Bennett Miller

Briefly: One of the year’s most highly anticipated films that had been still waiting for a release date has just officially entered the awards race. It’s Foxcatcher, the true story of an Olympic wrestler whose brother was murdered by a mentally unstable millionaire. Bennett Miller, whose films Capote and Moneyball were both nominated for Best Picture Oscars, is at the helm.

This time, his cast includes Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell. Sony Pictures Classics will handle distribution instead of Columbia Pictures and release the movie on December 20. [THR]

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Is America ready to see lovable everyman Steve Carell as a mentally ill killer? Columbia hopes so. The studio has just stepped up to co-finance (with Annapurna Pictures) and distribute Foxcatcher. It’s a fact-based drama from Bennett Miller (Moneyball) that sees Carell playing murderous millionaire John du Pont and Mark Ruffalo his friend and victim David Schutz. And it’s got enough faith in the movie to throw it into next fall’s crop of prestige pictures. More details after the jump.

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For the last couple weeks the biggest question mark in Hollywood has been related to who Lionsgate plans to hire to direct The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Originally Gary Ross was thought to be set for the film, but it turned out that he had other ideas. After some extended last-minute dealmaking attempts, some of which included minor manipulations of the news that he was walking away from the film, Ross was revealed to be out of the picture for good.

So who steps in? A shortlist came out that includes some surprising names: David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Now we can add two more names to the ‘possible’ column: Moneyball director Bennett Miller, and I Am Legend and Constantine director Francis Lawrence. Read More »

Every year at award season, The Hollywood Reporter somehow organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Director’s Roundtable, they’ve brought together The Descendants‘ Alexander Payne, Beginners‘ Mike Mills, Shame‘s Steve McQueen, Young Adult‘s Jason Reitman, Moneyball‘s Bennett Miller and The Artist‘s Michel Hazanavicius to discuss their own, and each other’s, movies, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

At the end of September, we got word that Capote and Moneyball director Bennett Miller had been able to revive Foxcatcher, the film he’d been trying to make a few years ago which provided his introduction to Brad Pitt, and therefore eventually led to Moneyball. The film is a strange true-crime tale about John du Pont, the schizophrenic heir to the du Pont fortune. He ran a wrestling training center called Team Foxcatcher, and there shot and killed Olympic wrestler David Schultz in 1996.

Steve Carell is set up to play du Pont, and now Channing Tatum is in talks to play Schultz. Read More »

Steve Carell has been attached to a good many film projects, but now that he has lined up with the MRC production Foxcatcher, I expect it will end up being one of his next films. Why? Because he’d be playing John du Pont, the schizophrenic heir to the du Pont fortune, and the man who pulled the trigger on Olympic wrestler David Schultz. Quite a role, in other words.

More important, he’ll be playing the role under the direction of Bennett Miller, whose 2005 film Capote earned Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar for Best Actor, and whose current film, Moneyball, is already sparking Oscar talk for Brad Pitt. What actor wouldn’t quickly say yes to Miller’s next film? Read More »

Moneyball is a baseball movie, an underdog tale, a true story and a Brad Pitt vehicle. But more than any of those things, Moneyball is a character study about what it’s like to stand up against everyone and everything because you have faith in an idea.

In 2001, the Oakland Athletics, with a payroll of about $40 million – almost a third of the ultra-rich New York Yankees – made the playoffs. The next year, three of their marquee players were poached by other teams for bigger contracts and, with little money and few resources, general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) was forced to embrace a whole new way of looking at baseball to stay competitive.

Directed by Bennett Miller, who directed Philip Seymour Hoffman (also in this movie) to an Oscar in Capote, Moneyball plays like an exciting fantasy baseball draft if everyone was in on the intricacies but, at its heart, it’s really about the struggle of being different. And that’s something we can all relate to. Read More »

‘Moneyball’ Trailer #2

Rounding out today’s batch of ‘second-look’ trailers (see also Killer Elite and In Time) we’ve got the alternate second trailer for Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill as two men whose stat-based approach to building a baseball team had a deep and lasting effect on the business behind the game. This is a slightly expanded version of the first trailer with some extra footage (Philip Seymour Hoffman speaks!) and the same heart-tugging blend of earnest pathos and ‘up against the wall’ desperation, all set to music that Friday Night Lights fans should find quite familiar.

In other words, it’s basically the same trailer, only with a little more of everything. But after covering so much of the behind the scenes wrangling that led to this true story of Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s hitting the screen, how can we not toss this one your way? Read More »

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