Wednesday, 31 August 2016

James Corden and Rose Byrne in talks for new Peter Rabbit

Walt Disney Pictures have certainly lead the live action remake charge of late, with Maleficent (2014) and Cinderella (2015) already behind them, and Beauty And The Beast and The Little Mermaid arriving next year. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Sony Pictures are the next studio looking to cash in on the latest remake trend, developing the beloved Peter Rabbit for a new audience.

Having recently taken the US by storm with his chat show antics, British export James Corden (Into The Woods) is in negotiations to voice Beatrix Potter's famous bunny in a live action and CGI blended adaptation, directed by Will Gluck (Easy A). Rob Lieber (Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) is on script duties, while Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) is in talks for an as yet unnamed, non digital character role.

Sony Pictures' version is apparently set to revolve around the young buck and his ongoing war with big garden enthusiast, Mr. McGregor.

Corden will next be heard in DreamWorks' Trolls, and can currently be seen pretty much everywhere after striking viral gold with The Late Late Show's Carpool Karaoke. Byrne will also next be heard, not seen, for DreamWorks, in Chris Miller (Shrek) and Tim Minchin's Larrikins.

Gluck will next direct Jackpot, starring Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), based on the 2011 Norwegian adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s bestseller.

Anthony Mackie set to reunite with Kathryn Bigelow for Detroit riots drama

Although he had been working steadily for a few years before he appeared in Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (2008), it certainly helped Anthony Mackie's career kick up a few notches. Now news arrives via Deadline that he is set to reunite with the director for her latest movie, an untitled drama set around the 1967 Detroit riots.

We recently learned that Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) and Jack Reynor  (Glassland) were among those joining John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) in the movie. With Mark Boal once again on writing duties, the film will unspool its story against the backdrop of destructive riots that spread across the city of Detroit in 1967, the result of pent-up rage at racism and police raids.

Unusually for announcements about the movie, we do know what Mackie will be doing in the film, as Deadline reports that he will be playing a Vietnam veteran who features prominently in the story. Shooting will be happening soon and Bigelow is aiming to have it ready for a 2017 release around the 50th anniversary of the riots.

Once he is finished on the movie, Mackie will segue to the start of his duties as Sam Wilson, also known as Falcon in the next Avengers films. He has already worked on crime drama Wetlands and will also be seen as lawyer Johnnie Cochran in Justin Chadwick's (The Other Boleyn Girl) Signal Hill.

Daisy Ridley set for Chaos Walking

While her Star Wars duties keep her busy for several months each year, Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is forging new directions to star in other types of movies. Now news arrives via Variety that she has signed on for the lead in the adaptation of Patrick Ness' young adult novel Chaos Walking.

Ness' trilogy – The Knife Of Never Letting Go, The Ask And The Answer and Monsters Of Men – finds humankind in a dystopian future, colonising a distant planet after the Earth has been ruined. When an infection called the Noise strikes, all thoughts become audible and chaos follows.

A corrupt autocrat takes the chance to seize control of the human settlements in order to launch a strike on native alien race the Spackles, blaming them for the infection that's apparently killing human women. Young Todd Hewitt, the only boy in a town solely comprised of men, rebels to stop the oncoming destruction. Going on the run with his dog, he teams up with a mysterious, girl who is the source of a precious patch of silence.

Doug Liman (Edge Of Tomorrow) is aboard to direct Chaos Walking, with Jamie Linden (Money Monster) working on the most recent draft of a script that has been through several hands, including those of Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).

Ridley recently finished shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will touch down on 15 December 2017. The actress is also attached to The Lost Wife, Kolma, which J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is producing and Hamlet re-invention Ophelia, which may also star Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Joel Edgerton circling a role in Red Sparrow opposite Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence and regular Hunger Games sequels director Francis Lawrence are teaming back up for an adaptation of espionage thriller novel Red Sparrow. And with that all still in the works, news arrives via Deadline that Joel Edgerton (Warrior) might be joining the duo.

Jason Matthews' 2014 tome is set in modern day Russia and would see Lawerence playing Dominika Egorova, an intelligence officer who must survive in the tough bureaucracy of the post-Soviet Russian spy machine. She is pressed into service as a 'sparrow', a trained seductress, and is sent to target Nathanial Nash (potentially Edgerton), a young CIA officer who has been assigned to investigate the Russian intelligence system.

Naturally, their encounters are charged with attraction and sexual energy and soon their relationship is putting both of them at risk. Things take another turn when she is recruited by the CIA to root out a high-level traitor in Washington. It could be a solid pairing for the actors, and has a script from Justin Haythe (The Lone Ranger), who himself re-wrote a draft by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle).

Edgerton will next be back on our screens in Loving, which will be out here on 3 February next year.

