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

  • Publish Date: September 14, 2012
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The first trailer for Spielberg's Lincoln

Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis join forces for a historical epic that examines the final months of the 16th president’s life. Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America) adapts part of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln for the screenplay, and on the technical side, Janusz Kaminski is behind the camera, Michael Kahn is in the editing bay, and John Williams is in front of the orchestra. Get your Oscar ballots ready; all three technicians won for Schindler’s List 93, and all have been nominated multiple times. The cast is strong too: a mix of veterans like Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, James Spader,and John Hawkes and younger stars moving up the ranks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lee Pace, Walton Goggins, and Adam Driver star opposite Day-Lewis as Lincoln. [He might look the part, but he's no Tom Kenny. –Ed.] Lincoln will get a limited release on November 9th before opening nationwide November 16th.

Pacino and Walken are Stand Up Guys

It’s a bittersweet reunion when Val gets out of prison and meets his best buddy Doc. Why? Because Doc has one last assignment: kill Val. Al Pacino plays Val, and Christopher Walken plays Doc in what looks like an old guys spend one more night out on the town dramedy. Alan Arkin comes along for the ride, and Julianna Margulies also stars in actor Fisher Stevens’ feature directorial follow-up to 2002’s Just a Kiss 39. Stand Up Guys comes to theaters January 11, 2013.

Another look at Wreck-It Ralph

With each trailer, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph looks more and more like an incredibly enjoyable way to spend time in a theater. John C. Reilly provides the voice of Ralph, who grows tired of playing the bad guy in his video game. But when he decides to game hop, he unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the whole arcade world. Ralph’s game counterpart is Fix-It Felix, voiced by 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer, and along the way Ralph meets Sergeant Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Keep an eye out for other classic game characters too when the film hits 2D and 3D theaters (this might be one worth seeing in 3D) on November 2nd.

James Cameron talks Avatar sequels and a possible prequel

In an interview with MTV, director James Cameron revealed that while he’s still writing Avatars 2 and 3, he does have a an idea for a fourth film as producer Jon Landau alluded to earlier this year. That fourth Avatar film would be a prequel which would go “back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na'vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world." At this time it’s just an idea, and Cameron has many things to distract him including the long-rumored Battle Angel, an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel graphic novel series, that Landau believes will eventually get done, telling the Swedish website MovieZine he’s “confident” it will happen after they focus on Avatar for “the next four to five years.” So maybe we’ll see it five years after that, once Cameron completes another deep sea dive. Battle Angel 2022: start the hype machine now.

A trailer for Sundance smash Smashed

Off the Black 62 writer/director James Ponsoldt’s second feature received good to mixed reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but reviews of the performances of his lead actors were uniformly positive. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) star in this relationship drama about co-dependency and alcoholism. When Winstead’s Kate decides to get sober, Paul’s Charlie tries to find a way to support her. Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Mary Kay Place play supporting roles. Smashed comes to theaters on October 12th.

A first look at A Late Quartet

Yaron Zilberman’s feature directorial debut premiered this week at TIFF and earned praise for the performances of its four leads—Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, and Mark Ivanir. Imogen Poots also stars as the daughter of Hoffman and Keener, members of a string quartet dealing with the departure of Walken’s character along with their own troubled marriage. A Late Quartet will get a limited release beginning November 2nd.

Mama is here to freak you out

Jessica Chastain goes with a short black haircut to get into the goth, or more accurately gothic horror, feel of Andres Muschietti’s debut feature. Chastain is joined by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as they adopt his young nieces who are still traumatized after being left alone in the forest for five years. Maybe they need some more time to recover—just a suggestion. Get creeped out by the Guillermo del Toro-produced Mama beginning January 18, 2013.

