20 items from 2013
Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) has been working on The Congress for the better part of five years now, with the first footage of the film appearing online almost three years ago exactly. Now, the final product has premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by Stanislaw Lem's short story "The Futurological Congress", the film uses the idea that in the future hallucinogenic drugs will be used to replace reality, and Folman takes this thought to make a commentary on cinema and its potential demise at the hands of Hollywood overlords seeking new ways to remain stuck in the past rather than move forward into the future. In many ways The Congress creates a complicated, well worn circle where advancements in technology are being used to maintain a hold on the past rather than propel us into the future. Utilizing both live-action and animation, the film begins with Robin Wright »
- Brad Brevet
Benaroya Pictures and International Film Trust have acquired the rights to the remaining international territories for Cell, the forthcoming film based on the bestselling Stephen King novel. The film is set to be directed by Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2). Read on for the full press release.
(Cannes, France) – May 15, 2013 – On the eve of the Cannes Film Market, Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment’s newly formed international sales company, International Film Trust (Ift), has added a new title to their Cannes slate: the Stephen King adaptation, Cell starring John Cusack, it was announced today by Ift President Ariel Veneziano.
- Andy Greene
Motion picture and television legend Jerry Lewis will return to Cannes this year for a special screening of Max Rose, a feature film starring Lewis, Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech), Kevin Pollak (Three Nights, The Usual Suspects), Kerry Bishé (Argo), and Mort Sahl. A Lightstream Pictures production, the film is directed by Daniel Noah, from his original screenplay. Max Rose is produced by Lawrence Inglee (The Messenger, Rampart) and Garrett Kelleher (Rampart), executive produced by Paul Currie, Matthew Malek, Charlie O’Carroll, Gaston Pavlovich and William L. Walton. ICM Partners will represent the domestic sale while International Film Trust (Ift) will handle international sales beginning in Cannes.
In addition, Lewis’ The Ladies Man will be screen in Cannes Classics, a program presenting old films and masterpieces from cinematographic history that have been carefully restored.
President Ariel Veneziano of the newly announced Ift said, “To have a title in the »
- Tom Stockman
Here’s some casting news most people didn’t see coming. A big budget remake of The Toxic Avenger has been in the works for quite some time, but it just got a big boost with the announcement that Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to join the cast:
Los Angeles, CA (May, 2013) –Action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator series, Total Recall) is in negotiations to star in writer/director Steve Pink’s (Hot Tub Time Machine 1 & 2) big budget action comedy The Toxic Avenger produced by Akiva Goldsman (Constantine, I Am Legend, Mr And Mrs Smith), Richard Saperstein (Hancock, 1408, SE7EN), Charlie Corwin (Half Nelson, The Squid And The Whale), Stephen Kessler and Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call). Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will executive produce. The announcement was made today by International Film Trust’s (Ift) President Ariel Veneziano who will handle all international rights to the film alongside Ift’s Head of Sales Christian de Gallegos. »
- Jonathan James
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this evening. Briefly: The very funny Bill Hader is in talks to star in the indie comedy Lawless, produced by Mike White and David Bernad. Hailee Steinfeld has been tapped to star opposite Sam Worthington in director Phillip Noyce’s thriller For the Dogs. Billy Crystal will lead the retirement community sex comedy Winter’s Discontent for director Frank Oz. Shameless star Jeremy Allen White has landed the lead in DreamWorks’ found-footage time travel film Glimmer. Hit the jump for more on all of the aforementioned films. First up, SNL veteran Bill Hader may soon be toplining a film of his own, as THR reports that the actor is in talks to star in the comedy Lawless. Yes Man screenwriters Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel are making their directorial debut on the project, and Enlightened’s Mike White is onboard to produce. »
- Adam Chitwood
The project has been gestating for a number of years, but it looks like things are really moving forward with “Love & Mercy,” the biopic on Brian Wilson. This past January, Paul Dano signed on to play Wilson as a young man. Now, John Cusack is in discussions to play the older version of the legendary Beach Boys frontman.As you may be aware, “Love & Mercy,” penned by Oren Moverman (“The Messenger,” “Rampart”), takes an unconventional look at the life of Brian Wilson, exploring his battle with mental illness. The film is supposed to span decades, reimaging seminal moments in the singer’s life. The scope is epic as it attempts to explore everything from showcasing his natural musical talents to his profound struggles, as well as the love that has helped him through it all.John Cusack already had his hands full portraying Richard Nixon in the upcoming Lee Daniels film, »
