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There are a lot of must-see films for me at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and hovering around the top of the list is Rodrigo Garcia's Last Days in the Desert. The plot takes place during Jesus' forty days in the desert, but here's the twist—Ewan McGregor is playing both Jesus and the Devil, and Jesus is tested by the Devil when confronted by the fate of a family in crisis. We previously saw McGregor as Jesus, and now we have images of the family—Tye Sheridan (Mud) as "The Boy", Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) as "The Father", and Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel) as "The Mother". Hit the jump to check out the new Last Days in the Desert images. The film will make its world premiere on January 25th at 6:30pm in the Eccles Theater. Here’s the official synopsis for Last Days In the Desert »
- Matt Goldberg
I can't remember the last time I had eight major titles to report on in an MPAA ratings bulletin, but today is that day with the most notable being the PG-13 for Furious 7 and all its "prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem", another PG-13 for Jupiter Ascending and its "suggestive content and partial nudity" and a PG for Paddington, which appears to be taking a small page out of Ted's book with some "rude humor". There's also the PG-13 rating for the much buzzed about (and worthily so) Selma from Ava DuVernay. In addition to that we have A24's Cut Bank starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer as well as their action thriller Son of a Gun starring Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander and Ewan McGregor. Warner Bros. has a couple in the mix with Jaume Collet-Serra's reteaming with Liam Neeson after Non-Stop in yet another "aging hitman" movie, »
- Brad Brevet
Roadshow Films has bought a 33% stake in independent production-sales banner FilmNation, enabling expansion of the FilmNation development and production slate.
In a filing to the Australian Stock Exchange, Roadshow Films parent Village Roadshow Limited said that the $18 million investment would give it ownership of a third of FilmNation.
The first two movies scheduled to begin production next year under the new financing structure are “The Founder” with John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”) directing a biopic of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc; and “The Good House,” starring Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro and based on Ann Leary’s book.
Current FilmNation »
- Dave McNary and Patrick Frater
It sounds like Warner Bros. may have a director attached to Jason Momoa’s standalone Aquaman film that they plan on releasing in 2018. The character is most likely going to make his big screen debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Momoa previously stated that he would like to see Zack Snyder at the helm on Aquaman, but it seems like the studio has a different person in mind to take on the film's development.
According to the Daily Beast, WB may have hired Jeff Nichols to direct Aquaman. Honestly, if this is true, it is one of the best directing decisions that the studio has made for one of their superhero films. Nichols is an incredibly talented director who brought us the films Mud with Matthew McConaughey and Take Shelter with Michael Shannon. Both films were incredibly well made.
The guy is definitely a much more talented storyteller than Snyder is. »
- Joey Paur
Warner Bros already confirmed that it's working on an "Aquaman" film, which will star Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian) and will hit theaters on July 27th, 2018. Now, thanks to the Sony Pictures hack, we know that Warner Bros already has a director in mind. And that director is Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter). This is from an October 21st email between Michael De Luca of Columbia Pictures and Amy Pascal of Sony Pictures. It's not clear whether negotiations with Nichols already started, but there's still plenty of time to find a director. Meanwhile, Momoa will first appear as Aquaman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," and then return for two installments of "Justice League," which will hit theaters in 2017 and 2019. »
News of the Mud director's involvement was revealed in the recent Sony leaks, reports The Daily Beast.
An email sent on October 21 from co-president of production for Columbia Pictures Michael De Luca to Sony's co-chairman Amy Pascal earmarked Nichols as director on the film, which will premier in 2018.
A number of emails between Sony executives have recently been leaked in a large-scale hacking. One exchange saw actress Angelina Jolie being labelled a "minimally-talented spoiled brat" by Sony producer Scott Rudin. »
The massive Sony hack has uncovered a dearth of information on that studio's upcoming films, but also a few projects that aren't even set up at Sony. The Daily Beast reports that an October 21 email from Michael De Luca to Amy Pascal reveals that Warner Bros. is eyeing director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) to make their Aquaman movie. The news has not been confirmed by the studio, and it isn't known if Warner Bros. has made an official offer to the filmmaker yet or not.
