RoboCop, back in black
When photos of RoboCop’s new look leaked in September of last year, fanboys quickly expressed disapproval, so director Jose Padilha (Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within) has a tough task in winning them over with his remake Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 cult classic RoboCop. But here’s a first look at the new film, and while the human hand RoboCop still has might not quiet the uproar, Padilha, his writers, and star Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) look to be going for a more human take on the robotic crime-fighter so well portrayed by Peter Weller in the original. With help from a strong supporting cast that includes Michael Keaton as Omnicorp’s CEO, Gary Oldman as the scientist behind the transformation, Abbie Cornish as Kinnaman’s wife, as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, and Jackie Earle Haley, maybe this version of RoboCop has a chance to surprise when it opens in theaters on February 7, 2014.
Not so Neighborly
In Neighbors, a comedy from director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) and writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a couple with a newborn baby whose lives are suddenly turned upside-down—not by the baby, but by the fraternity that moves in next door. Zac Efron plays the leader of the fraternity, while Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lisa Kudrow, Jake Johnson, and Ike Barinholtz all have supporting roles. Neighbors (previously titled Townies) hits theaters on May 9, 2014; the NSFW red-band trailer is below.
Runner Runner, or Batman vs. Mr. Suit & Tie
With hopes of possibly capitalizing on Ben Affleck’s recent casting as a certain superhero, Fox released a new trailer for Runner Runner this week, along with featurettes breaking down Affleck’s Ivan Block, an internet gambling tycoon living in Costa Rica, Justin Timberlake’s Richie Furst, a Princeton grad struggling to pay his tuition debt who gets conned by Block, and Gemma Arterton’s Rebecca Shafran, Block’s assistant who comes between the two men. Anthony Mackie and Ben Schwartz also have supporting roles in this film from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer). Look for it in theaters October 4th.
Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: The tease continues
Chapter 3 of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is titled Mrs. H and is described thusly on the movie's website: “Keeping track of a large network of lovers isn’t always easy, and Joe is soon confronted with the unpleasant consequences of being a nymphomaniac. After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” Those eggs look to be Uma Thurman’s marriage, or her and her kids’ psyches, in this latest teaser. Once again we see Stacy Martin as the young Joe, while Charlotte Gainsbourg will appear as Joe in other parts of the story. Still to come: Chapter 4: Delirium, Chapter 5: The Little Organ School, Chapter 6: The Eastern & Western Church (The Silent Duck), Chapter 7: The Mirror, Chapter 8: The Gun. Nymphomaniac will open in Denmark on December 25th. A U.S. date has not been set.
The boy wizard stars in Kill Your Darlings
Writer-director John Krokidas makes his feature debut with this look at the beginning of the Beat generation through the 1944 killing of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) by Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a friend of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). Early reviews out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival were good, so Kill Your Darlings might be worth checking out when it comes to theaters October 16th.
One last look at Gravity
The reviews are great. In Variety’s story on director Alfonso Cuaron, James Cameron declared his love for the film: “I was stunned, absolutely floored. I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time. What is interesting is the human dimension, Alfonso and Sandra working together to create an absolutely seamless portrayal of a woman fighting for her life in zero gravity.” The film is only 90 minutes long. Why not see it twice on its opening weekend of October 4th? Here’s the final trailer for Gravity.
Fifty shades of casting
It is official. Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson will have mildly kinky sex together as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of E.L. James’ novel Fifty Shades of Grey. Filming will begin November 5th. Whew! We can all relax now. Oh, wait, no we can’t. As with any major casting news, there are petitions to be addressed. One petition rejecting the casting of Hunnam and Johnson recommends Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel. ET online got Bomer’s response to the news: “I'm so grateful for the fans and touched. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie with Charlie and Dakota.” Thank you for a very reasonable response, Matt Bomer. According to THR, those who were also considered for the two roles include Ryan Gosling (passed), Garrett Hedlund (passed), Christian Cooke (right first name wrong last name), Felicity Jones (too old to play 21), Shailene Woodley (scheduling conflict), Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots, and Elizabeth Olsen. While Hunnam recently starred in Pacific Rim, both he (Sons of Anarchy) and Johnson (Ben & Kate) are known for their work in TV. Let’s hope Kelly Marcel works wonders with the script, so that both actors have careers after the film hits theaters on August 1, 2014.
