For about a year now, Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been attached to a new theatrical film based on The Twilight Zone. It was just one of several projects on the director’s plate and certainly the most high profile. In that time, multiple writers had been tasked with writing a screenplay but, with nare a greenlight in sight after a year, it seems Reeves has decided to move on. He will no longer direct Warner Bros. new Twilight Zone movie.

Instead, he’s now become the frontrunner to replace Rupert Wyatt as the director of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Also on the short list behind Reeves: J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed)Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy), Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) and Rian Johnson (Looper). Read more after the jump.

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Jeff Nichols‘ second film Take Shelter, featuring Michael Shannon as a guy who develops an obsessive fear of a storm that may or may not be coming, solidified him as a director to watch.

Nichols shot the film Mud after Take Shelter, and while that one is awaiting release following its debut at Cannes, the director may already be on to his next project. Nichols in in talks to develop and direct The Boy Who Played With Fusion. The source is a Popular Science article of the same name that tells the story of Taylor Wilson, a teen from Alabama who became the youngest person to achieve nuclear fusion. Read More »

The primary lineup for the competition slate at the 2012 Cannes has been unveilend, and it is a very strong list of films. There are quite a few expected entries: David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, Lee DanielsThe Paperboy, John Hillcoat‘s Lawless (formerly The Wettest County), and Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), and we already knew that Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival.

But the international lineup is even more exciting, with films such as Rust & Bone from Jacques Audiard, Amour from Micheal Haneke, The Hunt from Thomas Vinterberg, and Mekong Hotel from 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As is occasionally the case with Cannes, this year’s lineup features many returning Cannes award winners; it’s a world-class program.

The downside to all of that is that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master and Terrence Malick‘s as-yet untitled romance starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem didn’t show up in the list. There is some time for them to be added to the festival lineup in some measure, but (as expected) we’ll likely have to wait until this fall for The Master. As for the Malick movie… well, it’s Malick, so who knows?

You’ll find the lineup as it has been announced so far after the break. Read More »

Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols is prepping his third film, Mud, and he’s just added quite a few actors to the cast. Take Shelter star Michael Shannon is on board for a small role, and Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks are all set to appear alongside leads Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan in the film that started shooting yesterday in Arkansas.

And if you’re afraid this sounds like just another low-key indie, read on for the director’s description, as he likens the film to Peckinpah directing a story by Mark Twain.

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One of the bigger festival hits of this past year was Jeff Nichols‘ second film Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. (Check the trailer for Take Shelter here.) The director has been planning to follow up that film with Mud, a story about a fugitive aided by a 14 year-old boy in a plan to reunite with the woman he loves. Earlier this year Chris Pine was said to be set for the title role. He seems to have dropped out, and now Matthew McConaughey will play the part instead, with Reese Witherspoon playing the object of his affection. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

I’m going to avoid really embracing any obvious gags like ‘Take Shelter really took Sundance by storm,’ but the fact remains that Jeff Nichols‘ film about a man’s deteriorating mental state really made an impression on viewers both at Sundance and at Cannes. The film stars Michael Shannon as a man who dreams of an apocalyptic oncoming storm, and features Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) and Shea Whigham. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the movie at Sundance, and now there is a great trailer. Read More »

One of the better-received films at this year’s Sundance was Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The film is playing to good reviews at Cannes now as well, and the writer/director, Jeff Nichols, is prepping his second film. Mud, as the picture is called, has Chris Pine in talks to star as Mud, a fugitive that is assisted in his escape from an island in the Mississippi river by two 14-year old boys.

The LA Times has the news, and says, “the ambiguity of the story lies with Mud, who is both an unsavory and a redemptive character and who teaches the boys as much as he learns from them,” making the obvious and obligatory Huck Finn reference immediately afterward. Stand By Me is also name-dropped. The reviews for Take Shelter are all I need to be interested in what Jeff Nichols does next, and picking Chris Pine for a definitively non-blockbuster sort of role sounds like a good move.

After the break, Matt Dillon may beat up a pretend Linda Lovelace, and a shortlist emerges for the Great Gatsby role that Ben Affleck had to give up. Read More »

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