Dark Blood trailer

Over twenty years after his death, River Phoenix‘s final film is finally getting a release. Dark Blood, directed by George Sluizer, has just been scooped up by Lionsgate for VOD distribution in the near future.

The thriller follows Boy (Phoenix), who leads an isolated life in the desert. When a vacationing couple (Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis) come asking for help after their car breaks down near his home, Boy develops an unhealthy relationship with the wife. Watch the Dark Blood trailer after the jump.

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Judy Davis Quits ’24: Live Another Day’

Judy Davis in Page Eight

Fox’s event miniseries 24: Live Another Day has amassed quite an intriguing mix of old and new characters. There are Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver, and William Devane, all reprising their roles from the original drama series, plus franchise newcomers Yvonne Strahovski, Stephen Fry, and John Boyega. But one that’s fallen off that list, unfortunately, is Judy Davis.

Although the Aussie actress signed on back in December, she has now dropped out of the production and her role is being recast. Find out why, and get more details on her character, after the jump.

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Judy Davis Joins ’24: Live Another Day’

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Judy Davis is a superb actress, and for quite a few years we didn’t see her in new roles very often. She’s been more busy of late, and now she’s got what could be her highest-profile gig in a while, and one which could lead to a lot more work. Davis will play Margo, variously described as an “arms dealer” and “a British national and the widow of a notorious terrorist,” in the 24 sequel mini-series Live Another Day.

The show is set to air in the spring on Fox, with Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Raver, William Devane and Mary Lynn Rajskub all reprising their original roles. The new limited series will, like original seasons of 24, play out in real time.

The show takes place four years after the end of the original series. producer Evan Katz recently explained “We wanted the show’s return to be an event, and part of that was putting Jack in a very different context. Four years ago, we left Jack a fugitive from justice and we’re going to pick him up four years later in London.” [Variety]

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French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has made an American film (Alien: Resurrection) but he hasn’t made one that actually takes place in the States. So The Young and Prodigious Spivet, a strange travelogue starring an unusual young boy, will be a first for the director. (It’s also his first 3D movie.)

Based on the book The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen, the film follows “a 12-year-old cartography enthusiast in an eccentric family, who travels across country hidden on board a freight train after being invited to the Smithsonian Institute.”

Helena Bonham Carter, Kathy Bates, Judy Davis, Callum Keith Rennie, and Jeunet’s perpetual casting choice Dominique Pinon all appear, and newcomer Kyle Catlett plays the title role. After seeing this first trailer I could see people making links to the Coen Brothers, or the work of Wes Anderson, even Tim Burton. But this also looks to be recognizably Jeunet, and that’s pretty appealing. Read More »

Earlier this week, the first footage from Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master caught the excited attention of the cinephile universe, especially those who’d been eager to see Joaquin Phoenix return to form after his bizarre foray into whatever I’m Still Here was supposed to be. But incredibly, Joaquin may not be the only Phoenix brother slated to make a long-awaited return to the movie theater.

Last fall, director George Sluizer told press he was working on finally finishing and releasing Dark Blood, the drama that Joaquin’s older brother River Phoenix was working on when he died of a drug overdose outside Los Angeles’ Viper Room nightclub in 1993. Now, in an effort to raise money for post-production, Sluizer has released a trailer that includes never-before-seen footage of the film, along with a personal explanation of why he finally decided to pick up the project again after all these years. Watch both after the jump.

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2011 saw one of the greatest successes of Woody Allen‘s career, as his film Midnight in Paris did great business on the US arthouse circuit and worldwide, eventually raking in nearly $150m globally. There was also that little matter of winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Now Allen returns with To Rome With Love, a vignette-based romantic comedy with most of the action falling into a very familiar Allen mode. (It’s a welcome returns, with lines like “the kid’s a communist, the father’s a mortician… does the mother run a leper colony?”)

The cast features Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni (of whom we haven’t seen much in some time), Judy Davis and Woody Allen himself, who hasn’t been in front of the camera since the 2006 release Scoop. The action places that cast in various minor romantic and comic entanglements that all look a bit fluffy, and very entertaining.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Eighteen years after his death, River Phoenix is about to appear onscreen one last time. George Sluizer, who was directing Phoenix in his final role in Dark Blood at the time of Phoenix’s death, has announced that he will finally complete the picture for release in 2012. More details after the jump.

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Woody Allen Renames Upcoming Film ‘Nero Fiddled’

This past summer, Woody Allen enjoyed the unexpected success of his film Midnight in Paris, which has been going strong in arthouses since May with over $100m earned worldwide. He also shot a new film in Rome, and for quite some time he was planning to call the movie Bop Decameron. There’s a lot to like about that title — it’s very Woody Allen, and even a good bit more jaunty than most of his titles. But it isn’t the sort of title that will keep a movie on screens for six months. Midnight in Paris sounds romantic and enticing. Bop Decameron sounds like… well, I imagine Woody realized a lot of people might not know what it sounds like.

So the film is now called Nero Fiddled. Not as jaunty or romantic, but at least people will know what he’s talking about. I hope. Read More »

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