Welcome to New York trailer

Could it be career rehab time for Gerard Depardieu? Abel Ferrara, who made audiences see Harvey Keitel in a harsh new light when he made the original Bad Lieutenant, has cast Depardieu as a vague analogue of embattled IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Ferrara scripted with Christ Zois, and Jacqueline Bisset co-stars. While it’s difficult to pull too much story out of this Welcome to New York trailer, the edit is definitely not safe for work as it is a parade of partying, partial nudity, and shadowy dealings. Watch after the jump. Read More »

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The year-end prestige movie season looks possibly even more competitive than usual this year, but Fox seems pretty confident they’ve got a four-quadrant hit in Life of Pi. Though the project suffered several stops and starts during its development process, it’s finally taken shape under the care of director Ang Lee, and the early buzz is that the results are eye-popping and crowd-pleasing. (As well as, Fox no doubt hopes, award-winning.)

The new trailer isn’t our first look at the film — we’ve already seen a brief clip and previewed certain scenes — but it gives us the best look yet at the epic scope and storybook feel of the movie. And so far, it seems the praise is entirely justified. Check out the video after the jump.

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‘Life of Pi’ Gets a New Release Date

Briefly: Now that Peter Jackson’s next film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has a firm release date of December 14, 2012, it is time for other studios to start reworking their December schedules to get out of the way of the Middle-Earth juggernaut. The first project to scramble out of the way is Life of Pi, Ang Lee‘s adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel. Fox has just moved the film to December 21, 2012, which is still a pretty damn good date for the film.

The project has taken a long time to come together, with several directors trying to get the adaptation going. It is finally moving forward as Ang Lee was able to come up with a plan to make a 3D film that met with Fox’s approval. Suraj Sharma, a high schooler from Delhi and newcomer to acting, has been cast as the film’s title character Pi Patel — the teen who, after a shipwreck, is left floating in the middle of the sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, zebra, hyena and orangutan. Gerard Depardieu will play Chef, a pivotal character; Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) will play the adult Pi; and Adil Hussain will play Pi’s father. Bollywood star Tabu will play Pi’s mother. Tobey Maguire will play a journalist who interviews Pi about his experience. [THR]

Mel Gibson to Star in ‘Sleight of Hand’?

The Beaver may not have been quite the comeback that Mel Gibson wanted, but it was probably the comeback that he deserved. Still, signs point to the fact that the film’s relative under-performance is due less to disdain for the actor and more towards a general sense of disinterest and lack of awareness about the film. For real comeback action Mel Gibson will probably have to work in a genre that has more potential for audience impact. How about some form of buddy comedy — that being the format that defined one stage of his career thanks to the Lethal Weapon films? Indeed, he is now in talks to join the buddy heist comedy Sleight of Hand, which has Kiefer Sutherland, Gerard Depardieu and Thomas Jane set for smaller roles. Read More »

After a couple years of stalls, Ang Lee‘s big screen 3D adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel Life of Pi is finally moving forward. The director recently cast newcomer Surej Sharma as the title character, and has now added three more names to the cast. Gerard Depardieu will play Chef, a pivotal character; Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) will play the adult Pi; and Adil Hussain will play Pi’s father. Bollywood star Tabu is in talks to take the role of Pi’s mother. [Variety]

After the break I’ve dropped a refresher synopsis of Life of Pi along with the details we know about the production. Read More »

Proving once more that the work of William Shakespeare is versatile enough to power a story with just about any genre trappings, here’s Henry 5, which glues together a stellar cast — Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Gerard Depardieu and Derek Jacobi — in what appears to be a sci-fi or apocalyptic version of Henry V. It boasts the tagline “How will they justify why they went to war.” Hm. Couldn’t someone have come up with a more topical angle? More details after the break. Read More »

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has led the jury at Cannes, in 2004, but his experience at the Venice Film Festival has been limited to programming a couple of sidebars in ’04 and ’07. That changes this year, as the fest has named Tarantino head of the 2010 competition jury for the festival which will run from September 1-11. So what films is he likely to be judging? Read More »

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