Ava DuVernay makes history with A Wrinkle In Time

After chronicling history with Selma (2014), Ava DuVernay is set to make history with her next project. News arrives via LA Times that she will become the first woman of colour to direct a live action movie with a budget of more than $100 million, signing on for Walt Disney Pictures' adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time.

It is a remarkable milestone to cross, and for now, she is the only one. Women have directed films with big budgets in the past, including the likes of Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), and more recently Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins. And animation has seen the likes of Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda), but DuVernay is the only African American woman to do so in live action. Yet, at least.

She celebrated the news with a tweet about the journey so far.

Jennifer Lee (Frozen) has written the script, which draws on Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 tome. The story follows the Murry family – especially teenager Meg and her genius 5-year-old brother Charles Wallace, and Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe. Their scientist father has gone missing, but after the visit of a mysterious old lady called Mrs. Whatsit, they learn that their father's research may have been more successful than they guessed and that he may have travelled in space and time. The kids end up following his footsteps to a planet called Camazotz, ruled by a giant evil brain called The Black Thing.

Oprah Winfrey (Selma) is so far the only confirmed cast member, having joined the film to play Mrs. Which. A Wrinkle In Time is set for a 28 July 2017 release in the States, but has yet to confirm a UK release date.

James Ponsoldt set to direct animal adventure Wild City

Following the success of Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, it arguably makes sense that Walt Disney Pictures might want to consider more movies featuring animals. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that the studio are now developing Wild City for James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) to write and direct.

Little is known about the project at this early stage, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, it is an original idea dreamt up by the writer and director and will see animals living wild in Los Angeles going on an adventure. It is described as a blend of live action and digital effects, so it seems likely that the creatures will be brought to life digitally.

Ponsoldt has has success with smaller movies so far, including Smashed (2012), The Spectacular Now (2013) and The End Of The Tour (2015). He is stepping up a level for his next film, The Circle, which stars Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Emma Watson (The Bling Ring) and John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens). We are still awaiting a confirmed release date for the technology thriller.

New images from Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV arrive online

Square Enix Company have recently released their first set of stills for akeshi Nozue's (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.

Final Fantasy XV, the first proper entry in Square Enix's long-running roll playing game series for over six years, arrives on game consoles in September, and if gamers could hardly be quivering any more with excitement, there is further hype to be had. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a spin-off movie that ties in with the game's story is also on the horizon.

The Final Fantasy series is no stranger to spin-off media – most notably Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), which boasted groundbreaking computer generated animation. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, meanwhile, certainly looks to be raising the bar in photorealism, with levels of details that will leave you double taking.

The English language version has even attracted some A-list calibre, including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Sean Bean (The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring) and Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones). The Kingsglaive of the title is an elite force of solidiers in the magical kingdom of Lucis.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV has already enjoyed a theatrical release in its native Japan, and will get a limited theatrical release in North America. Here in the UK, meanwhile, it will arrives on digital from 30 August and Blu-ray and DVD from 30 September (the same day as the Final Fantasy XV game) via Sony Pictures Home Releasing.

Bail Organa set to appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

While the team behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story might prefer to keep all the movie's secrets under wraps until the film's release, there is no accounting for eagle-eyed fans pausing trailers and sizzle reels to find details. Such as Jimmy Smits (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith) reprising his role as Bail Organa – Princess Leia's adoptive father – in the film.

Jokingly confronted with a screen grab while appearing on US morning chat show The Talk, Smits looked shocked that anyone would have spotted the brief glimpse, but then demurred, before confirming through humour, talking about "cameos" and "small parts."

So while we don't yet know what Senator Organa will be doing in the film, it might not be that much. Still, it could represent some more screen time for a man who appeared in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones (2002), Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and in animated form in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, meanwhile, is released worldwide on 16 December.

Monday, 29 August 2016

New TV spot for Moana arrives online

Walt Disney Feature Animation have a recently released their Olympic TV spot for Ron Clements and John Musker's (The Little Mermaid) Moana.

Moana follows the titular girl (Auli'i Cravalho), a free spirited teenager living in the South Pacific years ago, who sets out on a mission across the ocean to prove herself and to help her people. Spurred by her grandmother's stories, she ends up traveling with porcine best pal Pua, bird-brained chicken Heihei (Alan Tudyk), and Maui (Dwayne Johnson), a demigod and troublemaker who has his own scores to settle and a tattoo version of himself that acts as his conscience.

With Clements and Musker on directing duties and the likes of Jemaine Clement (What We Do In The Shadows), Rachel House (Whale Rider), Nicole Scherzinger (Men In Black 3) and Temuera Morrison (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith) providing their voices, Moana will be out in the US on 23 November before sailing to UK shores on 2 December.