- Ken Guidry
The Hamptons International Film Festival, which runs every October, has today announced the participants of its' 12th Annual Screenwriters' Lab, which will run April 12-14 in East Hampton, NY. Screenwriters' Lab is one of Hiff's annual events, allowing a group of screenwriters to have one-on-one mentoring sessions with established screenwriters from within the industry, advising them on how to develop their scripts and eventually move into production. Past mentors in the program have included James Vanderbilt ("Zodiac"), Mark Heyman ("Black Swan"), Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan," "The Last Days of Disco"), and Hawk Ostby ("Children of Men"), among many others. This year's mentor lineup will feature director-writer Oren Moverman ("Rampart"), producer Lisa Muskat ("Prince Avalanche" "Compliance"), writer Andrew Bienen ("Boys Don't Cry"), and writer Bill Collage (The upcoming "Moses," and "The General"). In addition to this year's mentors, the festival also announced this year's six »
- Cameron Sinz
Twenty-three-year-old California bred Brie Larson has mined an impressive career as a stellar supporting player with memorable performances in "Rampart," "21 Jump Street" and Diablo Cody's HBO show "The United States of Tara" as Toni Collette's rebellious daughter. In the SXSW Narrative Competition entry "Short Term 12," the second feature from "I Am Not a Hipster" director Destin Daniel Cretton, the actress moves up to leading lady status to anchor the indie drama as Grace, a 20-something supervisor at a foster-care facility, pregnant with the child of her co-worker boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.), and weighed down by one dark secret she's harboring. The film premiered yesterday to rave notices in Austin, with many critics singling out Larson's performance as the highlight of the Cretton's feature (Indiewire's Eric Kohn praised her turn as "tremendously involving"). Larson sat down with Indiewire to discuss the pressure of carrying the drama, her fresh outlook on. »
- Nigel M Smith
Ben Foster, the gritty and intense star of "The Messenger" and "3:10 to Yuma," will replace Shia Labeouf in the upcoming Broadway production of "Orphans," the show's producers said Thursday. The play marks Foster's Broadway debut. Though not as bankable as Labeouf, he has built a reputation as a critical favorite, with his searing performances in the likes of "Alpha Dog" (2007) and "Rampart" (2011). He will next be seen playing William Burroughs opposite Daniel Radcliffe's Allen Ginsberg in the upcoming indie film, "Kill Your Darlings," which premiered at Sundance this »
- Brent Lang
After three strong supporting roles in 2011 ("Moneyball," "Rampart," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"), Robin Wright returned with headliner power in Netflix's "House of Cards." Much has been said about how the show (reviews: Toh, Indiewire) heralds the new post-tv era (as of February 12 it was the most-streamed title on Netflix). But for many observers, the big reveal of the series (available in its 13-episode entirety on Netflix) is not the always showy Kevin Spacey, or yet another wily Mara sister, but scene-stealer Wright as Washington powerbroker Claire Underwood. Now 46, one-time Wright-Penn (she was married to Sean Penn for 14 years) has consistently delivered creme de la creme performances, from "Princess Bride" and "Forrest Gump" to "The Conspirator," just not in flashy lead roles or widely-seen tentpoles. As The National Post writes, "Wright is the revelation." Her career has not only...
- Sophia Savage
After three strong supporting roles in 2011 ("Moneyball," "Rampart," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"), Robin Wright returned with headliner power in Netflix's "House of Cards." Much has been said about how the show (reviews: Toh, Indiewire) heralds the new post-tv era (as of February 12 it was the most-streamed title on Netflix). But for many observers, the big reveal of the series (available in its 13-episode entirety on Netflix) is not the always showy Kevin Spacey, or yet another wily Mara sister, but scene-stealer Wright as Washington powerbroker Claire Underwood. Now 46, one-time Wright-Penn (she was married to Sean Penn for 14 years) has consistently delivered creme de la creme performances, from "Princess Bride" and "Forrest Gump" to "The Conspirator," just not in flashy lead roles or widely-seen tentpoles. As The National Post writes, "Wright is the revelation." Her career has not only »
- Sophia Savage
Noah Baumbach made his much-anticipated return behind the camera last year with Frances Ha, which was easily one of the best films I saw last year. The film debuted at Telluride and went on to screen at Tiff – you can read our review here – and will soon be making its way into Us theatres this May.
This week brought with it the first poster and clip, and now Apple have debuted another excellent clip for us to enjoy. This time around, we see the brilliant Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner having a disagreement, giving us a look at the rift that has emerged between them.
