Jack O'Connell as Private Gary Hook in Yann Demange's thriller '71.

Next week’s Unbroken is Jack O’Connell‘s highest-profile gig yet, but he was doing fine work long before Angelina Jolie came along. Starred Up and ’71 are two of the roles that marked him as the Next Big Thing. The former opened a while ago, but the latter isn’t coming out for another few months.

Directed by Yann Demange’71 stars O’Connell as Hook, a young British soldier patrolling Belfast at the height of the Troubles. When a riot breaks out, he’s accidentally abandoned by his unit. He struggles to make his way home through unfriendly streets, as various friends and foes try to track him down. Watch the ’71 trailer after the jump.

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HBO Series Shakedown

Back in September word leaked out that director David Fincher and author James Ellroy have been planning a series at HBO that would be “ts that “a noir-ish crime show set in L.A., in a similar 1950s milieu (like Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential).” Now deals are done, and the show is moving forward under the title Shakedown.

And it isn’t just a show featuring some of the same noir ideas Ellroy explored in novels such as L.A. Confidential. It is actually based on the life of a real LA crime figure named Fred Otash, who (in fictionalized form) featured in two of Ellroy’s other novels and one novella, and upon whom the Jack Nicholson character in Chinatown was partially based. Read More »

spielberg Cold War movie

I called the upcoming Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaboration — currently referred to as the director’s Untitled Cold War Thrillerone of my most anticipated films of 2015. The movie sees Spielberg reunited with Hanks for a fourth big-screen collaboration, with a script polished by Ethan and Joel Coen and a cast that also includes Amy Ryan and Mark Rylance. Now we’ve got the first on-set image of Tom Hanks in the Spielberg cold war movie, and you can see it below. Read More »

True Story 0213.NEF

If you’re disappointed you’ll no longer be able to see James Franco‘s interview skills in The Interview next week, maybe True Story can help scratch that itch. Directed by Rupert Goold, the Sundance drama sees Franco engaging in an entirely different kind of interview, from the other side of the coneversation.

Franco plays Christian Longo, a man wanted for murdering his family. He goes on the run and assumes the identity of New York Times reporter Michael Finkel — much to the surprise of the real Michael Finkel, played by Jonah Hill. Watch the True Story trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Pyongyang movie canceled

One ripple from the decisions being made about Sony’s film The Interview is already being felt at another company. New Regency had been setting up a darkly comic film called Pyongyang to shoot in early 2015. The film, to be directed by Gore Verbinski with Steve Carell starring, was written to take place in the North Korean capital city after which the movie is named. Now, however, the picture has been scrapped. Read More »

It Follows teaser

There’s an image you’ll see connected to the horror film It Follows that looks similar something from a “torture porn” film. You’ll see it in the still frame in the video embed below, in which a terrified young woman is tied to a chair. She’s terrified for a reason, but the situation that image represents is very different from what you might assume it to be. It Follows is a smart and elegantly crafted movie about teen sexual experiences — or, really, the effect of those experiences. It’s a horror film not just about the things that might happen to someone in the future, but also about the things that have already happened.

We’ve seen one teaser for the film, a French edit that was heavy on atmosphere, but didn’t tell much story. In this new UK teaser, the character played by Maika Monroe (The Guest) talks about her youthful fantasies of the ideal date, and then we see some of how that date goes in an unexpected direction. “Someone gave it to me,” says her date, “and I’ve passed it to you.” Read More »

Christoph Waltz in Horrible Bosses 2

For a few weeks now there’s been a rumor floating around that Christoph Waltz would play iconic Bond baddie Blofeld in Bond 24. Even the studio’s confirmation that Waltz would play a character called Oberhauser in Spectre couldn’t quell that talk, since “Oberhauser” seemed like it could be a fake name a la Star Trek Into Darkness‘ “John Harrison.”

But for what it’s worth, Waltz insists the rumors are false, teasing that the truth about Oberhauser is “more interesting.” Of course, going back to the Star Trek Into Darkness example, we heard similar denials from Benedict Cumberbatch before he was exposed as a contractually obligated liar. So should we believe Waltz? Read the Christoph Waltz Blofeld denial after the jump.

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tom-hanks-02

With his last two movies, Smashed and The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt announced himself as a big time filmmaker to watch. His latest, The End of the Road, debuts at Sundance next month. After that, he’s stepping up his game, adapting a cyber thriller starring one of the biggest actors in the world.

A package is about to go around Hollywood for The Circle, a film starring Tom Hanks, written and directed by James Ponsoldt based on book by Dave Eggers. Read more about the Tom Hanks Circle development below. Read More »

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