The Double

Richard Ayoade has come a long way from the days when he was known primarily to Brit comedy nerds as ubergeek Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd. He wowed TIFF in 2010 with his feature directing debut Submarine, and returned to the festival earlier this year to earn still more buzz with his sophomore effort, The Double.

Based on the novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the surreal comedy follows meek, overlooked office worker Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg), whose life is complicated by the appearance of his doppelganger James Simon (also Eisenberg). Identical to Simon in every way, only far more confident, charismatic, and ruthless, James swoops in and starts taking everything Simon wants but can’t have: the esteem of his colleagues, the affections of his office crush (Mia Wasikowska), and so on.

The new trailer has just arrived, and you can see it after the jump.

 

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‘Rio 2′ Trailer: To Grandfather’s House We Go

Rio 2

2011′s Rio was entirely founded on the premise that Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) were the only blue macaws left in the entire world. The whole reason Blu left his comfy Minnesota home was to meet and mate with Jewel, lest their species die out altogether.

But maybe Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) isn’t such a great ornithologist after all, because in Rio 2 it turns out that there are others of their kind out there in the jungle. A whole flock of ‘em, in fact. And unfortunately for Blu, that crowd includes Jewel’s dad Eduardo (Andy Garcia) and her handsome ex-boyfriend Roberto (Bruno Mars). Watch the newest full-length trailer after the jump.

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David Foster Wallace

I’m as big a fan of actor Jason Segel and writer David Foster Wallace as anyone in this world. But are they two great tastes that taste great together, as the Reese’s slogan goes, or are they better kept separate? We’ll find out when James Ponsoldt‘s The End of the Tour gets underway.

Segel is attached to play the Infinite Jest author in the fact-based project, which also stars Jesse Eisenberg as the journalist writing an article about him. Get plot details and more after the jump.

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adventureland

Briefly: An argument threatened to tear friendships asunder earlier this year, as audiences were divided over the merits of new summer-set coming of age movie The Way Way Back in relation to the effectiveness of Greg Mottola’s similar movie Adventureland. Clearly, Mottola’s movie has landed in the public consciousness. Which means this new project from two participants might have an advantage from day one.

The Adventureland duo of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, both enjoying higher profile gigs now than when they swam together for Mottola, are going to be on screen together again. Their new project sounds a lot more weird than their last pairing however. American Ultra, scripted by Max Landis (Chronicle), is written as an action comedy and will have Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) directing.

The actors will play a stoner and his girlfriend, whose lives get weird “when Mike’s past comes back to haunt him, and he becomes the target of a government operation set to wipe him out.” Producer Anthony Bregman says “Simply put, ‘American Ultra’ will be the most fun you can possibly have in a movie theater without the use of drugs, fireworks, or canola oil.” I don’t know quite what that means, but we’ll probably find out in 2015; the film is scheduled to shoot next spring. [THR]

‘Rio 2′ Trailer: Meet the Parents

Rio 2

The first Rio saw Blu, the Jesse Eisenberg-iest tropical parrot of all time, thrown completely out of his element when he was moved from Moose Lake, Minnesota to the colorful streets of Rio de Janeiro. He eventually managed to acclimate to his new surroundings (um, spoiler alert, I guess), but the second will see him feeling like a fish out of water once again as he heads into the jungle.

At least he’s starting out with more friends this time around. Anne Hathaway returns to voice Blu’s love Jewel, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, and will.i.am their avian buddies, and Tracy Morgan the friendly canine Luiz. Unfortunately for the gang, Jemaine Clement is also set to reprise his role as the villainous Nigel. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The Double

Five years ago, Richard Ayoade was mostly familiar to American audiences, if he was familiar at all, as ubernerd Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd. Since his 2010 directorial debut Submarine, however, he’s also known as… well, okay, he’s still the guy from The IT Crowd, but now people might also know him as a promising young filmmaker with style and wit to spare.

This year, he’s back with his sophomore directorial effort, The Double. A loose adaptation of the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, this dark comedy follows a man (Jesse Eisenberg) who is driven to insanity by the sudden appearance of his doppelganger (also Eisenberg). Think of it as Black Swan with less ballet and more soul-crushing office work, perhaps. Or that episode of Buffy where Xander gets split in two.

Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, and Submarine actors Noah Taylor and Yasmin Paige also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Mark Ruffalo magic

Few things are better than well-done magic, but celebrities doing magic is pretty good. Not celebrity magicians, mind you, but actual celebrities learning and performing magic. For the upcoming thriller Now You See Me, stars like Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo and Mélanie Laurent all had to learn a bit of magic for their roles. So now, to help promote the May 31 heist film, a few of them have released videos performing these very tricks. Read More »

Now You See Me

The upcoming film Now You See Me focuses on a character quartet nicknamed The Four Horsemen. Played by Jesse EisenbergWoody HarrelsonIsla Fisher and Dave Franco, they’re magicians who perform elaborate heists, giving the proceeds to the audience. This naturally gets the attention of the authorities and the story moves forward.

As the number “four” is so prevalent in the film, Summit has released the first four minutes of Now You See Me online. In the clip, you’ll meet each of the main characters and get a sense of their individual skills in the world of magic. It’s very cool, check it out below. Read More »

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