Rumor: Saoirse Ronan Circling ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Saoirse Ronan

Another day, another Star Wars rumor. Unlike the talk about Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, however, this one involves someone who’s never worked with J.J. Abrams before.

According to a new report, Saoirse Ronan has read for a role in Episode VII. “Has read for” is a long way off from “finalized a deal for,” but personally, I’d love to see this one pan out. Hit the jump for more details on her potential casting — as well as the latest update to the Cumberbatch story.

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Cumberbatch Knightley

Benedict Cumberbatch sure does love movies about technology. He stars as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate;Star Trek is based around technological advancement; and now the Sherlock star will play one of the most famous computer scientists and codebreakers in history. Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the filmThe Imitation Game, a while back, but the role went to Cumberbatch.

Production has just begun on The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters). It tells the story of Alan Turing, a British computer pioneer who is (among many other achievements) credited with cracking a top-secret German code during World War II. Cumberbatch plays the lead (which we already knew), Keira Knightley is a fellow code-breaker, and they’re joined by Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear.

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Clint Mansell

Clint Mansell‘s scores are often great pieces of work; his music complements films quite well, and many are excellent standalone artifacts. The only film to bear a Mansell score so far in 2013 is Stoker, which premiered at Sundance in January.

But Mansell has also done music for Filth, the Irvine Welsh novel adaptation that stars James McAvoy. You can get a sample of that below, along with info on the film Mansell will score after he finishes Noah for Darren Aronofsky. Read More »

August Osage County header

Fall brings no shortage of star-studded prestige pics, but even in that crowd August: Osage County stands out. The John Wells-directed film stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper and Abigail Breslin (plus half a dozen others) which means we’re all but guaranteed to see it making waves during awards season.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County chronicles a family gathering in the Midwest. So the setup is fairly simple, but as anyone who’s ever suffered through an extended family trip can attest, it’s ripe for hilarity and emotion. A new trailer has been released by The Weinstein Co., and you can check it out after the jump.

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12-years-a-slave-TIFF-review

Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free northern man who was kidnapped and sold into bondage in the 1840s, 12 Years a Slave doesn’t shy away from the horrific aspects of a slave trade that existed for hundred of years, sweeping up more than 12 million souls. Familial separation, abuse, torture, the idea that the slaves were no better than beasts; it’s all laid bare for the audience to witness.

Though not a “light” film by any measure, this is a well-executed drama dealing with a horrific historical occurrence. Director Steve Mcqueen has proven that he’s a burgeoning young auteur, a vibrant force that should deliver us a slew of great films in the decades to come. Just as with his previous film, Shame, this is a gutting experience, and McQueen, as channeled through the extremely capable cast of Chewitel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, and Brad Pitt, crafts a two-hour story that can’t help but leave you drained as the credits come up. Read More »

Star Trek Into Darkness - John Harrison

A rumor broke last week suggesting Benedict Cumberbatch was likely to be cast as a major part of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII. Lucasfilm and Disney didn’t comment, but the actor’s reps denied the claim. Then the actor himself was at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting multiple movies, and was posed with the question. His response:

This is the simple truth. J.J. and I have worked together before. I would love to work with him again. No offer has been made. That is that. And that is that.

Seems to close the door on the idea, but as we know with casting, especially for J.J. Abrams movies, that is not necessarily “that.” “No offer has been made” doesn’t always mean “I haven’t been approached nor will I appear in this movie.” The door remains open. Now, a new quote opens the door even more while also pretending to be a denial. Read it below. Read More »

fifthestate

The Fifth Estate is an extremely strange movie. That’s fitting, perhaps, given the central focus of the film: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Star Benedict Cumberbatch is his normal awesome presence, but the story itself should have been redacted.

As a story attempting to encapsulate massive cultural questions regarding government secrecy, privacy rights, dictators, and the misuse of power, it would seem that The Fifth Estate had everything teed up to be a vitally important film. That it doesn’t end up getting there is likely the fault of a weak script or lesser directing, because Cumberbatch, as Julian Assange, comes off pretty great. Yes, the Cumberbatch was willing, but the muddled mess of The Fifth Estate isn’t able to stitch together anything nearing cohesion, even with these significant built-in advantages. Read More »

Benedict Cumberbatch

Only time will tell whether there’s any truth to those Star Wars Episode VII rumors, but in the meantime Benedict Cumberbatch has booked himself a different juicy new role. The Brit actor is in negotiations for The Lost City of Z, based on David Grann‘s book about the real-life mystery of explorer Percy Fawcett.

The project has been developing for years, but this is the first major step forward we’ve heard about in quite some time. James Gray (We Own the Night) remains attached to direct from his own adapted screenplay. Hit the jump to get some background on the project, and to learn more about Fawcett’s fascinating story.

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