Monday, 30 November 2015

New trailer and one sheet for Finding Dory arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar have recently released their teaser trailer and one sheet for Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and Angus MacLane's Finding Dory.




As you might have guessed, this is the sequel to Andrew Stanton's Finding Nemo (2003), which swept up critical and commercial acclaim for its tale of a tiny clownfish lost in the depths of the ocean.

The new movie takes place six months after the events in Finding Nemo, with Dory happily settled and living with the marine community in the same reef as Marlin and his son. She still has issues with her memory, and when she attends one of Nemo's class trips to watch manta rays migrate home, she starts to have serious feelings of homesickness and wants to learn where her family are now.

Pixar have certainly been busy of late. After the success of Inside Out earlier this year, they are currently readying The Good Dinosaur for release, with Finding Dory send to find its way into cinemas next summer.



Star Wars: The Force Awakens TV spots arrive online

It's probably fare to say that, if you are remotely into Star Wars, you will have already decided whether or not you are going to queue up to see J.J. Abrams' (Star Trek Into Darkness) Star Wars: The Force Awakens next month. If you haven't, then this set of official TV spots might just be enough to persuade you.





Written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes), the film stars Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and new saga arrivals John Boyega (Attack The Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Adam Driver (Girls) Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones), Max von Sydow (Shutter Island), Christina Chong (W.E.), Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson.

















Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on 17 December.

"Whatever you plan to do, do it now!"

Universal Pictures have recently released their first trailer for Duncan Jones' (Source Code) Warcraft: The Beginning.





If there is one thing Warcraft is known for in its virtual form, it is expansion. So it somehow makes sense that the film based on the game is also undergoing a little escalating, at least in its title, now named Warcraft: The Beginning.

Source Code (2011) director Duncan Jones is putting the finishing touches to the film, which promises to show both sides of the story set in the seemingly peaceful realm of Azeroth, poised to descend into bitter war between man and orc when a portal opens between their two worlds. We will meet the likes of battle hardened warrior Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the commander of the human forces and champion of his king, Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper). But as opposed to the usual faceless hordes of monsters attacking them, we will also follow the Orcs, who arrive because they are fleeing the destruction of their own home world, and are led by Durotan (Toby Kebbell).




Warcraft: The Beginning invades cinemas on both sides of the pond on 3 June 2016.

"You're going to war with a corporation that owns a day of the week."

Sony Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Peter Landesman's (Parkland) Concussion.





Peter Landesman adapted Jeanne Marie Laskas' GQ article Game Brain which follows Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), a forensic neuropathologist who made the crucial first discovery of concussive head trauma in a National Football League player and strove to bring awareness to the general public.

Landesman's take has already been described as an NFL-centric The Insider (1999), putting a human face on a story about a thorny issue and the commercial interests involved in making sure the news doesn't spread too far. If it can avoid the big pitfalls of prestige issue dramas, it could certainly be a contender during awards season.

Backing Smith up in the effort is a stalwart cast that includes Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmin), Albert Brooks (Drive), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Eddie Marsan (The World's End), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums) and David Morse (The Green Mile).





Concussion is set for release in the US on 25 December, before heading here on 29 January.

Woody Harrelson set to join Brie Larson in The Glass Castle

While the movie may have lost one Hunger Games cast member (Jennifer Lawrence left after planning to play the lead for a while), it would appear that Destin Cretton's (Short Term 12) latest might have another ready to sign on. News arrive via Deadline that Woody Harrelson is in talks to join The Glass Castle. 




Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now) is attached to star now in the film, which writers including Andrew Lanham, Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) and Cretton himself have scripted based on Jeannette Walls' memoir. Her parents, Rex and Rose Mary Walls, were free spirits who lead a nomadic existence. Her mother was more concerned with painting and writing than, say, making dinner for her four kids, while her father could be inspiring and educational, but only when sober. The parents crumbled as their money ran low, and Jeanette and her siblings ended up more or less raising themselves.

Harrelson has spent plenty of time playing alcoholic characters you root for – Hunger Games' Haymitch among them – so he knows how to deliver on a role like this. The Glass Castle will likely have to wait until Larson has finished exploring dangerous territory in Kong: Skull Island, so we would expect Cretton to roll his cameras next year. And, as if you didn't already know, Harrelson is currently back on our screens in Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

Aaron Paul and Carice van Houten set for The Parts You Lose

Aaron Paul may not have had the best luck in big movies – especially the disappointing Need For Speed (2014) – but he has been putting in solid performances in indie outings. Now news arrives via The Wrap that Paul is set to produce and star alongside Carice van Houten (Black Book) in The Parts You Lose.





Dutch director Paula van der Oest (The Domino Effect) is behind this one, with Darren Lemke (Jack The Giant Slayer) scripting the tale of a young, hearing impaired lad called Wesley who encounters an injured, potentially dangerous fugitive (Aaron Paul) in a North Dakota town. The two quickly and unexpectedly bond, and Wesley finds the strength to deal with the stresses of life.

Van Houten's role isn't mentioned in The Wrap's report, but she could be playing the boy's mother. The Parts You Lose is scheduled to kick off shooting early next year in Canada. Paul has John Hillcoat's (Lawless) Triple Nine arriving on 19 February and appears in action comedy Central Intelligence with Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 6) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along), which is due on 1 July. Van Houten, meanwhile, will be seen in Western thriller Brimstone and Jesse Owens biopic Race.

Julie Ann Emery joins Chris Evans in Gifted

After cropping up in films such as Hitch (2005) and Nothing But The Truth (2008), Julie Ann Emery has been enjoying more substantial roles on TV, including Masters Of Sex and Better Call Saul. Emery will be back on the big screen next year, however, with news arriving via The Wrap that she is joining Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) in custody battle drama Gifted.




Marc Webb is using the film as his first directorial assignment since the two Amazing Spider-Man movies. Written by Tom Flynn (Watch It), Gifted is a drama about Frank Adler (Chris Evans), a deliberate underachiever, who is raising his niece Mary (McKenna Grace), in rural Florida. When he enrols her in school for the first time, she is labelled as gifted. All Frank wants is for Mary to have a normal life, but standing in his way is her grandmother, his mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), and the dilemma that he doesn't have custody of Mary. So being proactive for once, he sues to win that custody.

Emery's role isn't specified, but she joins a cast that already includes Octavia Spencer, reuniting with her Snowpiercer (2013) co-star to play his landlady and friend, and Jenny Slate (Obvious Child), as Mary's teacher, who also sees something in Frank.