New Alien: Covenant video shows Katherine Waterston in hypersleep

With just a year to go until Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) follow-up, Alien: Covenant, arrives on our screens, 20th Century Fox have recently released a short clip countdown clip to mark the films release date, featuring Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) in hypersleep.

The film finds the colony ship Covenant heading for a remote planet, a place that the crew initially thinks is an uncharted paradise but turns out to be dark and full of terrors. And the only inhabitant is synthetic life form David (Michael Fassbender), who claims to be the lone survivor of the Prometheus mission.

Waterston plays a character named Daniels and from the look of the image above, will at some point be kitted out in a way that is very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. Which would certainly make sense considering Scott has reportedly said that he is heading towards the events of his original Alien (1979).

Noomi Rapace headed to the set a month or so before it finished filming, but we don't yet know whether she will be part of a flashback or actually show up to interact with the crew, which also includes Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Amy Seimetz (You're Next), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills), Billy Crudup (Watchmen) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down).

Alien: Covenant is out on 4 August next year.

Rebel Wilson set to star in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake

The flurry of remakes is not slowing down any time soon, especially given that it is a tradition stretching back years in Hollywood. A new one has a prospect that is certainly rich with comedy potential. News arrives via Variety that MGM Pictures are developing a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), with Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) attached to star.

You may recall the 1988 original, which featured Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the titular con artists, though you might not know that it was itself a remake based on Bedtime Story (1964). In this take, the story will follow two female grifters, one who is cultured, the other uncouth, who compete to swindle a naive technology prodigy out of his fortune.

This one is still bubbling away, and there is no director or other casting attached yet. But it does have a script by Jac Schaeffer (TiMER), who most recently wrote science fiction action comedy The Shower, which has Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) on board to star.

Wilson was last seen in How To Be Single and Grimsby, and will be back with the rest of the Pitch Perfect gang for the third movie, due next year.

Ruby Rose set to join Jason Statham in shark thriller Meg

Finally emerging from the depths of a long, choppy development, giant shark creature feature Meg is swimming into production with Jason Statham (The Expendables) in the lead role. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) is the latest addition to the cast.

The Melbourne raised model and actress has been making waves as Stella Carlin in the third and fourth seasons of Orange Is The New Black. She has also been making the move to the big screen and has plenty of action heavy projects on her future slate, including xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and John Wick: Chapter 2.

Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) is in the director's chair for the adaptation of Steve Alten's novel, working from the latest draft of the script written by Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate). Meg will focus on an international underwater observation platform, spearheaded by Chinese scientists, that is probing the depths of the ocean. When it comes under attack from an unknown creature (which turns out to be a prehistoric shark related beast known as a Carcharodon Megalodon), the research station's submersible is left disabled and trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Chief oceanographer Dr. Zhang Suyin recruits former Navy captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) for a risky rescue mission. Jonas has his own history with the creature, after being forced to abort his mission and abandon half of his crew years ago after an attack. Now he will have to confront his history and his fears as he takes on the deep sea leviathan once again...

Warner Bros want this one in cinemas on 2 March 2018, but there is no confirmed UK release date as yet.

Ansel Elgort set to play twins in Jonathan

One of the final few considered to take on the role of a young Han Solo before Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) finally won the role, Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars) has spent the majority of his short career in young adult adaptations. But this all looks set to change with his latest project, with news arriving via Variety that he has joined Bill Oliver's feature debut, Jonathan.

Looking to flex his acting muscles, Elgort has pencilled in Jonathan, an original indie that will see him play twins who have made a pledge to stay single. At least, that is, for the foreseeable future, after one of them goes off with the other's former girlfriend. To make it even more confusing, they are both called Jonathan. That is surely some bad parenting right there...

Director and writer Bill Oliver makes his feature debut with Jonathan. Elgort, on the other hand, has a strong roster of films lined up, including Sacha Gervasi's (Hitchcock) November Criminals which sees him reteam with Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), James Cox's (Wonderland) Billionaire's Boys Club with Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), and Edgar Wright's (The World's End) Baby Driver. He is also allegedly close to signing on the dotted line for Warner Bros' new Dungeons & Dragons.

Jonathan, meanwhile, is set to start shooting next month.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sequel set for November 2018

Given that Warner Bros have previously announced a trilogy to be made from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, and the fact that J.K. Rowling has been at work on the next script, it is perhaps not that surprising to learn that a sequel to Newt Scamander's (Eddie Redmayne) adventures is on the way. Now news arrives via Variety that we have an official date, with the sequel scheduled to arrive November 2018.

And the studio have confirmed to Variety that Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them director David Yates will continue his association with the ever expanding wizarding world, returning to handle the new movie.

