Kurt Russell

First Tony Jaa signed on; now a classic action legend has joined James Wan‘s Fast and Furious 7. This one is a little more recognizable for a wide range of audiences. His name is Kurt Russell.

Russell, best known for roles in The Thing, Escape from New York and Tombstone, is in talks to play the leading role which was originally offered to Denzel Washington. He’ll join franchise regulars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and others. Read More »

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Blade Runner

If the idea of a Taxi Driver 2 sounds stupid to you, know that Paul Schrader agrees. As a matter of fact, he thinks the concept pitched to him by Robert De Niro in the ’90s was “the dumbest idea that I’ve ever heard.” Also after the jump:

  • Keanu Reeves offers a small Bill & Ted 3 update
  • Sean Young calls for a Blade Runner 2 boycott
  • James Cameron is finalizing multiple Avatar scripts
  • Bravo kills development on their Heathers TV show
  • Bruce Willis was too expensive for Expendables 3
  • 300: Rise of an Empire gets rated R by the MPAA
  • See an early version of the Fast & Furious 7 poster

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RondaRousey

Briefly: When fighter Gina Carano successfully leapt from the ring to the big screen in films like Haywire and Fast & Furious 6, she helped establish a path for other women to do the same.

Now Ronda Rousey, who is already set for a role in The Expendables 3, is in talks for Fast and Furious 7. The Olympic medalist is the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and has been Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She’ll play ”a minor supporting role that will showcase her fighting skills.”

James Wan is directing, taking over from Justin Lin, and the film will see the returns of cast members such as Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. The film will shoot in Atlanta later this year. [Variety]

 

denzel-washington-safe-house-cuffs

Eventually Universal is going to run out of manly actors to cast in the Fast & Furious movies. That won’t happen soon, but the end point will come faster if big names turn down roles.

New guy Luke Evans held down the fort as the bad guy in the most recent film, and [REDACTED, for the few people who haven't seen the film or been spoiled] will show up as the baddie in the next. The pattern of introducing a new character (typically a villain) at the very end of one film, before expanding their role in the sequel that follows, is something Universal evidently wants to continue.

in a piece about the general state of original tentpoles in Hollywood, Deadline reveals that Denzel Washington could have been the next guy to drive against Dom Toretto, but the actor wasn’t interested. Read More »

insidious-2-trailer-2

The first trailer for James Wan‘s Insidious: Chapter 2 probably raised more questions than it answered, especially for those who know the first film well. This new international trailer kicks off in exactly the same manner as that first look, but it doesn’t run long before it veers into some new footage. We see a bit more of the supernatural torment that lies in wait for the characters played by Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson, and there are hints of Wilson’s character’s past.

And don’t worry, spoilerphobes, there’s still no explicit answer to the question of what that trailer-end ghost was pointing at, and only a small hint of that new wrinkle for the story that Wan talked about when Germain interviewed him a few weeks back.  Read More »

James Wan

I’m not a huge horror film guy, but I probably see more than your average film geek. I’ll be the first to admit that I had little interest in The Conjuring as I usually don’t like possession stories. The idea of someone becoming possessed by someone else has always been a movie storyline pet peeve for me, likely tainted for me by comic book storylines I read as a kid where the superhero somehow becomes controlled by the bad guy. While I was in San Francisco covering the Pacific Rim junket, I was presented with the opportunity to talk to director James Wan. I’ve been a fan of Wan since seeing the first Saw film at Sundance in 2004. That interview is why I ended up seeing The Conjuring in San Francisco and… I’m very glad I did.

The Conjuring is creepy as hell, a well made horror film — a throwback in many ways to the horror films of my childhood. Wan is a master of his craft, and I’m excited to see what he’ll be able to do once Hollywood lets him play in other genres (I really enjoyed his 2007 thriller Death Sentence which was virtually unseen in theaters).

After the jump you can read my interview with James Wan. We talk about The Conturing‘s connection to AMITYVILLE, the importance of the period setting of the film, the struggle with creating a horrific story while trying to stay true to the true story, the Perron family’s reaction to the movie, delving into some of the filmmaking techniques employed in this film including the sound and an early tracking shot, and I tried to get him to talk about his upcoming gig directing Fast & Furious 7.

Read More »

Conjuring Vera Farmiga

New horror films often seem like a great way to beget a new franchise — there’s a rich tradition of horror film series, after all, and any company releasing horror into movie theaters is easily tempted by the sweet smell of franchise money.

And so The Conjuring, which has been the benificiary of rave reviews since debuting at the LA Film Festival and going into many preview and word of mouth screenings, is already looking locked for a sequel and possible franchise. James Wan‘s film doesn’t even open until Friday, so that’s a big vote of confidence in the movie.

Indeed, while I seemed to like The Conjuring less than many other viewers, the scares and hauntings within are very well done, and there’s rich potential for more stories in a similar mold. That’s because the movie is based on a case investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who are perhaps best known for going on to chronicle the Amityville Horror. Read More »

The Conjuring

There’s a great bit of stage banter from Tom Waits where he jokes about someone leaning over during a movie to insist “you know, this is based on a true story.” The question from Waits is: does that really make the film any better?

I’ve seen James Wan‘s new film, The Conjuring, and despite the fact that the film begins with a card that says it is based on a true story, I assumed it was one of those Texas Chainsaw Massacre things — a gentle little lie to give the story a bit of weight. Then I remembered that, in fact, this is based on something from reality. The Conjuring brings to the screen a story from the archives of the same husband and wife team that later investigated a famous house in Amityville, New York.

There’s a healthy collection of really well-done haunting scenes in the film, and while it’s probably better to just watch it as a movie, this new trailer gives the real-life family a chance to speak for the first time. If you’ll find a horror film more frightening knowing that it is based in reality, then this is definitely the trailer for you. Read More »

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