Webb is rolling the cameras now ready for a 2016 release.

Elizabeth Banks set to star in Rita Hayworth With A Hand Grenade

Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) has at least a dozen potential future projects lined up already, but she clearly doesn't think there are too many. News arrives via Screen International that she has signed on to star in the wartime drama Rita Hayworth With A Hand Grenade. Sloane U'Ren (Dimensions) is directing, from a screenplay by Antony Neely (Dimensions). Regular Coen brothers collaborator Robert Graf (No Country For Old Men) is producing.




Nothing actually to do with Rita Hayworth, the film will see Banks playing pioneering conflict photographer Caroline Baker (not to be confused with the real life fashionista behind Nova magazine). In what sounds like a take on John Boorman's classic Hell In The Pacific (1968), Banks' Baker gets shot down over a Pacific Island (presumably during WWII, given the era suggested by the title) and gets marooned with only a Japanese soldier for company. Over a long 30 years they go from being enemies to reluctant allies facing their predicament together.

"I'm very excited to be working with Elizabeth... on this beautiful story of shared humanity and its triumph over fear and isolation," says Graf.

Further deals are already underway, with filming pencilled in for the spring of next year. News of who will play the Toshiro Mifune to Banks' Lee Marvin will no doubt follow shortly.

Banks, meanwhile, is currently on our screens in Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

Elliott Lester set to direct Arnold Schwarzenegger in 478

Following the domestic zombie drama Maggie, Arnold Schwarzenegger is staying in sombre mode for 478. Schwarzenegger has been attached to the revenge story since June, and the film now has a director. News arrives via Deadline that Elliott Lester (Blitz) will be calling the shots, with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) among the producers.




The script, written by Javier Gullón (Enemy), finds Arnold as a man who loses his wife and child in a plane crash. While there has been no explanation of the title so far, but we would guess that it is the number of the fatal flight. As it transpires, the tragedy was caused by an air traffic controller's mistake. The controller is hounded and eventually placed into protective custody, but Schwarzenegger's character can't let go and decides to seek his own vengeance.

While this all sounds remarkably like Collateral Damage (2002) – minus the terrorism aspect – according to Deadline's sources, it will play out more like a subtle character piece than the Austrian Oak going in guns blazing. And it shouldn't be that much of a surprise given the writer.

Lester arrived as a director with Love Is The Drug (2006), and since Blitz (2011) has been behind the David Oyelowo (Selma) starring Nightingale, the TV action series Chop Shop, and the recently completed but not yet released thriller Sleepwalker, starring Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey).

Lionsgate are releasing 478 in the US with shooting set to start in Ohio next month.

Dragon Tattoo sequel set to go ahead without Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara or David Fincher

When the The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) remake failed to spark the franchise that Sony Pictures were hoping for, plans to adapt the second book in the Millennium series The Girl Who Played With Fire were promptly shelved. However, it now looks like the series is set to return, only without Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara or director David Fincher. News arrives via The Wrap that the studio are reportedly heading down the reboot route, with Steven Knight (Locke) making a deal to adapt The Girl In The Spider's Web.




According to The Wrap, Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) is the top choice to replace Mara as the series' heroine, Lisbeth Salander, though it is all still speculation at this stage.

The Girl In The Spider's Web is the fourth novel in Larsson's Millennium series and wasn't written by the late author at all, but by David Lagercrantz, hired by his estate to continue the books. Films adapted from Larsson's own books aren't entirely off the table either if The Girl In The Spider's Web goes ahead and is successful, as Sony Pictures already have a screenplay for The Girl Who Played With Fire, adapted by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo screenwriter Steve Zaillian waiting to be used.

It remains to be seen whether Vikander ends up in the Salander role. She has certainly got plenty to keep her busy for now. She is currently on our screens alongside Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) in Burnt, is drawing awards talk for The Danish Girl, which arrives 1 January, has the next Bourne outing due29  July next year and stars with Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) in The Light Between Oceans, which isn't out until 6 January 2017.

Luke Evans set to replace Jared Leto in The Girl On The Train

There has been yet more casting shunts for Tate Taylor's (The Help) new film. We have already had to embrace the idea that Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) won't be part of the cast, and now Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) has recently had to drop out due to a scheduling clash. Still there is a fine replacement stepping up, with new arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) is joining The Girl On The Train. 




Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary) adapted the script from Paula Hawkins' much talked about book, which drew comparisons to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl for its narrative. We will caution that even the basic synopsis might be considered a spoiler, but read on if you wish... The story follows a recently divorced woman called Rachel (Emily Blunt) struggling with her life and sinking into alcoholism to try to cope. She spies a seemingly perfect couple from her London train ride every day and starts to fantasise about their lives. But things take a turn when she sees something shocking...

Evans is the latest replacement for a cast member – Justin Theroux (Inland Empire) recently joined to take over a role that Chris Evans would have played had he made a deal. They join the likes of Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer), Édgar Ramírez (The Bourne Ultimatum) and Allison Janney (Juno).

Taylor's crew are picking up steam as they start shooting in New York for an 7 October 2016 release in the UK.

Riz Ahmed joins new Bourne film

Jason Bourne's world is getting increasingly crowded for his next globe trotting mission. News arrives via Variety that Riz Ahmed (Ill Manors) has been hired for the new Bourne film.





Having made an impact in films such as Four Lions (2014) and Nightcrawler (2014), Ahmed has been in demand of late, and recently scored a role in Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (previously known as Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One). For Bourne, his part isn't entirely clear, though it appears he is playing some sort of tech specialist at the CIA. According to Variety, he nearly wasn't able to take the job at all thanks to schedule clashes with Rogue One, but everything has been ironed out.

With Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) returning as director (and co-writing this time with Christopher Rouse) and Matt Damon (Elysium) once again playing Jason Bourne, the film's story is being kept quiet, but will see our hero returning from his stint off the grid to a world full of financial collapse and a post Edward Snowden rush of secrets being revealed. He will be visiting several locations as usual, this time including Tenerife (standing in for Greece), London, Budapest and Las Vegas. The cast also features Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Scott Shepherd (Side Effects) and returning series veteran Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons.

