Monday, 31 October 2016

Amandla Stenberg set for Darkest Minds

It was announced back in July that director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) was making a move to live action with young adult fiction adaptation Darkest Minds. Now she has found the young woman to star in the film, with word arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) has recently joined.





She should feel right at home in the Darkest Minds universe, adapted from Alexandra Bracken's book, which kicks off a trilogy of tomes. The story is set in a world where a pandemic has killed off most of America's children and teenagers. Some of the survivors develop superpowers, which worries society at large and those with newfound abilities are sent to internment camps.

Our protagonist for at least the first story is 16-year-old Ruby Daly (Stenberg), who develops telekinetic powers and decides to break out of her camp. She ends up on the run with like-minded (and powered) teens who are trying to escape the government's clutches.

Naturally, 20th Century Fox and producer Shawn Levy's 21 Laps company will be hoping this kicks off a fresh franchise with the earning power of The Hunger Games, and this first film has Chad Hodge (Wayward Pines) writing the script.

Stenberg worked on indie movie As You Are and is part of the cast of another young adult fiction adaptation, Everything, Everything, which MGM Studios are making right now.

First one sheet for Slash arrives online

Gravitas Ventures have recently released their first one sheet for Clay Liford's (Earthling) coming of age comedy Slash.




Written and directed by Clay Liford, Slash follows introverted high school freshman Neil (Michael Johnston) who secretly writes same-sex, erotic fan fiction about a popular science fiction character. After finding out that Julia (Hannah Marks), a self-confident classmate, has discovered his writing and shares his passion, it only becomes a matter of time before he falls for her. 

Encouraged by Julia to put his fan fiction online, Neil is introduced to whole new universe when the website's moderator takes a special interest his work.

Slash is set to arrive in US cinemas 9 December and although the film played at this years Edinburgh International Film Festival back in June, it has yet to secure a general UK release.

New trailer and IMAX one sheet for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back arrives online

Paramount Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and IMAX one sheet for Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.





Never Go Back, adapted from Child's 18th Reacher novel, finds tough vigilante Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returning to his old army headquarters, only to discover that he has been accused of a murder that went down 16 years ago. The reason he breaks the advice about not returning? He is there to help an Army Major (Cobie Smulders) who is accused of spying.

With Austin Hebert (Bonnie & Clyde), Patrick Heusinger (Frances Ha), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton), Holt McCallany (Fight Club) and Robert Knepper (Hitman) also in the cast, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is out in cinemas now.



"When you told me the rules don't apply to me, you know, they don't apply to you either."

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply.





Warren Beatty has been quietly trying to get his film about Howard Hughes, now called Rules Don't Apply, made for a few years and now it is finally ready for the wider world to see.

Despite the presence of Beatty both behind the camera as writer and director, and in front of it as Hughes, the focus is actually on aspiring actress Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) and handsome driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich). She is under contract to Hughes' film studio and he is the man to drive her around, with the golden rule being that no employee must have a relationship with a contract actress.

Still, sparks fly between the devout Baptist beauty queen and the driver, a staunch Methodist engaged to his childhood sweetheart, no matter how much they try to deny it. As they are drawn deeper into Hughes' bizarre world, their lives are forever changed.

The likes of Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Annette Bening (American Beauty), Martin Sheen (The Departed) and Haley Bennett (The Equalizer) fill out the cast, and the Rules Don't Apply will hit American screens in November but has yet to secure a UK a release date.




New trailer and one sheet for True Memoirs Of An International Assassin arrives online

Netflix have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Jeff Wadlow's (Kick-Ass 2) True Memoirs Of An International Assassin.





He may have headed back to a regular TV work, but Kevin James (Here Comes The Boom) is still making the odd movie.

James here plays Sam Larson, a workaday author who channels his life's frustrations through the main character in his book, a smooth, talented and lethal hitman. But when the tome hits shelves, and is a huge success, he is shocked to learn that his publisher changed it to sound like a real memoir of a globe trotting hero.

In a case of mistaken identity, Sam is then kidnapped and embroiled in an assassination plot, which means he will either have to step up and save himself or he will need some serious help.

True Memoirs also features Andy Garcia (Oceans Twelve), Kim Coates (Black Hawk Down), Zulay Henao (Fighting) and Kelen Coleman (The Newsroom) and will arrive on Netflix on 11 November.




New trailer for Desierto arrives online

STX Entertainment have recently released their latest trailer for Jonás Cuarón's Desierto.





If the name Jonás Cuarón seems familiar it is because he is in the illustrious Cuarón lineage. His father is Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and Jonás is now preparing his second directing feature, a new thriller entitled Desierto.

Desierto – which, as you may have guessed, is the Spanish word for desert – is a horror movie set in Trump's America, pitting illegal Mexican immigrants against a gun-toting redneck vigilante border guard.

