Everyone on the set of Prisoners looked exhausted. Some of that was makeup, but some of the drain and fatigue was quite real. When I visited the production, it wasn’t working on a constructed set, but in a location. A real hospital, complete with physical dimensions that aren’t all that friendly to wide lenses and large groups of film crew, was the site of the shoot towards the end of the film’s schedule back in March.
The location wasn’t helping the mood, but it wasn’t just cramped quarters that was grinding down the cast and crew. Prisoners, scripted by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve, is not a cheery film. It follows two families whose children are abducted on Thanksgiving, and examines the different coping mechanisms employed by the two adult couples as they wait for any news. Ironically it was quite nice outside on the day of our visit, but Prisoners is the sort of movie that retreats from sunshine. When the weather got good, the crew shot indoors.
The couples are played by Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello, and Viola Davis and Terrence Howard. Garbed in realistic costume and styled like people rather than movie starts, several looked like they’d been put through the wringer. Slightly more energized was Jake Gyllenhaal, playing the detective who takes charge of the missing persons case. In conversation, each outlined their approach to the difficult material, and after the break you’ll find a lightly edited oral pre-history of Prisoners, assembled from their comments. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s never happy news when a project loses Christian Bale, but on the bright side, Baltasar Kormákur is getting a hell of a consolation prize. His survival drama Everest has just added Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, with Jason Clarke negotiating to take over Bale’s old slot. Hit the jump to get all the details.
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Summer only officially started a few days ago, but for those who don’t want a long procession of super-powered tentpoles, summer movie fatigue is here in full force. If you’re in that crowd the fall festival season may seem like a great promise on the horizon, and one of the first films in that season is Denis Villeneuve‘s Prisoners. The story follows a family (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) whose daughter is kidnapped; Terrance Howard and Viola Davis play another couple whose child is also missing. Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, and Jake Gyllenhaal factor in to the plot, too.
We just saw one fairly heavy trailer for the film a few weeks ago, but now there is already a second. Like the first look at the movie, this positions Prisoners as a tense and very promising fall entry. Read More »
The films of Denis Villeneuve stick with people. Movies like Incendies, Polytechnique, and Maelstrom demonstrate a knack for plunging recognizable characters into difficult situations (some based in reality, some purely fictional) and exploring the outcome in ways that most audiences won’t readily forget. His work is strong enough to attract an incredible cast to Prisoners, a drama in which two young girls go missing, shattering the complacent lives of their parents.
Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano are the core cast, and the film was shot by the stunningly talented Roger Deakins. This first trailer for the movie is very intense, but may also give away more than you’d like to know. (Or it gives that impression, at least; I bet there’s a lot more than we see here.) I stopped watching 2/3 through, but what I saw was enough to confirm the September release as a must-see. Check out the footage below. Read More »
Director Rob Marshall has just cast two princes for his Disney musical Into The Woods. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine and Brokeback Mountain‘s Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to join an increasingly star-studded cast set for the fairy-tale blending musical. Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp are already attached as the film’s main witch and a sultry wolf, while Pine and Gyllenhall would be Cinderella and Rapunzel’s princes. It’ll mark the first time either has sung on screen. Read More »
The Jane Got a Gun story keeps getting more complicated.
The outline of the story, as we know it, is that the indie western produced by and starring Natalie Portman was set to begin shooting this past Monday, but that Ramsay didn’t turn up to direct on the day. Producer/financier Scott Steindorff spoke out via Deadline, saying he was “shocked” at the director’s behavior. He quickly hired Gavin O’Connor (of Warrior, which also starred Jane Got a Gun cast member Joel Edgerton) as a replacement director. Now Steindorff is looking for an actor to replace Jude Law, who had recently been hired for the film, but dropped out following Ramsay’s departure.
But the bigger story about the film is still in between the lines. Suggestions are emerging that Ramsay had actually quit the weekend prior to production start; if that is the case, then the big statements and assumptions made this week have to be re-evaluated. In the meantime, however, there is a new casting effort to report. Read More »
With the arrival of December, awards season is in full swing, and usually that just means limited releases of some big new films, to establish them as Oscar contenders. And so a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty will open in New York and LA on December 21, but won’t go wide until January 11.
But we also see the occasional re-release, meant to remind Academy voters that films are worth considering for awards. And so December 7 sees two films re-opening, the better to angle for Oscar. Open Road is doing a nationwide re-release of David Ayer‘s End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LA cops. And as the following tweet shows, Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey is getting a two-week run at two LA-area theaters:
Granted, Carnahan’s film, starring Liam Neeson as one of a team of roughnecks stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, has been on DVD for months; you can even stream it on Netflix right now. But it’s a solid film, and I’m happy to see it get a small shot at awards recognition.
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Training Day writer and Street Kings writer/director David Ayer seems to have put together a solid street-level LA cop movie in End of Watch, which features Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as close-knit LAPD partners who come up against a vicious drug cartel after a routine traffic stop. A new trailer for the film plays up some of the important character background of the two cops, crucially grounding them as recognizably real people, before things go all to hell.
Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, and America Ferrara also appear; see them in the new trailer, below. Read More »