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Benedict Cumberbatch Catches The Yellow Birds

18 May 2014 3:02 PM, PDT

Hiring just one buzzed-about actor is good enough for most directors. But Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ David Lowery is aiming for three for his latest, hiring Benedict Cumberbatch, Will Poulter and Tye Sheridan to star in The Yellow Birds.Lowery has written the script himself, adapting Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers’ novel. The book focuses on two soldiers, 21-year-old Private Bartle and 18-year-old Private Murphy, who meet and become friends in boot camp while preparing to head off for combat in Iraq. Bartle promise’s Murphy’s mother that he’ll bring him home safely, but they discover that keeping such oaths is difficult in a place where death lurks all around.Lowery heard about the book from Story Mining & Supply Company bosses Jeffrey Sharp and Evan Hayes, who bought the rights and began to develop the script.“I never had any interest in making a war film until »


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Godzilla Sequel In Development

18 May 2014 3:00 PM, PDT

As you may already have read, the new Godzilla has opened to enormous success at box offices around the world, and that can mean only two things: lots of Hollywood types are back-slapping each other about the bonuses to come and plans are being put in place for a Godzilla sequel.Given how eager Legendary Pictures in particular has been to develop franchises, it should be a no-brainer for all involved to start working on ideas for another movie, especially since Legendary and Warner Bros., have been considering the prospect for a while now.Godzilla is now stomping towards an estimated $196 million worldwide in its first weekend. Director Gareth Edwards has hinted in the past that he has ideas for a potential sequel, but has kept further details under his hat, preferring to let his work do the talking. Now we’re certain he’ll be besieged with calls officially »


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Mike Flanagan Playing Gerald's Game

18 May 2014 2:55 PM, PDT

With cult horror success Oculus under his belt, prolific writer/director Mike Flanagan isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He has two more films churning through post-production, others waiting in the wings and he’s now made a deal to direct a thriller based on Stephen King novel Gerald’s Game.Flanagan had a leg up on the script already, as he co-wrote it with regular screenplay partner Jeff Howard. The story follows what happens when Gerald and Jessie Burlingame head to their secluded holiday cabin in the hopes of romantic time off. Gerald ends up accidentally dead after a kinky sex game goes wrong, and Jessie, handcuffed to the bed, starts to hear strange voices and experience weird visitations that have her revisiting parts of her life.With the rights in place and Intrepid Pictures fronting the money to make the movie (while also selling distribution rights »


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Hugh Dancy Set For The Happy Prince

18 May 2014 2:52 PM, PDT

We’ve become used to seeing Hugh Dancy on TV screens as the haunted, bearded Will Graham in the excellent Hannibal. He’ll be reaching for something a little more light-hearted this year, as he’s joining the cast of The Happy Prince, a story about a turbulent period in Oscar Wilde's life rather than an adaptation of Wilde's story of the same name.Rupert Everett is starring, wrote the script and makes his directorial debut with the film, after developing it since at least 2012 and locking down the financing to get it made. The Happy Prince is described as a comedy with tragic undertones that follows Wilde’s final days and has the author/genius observing his own failures with his trademark brand of wit and ironic distance.Dancy will be starring alongside Everett, working with Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson. Everett intends to start »


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Godzilla Is A Monster At The Us Box Office

18 May 2014 12:53 PM, PDT

Though the film has had mixed reactions – and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays in its second weekend – Gareth Edwards’ first big studio effort has already earned huge dividends. Godzilla is a hit out of the gate, drawing in an impressive $93.2 million in the Us on its first weekend of release.Add to that a successful opening overseas and the film has $196.2 million in the bank in just a few days, easily surpassing its $160 million production budget and likely headed into healthy profit within the next week or so. Despite opening the weekend before the unofficial Memorial Day kick off of summer across the pond, the film has seen huge excitement from punters and benefitted from IMAX and 3D earning power. Compared to the 1998 version’s $44 million opening, this is a resounding success, opening the door wide for a sequel, something that will be covered in another story… »


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Cannes 2014: First Look At Saint Laurent