Ahmed has a few movies on the way, including crime thriller City Of Tiny Lights and a drama called Blackbird. And, of course, his trip to the galaxy far, far away with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, leaving hyperspace on 16 December next year.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Justin Kurzel developing Mumbai massacre film

He has since ventured into Shakespeare and video game adaptation territory, but Justin Kurzel broke through with Australian crime tale Snowtown (2011), inspired by a true story. For a future job, he is drawing from real world events once more, with news arriving via Deadline that Kurzel is developing a film about the 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Mahal hotel in India. 




Kurzel has Anthony McCarten (The Theory Of Everything) adapting Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark's book The Siege: 68 Hours Inside The Taj Hotel, which recounts how armed Pakistani militants lay siege to the tourist destination. The aim is to make a film in the vein of Black Hawk Down (2001), following what happened when hundreds of people were held hostage for 68 hours as shots were exchanged and a massive fire raged across the property. In the end, 31 people had died and there were many more injuries. Some of the staff and guests were praised for their actions in helping to save more people from death.

StudioCanal is making a deal to finance the film, which, if he definitely commits, Kurzel will make towards the end of next year, because he is currently busy with Assassin's Creed, reuniting his Macbeth stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard for the adaptation of the Ubisoft game that arrives here on 26 December 2016.

Brian Cox set to star in new Churchill film

With several new Winston Churchill film projects currently in development, news arrives via Screen International that Brian Cox (The Escapist) is set to star in one called Churchill.





Brian Welsh (In Our Name) is in the director's chair for this one, working from a script by historian Alex von Tunzelmann. It will chronicle the tense build up to the D-Day landings, Churchill's leadership role and his more private side in his relationship with wife Clementine. We will meet a man who is tired from the strain of ongoing conflict, and fraught with worry that if the D-Day operation doesn't work, he will be remembered not for his proud legacy as a wartime Prime Minister, but as the man who orchestrated a bloodbath with little result. It is Clementine who helps keep him focused and brings him back from the brink.

Welsh and his producers are close to finding someone to tackle the Clementine role and the cameras should be cranking next spring. This is just the latest script about the man to join the crush, with Anthony McCarten (The Theory Of Everything) developing one called Darkest Hour.

Cox has recently worked on horror film The Autopsy Of Jane Doe and crime drama The Jesuit. He will also be seen in The Carer, and looks set to return as Captain O'Hagan for the Super Troopers (2001) sequel which is currently shooting.

Michael Winterbottom quits Russ & Roger

Attached to direct since last April, new now arrives via The Wrap that Michael Winterbottom (The Trip) has now walked away from Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert comedy biopic Russ & Roger, citing the usual "creative differences". Will Ferrell (Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy) remains aboard to play Meyer, with Josh Gad (Love & Other Drugs) as his unlikely film critic cohort Ebert.




Simpsons and Saturday Night Live alumnus Christopher Cluess wrote the screenplay – originally titled Russ & Roger Go Beyond – which focuses on the partnership between Meyer and Ebert, leading to the infamous Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970). Winterbottom had been responsible for subsequent rewrites, along with Neil and Rob Gibbons (Alan Partridge).

Ebert was a Meyer admirer from early on. "Russ had a very healthy, go-ahead, unapologetic way of celebrating the female form," he told Meyer's biographer Jimmy McDonough. "I found him to be one of the most fascinating men I ever met. He was smart, funny, extroverted, robust, no bullshit." The pair apparently shared a sense of humour, and a love of movies and food. Plus, said Meyer, "Ebert has that wonderful sickness about him: Bosomania. He's truly a Jekyll and Hyde: we've got to make that clear. He's more debauched than I!"

Having decided to work together on the film Meyer would eventually regard as his masterpiece, they hammered out a treatment in three days, a first draft in three weeks, and the finished screenplay in six. Ebert proudly called Beyond "a camp sexploitation horror musical that ends in quadruple ritual murder and a triple wedding". He went on to contribute, uncredited, to further Meyer projects, but always denied Meyer's claim that he demanded "a girl at the end of every week" as part of his payment. "I did not," he said. "Nor, for that matter, did I get one."

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls was, uniquely for Meyer, a studio picture for 20th Century Fox, leading to many colourful production battles, not least over its MPAA rating. Russ & Roger then, has the potential to be a hugely entertaining making of yarn, as well as a document of a beautiful friendship.

Production company STX Entertainment are now, obviously, looking for a new director to take over where Winterbottom left off. They are confident that Russ & Roger remains on track to start shooting next March.

Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgård set for Duncan Jones' Mute

After years of trying to get the film off the ground – efforts that were frustrated by the usual industry issues and the slightly more positive fact that he has recently been busy making Warcraft: The Beginning – director Duncan Jones (Source Code) finally has some good news to announce about his passion project. News arrives via Deadline that Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Alexander Skarsgård (Melancholia) are leading the cast of Mute. 




The film, which Jones wrote with Mike Johnson (Sherlock Holmes), is set in a future Berlin 40 years from now. Our story finds Skarsgård as Leo Beiler, a mute bartender plying his trade in a city where East meets West in a sort of science fiction Casablanca (1942). The love of his life – his one reason for sticking around – has vanished, and as he searches deeper into the city's darker corners, he will discover that an unusual pair of American surgeons (Rudd will play one of them) are the biggest clue to the missing woman's whereabouts – but our hero doesn't know whether they are his best hope or his worst nightmare.

"I've been working towards making Mute for 12 years now. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we're finally going to shoot this utterly unique film," says Jones in a statement picked up by Deadline. "The fact that I get to make it with Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd makes it all the more exciting! Mute is a film that will last. It is unlike any other science fiction being made today."

And the news just gets better as the man who made Moon (2009) is reuniting some previous collaborators for the film, with Sam Rockwell set to appear in some capacity and composer Clint Mansell providing the score. Jones has been scouting locations and the plan is to shoot Mute before Warcraft: The Beginning arrives next year.

Kevin Spacey set for Baby Driver and The Billionaire Boys Club

Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) must really want to work with Ansel Elgort (Carrie), with news arriving via Deadline that he is joining Baby Driver and Billionaire Boys Club.





Okay, while it is simply two directors looking to land the Academy Award® winner's services for their films, it is still an intriguing coincidence. Baby Driver, of course, is Edgar Wright's (The World's End) latest, which stars Elgort as a talented young getaway driver who uses his personal soundtrack to be the best in the business. But when a heist he is involved with goes badly wrong, his life is thrown into danger from a dangerous crime boss (Jamie Foxx). Spacey is close to playing the boss of the heist crew, a veteran criminal who has his own team, including Jon Hamm (Mad Men). The cast for that one also includes Lily James (Cinderella) as a waitress our hero meets and falls for. Wright, who has been working on the script for several years, is gearing up to direct probably starting early next year in Atlanta.

