In yet another year brimming with sequels, prequels, remakes, reimaginings, and reboots, it’s all too easy to complain about Hollywood’s lack of creativity. It’s also inaccurate. The Dark Knight Rises may be a threequel based on a comic book, but it’s also an exhilarating, thoughtful realization of one auteur’s vision. 21 Jump Street may very well have started out as a bottom line-obsessed exec’s idea of an quick cash grab, but Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall, and Channing Tatum turned it into one of the year’s brightest comedies. Artists have always stood on the shoulders of other visionaries from eras past, and the great ones have always known how to make those old templates their own.

But then there are projects like Len Wiseman‘s Total Recall remake, which deserves all the eye-rolling its very premise inspires and more. It could be the top contender for the title of “summer’s most inessential movie.” Not worst movie, mind you — I wasn’t confused or annoyed or bored to tears. With its handsome leads, slick action, and a relatively coherent storyline, it’s not likely draw any ire. And that’s what’s so goddamn soul-sucking about it.

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Briefly: Just as Comic Con kicked off, we heard that Jessica Biel was set to take a role in James Mangold‘s The Wolverine. She was said to be in talks to play Viper, but it looks like that isn’t going to happen. At Comic Con, Biel told HitFix that the casting wasn’t a done deal. And now Collider reports that “talks have broken down” between Biel’s reps and the studio, and that other actresses are being eyed now. We don’t have names to share at this point.
After several delays, The Wolverine begins shooting next month in Australia and Japan. We know that Hugh Jackman is reprising the title role, and that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, and Rila Fukushima all play parts in a story that is heavily inspired by the early ’80s Chris Claremont and Frank Miller mini-series in which Wolverine finds love and betrayal with members of the Yashida clan.

The Wolverine is scheduled for release on July 26, 2013.

Jessica Biel Offered ‘Wolverine’ Role

Briefly: Star Hugh Jackman‘s been attached to star in The Wolverine for years now, of course, but it wasn’t until this week that we started to learn which other stars he’d be sharing the screen with. On Monday, it was announced that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, and Will Yun Lee, had been cast, today comes news that Jessica Biel could be the next to board the project in a key villain role.

Twitch reports that Biel has been offered the role of Viper, a member of the terrorist organization HYDRA. In the comics, she blackmails Wolverine into marrying her. Though the move is part of her effort to secure her criminal empire in Madripoor, it’s suggested that she had real feelings for Wolverine at some point.

Biel will be seen next month in the Total Recall remake, and later on this year in the romcom Playing the Field. Other projects on her upcoming slate include Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, Hitchcock, and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

The Wolverine will be based on a Marvel comics arc by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which sees Wolverine traveling to Japan. Okamoto plays Mariko, a love interest of Wolverine’s in the books, while Will Yun Lee will play Kenuichio Harada a.k.a. the Silver Samurai.

French director Pascal Laugier got an international reputation for his film Martyrs, which was the ne plus ultra of torture porn films, a movie that found a weird salvation in a devastatingly a tormented character. Laugier’s follow-up has been a long time coming, thanks in part to a flirtation with the Hellraiser remake.

After rolling out to some festivals, his new film The Tall Man is ready to hit US shores, and we’ve got an early look at the film thanks to a French trailer. This is a very different film from Martyrs, as it casts Jessica Biel in a much softer thriller that has vague echoes of Silent Hill. There’s a small town, an old evil, and even Jodelle Ferland, who played a key role in the original Silent Hill film. The film has faced middling reviews at festivals, and not just because it isn’t as crazy as Martyrs. But we can hope that it might have been tightened up just a bit before the wide release.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Everything you thought you know might not be what it seems. That’s both true in the world of Total Recall and regarding your previous thoughts on the movie. Sony just released a brand new trailer for the Len Wiseman directed August 3 remake starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel and it’s filled with so many epic looking action scenes, set pieces and special effects, it might actually get you pumped up for the film. The story is almost beat for beat the same as Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 original (which in turn was based on a Phillip K. Dick short story) but Wiseman’s budget definitely makes this, at least look like, a remake that’ll be worth seeing.

Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »

‘Total Recall’ Teaser Trailer

I guess this should really be called the Total Recall Trailer Teaser Trailer, because once again this is essentially a trailer for a trailer. But at thirty seconds, this clip features enough footage to count as a standalone teaser. The full Total Recall trailer, showing off what director Len Wiseman has done with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston, will be shown during the Celtics/Heat game on ABC Sunday April 1, and will then appear on Apple in extended form.

In the meantime, check out this trailer tease below, and begin your predictions about whether Wiseman’s take on the Paul Verhoeven / Arnold Schwarzenegger film will be a summer gift, or an April Fools prank. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, that other Alfred Hitchcock sorta-biopic that doesn’t star Toby Jones as the rotund Master of Suspense, is pulling its cast together quickly now. Anthony Hopkins has been attached to play Hitch for some time, with Scarlett Johansson set to play Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy set for the Anthony Perkins role. The film will be directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil!) with its roots in the book of the same name by Stephen Rebello.

Earlier today we reported that Jessica Biel will pay Vera Miles, and now four more actors have been added to the roster:  Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Wincott. Read More »

While it remains to be seen whether Anthony Hopkins in Sacha Gervasi‘s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho does any better at capturing the Hitchcock resemblance than Toby Jones does in Julian Jarrold‘s The Girl, what’s clear is that the former will be surrounded by quite a high profile cast. Jessica Biel has just beat out several other actresses to land the role of Vera Miles, who played Lila Crane in Psycho. She joins a roster that also includes Scarlett Johansson and James D’Arcy as Psycho stars Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins, and Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville.

Gervasi is directing from a script by John McLaughlin and Tom Thayer, who adapted it from Stephen Rebello‘s nonfiction tome of the same title. I expect the title will change at some point, since the current one sounds more appropriate for a documentary than a narrative feature, but that’s what they’re going with for now.

Biel is currently filming Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, and will next be seen in Len Wiseman’s remake of Total Recall. Shooting on Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is scheduled to begin next month. [Deadline]

After the jump, Nathan Fillion is joined by another Joss Whedon alum in Percy Jackson.

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