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

  • Publish Date: October 7, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

The first look at Jason Reitman’s Young Adult

With his first three films (Thank You for Smoking 71, Juno 81, Up in the Air 83), Jason Reitman has proved to be deft at combining comedy and drama into crowd- (and critic)-pleasing fare. He looks to continue that trend with Young Adult, which once again finds the director teaming up with his Juno screenwriter, Diablo Cody. Young Adult stars Charlize Theron as a recently divorced young-adult fiction writer who returns home to rekindle her high school relationship with Patrick WIlson, who happens to be married with kids. Supporting the leads are Elizabeth Reaser as Wilson’s wife and Patton Oswalt as Theron’s former classmate, while J.K. Simmons narrates. /Film has an alternative trailer with one added joke, so if the one below works for you, go check that out as well. Young Adult hits theaters nationwide on December 16, while opening a week earlier in a few select theaters.

Spend a week with Marilyn

Can Michelle Williams play Marilyn Monroe? That’s what most people will be wondering about My Week with Marilyn, Simon Curtis’ feature directing debut. Written by Adrian Hodges and based on two books by Colin Clark (The Prince, The Showgirl, and Me and My Week with Marilyn), the film covers the time when Monroe was in Britain filming The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier while being escorted by Clark after her husband, Arthur Miller, left the country. Kenneth Branagh plays Olivier, Dougray Scott plays Miller, Eddie Redmayne plays Clark, and Julia Ormond plays Vivien Leigh. My Week with Marilyn comes to theaters November 4.

A new trailer for Spielberg’s War Horse

Both of Steven Spielberg’s December releases could be considered family films, but only one looks to have the Best Picture Oscar pedigree. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel of the same name (which Nick Stafford adapted into an award-winning play), War Horse tells the story of the relationship between Albert (newcomer Jeremy Irvine) and his horse, Joey, during World War I. The strong supporting cast includes Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Thewlis, and Niels Arestrup. Check it out in theaters beginning December 25.

News on Charlie Kaufman’s latest oddity

The barrage of information revealed this week about Charlie Kaufman’s follow-up to his 2008 directorial debut Synecdoche, New York 67 almost seems like a set up from the writer himself. If you want a more detailed breakdown of the script, go to The Playlist, but here are some of the main items disclosed. In an article announcing the casting of Kevin Kline, Variety revealed the following about the project, currently called Frank or Francis: It will be a “satire of Hollywood set to music” that will look at the relationship between an online film critic and a famous director. Kaufman divulged the basic premise to Time Out London as well, “In the broadest possible sense, it’s about online film criticism, but as usual, the world that I’m writing about is not necessarily the world that I’m writing about. It’s just a place to set it. There’s a lot in there about the internet and anger: cultural, societal and individual anger. And isolation in this particular age we live in.” Variety continues with a cast breakdown, “Jack Black will play Francis, a charmless yet extremely intelligent Internet troll who reviews movies online. Steve Carell is in talks to play Frank, a successful, somewhat pretentious filmmaker who is cheating on his wife. Nicolas Cage will portray The Emcee, an actor famous for commercial, high-concept films including his most recent hit, ‘Fat Dad.’ As for Kline, he'll play Richard Waller, the brother of Jonathan Waller, the director of a fictional film titled "Hiroshima," the highest-grossing movie of all-time. Kline will also play Richard's Head, an animatronic head that, through the use of advanced screenwriting techniques, helps Jonathan develop a completely inoffensive product that will have the broadest possible appeal and zero artistic integrity.” Let your imagination run wild on that, and don’t forget, there will be singing.

Tower Heist gets a new trailer ... and a new controversy

Brett Ratner’s return to feature directing (his last film was 2007’s Rush Hour 3 44) became the center of controversy this week when Universal announced plans to make Tower Heist available (to Comcast customers in Portland and Atlanta) on premium VOD for $59.99 a mere three weeks after its release. Not surprisingly, theater owners didn’t react well to the news, with Cinemark warning that they would ban Tower Heist from their theaters. Who will blink first, Universal or theater owners? That might depend on whether AMC and Regal Entertainment decide to exhibit the movie in their theaters. Maybe Universal is just trying to create some buzz for what looks like a pretty standard action comedy. Ben Stiller stars as the leader of a group of workers at an expensive New York residence who decide to rob the very Bernie Madoff-like Alan Alda after he loses their pensions. Eddie Murphy, who will host the Academy Awards under Ratner’s direction, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Téa Leoni, Michael Pena, and Gabourey Sidibe also star. Tower Heist hits any theaters still willing to screen it on November 4.

Aardman's Arthur Christmas

Aardman Animation, the team behind the Wallace and Gromit shorts and features Chicken Run 88 and Flushed Away 74, bring their distinctive style to this re-imagining of Christmas. Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, is Santa’s youngest son, and he and Grandsanta, voiced by Bill Nighy, are determined to make every child happy after his older brother’s high tech system fails to deliver a present to one child. Jim Broadbent voices Santa, Hugh Laurie voices Santa’s eldest son, Steve, and Imelda Staunton voices Mrs. Santa. Arthur Christmas comes to theaters November 23.

