A concierge and his lobby boy: Wes Anderson's latest
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s follow-up to Moonrise Kingdom, stars Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, a concierge at the titular hotel, and newcomer Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Together, they get caught up in a battle for a family fortune and the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting. The cast is a mix of returning Wes Anderson players (Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson) and a few rookies (Saoirse Ronan, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, and Tom Wilkinson). For the first time, Anderson uses the 1.33 aspect ratio (along with 1.85 and 2.35 to distinguish different time periods)—and, hey, there's a new font!—but as a whole, the film’s style fits snuggly into Anderson’s oeuvre. Check into The Grand Budapest Hotel beginning March 7, 2014.
Liam Neeson's flight is taken in Non-Stop
Liam Neeson continues his late career resurgence as an aging action star by re-teaming with his Unknown director, Jaume Collet-Serra, for Non-Stop. Neeson plays an air marshal who finds himself implicated in the hijacking of a flight from New York City to London after receiving mysterious text messages threatening the death of a passenger every twenty minutes until a ransom is paid. Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Corey Stoll (House of Cards), and Bar Paly (Pain & Gain) also star. Non-Stop lands in theaters on February 28, 2014.
That Awkward Moment earns a red-band trailer
Originally titled Are We Officially Dating?, That Awkward Moment stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan as best friends trying to help each other cope with their relationships with the opposite sex. Their female counterparts are played by Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica Lucas. Tom Gormican makes his feature writing and directing debut with this comedy; see it in theaters beginning January 31, 2014.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Christopher Landon, who wrote the three previous Paranormal Activity sequels as well as Disturbia, writes and directs (his previous feature directing effort was Burning Palms) this spinoff of the popular series. Moving the action into the Latino community of Oxnard, California, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones follows Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) as he’s “marked” and gains supernatural strength, while his family and friends try to save him. Look for it in theaters January 3, 2014.
Hercules: The Legend Begins
Renny Harlin’s career has gone from the heights of Die Hard 2 to the depths of The Covenant and 5 Days of War. His latest is one of two Hercules stories coming to theaters in 2014 (the other being Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian War starring Dwayne Johnson). Hercules: The Legend Begins stars Kellan Lutz as Hercules and follows the son of Zeus as he falls for Hebe (Gaia Weiss), the princess of Crete, and discovers his special powers (like wielding an electrified sword).
Inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, Amma Asante’s second feature tells the story of the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of Admiral John Lindsay, who was raised by her great-uncle Lord Mansfield and influenced his role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Belle, while Matthew Goode plays her father, Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson play Lord and Lady Mansfield, and Sarah Gadon plays her cousin. Early reviews out of TIFF were solid. Belle comes to select theaters on May 2, 2014.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, together again
The Wrap reports that Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, who have played Step Brothers as well as teammates and rivals (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), will star together in the comedy Devil’s Night. Set on the titular unofficial holiday night of October 30th, Ferrell and Reilly will play best friends who, after a falling out 15 years earlier, must reunite to save their town from destruction. The script is being written by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel (Yes Man).
Shana Feste (Country Strong) co-wrote and directed this remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film. Taking the place of Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt are Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer as young lovers whose passion becomes more reckless as her father tries to keep them apart. Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick, and Dayo Okeniyi also star. Endless Love comes to theaters on February 14, 2014 (of course).
The Devil gets his due
It’s a hell baby for newlyweds Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and Allison Miller (Go On) in this crossbreed of Rosemary’s Baby and Paranormal Activity. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (known for their V/H/S segment "10/31/98") direct from a script by Lindsay Devlin and Zoe Green. Devil’s Due hits theaters January 17, 2014.
Sisters in a blizzard
The latest trailer for Disney’s Frozen provides the first look at Elsa (Idina Menzel), the Queen who casts the kingdom of Arendelle into a permanent icy winter. It also features the first original song from the film as Elsa’s sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) search for the missing Queen in hopes of bringing back summer. Frozen comes to 2D and 3D theaters on November 27th.
No green for Grey?
The struggle to bring Fifty Shades of Grey to theaters continued this week as Deadline reported that Charlie Hunnam had decided to drop out of the project, leaving Universal without its Christian Grey. The studio’s announcement stated, “The filmmakers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam's immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.” But early reports had Hunnam getting “cold feet” and being “overwhelmed with the attention he received” from his casting. Later in the week, THR published further information on the split, which had Hunnam seeking script approval after submitting copious notes on Kelly Marcel’s script as well as reports that Hunnam was to receive a mere $125,000 for his work. While Universal did hire Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal) to polish the script, Hunnam’s mind was made up, and he left the project. Names being mentioned as possible replacements for Hunnam include Jamie Dornan (The Fall), Christian Cooke (Romeo & Juliet), Alexander Skarsgard, Theo James, and Francois Arnaud (The Borgias).
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Bill Murray is in talks to join Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, and Jay Baruchel in Cameron Crowe’s untitled comedy set in Hawaii. - The Wrap
- Russell Crowe will play a novelist struggling to raise his 5-year-old daughter while dealing with mental illness, and Amanda Seyfried will play his grown daughter striving to overcome her difficult childhood 25 years later, in Seven Pounds director Gabriele Muccino’s Fathers & Daughters. - Variety
- Dwayne Johnson will re-team with director Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) and star in the disaster pic San Andreas. - Heat Vision
- Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3) and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer) will join Bryce Dallas Howard in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World. - Variety & Heat Vision
- Genesis Rodriguez will star alongside Justin Long and Michael Parks in Kevin Smith’s horror film Tusk. - Variety
- Kate Beckinsale has joined Daniel Bruhl and Cara Delevingne in Michael Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel. - Deadline
- Chris Pine will be a horrible boss in Horrible Bosses 2. - Variety
- Chris O’Dowd, Guillaume Canet, and Jesse Plemons have joined Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Fears’ biopic on the cyclist. - The Playlist
- David Oyelowo will play Brian Nichols, and Kate Mara will play Ashley Smith in Captive, the true story of how Smith used Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life to reason with Nichols after she was taken hostage. - THR
- Craig Roberts (Submarine) has joined Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Ice Cube in 22 Jump Street. - THR
- Henry Selick (Coraline) will direct a live-action adaptation of Adam Gidwitz’s children’s novel A Tale Dark & Grimm. - Screen Daily
- Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns) will write and direct a remake of Erik Matti’s recently released On the Job. - Variety
- Darren Aronofsky and Paramount are fighting over the final cut of Noah. This should surprise no one. - THR
- Jonas Cuaron (Gravity) will pen the script for Warner Bros. Atlantis-set film, The Lost City. - Variety
- Brie Larson is in talks to play the female lead opposite Mark Wahlberg in Rupert Wyatt’s remake of 1974’s The Gambler. - Deadline
- Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion, To the Wonder) will star opposite Russell Crowe in his directorial debut, The Water Diviner. - Variety