The Darkest Hour, the new alien invasion film from producer Timur Bekmambetov and director Chris Gorak, is trying to differentiate itself from the scores of other alien films with a unique breed of invader: one made entirely of “lethal wave energy.”

It remains to be seen just how unique the film itself will be, but after getting a sneak peek at a trailer and some early concept art today at a Comic-Con press event, I can tell you it will at least look cool. The film centers on a group of young people — played by Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Olivia Thirlby and Rachael Taylor — who are visiting Moscow when the aliens attack. Together they have to figure out a way to survive and fight back against the aliens, who have no physical bodies and can vaporize them in an instant. Read More »

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One of the great many films that seems like a strong 2011 festival prospect is George Clooney‘s The Ides of March, which adapts Beau Williams‘ play Farragut North. Now the film has been tabbed as the opening selection for the Venice Film Festival, and will therefore premiere on August 31.

That’ll probably be in time for the movie to still seem like it is particularly well-timed, as the play and movie are both inspired by events in Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential primary campaign, but augmented with the scandal of sexual impropriety. So as it turns out, the last weeks of Anthony Weiner’s political career could be this movie’s best advance marketing. And it can always be promoted on the strength of a stellar cast: Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella and Evan Rachel Wood. Read More »

Many people might have missed this at WonderCon, but the Oni Press booth had our first look at the Timur Bekmambetov-produced alien invasion movie titled The Darkest Hour. Described as a 28 Days Later-type thriller, the story follows a group of American tourists visiting Moscow Russia when an alien invasion occurs.

The film stars Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer, Into the Wild), Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness), and Max Minghella (Bee Season, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Agora, The Social Network). Chris Gorak directed the film, with a script by M.T. Ahern and Leslie Bohem with revisions by Gorak, Jon Spaihts, and Josh Zetumer. The film was shot last Summer in Moscow with a $40-$50 million budget. Summit Entertainment is distributing the film in the states while Fox International is handling international.

Hit the jump to see our first look at art created for the upcoming film.

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Manned with one of the most impressive casts in recent memory, including Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella and Evan Rachel Wood, George Clooney‘s The Ides of March is currently shooting aimed at a late 2011 release. Clooney stars, co-wrote and is directing the film, based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon. Loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary of Howard Dean, the film centers on a young, idealistic press secretary succumbs to the evils and backhanded nature of the political machine. Clooney is the candidate, Gosling is the press secretary and Giamatti is a rival campaign leader. A local Ohio newspaper caught several members of the cast shooting on the campus of Miami University and we’ve got some photos after the jump. Read More »

George Clooney‘s The Ides of March, based on the play Farragut North, is gathering steam. It quickly found funding, then was picked up for US distribution by Sony well before a frame of film had even been shot. (Cameras roll, or record to hard disk – whatever – next year.) Now the film has two more cast members to complement George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Marisa Tomei: Max Minghella and Jeffrey Wright have both signed on. Read More »

Max Minghella Joins The Darkest Hour

Max Minghella

Max Minghella (Bee Season, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Agora, The Social Network) has joined the cast of the Timur Bekmambetov-produced alien invasion movie titled The Darkest Hour. Described as a 28 Days Later-type thriller, the story follows a group of American tourists visiting Moscow Russia when an alien invasion occurs. Thirlby will play “a trust fund girl trying to survive the attack who teams up with others to try to defeat the invaders.”

Minghella will join Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness) and Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer, Into the Wild). Production begins in Moscow this June with a $40 million budget. Summit Entertainment is distributing the film in the states while Fox International is handling international.

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Here’s a few casting notes for you before Page 2 hits. First up is What Boys Want, a teen-skewed reversal of the 2000 Mel Gibson film What Women Want. Selena Gomez will star as a girl who can hear what men are thinking. Reports that the film will just be Gomez hiding in a closet for two hours may be unfounded, but you can see where the rumor might come from. I don’t know much about Selena Gomez, and you should consider that a good thing. I’m in my 30s with no kids, so the only reason for me to know much about a coiffed-up Disney Channel star is that I write stories like these. So I can’t offer much context about this one other than to say it doesn’t sound anything like material for a teen-skewed comedy. [Variety]

After the break, more for David Fincher‘s next and that David Strathairn news you’ve been waiting for! Read More »

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I’ve liked each and every film by Alejandro Amenabar more than I did the previous one – and even when you rewind right back to Tesis, his debut feature, I was already digging his work plenty. You know, then, that I’m beset with anticipation for his next picture, simply on this spurious basis of a perceived inertia.

This next picture will be Agora, a historical epic and Amenabar’s second film in the English language, after The Others. Set in fourth century Alexandria, the story tells of the love of a slave, played by Max Minghella, for his master, played by Rachel Weisz. She is Hypatia, a teacher of Neoplatonist philosophy and, for the film’s purposes at least, a rather infamous atheist. The possibility of their romance is set against the uprising of Christianity and, as you’ll see from the trailer embedded below the break, the film is big-scale and stirring stuff.

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