Aquaman will star Jason Momoa as the title character, who will be introduced in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The character will also be featured in the two-part adventure Justice League Part 1 and Justice League Part 2, which are set for release in 2017 and 2019 respectively. Jason Momoa revealed earlier this month that he wants Zack Snyder to direct Aquaman, but that likely won't »
The Sony hack continues to reveal more golden nuggets of information today, as we’re now hearing of not only an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, but also a possible director for Aquaman. Of course, none of this is confirmed just yet, but The Daily Beast is reporting on quite a few tantalizing details.
First up is the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, which has been rumored for a long time now. According to an email from Sony’s Michael De Luca, Fox is “steering X-Men and Fantastic Four into an eventual team up film.” Again, we’ve heard about this before, so it’s not exactly surprising. In fact, it’s almost inevitable that the two properties will merge at some point. Still, this semi-confirmation does give more credence to the rumor, which is certainly an interesting one.
Next up is a little tidbit about a possible director for Warner Bros.’ Aquaman film. »
- Matt Joseph
Jason Momoa is taking on the title role and will make his debut as the character in Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice". At present, the only three confirmed directors for films in Warners' proposed DC Cinematic Universe are Snyder, David Ayer for "Suicide Squad" and Michelle MacLaren for "Wonder Woman".
The site also claims they have information indicating that Beyonce Knowles' father wants to make a Destiny's Child biopic and was in early discussions regarding it around this time last year. They also suggest a feature film project is in development at Sony which Kanye West may produce. »
- Garth Franklin
As well as revealing plenty of details about the plans for the Spider-Man franchise [read about those here, here and here], the big Sony hack has also given us some insight into other studios’ superhero projects.
Following on from the news that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will helm the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, the latest details to emerge concern Warner Bros.’ 2018 Aquaman movie.
According to emails from Columbia’s Michael De Luca seen by The Daily Beast, Jeff Nichols is set to direct the Aquaman solo movie, which will see Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) taking on the role of the King of Atlantis following his debut appearance in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Nichols’ prvious credits include Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud.
- Gary Collinson
Ewan McGregor is Jesus — and the Devil — in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test.
- Gary Collinson
In between some more comedic work in The Lego Movie, her directorial debut in Pitch Perfect 2, and a return to blockbuster cinema with Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Elizabeth Banks decided to go dramatic with a role in the upcoming indie, Little Accidents.
Set in a small town recently devastated by a catastrophic mining accident, the drama of Little Accidents unfolds when a teenage boy suddenly goes missing, sending the community reeling once more. The boy’s father (Josh Lucas), an executive at the mining company, is hated for his role in the accident, and in the wake of their son’s disappearance his wife (Banks) finds herself drifting away, drawn instead to the disaster’s sole survivor (Boyd Holbrook). The trailer paints the film as an exploration of grief, human relationships, and how we come together or fall apart in the face of tragedy. - It looks like different »
- Zach Dennis
The book, set in the upscale beach town of Palos Verdes, Calif., follows two teenagers whose home lives devolve after they move to the town from Michigan with their parents. The female teen, portrayed by Monroe, turns to surfing as an escape.
Garner was most recently in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and “Men, Women and Children.”
Wme reps all three actors. »
- Dave McNary
The sleeper indie hit Mud was considered a pivot-point for Matthew McConaughey, who was transitioning away from mimbo roles into darker and more complex territory, like his subsequent Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. But Mud also featured another actor at a similar career crossroads: Reese Witherspoon. In Wild, Witherspoon teams up with McConaughey's Dallas director Jean-Marc Vallée and writer Nick Hornby to bring Cheryl Strayed's 1,100-mile-hike memoir to the screen. It's a savvy career move by the revitalized actress/producer after several years of mediocre choices (Four Christmases? How Do You Know?) that failed to take advantage of »
- Jeff Labrecque
Elizabeth Banks is most often thought of in relation to her deadpan comedy stylings or her eccentric turn as bizarre fashionista, Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games franchise. While she did take a brief sidestep into more dramatic fare for People Like Us, it wasn’t long before she returned to her chuckle-inducing ways. In Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, it looks like Banks is headed back into darker territory as a mourning mother.