As for Billionaire Boys Club, that finds Elgort (again) starring alongside Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) with James Cox (Wonderland) writing and directing. The story follows the true crime tale of Joe Hunt, who built an investment pool that gave him celebrity status in the cash and cocaine rich 1980s Los Angeles. But when his house of cards comes crashing down, he ends up murdering one of his big investors, Ron Levin, which is the role Spacey currently has his eye on.

Those, of course, are still waiting to shoot. But Spacey already has Elvis & Nixon awaiting release alongside businessman becomes cat comedy Nine Lives and DreamWorks Animation's Boss Baby. There is also the small matter of returning as Francis Underwood for the next season of Netflix series House Of Cards.

New trailer and one sheet for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi arrives online

Paramount Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Michael Bay's (Transformers: Age Of Extinction) latest thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi.





Written by Chuck Hogan (The Strain), the script adapts Mitchell Zuckoff's book 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi. The focus is on six members of a security team who took matters into their own hands and fought to defend the US State Department Special Mission Compound in Libya when terrorists attacked the place. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and one of the compound's workers died in the initial assault and two contractors were killed during another attack on a nearby CIA facility.

With the likes of John Krasinski (Away We Go), James Badge Dale (World War Z), Max Martini (Pacific Rim), Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is The New Black) and David Denman (After Earth) as the troops at the centre of the true story, Paramount Pictures will be hoping to connect with audiences the way American Sniper (2014) did. Unfortunately, the controversial nature of the American administration's response to the attack and the political fallout may get in the way of that, but time will tell.





13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi will be out in the UK on 29 January next year.

New Japanese Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer arrives online

It turns out that, when the final trailer for J.J. Abrams' (Star Trek Into Darkness) Star Wars: The Force Awakens landed recently, no one thought to mention the impending Japanese trailer, which would be arguably even better and contain a host of previously unseen footage.





BB-8 is the undisputed star of this one, grabbing considerably more screen time than we have seen so far and giving a real hint of the little ball droid's personality, conveyed by his distinctive woos and wahs. Packed into the two minute trailer is a tantalising glimpse of Rey's first meeting with BB-8, Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) exchanging introductions, Threepio and Leia, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) threatening Rey with his lightsaber and lots more.

J.J. Abrams is busy putting the finishing touches to the new film, with John Williams contributing his score and the director and his cast planning what will probably be a massive global PR tour where Abrams tries to offer up as little as possible in the spirit of smartly keeping things under wraps.

Written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes), the film stars Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and new saga arrivals John Boyega (Attack The Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones), Max von Sydow (Shutter Island), Christina Chong (W.E.), Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson.





Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on 17 December.

New trailer for London Has Fallen arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their first full trailer for Fredrik Bond's (Charlie Countryman) London Has Fallen.





Christian Gudegast (A Man Apart), Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (Olympus Has Fallen) are behind the script for this one, which finds Gerard Butler's grizzled Secret Service man Mike Banning, Aaron Eckhart's President Benjamin Asher, Angela Bassett's Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs and Morgan Freeman's Speaker Trumbull among those who travel to London to attend the funeral of the Prime Minister.

But when it turns out that there is a dastardly plot afoot to assassinate world leaders, Mike will have to team up with a distrustful MI6 agent (Charlotte Riley), prove that the fictional Secret Service is not as slipshod as the real one at the moment, and save the day. Radha Mitchell is back as Leah Banning, with Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Melissa Leo (Prisoners), Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) and Colin Salmon (Resident Evil: Retribution) all aboard.





London Has Fallen will arrive in the UK 4 March next year.

New trailer and one sheet for The Hateful Eight arrives online

The Weinstein Company have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Quentin Tarantino's (Django Unchained) The Hateful Eight.





Tarantino's latest is set roughly a decade after the American Civil War and finds an eclectic group of law keepers, outlaws, mercenaries, bounty hunters and fugitives holed up in a stagecoach waypoint when a massive snowstorm hits the area. Soon, the two men transporting a female prisoner across the country start to wonder if they will actually make it out alive...

With the film shot in Ultra Panavision 65mm to be screened in glorious 70mm (where available), this new glimpse is further evidence of the immense scope of Tarantino's snowy vistas and cramped saloon. And the cast is happy to chew on his typically hard-nosed dialogue, promising plenty of tough confrontations in their future.

The main cast includes a blend of Tarantino old hands and those new to his films, with Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), Kurt Russell (Death Proof), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Spectacular Now), Walton Goggins (Lincoln), Demián Bichir (Machete Kills), Michael Madsen (Kill Bill), James Parks (Machete), Zoe Bell (Death Proof) and Channing Tatum (Magic Mike).




The Hateful Eight is set to arrive in UK cinemas on 8 January. 

New character one sheets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrive online

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have recently released their latest character one sheets for J.J. Abrams' (Star Trek Into Darkness) Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

















The most recent trailer might be listed as the final one, but the battle to keep Star Wars: The Force Awakens uppermost in our minds – not the toughest conflict, but still needed in a crowded movie marketplace – continues with this fresh batch of character one sheets featuring Rey (Daisy Ridley, Finn (John Boyega), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Given the recent uproar about the absence of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker on the main one sheet, we can only ponder the flames being fanned by the fact that he doesn't have a poster of his own.

J.J. Abrams is busy putting the finishing touches to the new film, with John Williams contributing his score and the director and his cast planning what will probably be a massive global PR tour where Abrams tries to offer up as little as possible in the spirit of smartly keeping things under wraps.

Written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes), the film stars Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and new saga arrivals John Boyega (Attack The Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones), Max von Sydow (Shutter Island), Christina Chong (W.E.), Crystal Clarke and Pip Anderson.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on 17 December.

"You've been gone too long, Alice."

Walt Disney Pictures have recently released their first teaser for James Bobin's (The Muppets) Alice In Wonderland (2010) sequel, Alice Through The Looking Glass.





