On paper, Lawrence Kasdan‘s Darling Companion sounds promising. Kasdan, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker, directed the drama from a script he co-wrote with his wife Meg Kasdan, also an Oscar nominee. The star-studded cast, as the trailer is happy to remind you, includes two Academy Award nominees (Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard) and three Academy Award winners (Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, and Kevin Kline), as well as promising younger actors like Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. But at the end of the day, no number of collective accolades can guarantee an interesting picture, and unfortunately, the trailer for Darling Companion looks pretty cringeworthy.

The Kasdans’ screenplay revolves around a dissatisfied older woman named Beth (Keaton) who adopts an abandoned dog she finds on the side of the road and finds contentment in her bond with him. But when Beth’s self-absorbed husband (Kline) loses the dog, the couple pull together a search party to find him and everyone finds that they’re affected by the experience in unexpected ways. Watch the video after the jump.

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Why were a bunch of DC Comics banned from Barnes & Noble? Want to read a description of The Avengers trailer that comes online tomorrow? How about a sneak peak of that trailer? What are the worst moments in the Batman movie franchise? Is it possible to mix Batman and A Christmas Carol? Are there any exclusive versions of the Green Lantern Blu-ray? If Pixar made a baby X-Men movie, what might that look like? What was flying over the set of The Dark Knight Rises this weekend? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Briefly: There’s been a last-minute change of plans for Zack Snyder‘s Superman film Man of Steel. Julia Ormond was originally set to play Lara Lor-Van, the biological Kryptonian mother of Superman, but for reasons unknown she will no longer be in the film. Now Ayelet Zurer (Angels & Demons, Munich) will play Superman’s mother instead, acting opposite Russell Crowe as Jor-El.

The film has been shooting for some time, as any regular peruser of /Film will know. (So…many…set videos!) Zurer’s scenes will shoot this week, according to Deadline. She’s not likely to have a great many scenes, and because most of her work is likely to be done on stages, we probably won’t get any photo evidence of the work as it is ongoing. So there’s something from the film that will remain relatively obscure until it is released.

Four Photos from Angels & Demons

Sony has provided USA Today with the first four official photos from Ron Howard’s Da Vinci Code follow-up Angels & Demons. The photo above shows Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks, left), Vittoria Vetra (Ayelet Zurer), Chartrand (Thure Lindhart) and Carlo Ventrasca (Ewan McGregor) examining the clues.

The first photo shows Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, and Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, running around the Vatican square. The third photo shows Ewan McGregor as Carlo Ventresca, the faithful servant to the church during the papal conclave in Vatican City.

A few things we took away from the article:

  • Exteriors were shot in Rome on the quick, but elaborate sets were built to replicate the Vatican and other churches in Los Angeles because the Church didn’t approve the on location shooting.
  • Producer Brian Grazer promises that Angels & Demons will be less stagey, and feature less less speeches, a common complaint of The Da Vinci Code. Grazer says: “When he speaks, he’s in motion.”
  • Grazer also claims that Tom Hanks “looks fantastic” in a scene where the star swims in Speedos. Grazer says: “He’s going to add 10 years to his career with that scene alone, just watch.”

 

angels-and-demons.jpgNot sure what is going on in the photo above, but your brain should tell you that it’s a photo of Ayelet Zurer, and according to EW she’s landed the lead female role opposite Tom Hanks in Ron Howard‘s summer ’09 prequel to The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons. Yes, the prequel people are craving as much as one to Nothing But Trouble is quietly moving forward. Will Tom Hanks’s hair go even longer this time and catch a nice Fabio-esque breeze on screen? Maybe.

Zurer, an Israeli actress who starred as Eric Bana’s comely wife in Steven Spielberg’s underrated Munich, apparently beat out Naomi Watts for the role of Vittoria Vetra (Dan Brown‘s alliteration, blech), who teams with Hanks’s “Harvard symbologist” Robert Langdon to solve the mystery behind her father’s death. Enter terrorists, churches, chubby moms flipping through supermarket paperbacks et al. After hitting a snag due to the writers strike the picture is scheduled to begin filming this June in Europe. Give a low five in the comments.

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