jai Courtney, who played the trusted gladiator Varro in TV’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, will now play the son of another type of gladiator: John McClane. Deadline reports that the final casting decision came down to Courtney and Liam Hemsworth, soon to be seen in The Hunger Games. Courtney was recently a part of One Shot, the Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher adaptation directed by Christopher McQuarrie. This fifth installment in the Die Hard series finds Bruce Willis’ John McClane in Russia where he and his estranged son must work together to save the world. John Moore (Max Payne 31) directs from a script by Skip Woods (Hitman 35). A Good Day to Die Hard will be released February 14, 2013. In the meantime, check out this photo of father and son working together.
Abel Ferrara's Last Day On Earth
Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant 67, King of New York) is an interesting director even at his least successful, so his take on the end of the world might be something to check out. Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh star as an arty New York couple living their final hours after hearing the news that the world will end at 4:44 the next morning. The supporting cast includes Natasha Lyonne and Paz de la Huerta. 4:44 Last Day On Earth will get a limited release beginning March 23.
Struck by Lightning trailer
Gleeks rejoice! An early trailer for Chris Colfer’s screenwriting debut, Struck by Lightning, is now available. The young scribe known for playing Kurt Hummel sticks with the high school setting for this story of an overachiever who blackmails his classmates into writing for his literary magazine. Brian Dannelly (Saved! 62) directs a cast that includes Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, Rebel Wilson, and Ashley Rickards. No release date has been set, but expect it sometime in 2012.
Michael Fassbender is The Counselor
As reported two weeks ago, Ridley Scott was moving quickly to make Cormac McCarthy’s spec script, The Counselor, his next film. He also wanted one of his Prometheus stars, Michael Fassbender, for the lead. Well according to Deadline, it’s now official. Fassbender will play a lawyer who gets sucked into the drug business of the American southwest. Who will play the villain of the story? Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, and Brad Pitt are early names in the running, but don’t hold your breath for any of them. Fassbender has a fairly full calendar; he will also re-team with his Hunger 82 and Shame 72 director for Twelve Years a Slave and he has the X-Men: First Class sequel coming up at some point as well. Variety also reports that Fassbender is developing a film about the mythic Celtic warrior Cuchulain. Scott hopes to begin production on The Counselor as early as May 1st, so look for more news soon.
Harvey Weinstein tries to Bully the MPAA
As Deadline reports, Harvey Weinstein is not happy with the MPAA’s decision to keep the soon to be released documentary Bully at an R rating, but there’s not much he can do about it. Threatening to take “a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future” won’t do anything except possibly restrict the number of theaters that will show Weinstein Company films. If it could lead to actual change at the MPAA, great, but it’s not likely. The film in question has a new trailer, and it looks like it should be seen by as many parents and kids as possible. Directed by Lee Hirsch, Bully is scheduled to come to theaters March 30.
Michael C. Hall finds The Trouble with Bliss
Dexter's Michael C. Hall stars as Morris Bliss in this indie comedy from writer/director Michael Knowles. Bliss is jobless, living with his widowed father (Peter Fonda) and in a relationship with his best friend’s daughter (Brie Larson), which is probably not the best life choice. The supporting cast includes Lucy Liu, Sarah Shahi, Chris Messina, and Brad William Henke. See it in theaters beginning March 23.
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope
Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me 73, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold 66) directs this loving ode to geeks everywhere. It’s Comic-Con in all its nutty, passionate glory. Those interviewed include Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen, but the focus is on the dreams of the attendees. Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope comes to theaters April 6.
The cast to hunt Bin Laden
It was a casting bonanza for Kathryn Bigelow’s still untitled Bin Laden project this week. Deadline announced that Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler and Lost’s Harold Perrineau have joined the cast, and EW revealed that Jennifer Ehle (Contagion) and Nash Edgerton will also join the latter's brother (the previously cast Joel Edgerton) as well as Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Jason Clarke, Edgar Ramirez, and Chris Pratt. As with The Hurt Locker 94, Bigelow will direct from a script by Mark Boal. Details are currently hard to come by, but shooting should begin next month with an eye on a December 19th release.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- According to THR, James Bond’s next adventure will be the first to be screened in IMAX. Until then, check out Sam Mendes’ first Skyfall video blog.
- This week, FilmNation released a logline for Terence Malick’s Lawless, one of two films he’s shooting this year. The cast of Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett will be in a film described as following “two intersecting love triangles. It is a story of sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.”
- Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris follow-up, Nero Fiddled, will hit theaters June 22nd.
- Hide Park on the Hudson, in which Bill Murray plays FDR, will get a limited release beginning December 7th.
- Richard Linklater’s new film, Bernie, will come to theaters April 27th.
- Sundance winner Beasts of the Southern Wild will hit theaters June 29th.
- Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House has been a hit since its release two weeks ago and now U.S. fans of that film will get to see his breakout Swedish hit Snabba Cash (Easy Money) beginning July 27th.
- A prequel to I Am Legend is in the works. - Deadline
- Dwayne Johnson is in talks to play Hercules for Brett Ratner, who will direct from Ryan Condol’s adaptation of Steve Moore's graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian War. - Variety
- William Fichtner has replaced Dwight Yoakam as the main villain opposite Johnny Depp’s Tonto and Armie Hammer’s Lone Ranger in Gore Verbinski’s adaptation of the classic radio and television show. - Deadline
- Anthony Mackie and Rob Corddry will join Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, and possibly John Turturro in Michael Bay’s bodybuilders go bad flick Pain and Gain. - Variety
- RED 2 will be directed by Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot. - THR
- Jim Caviezel will play the warden in The Tomb, the Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger prison break movie. - AICN
- Speaking of Stallone, his film Bullet to the Head, planned for a release in April, has been delayed indefinitely. - Deadline
- Orlando Bloom and Djimon Hounsou will play cops investigating the murder of an 18 year-old girl in the South Africa-set Zulu. - Screen Daily/The Playlist
- Paul Walker will star in the action thriller Skyscraper, the first film under a newly signed two-year first look deal with Universal. - Variety
- Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson) will join Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter, Russell Brand and Julianne Hough in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut. - Deadline
- The popular manga/anime series Bleach has been acquired by Warner Bros. for Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) to write and Peter Segal (Get Smart) to produce and possibly direct. - Variety
- The upcoming Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis political comedy once known as both Dog Fight and Rivals now has a third title: The Campaign. It's still due August 10th.