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“We are Ireland. We are inevitable.”
Each summer, while the multiplexes are filled with the big spectacles and epic blockbusters, the little gems that grip us with their humor, their tragedy and their humanity, manage to find their ways into the cinemas. This year it’s The Journey, the gripping account of how two men from opposite sides of the political spectrum came together to change the course of history.
In 2006, amidst the ongoing, decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland, representatives from the two warring factions meet for negotiations. In one corner is Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the deeply conservative British loyalist; in the other is Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), a former Irish Republican Army leader who has devoted his life to the cause of Irish reunification. Opposites in every way, the two men at first seem to have little chance of ever finding common ground. But over the course of an impromptu, detour-filled car ride through the Scottish countryside, each begins to see the other less as an enemy, and more as an individual—a breakthrough that promises to at last bring peace to the troubled region.
Driven by two virtuoso central performances, The Journey is a more-relevant-than-ever reminder of how simple humanity can overcome political division. Freddie Highmore, Toby Stephens, Catherine McCormack and John Hurt co-star. (Review)
I recently spoke with the director of The Journey, award winning director Nick Hamm. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Hamm directed cult-classic The Hole (2001), starring Thora Birch and Keira Knightley, in her feature film debut. He also helmed Lionsgate’s thriller Godsend (2004), starring Robert DeNiro, Rebecca Romijn and Greg Kinnear.
During our discussion about his latest movie, the British director and I talked about the film’s mixture of tension and humor, the human story and the message of The Journey.
We Are Movie Geeks: The Journey is a good story that should be told – the type that audiences don’t see anymore. It opened in 2016 in Toronto and then Venice, and finally had its premiere at the Belfast Film Festival in May 2017. What was the crowd’s reaction and how was it received?
Nick Hamm: That was a really extraordinary event. I’ve seen it now with thousands of people watching the movie and if you’re going to see a movie like this, you really need to take it back to Northern Ireland to see what they make of it. In the end, that’s where the authenticity of the film is. It is important to us. The event was attended by nearly a thousand people and political leaders from both sides of the community came so we had politicians from Sinn Féin and politicians from the Democratic Unionist Party (Dup). It was a very emotional and momentous event because in many respects it reminded people of something that they had achieved and had risked losing.
We Are Movie Geeks: It is such an interesting script by writer Colin Bateman, one that is funny, sad, and dramatic. Tell me about lead actors Timothy Spall (Paisley) and Colm Meaney (McGuinness – who died recently in March) and the casting. Their characters became known as ”the Chuckle Brothers”. Both actors were very impressive to watch.
Nick Hamm: What underscores everything is the fact that Colin’s script is so good and when that happens, you attract really good actors. Both Tim and Colm were fantastic partners on the film. Tim had to transform himself – he’s playing a six foot five, Northern Irish politician when in reality he’s a five foot nine London actor. We did some prosthetics on his chin and a little aging on his hair, along with the false teeth. The hair and makeup was done by Polly McKay. Tim became the character of Paisley which was fascinating to watch and he’s one of those actors that totally transforms himself.
Colm is one of Ireland’s best actors. What was important was to find somebody who could give McGuinness sympathy. This is a man whose background is well documented. What do you do? You start by making him human, you give him a life and a backstory. When you put someone like Colm Meany in that role, Colm transforms himself for that. He understands the culture from where that character comes, he understands the basis of that character’s ideology and he understands how that character ticks. If you have that and you are a good actor – which he is, then you have a good combination. It was great to watch him.
We Are Movie Geeks: I was very pleased to see the late John Hurt in the film in what was one of his final roles.
Nick Hamm: We all knew that John was very sick while he was doing the film. When we offered him the movie, he wanted to work until the end and play the part. It was real tribute to have him involved as a part of the film.
We Are Movie Geeks: Irish writer Seamus Heaney, although not a political animal was an artist like yourself. He was affected by “The Troubles” when his cousin Colum was killed as a result of the war – Heaney moved from Northern Ireland to Southern Ireland after that. Has it affected you in any way and was this a partial reason why you made the film?
