Margot Robbie in The Wolf of Wall Street

Warner Bros.’ Tarzan has found its Jane. Margot Robbie is in talks to play the female lead in the big-budget Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation, opposite Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan. David Yates is directing.

Meanwhile, she’s also entered talks to star in Craig Zobel‘s Z for Zachariah, replacing previously cast star Amanda Seyfried. In that one, she’ll be starring alongside Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Hit the jump for more details on both of her upcoming projects.

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Amanda Seyfried

In a post-apocalyptic world, one girl believes she’s the last human alive. Then she sees some smoke on the horizon, and a man appears. She and the man fall in love, assuming they’re all that’s left. Then another man emerges. That’s the plot of Robert C. O’Brien‘s ’70s sci-fi novel, Z For Zachariah, which is about to get the big screen treatment.

Directed by Craig Zobel (of the amazing Compliance), produced by Tobey Maguire and adapted by Nissar Modi, Amanda Seyfried will play the young girl, Chiwetel Ejiofor the man she falls in love with and Chris Pine the mysterious stranger. Filming should occur later this Summer. Read More »

A cornerstone story aspect of the thriller, codified on film by Alfred Hitchcock, is fear of persecution. Hitch was famously afraid of police, and a constant element in his films was the horror of being pursued and/or persecuted for an infraction real or imagined. The Law — the “capital-L” version — can seem like an unfathomable force that guides our behavior, and the persuasive power of that force can make one feel incredibly vulnerable.

The power of that particular perception of Law is at the heart of Compliance, too. The indie became notorious at Sundance this past January for expanding on real-life stories in which an anonymous caller impersonated police officers and talked business managers into strip-searching and violating employees. The instigating factor would be a reported infraction of the law, with the caller reasoning that the fastest way to deal with the situation was for the manager to do some of the work of the cops before officers were able to arrive. Inevitably, the caller would push the situation deep into scary territory, and those on the other end of the line would comply.

The real-life stories are chilling, in part because it is horrifying to consider that anyone would follow the instructions of someone who purports to be a law officer without attempting to verify the caller’s identity. Compliance seems to exploit that horrifying behavior quite well, and now you can get a glimpse of just how weird things get in a new trailer for the movie. Read More »

Craig Zobel‘s Compliance made me want to walk out of the theater. Not as a reaction to the film’s quality, however. On the contrary, Compliance is actually quite accomplished. Actually, it’s so effective it made me want to walk out because the real life events portrayed were so enraging, so unbelievable, so easily avoidable and painted such a bad light on humanity that I could almost not stomach sitting in the theater.

In the film, a man posing as a police officer calls a local fast food restaurant and accuses an employee named Becky (Dreama Walker) of stealing from a customer. The man asks her manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) to at first detain, and later search her employee. From there things devolve to almost unbelievable and upsetting depths. I say “almost unbelievable” because the film is based on true events that happened at a Kentucky McDonald’s in 2004. (In the film, however, McDonald’s isn’t mentioned for obvious reasons.)

At the first public screening of Compliance, Zobel was screamed at by audience members and accused of misogyny. Other Q&A’s also featured awkward and uncomfortable questions/comments as people wrestled with the disturbing events in the film. Read more about the film and its purpose after the jump. Read More »

Sundance Labs

Sundance has announced the 12 projects they have chosen for the 2010 January Screenwriters lab. Why should you care? Well because the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has hand picked some of the most original filmmakers of the last 28 years.

Here are some of the films that have come out of the program: Quentin Tarantino‘s Reservoir Dogs, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Hard Eight, Kimberly Peirce‘s Boy’s Don’t Cry, Darren Aronofsky‘s Requiem for a Dream, John Cameron Mitchell‘s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Peter Sollett‘s Raising Victor Vargas, Miranda July‘s Me and You and Everyone We Know, Ryan Fleck‘s Half Nelson, and most recently Cary Fukunaga‘s Sin Nombre and Alex Rivera‘s Sleep Dealer.

So, what 12 projects have been chosen for this year’s Summer labs? Find out after the jump.
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