Briefly: Given that The Words is the directorial debut of Tron Legacy screenwriters Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the latest addition to the film’s cast is Olivia Wilde, who was one of the only highlights of Tron. The script, which hit the Black List, is about “a successful writer who discovers he has to pay a price for stealing another man’s work.”

Bradley Cooper was recently locked to play the writer (two roles as writers, and now real-life screenwriting ambition, too!) though we don’t know how Olivia Wilde’s character relates to his. The rest of the cast is shaping up to be interesting: Jeremy Irons plays the writer who was wronged, Dennis Quaid plays yet another wordsmith and Zoe Saldana has an unknown role. Today Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons and John Hannah all signed on, too. A press release announces that Nora Arnezeder, who just shot Safe House, will round out the cast. Oh, and cinematographer Antonio Calvache, whose resume includes a number of seemingly unremarkable films, but also Little Children and In the Bedroom, will shoot the film. Hopefully those two films can be taken as suggestions of what to expect from The Words. [Variety]

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Mark Wahlberg is starring in Contraband right now — the film is a remake of the well-regarded thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam, with Baltasar Kormakur, an actor in the original, directing the new version. The film follows a one-time smuggler (Wahlberg) who has taken a straight job as a security guard, but gets pulled back into illegal activity.

Now the ever-reliable J.K. Simmons is on board as a captain. The also-reliable Ben Foster is the brother-in-law of the main character and the guy that pulls him back into the Life; Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna and Lukas Haas are also on board. [AV Club -- this interview is wonderful and a must-read for fans of the actor.]

After the break, Michelle Rodriguez goes to The Home and Robin McLeavy joins Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter after all. Read More »

Could character actor J.K. Simmons be the secret to director Jason Reitman‘s impressive success? Probably not — I’m guessing the real secret is something like “hard work” or “talent” — but Simmons has appeared in all of Reitman’s works to date, leading Simmons to jokingly refer to himself as Reitman’s “good luck charm.” Simmons recently revealed that there would be a part for him in Reitman’s next film as well, the Diablo Cody-penned Young Adult. Read more details after the jump.

Read More »

Before you get all nervous, The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra is a not a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s multiple Razzie award winning (or is it losing) film The Last Airbender. It is, however, a sequel to the wildly popular and critically acclaimed animated television show Avatar: The Last Airbender on which that crappy film was based. Set 70 years in the future, The Legend of Korra follows a new Avatar named Korra whose attempts to master the final element, air, leads her to a brand new, steampunk influenced city. After the jump, check out two images from the show, a detailed description as well as the full cast list that includes Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim, AliensLance Henriksen and Spider-Man‘s J.K. Simmons. Read More »

‘The Music Never Stopped’ Trailer

One of the films at Sundance was The Music Never Stopped, which boasts a rare leading performance from beloved character actor J.K. Simmons. The story is based on a case documented by Oliver Sacks in the story The Last Hippie (published in An Anthropologist on Mars) in which a man suffers a massive brain tumor that prevents him from remembering anything that took place after the ’60s. J.K. Simmons plays the father of the man (Lou Taylor Pucci) and the film chronicles their ongoing rehabilitation through music. Read More »

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Hope everyone is having a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Writing this latest Uwe Boll item poolside recalls the floater scene in Caddyshack, so let’s make it short and easy. Next weekend, Boll’s Postal, based on the “shocking” videogame, was set to open against Spielberg’s Indiana Jones, but its domestic theatrical roll-out has been greatly reduced from 1,500 screens to five (or less, depending on where you look). Slashfilm received a press release (is that Boll’s personal email? LOL.) in which Boll cites a conspiracy launched by exhibitors (the government?) to counter his film’s “infuriating” imagery, like that above. Keep in mind that a Dubbya doppleganger was just seen lacing joints with coke in Harold and Kumar 2, so Boll’s conspiracy claims are typically unfounded and shitrageous…

“Theatrical distributors are boycotting Postal because of its political content,” says Boll. “We were prepared to open on 1500 screens all across America on May 23rd. Any multiplex in the U.S. should have space for us, but they’re afraid. We have even tried to buy a few screens in New York and Los Angeles, and they won’t let us even rent the theaters! I urge independent exhibitors to contact us and book Postal! Audiences have been expecting the film and I don’t think exhibitors should censor what gets played in U.S. theaters.”

Postal boasts a few respectable names like Jason Reitman’s go-to man, J.K. Simmons, TKITH‘s Dave Foley and far less respectable names like Verne Troyer and Uwe Boll. Peter saw the flick a while ago and said it wasn’t Boll’s worst offender, which is sort of like saying, “Grandma had a good day today.” It’s pretty bad when Boll’s films don’t even flop anymore, they just crawl onto Slashfilm pre-release and cease. So, pay your quick condolences and then continue exploring Liberty City.

Discuss: RIP Postal. The Boll petition has over 250,000 signatures.

Since Jason Reitman announced that his next movie will be a book adaptation, we’ve been trying to figure out which property he might be adapting. Reitman’s hint of “‘Thank You for Smoking,’ but instead of political it’s corporate” led many to believe that he might be working on a big screen adaptation of Max Barry’s Company. This was quickly debunked when Reitman appeared on the Howard Stern Show and gave out more details. Finally Latino Review has solved the mystery.

Jason Reitman will be making a big screen adaptation of Walter Kirn‘s Up in the Air, which tells the story of Ryan Bingham, a guy with a simple goal: to accumulate one million miles in his frequent flyer account.

“Bingham’s job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls “Airworld,” finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss’s desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate. With perception, wit, and wisdom, Up in the Air combines brilliant social observation with an acute sense of the psychic costs of our rootless existence, and confirms Walter Kirn as one of the most savvy chroniclers of American life.”

The book was named one of Amazon.com’s Best of 2001. Time Out New York called Up in the Air “a hilarious, often ingenious ode to America.” The Washington Post called it “A dead-on, wry portrait of the life of the road warrior.” Another one of Walter Kirn’s novels, Thumbsucker, was adapted as a feature film back in 2005.

Jason has said that he plans to direct Up in the Air for around $112 to $15 million, later this year before he moves on to Pierre Pierre. Jason has already revealed that he wrote one of the roles for Reitman regular J.K. Simmons (who played Ellen Page’s father in Juno and Aaron Eckhart’s boss in Thank You For Smoking).

Up in the Air

Jason Reitman has been very tight lipped about his next film project. What we know so far is that he was working on a screenplay when he came across Diablo Cody’s Juno script (prompting him to cease work on said mystery script). MTV was able to squeeze a few more details out of Retiman

“Yeah, I’m writing something,” he grinned, cryptically. “I’m going to direct it at the end of the year. And no, I haven’t told anyone what it is yet.” “It’s a comedy and a drama [book adaptation]. Think ‘Thank You for Smoking,’ but instead of political it’s corporate.”

He also revealed that he is writing one of the roles for Reitman regular J.K. Simmons (who played Ellen Page’s father in Juno and Aaron Eckhart’s boss in Thank You For Smoking).

So I want to send this question out to the /Film Readers: Does anyone have any ideas which book Reitman could be adapting? Tell us in the comments below!

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