"When the day becomes the night and the sky becomes the sea, when the clock strikes heavy and there's no time for tea, when in our darkest hour before my final rhyme, she will come back home to Wonderland and turn back the hands of time". Not the words of Lewis Carroll, but it is nevertheless the centrepiece narration for this first glimpse of Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Sheen, Toby Jones, Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman are all returning, with the addition this time of Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator) as a creature of shifting morality called Time. Also on hand is Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's father. No such character appears in the original books, but any priority along those lines is a distant memory at this point.

Alice Through The Looking Glass is produced by Joe Roth (Alice In Wonderland), with a screenplay once again by Linda Wolverton.





Alice Through The Looking Glass arrives in the UK 27 May next year.

First look at Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

With Harry Potter veteran director David Yates now deep into filming the first entry in a planned trilogy based on the expanded world of the Harry Potter stories through the adventures of Newt Scamander, we now have our first look at Eddie Redmayne (The Theory Of Everything) in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.





Scripted by J.K. Rowling herself from her short tome, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is set decades 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. On a trip to New York, he meets several characters.

Redmayne will be joined in the cast by the eclectic likes of Colin Farrell (Total Recall) as a wizard named Graves, 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) who recently signed up for as yet unknown parts.

Yates is currently shooting ready for a 18 November 2016 release date.

Two new character one sheets for Warcraft arrive online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest one sheet for Duncan Jones' (Source Code) Warcraft film.








If there is one thing Warcraft is known for in its virtual form, it is expansion. So it somehow makes sense that the film based on the game is also undergoing a little escalating, at least in its title, now named Warcraft: The Beginning.

Source Code (2011) director Duncan Jones is putting the finishing touches to the film, which promises to show both sides of the story set in the seemingly peaceful realm of Azeroth, poised to descend into bitter war between man and orc when a portal opens between their two worlds. We will meet the likes of battle hardened warrior Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the commander of the human forces and champion of his king, Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper). But as opposed to the usual faceless hordes of monsters attacking them, we will also follow the Orcs, who arrive because they are fleeing the destruction of their own home world, and are led by Durotan (Toby Kebbell).

Warcraft: The Beginning invades cinemas on both sides of the pond on 3 June 2016.

Daniel Radcliffe and Anne Hathaway set for In The Modern Ocean

Usually found working with near unknowns (and has taken lead roles himself), director Shane Carruth (Primer) has loftier ambitions for his next film thanks to boosted budget. New arrives via Variety that Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Abraham Attah (Beasts Of No Nation) and Jeff Goldblum (The Grand Budapest Hotel) are all prepared to take a dip in The Modern Ocean.





That is certainly quite a cast. FilmNation are providing backing for the new drama, which is still largely shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that The Modern Ocean will follow the fraught competition between valuable shipping routes, a search for a hidden cache of some priceless material and how vengeance drives a secretive world that boasts cryptic technologies and burning rivalries.

We will have to wait and see whether the bigger cast means Carruth also has to be less ambiguous in his storytelling, but it sounds like he is blending the complex, thoughtful tone he has employed before with some bigger action. There is no word on when the shoot will kick off, but we would imagine there will be some schedule juggling in store to make that large cast work.

Ralph Fiennes is Lego Batman's Alfred

Every Batman needs his Alfred Pennyworth, which offers an actor the chance to play the mild mannered manservant. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) is set to join that hallowed pantheon, lending his voice to Lego Batman's Alfred.





The Lego Movie (2014) spin-off Lego Batman, which puts Will Arnett's sarcastic take on the Caped Crusader in the spotlight, is promising to draw from all eras and styles of Batman. Joining Arnett in the cast are Michael Cera (Juno) as Robin and Rosario Dawson (Trance) as Batgirl. Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) is currently still circling the role of The Joker. Hopefully this will also mean we will get to see other Batmen and characters from the many adaptations – is an Adam West cameo too much to hope for?

Chris McKay (Robot Chicken), animation supervisor/co-director and editor on the original Lego Movie that has spawned this sprawling, brick built universe, has taken over the big chair for this one, working from a script that was generated from within Chris Miller and Phil Lord's Lego production outfit and has been written by Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows). The film will be out on 10 February 2017.

Fiennes is currently on our screens as M in Sam Mendes' (Skyfall) latest Bond outing SPECTRE, and he is part of the cast for Luca Guadagnino's (I Am Love) A Bigger Splash, landing 12 February next year and the Coen brothers' (Inside Llewyn Davis) Hail, Caesar!, which follows it on 26 February.

Lisa Kudrow set for The Girl On The Train

The ensemble for Tate Taylor's (The Help) new thriller keeps getting bigger and more interesting. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Lisa Kudrow (Easy A) is the latest addition to The Girl On The Train.





Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary) adapted the script from Paula Hawkins' much talked about book, which drew comparisons to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl for its narrative. We will caution that even the basic synopsis might be considered a spoiler, but read on if you wish... The story follows a recently divorced woman called Rachel (Emily Blunt) struggling with her life and sinking into alcoholism to try to cope. She spies a seemingly perfect couple from her London train ride every day and starts to fantasise about their lives. But things take a turn when she sees something shocking...

Kudrow is set to play a character called Monica (surely a future Friends related trivia question), and joins a cast that already includes Emily Blunt (Edge Of Tomorrow), Allison Janney (Juno), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Édgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum) and Justin Theroux (Inland Empire).

Kudrow has worked on comedy drama Table 19 and most recently reprised her role as Dean Carol Gladstone for Neighbors (2014) follow-up, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, which arrives here on 6 May next year.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Nicole Kidman set for Wonder Woman

The DC Extended Universe could be about to obtain its latest Academy Award® winner. News arrives via The Wrap that Nicole Kidman (Stoker) is currently in negotiations to take on a role in Wonder Woman. 




If she does join the film, she will apparently be playing a high-ranking Amazonian warrior, seen alongside Gal Gadot's (Fast & Furious 6) Princess Diana – also known as Wonder Woman and her alter ego Diana Prince – and the report speculates that she could be looking at the role of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and the heroine's biological mother. 

Patty Jenkins (Monster) is in the director's chair for the film, written by Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift), which seems to be about exploring Wonder Woman's origin story. We will also meet Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the human who wins Diana's heart. His role will be boosted from the usual sidekick in the comics for the film. 

It is certainly unusual to think of Kidman going for a comic book movie these days, but not that unusual – she was, after all, Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever (1995) and occasionally takes genre roles alongside her more awards baiting films. Wonder Woman is aiming for a 23 June 2017 release date in the US. Kidman will next be seen in drama remake Secret In Their Eyes, which is out in the UK on 4 March next year.

