12-years-a-slave-header

The new film from director Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger) is based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was kidnapped and held as a slave for over a decade. In 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Northrup, and we see his horrific journey and what amounts to years of imprisonment as a slave as he is tormented by captors and owners.

The impressive cast also includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Quvenzhane Wallis, Lupita Nyongo, Scoot McNairy, Michael Kenneth Williams and Garret Dillahunt. The story is wrenching — if Django Unchained played fast and loose with history, this is the film that attempts to tell the story of a slave’s emancipation from more true-to-life details. The trailer has an air of Oscar bait about it, but the emotions it calls up are undeniable. And knowing the way McQueen’s films work, the trailer could be a much more audience-friendly experience than the final film will be. Read More »

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The Counselor

A film directed by Ridley Scott, scripted by Cormac McCarthy, and starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and John Leguizamo can’t possibly help but come with sky-high expectations. Happily, the first teaser for The Counselor isn’t letting us down.

To be fair, it’s tough to tell exactly what’s going on here since the audio is Russian. For all I know, Pitt’s dubbed voice could just be reciting the opening lines of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. But the movie looks utterly intense and very, very gorgeous, and if anyone’s earned the benefit of our doubt it’s this group. Hit the jump to watch the footage.

Update: We’ve now got the English-language version of the teaser. Read More »

Independence Day White House

20th Century Fox has announced a slate of release dates today for 2014 and 2015, including Independence Day 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Assassin’s Creed and more. Hit the jump and get our your calendars!

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Twelve Years a Slave (2)

The name Solomon Northup may not ring a bell for most people, but Steve McQueen and his star-studded cast could help change that this winter with Twelve Years a Slave.

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Northup, a free man who was tricked and sold into slavery as an adult. He spent a dozen years working on plantations before eventually finding his way to freedom once more. Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight HenryPaul Giamatti, Michael K. Williams, Alfre Woodard, and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o are also among the cast. See the first official stills from the movie after the jump.

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prometheus-review

Briefly: Do you want to see Prometheus 2? Personally, that’s a difficult question to answer. The ending of last year’s Ridley Scott film (warning: spoilers ahead) didn’t leave me hungry for more, but there’s still a framework there in which a good story could be told. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender would likely feature in a film that explores how Rapace’s character and the remains of Fassbender’s android go off in search of further truth about the alien Engineers. And there’s that xenomorph appearance at the end of Prometheus (pictured below) which must factor in somehow.

Now we’re a step closer to seeing what happens next. The Wrap reports that Jack Paglen, who wrote Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, is Fox and Scott’s choice to script. The site says the producer/director has signed off on Paglen’s story for the sequel, and that a deal is imminent. Since we know little about the Transcendence script, there’s little way of knowing whether or not Paglen is a good choice for this sequel. Read More »

Assassin's Creed

Briefly: There’s been a killer addition to the Summer of 2015. Assassin’s Creed, based on the popular Ubisoft video game series, will hit theaters on May 22, 2015. 20th Century Fox is now on board the project which, at this point, only has Michael Fassbender attached to play Desmond Miles, the descendant of a long line of assassins who can relive the memories of his ancestors.

At this point, no other film is schedule on that date but, if Star Wars Episode VII comes out on its traditional Summer weekend, it’ll be going up against this film.

Michael Lesslie is writing the screenplay. No director is attached but with a release date two years away from next weekend, you can expect that to change soon. [Coming Soon]

Damon Lindelof

The end of Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus is just the beginning of a new story. As Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) flies up into space it’s obvious that the prequel (of sorts) to Alien has more ground to cover. Some of the film’s questions were answered by the time the credits rolled, but many were not. The unresolved story points became a topic in criticisms levied at the film.

Further answers seem likely to come in the form of a sequel. While Prometheus wasn’t the gargantuan blockbuster many thought it would be, the director, screenwriter, and star all confirmed a follow-up has long been discussed and is currently in-development. That’s where things have sat for the past few months.

Now a report says Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox are “freaking out” trying to figure out how to continue the franchise. They’re reportedly ”taking pitches from basically anyone who can crack the story,” and blame for the problems is placed squarely on the shoulders of screenwriter Damon Lindelof. The report says Lindelof came on board, altered Jon Spaihts‘ original script from a one-shot to a trilogy and then abandoned the franchise to work on Star Trek Into Darkness and Tomorrowland.

I asked Lindelof about this accusation on Twitter, and he responded with a long e-mail. You can read that below, along with a few other thoughts. Read More »

With just weeks to go until shooting, Lynne Ramsay‘s Jane Got a Gun has just been hit with some very good news and some very bad news.

Michael Fassbender has just dropped out of the hero role in the Western, leaving Joel Edgerton to take over the spot. But as Edgerton was originally slated to play the villain, that opens up an opportunity for Jude Law to step into his old role. Star Natalie Portman, meanwhile, remains firmly attached to the lead role through this round of casting musical chairs. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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