A new UK trailer for The Adventures of Tin Tin

The latest trailer for Steven Spielberg’s first foray into 3D performance capture animation focuses on the action viewers can expect to see when it comes to screens around the world. Written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Steven Moffat and based on the beloved comic book series from Belgian artist Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was made possible by the team at WETA Digital and the performances of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Check it out in 3D beginning December 21 in the U.S.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo international trailer

There’s been a controversial poster, a teaser, a four-minute trailer, and even a tumblr site, and now the first international trailer has landed. David Fincher and Steven Zaillian’s adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, hits theaters December 25.

Django Unchained update

Kurt Russell will replace Kevin Costner (who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts) as Ace Woody, the slave trainer in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The Wrap broke the news that Tarantino’s Death Proof star would step in for Costner. Heat Vision followed up that report with news that Laura Cayouette, who played Rocket in Kill Bill: Vol 2, will join the cast as “DiCaprio’s widowed sister, a southern belle who co-owns the plantation.” DiCaprio plays the main villain, Calvin Candie, while Jamie Foxx plays Django and Christoph Waltz, who suffered a dislocated pelvic bone recently while training, plays German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz. With production beginning in November, Variety added one more name to the cast, M.C. Gainey (Lost, Justified). He’ll play Big John Brittle, who’s not so “friendly” - “he rapes Django's wife, Broomhilda, before branding Django's cheek with the letter 'R,' which stands for 'runaway.'” Django Unchained is currently scheduled for a December 25, 2012 release.

Luc Besson shows off his serious side in The Lady

Luc Besson’s The Lady didn’t get the reception he was hoping for at its premiere in Toronto, but it still sold and will get released in U.S. theaters for an Oscar qualifying run (mainly for the lead performances of Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis) later this year. Based on the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, 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. Variety found the film “far too long and indigestible for a film whose protagonist spends most of her screen time under house arrest,” and THR believe Besson directs a “well-intentioned but pedestrian retelling of a stirring true story.”

Animated film trailers: Puss in Boots, Happy Feet 2

Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots for the fourth time, but for the first time as the star. This spin-off from the Shrek series is directed by Chris Miller (Shrek the Third 58) and takes place before Puss meets Shrek. The film revolves around our sword-fighting hero protecting his town from the outlaws Jack and Jill (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris), and his attempt, along with his friend Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and master-thief Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), to steal the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs. Check out Puss in Boots in 2D and 3D theaters beginning October 28.

Another 3D family film hitting theaters soon is the sequel to Happy Feet 77, the successful 2006 film from director George Miller whose eclectic resume includes everything from three Mad Max films to Babe: Pig in the City. Miller returns to direct a story centering on Mumble’s son Erik. Elijah Wood returns as the voice of Mumble and is joined by the voice talents of Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Pink, Sofia Vergara, and Hugo Weaving. Happy Feet 2 opens in theaters November 18.

Can Werner Herzog take down Tom Cruise?

Variety reports that director Werner Herzog will play the villain in One Shot, the upcoming Tom Cruise film written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The film is an adaptation of the Lee Child novel of the same name, one in a series of Jack Reacher stories. In the film, Reacher is trying to clear the name of a sniper accused of killing five people. “Herzog will play The Zec, an ex-prisoner of war who arranges and stages the killing and is the head of the conspiracy.” Also joining the cast is Terriers star Michael Raymond-James. THR reports that he will play “a lifelong criminal who is hired by” Herzog for a “sensitive assignment.” They join a cast that already includes Richard Jenkins, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Jai Courtney and Alexia Fast.

Another Unhappy Day: Ellen Barkin at the wedding

Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sundance Film festival, Another Happy Day stars Ellen Barkin in another indie wedding drama following Rachel Getting Married 82 and Margot at the Wedding 66. Writer/director Sam Levinson tells a story of family dysfunction with a strong cast that includes Ezra Miller as Barkin’s son, Ellen Burstyn as her mother, Thomas Haden Church as her ex-husband, as well as Demi Moore and Kate Bosworth. While it did win the screenwriting award, the film wasn’t unanimously praised by critics. IndieWire’s CriticWire features everything from an “A” to a “D+.” Check out Another Happy Day in theaters beginning November 18.

The Catechism Cataclysm

Steve Little (Stevie from Eastbound & Down) stars as Father Billy who goes on a canoe trip with his high school buddy, a former rocker played by Robert Longstreet, in this strange road trip/buddy film from writer/director Todd Rohal. In his “B+” review from Sundance this year, Eric Kohn calls the film “a singularly wacky, surrealist sketch comedy—wildly entertaining, invariably random and delectably strange.” THR didn’t like it as much, claiming, “The film is not so much blasphemous as just outrageous for the hell of it. A goofy, surreal tale about a priest's crisis of conscience...Rohal deserves credit for having a quirky vision and sticking to it, even if it makes no sense and isn't particularly funny." Variety hated it, writing, ”..the leads' grating perfs make 81 minutes feel eternal.” Decide for yourself when The Catechism Cataclysm comes to theaters October 19.