Little is known about the plot so far, though Warner Bros' statement includes mention that the story "moves deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances."

Nothing was said about casting, but Redmayne should be back as Newt alongside the likes of Ezra Miller (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), Dan Fogler (Fanboys) and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice). If the studio keeps to its day and date scheduling, expect the sequel on 18 November 2018. The first Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, meanwhile, lands here on 18 November this year.

Will Poulter set for Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit riots movie

Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) is currently building the ensemble she needs for her next project, an untitled crime drama set against the backdrop of the Detroit riots in 1967. With John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) already aboard, she is adding another rising star to join him, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) is now aboard.

And he is not the only one, as Jack Reynor (Glassland) and Ben O'Toole (The Water Diviner) are also joining the film. Bigelow has been developing several projects since working on Zero Dark Thirty (2012) and now this new, original idea has leapt to the front of the queue. Little is known about the plot, save that it is set against the backdrop of destructive riots that spread across the city of Detroit in 1967, the result of pent-up rage at racism and police raids.

The new film reunites Bigelow with writer Mark Boal, and the filmmaking pair are aiming for a 2017 release to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the riots themselves. All being well, the cameras will be rolling soon.

Poulter will next be seen in War Machine opposite Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), while Reynor has worked on World War II resistance film HHhH and will be heard in Andy Serkis' (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) take on the Jungle Book story, due in 2018. As for O'Toole, he has a role in Mel Gibson's (Apocalypto) Hacksaw Ridge, which has yet to lock in a UK release and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will be out on 26 May next year.

Rami Malek joins the new Papillon

The latest film targeted for a reboot is Franklin J. Schaffner's Papillon (1973), which already has Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) in the lead role. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Mr. Robot star Rami Malek will join him in the cast.

Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) is responsible for the script, which will, like the original, be based on a memoir by Henri 'Papillon' Charriere, played in the original by Steve McQueen. It tells the story of his life as a petty criminal in 1930s France who is unjustly convicted of murder and sent packing to a penal colony that has a bad reputation for violence and corruption.

It is there that Charriere meets the nerdy but wealthy Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), who in return for protection agrees to fund his friend's prison escape. Malek is taking on the Dega role, which would seem to be a good match for his nervy energy on screen.

Danish director Michael Noer (Northwest) is attached to make the new movie, which should start shooting later this month. Malek is currently back on screens in the second series of Mr. Robot and has also worked on indie mystery drama Buster's Mal Heart.

First one sheet for Patriots Day arrives online

CBS Films have recently released their first on sheet for Peter Berg's (Lone Survivor) Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day.

Following their collaboration on Lone Survivor (2013), director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are steadily building a reputation for working together on truth based dramas, with Deepwater Horizon due this September and Boston bombing drama Patriots Day.

The film blends reality and cinematic invention to chronicle the events surrounding the bombing that happened at the finish line of the Boston race on 15 April 2013. Investigators eventually narrowed down suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and a huge manhunt followed, with Tamerlan killed in a firefight with officers and Dzhokhar found guilty of all his charges and sentenced to death.

Wahlberg is playing Sergeant Tommy Saunders, a composite of various Boston Police Department officers who were central to the case, with J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), John Goodman (Argo), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash), Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) and Kevin Bacon (Mystic River) also in the cast.

Matt Charman (Bridge Of Spies) wrote the script for the film, which will arrive in UK cinemas 27 January.

Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard feature in the first image from Allied

Paramount Pictures have recently released their first still from Robert Zemeckis' (Flight) latest, Allied, featuring Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) and Marion Cotillard (Rust And Bone).

Set in North Africa in 1942, Allied finds Pitt as an intelligence fficer called Max Vatan, who meets Cotillard's resistance fighter on a potentially deadly mission behind German lines. She poses as his wife to help complete the task, and back in London later, the pair rekindle their affair as the bombs fall.

And to help the chemistry, the pair started hanging out before the cameras rolled. "It was crucial for Brad and Marion to not only begin rehearsing together before the shoot, but they also spent a lot of time developing their characters with the director, Robert Zemeckis," producer Graham King tells People. "By the time we got to set, it was really amazing to see these characters already feel lived in and real."

Written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises), Allied also features Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows), Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield) and Matthew Goode (Stoker) in the cast, and will be out here in November.

Tony Gilroy reportedly taking on more duties for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

While we we learned back in June that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be undergoing some re-shoots, Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have kept largely quiet about the extent of filmmaker Tony Gilroy's (The Bourne Legacy) involvement, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, he has had more to do than we all thought.

Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) was the main man behind the camera for the shoot and is still heavily involved with the movie, but Gilroy has reportedly been given more input into the editing process, having been present for the re-shoots.

