The Wind Rises

Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.

Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.

The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]

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Elijah Wood has spent the last couple years doing new stuff. He toplined the gruesome and controversial remake of Maniac, and this year is in two thrillers from Spanish directors. We just saw the trailer for the first, Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows, and now here’s a look at the other.

Grand Piano is directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia), and sees Wood as a skilled concert pianist who is performing under threat of death. Though this first trailer is entirely in Spanish, you can easily sense the threatening tone, and get an idea about how the somewhat ridiculous premise might turn into a pretty neat thriller. And why does John Cusack have a rifle? Find out below. Read More »

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The biggest surprise of Nacho Vigalondo‘s latest film isn’t its unique visual language. It’s that the director of Timecrimes and Extraterrestrial is finally telling a story grounded in reality. After tackling time travel and apocalyptic love stories with his first two films, the filmmaker now brings us the computer thriller Open WindowsElijah Wood stars a super-fan of an actress played by Sasha Grey. When he’s given direct access to her computer, he finds himself positioned to try and save her life as a mysterious man prods him to push the access further.

A cool story to be sure but Vigalondo is rarely that simple. To give the film a Nacho twist, Open Windows is told in real time and totally through a computer screen. We’d previously seen a glimpse of what this might mean but now a first trailer for the thriller is out. Read More »

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Though there have been multiple trailers released for Franck Khalfoun‘s remake of Maniac, and we’ve even seen the first few minutes of the movie, this marks the first time the official US release gets some love.

On June 21 IFC Midnight will release the film, which stars Elijah Wood as a deranged killer whose point of view makes up most of the movie. They’ve now released a trailer and brand new poster. Check them out below. Read More »

Elijah Wood remains best known as sweet, brave Frodo from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, but the actor’s never shied away from tackling weirder roles. Just a couple of years after Return of the King hit theaters, he appeared as creepy, murderous Kevin in Sin City. Now, with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey still in theaters, we have a glimpse of his performance as another serial killer in Maniac. The first six minutes of the Franck Khalfoun-directed horror remake have just hit the web, and you can watch the video after the jump.

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“The ring is mine.” Frodo Baggins’ chilling line in the heart of Mount Doom at the end of The Return of the King is one the most shocking moments in Peter Jackson‘s trilogy. After three movies and over nine hours to get to this exact spot, Frodo (Elijah Wood) decides he doesn’t want to destroy The One Ring. He wants to keep it.

So what would have happened had Frodo kept the ring? Well, odds are Sauron would have just killed him and taken it for himself, turning all of Middle Earth into a world of darkness. But had Frodo decided earlier to break off from Sam and the Fellowship and keep the ring himself, he too would devolved into a terrible creature, much like the hobbit named Smeagol did oh so long ago. Before Smeagol became Gollum.

All this is leading to a photo that’s recently come online showing a make-up test Elijah Wood did while filming the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s a test for a scene that showed what would have happened to Frodo had he kept The One Ring. Check it out below. Read More »

Nacho Vigalondo‘s first film, Timecrimes, was an exciting take on the time travel film. His next film, Extraterrestrial, put an apocalyptic spin on the romantic comedy. For his third go-around, he’s simultaneously tackling the thriller and found footage genres with Open Windows. It stars Elijah Wood as a man obsessed with an abducted actress (Sasha Grey), and how he goes about trying to find her. All the action is seen through the first-person view of his laptop. (It’s sort of the anti-Maniac, which is shot primarily from Wood’s character point of view.)

The principal photography for the film is either done or nearly so, and the writer/director gave an interview about it to a Spanish news show. During the appearance, he also showed some footage. We can’t understand much, but the brief snippets of footage and behind the scenes filming speak for themselves. Check it out below. Read More »

Find out just how the new Maniac pulled off its violent intensity in a four-minute behind-the-scenes video. Also after the jump:

  • The new Scarface might center around a Mexican lead
  • Abbie Cornish has nice things to say about Robocop
  • Todd Lincoln discusses his failed attempt to remake The Fly
  • The viral campaign for Carrie gets literary with a couple of fake books

Read More »

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