On June 20th, I flew to San Francisco to visit Barsoom Studios, in an office building minutes sown the road from Pixar Animation Studios, to see the first footage from John Carter, a big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel  A Princess of Mars.

In a screening room, Finding Nemo/Wall-E director Andrew Stanton gave us a powerpoint presentation explaining why and how he became involved in the project, and the unique methods they used to “shoot” the film (you can read a transcript of Andrew’s complete presentation and Q&A elsewhere on /Film). We screened a couple scenes from the movie, and the teaser trailer which will be attached to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (expect to see it online on Thursday, July 14th).

After the jump you can read my brief thoughts, followed by  a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider (who admits he knows nothing about the source material) and Eric Vespe (better known as Quint from Ain’t It Cool, who knows way way way more than I will ever know about the source material). So we have a good spread of opinions based on a wide range of expectations and knowledge of the source material.

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One of my most anticipated films of the year is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. That’s in part because it is the new film, at last, from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson. And in part because the cast is about as good as they come (if quite skewed towards the male): Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Svetlana Khodchenko, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke. Whew. That is a mad bastard of a cast list.

Now the film will be released on November 18 by Focus Features. Read More »

The full theatrical trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has hit a bit early this evening. The eighth film in the Harry Potter series depicts the Battle of Hogwarts and the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. The trailer, appropriately, promises a conclusion on a massive scale. Check it out after the break. Read More »

In 2009 director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) led a remake of the 2007 Israeli film Ha Hov, aka The Debt. The story is a sort of inverted revenge drama in which a trio of young Mossad agents hunt a Nazi war criminal in 1965, then find their youthful actions coming back to haunt them thirty years later. The cast is impressive (Helen Mirren, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas and a pre-The Tree of Life Jessica Chastain) and the script is by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) and Peter Straughan, but the film was mired in the sale of Miramax. Now Focus Features has the film scheduled for August of this year, and there is a new trailer to complement the first look we had at the film last year. Read More »

The first big post-Harry Potter role for Daniel Radcliffe is in the thriller The Woman in Black, which is a period-set tale about a young lawyer who encounters a ghost when hired to sort out an estate’s papers. The movie is also part of the return of the once-great Hammer Films label. A teaser for The Woman in Black has been released, and though there really isn’t much to it — shadows and the implication of some scares — you can check it out below. Read More »

One of the more promising films that was delayed when Miramax closed its doors last year is John Madden‘s The Debt. Based on a script by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) and Peter Straughan, the film features Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren in a remake of the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov, about a trio of Mossad agents on the trail of a Nazi war criminal.

Now Focus Features will release the film in the US, later this year. Read More »

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‘The Rite’ Trailer #2

The Rite is based on ‘s nonfiction book : The Making of a Modern Exorcist, but the film, directed by Mikael Hafstrom and starring Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds, and Toby Jones, looks like it has taken a few liberties with the text. I hope not too many, because the idea of a young seminary student (O’Donoghue) learning a thing or two about exorcism from an odd older priest (Hopkins) has some promise.

We’ve seen one trailer already; now there’s a second, which gives up a bit more story and a few more thrills. Read More »

Things have gone a little bit Harry Potter crazy in the last few days, but that’s to be expected with the huge movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 coming out so soon. Well, the people at Hammer Films aren’t going to let the Potter wave go by without taking ride as they’ve revealed the first official photos of Potter-star Daniel Radcliffe in their upcoming period horror film The Woman in Black. Directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) from an adapted screenplay by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Stardust), it’s about a young lawyer (Radcliffe) who must uncover a small town mystery involving the title character. Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer co-star in the film based on the novel by Susan Hill. We saw some set photos in September but, after the break, we’ve got two official images, the plot description and more. Read More »

neveldine-taylor-ghost-rider

Ciaran Hinds and Italian actress-singer Violante Placido are in talks to join the cast of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Hinds has appeared in Munich, There Will Be Blood, Road to Perdition, Race to Witch Mountain and plays Aberforth Dumbledore in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films. Placido is best known to US audiences as playing Clara in The American.  According to Heat Vision, Hinds will play The Devil,who wants to take over “his mortal son’s body on the boy’s birthday.” Placido will play the boy’s mother.

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