18 items from 2015
The Man With The Iron Fists didn't quite kick off Rza's directing career in the way he might have hoped (a single Dtv sequel directed by Death Race 2's Roel Reine is all we've seen so far of the intended massive franchise) but it also has harmed him in the long run. He's just finished behind the cameras with the hip-hop drama Coco, and he'll now move straight on to action thriller Breakout.Rza made Coco for Iron Fists studio Lionsgate, but Breakout is for Amasia, with whom he's also just worked as an actor on Mr Right. Breakout involves a photographer wrongfully imprisoned in Bangladesh for drug trafficking, whose father ropes in two old friends to find the truth and secure his release by any means necessary.Richard D'Ovidio (The Forger, The Call) wrote the screenplay, in cahoots with his regular collaborator (and wife) Nicole D'Ovidio. Shooting »
Amasia Entertainment principals Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo have closed a deal for RZA to direct the upcoming feature Breakout, from a script by Richard D'Ovidio a story by Richard & Nicole D'Ovidio. The project re-teams Amasia with RZA, who stars in their Mr. Right, which has its world premiere at Friday’s closing night gala of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The project also marks the company’s second outing with D’Ovidio, who wrote The Call starring… »
The debut narrative feature by director Nick Basile (American Carny), indie thriller Dark - written by Elias (Gut) and executive produced by Joe Dante (Gremlins) – will make its world premiere at the Oldenburg International Film Festival this September.
Funded partially through Kickstarter, the film is set in New York during the Northeast blackout of 2003 and centers on a disturbed young woman trapped alone in a loft during the outage. Dark stars Whitney Able (Monsters), Alexandra Breckenridge (The Walking Dead), Brendan Sexton III (Boys Don’t Cry), and Michael Eklund (The Call).
Dubbed the “European Sundance”, the Oldenburg International Film Festival runs this year from September 16th – 20th.
For more info on Dark, check out the official Facebook page. »
- Phil Wheat
Paul Wight, better known as WWE Superstar The Big Show, reveals the dark places he went to in portraying the ruthless killer Victor Abbott in our exclusive preview for Vendetta, arriving on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD August 18. While the wrestler is used to man-handling his opponents in the ring, The Big Show reveals that the opening scene, where his character kills a pregnant woman, was very difficult for him to shoot. We also hear from co-star Adrian Holmes, who discusses this brutal death scene, and from directors Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska, who show us how this death scene was pulled off by using a lifelike dummy.
A hardened detective will stop at nothing in his quest for vengeance in Vendetta, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD on Tuesday, August 18 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and WWE Studios. The film is currently available via On Demand. »
Back in May, it was revealed that Jon Hamm and The Call’s director Brad Anderson were attached to a political action thriller called High Wire Act. Now we know that Rosamund Pike will also be on board. Written by Michael Clayton’s Tony Gilroy, the film is set in 1980s Beirut and finds Hamm as a former American diplomat returned to service to save an old colleague from the violent group believed to be responsible for his own family’s death. And he’ll have help from Pike, a CIA agent assigned to keep him alive and make sure the mission is a success.There’s still no sign of when the film might kick off shooting, as it’s still listed in development and both its stars’ schedules are relatively busy. Hamm is at work on Greg Mottola’s new comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses, and is »
After earning an Oscar nomination for her chilling portrayal of maybe-sociopath Amy Dunne in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike has landed another role that may be worthy of her formidable talent. The actress has signed on to star opposite Jon Hamm in Brad Anderson’s political thriller High Wire Act, which boasts a script by The Bourne Identity screenwriter Tony Gilroy.
Set in 1980s Beirut, the thriller will follow a former U.S. diplomat named Mason Skiles (Hamm) who is called back into action in order to prevent the murder of a former colleague from the group that may be responsible for his own family’s death. Pike will take on the role of a CIA field agent working undercover at the American embassy, who makes it her mission to keep Mason alive and ensure his top-secret mission goes off without a hitch.