Gael García Bernal – who worked with Cuarón senior on Y Tu Mamá También (2001) – leads the group of Mexican immigrants making the treacherous journey across the border, while Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) continues his villainous streak as a one man killing machine, picking off the border crossers with his rifle and pet dog.

The Cuarón father and son team co-wrote Gravity (2013) together (with Jonás also directing the seven-minute related short Aningaaq) and have collaborated once again on this script. And the family connections don't end there – Jonás' uncle Carlos is also listed as a producer.

Despite mixed reviews in its native country, Desierto has already been selected as the Mexican entry for next year's Best Foreign Language Oscar entry, which surely makes it an intriguing proposition.





Desierto is out in the US now but has yet to secure a UK release date.

New trailer and one sheet for Rupture arrives online

Signature Entertainment have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Steven Shainberg's (Secretary) claustrophobic new horror film Rupture.





Noomi Rapace has been put through the ringer before in films like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) and Prometheus (2012), and it looks like she is not really going to have an easier time of it in her next film.

Steven Shainberg, best known for directing Maggie Gyllenhaal in the erotic thriller Secretary (2002), is writing and directing this one, which sees Rapace play a young mother who finds herself unwittingly abducted into a mysterious laboratory.

There, she is drugged and experimented on by seedy looking captors (Peter Stormare and Michael Chiklis). And so the escape is on.





Rupture will arrive in cinemas and on demand from 4 November.

New one sheet for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter arrives online

Sony Pictures have recently released latest one sheet for Paul W.S. Anderson's final Resident Evil instalment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.





For what is being touted as the last entry – at least from Paul W.S. Anderson, the man who has produced all and directed almost all the movies so far – the latest Resident Evil outing promises to bring the evil home. And indeed we see Milla Jovovich's Alice, having survived the conflict in Washington, heading back to Raccoon City to confront the terror of the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.

With Iain Glen returning as Dr. Alexander Isaacs, alongside Shawn Roberts' Albert Wesker and Ali Larter's Claire, plus new saga arrival Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) who plays a woman named Abigail, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has Jovovich looking to outdo her previous action moments as she prepares to hang up her guns.

The movie will arrive on our screens on 24 February next year.

New character one sheets for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them arrive online

Warner Bros have recently released a new batch of character one sheets for Harry Potter veteran director David Yates' Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.





























Scripted by J.K. Rowling herself from her short tome, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is set 70 years before Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest crossed the threshold of Hogwarts and tangle with the dark forces of Voldemort. Our hero here is magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is on a mission to document the creatures filling the wizarding world. During a trip to New York he discovers several of the beasts have escaped from his bottomless case.

And that isn't helped by the fact that America's Muggles, the No-Maj, aren't exactly trusting when it comes to witches and wizards, with the fires of suspicion stirred by dark forces, represented here by Colin Farrell's (Total Recall) investigator, Percival Graves.

Redmayne will be joined in the cast by the eclectic likes of Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) as Tina, Alison Sudol (What To Expect When You're Expecting) as Tina's sister Queenie, Dan Fogler (Fanboys) as Jacob, Ezra Miller (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Credence, Samantha Morton (Control) as Mary Lou, Jenn Murray (Dorothy Mills) as Chastity, young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty, plus Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible), Gemma Chan (Exam) and Carmen Ejogo (Selma).

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them arrives in UK cinemas on 18 November.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

New one sheet for Keep Up With The Joneses arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for Greg Mottola's (Superbad) latest comedy Keep Up With The Joneses.




The film finds Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) and Isla Fisher (Now You See Me) as a typical ordinary suburban couple who find themselves struggling to keep up with the Joneses, played in this particular case by Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6). The struggle becomes ever more real when it turns out that Mr & Mrs Jones are in fact spies, embroiling the peaceful suburbs in action and espionage.

With Greg Mottola calling the shots, who has quietly made some of the wittiest and most charming comedies of the last few years – such as Superbad (2007), Adventureland (2009) and Paul (2011) – and a script from Michael LeSieur (You, Me And Dupree), this is certainly one to look out for.

Keeping Up With The Joneses is out in cinemas now.

"Time is running out, Mr. Scamander."

Warner Bros have recently released their final trailer and new one sheet for Harry Potter veteran director David Yates' Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.





Scripted by J.K. Rowling herself from her short tome, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is set 70 years before Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest crossed the threshold of Hogwarts and tangle with the dark forces of Voldemort. Our hero here is magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is on a mission to document the creatures filling the wizarding world. During a trip to New York he discovers several of the beasts have escaped from his bottomless case.
And that isn't helped by the fact that America's Muggles, the No-Maj, aren't exactly trusting when it comes to witches and wizards, with the fires of suspicion stirred by dark forces, represented here by Colin Farrell's (Total Recall) investigator, Percival Graves.

Redmayne will be joined in the cast by the eclectic likes of Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) as Tina, Alison Sudol (What To Expect When You're Expecting) as Tina's sister Queenie, Dan Fogler (Fanboys) as Jacob, Ezra Miller (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) as Credence, Samantha Morton (Control) as Mary Lou, Jenn Murray (Dorothy Mills) as Chastity, young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty, plus Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible), Gemma Chan (Exam) and Carmen Ejogo (Selma).





Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them arrives in UK cinemas on 18 November.

New trailer for Hacksaw Ridge arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer for Mel Gibson's (Apocalypto) Hacksaw Ridge.





With a script from Gibson's old collaborator Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers), Hacksaw Ridge is based on the true story of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who served as a US Army medic in World War II during the battle of Okinawa and refused to kill. Despite his objections, his incredible valour saving lives during the battle saw him awarded the Medal of Honor, the first time a conscientious objector has won the decoration.

Vince Vaughn (The Internship) plays Sergeant Howell, the man whose job it is to get raw recruits ready for combat, Sam Worthington (Avatar) is Captain Glover, in charge of the unit and Luke Bracey (G.I. Joe Retaliation) is Smitty Ryker, the tough alpha of the platoon. Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) plays Doss' true love Dorothy Shutte, with Rachel Griffiths (Blow) as his mother, Bertha.





Hacksaw Ridge is due to arrive on US screens 4 November, but there is no UK release date as yet.

First trailer for Fences arrives online

Paramount Pictures have recently released their first trailer for Denzel Washington's (The Great Debaters) Fences.





For his third cinematic turn behind the camera as director, Denzel Washington chose some material he was intimately familiar with – August Wilson's Tony Award winning play Fences.

Wilson's play tackles the story of Troy Maxon (Washington), a Pittsburgh sanitation employee who once dreamed of a baseball career only to be left facing down daily discrimination in a more menial line of work, while grappling with his lost ambitions. Davis plays Troy's wife, Rose (Viola Davis).

Both actors won Tony Awards for their performances on stage, while the play took the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Revival. Troy is a role first made famous by James Earl Jones during Fences' original run in 1987. "It reawakened me about the work, and my commitment to the work," Washington told us about his own take. "I said to myself: 'I've got to dig deeper'. Scott Rudin sent me the script August Wilson wrote - the only one of his plays that he wrote as a screenplay – to act and direct. I really do want to direct this."





Fences will arrive in US cinemas on 25 December but there is no UK release date as yet.

New clip for Blood Father arrives online

Icon Films have recently released their latest clip for Jean-François Richet's (Mesrine) Blood Father via Empire Online.




Aside from his cartoon villain roles in the likes of Machete Kills (2013) and The Expendables 3 (2014), we haven't properly seen Mel Gibson in action since How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012). That is about to be remedied by the gnarly thriller Blood Father, in which a grizzled Gibson takes arms against a desert of bad guys.

If Gibson's recent form and shenanigans don't quite have you cheering for this, it is worth noting Blood Father's promisingly heavyweight pedigree. The director is Jean-François Richet, who made both parts of the stunning Mesrine (2008). And it is based on a novel by Peter Craig, who also wrote The Town. Craig shares the screenplay's credit with Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton).

Blood Father sees Gibson as down at heel tattoo artist John Link, throwing his parole into jeopardy when he gets into a spat with some drug dealers who have taken issue with his estranged daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty).

"This scene is an important one because it is the first time that Link and Lydia speak openly with each other," Richet tells Empire. "It's actually the only time that Link apologises and faces up to his errors in front of his daughter."

The scene comes just before Lydia finds herself in deep with her boyfriend's (Diego Luna) gang, and her old man is forced to put some old style Gibson hurt down.

"I wanted to shoot this scene as simply as possible, without any effects," the director continues, "so the actors could fill the whole space and fully convey the emotion between them. The motorbike represents the past that Link has fled, but it also represents the future because it will allow them to escape together. Thanks to Link recognising and accepting his failings, they will both be able to rebuild a new relationship."

William H. Macy (Fargo), Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Thomas Mann (Project X) and Michael Parks (Kill Bill) co-star, and the film is out in the UK on 7 October.




"Look, wondering if you're happy – it's a great shortcut to just being depressed."

Entertainment One have recently released their first teaser trailer for Mike Mills' (Beginners) 20th Century Women teaser.





Beginners (2010) director Mike Mills' latest features several generations of women and arguably some of the best actresses working today, including Annette Bening (American Beauty), Elle Fanning (Maleficent) and Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha).

The year is 1979 and California's ever changing seaside town of Santa Barbara is a complicated place to grow up in for the teenage son of Dorothea (Bening), whose world is changed forever by the arrival of Billy Crudup's (Watchmen) former hippy turned handyman.

As the boarder living in the bungalow outside single Dorothea's home, he attracts the attention of not only Dorothea, but also Julie (Fanning), a provocative friend of the boy, and punk photographer Abbue (Gerwig).

"The film is an ode to the women who raised me – my mom, my sisters, the girls I was in love with or looked up to at school and in the punk rock scene where I really learned about the world," Mills told Variety.