James McAvoy joins Wim Wenders' Submergence

James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) is certainly a good choice of actor when you need a romantic hero with a hint of tragic loss. Even if it is just his hair, as we will see in X-Men: Apocalypse. Putting his leading man credentials to the test, news arrives via Screen International that McAvoy will star in Wim Wenders' (Wings Of Desire) new drama, Submergence. 




Erin Dignam (The Yellow Handkerchief) has adapted the script from J.M. Ledgard's novel, which finds James Moore (McAvoy) the prisoner of jihadist fighters in Somalia. As he endures his captivity, his thoughts drift to Danielle Flinders, the women he met and fell for the previous Christmas. She, meanwhile, is thinking of him as her submersible explores the depths of the ocean floor.

So far, Wenders has not found his Danielle, but there appears to time to continue the search, as the cameras aren't scheduled to role until late March next year. Before that, McAvoy will be seen in Victor Frankenstein, which arrives on 3 December. And, as mentioned above, he will be back as Professor Charles Xavier for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014) follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse, due for release on 19 May.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

John Goodman set for The Coldest City

Charlize Theron (Prometheus) and James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) have already been cast at the top of The Coldest City, the graphic novel adaptation by John Wick (2014) directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. Now the casting continues, with news arriving via Deadline that John Goodman (Argo) is set to step aboard.




Dead Space writer Antony Johnston is behind the source comic for the film, which Kurt Johnstad (300) is adapting. Focus Features bought the US rights for a reported eight figures earlier this year.

Theron herself is among the producers, as well as playing a skilled intelligence operative called into action when an undercover MI6 spy is killed just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Our heroine has to track down a list he was smuggling to the West in order to prevent her and her colleagues becoming endangered by the release of crucial information. And the mission becomes a deadly game of double-crossing agents and global agendas. Goodman is set to play an American agent working with Theron and McAvoy.

Leitch and Stahelski are much in demand at the moment, developing a John Wick sequel and leaping aboard projects such as Cowboy Ninja Viking and fellow graphic novel adaptation Bloodshot. The Coldest City is currently in pre-production, for an expected release sometime in 2016.

Lily James set for The Young Woman And The Sea

Swapping glass slippers for a bathing costume, news arrives via Variety that Cinderella star Lily James has now signed up to head the cast of The Young Woman And The Sea. She will play the swimmer Gertrude Ederle in a biopic based on the book by Glenn Stout. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing the film for Paramount Pictures, and has tasked Jeff Nathanson (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) with the screenplay.





Ederle was the first woman ever to swim the English Channel – still a rarer achievement than scaling Everest. The American teenager completed the impressive feat in 1926, two years after winning gold at the 1924 Paris Olympics. She returned to the US one of the most famous women in the world, cheered through a tickertape parade in New York by an estimated crowd of 2 million people. But she disappeared from the public eye just as quickly. After playing herself in the film Swim Girl, Swim (1927) she embarked on an abortive career in vaudeville, and after a fall that damaged her spine, ended up teaching swimming to children. She died in 2003, aged 98.

Following Downton Abbey and Cinderella, James has been busy. She can currently be seen in Burnt alongside Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and stars as Elizabeth Bennet in the forthcoming Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. She has also just completed filming a new mini-series of Tolstoy's epic War And Peace, is currently filming The Kaiser's Last Kiss, and will follow that with Edgar Wright's (The World's End) Baby Driver with Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Ansel Elgort (Carrie) and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained).

The Young Woman And The Sea then, is some way off – and whether it retains the book's Hemingway riffing title remains to be seen. Burnt, meanwhile, is out now.

Mark Wahlberg's Six Billion Dollar Man targets 2017 release

It was announced last year that Mark Wahlberg and his Lone Survivor (2013) director Peter Berg were looking to bring a re-imagining of cult 1970s action TV series The Six Million Dollar Man to cinemas. Now news arrives via Variety that while Wahlberg is still attached in the lead, Damián Szifron (Wild Tales) has written and will now direct The Six Billion Dollar Man.




This TV to film transition has been stuck in development limbo for years as directors, writers, stars and even concepts have come and gone ranging from all action to a comedy reboot. Exactly how Dimension Films plan to exploit the idea is currently anyone's guess at this point, because Szifron has worked on a new script.

Though Wahlberg has experience in comedy, he and the director are probably planning a more straightforward drama, based on Martin Caidin's 1972 tome Cyborg, which also fuelled the Lee Majors starring 1970s Six Million Dollar Man TV series. Wahlberg will be Austin, a former astronaut who barely survives a horrific experimental plane crash. To save his life, he is given high-tech enhancements by scientists who replace his legs, his right arm and left eye with bionic systems. Gifted with super human abilities, he is drafted in to work for the government as a secret agent.

"Writing the screenplay was such a fantastic ride and embarking on this journey with Mark, Bob and Stephen to take this story to a whole new level is simply spectacular," says Szifron. "Growing up, these kind of films left an indelible mark on me and now it feels so good to be making one." The film will be out, in the US at least, on 22 December 2017, with a September 2016 shoot on the books.

Michael Stuhlbarg set to play Nicodemus West in Doctor Strange

Scott Derrickson (Sinister) has certainly been making some great casting choices for his entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And, while the deal is not yet quite sealed, it appears he is adding one more fine character actor into the mix. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) is in negotiations to join Doctor Strange.




Derrickson is getting ready to direct the film this December in the UK, working from a script by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). He will bring to life the character originally conjured by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. 

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) starts his story as a selfish New York surgeon who loses his professional skills in a car crash. After falling on hard times, he ends up in the care of a mystical healer known as the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), and learns to tap into psychic and magical powers. In recognition of his selfless efforts to thwart evil fellow disciple Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), he is taught the mystical arts and sets out to defeat other shady sorcerers and various villains. 

Rachel McAdams (About Time) is confirmed and Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt) is in talks to appear in the movie, and while The Hollywood Reporter's story doesn't mention his character, other sites have dug up word that Stuhlbarg will be playing Nicodemus West, a scientist who in the comic books is the man who works on Strange after his accident and ends up following him to meet the Ancient One. Of course, for all we know, his story in the film could be quite different, but in Stuhlbarg's hands it should be entertaining.

