Alice in Wonderland

Briefly: Wow, that was fast. Mere weeks after first hearing about Jon Favreau‘s live-action 3D remake of The Jungle Book, Disney has given the film a release date. It’ll open October 9, 2015, making it the first film to claim a date in that month. But that’s not all. Disney also announced the follow up to the billion dollar hit Alice in Wonderland will come out a year later. Alice in Wonderland 2, starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska, opens May 27, 2016. James Bobin (The Muppets) will direct.

Also, Ron Howard‘s sea-bound film, Heart of the Sea starring Chris Hemsworth, will be released March 13, 2015. [ERC]

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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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The Turning

Omnibus films are tricky beasts. Their very structure tends to make them wildly uneven, particularly if the director and stars change between each segment. But even if the occasional dud is all but unavoidable, a couple of really great pieces can make the whole thing worth watching.

The Turning consists of seventeen interconnected shorts, each based on the short story collection of the same title by Aussie author Tim Winton. It’s too early to tell if any of them are any good, but the ambition on display, at least, is admirable. The director and star lineup is intriguing as well. Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham are among those behind the camera, and Cate Blanchett, shows up as the lead of one chapter, with Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, and Miranda Otto also playing roles. Check out the first trailer after the jump.

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Mia Wasikowska

Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak has been picking up A-listers at an impressive clip, but now the casting’s hit a bit of a snag. Emma Stone, who was the first star to sign on for the film back in January, has now dropped out.

Fortunately, del Toro’s already closing in on a more than suitable replacement. Mia Wasikowska is reportedly in talks to fill the part, provided she can get the scheduling to work out. Benedict CumberbatchJessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam remain attached. More details, including character info, after the jump.

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ONLY-LOVERS-LEFT-ALIVE-4

A new film from indie mainstay Jim Jarmusch is always an event, even if he makes films that are much smaller than “event” really suggests. His new picture, his first in four years, is called Only Lovers Left Alive. It stars Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska and Anton Yelchin in a genre-influenced story featuring vampires and music.

Hiddleston has described the film as a “love story,” and the bare bones of the plot are that “an underground musician (Hiddleston), deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover (Swinton).” The trick is that both characters are centuries old.

The press book from Cannes gives us a full synopsis of the film,  but even better also offers a statement from Jarmusch about the film. In addition, we’ve got photos from the press book, along with two clips that surfaced not long ago. Read More »

I may not have been wild about Park Chan-Wook‘s English-language debut, Stoker, but there are definite pleasures within. Among them are the performances from the supporting cast. Jacki Weaver shows up for a bit, as does Dermot Mulroney. Neither has featured in a big way in the marketing so far, as each has a relatively small part to play in the film. But this featurette, which offers a behind the scenes look at the greater Stoker family, gives each some time in front of the camera. (Of course there’s plenty from the films star cast, too — Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.) Read More »

Briefly: The new film from indie king Jim Jarmusch is a vampire love story (of sorts) and the first image suggests he has taken a page from Tony Scott’s early ’80s effort The Hunger. This movie, called Only Lovers Left Alive, stars Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin. This first pic, above, shows Swinton and Hiddleston, and the way they’re styled instantly conjured up thoughts of Scott’s film. I don’t expect the two will have much in common in the long run, but the first look is definitely suggestive.

In the film, Hiddleston plays Adam, “an underground musician who’s deeply depressed by the direction of human activities. He reunites with his centuries-long lover, Eve (Swinton), though their idyll is soon interrupted by Eve’s wild and uncontrollable younger sister Ava (Wasikowska).” [Indiewire]

To coincide with its long-awaited Sundance debut, Chan-wook Park‘s Stoker has just unveiled a new international trailer. The first English-language outing from the Oldboy auteur stars Mia Wasikowska as India, a teenage girl mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). The unexpected arrival of her mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) further complicates matters, especially as he seems to have taken an unhealthy interest in both India and her chilly mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Watch the new video after the jump.

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