20th Century Women will arrive on US screens around Christmas and will be out in the UK early next year.

Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki join Peter Rabbit

It was recently announced that James Corden (Into The Woods) and Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class) had landed two of the lead roles in a planned live action CGI blended adaptation of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit for Sony Pictures. They now have some company in the shape of Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Man From U.N.C.L.E).





Will Gluck (Annie) is directing the film, which will see its animated creatures handled by Animal Logic, the company that provided the incredible animation for The Lego Movie (2014). The director also did a pass on the script, which has previously been written by Rob Lieber (Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day).

Corden is set as the voice of Peter, with Byrne playing a live action character named Bea. Ridley and Debicki's characters have not been announced, but they are listed as voice roles, so perhaps they are playing part of Peter's family. It also remains to be seen how the movie will extend the original tale, which focuses mostly on Peter stealing vegetables from the garden of Mr. McGregor.

The fresh casting news comes as the studio teams up with Frederick Warne & Co., Potter's longtime publisher to co-produce the movie. "I am delighted to be teaming up with Frederick Warne," says Gluck. "Their expertise and stewardship is absolutely critical to making a film that honours the legacy of Beatrix Potter."

Shooting will kick off in January and the movie should be out in April 2018. Ridley has worked on Rian Johnson's (Looper) Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will hit our screens on 15 December next year. Debicki will also be seen in space, as part of the cast for God Particle, due to arrive 24 February and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, landing 28 April.

New look at Brian Cox as Winston Churchill arrives online

Albert Finney (The Gathering Storm), Michael Gambon (Churchill's Secret), Rod Taylor (Inglourious Basterds), Richard Burton (The Gathering Storm), Simon Ward (Young Winston)... plenty have embodied Winston Churchill's bulldog spirit before. Next to take on the mantle of Britain's great wartime leader is Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy) in Churchill. Now Empire magazine have released our latest look at the man himself.





Jonathan Teplitzky's (The Railway Man) drama is set in the 48 hours before the invasion of Europe. The 'standing alone' period of British history was long past, but, as the film records, Churchill's mood had barely brightened. Hence the grim faces all round as he confers with Field Marshal Alan Brooke (Danny Webb) in this shot.

"What we've uncovered flies in the face of public perception," explains Teplitzky. "Many people will be shocked to hear Churchill was in total opposition to D-Day. He feared Operation Overlord would be another Gallipoli."

With James Purefoy (High Rise), Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow) and Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children) also in the cast, Churchill will be fighting them in the multiplexes in 2017.

Sam Neill joins Thor: Ragnarok

News arrives via ShortList that Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) is set to reunite with his Hunt For The Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows) for Thor: Ragnarok.





Talking to ShortList, Neill revealed that he will be appearing in the latest Thor outing, which Waititi is busy directing. We don't, however, know exactly what he will be doing in the film.

Chris Hemsworth is back, of course, as Thor, with Tom Hiddleston's Loki causing more trouble. Also returning are Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins alongside new faces Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button), Jeff Goldblum (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Tessa Thompson (Creed) and Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness).

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is on our screens now and Thor: Ragnarok will arrive on 27 October next year.

Julia Roberts attached to parental revenge drama

Julia Roberts has had success with based on truth drama before, winning an Academy Award® for Erin Brockovich (2000). She now has her eye on a twisty new tale of real life envy and revenge, with news arriving via Deadline that she is set to star in and produce an adaptation of a new book called I'll Get You!: Drugs, Lies, And The Terrorizing Of A PTA Mom.




The book, co-written by Kelli Peters (the victim of the centre of the story) alongside a New York Times journalist working under the pen name Sam Rule, hit book shelves in the US last month. It tells of Peters, a president of the Parent Teacher Association and volunteer at her daughter's elementary school in California who was accused by another mother of keeping her son waiting during the afternoon pick-up. The confrontation led to the mother and her husband (both lawyers) kicking off a campaign to demand that Peters be banned from the school, launching a lawsuit against her and even framing her for drug possession.

Peters was arrested and investigated, and then vindicated and after a five-year nightmare, won a $5.7 million civil judgement against the couple. Her battle was recently documented by a feature article in the LA Times, written by Christopher Goffard.

It is clearly early days for this one – there is no writer or studio attached yet – but it has already attracted the attention of George Clooney (Money Monster), who may leap on board to co-produce.

Roberts, last seen alongside Clooney in Money Monster, is currently working on novel adaptation Wonder.

Alex Wolff, Ser'Darius Blain and Madison Iseman join Jumanji

Even as shooting continues on the rebooted Jumanji (1996) sequel, Jake Kasden (Bad Teacher) is adding to his cast. Joining the likes of Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along) are Alex Wolff (The Sitter), Ser'Darius Blain (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Madison Iseman (Tales Of Halloween).





Welcomed by Johnson via his ubiquitous Twitter feed, the newcomers are described by The Rock as 'Jumanji Juniors'.

