When is a first look at a film not actually a first look at the movie? In this case, it’s when Universal sends out a shot (above) of Angelina Jolie with Louis “Louie” Zamperini, who is the subject of her new directorial effort, Unbroken. But in this case it’s a good call, because Zamperini is a war hero, and deserves his place in the spotlight.
The story is one Universal first thought about making in the late ’50s; this telling is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s much more recent book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Jack O’Connell will play Louis Zamperini, an Olympian in 1936 and a pilot in WWII. In 1943, his plane crashed in the Pacific, and “he survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.” Read More »
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Briefly: Angelina Jolie has impressive talent working with her behind the camera for her second directorial effort, Unbroken. Roger Deakins is shooting the film, and Joel and Ethan Coen are doing a pass on the script that also bears work from William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese.
The film is based on the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It tells the story of Lou Zamperini, an Olympian in 1936 and a pilot in WWII. In 1943, his plane crashed in the Pacific, and “he survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.”
Jack O’Connell (Skins) plays Zemperini, and now Garrett Hedlund, who was hoping to play the central figure himself, has signed on to play another role. We don’t have details on the part he’ll play, but with Deakins and the Coens adding their skills, it might not matter. [Variety]
Matthew Vaughn‘s upcoming film, an adaptation of the Mark Millar story The Secret Service, is currently casting its second lead. Oscar-winner Colin Firth has already secured one role, that of an experienced secret agent who is in charge of mentoring a new recruit. Now the production is searching for his counterpart.
Variety reports three actors are currently at the top of the list: Jack O’Connell (300: Rise of an Empire), John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Christian Cook (Magic City). Read More »
We’ve seen a few thrillers and action films set in apartment blocks over the past year, from different countries: Attack the Block, The Raid, and Dredd are the major ones. Now add Tower Block, which hinges on a slightly contrived premise, but provides some good thrills in the middle section.
The idea is that residents of the top floor of a soon to be demolished block are refusing to leave. They come under fire — literally — when a sniper begins picking off the top floor inhabitants from the cover of another building. With exits blocked and the sniper ready to take out anyone who ventures near a window, a quickly shrinking group has to find their escape. The contrivance is the fact of the residents’ impending eviction, which conventiently empties the rest of the building. But once things get cooking, some gory, tense, and fun stuff goes down. Check out a trailer below. Read More »
Michael Peña has called labor organizer Cesar Chavez his dream role, and now the actor is set to play the part in Chavez, which will be produced and directed by Diego Luna. That’s a great step up from supporting roles in films like Battle: Los Angeles, Tower Heist and The Lincoln Lawyer.
Peña will be joined by America Ferrera as Helen Chavez, and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta. Variety says the film, scripted by Keir Pearson, “depicts Chavez organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.”
Chavez will start shooting in Sonora, Mexico in April. Gael Garcia Bernal and John Malkovich are also among the film’s producers. This is Luna’s second film about a public figure, as his first directorial effort was the documentary J.C. Chavez, about Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez.
After the break, Jennifer Beals produces and stars in a jazz-themed indie called The Lord of Vinyl, and the supernatural YA adaptation Beautiful Creatures gets a little addition from Project X. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012 by Angie Han
Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba have boarded No Good Deed, a thriller written by Aimee Lagos (96 Minutes) and directed by Sam Miller (Luther). The Screen Gems project centers around a district attorney who gives up her career to stay at home with her two young children. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger shows up claiming to have car trouble, she invites him into her home, only for him to kidnap and terrorize her and her family.
Though neither Variety nor THR confirm which character each will be playing, we can probably assume that Henson will be the mom and Elba the charming but dangerous stranger. The film marks Elba’s third time working with Screen Gems, having previously made Takers and Obsessed for the studio. Not such an auspicious track record, but for the sake of these talented actors let’s hope for the best.
After the jump, Nicole Kidman subs in for Rachel Weisz, and Emmy Rossum is a beautiful creature.
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