Yet from the sounds of it, this is not Gilroy being parachuted in to take over control of the film – he is simply working alongside Edwards, much as he did on Godzilla, to hone its final form. "There are not two separate editing rooms; they are all in there with their ideas," says one source. "Tony's a strong force, but they're all working together."

The new footage is apparently tackling whatever issues Edwards and his team identified with the movie after the initial shoot, and the report mentions the ending as a big factor.

Set between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follows a group of Rebel soldiers who set out on a dangerous mission to steal the plans for the original Death Star and bring hope to the galaxy.

Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) plays a character named Jyn Erso, leading up a cast that includes Diego Luna (Milk), Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors), Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Gone With The Bullets), Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt), Alan Tudyk (Serenity), Jonathan Aris (Sherlock), Eunice Olumide (World War Z), and Genevieve O'Reilly reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005) as young Mon Mothma.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released worldwide on 16 December.

Jessica McNamee set to join Jason Statham in shark thriller Meg

Finally emerging from the depths of a long, choppy development, giant shark creature feature Meg is swimming into production with Jason Statham (The Expendables) in the lead role. Now news arrives via Variety that Jessica McNamee (The Vow) is the latest addition to the cast.

Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) is in the director's chair for the adaptation of Steve Alten's novel, working from the latest draft of the script written by Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate). Meg will focus on an international underwater observation platform, spearheaded by Chinese scientists, that is probing the depths of the ocean. When it comes under attack from an unknown creature (which turns out to be a prehistoric shark related beast known as a Carcharodon Megalodon), the research station's submersible is left disabled and trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Chief oceanographer Dr. Zhang Suyin recruits former Navy captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) for a risky rescue mission. Jonas has his own history with the creature, after being forced to abort his mission and abandon half of his crew years ago after an attack. Now he will have to confront his history and his fears as he takes on the deep sea leviathan once again...

Warner Bros want this one in cinemas on 2 March 2018, but there is no confirmed UK release date as yet.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

First look at Jacob Tremblay and Naomi Watts in Shut In

Having made his name in Lenny Abrahamson's Room, Jacob Tremblay will next appear in psychological thriller Shut In, presumably in some sort of room. EuropaCorp have recently released our first look at the film, which stars Tremblay alongside Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Now at the ripe old age of 9, the career of the child star continues to go from strength to strength. Here, as he tells USA Today, he plays the foster child of a child psychologist (Watts), in danger of a "bad guy trying to kill them," Tremblay explained.

"I had to act scared a lot with Jack [in Room]. But I had to act scared [in Shut In] most of the time," Tremblay says. "Tom's a dark character. Not Batman dark. But he's scared, has rings under his eyes and looks creepy."

Tremblay also spoke highly of his grown-up co-star Watts, with his trademark politeness and honesty. "She's been in a lot of cool movies like King Kong," he said. "And she was really nice to me on set."

Directed by Farren Blackburn (Doctor Who), from an original script by Christina Hodson, Shut In arrives in cinemas on 11 November.

Mel Gibson and Sean Penn set for The Professor And The Madman

News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Mel Gibson (Braveheart) and Sean Penn (Mystic River) are set to star in The Professor And The Madman, a new drama charting the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.

The Professor And The Madman is a project that Gibson has wanted to make for years, ever since he acquired the rights to Simon Winchester's book back in 1998. He is aboard to play Professor James Murray, who began compiling the OED in 1857, kicking off one of the most ambitious projects in history. Penn is in negotiations to play Dr W.C. Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries while also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane – proving that truth is truly stranger than fiction at times.

While the man behind Braveheart (1995) and Apocalypto (2006) had intended to direct, he has now handed that job off to Farhad Safinia, who wrote the latter and has been working on a new draft of the script. Production company Voltage Pictures are backing the film and will be selling distribution rights at the Toronto Film Festival.

Willem Dafoe set to voice Death Note's Shinigami

Now in production with Nat Wolff (The Fault In Our Stars), Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys) and Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12) among the leads, the American adaptation of manga Death Note has added a notable name to its roster, albeit one who will be heard rather than seen on screen. News arrives via Mashable that Willem Dafoe (The Grand Budapest Hotel) is aboard to voice Ruyk, the Shinigami.

Death Note has Wolff playing a student in a big city who discovers a supernatural notebook bearing dark powers. It allows him to kill anyone he wishes by writing the victim's name in the book and sets him on a path as a self styled vigilante, taking out anyone he believes to be evil. His grand plan is a world free of terror, but you can imagine what might happen when a young man takes control of such power and wants to create a utopia...

Ruyk in the original story by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, is a death god, a member of a powerful race of extra-dimensional beings who decides to leave the notebook in our world to create chaos and extend his life through its use.