Leatherface is back in Texas Chainsaw 3D

Another horror film hitting theaters in January is Texas Chainsaw 3D. John Luessenhop, director of Takers 45, takes the helm for this continuation of the Leatherface saga. This time the nubile teens are in danger because Alexandra Daddario’s Heather Miller receives an inheritance from her grandmother, and she’s come to the small Texas town to collect. Upon reflection, she could probably do without the inheritance. The buzzing sound of a chainsaw fills 2D and 3D theaters on January 4, 2013.

The Oranges goes red (-band)

Our second look at this suburban indie comedy comes in the form a relatively tame red-band trailer. The story hasn’t changed: David Walling (Hugh Laurie) hooks up with the much younger daughter (Leighton Meester) of his best friend (Oliver Platt). Chaos, physical and emotional, ensues. Catherine Keener plays Laurie’s wife while his wise-cracking daughter is played by Alia Shawkat. Adam Brody plays his cock-blocked son, and Allison Janney plays Platt’s wife. The Oranges, directed by Julian Farino from a script by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer, comes to theaters October 5th.

News on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Joss Whedon, Marvel’s new movie and TV guru, was at TIFF this week promoting his low-budget Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (release date pending, but it could arrive late this year) when MTV got a little information about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. James Gunn, director of Slither 69 and Super 50 has officially signed on to write and direct after being rumored for the job about a month ago. Whedon pointed towards Gunn’s writing of The Specials 38 as key to his trust in the director’s vision, “People don't understand how influential that movie was about heroes, about taking heroes and making them mundane.” For all you lovers of Rocket Raccoon, don’t worry; Whedon promises that Gunn “loves the raccoon.” The film hits theaters August 1, 2014.

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

  • The U.S. release date for Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt’s second collaboration, has been moved from October 19th to November 30th.
  • Dreamworks Animation announced a slate of twelve films to be distributed by Fox over the next four years including How To Train Your Dragon 2 and 3, The Penguins Of Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda 3. - THR
  • E.T. will return to theaters for one night—October 3rd—in anticipation of its October 9th Blu-ray release. Tickets can be found here.
  • J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel will be titled Star Trek Into Darkness when it hits theaters May 17, 2013. - Deadline
  • Godzilla will return to theaters on May 16, 2014. - Coming Soon
  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim will be converted to 3D for its July 12, 2013 release. - Variety
  • Expect to see more Bourne films and a sequel to the surprise hit Ted. - THR
  • The title of the upcoming sequel to 300 has been changed from 300: Battle of Artemisia to 300: Rise of an Empire. Better? - Coming Soon
  • Christian Slater has joined the increasingly eclectic cast of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. He will play the father of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s lead character in flashbacks. - Variety
  • Stephen Lang (Avatar) will play Gina Carano’s father, and Danny Trejo will play a thug she fights as she searches for her kidnapped husband, in John Stockwell’s thriller In the Blood. - Heat Vision
  • Jude Law will join Johnny Depp in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. - MTV
  • In Red 2, David Thewlis will play an information man known as The Frog alongside Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. - Heat Vision
  • Cynthia Nixon will play poet Emily Dickinson in writer/director Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion. - THR
  • Well regarded Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel will direct an adaptation of Antonio Di Benedetto’s 17th-century-set novel Zama. - THR
  • William Friedkin might direct Nicolas Cage, vigilante, in I Am Wrath. - Deadline
  • John Boorman wants Caleb Landry Jones to star in Queen and Country, a sequel to his 1987 Oscar nominated film Hope and Glory. - Variety
  • Ewan McGregor will play Julia Roberts’ husband in August: Osage County. - THR

While we were away last week ...

  • The first trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters premiered.
  • Deadline revealed that Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy have completed Before Midnight, the continuation of the Jesse and Celine story which began with Before Sunrise and continued with Before Sunset. Expect it in theaters in 2013.
  • A new Cloud Atlas trailer landed while the film premiered at the fall film festivals (look for our festival wrap-up on Monday).
  • The saga is almost complete. Check out the last trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II.
  • Watch Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play grandparents in the first trailer for Parental Guidance.

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