18 May 2014 1:57 AM, PDT

Fashion biopic Saint Laurent is not to be confused with the recent film Yves Saint Laurent, but it's easily done. Both look at the life of the late French fashion designer with an eye on his love life as much as his work, cataloging his passion for men, alcohol and drugs as well as women's couture. This film from Bertrand Bonello is a slightly slicker affair and benefits from a star turn from Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal), barely recognisable sporting Saint Laurent's trademark blond locks and big glasses. Focusing on the designer's life in the '60s and '70s, this flits from fitting sessions to nightclubs with a restless air, although never tiring enough to wrap things up before the two and a half hour mark. A strong supporting cast - including Blue Is The Warmest Colour's Léa Seydoux - is mostly confined to looking pretty and delivering the odd one-liner. »


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The Coen Brothers Say Hail Caesar

17 May 2014 8:45 AM, PDT

Having scored one of their bigger critical hits with Inside Llewyn Davis, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen are sticking in a period milieu for their next project. According to Deadline, the brothers are setting up Hail Caesar, which, despite the title, will not be set in Roman times.Instead, it’ll chronicle the behind-the-Hollywood-scenes wrangling of Eddie Mannix, a fixer in the employ of the studios who works to protect the reputations of their stars in the 1950s. It’s a comedy apparently based on the work of real-life private eye Fred Otash, a lifeguard-turned-cop who was fired from the force and turned to a life of wiretapping and investigation for the big film companies of the time.It was his responsibility to control and manage the images of the stars, making sure that embarrassing scandals were quietly covered up and problems were dealt with by any means necessary. The »


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Daniel Radcliffe Claims You Shall Know Our Velocity

17 May 2014 8:41 AM, PDT

 Photo: Marco VitturThese are busy times for Daniel Radcliffe, who seems to book in a potential new film like other people book a haircut. In January, he was attached to a drama about Brooklyn Bridge engineer Washington Roebling. Screen International now brings word that he’s also on board for Dave Eggers adaptation You Shall Know Our Velocity.Wells Tower wrote the script based on Eggers’ book, which finds a pair of friends heading to Egypt to honour their dead pal’s wish that his ashes be scattered at the Pyramids. While there, they also make the decision to use an insurance pay-out to help people in need. Despite the sombre subject matter, the story is laced with Eggers’ typical wit, which will hopefully translate to the screen.International Film Trust has brought the film to the Cannes Film Market to attract buyers and seems confident in what it has »


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Anthony Mackie Set As Jimi Hendrix

17 May 2014 8:39 AM, PDT

Thanks in part to consistent work – including his recent role as Sam “Falcon” Wilson in Captain America: The Winter SoldierAnthony Mackie is in demand at the moment. It appears he may finally get to realise an ambition and play Jimi Hendrix on the big screen, as Ol Parker has come aboard to direct Jimi.The film, once called Crosstown Traffic, was set up a few years ago with Paul Greengrass interested in directing Mackie in a story about the last nine days of the legendary rock star’s life. Back then, the Hendrix estate objected to his portrayal, and the project fell apart. Now, with Parker aboard and the issues seemingly worked out, the renamed Jimi should be gearing up to shoot this year.The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel director Parker has his wife, actress Thandie Newton, ready to co-star and has approached Noomi Rapace about playing the rocker’s ex-girlfriend, »


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Emilia Clarke & Nicholas Hoult Will Be Bonnie And Clyde

17 May 2014 8:35 AM, PDT

Charismatic, chaotic criminals Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow have been the subject of several films and TV series, most famously in Arthur Penn’s 1967 outing starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. But that doesn't deter Michael Sucsy, who has revisionist tale Go Down Together set up with Nicholas Hoult and Emilia Clarke aboard to play the duo.Up In The Air’s Sheldon Turner worked with Proof’s David Auburn to adapt Jeff Guinn’s tome Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story Of Bonnie And Clyde. In development for a few years now, it’ll chronicle a new take on the exploits of the bank robbers, who left at least seven people dead as they held up banks across the Depression-era South in the Us. Until, of course, they were famously brought down in a shoot-out with authorities.It's something of a change of pace for Sucsy, »


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Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis Look For Larry's Kidney