Adam Wingard (The Guest), who recently dropped a sneaky new sequel to The Blair Witch Project (1999) on the world, is directing the film, which began life as a Warner Bros project but is now being backed by Netflix. Death Note should be on our screens next year.

Dafoe, meanwhile, will next be seen in Yimou Zhang's (House Of Flying Daggers) 15th century epic The Great Wall and will pop up as Aquaman's enemy in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice follow-up Justice League, which has a release date of 17 November next year.

Secret Life Of Pets sequel due to arrive 2018

With the original now past $403.2 million at the worldwide box office, no one should be all that surprised then that news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Illumination Entertainment is developing a sequel to this summer's The Secret Life Of Pets.

The film, which saw a plucky dog trying to get rid of his annoying new fellow pooch and finding himself on an adventure around the streets of New York, has been a success for the company and distributors Universal Pictures, and is now forming the second big franchise for the animation studio after the Despicable Me films, which also spawned their own spin-off with Minions (2015).

Nothing is yet known about what will happen in the new film, but Chris Renaud is back to direct and Brian Lynch is once more writing the script. Two years seems like a fast turnaround for an animated movie, especially when you consider that the likes of Walt Disney Feature Animation and Pixar spend between four and five years developing theirs, but then we would guess this one has already been in the works for a while. We would expect the likes of Louis C.K., Jenny Slate and Eric Stonestreet to return for voice duties, with the addition of a few new names. It will arrive in US cinemas on 13 July 2018.

Illumination's next movie Sing, meanwhile, is due here on 27 January next year.

First teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released their first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's (Interstellar) Dunkirk.

World War II tale Dunkirk is set at a precarious time for the allied forces in the conflict – with hundreds of thousands of troops surrounded on the continent by enemy forces, their backs to the sea, they are faced with a seemingly impossible situation as their foes close in. But, as we know from history, Britain had other ideas...

For this one, Nolan has recruited an impressive cast that features people he has worked with before and some new faces. The line-up includes Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road), Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies), Kenneth Branagh (Valkyrie), Cillian Murphy (Inception), James D'Arcy (Cloud Atlas) and Jack Lowden ('71), alongside newcomers Fionn Whitehead and One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles.

The teaser doesn't show much of the movie itself and is instead something of a tone piece, showing the troops in their tough situation. Besides, production on the film is still underway and it isn't due to arrive in cinemas until 21 July next year.

Thor: Ragnarok bids farewell to Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo has marked his final day of shooting on Taika Waititi's (What We Do In The Shadows) Thor: Ragnorak with a batch of farewell Instagram posts, including one of the freshly shorn Chris Hemsworth.

A photo posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

Aside from featuring a sensibly quiffed Norse god, not too much is known about Waititi's third Thor instalment, except that it will see the God of Thunder pairing up with Ruffalo's Hulk. "There's a little bit of Midnight Run (1988), with [Charles] Grodin and [Robert] De Niro," Ruffalo told Empire magazine. "I feel like that's kind of where we're heading with this relationship between Thor and Banner.

"It is a universal road movie – that's where we're heading," continues Ruffalo, adding cryptically, "It's not where you'd think it will be, so it's not your classic road movie but it has that structure, I think."

A photo posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

Alongside Ruffalo and Hemsworth, new Marvel Cinematic Universe additions for Thor: Ragnarok include Jeff Goldblum (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as the mysterious Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson (Creed) as Valkyrie, Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Skurge, also known as The Executioner, and Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as the scheming Hela. "With the additions of Cate, Jeff, Tessa, Karl and Mark [Ruffalo] to the cast we have the makings of [Thor's] most dangerous and heroic adventure yet," promises Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Thor: Ragnarok will be out here on 27 October 2017.

First look at Helen Mirren in Fast 8 arrives online

Eyebrows were certainly raised when Helen Mirren (The Queen) revealed that she would be part of the cast for the latest Fast & Furious outing. But she wasn't kidding, and now Vin Diesel has taken to Instagram with a picture of his Dominic Toretto and Mirren's mysterious character.

Neither Diesel nor Mirren has said anything about what she will be doing in the film, though her hopes (and ours) were crushed slightly when she recently told Entertainment Weekly that she won't get to drive as part of her small role in the movie. "I wanted to be driving, but unfortunately, I'm not," she said. "Maybe that will come in the future, in Fast & Furious 12... I'm probably one of the few people on the set who know how to drive a gearshift car. I doubt the Rock knows... But I do. I know how to double declutch." Let's hope she finally gets her chance in a future instalment.