Nick Hamm: It hasn’t affected me personally but I knew people who were. Growing up I was in school in Northern Ireland and I knew people who had real problems. I could see it with my own eyes, the difficulties back then, and it was an intense situation. The vast portion of the people in Northern Ireland went on about their daily life unaffected by it. The real heroes were the people who got on with their daily lives in that situation.
The Journey for me shows how a unique political friendship was achieved at the personal cost of both men. Both men were vilified by their respective communities, but it was one of the most unique political friendships that I had ever witnessed. For two people who were so antagonistic towards each other, who ultimately came to respect each other, and became friends with each other, is why I made the movie and to tell their story.
We Are Movie Geeks: Despite technically being set in Scotland, and on a plane, The Journey was filmed in Northern Ireland. There’s no green screen and it was filmed on the road with your director of photography Greg Gardiner. What was the approach when you took it out of the plane and into the car?
Nick Hamm: This device protected the claustrophobia that the film so demanded while allowing a political version of a road movie to take place. We decided to not be frightened by the tyranny of the car but rather embrace it and enjoy the conceit. Greg and I had discussed and ultimately rejected the idea of green-screen or back-projection very early. We filmed on the road, creating a ‘mobile studio’; our own little cinematic microcosm
We Are Movie Geeks: There is one scene in particular, where McGuiness and Paisley let down their defenses somewhat, set inside a church and then out in the cemetery, that has real depth.
Nick Hamm: I think in the cemetery scene when Colm breaks down, everyone expects Paisley to be sympathetic and wrap his arms around him, but he rebuffs him and shows him no pity or sympathy. Every scene was like a boxing match with each character winning a round.
We Are Movie Geeks: I appreciated the sound editing and especially the score from Stephen Warbeck who first became known for the music for “Prime Suspect” and won an Academy Award for his score for Shakespeare in Love. It is a really nice score.
Nick Hamm: It was something quite new for him and he really had a go at it.
We Are Movie Geeks: Did you speak to the families and to some of the individuals involved? And what was their reaction?
Nick Hamm: I met McGuiness before he died. The whole film came together very quickly from the start.. From the script to the financing, it was out in about two and a half years. It’s been a very quick process and very rare for an independent film. I did sit with McGuiness before we started filming about his friendship with Paisley and it was fascinating to hear him speak how important the relationship was and how important it was that they maintained contact up to its logical conclusion. I did talk to Paisley’s family and to his son. We wanted to reassure them we were not riding roughshod over the history. But at the same time it was important to be creatively independent. We did not share the screenplay with them at any stage. In the end both families really loved the movie.
Plus Sinn Féin and the Dup (Democratic Unionist Party) really liked the film, which is almost unheard of, both parties liking the same thing never mind the same movie. The most important thing for us was that the story was balanced.
We Are Movie Geeks: Brexit is seemingly in the news all the time now. As a result, checkpoints could be set up again to control borders. The timing of the film and its release couldn’t be more relevant. Will it cause a major headache between Northern Ireland and Ireland? Will it hinder Ireland’s reunification?
Nick Hamm: The question needs to be asked and it’s a dreadful situation. The idea that there will be a border back in Ireland again, I don’t think anybody wants that. I know for a fact that the Dup doesn’t want that and it would be suicide for both the economy and the welfare of the people to start putting border checks back up. That border in Ireland runs through people’s fields and farms. It was never designed to be a hard border, which it was during “The Troubles”. It would be an unmitigated tragedy to go back to that.
We Are Movie Geeks: Speaking of Indie Films, what are your thoughts on how people see films? Many are leaving the cinemas in favor of watching a film at home or on the computers with the advent of Netflix and Hulu, etc.
Nick Hamm: I like that at the beginning of a movie’s life that it has a public screening. I think the ways a film is distributed these days is really fascinating. I don’t distinguish between how and where a movie is watched. It’s changing so quickly, in five years-time it’ll change all again. Even the act of going to a movie theater is going to change. As long as they keep putting out these huge blockbuster films, in the cinemas is the best way to watch them. However some films work better on a smaller screen. I think screen size some people can get very worked up about.