The new movie, which reportedly carries on the story of the mysterious game, promises more action and animal invasions into the real world. The cast for this one also includes Jack Black (School Of Rock), Karen Gillan (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Nick Jonas (Careful What You Wish For).

Wolff, brother of Nat, is also a member of the Naked Brothers Band and has been seen in movies including My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and will appear in Patriots Day. Blain was in Camp X-Ray (2014) and the Footloose (2011) remake and has indie thriller Beneath The Leaves on the way. Iseman, meanwhile, was part of the cast of Tales Of Halloween (2015).

Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan set for Wildlife

Paul Dano (Prisoners), currently on our screens opposite Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings) in Swiss Army Man, is set to make his directorial debut with Wildlife. Now news arrive via The Hollywood Reporter that Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) and Carey Mulligan (Drive) are set to play his leads.





Dano and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) have adapted the script from Richard Ford's 1990 novel. The book's story follows teenager Joe Brinson, whose family moves to Montana when he is 16. The shift in location doesn't help the underlying family tension, as his father, a professional golfer who teaches at a local club, discovers that his wife is having an affair. And there is also the threat of a looming fire...

With indie production companies June Pictures and Nine Stories setting this one up, Dano should have the cameras rolling in November, intending to film in Montana and Oklahoma.

Swiss Army Man, meanwhile, is out in cinemas now.

Movie adaptation of Joe Hill's Snapshot 1988 planned

Author Joe Hill's work has already hit our screens before with Horns (2013), and rights to his other books and stories have quickly been snapped up. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that the latest tale to attract attention is his novella, Snapshot 1988.





The story, part of a four novella compilation that won't be published until late 2017 or even early 2018, attracted plenty of attention from studios partly because of its author but also because of its 1988 setting, as companies start looking for 1980s set material in the wake of Stranger Things' success.

As the title suggests, Snapshot is set in 1988 and finds a 13-year-old boy taking care of his elderly former housekeeper that everyone thinks has succumb to dementia. But it turns out there is a much more sinister issue at play here, as an evil man known as The Phoenician is stealing her memories using a mysterious camera.

Writer and director Mike Flanagan (Oculus) is in talks to work on the adaptation alongside regular collaborator Jeff Howard. The pair have Ouija: Origin Of Evil out in cinemas now. Hill's next release is Strange Weather, the novella compilation that includes Snapshot 1988.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

New trailer and Ralph Steadman poster for My Scientology Movie arrives online

Altitude Films have recently released a new trailer and quad poster illustrated by legendary satirical cartoonist Ralph Steadman for Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie.





Louis Theroux's first theatrical release has been a long time coming, so it deserves something a little special to usher it to the big screen.

As you would assume from the title, My Scientology Movie is Theroux's delve into the mysterious, influential and just slightly sinister world of the California based organisation. In typical Theroux fashion, the wry, probing journalist constructs a movie within the movie, reconstructing some of Scientology's most arcane rites and rituals to shine new light on its world.





Directed by John Dower's (Thrilla In Manila), My Scientology Movie is out in cinemas now.

Fruit Ninja movie in the works

Whether you see it as a fun extension of a much loved app or a portent of the coming apocalypse heralding doom and pestilence across the land, the Fruit Ninja movie is happening. According to The Hollywood Reporter, rights to the sword slashing fruit salad game have been secured by New Line and a film adaption is officially in the works.





Employing some of the same swiping techniques as Tinder, Fruit Ninja is a test of reflexes, judgment and the patience of your loved ones. It involves chopping flying fruit without exploding the floating bombs deviously mixed up amid all the soaring vitamin C.

J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani (How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack) are developing the script for a story that will involve "a team of misfits who are recruited to become Fruit Ninjas in order to save the world".

Clearly not an obviously narrative led premise, but then again, as the likes of Battleship (2012) and Angry Birds have demonstrated, such movies rarely bear much resemblance to its source material anyway.

Producer Tripp Vinson (Journey To The Center Of The Earth) will be overseeing the project in conjunction with Australian developers Halfbrick Studios. He will be resuming a long-standing relationship with New Line and will no doubt be hoping the film bears fruit.

Levi Meaden set for Pacific Rim 2

The cast for Pacific Rim 2 is slowly taking shape, with John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Scott Eastwood (Fury) and Cailee Spaeny (Counting To 1000) already on board. Now, following the recent announcement that Chinese actress Jing Tian (Special ID) will be heading into the Drift for the Pacific Rim (2013) sequel, news arrives via Variety that Levi Meaden will be joining the giant Kaiju battling newbies.





Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil) is directing this one, stepping in for Guillermo del Toro, who will produce so he can concentrate on other projects. The film, often known as Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, is still largely wrapped in secrecy, though you can expect more of the giant robots versus Kaiju action we all enjoyed last time around. We don't yet know who either Eastwood or Spaeny will be playing in the movie, though Boyega (who is also a producer on the film) is the son of the late Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).