17 May 2014 8:32 AM, PDT

The last time Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis shared a cinema screen, we got the funny, if occasionally underwhelming, The Campaign. Richard Linklater has reunited the duo for a new blend of comedy and emotion in Larry’s Kidney.Adapted from Daniel Asa Rose’s comic memoir, Larry’s Kidney will see Ferrell playing the author, who headed to China with his n’er-do-well cousin Larry (Galifianakis) and his mail order bride to avoid legal complications and secure Larry a kidney transplant.Though the movie was originally scheduled to begin shooting soon, the production appears to have shifted back, though there’s no confirmation on when it might happen just yet.Linklater is currently busy touting his well-received, years-in-the-making drama Boyhood, which tells a family story shot over the course of a boy’s life from the age of 5 to 18. Ferrell, who was last part of The Lego Movie, has »


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Bradley Cooper And Todd Phillips Plan Arms & The Dudes

17 May 2014 8:29 AM, PDT

Clearly happy to keep collaborating following their Hangover films, Bradley Cooper and Todd Phillips have decided to take their professional relationship to the next level by co-founding a production company with a deal based at Warner Bros. Their first project together will be real-life pic Arms & The Dudes.The pair nabbed the rights to Guy Lawson’s article for Rolling Stone, which charted how two Miami Beach stoners somehow became arms dealers for the American government. While Jonah Hill has been involved in table reads for the current version of the script, The Hollywood Reporter claims that that doesn’t automatically mean he’ll be part of the final cast for the film. Cooper, however, is expected to appear in some role.Phillips is apparently hitting the keyboard for a re-write on the movie, which he hopes to be shooting later this year. Cooper has another deal with Warners, which has led to American Sniper, »


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Cannes 2014: First Look At David Michôd's The Rover

17 May 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

Expectations were high for The Rover, Aussie David Michôd’s follow-up to Animal Kingdom, and this post-apocalyptic thriller is just as gripping, atmospheric and, yes, disturbing. Guy Pearce is the drifter wandering the mostly deserted Australian outback, apparently troubled by nothing apart from the sudden theft of his car. Pursuing the culprits, he teams up with an abandoned member of the gang (Robert Pattinson in American, not Australian, mode) and an odd-couple road trip commences.It’s an instantly attention-grabbing set up: a journey through a vast desert full of mystery, with potential shock around every corner. Michôd only gives a brief outline of the futuristic set-up, so much of the excitement is in the discovery as layers are peeled off this harsh new world. As anyone who’s seen Animal Kingdom will know, the squeamish need not apply. There are shocks, but not in a gimmicky way. This is »


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New Trailer Online For Christopher Nolan's Interstellar

16 May 2014 11:03 AM, PDT

Christopher Nolan's latest secrecy-fest, sci-fi Interstellar, has just become a tiny bit less obscure with the debut of the film's first full trailer. At the very least, we learn more about Matthew McConaughey's lead, Cooper, and then we get to tour some extensive cornfields.Cooper is, we learn, "an educated man, a trained pilot and an engineer", but his technical skills are more or less irrelevant in a world that's running low on food. Thank goodness, then, for Michael Caine's visionary, who has a plan to save the world by buggering off somewhere else - and he needs Cooper to make the trip. With two young children at home, it's not an easy decision, but soon Cooper's off amid the stars as the weather worsens back home.At least, we think that's what's happening, so please stop making jokes about Signs and comparing it to Looper. This »


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Cannes 2014: First Look At The Salvation

16 May 2014 9:04 AM, PDT

A Danish spaghetti Western starring Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green and Eric Cantona, The Salvation sounded great on paper and it’s even better on screen. Clipped, economical and very, very violent in the way that Sergio Corbucci’s original Django was, Kristian Levring’s film may yet be buried in a midnight slot at a Festival that, even in its 67th year, still hasn’t figured out what to do with genre films. It’s hard to say what its release prospects are, since a small portion of the film is subtitled, but there is surely a sizeable cult audience for a film that blends David Cronenberg’s A History Of Violence with Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins while paying homage to John Ford’s Monument Valley. The set-up is simple: the year is 1871, and ex-pat Danish soldier Jon is welcoming his wife and son from the old country. Taking the stagecoach to his farm, »


