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

  • Publish Date: September 30, 2011
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The first look at Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s acclaimed novel, adapted by Oscar winner Eric Roth, directed by three-time Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (The Reader 58, The Hours 81), and starring two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks and Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close seems tailor-made for awards season. Add to that mix a story that revolves around the September 11 attacks, and expectations become dangerously high. Newcomer Thomas Horn plays Oskar Schell, the son seeking the meaning of a key left by his deceased father. The strong supporting cast includes Viola Davis, Max von Sydow, John Goodman, James Gandolfini, and Jeffrey Wright. The film will get a limited release (to qualify for the Oscars) on December 25 before opening wide on January 20, 2012.

Reykjavik-Rotterdam becomes a Mark Wahlberg thriller

Mark Wahlberg stars in Contraband, a remake of Reykjavik-Rotterdam from that film’s star and producer, Baltasar Kormákur. This time, Kormákur directs, as he’s done previously on 101 Reykjavik, The Sea, Jar City 75, and Inhale 39. The film follows Wahlberg’s former smuggler as he returns to his old ways to help out his wife’s brother. Kate Beckinsale plays his wife, Giovanni Ribisi plays the bad guy, and other supporting roles are filled by Ben Foster, J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas, and Diego Luna. Contraband hits theaters January 13, 2012.

Heigl’s in it for the Money

In Katherine Heigl’s latest, she plays Stephanie Plum, the protagonist of a series of novels by Janet Evanovich. One for the Money tells the origin story of how an unemployed, recently-divorced Plum becomes a bounty hunter trying to bring in Joe Morelli, a former cop and her high school sweetheart. Jason O’Mara plays Morelli and supporting characters include Debbie Reynolds as Plum’s wacky grandmother and Daniel Sunjata as fellow bounty hunter Ranger. Julie Anne Robinson (The Last Song 33) directs. Check it out in theaters January 27, 2012.

Moneyball director’s next strange but true story

Director Bennett Miller took six years between Capote 88 and Moneyball 87, but with the latter’s success, Miller is looking to move quickly to his next project, and he’s picked his star. Variety reports that Steve Carell will take the lead in Foxcatcher, the story of du Pont chemical heir John du Pont. His story is strange and dark, so Carell could be considered a surprise to lead the cast. In 1996, du Pont, who had built a training facility for wrestlers, swimmers and pentathletes on his family’s Foxcatcher estate, shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Shultz. The murder was witnessed by Schultz’s wife and du Pont’s driver. After the shooting, du Pont locked himself up in his mansion and held off the police for days before being captured. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by one doctor at the trial, du Pont pleaded “not guilty by reason of insanity” but was instead found guilty of third degree murder but mentally ill and sentenced to 13 to 30 years incarceration. Carell is keeping busy post-Office; he has already wrapped Seeking a Friend at the End of the World with Keira Knightley, and is currently filming Great Hope Springs in which he plays the marriage therapist to Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.

Man on the Train trailer

This English language remake of Patrice Leconte’s Man on the Train 75 stars Donald Sutherland as a retired poetry professor who offers his home to a mysterious criminal played by U2’s drummer, Larry Mullen Jr (a role played in the original by French rock star Johnny Hallyday). An odd friendship develops between the two as each sees the other’s life as a more enjoyable option. Mary McGuckian (The Bridge of San Luis Rey 25) directs. No U.S. release date has been set.

A second trailer for New Year’s Eve

It’s more of the same from director Garry Marshall and writer Katherine Fugate, the team that brought you Valentine’s Day 34. The cast is huge (Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Robert De Niro and more), and surely everything works out great for all of them in the end. You probably already know if you’re going to see New Year’s Eve when it comes out December 9, but for all of you not already locked in, please go see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy instead.

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah make a Joyful Noise

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah star as two rival choir members who overcome their differences to lead the choir to a national competition. Written and directed by Todd Graff (Bandslam 66), Joyful Noise features Keke Palmer as Queen Latifah’s daughter, Jeremy Jordan as Dolly Parton’s grandson, as well as Courtney B. Vance. See it in theaters on January 13, 2012.

A trailer for the Sundance hit Being Elmo

This documentary on Kevin Clash, the man behind (beneath?) the Sesame Street character Elmo, received great reviews when it premiered at Sundance this year and ultimately won the Special Jury Prize for documentary. The film looks at the art of puppetry through the years as well as Clash’s personal career path. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey will open in New York on October 21 before expanding to other cities. Until it hits your town, enjoy the trailer below.

Spoiler alert: John Dies at the End

Don Coscarelli is the man behind Phantasms I, II, III, and IV and The Beastmaster, but it’s been nine years since his last film, Bubba Ho-tep 57. This week, the first trailer for his new film John Dies at the End premiered, and it’s another weird trip involving a drug called Soy Sauce, visions, masks and monsters. The film features Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown. Expect it to hit theaters in 2012.

Get your annual installment of Paranormal Activity

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish 65) direct the latest in this surprising hit series. This film focuses on sisters Katie and Kristi when they are young and “the activity begins.” Paranormal Activity 3 is scheduled to open October 21, but Paramount is holding a “tweet to see it first” contest for cities around the world. So if you can’t wait until the 21st, click here.