Please don’t shut up, Lars

Lars von Trier is claiming he will retire from public speaking after Danish authorities questioned him about his comments at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. If you somehow missed his comments, check them out here in full context (the moment in question occurs around 34:30). Here’s his full statement about his future silence, "Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes. The investigation covers comments made during the press conference in Cannes in May 2011. Due to these serious accusations, I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews." Surely, this too shall pass. It will most likely be remembered as a blip in the controversial life of Lars von Trier. Do we really expect him to remain silent when his next film, Nymphomaniac, comes out in 2013?

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

  • Johnny Depp will produce and possibly star in a film based on the life of Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel). - Risky Business
  • Shame, Steve McQueen’s follow-up to his debut film Hunger, will hit theaters December 2. The film tells the story of a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender and how his world is affected after his sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him.
  • Doug Liman is attached to direct Everest, based on the Jeffrey Archer book Paths of Glory about George Mallory’s attempts in the 1920s to become the first man to scale the highest mountain in the world. Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) will write the script. - Deadline
  • Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail has confirmed that French actress Berenice Marlohe has been cast as the latest Bond girl. In addition, Helen McCrory (most recently seen as Narcissa Malfoy) has joined the cast of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomi Harris, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes. And what do you think of the title Skyfall?
  • If Zoolander 2 ever happens, Owen Wilson says Hansel might have a tough time returning to his former glory. - MTV
  • Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) and Jaimie Alexander (Thor) will star alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Stand. Gilford and Alexander will both play cops working for Schwarzenegger’s small-town sheriff. - Variety & Deadline
  • Could the two follow-ups to the summer hit Fast Five (Fast Six and Fast Seven?) shoot back to back, and will Jason Statham join the cast? - Twitch
  • Olivia Wilde will play Suzy Miller, the model who married British Formula One champion James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), in Ron Howard’s Rush, which looks at Hunt’s rivalry with Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Miller and Hunt’s relationship ended in intriguing fashion when she fell for Hunt’s friend, actor Richard Burton. Howard wants Russell Crowe to play Burton. - Deadline
  • Melissa Leo and James Badge Dale will join Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis’ return to live-action filmmaking, Flight. - THR
  • The Coen bothers will executive produce an hourlong television comedy called HarveKarbo, co-created with Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids). The story revolves around “an ill-tempered LA private investigator whose cases frequently involve the depraved doings of the Hollywood elite — and his deadbeat friends in Los Angeles’ El Segundo.” - Deadline
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Warner Bros. will team up to bring Perry Mason to the big screen. The lawyer character originated in a series of novels by Erle Stanley Gardner in the 1930s, while a TV series starring Raymond Burr ran from 1957-1966. - Variety
  • David O. Russell’s adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook already has Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and this week, Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles joined the cast. - Deadline
  • Michael Angarano (Ceremony) will play a former student and the object of Julianne Moore’s affection in Craig Zisk’s The English Teacher. - Variety
  • Clint Eastwood, who hasn’t acted since 2008’s Gran Torino, might star as an aging baseball scout who takes his daughter on a road trip to check out one last prospect in Trouble with the Curve - Deadline
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) will join Charlie Sheen and Jason Schwartzman in Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III about a graphic designer “whose fame, money and charm have made him irresistible to women” until his girlfriend breaks up with him and his life quickly disintegrates. - Variety
  • Billy Crudup has joined the cast of Neighborhood Watch. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt also star in this comedy from the pen of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. - Heat Vision
  • D.J. Caruso (I Am Number 4) has cast Val Kilmer, Radha Mitchell, and Kate Maberly in The Goats, based on the young adult novel by Brock Cole about two kids at a summer camp who fall for a prank and get stuck on an island. Chandler Canterbury and Annalise Basso play the leads who instead of returning to camp, run away together. - Variety
  • Elisabeth Shue and Abigail Spencer will join Gerard Butler in director Curtis Hanson’s surf pic, Of Men and Mavericks. - THR
  • Octavia Spencer (The Help) is in talks to join Russell Brand and Julianne Hough in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, Lamb of God. - Variety
  • Darren Aronofsky will make his film about Noah (and it probably will involve an ark too). Read the press release.
  • With the success of The Lion King's 3D release last month, Disney and Pixar have decided to bring back a few more classics in 3D. Beauty and the Beast arrives first on January 14, 2012, with Finding Nemo following on September 14, 2012, Monsters Inc. on January 18, 2013, and The Little Mermaid on September 13, 2013.
  • Anyone want to see the 1960‘s talking horse TV show Mr. Ed made into a feature film? - THR
  • The release date for Man on a Ledge has been moved from January 13 to January 27, 2012.
  • Check out Russell Crowe as Jor-El. - Daily Mail

Comments (1)

  • jeremologyy  

    i can't wait for Young Adult, mostly just because of the success Reitman has had for all his movies and how well he and Cody worked together on Juno.
    Also: I am counting the days down to My Week With Marilyn . Michelle Williams is my favorite actress so I am curious if she will do a good Marilyn (looks good from the trailer).

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