This is just one of »
- Isaac Feldberg
Abigail Breslin is sure turning into a genre actress lately. It seems like after Zombieland, I’ve seen her in more & more genre films like Haunter, The Call and Maggie. She is also going to appear on Fox’s upcoming genre television show, “Scream Queens”.
Final Girl is a film that I believe I saw a promo trailer earlier this year or maybe even last year and thought it looked interesting. The story also comes from Stephen Scarlata, who was one of the producers of the wonderful documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune. He is also one of the co-writers of the upcoming VHS Horror Board Game film, Beyond the Gates.
Los Angeles, CA – Renowned photographer to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tyler Shields will captivate audiences with his debut feature film, the “sardonic, smart, stylized, thriller” (Dennis Dermody, Paper), Final Girl. Starring Oscar® nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland »
- Andy Triefenbach
Admirable but not very engaging Sf drama that either fails to recognize the potential of its central conceit, or else is too afraid to confront it head-on. I’m “biast” (pro): like Abigail Breslin, don’t dislike Arnold Schwarzenegger
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
There are few things more frustrating for me — as a film critic but also just as a film fan — than a film that is admirable but not very engaging. Maggie is one of those films: I kept glimpsing greatness only to see it slip away again and again. Director Henry Hobson and screenwriter John Scott 3*, both of them making their feature debuts, either don’t recognize the potential of their central conceit, or else they’re too afraid to confront it head-on, and content themselves with dancing around it. This is extra frustrating for »
- MaryAnn Johanson
WWE is getting a nice chunk of change to help out their film division, WWE Studios.
According to Deadline.com, the sports entertainment giant closed a deal for a revolving credit facility worth $35 million with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The money will allow WWE to branch out a bit and work with other companies to produce films.
“This new relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch gives us the opportunity to be involved in higher profile films and expand talent relationships. Our audience craves larger-than-life stories, and we’re looking forward to using this new facility to bring even more of those stories to the big screen.”
- John Canton
If you’re a sales company headed to the Cannes film market with a movie to push, it helps if you can put together a package including a couple of name actors and a director with some traction. Good Universe thinks it might be on to a winner with High Wire Act, a new action thriller that boasts Jon Hamm attached to the lead and The Call’s Brad Anderson directing.And, as a bonus, the script comes from Michael Clayton’s Tony Gilroy, once more bubbling up a politically infused tale of deception and danger. In this case, Hamm will be a former Us diplomat in 1980s Beirut who saw his family killed by a violent group. Now the same people are threatening one of his colleagues, and he’ll have to be the one to save them. There’s no schedule for the film to start shooting yet. »
Radar Pictures announced today that Jon Hamm has signed on to star in Academy Award nominee Tony Gilroy's political action/thriller High Wire Act to be directed by Brad Anderson. Ted Field, Tony Gilroy and Mike Weber are producing. Schiff/Audino is casting. Good Universe is handling international sales. Here's what writer-producer Tony Gilroy had to say in a statement.
"I'm thrilled the way the project's come together. Jon Hamm was made to play the part. I've been trying to work with Brad Anderson from the moment I saw Transsiberian and every conversation we have confirms my confidence. I can't wait to see a script that means so much to me get up and running."
Brad Anderson had this to say in his own statement.
" may have been channeling John le Carré when he wrote this, and as such it has many of the themes I love that make »
With Mad Men‘s final episodes upon us, the show’s star is looking up for his next film gig and now, he seems to have found it. Jon Hamm has signed on to star in High Wire Act, a political thriller written by Bourne Identity scribe Tony Gilroy.
Brad Anderson, the in-demand helmer behind Transsiberian, The Call and last year’s Stonehearst Asylum, will take the reins on the pic, which is set in the tumultuous political climate of Beirut circa 1980. Gilroy, of course, wrote the scripts for all entries of the Bourne franchise as well as Michael Clayton, Duplicity and State of Play (the first two of which he also directed).