We Are Movie Geeks: What’s your next project?
Nick Hamm: We are going to do the DeLorean story, Driven. It’s through the eyes of the guy who gave him up to the FBI. We’re hoping to shoot in September in Puerto Rico. The script is from The Journey’s Colin Bateman. Jason Sudeikis, Lee Pace and Timothy Olyphant are in the picture.
Sudeikis stars as Jim Hoffman, a con artist-turned-informer for the FBI in the war on drugs. Olyphant plays his handler, determined to snare the world-famous but enigmatic DeLorean (Pace) — desperate for cash to finance his dream of designing the ultimate car of the future — in a drug deal that would become the most lurid celebrity scandal of the 1980s.
- Michelle Hannett
Exclusive: Ari Gold’s The Song Of Sway Lake is having its world premiere next week at the Los Angeles Film Festival, debuting in the Premieres section. Rory Culkin, Robert Sheehan and 2017 Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil star in the story of a young jazz collector (Culkin) who plots to rob his wealthy grandmother (Peil) of a rare 78 record, but his plan is derailed when his accomplice (Sheehan) falls for the glamorous matriarch. Isabelle McNally, Elizabeth Peña, Jack Falahee… »
Today we learned that iZombies executive producer Diane Ruggiero-Wright Misfits reboot Was given a pilot order at Freeform. Deadline reported that the American version of The British show has already cast 4 of the 5 members of the show's original juvenile delinquents. Let's check it out below.
In 2009 British Channel E4 launched a TV series called,The Misfits, a science fiction show about a group of juvenile offenders sentenced to work in a community service program. On the first day of the program, there's a freak electrical storm that causes them to gain superpowers. The show lasted five years and by the end had replaced every original character on the show.
The Original cast of the British series was:
Curtis Donovan played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Curtis had been sentenced to community service after being caught in possession of cocaine. Curtis's power is to rewind time whenever he experiences the men's regret enabling »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Bayne)
The British show Misfits, about a group of young offenders who gain super powers after a freak electrical storm, is about to get the U.S. remake treatment.
Per Deadline, Freeform has ordered a pilot for the remake that comes from Fake Empire’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. iZombie‘s Diane Ruggiero-Wright has already written the pilot and will act as showrunner. Freeform has already cast four of the five leads for the series in Ashleigh Lathrop (Siren), Tre Hall (Rebel), Allie MacDonald (Orphan Black) and Jack Cannavale (Nurse Jackie).
Lathrop is playing Alicia, “a spoiled, vapid, middle-class party girl who seems to have three main goals in life: have fun, look hot and get guys.”
Hall has been cast as Curtis, “a talented and cocky football player with a promising career ahead of him who is used to everything going his way.”
MacDonald portrays Kelly, a “tough and »
- Ricky Church
Peter Jackson has taken to Facebook to share a piece of concept art for the upcoming adaptation of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, which features the character of Hester Shaw looking out at one of the giant, mobile ‘Traction Cities’ which roam the Earth looking for smaller cities to consume as they vie for what remains of the planet’s rapidly diminishing resources.
Mortal Engines is set to hit cinemas on December 14th 2018 and sees Peter Jackson protege Christian Rivers directing a cast that includes Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci’s Demons), Stephen Lang (Avatar), Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings), Robbie Sheehan (Fortitude), Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Leila George (Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?), Jihae (Mars), Colin Salmon (Limitless), Patrick Malahide (Game of Thrones) and Rege-Jean Page (Roots). »
- Gary Collinson
While we still don't know when production will begin on the highly-anticipated adaptation Mortal Engines, which Peter Jackson is co-writing and producing, the cast is starting to come together, with Hugo Weaving signing on for an unspecified role. While it remains to be seen when the cast will be complete, Peter Jackson took to social media today, revealing the first piece of concept art from this fantasy adaptation. The concept art gives us our first glimpse at one of the massive cities at the forefront of this adaptation, plus one of the main characters.
