Starred Up

Jack O’Connell is one of those young actors who’s right on the verge of breaking out. He’s not too well known in the U.S. yet (except maybe to U.K. Skins enthusiasts), but he’s on his way there, having come close to some high-profile projects like The Secret Service and Beautiful Creatures. And he should be much more famous by the end of this year, once 300: Rise of an Empire and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken are through with him.

The film that marks the turning point in his career is Starred Up, a gritty British drama that earned raves upon its Telluride premiere last year. O’Connell plays young Eric Love, a 19-year-old who winds up incarcerated in the same prison that holds his dad, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn). David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense, Young Adam) directed, and Rupert Friend also stars. Watch the intriguing first trailer after the jump.

Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

It's a Wonderful Life

Despite Paramount’s objections, the producer for It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story is confident his project will go forward. Sorry, haters. Also after the jump:

  • Channing Tatum could still return for G.I. Joe 3
  • … and Adrianne Palicki is definitely going to be back
  • Kellan Lutz had to get smaller for The Expendables 3
  • Paramount and MGM team up for Hot Tub Time Machine 2
  • NBC okays a sequel to The Bible (the show, not the book)
  • Jack O’Connell and Lena Headey get their own 300 posters

Read More »

‘300: Rise of an Empire’ Trailer

BalipeoCQAAn58A.png-large

Here’s the new trailer for 300: Rise of an Empire, the follow-up to Zack Snyder’s breakout hit 300. This one has been a long time coming, but now, after everything, the film and the new trailer might have new significance, again thanks to Snyder. The director is looking at this movie’s co-star, Callan Mulvey, as a likely villain choice for Batman vs. Superman. Does the footage below give any clue to how he might be used? Of course not, but those who’ve waited a long time for the 300 follow-up will want to have a look. Read More »

unbroken-jolie-louis

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 RedemptionJack 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 »

Garrett Hedlund Joins Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’

Garrett Hedlund

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]

 

 

Secret Service Short List

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 »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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 »

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.

Read More »