Fast 8, which is still shooting, includes returning veterans Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and Michelle Rodriguez, alongside more recent additions Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell and new franchise faces Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road), Scott Eastwood (Fury) and Kristofer Hivju (Game Of Thrones). With F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) on directing duties, Fast 8 will be out in the UK on 14 April.

"I was trying to tell you it was like Lord of the Rings."

Vertigo Films have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Taika Waititi's (What We Do In The Shadows) Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

Following the brilliant What We Do In The Shadows (2014), and on the way to much bigger things with Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel, director Taika Waititi has been on the Hunt For The Wilderpeople in between. His quirky indie road movie has just enjoyed its premiere at the Sundance Festival, and with that comes the first teaser trailer, introducing us to Julian Dennison's (Paper Planes) "very bad egg" Ricky.

Based on the 1995 novel Wild Pork And Watercress by Barry Crump, Hunt For The Wilderpeople sees Ricky going on the run after being threatened with a life in foster care. Struggling to make it alone in the wilderness, he is rescued by the curmudgeonly Hec (Sam Neill). But when the pair get stranded, social worker Paula (Rachel House) believes them to have absconded together, and the result is an eventful cross-country chase with Ricky and Hec pursued by Paula and her hapless cohort Oscar Kightley.

Dennison and Neill are both picking up great notices as the odd couple at the heart of the "very serious film", so expect it to make some international inroads in the reasonably near future, although it currently has no release dates outside the festival circuit. Crump's original novel is out of print at the moment, but that will probably change before long.

Having won awards at film festivals in several countries, Waititi's latest promises a lot of humour and just a dash of heart. With Rhys Darby (What We Do In The Shadows) and the director himself also in the cast, Hunt For The Wilderpeople will grace our shores on 16 September.

First trailer and one sheet for Stratton arrives online

GFM Films have recently released their first international trailer for Simon West's (The Mechanic) Stratton.

Stratton finds Dominic Cooper (The Devil's Double) as the titular Special Boat Service operative who must team up with a US Navy SEAL (Austin Stowell) to battle an international terrorist. Plot wise, there is talk of revenge and an attack on London that only Stratton and his team – with some help from Gemma Chan's (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) technology specialist – can foil.

The movie, which originally had Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel) in the title role, shot in Italy and London. Co-starring with the lead are Tom Felton (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Austin Stowell (Whiplash), Tyler Hoechlin (Hall Pass), Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted), Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech), Connie Nielsen (3 Days To Kill) and Jake Fairbrother (Skyfall).

No release date has been confirmed yet but expect to see this one in late 2016. Cooper, meanwhile, can currently be seen in Preacher on Amazon Prime.

New one sheet for The Sea Of Trees arrives online

Roadside Attractions have recently released their latest one sheet for Gus Van Sant's (Milk) The Sea Of Trees.

It has been a few years since we last saw a film from director Gus Van Sant. His last feature, Promised Land (2012), was a charming and thoughtful drama, but it didn't quite strike a chord with audiences. Van Sant's latest film, The Sea of Trees, promises to be even more divisive.

Written by Chris Sparling (Buried), the drama finds Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) as Arthur Brennan, an American maths professor who travels to Japan's infamous Aokigahara forest, known as The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to commit suicide. On his journey to the suicide forest, he encounters Takumi Nakamura (Ken Watanabe), a Japanese man who has lost his way after attempting suicide. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will to live and reconnects him to his love for his wife (Naomi Watts).

The Sea Of Trees also marks another collaboration between Van Sant and composer Danny Elfman (Good Will Hunting), who has written plenty of memorable scores for the filmmaker.

While Roadside Attractions have yet to set a release date for the film, the drama recently debuted at the Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews.

Two new one sheets for Swallows And Amazons arrive online

StudioCanal have recently released two new one sheets for Philippa Lowthorpe (Beau Brummell: This Charming Man) Swallows And Amazons.

A timeless childhood adventure, Arthur Ransome's Swallows And Amazons is back on the big screen for a second time this summer.

Set in the summer of 1929 in the Lake District, the story finds the Walker children (John, Susan, Titty – now called Tatty – and Roger) staying at a farm in the Lake District, during the school holidays. They sail a borrowed dinghy named Swallow and meet the Blackett children (Nancy and Peggy), who sail a dinghy named Amazon. The Walkers camp on an island in the lake while the Blacketts live in their house nearby. But there is a menace at large. A dark presence on the island – the Blacketts' uncle James Turner, also known as Captain Flint – tests their skills of survival and the value of friendship, and prepare them for the dangers of the adult world.

The Walker and Blackett children will be played by Dane Hughes, Orla Hill, Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen, Bobby McCulloch, Seren Hawkes and Hannah Jayne Thorp, with Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones), Jessica Hynes (Son Of Rambow), Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Kelly Macdonald (No Country For Old Men) and Harry Enfield (Kevin & Perry Go Large) making up the adult ensemble.