Peter Jackson debuted this image on his Facebook page earlier today, although he didn't shed any light on what was being shown in this image from this fantasy adaptation. It appears that the character in the foreground of this image is one of the main characters, Hester Shaw, played by Hera Hilmar, who is seen looking »
21 May 2017 10:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
New buyers include Dutch Filmworks, which will do a wide theatrical release in the Netherlands and all Dutch-speaking territories. Wise & Wide bought all rights for Korea, Tanweer bought multiple territories including Turkey, Greece, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Jaguar bought international airlines. As previously announced, the project also sold to Atlas in Germany, Imagem in Latin America and Eagle in the Middle East.
- Rebecca Ford
Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment announced today that they have sold German, Latin American and Middle Eastern territories for Devlin’s latest directorial effort Bad Samaritan, starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan. Brandon Boyce (Apt Pupil, Wicker Park) penned the screenplay with Electric’s Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan producing alongside Devlin.
Buyers include Atlas in Germany, Imagem in Latin America, and Eagle in the Middle East. The deals were brokered by Sonia Mehandjiyska, Ralph Kamp and their international sales team, which will continue sales at the Marché du Film in Cannes.
Bad Samaritan centers on two young car valets who use their business as a front to burglarize houses of their unsuspecting patrons. Life is good for these petty thieves until they target the wrong house, changing their lives forever.
- Michelle Hannett
A few new photos from Bad Samaritan, the upcoming thriller with “Doctor Who” alum David Tennant, have been released and can be seen below. Tennant stars alongside Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Jacqueline Byers, and Lisa Brenner. The film is currently… Continue Reading →
- Jonathan Barkan
Exclusive: Electric Entertainment scores key deals on thriller.
Atlas has acquired rights for Germany, Imagem for Latin America, and Eagle for the Middle East.
Life is good for the petty thieves until they target the wrong house, changing their lives forever.
Electric Entertainment recently acquired North American distribution rights to Rob Reiner’s Lbj starring Woody Harrelson in the role of the bombastic 36th president of the United States. The film will open in autumn. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The adaptation of Philip Reeve’s award-winning book series is being directed by frequent Jackson collaborator Christian Rivers and is set thousands of years in the future in a world where cities now move on massive wheels, and attack each other for control over Earth’s diminishing resources.
Salmon, Malahide and Page join a cast that so far includes Hera Hilmar (Da Vinci’s Demons), Stephen Lang (Avatar), Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings), Robbie Sheehan (Fortitude), Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Leila George (Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?) and Jihae (Mars).
Mortal Engines will hit cinemas on December 14th 2018. »
- Gary Collinson
Mortal Engines may have taken little longer than expected to judder into life, spinning its wheels as Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings collaborator Christian Rivers juggled various and often conflicting schedules, but with a late 2018 release date in place, the big-screen adaptation Philip Reeve’s Ya steampunk saga is making up for lost time.
In fact, the cameras are already rolling Down Under, and The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the ensemble cast has made room for three new recruits: Arrow‘s Colin Salmon, Patrick Malahide and Rege-Jean Page. Details on their respective characters weren’t disclosed at the time of writing, but we understand that trio is now set to star alongside Misfits alum Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar, Avatar‘s Stephen Lang and the newly-cast Hugo Weaving.
- Michael Briers
20 April 2017 11:11 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Game of Thrones actor Patrick Malahide, Arrow actor Colin Salmon and Rege-Jean Page (Roots) have joined the cast of Mortal Engines, the Peter Jackson-produced adaptation of the Ya book series by Philip Reeve.
Jackson's protege Christian Rivers is directing the project, which is being co-financed by Mrc and Universal. Universal is distributing worldwide.