It remains to be seen whether this second trip to the Rim can improve on the original's faltering US box office, which was boosted by solid returns in China and went on to gross more than $410 million worldwide.

Working mainly in television since 2009, Meaden has popped up in The Killing (2014), iZombie (2015) and Olympus (2015), before making a mark as Matt Copeland in the apocalyptic Aftermath.

Pacific Rim 2 is due to arrive in February 2018.

Robert Sheehan set for Bad Samaritan

Dean Devlin (Leverage) is switching from the epic disaster thrillers he has been known for in the past to something a little more low key. He already has David Tennant (Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire) aboard crime story Bad Samaritan and now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Robert Sheehan (Cherrybomb) is set to join him.





Written by Brandon Boyce (Apt Pupil), Samaritan finds two young car valets (we assume Sheehan will be one of them) who have a criminal sideline to their mundane parking duties – they use the business as a front to steal from their rich patrons while they are out. Unfortunately for them, they just picked the wrong house to rob...

It is not yet known whether Tennant will be a threat in the movie, though given his recent history with Jessica Jones, we know he can certainly bring the menace in a big way when needed. The movie will start shooting in Oregon later this year.

This won't be Sheehan's first run- around with Devlin, as he is part of the cast for the producer and director's Geostorm, due to arrive in cinemas 20 October 2017.

Bill Hader set to voice Power Rangers' Alpha 5

The team behind the Power Ranges reboot have announced via Twitter that Bill Hader (Superbad) is set to voice Alpha 5, the chatty, supportive robot who works with the powerful Zordon and aids the Rangers.





The move certainly makes sense – Hader has plenty of history with voice over roles, including work on Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009), Inside Out (2015), Sausage Party, and providing the fight voice for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010).

With Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) voicing Zordon and Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) physically present as villain Rita Repulsa, the movie will find the Rangers battling Rita's evil schemes and defending the Earth while figuring out their own teenage issues.

Power Rangers will be out in the UK on 24 March next year. Hader has recently moved into directing with Barry for HBO, and is also back on US TV screens in spoof documentary show Documentary Now!

Equalizer sequel set to shoot next year

Clearly happy with what the studio was seeing in post-production, Sony Pictures began developing a sequel to The Equalizer (2014) before the original came out. Now we know that Antoine Fuqua should be back to direct and that it will kick off shooting next year.





Talking with Collider at a screening of The Magnificent Seven (which he also worked on) Equalizer producer Todd Black confirmed Denzel Washington's return and said that they had a plan in place to make the sequel in 2017. "The script is done. We start shooting right after Labor Day, maybe right before Labor Day depending on Denzel's schedule," he says. "So Equalizer 2 will start shooting in September of next year, maybe earlier depending on another movie that we’re shooting with Denzel before that. We're going to do a little bit more work and we're going to go into casting right after that for his nemesis."

Richard Wenk once more wrote the script, which remains shrouded in mystery for now. But you can assume Washington's Robert McCall will be laying the smack down on someone criminal. That "other movie", incidentally, could well be writer and director Tony Gilroy's (Nightcrawler) next film, Inner City, which Washington has shown real interest in. As always, watch this space.

Mel Gibson discusses Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson's (Braveheart) route back into the filmmaking community after a ten-year absence full of controversy and false starts has led him to the volcanic sands of Okinawa. His new war movie Hacksaw Ridge is gathering the kind of buzz that suggests a powerful comeback. In an interview with Empire magazine recently, Gibson explained the appeal of the project.





"It's a true story about a man who was a conscientious objector," explains Gibson of Andrew Garfield's (The Amazing Spider-Man) medic, Desmond Doss. "He wouldn't take another life, but he wanted to serve his country as a medic. He was persecuted. In boot camp, in the army, they tried to throw him out. They called him a coward, and he just took all the shots."

Doss' crucible was the Marines' invasion of the Japanese island stronghold in 1945, a notoriously ferocious battle that accounted for soldiers and civilians in almost equal numbers. "It's a war film," Gibson says, "but it's a wonderful anti-war statement as well."

One thing, hints Gibson, that probably isn't on the cards is a civil war film. "Directing's a tough game nowadays," says Gibson. "You've got 30 days. Boom!"

Hacksaw Ridge lands in UK cinemas in 2017.

Miles Teller discusses boxing biopic Bleed For This

Miles Teller (Whiplash) spoke to Empire magazine recently about his upcoming boxing biopic Bleed For This.




"I did a bit of kickboxing in high school," Teller told Empire, "but boxing is super hard, man. The work, the timing, the distance control. It's all very exposing. It's just you." Luckily for Teller, Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), who is executive producer on the film, delivered a letter of support prior to filming. "It was on his letterhead and typed on an old typewriter," Teller continues. "It said, 'To play the part of Vinny you are going to have to show hard work and perseverance, and I know that you are the right guy for this job.' For him to reach out to me was something."

