What does a high-wattage star cast and a high-concept thriller premise do for you? Broken City, from Allen Hughes (one half of the Hughes Brothers) features Mark Wahlberg as a disgraced/retired cop hired by the NYC mayor (Russell Crowe) to find the man sleeping with the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). When Wahlberg is successful at this task, he is drawn into a dangerous situation in which the mayor holds evidence of his past against him.

This first trailer for the film makes Broken City look like a pretty standard thriller that works just to leverage our knowledge of the cast. That said, all three of the leads look like they’re fully committed, and Crowe is a natural for this sort of heavy-handed politician. Does the script (by Brian Tucker) go deeper into ideas about what was done to clean up New York City in the Giuliani years, or does it just sit on the surface for thrills? Probably the former, but we’ll see what happens in January. Read More »

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A fresh batch of posters for three films on our radar have just hit the web. The ones for Allen HughesBroken City and Robert ZemeckisFlight both rely heavily on star power, which seems like a reasonable strategy when said stars include Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, and Denzel Washington.

The pretty, snowy poster for David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, meanwhile, captures the heady feeling of youthful romance and rock n’ roll. Get a peek at all three after the jump.

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Catherine Zeta-Jones has had a slow couple of years, but the Chicago actress stepping it up again. She recently wrapped three films — Lay the Favorite, Playing the Field, and Rock of Ages, all of which are due out next year — and has now landed one more. Zeta-Jones recently finalized a deal to star opposite Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in Broken City, a noirish tale directed by Allen Hughes. The script, by Brian Tucker, revolves around a Brooklyn detective (Wahlberg) who’s hired by the mayor (Crowe) to find out if his wife (Zeta-Jones) is cheating on him. Then things take a turn for the Chinatown-esque as the wife’s lover ends up dead and a major conspiracy begins to unravel.

Zeta-Jones’ last high-profile project was 2007′s No Reservations, so it’s great to see her coming back to the big screen in full force. Broken City is scheduled to begin shooting next month in New York City. [Deadline]

After the jump, Warner Bros. turns to two rising TV stars for David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot.

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Rather than re-teaming with David O. Russell for The Silver Linings Playbook (Bradley Cooper will take that starring role, instead), Mark Wahlberg will make the Allen Hughes noir Broken City late this fall. And he’ll be joined by Russell Crowe, who has just signed on to play the mayor of New York City, who drives the opening stages of the plot by hiring Wahlberg’s cop-turned-private detective. Read More »

Last year Mark Wahlberg started talking about a noirish screenplay called Broken City by Brian Tucker that he wanted to make under the direction of Allen Hughes. The script was a 2008 Black List entry, and has earned comparisons to Chinatown thanks to the way it depicts urban intrigue and corruption with a cop turned private detective at the center of the action. At the time the actor said they wanted to shoot the film at the end of 2011, but there was also some confusion about whether Allen Hughes was developing Akira with his brother Albert at Warner Bros., and we wondered how those schedules could possibly mesh up.

But Allen Hughes has nothing to do with Akira (and now, neither does his brother) so the schedule doesn’t look nearly as problematic. Broken City isn’t yet greenlist, but the film just got set up with $60m worth of financing, which is a significant step in the right dirtection. Read More »

Next year might be looking up for Mark Wahlberg. After a couple of years characterized by films like The Happening, Max Payne and The Lovely Bones, he made some audiences happy with The Other Guys, and will go into 2011 with David O. Russell’s The Fighter under his belt. And while there’s been fan outcry about his starring role in Uncharted, also directed by David O. Russell, that one might be another year off. In the meantime, there’s the possibility that the actor could show up in something a lot more appealing. Namely, the black as night neo-noir Broken City. Read More »

hughes-brothers-akira

This is unexpected. Evidently Warner Bros. really liked what Albert and Allen Hughes did with The Book of Eli, because the brothers are reportedly finalizing a deal to direct the long-discussed live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga Akira. Originally floated in early 2008 as a two-part film to be directed by Ruairi Robinson, the films were put off by the WGA strike, then the scripts took forever to crack and the project was reported dead. In September of last year the Akira remake was said to be alive and well, and that brings us to this interesting point. Did the Hughes Brothers show the proper chops in The Book of Eli to pull this off? Read More »

New York, I Love You Movie Trailer

New York, I Love You

Vivendi Entertainment has released a new movie trailer for the anthology film project New York, I Love You. The movie is the next film from the producers of Paris, je t’aime, and features another anthology of short films, this time focusing on the stories of love in New York’s five boroughs. I LOVE California, but I’ve always wanted to live in Manhattan (maybe someday). Films like this certainly don’t help my obsessions with “Gotham” and short films.

The film includes short films directed by Jian Wen, Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Khapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston and Randy Balsmyer. The film’s ensemble cast includes: Bradley Cooper, Andy Garcia, Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Irrfan Khan, Emilie Ohana, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, James Caan, Blake Lively, Drea de Matteo, John Hurt, Shia LaBeouf, Burt Young, Chris Cooper, Eli Wallach and Cloris Leachman.

Watch the trailer embedded after the jump.

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