Swallows And Amazons is out in cinemas now.

New one sheet for The Light Between Oceans arrives online

Entertainment One have recently released their latest quad poster for Derek Cianfrance's (Blue Valentine) The Light Between Oceans.

After bringing us heartbreak, pain and suffering in Blue Valentine (2011) and The Place Beyond The Pines (2012), you might think Derek Cianfrance would perhaps switch to a romantic comedy just to change gears. Clearly not. His latest is romantic and potentially tragic tale The Light Between Oceans.

Adapted from M.L. Stedman's bestseller, The Light Between Oceans finds Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) as Tom and Isabel Sherborne, who run a lighthouse on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I. Their life is happy and settled, and think they might have found the perfect addition when they discover a boat washed ashore with a dead man and a baby. Rescuing and adopting the infant as their own, they enjoy some delighted years with their daughter until they learn some sorrowful new information.

They actually meet the grieving Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachel Weisz) who, it transpires, lost a husband and daughter at sea. The little girl would be about the same age as Tom and Isabel's...

With Bryan Brown (Cocktail) and Jack Thompson (Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones) also in the cast, The Light Between Oceans arrives in cinemas on 4 November.

New one sheet for Deepwater Horizon arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their latest one sheet for Peter Berg's (Lone Survivor) Deepwater Horizon.

Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) is certainly no stranger when it comes to real world stories of peril on the sea following The Perfect Storm (2000), and Deepwater Horizon represents another ocean set tale of heroism against incredible odds.

Peter Berg is in the director's chair for this one, which charts the events on the BP oil rig in the 48 hours leading up to the 2010 disaster and the day itself. The behind the scenes tale will highlight stories of real life heroism around the incident, which were not made public at the time but appeared in the script's source material, a New York Times article entitled Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour. The newspaper's piece chronicled how 11 people were killed and 16 injured when the rig blew, and gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z) has adapted the screenplay for the film, which J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) had originally signed to direct.

Along with Wahlberg's Williams, we meet his colleagues, including Kurt Russell (Death Proof), Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin). The new footage certainly shows off the dramatic moments of the pressure building and what happened as the crew scrambled to either repair the damage or evacuate when it became to great for the massive rig to survive.

With Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Ethan Suplee (The Wolf Of Wall Street) and John Malkovich (Burn After Reading) also in the cast, Deepwater Horizon will be in UK cinemas on 30 September.

New one sheet for Sully arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released their latest one sheet for Clint Eastwood's (American Sniper) Sully: Miracle On The Hudson.

Sully will chronicle the story of Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), the man hailed as a hero when he safely landed a bird-struck, malfunctioning plane full of passengers on New York's Hudson River back in 2009, becoming a symbol for old school tenacity and professionalism in the face of adversity. His moment of fame led to a memoir, called Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters, and saw both the book and his life rights bought by Frank Marshall (War Horse), with Sully himself also on board as a producer.

Eastwood called the shots based from Todd Komarnicki's (Perfect Stranger) script, and the film features Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as co-pilot Jeff Skiles who helped land the plane, Laura Linney (Mystic River) as Lorraine Sullenberger and Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) as Doctor Elizabeth Davis, who presumably took a look at the pilot after the crash, especially as the investigation threatened to damage his reputation.

Sully: Miracle On The Hudson will land in UK cinemas on 2 December.

New character one sheets for Sausage Party arrive online

Sony Pictures Entertainment have recently released their red band Comic Con trailer for Greg Tiernan (Thomas And Friends) and Conrad Vernon's (Shrek 2) Sausage Party.

Seth Rogen and his band of pot smoking comedians are back – in animated form. The writer, actor and director has assembled something of a repertory group of comedians, appearing together in the likes of Pineapple Express (2008) and This Is The End (2013), and now the somewhat cheekily titled Sausage Party.

In the universe of Sausage Party, food products of all kinds are self aware and spend their days in the supermarket dreaming of when they might be picked by 'gods' – humans – to join with them in eternity. It is only when they are purchased and reach our homes that they realise the horrific reality behind their religion – they are doomed to be sliced, peeled, boiled and otherwise consumed.

Our hero here is a hot dog sausage called Frank (Rogen) who realises the truth and then sets out to warn his friends.

Rogen has written the script with his comedy partner Evan Goldberg, and producer Kyle Hunter (This Is The End). Dreamworks Animation alumni Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon are directing a voice cast that includes Rogen, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Jonah Hill (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), James Franco (127 Hours), Nick Kroll (The League), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), and Edward Norton (Birdman), who voices a bagel.

Sausage Party will grace our screens from 2 September.