A segment from The Human Centipede II

And now what everyone’s been waiting for: the full theatrical trailer for Tom Six’s The Human Centipede II The Full Sequence. The banned film premiered at Fantastic Fest to mixed reviews. IndieWire’s Eric Kohn gave it a “B,” claiming it will “satisfy your gruesome expectations,” while adding, “Less outright horror than relentless in-your-face physical insanity, the premise is self selecting: It invites only those viewers up for the task.” Others found it “un-gradeable,” “more boring than stomach-turning” and possessing “beautiful black and white” cinematography, but the consensus seems to be that if you want to be shocked it will shock you but don’t look any deeper than that. If you are up to the task, it starts rolling out to theaters next Friday.

Tom Cruise in the news

Tom Cruise will not rest. He’s got another Mission: Impossible coming out. He’s wrapped Rock of Ages, and now it’s time for production on two more films in the coming year. In an interview with Hero Complex, director Brad Bird spoke about Cruise as well as Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol now opening five days early (December 16) on more than 200 IMAX screens across the country. As far as his other films are concerned, Variety broke the news that Robert Duvall, Cruise’s Days of Thunder castmate, might be joining One Shot, Christopher McQuarrie’s take on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character. The film already stars Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, and, according to THR, Alexia Fast, who will play “Sandy, a seductive young siren involved in a setup of Cruise's character.” Deadline also revealed that Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and Sand) will play a sniper bent on stopping Cruise’s Reacher. With the cast of One Shot almost set, news of Cruise’s follow-up to that film, Joseph Kosinski’s (Tron: Legacy 49) Horizons, came from Heat Vision. It looks like Jessica Chastain, who will have six films released within the calendar year, will play Cruise’s love interest in the futuristic film. What’s next? Well there’s this photo of Cruise checking out his 1970 Chevelle for on the set of One Shot.

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

  • Brad Pitt is wanted for the Doug Liman-directed adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need is Kill, about a soldier continually resurrected to do battle the day before he dies. - Vulture
  • Author Michael Lewis, whose Moneyball can currently be seen on the big screen, will adapt his own 1989 novel, Liar’s Poker, about his time as a trader at the investment bank Salomon Brothers (now part of Citigroup). Crazy, Stupid, Love directors, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are attached. - THR
  • The Gangster Squad, the story of the LAPD unit formed to combat East Coast mob influence in late 1940s and early '50s Los Angeles, will be released October 19, 2012. Ruben Fleischer directs a cast that includes Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi and Anthony Mackie.
  • Justin Timberlake will play record producer Neil Bogart in Spinning Gold, a biopic about the man who made stars out of KISS, The Village People, and Donna Summer. - Deadline
  • Brazil’s entry into this year’s Academy Awards, José Padilha’s Elite Squad II: The Enemy Within, will get a U.S. release starting November 11 in New York and November 18 in LA before expanding. The Playlist has an interview with Padilha on his upcoming remake of Robocop as well as the Elite Squad movies.
  • Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) is in talks to play Bradley Cooper’s mother in David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook. - THR
  • Michael Shannon will team-up with writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) for the third time and join the cast of Mud, which already includes Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Tye Sheridan. - Deadline
  • Eric Bana will star in the diamond heist movie Brilliant, which will be directed by Robert Luketic (Killers). - Variety
  • For a little news on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, check out the official description and listen to what writer Damon Lindelof revealed to MTV.
  • Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country) will write and direct Callas, a biopic based on the book Too Proud, Too Fragile by Alfonso Signorin. - THR
  • John Goodman and Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) are in talks to join Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight. Goodman will play a friend to Denzel’s pilot whose struggling with addiction, and Geraghty will play Denzel’s co-pilot who “finds religion after the crash.” - Deadline & THR
  • Susan Sarandon is in talks to join Dwayne Johnson in Snitch, the story of a father who goes undercover to help capture a drug dealer after his son get sentenced to 30 years in jail. Sarandon will play “an ambitious U.S. attorney who believes that a drug bust can help her political career.” - Heat Vision
  • Would you watch a Wanted 2 without Angelina Jolie? The writers of the original hope you will. - The Wrap
  • Brittany Snow (Prom Night) will join Anna Kendrick’s all-girl a capella group as they take on the boys in Pitch Perfect. - Risky Business
  • Dennis Christopher, probably still known best as the lead of Breaking Away, will play Leo Moguy, the lawyer to Leonardo DiCaprio’s evil Calvin Candie, in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. - Variety
  • Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn will be released December 21, while his other feature, War Horse will now come to theaters December 25.
  • Woody Harrelson is in negotiations to join the cast of Louis Leterrier’s magician-heist film, Now You See Me. He will play the “mentalist and hypnotist” of a cast that already includes his Zombieland co-star Jessie Eisenberg, as well as Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher and Melanie Laurent. - Variety
  • Rooney Mara is wanted to play opposite Josh Brolin in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. - Twitch
  • Dominic Cooper is in talks to star in Albert Hughes‘ next film, Motor City, about a man who upon being released from prison goes after the men who set him up. - Variety
  • Ben Affleck’s Argo will hit theaters September 14, 2012.
  • Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, directors of Half Nelson, Sugar, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, will collaborate again on Hate Mail, the story of “several Manhattanites who encounter various iterations of hate mail and grapple with the subsequent fallout of their relationships.” - Variety

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