Briefly: Writer/director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke have done two memorable films together: the sci-fi trip Gattaca, in which Hawke played a lead role, and Lord of War, in which he appeared as an Interpol agent on the trail of Nic Cage’s weapons dealer.
Now, after Niccol has stumbled somewhat with In Time and The Host, he’s poised to climb back up into fans’ hearts by making a third film with Hawke. The film doesn’t have a title, and it is unclear if Niccol scripted (seems not) but there’s definitely a topical and tech-oriented twinge to the story.
Deadline reports that the film has Hawke as a fighter pilot who ends up working in Vegas, piloting drones that fly in Afghanistan. “He fights the Taliban by remote control for twelve hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other twelve. He starts to question his mission, and asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end.”
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Peter Berg‘s new film, Lone Survivor, is heading towards theaters with a bit more subdued promotional push than is typical for the director’s last few films. But the first trailer was compelling, as it shows men in the Navy SEAL team who targeted an al Qaeda subject in Afghanistan, and was overwhelmed by an unexpected Taliban force.
Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, and Eric Bana all feature in the film, and you’ll see them in some new footage in this featurette. There’s also some explanation from Berg about the mission on which the film is based. In fact, the source for the movie is the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell, who was (as the title suggests) the one survivor of the operation. He speaks up here, too, hoping that this feature will get his story out to a bigger audience than ever. Read More »
Director David Ayer (Training Day writer, End of Watch writer/director) is being generous with his camera while directing the WWII film Fury. The movie stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jason Isaacs, and Michael Pena in a story about an American tank crew that tries to survive an encounter with a German army division towards the end of the war.
Since the beginning of the shoot, Ayer has been posting an image a day to Twitter, and now that we’re a couple weeks in there’s a good collection of shots from the production. They’re not as polished and stylized as the header shot above (which was the first official image release) but they have a grit and atmosphere that works very well. Check out a bunch of more recent shots below. Read More »
This sounds familiar — Michael Bay is developing a new story idea, acting as producer, with the possibility of directing depending on how things shake out.
That’s the deal with UbiSoft’s Ghost Recon, and now for a project called Sabotage. Paramount just bought the pitch by Neal Bascomb based on his book proposal that tells the WWII story of an Allied effort to stifle Hitler’s nuclear ambitions. In short, multiple raids were carried out against a plant in Norway designed to produce “heavy water,” which would be a precursor to nuclear weaponry.
The full book title is Sabotage: A Genius Scientist, His Band of Young Commandos, and the Mission to Kill Hitler’s Super Bomb, and the book and potential film are envisioned as “gripping WWII action-thrillers.” Read More »
There’s a hell of a lot of great stuff in this second trailer for The Monuments Men. Start with George Clooney and Matt Damon building an “Ocean’s Eleven in WWII” squad to preserve and recover art stolen by the Nazis, and add guys like Bill Murray, John Goodman and Bob Balaban as members of the squad. But I think Cate Blanchett gets the win here, with her super droll question: “how can I help you steal our stolen art?”
Check out the full trailer for the December release below. Read More »
When is a first look at a film not actually a first look at the movie? In this case, it’s when Universal sends out a shot (above) of Angelina Jolie with Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who is the subject of her new directorial effort, Unbroken. But in this case it’s a good call, because Zamperini is a war hero, and deserves his place in the spotlight.
The story is one Universal first thought about making in the late ’50s; this telling is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s much more recent book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Jack O’Connell will play Louis Zamperini, an Olympian in 1936 and a pilot in WWII. In 1943, his plane crashed in the Pacific, and “he survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.” Read More »
Among the many films that game publisher UbiSoft has developed from its own internal properties is Ghost Recon, based on concepts from Tom Clancy novels. The games feature an elite, ultra-high tech US military force. The film rights are at Warner Bros., with Michael Bay developing and producing. And now the Y: The Last Man and Human Target writers Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia have been hired to knock the concept of the military unit into shape for a film. Read More »
Briefly: Angelina Jolie has impressive talent working with her behind the camera for her second directorial effort, Unbroken. Roger Deakins is shooting the film, and Joel and Ethan Coen are doing a pass on the script that also bears work from William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese.
The film is based on the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It tells the story of Lou Zamperini, an Olympian in 1936 and a pilot in WWII. In 1943, his plane crashed in the Pacific, and “he survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.”
Jack O’Connell (Skins) plays Zemperini, and now Garrett Hedlund, who was hoping to play the central figure himself, has signed on to play another role. We don’t have details on the part he’ll play, but with Deakins and the Coens adding their skills, it might not matter. [Variety]
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