Opening this weekend
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
Michael Mann returns with Blackhat
Michael Mann’s first feature since 2009’s Public Enemies looks at the world of cybercrime through the actions of those trying to prevent it. Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker who is recruited by the government to hunt down an even more dangerous man who is threatening the globe. He teams up with Viola Davis, Tang Wei, and Wang Leehom as they track the mysterious cyber-terrorist from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. Blackhat hits theaters on January 16, 2015 (though a late-2014 awards-qualifying run is also a possibility).
Another look at Big Hero 6
The latest trailer for Disney's animated Marvel film Big Hero 6 provides the first glimpse of Tadashi Hamada, Hiro’s older brother and the creator of Baymax as well as the gang—Go Go Tamago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred—that attempt to save San Fransokyo from a supervillian, also seen here for the first time. Directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) and featuring the voices of Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, T.J. Miller, Maya Rudolph, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, and Jamie Chung, Big Hero 6 comes to theaters on November 7th.
Red– and green–band trailers for The Interview
In this second directorial effort from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (following 2013’s This Is the End), James Franco is talk show host David Skylark, and Rogen plays his producer, Aaron Rapoport. Written by Goldberg, Rogen and Dan Sterling, the film follows this highly under-qualified duo as they are recruited by the CIA (represented by Lizzy Caplan) to assassinate North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un (Randall Park). Since the release of the first trailer, The Interview has been denounced by North Korea and delayed by Sony from October 10th to December 25th so that a few alterations could be made. Luckily, those changes do not impact the number of penis jokes (except in the green-band trailer).
A second look at The Wedding Ringer
Josh Gad stars as Doug Harris, a rich, socially awkward groom-to-be in desperate need of what Kevin Hart’s company, The Best Man Inc., can provide: seven groomsmen for his wedding. Together they try to con Doug’s fiancé (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) with a motley crew of “friends” who struggle to keep the ruse going. Co-written by Jeremy Garelick and Jay Lavender, the team behind The Break-Up, and with a supporting cast that includes Olivia Thirlby, Mimi Rogers, Whitney Cummings, Cloris Leachman, Affion Crockett, and Jorge Garcia, The Wedding Ringer arrives in theaters on January 16, 2015.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Matthew Vaughn takes on a third comic book adaptation, following Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, with this take on Mark Millar’s The Secret Service. Colin Firth stars as a veteran spy of the Kingsman organization who recruits newcomer Taron Egerton into the agency’s training program. Egerton’s “Eggsy” can join this elite group if he survives “the most dangerous job interview in the world” and the machinations of a twisted tech genius (Samuel L. Jackson) with a blade-legged assistant. Delayed from a planned fall release, Kingsman: The Secret Service opens on February 13, 2015.
Another view of the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending
When Jupiter Ascending, the Wachowskis’ follow-up to Cloud Atlas, was pushed from its summer release date of July 18 to February 6, 2015, it elicited some concerns about the quality of the film. Maybe a new trailer will quiet those voices. (Or, maybe not.) This original sci-fi story follows Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a human who could change the balance of the universe by claiming a very large inheritance: Earth. Channing Tatum plays Caine, a genetically engineered soldier (part wolf, part man) sent to track her down on Earth. The supporting cast includes Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Doona Bae, and James D’Arcy.
A trailer for Cannes hit Mommy
Xavier Dolan’s fifth film, Mommy, shared the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (with Jean-Luc Godard’s first 3D feature, Goodbye to Language). Dolan’s film focuses on the relationship of a widowed single mother, her troubled son, and their patient neighbor. Selected to represent Canada in the Best Foreign Language Film category at this year’s Academy Awards (the foreign language being French, not Canadian), Mommy (and its strange aspect ratio) will come to U.S. theaters early in the new year.
The Babadook earned great reviews when it premiered at Sundance this year and recently won the Horror Features Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress awards at Fantastic Fest. Now IFC will bring it to select theaters and VOD beginning November 28th. The story follows Amelia (Essie Davis) and her disturbed 6 year-old son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman). When a disturbing storybook called The Babadook turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. When Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, she begins to wonder if what her son believes could actually be true.
The full U.S. trailer for Studio Ghibli's The Tale of Princess Kaguya
With The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Isao Takahata, the director of Grave of the Fireflies, uses a unique animation style to tell the story of a tiny baby girl found in a stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. She grows into an exquisite young lady (voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz) who enthralls all who encounter her, but she has a secret no one knows. This October 17 release won the Audience Award at this year’s Fantastic Fest, and early reviews have been excellent.
Writer-director John Herzfeld (15 Minutes) has quite the ensemble at his disposal for this story of a mysterious man (Tom Berenger) who writes a motivational book that quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of people including a journalist (Kevin Connolly), his editor (Sylvester Stallone), a former inmate (Kyra Sedgwick), a hip-hop mogul (Nelly), an actor (Cary Elwes), an undercover cop (Thomas Jane), and, yes, even more, to re-evaluate their choices and confront their fears. Reach Me opens on VOD and in select theaters on November 21st.
Joe Carnahan’s Stretch, starring Patrick Wilson as a limo driver in need of $6,000, was pulled from Universal’s release schedule but it will find its way to Amazon and iTunes on October 7th before hitting VOD a week later. Check out the trailer and find clips here.
Starring Braydon Denney, Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, and Wes Bentley and coming to select theaters on November 7th, The Better Angels tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood. The trailer definitely shows the influence of director A.J. Edwards’ employer and producer, Terrence Malick.
Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, starring John Gallagher Jr. (Short Term 12) and Kate Lyn Sheil (The Color Wheel), looks at love, intimacy and truth in the internet age. Look for it in select theaters and on VOD October 24th.
News and notes
- Bryan Cranston and Matt Damon are in early talks to star in The Great Wall for director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers). - Deadline
- Michael Peña and Jessica Chastain are in talks to join Matt Damon in Ridley Scott’s The Martian. - Variety
- Oliver Stone wants Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Edward Snowden in a biopic about the NSA whistleblower. - Deadline
- Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox have joined Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins in writer S. Craig Zahler’s directorial debut, Bone Tomahawk, a western that follows four men as they attempt to rescue captives taken by a band of cannibals. - THR
- Roger Donaldson (The November Man, The Bank Job) will direct a new adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front. - Variety
- Charles Dance and Lena Headey of Game of Thrones have joined the cast of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. - Deadline
- Neil Burger (Divergent) is attached to direct Olen Steinhauer’s CIA spy novel All the Old Knives. - Deadline
- Aaron Paul and Sarah Gadon have joined Jamie Dornan in Horns director Alexandre Aja’s next thriller, an adaptation of Liz Jensen’s novel The 9th Life of Louis Drax. - TheWrap & Deadline
- Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) is in talks to direct First Man, a biopic on astronaut Neil Armstrong. - THR
- Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Apocalypse, making it his fourth X-Men film. - Deadline
- Steven Soderbergh made a few changes to Raiders of the Lost Ark to highlight the film’s staging. Check it out at his website.