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Exclusive: First Poster For Tiger House

16 May 2014 5:03 AM, PDT

The team behind UK home-invasion thriller Tiger House are out in Cannes touting their wares and the film has a new poster to help them do just that. Before it adorns a strategic spot at the festival's film market ('Le Marché du Film', if you want to be all Gallic about it), here's a first glimpse of the film's cast in one-sheet form. Starring Kaya Scodelario of Skins, Clash Of The Titans and soon The Maze Runner fame, it's putting a spin on the traditional genre ploy of an unlikely schleb searching for the hero inside himself, finding it and using it to beat trespassers upside the head. Here it's the woman - Scodelario's crooked gymnast - who's the hero of the piece and her boyfriend the one in need of rescue. Unusually, the 'c' in her R.I.C.E. recovery programme seems to stand for 'crossbow' rather than 'compress'. »


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New International Poster for Edinburgh Film Festival Opener Hyena

16 May 2014 4:30 AM, PDT

A few days ago we reported that Hyena had been chosen as the opening film for this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Now here's the first poster for the film, giving a nice spin to that title and its relationship to lead character Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando).The story sees corrupt copper and high-functioning addict Logan pushed to the limit by the arrival of increasingly ruthless gangs of Albanian gangsters. We're told that, "Michael's razor sharp instincts have always kept him one step ahead, but now his increasingly self-destructive behaviour and the sheer brutality of the new gang lords find Michael in a spiralling descent of fear and self-doubt." Sounds dangerous.The film also stars Kill List's Neil Maskell and MyAnna Buring, as well as Stephen Graham and Richard Dormer. It's all directed by Gerard Johnson, making a return to the Festival after his debut, Tony, did well there »


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First Trailer For Monsters: Dark Continent

16 May 2014 3:52 AM, PDT

Just as its creator's latest, Godzilla, hits the big screen, a first proper look at where Gareth Edwards' Monsters go next with the teaser trailer for Monsters: Dark Continent arriving online. Set ten years after Monsters, the Edwards exec-produced "continuation" heads east, where a new strain of alien sand bugs have taken up icky residence. Combat troops Noah (Johnny Harris), Frankie (Joe Dempsie) and Michael (Sam Keeley) are in on the bug hunt across Arabian deserts and into the maws of death. With a whole mess of years elapsed since that Nasa probe crash-landed in Latin America, the aliens have adapted efficiently to their new environment. Environments, actually. There are now infected zones dotted across the globe and the idea of harmonious co-existence, touched on in the first film, has clearly long since been jettisoned in favour of the Starship Troopers approach to extra-terrestrial management.Reads the synopsis: "Two soldiers »


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Harrison Ford Formally Offered Blade Runner 2

16 May 2014 1:37 AM, PDT

Both Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford have repeatedly provided grist for the rumour mills in recent years by discussing the slowly developing Blade Runner sequel. While there's been much speculation, however, there have been few reports from the actual studio development side; it's seemed like an idea just out there in the ether rather than an actual, solid, future film.That's just changed, with the news that the Warners Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment have now officially made an offer to Ford to appear in the belated follow-up. "We would be honored, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project," said Alcon's co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson in a joint statement.Interestingly, back when the project was first announced in August 2011, Kosove was initially quoted as saying there was practically no chance of Ford showing up ("I think it is quite unlikely"). A few months later, »


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Cannes 2014: First Look At Atom Egoyan's The Captive

16 May 2014 12:14 AM, PDT

On paper this sinister thriller could almost be a horror movie: The Captive deals with much of the same material as a torture porn shocker (snuff movies, etc) but it does so with Hitchcockian restraint, making the unseen far more terrifying than the seen. There’s still a flair for high drama, however: we’re shown the blissfully happy lives of Matthew (Reynolds), Tina (Mireile Enos) and their daughter Cass before she’s cruelly snatched by a kidnapper.The sense of doom is at fever pitch precisely because we know this is going to happen. The narrative jumps around from past to present, showing us the miserable parents and older Cass (Alexia Fast) before flashing back to various points in time. This is almost as frustrating as it is effective, since trying to work out the time period can take up a bit too much of your head space. But »


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