Bleed For This tells the true life tale of junior middleweight champion boxer Vinny Pazienza, whose career ended abruptly after breaking his neck in a car crash. However, Pazienza wasn't going to let that stop him, retraining against all medical advice.

"It was by far the toughest thing I've ever done," says Teller. "If I am super nervous about doing something, as I was with Vinny, I would rather me have the opportunity to mess it up than somebody else. I only had maybe a month with my boxing trainer. You don’t become a professional anything in a month if you've never done it before. It was a lot of trust and practice, motivated by fear."

Bleed For This is released in cinemas on 2 December.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Chinese actress Jing Tian set for Pacific Rim 2

The cast for Pacific Rim 2 is slowly taking shape, with John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Scott Eastwood (Fury) and Cailee Spaeny (Counting To 1000) announced as the three newbies ready to enter the Drift. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Chinese actress Jing Tian (Special ID) is set to join them





Tian has yet to make her English language debut – she will feature alongside Matt Damon (The Martian) in The Great Wall before Kong: Skull Island – but has signed on the dotted line to take an as yet unnamed role in the sequel to Guillermo del Toro's larger than life 2013 adventure.

Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil) is directing this one, stepping in for Guillermo del Toro, who will produce so he can concentrate on other projects. The film, often known as Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, is still largely wrapped in secrecy, though you can expect more of the giant robots versus Kaiju action we all enjoyed last time around. We don't yet know who either Eastwood or Spaeny will be playing in the movie, though Boyega (who is also a producer on the film) is the son of the late Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba).

It remains to be seen whether this second trip to the Rim can improve on the original's faltering US box office, which was boosted by solid returns in China and went on to gross more than $410 million worldwide.

Pacific Rim 2 is due to arrive in February 2018.

Ed Skrein joins Alita: Battle Angel

As Robert Rodriguez (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) gears up to finally realise James Cameron's (Avatar) long planned vision of adapting manga Battle Angel Alita for the big screen as Alita: Battle Angel, he has added a new actor the cast. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ed Skrein (Deadpool) is the latest recruit for the planned science fiction epic.





Alita: Battle Angel is based on Yukito Kishiro's nine-volume manga (known as Gun/Dream in Japan), the story of an amnesiac female cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter, after being rescued from the rubbish dump and rebuilt by a professor of cybernetics. Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner) is on board to play Alita, while Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) will be the professor.

Skrein is getting back into bad guy mode for the movie, playing a dangerous cyborg named Zapan, who wields a powerful weapon called the Damascus blade. And he is not the only threat, as Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) will also be a villain in the film.

Rodriguez should be starting to roll the cameras this month in Austin.

New look at Josh Helman in My Name Is Lenny arrives online

There is long list of East End legends to have made their mark on the big screen. The latest, bare knuckle fighter Lenny McLean, is the subject of My Name Is Lenny, a new British drama that has recently wrapped and has a new still to share.





Doing the slugging here is Josh Helman (X-Men: Apocalypse), who steps into the boots of Britain's toughest man. John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), a recent addition to the cast, co-stars alongside  UFC fighter Michael Bisping. The latter plays McLean's nemesis Roy 'Pretty Boy' Shaw, while Channel Cresswell (This Is England: 90) plays his long suffering wife.

The film charts McLean's rise from East End street fighter in the 1970s to champion fighter, via some traumatic childhood experiences. It probably doesn't take in his cameo as Barry the Baptist in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), although one of his co-stars from that film, Nick Moran, will be appearing.

My Name Is Lenny will be reaching UK cinema screens in 2017.

Rooney Mara set to star in Brady Corbet's Vox Lux

Brady Corbet won awards for his feature directing debut, The Childhood Of A Leader (2015), and he is currently forging ahead on his next film, music focused drama Vox Lux. We now know who will be starring in the movie, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) has landed the lead.





Vox Lux, which Corbet plans to shoot on 65mm film for screening in 70mm, is planned as a 15-year story that spans from 1999 until the present day. Mara will play Celeste, a singer who rises to superstardom and observes the 21st century's big cultural changes.

And to make sure the music itself is authentic, he has scored the services of Sia to provide original songs for the movie and soundtrack. Brady has written the script and will start shooting in February.

Mara can currently be heard as part of the voice cast for Kubo And The Two Strings and has several movies on the way, including Terrence Malick's (Tree Of Life) Weightless and drama Lion.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Johannes Roberts set to direct Stephen King adaptation Hearts

Having just made his latest stab at horror with The Other Side Of The Door, director Johannes Roberts is turning his attention to the work of a man known for horror, but adept at heartwarming tales at the same time. News arrives via Variety that Roberts is planning to adapt Stephen King's Hearts In Atlantis for the big screen.





Hearts In Atlantis has been adapted for the big screen before in 2001 and starred Anthony Hopkins, but in book form, Hearts In Atlantis comprises two novellas and three short stories, and Scott Hicks' film used two of the other stories.