“Frances (Greta Gerwig) lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances »
- Kenji Lloyd
For a stretch around 2009, it seemed as if every executive in Hollywood suddenly received the same memo: "cast Sam Worthington in any blockbuster you can." But things have quieted down a little for the Aussie actor in recent years, he starred in some lower profile projects like The Debt and Texas Killing Fields, and now Variety reports that he has a new non-franchise film in the works. He'll play the lead role in the indie action thriller For the Dogs, an adaptation of Kevin Wignall's 2007 novel that has Salt director Phillip Noyce set to helm and Rampart writer/director Oren Moverman writing the screenplay. More below! The story revolves around a lone assassin (Worthington) in Italy who keeps an eye on a young college girl as a favor to her father. When the girl's entire family is murdered, the assassin reluctantly agrees to help her get revenge, even though the »
- Ben Pearson
Sam Worthington is lining up another thriller. THR reports that Worthington is set to star in the action-thriller For the Dogs, based on the Kevin Wignall novel of the same name. Philip Noyce (Salt) is onboard to direct the film, which centers on a solitary assassin who helps a young college girl seek revenge for the murder of her parents and brother. The script will be written by Oren Moverman (Rampart), and the project is currently being shopped to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin. Worthington will produce alongside Anthony Rhulen and Navid McIlhargey from FilmEngine Entertainment, Josh Schwarz and Michael Schwarz from Full Clip Productions, and Paul Leyden. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book. Here’s a synopsis for For the Dogs: Ella is young, bereaved, and in danger. Lucas is ruthless, brutal, and cold. Think again. Ella is bitter, determined, and dangerous. »
- Adam Chitwood
It’s been a couple of years since Phillip Noyce made Salt, and though he’s got several possible new movies at the script stage, few seem to be making much progress. Such is life in Hollywood... Now, however, he might be on to a winner with indie action thriller For The Dogs, as Sam Worthington is attached to star.The Messenger/Rampart writer/director Oren Moverman is sticking to script-only duty for this one, based on Kevin Wignall’s titular novel. Moverman isn’t the first writer attached; he’s redrafted a script first tackled by Paul Leyden.For The Dogs will find Worthington as an assassin who for some reason decides to help a college girl get revenge on the people who slaughtered her parents and younger brother. You just know it can’t end well.Still, it’ll make a change for Worthington to be fighting people and not giant CGI creatures, »
Following up last year’s exceptional Smashed, which debuted at Sundance and came away with a much-deserved Special Jury Prize, James Ponsoldt has returned to the festival this year with The Spectacular Now.
The film had its world premiere on Friday night out in Park City, and has been earning very promising early reviews, which is exactly what we’d expect from Ponsoldt.
And as a measure of just how promising the reactions have been, A24 have already acquired its North American distribution rights, within days of the film’s premiere.
“Sutter Keely lives in the now. It’s a good place for him. A high school senior, charming and self-possessed, he’s the life of the party, loves his job at a men’s clothing store, and has no plans for the future. A budding alcoholic, he’s never far from his supersized, whisky-fortified 7Up cup. But after being dumped by his girlfriend, »
- Kenji Lloyd
• James Franco is taking a break from his life of leisure and and media underexposure to star in and direct Beautiful People, a biopic about Jay Sebring, who built a hairstyling empire in the 1960s. He was also something of a famous international gadabout, including a romance with actress Sharon Tate, which eventually became platonic. Sebring was killed along with Tate in the infamous Manson Family murders, though it’s not clear if the screenplay by first-timer Lauren Wild includes that sad chapter of Sebring’s life. [Deadline]
- Adam B. Vary
By this point, Paul Dano has accomplished a lot in his already young career. He's logged time with auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson and Ang Lee, starred in strong indie comedies like "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Ruby Sparks," gone the blockbuster route with "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Knight And Day," and last year dipped his toe into heady sci-fi with Rian Johnson's "Looper." From to drama to romance to comedy he's done it all (except maybe horror), but now he's tasked with the tremendous responsibility fo playing one of music history's most beloved and influential writers and performers. One of those projects that has been brewing for years, and one we never held our breath that it would happen, Dano is set to lead "Love & Mercy," the Oren Moverman ("The Messenger," "Rampart") penned biopic of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson. Pretty sweet. And the scope is ambitious. The film »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Hunger Games fans will be very much looking forward to the forthcoming release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the hotly-anticipated sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, and thanks to the new issue of Entertainment Weekly we now have a couple of first look images featuring two of its stars, Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), as Katniss Everdeen and Finnick Odair:
The sequel begins with Katniss having returned home safe after winning the 74th annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow (Donald Sutherland) prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever. »
Film financing these days is coming from increasingly diverse and exotic places, from overseas investors to billionaire children of a software mogul (ie. the Ellison brood). And joining the ranks of deep-pocketed kids with an interest in the arts is Jeffrey Soros, the nephew of George Soros, who is now trying his hand at the filmmaking game. With a Bollywood musical... Well, you gotta admire the ambition we suppose, and Soros has lined up "21 Jump Street," "Rampart" and "United States Of Tara" star Brie Larson to lead "Basmati Blues." Dan Baron (who?) wrote and will direct the movie, about which plot details seem to scarce, but that IMDb says is "A musical comedy about love, adventure, and a grain of rice that could change the world." It will also have the music of country group Sugarland (!?) in what sounds like pretty mean stew of bad ideas. Showbiz 411 proclaims that Larson »
- Kevin Jagernauth
20 items from 2013
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