Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011 by David Chen
It is safe to say that Margin Call was my most anticipated film of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Having scored a spot on the buzzed-about 2010 Black List, Margin Call has an all-star cast featuring Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, and Zachary Quinto. It is also topical, purporting to be based on true events and chronicling the actions of an investment banking firm at the epicenter of the 2008 financial disaster.
Sadly, Margin Call is an unfortunate lesson in what happens when you make a movie that, like The Social Network, features dozens of characters talking intensely at each other for 2 hours, only with none of the skill that Sorkin or Fincher brought to their particular film. Hit the jump for some further thoughts, plus an audio blog I recorded with Laremy discussing the film. (He loved it. I hated it.)
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One of the top 10 screenplays listed on The Black List this year was a script by JC Chandor titled Margin Call.
While I often refer to The Black List as a annual list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, that isn’t actually the case — the list is compiled with a poll of 300 development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet. Some of the screenplays have been acquired and some are even in production. Margin Call was actually in the can before the list was even released.
“Based on true events,” the film chronicles the final twenty-four hours of Lehman Brothers. The movie is set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and starring Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, and Demi Moore. I always love dramatic thrillers set in an isolated amount of time or one location, and this film seems to fit both categories. Check out the first photos from the movie after the jump.
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The Black List has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of 300 (up from last year’s 250) development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.
Note: The headline is a slightly inaccurate, because a lot of these screenplays have already been acquired (six of the top ten listed), a bunch are in production now, and some have even finished production. One of this year’s top ten screenplays, J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call, about the last 24 hours at now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers is already in the can and set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany star. The top screenplay om the list, College Republicans, already has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached to star.
Started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, who polled 90+ peers to send him their 10 favorite new unproduced screenplays to read over the holidays. The underground list was e-mailed around and quickly became a Hollywood phenomenon. To give you an idea, the top three entries of the 2005 list where Things We Lost in the Fire, Juno, and Lars and the Real Girl. However it should be noted that a warning appears at the beginning of the list:
“THE BLACK LIST is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”
Also, it should be noted that many people in recent years have begun accuse participants for pushing their own/friends clients.
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The financial drama Margin Call, which started shooting a couple of weeks ago in New York City, has assembled quite the all-star cast. The latest addition to writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s picture is Jeremy Irons. What started off sounding like a so-so film that is being made quickly to jump in on the very topical financial crisis now has such line-up of talent that it could be impossible to ignore. Very curious to see a trailer, but for now we’ve just got the info on the whole cast breakdown. Read More »
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As Cannes kicks into gear we might start hearing about a few new films that have been assembled enough to scour for distribution deals before production. One such film is Judge Dredd, which we covered last night. Another is Margin Call, from writer/director J.C. Chandor. The film has lined up Kevin Spacey and Zachary Quinto to star in a topical tale about banking malfeasance. The story “tracks eight people at a prominent investment bank in a tumultuous 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis” and looks on as they try to come to terms with the impending financial disaster. [Deadline]
After the break, Ron Howard’s Cheaters gets new faces, and Jessica Biel romances Vivaldi. Read More »