Now Roberts and co-writer Ernest Riera (The Other Side Of The Door) are planning to turn the main tale into a film called Hearts, which focuses on a group of college freshmen who becomes addicted to a competitive card game called Hearts. The challenge begins to consume them, and one by one they wash out of the institution, a dangerous prospect when life outside college meant being drafted to fight in Vietnam.

"As a teenager, discovering Stephen King's books and their cinematic counterparts was what led me to want to become a filmmaker," says Roberts in a statement picked up by Variety. "The story Hearts In Atlantis is my favorite piece of King’s writing. Turning this story into a movie had been a lifelong dream." For his part, Stephen King has given the thumbs up to the new movie.

As for the next adaptation of King's work, that would be The Dark Tower, which will hit UK cinemas on 17 February.

New clip for War On Everyone arrives online

Icon Films have recently released their latest clip for John Michael McDonagh's (Calvary) War On Everyone.





He has dealt with crooked Garda in The Guard (2011) and crooked priests in Calvary (2014). Now John Michael McDonagh is tackling crooked cops in The War On Everyone.

Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and Michael Peña (The Martian) are the two crooked cops heading up this buddy caper, who attempt to blackmail every criminal they come across, until one tries to blackmail them in return.

With Theo James (Divergent), Tessa Thompson (Creed) and Paul Reiser (Aliens) rounding out the cast, War On Everyone is out in cinemas now.




First teasers for Ghost In The Shell arrive online

Paramount Pictures have recently released a striking batch of teasers for Rupert Sanders' (Snow White And The Huntsman) Ghost In The Shell.





While teasers for trailers have become a phenomenon in recent years, now, for the live action Ghost In The Shell we are getting little footage snippets that aren't specifically trailers themselves.





Adapted from Masamune Shirow's original 1989 manga, Ghost In The Shell sees Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) as a special ops cyborg at the head of an elite task force known as Section 9. The team, working for Hanka Robotics, is in charge of stopping dangerous criminals and extremists, and their prime target is The Laughing Man, a terrorist dedicated to wiping out all of Hanka's cyber technology.




Johansson's Lucy (2014) co-star Pilou Asbæk is aboard to play Batou, the second best fighter in the section and her trusted lieutenant, with Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis), 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi), Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) and Kaori Momoi (Memoirs Of A Geisha) also appearing. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (The Dark knight), Danusia Samal (Tyrant), Lasarus Ratuere (The Mule), Yutaka Izumihara (Unbroken) and Tuwanda Manyimo (The Rover).













With a script by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), Ghost In The Shell will arrive in US cinemas on 31 March 2017. For more on Ghost In The Shell, check out our Ghost In The Shell crash course guide.

First trailer and one sheet for Trespass Against Us arrives online

A24 Films have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Adam Smith's feature debut Trespass Against Us.





British crime drama Trespass Against Us has been around for a while now but it is finally getting a release following its Toronto International Film Festival premiere.

The film follows three generations of outlaws who delight in illegal hunting, ram-raiding stately homes and defying the police. One, though, Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender), has grown sick of the criminal life and wants to find a path to the straight and narrow. Naturally, his father (Brendan Gleeson) is not best pleased.

Expect hare coursing, car chases and robbery as Fassbender's wannabe law abider tries to get out but keeps finding himself pulled back in.

With a score from electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers, and Sean Harris (Prometheus), Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours), Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) and Killian Scott (Calvary) rounding out the cast, Trespass Against Us lands on AT&T's new streaming service DirecTV in the US on 24 November, before going into US cinemas in 2017. It will arrive in the UK on 16 November.




"You're a grow man, now go and take that ass whoopin'."

Warner Bros have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Richie Keen's (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) Fist Fight.





The story finds Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as mild mannered English teacher Andy Campbell who must man up when his feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), at his under performing school challenges him to a good old fashioned punch-up over a perceived sleight. There is clearly bad blood and good blood must be spilt to sort it out.

The cast – or corner people – runs pretty deep with Christina Hendricks (Drive) playing a fiery drama teacher who has the hots for Cube, with Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street) and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) also appearing.

With a script from Van Robichaux and Evan Susser, Fist Fight will arrive in the UK on 3 March 2017.




New red band trailer and one sheet for Bad Santa 2 arrives online

Entertainment One have recently released a new red band trailer and one sheet for Mark Waters (Mean Girls) Bad Santa 2.





Billy Bob Thornton is back as booze addled con man Willie Soke, still dressing up as Father Christmas and just as sick of the kids who insist on sitting on his knee as ever. Though it might seem like he is out of the criminal life, all that changes when he teams up once again with old cohort Marcus (Tony Cox), who has a plan to rob a Chicago charity run by Diane (Christina Hendricks).

Things get more complicated when Willie learns that the brains behind the scheme is none other than his mother, Sunny (Kathy Bates) promising to "raise the bar for the gang's ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behaviour". And not forgetting The Kid, Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), grown up and still hanging around, much to Willie's displeasure.





Bad Santa 2 will (dis)grace UK cinemas from 25 November.