As per Deadline, Hamm is set to star as a former U.S. diplomat who must handle a case that requires the utmost professionalism but simultaneously conjures up personal demons: the kidnapping of a colleague by the »
- Isaac Feldberg
Field, Gilroy and Mike Weber are producing. Good Universe is handling international sales.
“I’m thrilled the way the project’s come together,” Anderson said. “Jon Hamm was made to play the part.”
The story is set in Beirut in the 1980s. Hamm will portray a former U.S. diplomat who is called back into service to save a former colleague from the group possibly responsible for his own family’s death.
Hamm has been active in movies during the seven-season run of “Mad Men,” which concludes May 17. He’s appeared in “The Town,” “Bridesmaids” and “Million Dollar Arm” and will be seen next year in Fox’s “Keeping Up with the Joneses.”
- Dave McNary
Fox has released a new teaser for its upcoming comedy-horror anthology series Scream Queens, which gives us another look at leading lady Emma Roberts (American Horror Story: Freak Show). Check it out here…
Scream Queens has been created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto and also features Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Lea Michele (Glee), Abigail Breslin (The Call), Keke Palmer (Masters of Sex) and pop stars Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas.
- Gary Collinson
Six months after Saban Films picked up the rights to The Forger, the first trailer and poster has been released. The drama will be available exclusively to DirecTV subscribers starting March 26, before it opens in theaters and on VOD platforms on April 24. Director Philip Martin's upcoming drama puts a much different twist on family bonding, as a grandfather, father and son all team up to pull off the heist of a lifetime.
The world's best art forger (John Travolta) makes a deal with a crime syndicate to get an early release from prison, but in return he must pull of an impossible heist. He must forge a painting by Claude Monet, steal the original from a museum and replace it with a replica so perfect that no one will notice. He enlists the help of his father (Christopher Plummer) and son (Tye Sheridan) and together they plan the heist of their lives. »
Three new wide releases hit theaters this weekend, though none of them have the slightest chance of taking first place away from American Sniper.Among those new releases, The Boy Next Door seems to have the edge; the Jennifer Lopez thriller should wind up in second place with at least $15 million. Meanwhile, Mortdecai and Strange Magic will likely wind up below $10 million.American Sniper opened to a stunning $89.3 million last weekend, which ranks second all-time for an R-rated movie behind The Matrix Reloaded. It has also held well through the week*its $7.55 million Wednesday haul is very impressive*which is usually a good indicator of a strong second weekend.To help meet the high demand, American Sniper is expanding to 3,705 theaters, which is the widest release ever for an R-rated movie. Based on the mid-week performance, it's likely that the movie earns at least $50 million this weekend. If it gets closer to $60 million, »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Glee and American Horror Story creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s upcoming comedy-horror anthology series Scream Queens is filling out its cast, with Fox announcing several additions at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
Set to join the previously announced Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story: Freak Show) are Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Lea Michele (Glee), Abigail Breslin (The Call), and Keke Palmer (Masters of Sex), along with pop star Ariana Grande.
The first season of Scream Queens is set to revolved around a series of grisly murders on a college campus. It is set to go into production in the spring ahead of a premiere later in the year.
- Gary Collinson
Michael Eklund has done a hell of a job making a name for himself by playing characters that aren’t easy to forget. His role in the 2011 Xavier Gens’ directed film The Divide was pure insanity, and he stole the show in 2013’s The Call. Not allowing himself to slow down, in between appearing in AMC’s Bates Motel, Eklund appeared recently in not only the Jen and Sylvia Soska slasher sequel, See No Evil 2, but also in Poker Night (now in theaters, VOD and iTunes), a horror mystery that gives viewers yet another memorable Eklund performance. We were able to chat with Michael for a few minutes and he talked about Poker Night, the upcoming Soska prison film Vendetta, and various other things. Read on!
You’ve done a hell of a job choosing roles that are very different from each other, what attracted you to Poker Night and your role in it? »
- Jerry Smith
18 items from 2015
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