The long Thanksgiving weekend brought major buzz for two potential Oscar contenders: Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and Kathryn Bigelow‘s action procedural Zero Dark Thirty. Both films are from recent Best Director Oscar winners so expectations were predictably high for each. However, while Les Mis is a known property, a dramatization of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is much more of a mystery, making the buzz out of those screenings even more intriguing.

Bigelow, along with Oscar-winning writer Mark Boal, was developing a film about the search for the most wanted man on the planet when United States military forces killed him. That completely changed their movie and made its completion even more time-sensitive. The film is now done, set for release December 19, with an all-star cast including Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler and Joel Edgerton. The first screenings took place over the weekend, and reactions to them were incredibly positive, with an eye on another Oscar run for Bigelow and Boal. Get some early buzz after the break. Read More »

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Film release scheduling tends to get tricky around the end of the year. Not only do studios have to weigh all the usual concerns, they also need to keep an eye on the December 31 cutoff date for Academy Award qualification, and so they devise strategies to work around it or use it to their benefit.

Lionsgate is giving Stand Up Guys an awards season push, moving its release date up to December for New York and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Sony is looking to take advantage of all-but-inevitable Oscar buzz for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty by scaling back the wide release originally planned for the end of this year. Read more about both decisions after the jump.

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The ad campaign for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the mission that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a Navy SEAL team, has been pretty low-key so far. But then, the studio hasn’t had to do much, as there has been a fair amount of publicity for the movie thanks to accusations that the original October release date was meant to remind audiences of President Obama’s role in the mission, just before the Presidential election takes place. There have been far more serious (but unproven) allegations that the film is based on access to classified data that was given illegally to the production.

Now it’s time to move beyond those talking points to look at the actual film. Derspite featuring Joel EdgertonJessica ChastainChris PrattKyle ChandlerMark Strong, and Jason Clarke, the teaser trailer showed few faces, and relied upon audio montage to set up the story of the hunt for Bin Laden. A few images later gave us a bit more. Now you can see a lot more of Bigelow’s follow-up to The Hurt Locker, in the full trailer below. Read More »

Despite being based on true events that were extensively covered in the media, Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty has been shrouded in nearly as much secrecy as an actual military operation. But that’s all part of the film’s intrigue. Columbia’s having fun playing up that angle, even covering the first teaser poster with thick black censor marks.

What that means, however, is that we still have only the barest idea of exactly what angle Bigelow plans to take on the hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. We don’t know just what the impressively star-studded cast will actually be doing for two hours. We got only the briefest glimpses of Jennifer Ehle and Kyle Chandler looking worried in the first trailer. A new batch of photos show Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, and Nash Edgerton, with the latter two dressed in military garb. Check out the photos after the jump.

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A day after Aaron Sorkin presented his take on the death of Osama bin Laden in HBO’s time-delayed drama The Newsroom, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow is getting ready to present hers. Which, as you might expect, looks a bit more action-oriented than his did.

Starring Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Jason Clarke, and many more exciting names, Zero Dark Thirty follows the Navy SEAL Team 6 in their ultimately successful hunt for the al Qaeda leader. The very first teaser for the controversial drama has just dropped, and you can watch it after the jump.

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If I needed to I could come up with two films more different than Kathryn Bigelow‘s “kill Osama Bin Laden” movie Zero Dark Thirty and Atom Egoyan‘s West Memphis Three drama Devil’s Knot. But for the sake of argument let’s note that despite being fiction based in truth, they’re still pretty seriously different projects.Both films do have one other thing in common, in that they will rely on relative unknowns for pivotal roles.

First, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which recounts the successful attempt to kill Osama Bin Laden, will actually feature an actor as the terrorist figurehead — something we weren’t sure about at one point. Ricky Sekhon, a British actor with some TV experience, will play the part. He’s already shot the role, according to Baz Bamigoye.

The film is still shooting, however, with a December 19th opening planned. The cast also features Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton, Nash Edgerton, Frank Grillo, Harold Perrineau Jr., Mark Duplass, Jason Clarke, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez , and more.

After the break, Atom Egoyan has chosen a newcomer to play Damien Echols, one of the convicted West Memphis Three. Read More »

“Zero Dark Thirty” is a military slang term for super-early in the morning — that zone between midnight and 4am where a soldier might find himself stuck with some particularly crappy duty. Or the time where a raid might be launched on a wary target, the better to catch them off-guard.

Zero Dark Thirty is also the working title of Kathryn Bigelow‘s film about the SEAL Team 6 effort to kill Osama Bin Laden. The movie features Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Harold Perrineau, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Nash Edgerton, and Edgar Ramirez, and some early shooting is taking place now after months of prep, revisions and delays. Read More »

Perhaps the reason Kathryn Bigelow has yet to decide on a title for her upcoming Osama bin Laden thriller is that she’s simply been too busy assembling a large, impressive cast. Jason Clarke (The Wettest County in the World) was the first to board back in November, and since then, Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, and Coach Taylor Kyle Chandler have all signed on for the picture as well. Now the latest additions are Jennifer Ehle, Harold Perrineau, and Nash Edgerton (yep, Joel’s brother). More after the jump.

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