4 items from 2015
Exclusive: The Kings Of Summer actor Moises Arias has joined the cast of Ben-Hur, the historical epic Timur Bekmambetov is directing for MGM and Paramount Pictures. Arias will play Gestas, a teenage Jewish zealot whose family has been murdered by the Romans, who is desperate to fight for his people’s freedom. Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman, and Toby Kebbell star in the production which will lens in Europe ahead of a February 26, 2016 release. Arias is an alumnus of Hannah Montana and The Wizards of Waverly Place who starred in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ 2013 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-nominated The Kings Of Summer. He also lent his voice recently to Despicable Me 2 and appeared in Summit’s sci-fier Ender’s Game. Next up is a role in the Sundance 2015 drama Stanford Prison Experiment opposite Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Billy Crudup, in which Arias plays one of several university students tapped for the »
- Jen Yamato
Buyers will be out in full force this week in Park City but with so many options to choose from, it helps to have a cheat sheet to prioritize the must-see acquisition titles at Sundance. After talking to buyers and sellers alike, here are the 10 most promising titles with the loudest buzz heading into this year’s festival.
The Bronze (WME)
What’s the Deal?: The highlight of Sundance’s opening night lineup is this raunchy comedy from director Bryan Buckley featuring co-writer Melissa Rauch in what could prove to be a star-making performance. The “Big Bang Theory” actress plays a washed-up Olympic gymnast whose local celebrity is threatened by the arrival of a promising young gymnast seeking a mentor. Sundance describes the foul-mouthed protagonist as “a lovably loathsome character who makes Tonya Harding look like Grace Kelly,” so perhaps this will be the next “Bad Words?”
First Screening: Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:30 p.m. – Eccles
What’s the Deal?: Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play East L.A. parents on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they juggle marital and parenting duties. Things get weird when she enjoys a night on the town with her girls and he takes the opportunity to invite his buddies over for smoking, drinking and carousing. Joe Swanberg’s latest may be his most commercial film yet, and it certainly features his most high-profile cast. Between Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Jenny Slate, Melanie Lynskey, Timothy Simons, Ron Livington, comedian Mike Birbiglia and veterans Sam Elliott and Judith Light, there’s someone for everyone.
First Screening: Monday, Jan. 26, 9:45 p.m. – Eccles »
- Jeff Sneider
To pinpoint the appeal of British B-movie bruiser Jason Statham, one need look no further than the place where the ball of Statham’s foot, the crown of his head, or the bend of his elbow makes sudden, bone-shattering contact with some lesser specimen of the human gene pool. Such collisions, alas, are too few and far between in “Wild Card,” a serviceable Vegas neo-noir that carries an unusually tony pedigree for a Statham vehicle (in the form of Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman), but lacks the amped-up Looney Tunes mayhem of the “Transporter” and “Crank” franchises. Lionsgate is wisely betting low on this Jan. 30 release, with a limited theatrical run and a more aggressive VOD push.
“Wild Card” represents the second attempt by Goldman (“All the President’s Men,” “The Princess Bride”) and producer Cassian Elwes to fashion a movie from the writer’s 1985 paperback potboiler, “Heat,” about the various entanglements of one Nick Escalante, »
- Scott Foundas
A little over a week ago, I got an e-mail from Stuart Zakim, a publicist I've heard from a few times in the past, and I scanned it, as I try to scan everything that hits my e-mail box. Here's where I'm going to give you a look at how the sausage gets made. For the most part, I write based on instinct and time and opportunity. I would like to write ten times the material I write at the moment, because there are that many things I'd like to share with you. There are that many things worth discussing. And every time I feel the moment to discuss something slip by, and I don't get a chance to write about something, it drives me crazy. So one of the things I try not to get pulled into is what I like to call "other people's priorities." That sounds heartless, »
- Drew McWeeny
4 items from 2015
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