Robert Sheehan (Misfits) leads a cast of rising actors (such as Hera Hilmar with Hugo Weaving and Stephen Lang thrown in for good measure). The story is set in a future world devastated ecologically and technologically, where certain cities such as London are run by engines and »
- Borys Kit
Per Variety, this marks the pair’s first collaboration since orchestrating The Battle of the Five Armies three years ago, when Weaving played the iconic role of Elrond. And though his role in Mortal Engines is yet to be confirmed – sources close to Variety claim he’ll play Valentine, head of the Historians – securing Hugo Weaving’s services is certainly a massive coup for Universal’s wildly ambitious adaptation. Lifted from the pages of Philip Reeves’s four-part steampunk series, we know that the studio has already appointed Christian Rivers at the helm, who will direct a script from Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
Set thousand of years in the future, Mortal Engines follows the remnants of humanity as they roam the ravaged landscape aboard huge, »
- Michael Briers
After starring in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies for Peter Jackson, Hugo Weaving is reuniting with the filmmaker once again. The actor has signed on to star in Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital's highly-anticipated adaptation of Mortal Engines, joining a cast that includes Robbie Sheehan, Rohan Raftery, Hera Hilmar and Stephen Lang. Peter Jackson is only writing and producing this adaptation though, with his longtime visual effects collaborator Christian Rivers set to make his feature directorial debut.
Variety broke the news on this casting earlier today, although there was no word on who the actor is playing. Subsequent reports have revealed that Hugo Weaving is playing Valentine, which is likely the Thaddeus Valentine character from the original Philip Reeve novels. In the books, Thaddeus Valentine is a Historian, who, in serves this post-apocalyptic world by collecting and preserving artifacts, which most often can be incredibly dangerous. »
Hugo Weaving, best known as Agent Smith from “The Matrix” franchise, has reunited with “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson in Universal’s “Mortal Engines,” adapted from Philip Reeve’s book series of the same name, TheWrap has learned. Weaving will play the role of Valentine, joining a cast that already includes Hera Hilmar, Robbie Sheehan, Ronan Rafterty, and Stephen Lang. “Mortal Engines” will hit theaters Dec. 14, 2018. Christian Rivers, who has spent much of his 25-year career working closely with Jackson, is directing the film. Jackson and Fran Walsh, who were behind “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies) are producing the movie. »
- Matt Pressberg
After tackling the realm of Middle Earth, Hugo Weaving looks to enter another fantasy world, reteaming with his “Lord of the Rings” director.
Jackson and Walsh have been involved with the project for several years, having optioned the rights of the Philip Reeves book from Scholastic in 2001. Ken Kamins — Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens’ longtime manager — brought the project to MRC.
- Justin Kroll
When the Pivot channel folded in October of 2016, Us fans of the Fortitude TV show were afraid season two would be cancelled, or at least unavailable to them. Then, last month, Amazon swooped in to save the day. Now the streaming service announces Fortitude season two will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, April 14, 2017. In UK, the second season kicked off on Sky, in January.The second season of Fortitude stars Dennis Quaid, Richard Dormer, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Sofie Gråbøl, Luke Treadaway, Darren Boyd, Mia Jexen, Alexandra Moen, Verónica Echegui, Sienna Guillory, Ramon Tikaram, Parminder Nagra, Michelle Fairley, Robert Sheehan, and Ken Stott. Check out the new trailer and latest Amazon press release.Read More… »
If you love disaster movies, then this first trailer for Geostorm should scratch a particular itch, with massive tornadoes, tsunamis, and loads of destruction. come inside to check it out!
I've long been a sucker for disaster/weather movies. The idea of contending with an unstoppable force (nature) and the havoc it can cause is an interesting one and can make for some exciting set pieces. As such, I can't help but feel excited based off this Geostorm trailer:
Let's be honest here...the story, as with Most disaster films, probably isn't going to be all that great, but that's not why I'm going to end up seeing this film. I'm going for the ridiculous amount of awesome destruction on display. What do you guys think?
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Today the world will be taken by storm. Check out the new Official Teaser for Geostorm now, in theaters October 20.
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.
Dean Devlin (writer/producer, “Independence Day”) makes his feature film directorial debut with suspense thriller Geostorm, starring Gerard Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “300”), Jim Sturgess (“Cloud Atlas”), Abbie Cornish (“Limitless”), Alexandra Maria Lara (“Rush”), Daniel Wu (“The Man with the Iron Fists,” “Warcraft: The Beginning”), with Oscar nominees Ed Harris (“The Hours,” “Apollo 13”) and Andy Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III »
- Michelle McCue
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