Best Man Down
Scott (Justin Long) and Kristin (Jess Weixler) just want to go on their honeymoon, but when Lumpy (Tyler Labine), the best man at their wedding, dies, Scott decides to arrange a proper funeral for his fallen friend, only to discover how little he knows about him. The debut feature for writer-director Ted Koland has a supporting cast that includes Addison Timlin, Frances O'Connor, and Shelley Long. See Best Man Down on VOD beginning October 3rd or in theaters November 8th.
While reviews out of Sundance were not very good, Ass Backwards has some major comedic talent behind it. June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson wrote and star in this tale of two clueless best friends who take a road trip back to their hometown to compete in a beauty pageant they failed to win as children. Alicia Silverstone plays their pretty nemesis while Vincent D'Onofrio, Jon Cryer, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Geraghty, and Paul Scheer also lend a helping hand. Look for it on iTunes on September 30th and in theaters on November 8th.
All Is Bright
Titled Almost Christmas when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, All Is Bright stars Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd. Sounds good, right? The film is written by Melissa James Gibson (who writes on FX's The Americans) and is directed by Phil Morrison, who helmed Amy Adams' breakout film Junebug. Great, sounds even better. Well, unfortunately, early reviews have not been great, but maybe the trailer for this story of two ex-cons trying to sell Christmas trees on the streets of New York will win you over. Check it out On Demand beginning September 10th and in theaters October 4th.
In Plush, Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Sleeping Beauty) stars as Haley, a rising rock star struggling with the loss of her brother to a drug overdose. Her band (the titular Plush) finds a new guitarist in Enzo (Xavier Samuel), but her attraction to Enzo only leads to more trouble. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Red Riding Hood) directs from a script she co-wrote with Arty Nelson (How To Make It In America). Plush hits theaters next Friday.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- Kurt Russell is in talks to join the cast of James Wan’s Fast & Furious 7. - Variety
- David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has added Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, and Carrie Coon. Perry will play Affleck’s attorney, and Harris will play his wife’s ex-boyfriend. - Deadline
- Kathleen Turner has joined Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in the cast of Dumb and Dumber To. - Variety
- The brilliant animator and Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki has decided to retire. He told reporters, “I’m really serious this time… My era of animation is over.” The Wind Rises will be his final film. - Variety
- Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines) will direct an adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s novel The Light Between Oceans, which “takes place after WWI on a remote Australian island where a lighthouse keeper and his wife face a moral dilemma when a dead man and a 2-month-old infant wash up in a boat on shore.” - Variety
- Bill Murray will play a “burned-out music manager” who takes his last client on a USO tour of Afghanistan in Rock the Kasbah, a comedy written by Mitch Glazer (Scrooged) and directed by Barry Levinson. - Deadline
- Jared Harris (Mad Men) has been cast in Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. adaptation as well as Gil Kenan’s Poltergeist remake. - THR & Deadline
- Sean Anders (That’s My Boy) will take over directing duties on Horrible Bosses 2 after Seth Gordon had to depart due to a scheduling conflict. - THR
- Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Marley) will direct Last Train to Memphis, an Elvis biopic based on the biography by Peter Guralnick. Information on the open casting call can be found here. - Variety
- Bill Condon will reunite with his Gods and Monsters lead, Ian McKellan, for A Slight Trick of the Mind, an adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s novel about a “long-retired Sherlock Holmes haunted by an unsolved case from fifty years ago.” - THR
- Benedict Cumberbatch will star in director James Gray’s adaptation of David Grann’s bestselling book The Lost City of Z, the story of Percy Fawcett’s 1925 expedition into the Amazon. - Deadline
- Dwayne Johnson and McG will adapt the 1980s TV show The Fall Guy for the big screen. - THR
- Drea De Matteo has joined Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks, Corey Stoll, and Tye Sheridan in the cast of Dark Places. - Variety
- Dane DeHaan will play James Dean and Robert Pattinson will play photographer Dennis Stock in Anton Corbijn’s Life, a tale of their friendship. - Variety
- Tommy Lee Jones will direct a remake of the John Wayne-starring 1972 film The Cowboys. - Variety
- Joel Edgerton is in talks to star in Shantaram, an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ novel about “an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and eventually uses gun-running and counterfeiting skills to fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan.” - Deadline
- Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor is in talks to helm the Terminator reboot currently planned for a June 26, 2015 release. - Variety
- Sophie Cookson will play the female lead opposite Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Caine in Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s The Secret Service. - Variety
- The Daily Beast has an interview with the stars of Blue Is the Warmest Color. They do not have kind words for director Abdellatif Kechiche. THR has his response.