Losing a multiple Oscar-winner for your project is never a good thing. But, replacing him with a guy responsible for billions in box office isn’t bad. That’s what happening on the FX pilot Tyrant. Ang Lee was set to direct the first episode of the show, which is about “an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle Eastern nation” but he dropped out. He’ll now be replaced by David Yates. He directed the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth Harry Potter films, which grossed over $4 billion worldwide. Read More »
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The weirdest double-feature at Sundance this year was the pair of films from Sebastián Silva and Michael Cera. While in a holding pattern waiting to shoot one film, Magic Magic (see a trailer for that movie here) they improvised a second film, Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus. IFC picked up Crystal Fairy during the fest, and while we don’t yet have a trailer, we can show you the first poster for the film now.
While Cera is the “star” of both films, in truth each movie really comes to life thanks to the performance of an actress antagonized by Cera. Here, that’s Gaby Hoffmann, whose vibrant performance may be the most bracingly fearless turn you’ll see this year. It’s quite a thing to see.
Cera, Hoffman, and Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, and Agustín Silva play an unlikely group of kids in search of the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus. As you’ll see in the poster image, they definitely find one, and it’s effect of ingesting the distilled essence of the cactus that pushes things into the realms of the weird and deeply confessional. Check out the poster below. Read More »
Briefly: James Marsh, director of Man on Wire and Project Nim, is putting together Theory of Everything, a dramatized biography of physicist Stephen Hawking. To play the scientist, Marsh is reportedly looking to Eddie Redmayne, of Les Miserables, and My Week With Marilyn.
If the deal happens, Marsh will still need an actress to play Hawking’s wife; the film focuses on their relationship. That said, taking into account Redmayne’s age, the time period for the film probably begins in the mid-’60s, when Hawking married Jane Wilde, to whom he was married until 1991. Ideally, the film will shoot this fall. Anthony McCarten scripted. [Deadline]
Some of the Cloud Atlas team is coming back together for another literary adaptation. Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer are teaming up to adapt A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. Hanks and his company Playtone will produce, and Hanks will star, while Tykwer will produce and direct. (Presumably he could do the film’s music, as well.)
The book, which the New York Times called “a globalized Death of a Salesman,” follows a struggling American businessman who attempts to mount a plan for personal and financial salvation in a Saudi Arabian city. Read More »
For a minute-long teaser, the first look at Olivier Hirschbiegel‘s biopic Diana has a surprising amount of footage. What’s even more surprising is how, for the good majority of it, it’s impossible to tell if it’s actually Princess Diana or actress Naomi Watts playing the part.
Based on a secret romance the then-most famous woman in the world had with a Pakistani heart surgeon (Lost‘s Naveen Andrews), Diana is Oscar-bait all the way. The film is scheduled for a Fall release, and you can check out the trailer below.
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Jobs, the biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, premiered at Sundance earlier this year to mixed reviews. Kutcher’s performance was surprisingly good, but the script was lacking. “Jobs is so hell-bent on cramming all these seminal moments into one film, it never builds much context around them. We never feel like they mean anything,” I wrote. “The film loves to tell us things, but never quite explains any in a satisfactory way.” Looking down the barrel of a quickly approaching Spring release with no real buzz, the distributor decided to delay the film.
Well Jobs, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, is back. Co-starring Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine, it’ll now open on August 16. Read the press release below. Read More »
Is there a more unconventionally sexy role than Grigori Rasputin, the “mad monk” of Russian historical lore? The mystic/advisor worked for Tsar Nicholas II, and Rasputin reportedly held great influence over the family, to the extent that his name has become synonymous with the secretive abuse of power. Rasputin said to have been able to bed women and evade violent rivals with ease — until his violent death in 1916, at least.
Now Warner Bros. has picked up a pitch by Jason Hall, the screenwriter of Steven Spielberg’s American Sniper, that will lead to a screenplay about Rasputin. Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way is involved, and in fact DiCaprio is attached to play Rasputin. Read More »
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Fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart were met with a decidedly different show Thursday night. It was Stewart’s final show before he leaves for the summer to helm his first film, Rosewater. He’ll return to his award-winning Comedy Central news show in September.
Before leaving, Stewart laid out exactly how the film came about. He showed the initial report on Iranian citizens that started the story, how that tangentially lead to journalist Maziar Bahari being imprisoned and tortured, and how that experience turned into the book Then They Came For Me.
After the jump, check out the segments of The Daily Show where Stewart talks about the film, as well as the full episode. Read More »