The film, which bagged critical acclaim earlier this year during its festival run, centres around a small mining town. When a major mining accident kills a bunch of miners, the repercussions ripple out through the community. In the throes of grief, the town suffers another major blow when a young boy goes missing. His mother (Banks) and father (Josh Lucas) begin to fall apart, and seek comfort elsewhere.
Judging by this first trailer, its components definitely hanker to an indie crowd. »
- Gem Seddon
Reese Witherspoon was so good in the upcoming "Wild" that she's being honored for the movie at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. She will be joining previously announced recipients Richard Linklater ("Boyhood"), Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl"), and J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash"). The gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Here's the rest of the press release:
.Reese Witherspoon delivers one of her finest performances in Wild,. said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. .Witherspoon brilliantly brings to life the true story of Cheryl Strayed, adding yet another iconic performance to her impressive 20-year span of characters including June Carter, Tracy Flick and Elle Woods. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Reese Witherspoon with the Chairman.s Award..
We laid out a few of the films that weren't eligible for today's Independent Spirit Awards announcement yesterday. Movies like "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Foxcatcher," etc., as well as a number of foreign players, were not going to be in the mix. But of those that were, the real shocker today is that "The Imitation Game" turned up a goose egg. According to The Weinstein Company, it was eligible. That's not getting off to a great start for Harvey Weinstein's thoroughbred this season. Looking across the nominees, as we surmised, it's the "Birdman" and "Boyhood" show with six and five nominations apiece. But Open Road also came out swinging with five nominations for Dan Gilroy's "Nightcrawler," while the biggest boost of the announcement has to be for Ava DuVernay's "Selma." The Paramount release was screened for the committees but due to how late in the game the film wrapped up editing, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Directed by Jean-Marc Valle.
There are times that Wild threatens to become the film everyone assumes it is, based on the trailer. Take, for instance, any scene where Cheryl comes into contact with the opposite sex. There’s always a tense exchange of dialogue, and in one scene, a vague threat of sexual assault. Yet, it’s always either played down or just dissipates, once Cheryl realises that the man in question is practically harmless.
It’s a strange thing to bring up in a movie, that, had it being adapted by anyone other than Nick Hornby, would have taken a little creative license and made said scenes a bit more…unsettling.
Yet, Wild isn’t the bleak, »
- Gary Collinson
Looking for some less mainstream sci-fi films in the year ahead? Then here's our list of 10 genre movies to look out for in 2015...
If you've been keeping an eye on next year's schedules, you'll probably already know about some of the major sci-fi films due for release in 2015. Ridley Scott will leave Matt Damon stranded on the red planet in The Martian. Colin Trevorrow will unleash a new breed of dinosaurs in Jurassic World. George Miller will be bringing us his belated Mad Max sequel Fury Road, Neill Blomkamp will show off his robot sci-fi comedy Chappie, and then, of course, there's Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
But what about the smaller genre films, the ones that don't have the marketing budget of, say, Disney's Tomorrowland, or the brand recognition of Star Wars? Those are the kinds of films we're focusing on here: the lower budget, »
After winning the 2005 Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line," Reese Witherspoon unfortunately caught the Oscar curse, also known as the Cuba Gooding Jr. syndrome, which pulls certain stars into obscurity instead of further propelling their careers. During the years following her big win, Witherspoon starred in a series of fluffy comedies that were box-office duds and gradually became persona non grata for leading major studio releases. Recently, she’s been trying her hand at a female version of The McConnaissance as she takes on more daring and challenging roles in indies. The tactic seems to be working. After receiving praise for her supporting role as the profoundly damaged romantic obsession to Matthew McConaughey in "Mud," her performance as Cheryl Strayed in "Wild," based on Strayed’s autobiography about her 1100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail, is getting rave reviews. Witherspoon spoke with. »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
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