Doctor Strange has conjured up a 28 October 2016 release in the US, so it is now less than a year away. Stuhlbarg can currently be found stealing scenes in Danny Boyle's (127 Hours) Steve Jobs. He will also appear in Jay Roach's (Meet The Parents) Trumbo, which is due to hit UK screens on 5 February next year.

Sandra Bullock set to star in all female Ocean's Eleven

With Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Melissa McCarthy (The Heat), Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) playing the new Ghostbusters (1984), and at least two female takes on The Expendables (2010) in development, it is the turn of another big franchise to get a gender swap. News arrives via The Playlist that Sandra Bullock (Gravity) is reportedly ready to star for Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) in a new take on Ocean's Eleven (2001).





According to The Playlist, this has been in the works for some time with original trilogy director Steven Soderbergh involved alongside the modern day Danny Ocean himself, George Clooney, and Ocean's Eleven behind the scenes mainstay Jerry Weintraub, who died in July. It appears things are moving along rapidly, with writer Olivia Milch currently at work on a script.

The exact plot details of that screenplay remain locked in a casino's vault for now, so we don't know how – if at all – it will tie into the Soderbergh/Clooney Ocean's Eleven trilogy or even quite what shape it will take. But Bullock, who is currently on US screens now in Our Brand Is Crisis, in a lead role developed for Clooney, is certainly on board to star and Ross may end up making the movie once he has finished work on his latest, Free State Of Jones.

Creed duo set for exam cheating drama Wrong Answer

Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan worked together brilliantly as director and star on Fruitvale Station (2013) and all signs are looking positive for their latest collaboration, Creed. The pair look set to keep the films coming, with news arriving via the New York Times that they are teaming back up for school cheating scandal drama Wrong Answer. 




In a report on Creed in The New York Times, Jordan drops mention of the project, which will see him playing an Atlanta high school teacher caught up in the city's test score scandal in 2013.

The scandal sent ripples through the education community when a number of officials, including five teachers and a headmaster, were found to have cheated to help students score better grades on the state-wide Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, the case about which has since seen 11 of the 12 educators involved convicted of racketeering and facing sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

"I'm just trying to shine lights on little situations that I feel are the problem, and telling it through art. I think that's my part. To have people receive something that inspires thought, and conversation, and maybe you can change the way someone thinks. I think that's where it starts," Jordan tells the Times. "If you can change the way you think, the way you receive somebody, and not be intimidated by the way they look, or the color of their skin, or what they have on, it's a step."

To that end, he will also be playing real life lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who fought for the rights of the poor. Creed, meanwhile, will be out here on 15 January.

Utopia's Dennis Kelly rewriting World War Z sequel

The David Fincher (Gone Girl) HBO adaption of his cult show might not be going ahead, but the creator of Channel 4's Utopia is still much in demand. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter  that Dennis Kelly has been hired to write the latest script draft for World War Z 2. 




According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new hire comes as Paramount Pictures looks to keep current director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) aboard after he was tempted by the chance to make another high profile sequel, Jurassic World 2. But he has now locked in to a deal to craft the zombie follow-up, so Kelly will be doing a fresh pass on a script that was kicked off by Steven Knight (Locke).

Paramount Pictures and producer/star Brad Pitt are hoping to avoid the chaos that consumed the production of the first film, which saw creative differences between Pitt and director Marc Forster and trouble with the third act in test screenings that meant it was scrapped and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and Damon Lindelof (Prometheus) were parachuted in to come up with a new idea.

Regardless of the films issues, World War Z (2013) made $540 million at the global box office, which is why the studio is still so keen to keep the infected horde raging across the earth. Quite what aspect of the ongoing zombie crisis will make up World War Z 2 isn't yet clear, but we do know it is taking aim at a 9 June 2017 release date in the UK.

Greta Gerwig joins Natalie Portman in Jackie Kennedy drama

News arrives via Variety that Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) is joining Natalie Portman (Black Swan) in Jackie Kennedy drama Jackie.





Jackie will chronicle the four days in Kennedy's life after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Dealing with losing the love of her life while a nation rallies around her in a time of tragedy. Gerwig is aboard to play one of her aides.

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) had been developing the project to star then-partner Rachel Weisz (The Fountain) back in 2010, but it fell into limbo when the pair split. Portman was mooted as the new Jackie back in 2012, but it has taken a few years to come together. Aronofsky remains on board as producer, with Pablo Larraín (No) now calling the shots. While the cast is still not quite together and a domestic distributor remains to be found, Larraín should be starting to shoot the film, which will also star Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead), in the next couple of months.

Gerwig has Rebecca Miller's (The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee) new comedy Maggie's Plan hitting US cinemas next May after a festival run, with Todd Solondz' (Happiness) Wiener-Dog and Mike Mills' (Beginners) 20th Century Woman also awaiting release.

New trailer and one sheet for Kung Fu Panda 3 arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Jennifer Yuh (Kung Fu Panda 2) and Alessandro Carloni's Kung Fu Panda 3.





DreamWorks Animation have already scored a solid hit this year with Home, and they will be hoping for similar success with one of their workhorse franchises early next year. Prepare, then, for more martial arts and culinary puns as Kung Fu Panda 3 fly kicks its way back into our collective hearts.
The third film finds Jack Black's Po confronting something he never thought possible – the return of his long lost father, Li Shan (Bryan Cranston), though as the trailer shows, our hero doesn't immediately twig that the stranger in town is in fact his dad.

Still, the happy family reunion means that he is able to visit a secret panda paradise where many of his species are still living happily, including Mei Mei (Kate Hudson) who falls for our hero. But his joy is short lived, as the supernatural villain Kai is soon sweeping across China, taking out the kung fu masters as he goes. Po is faced with the ultimate challenge – training up a village full of his laid-back, fun loving, clumsy panda cohorts to become a fighting unit to take on the new threat.

With Jennifer Yuh Nelson once more in the director's chair and Alessandro Carloni as co-director, Kung Fu Panda 3 sees the return of the regular voice cast including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross and James Hong.





Kung Fu Panda 3 will hit our cinemas on 11 March next year.

First trailer and one sheet for Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their first trailer and one sheet for Charlie Kaufman's (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind) animated feature Anomalisa.





Charlie Kaufman's films have always offered critical peeks at the human condition, usually with a mixture of bizarre comedy and sombre reflection. Kaufman's latest, which sees him tackling animated drama, certainly appears to drill into that same well of emotion.

Our nominal hero for this story is Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis), a man famous in inspirational speaking circles, visiting Los Angeles on business. After landing at the airport, and heading to the hotel, he encounters a variety of other characters, including an emotional old flame named Donna and the charming, introverted Lisa (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh). Everyone he meets will have an impact on him before he delivers a keynote speech. Naturally, this being Kaufman, there are many layers lurking beneath that seemingly quiet surface, and the director (who worked with Duke Johnson on the film after raising funds to make it on Kickstarter), has several fascinating twists on the usual animated fair. Take, for example, the fact that pretty much everyone bar Lisa and Michael are seemingly identical characters with only hairstyle and gender to separate them. Or that they are all voiced by Tom Noonan (Heat)...

Anomalisa has been drawing plenty of praise after playing the festival circuit, and is being talked about as a potential awards contender.





Anomalisa arrives in the UK on 11 March next year.

New one sheet for Warcraft arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest one sheet for Duncan Jones' (Source Code) Warcraft film. 





If there is one thing Warcraft is known for in its virtual form, it is expansion. So it somehow makes sense that the film based on the game is also undergoing a little escalating, at least in its title, now named Warcraft: The Beginning.

Source Code (2011) director Duncan Jones is putting the finishing touches to the film, which promises to show both sides of the story set in the seemingly peaceful realm of Azeroth, poised to descend into bitter war between man and orc when a portal opens between their two worlds. We will meet the likes of battle hardened warrior Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the commander of the human forces and champion of his king, Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper). But as opposed to the usual faceless hordes of monsters attacking them, we will also follow the Orcs, who arrive because they are fleeing the destruction of their own home world, and are led by Durotan (Toby Kebbell).

Warcraft: The Beginning invades cinemas on both sides of the pond on 3 June 2016.

"I believe you have seen things no one else has seen."

Warner Bros have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Ron Howard's (Rush) In The Heart Of The Sea.





In The Heart Of The Sea follows the traumatic real life struggle endured by the men of Nantucket whaling ship The Essex, which was destroyed by an angry sperm whale in 1820.

Stranded in a lifeboat thousands of miles from home, 20 of the surviving crew – led by Captain George Pollard, Jr. (Benjamin Walker) and first officer Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) – at first planned to make for an isolated tropical island, but the idea was rejected because of rumours of flesh eating savages. The irony being that resulting delay in their rescue led to them becoming cannibals to survive.

As adapted from Nathaniel Philbrick's novel by a changing roster of writers that has seen the likes of Ed Zwick (The Last Samurai), Marshall Herskovitz (Love & Other Drugs), Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond), Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes) apply their talents, the film will find one of the survivors (Brendan Gleeson) telling the story to a young Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw).

Howard has assembled a predictably good supporting cast for this one, with Benjamin Walker (Flags Of Our Fathers), Michelle Fairley (Philomena), Charlotte Riley (Edge Of Tomorrow), Jordi Mollà (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Sam Keeley (What Richard Did) and Cillian Murphy (Inception) among those who either set sail or must deal with the aftermath.

With seasickness competing with queasiness from restricted diets to give the actors a starved look, it sounds like it was a tough shoot. Let's hope it was all worth the effort when In The Heart Of The Sea docks into UK cinemas on 26 December.




New trailer for By The Sea arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest trailer for Angelina Jolie's (Unbroken) By The Sea.





The last time Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt sparred on screen, it was as married assassins in Mr. And Mrs. Smith (2005). Don't expect many explosions in their latest joint venture, unless you mean of the emotional kind.

Written and directed by Jolie, this is much more of an intimate drama, a throwback to 1970s films set in the era itself, and finds Vanessa (Joile), a former dancer, and her husband Roland (Pitt), an American writer, travelling the French countryside together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner. Obviously there are issues to be worked out here, and from the looks of this, there will be tears, if not blood.

The tone is clear in this one, using music in place of dialogue and spotlighting the couple's interaction rather than the supporting characters played by Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), Melvil Poupaud (Laurence Anyways), Niels Arestrup (War Horse) and Richard Bohringer (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover).





By The Sea is out in the US now and is set to arrive on UK shores 11 December.

Neill Blomkamp's Alien movie shelved

As reported recently, Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) sequel, now titled Alien: Paradise Lost, has taken precedent over Neill Blomkamp's (District 9) intriguing Alien ideas, entering production first at the beginning of next year. While we were initially led to believe that Blomkamp's own Alien would likely follow a year later, that now, sadly, turns out not to be the case. Blomkamp has tweeted recently that his Alien project is currently in a "holding" pattern, possibly indefinitely, and that he is currently moving on to other things.


In case you somehow missed it, Blomkamp's Alien arrived in a flurry of activity at the beginning of this year, just as Chappie was hitting cinemas. Blomkamp released some tantalising Alien concept art online, featuring both Sigourney Weaver's Ripley and Michael Biehn's Corporal Hicks. The internet went crazy, and 20th Century Fox got excited and put the project in development.





Conspicuously though, while there were some lovely images, there never seemed to actually be a screenplay or even a coherent plan, and Blomkamp never seemed clear on whether his film would somehow take place in between Aliens (1986) and Alien³ (1992), or ignore the second half of the original series completely. So while the internet may shake its fist in Scott's direction, declaring that they would rather have a proper new Alien film than any more Prometheus, it is possible that there is more to the Alien 5 abandonment than just Sir Ridley getting his own way.

Abandonment may be too strong a word anyway, since Blomkamp's Twitter line is still that his own Alien is on hold pending Alien: Paradise Lost, rather than a complete shut down. He may be heading for pastures new for the time being, but he might be back at some point. As always, watch this space.

First look at Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them arrives online

With Harry Potter veteran director David Yates now deep into filming the first entry in a planned trilogy based on the expanded world of the Harry Potter stories through the adventures of Newt Scamander, we now have our first look at the logo for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.





It is certainly an intriguing image – that "from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World" prefix hints at bigger things afoot in the future and there are some nifty touches, such as the wand underlining that initial element and the dragon forming the 's' in 'Beasts'.

Scripted by J.K. Rowling herself from her short tome, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is set decades 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. On a trip to New York, he meets several characters.

Redmayne will be joined in the cast by the eclectic likes of Colin Farrell (Total Recall) as a wizard named Graves, 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) who recently signed up for as yet unknown parts.

Yates is currently shooting ready for a 18 November 2016 release date.