Simon West Will Direct ‘The Expendables 2’

Briefly: I know there are people who really like the films of Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider, The Mechanic) and I expect that audience will be thrilled that he is directing the sequel to The Expendables. Will he do a better job than Sylvester Stallone did with the original? Hard to say; two out of Sly’s last three films have been either genuinely good (Rocky Balboa) or a lot of fun (Rambo) so he’s probably got another good one in him. But The Expendables, a purely by the numbers exercise, sure wasn’t it.

So let Simon West have a crack at the sequel that will reunite Sly, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and possibly Bruce Willis, with new participants very likely. (There will probably be a new female lead, playing the daughter of Mickey Rourke’s character.) David Agosto and Ken Kaufman are writing this one, and I’m hoping they’ve come up with material to really match the testosterone level of the cast. The Expendables 2 will release on August 17, 2012. [Deadline]

Let’s get into character here: this fucking news is better than spending a night with a manky Dutch whore and a shitload of horse tranquilizer. In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh has written and will direct a film called Seven Psychopaths, and Colin Farrell is starring. Your indie heroine Megan Ellison is financing, and today at Cannes the project added Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken. Those last two sentences are my favorite things I’ve written in days. If you feel about In Bruges the way some do, with Martin McDonagh writing and directing little questions like the plot of the film probably don’t even matter. But if your curiosity gets the better of you, that info is after the break. Read More »

One of our first tastes of any materials for The Expendables came a couple years back at Cannes. So, appropriately, here’s the first sales art for The Expendables 2, as seen during the opening hours of this year’s festival. This is basically a modified version of the original sales art for the first film, but as a bonus we’ve also got the official synopsis for the sequel. Guess which Expendable really does turn out to be expendable? Full art and info are after the break. Read More »

‘Immortals’ Trailer, Official HD Version

The official release of the trailer for Tarsem‘s Immortals is now out. Now you can see just what Tarsem meant when he said he was going for a sort of “Caravaggio meets Fight Club” approach — really, it looks more or less like established Tarsem style as seen in The Cell and The Fall, filtered through 300. There is some real beauty in this trailer, but as has been the case with the director’s movies in the past, it’s probably too early to make a call about whether the movie will be more than a great slideshow or not. Read More »

Mickey Rourke Says His Rugby Movie Shoots in February

Briefly: Some actors can always be relied upon for brutal honesty. (Except when they can’t.) Take Mickey Rourke. One of the most entertaining interviews making the rounds today is a Vulture piece in which the actor calls out some of his recent work. (Passion Play? “Terrible. Another terrible movie.” How about 13, with Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson? “It’s so bad it can’t get out.”) He also seems to call into question the unvarnished truth of his previous comments when he called Megan Fox “the most talented actress I’ve worked with.”

But that’s just the fun stuff. Buried in there is also his statement that his biopic of famed rugby player Gareth Thomas will shoot this coming February. We’ve heard about this project a couple times over the past six months, and it still seems like something that is destined never to happen. The actor is 22 years older than his subject, after all. That distance can be minimized in some contexts, but not as easily when he’s got to be convincing on the very demanding rugby pitch. (He may just be playing a character heavily inspired by Gareth Thomas, however.) Mr. Rourke has said that he’ll learn the player’s native Welsh for the role, and it sounds like a project to watch. Hopefully eighteen months from now he won’t be casually dismissing it in an offhand interview.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Tarsem Singh‘s Immortals had its coming out party at WonderCon in San Francisco this weekend. On Friday they revealed the first character posters for the film, and at the panel on Saturday they screened the first teaser trailer for the film. Find out the details after the jump.
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Good news for fans of director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Game of Thrones), as his new film Win Win will open on March 18 instead of March 25. The film stars Paul Giamatti as “Mike Flaherty, a senior-care attorney and high-school wrestling coach in small-town New Jersey, he compromises his ethics to better support his family — with consequences, of course.” Amy Ryan, Burt Young (Rocky) and newcomer Alex Shaffer also appear. [USA Today]

After the break, a new date for Lone Scherfig’s One Day, as well as the release date and some recap info on Tarsem Singh’s Immortals. Read More »

Mickey Rourke wants to play Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, noted not only for being a badass on the pitch, but for being the first openly gay male player in a major team sport. OK, so far so good. We heard from the actor not long ago on his approach to the film — he says he’ll learn Welsh for the role — though he didn’t engage the question of how he’ll accurately portray a guy who is twenty years his junior.

We still don’t know the answer to that question, but now thanks to Mr. Thomas’ agent, Emanuele Palladino, we’re hearing that Rourke might knock out his own front teeth in order to play the athlete. Uh, whut? Read More »

Since his ‘comeback’ in The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke‘s career has been an unusual one, to say the least. High-profile fare like Iron Man 2 and The Expendables has been balanced with duds like Killshot (filmed before The Wrestler) and Passion Play.

But one project on Rourke’s horizon sounds interesting — he says he’s set to play Gareth Thomas, the Welsh rugby player who made headlines not long ago when he came out of the closet, becoming what Sports Illustrated called in May 2010 “the only openly gay male athlete.” (At least in a major professional team sport.) Read More »

Movie Trailer & Poster: ’13′

A few months back, we posted a Russian movie trailer for 13, the American remake of the cult French film 13 Tzameti, starring Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, 50 Cent and Ray Winstone, both written and directed by Géla Babluani. It’s about a young man (Sam Riley) who mistakenly ends up at a high stakes, life or death Russian roulette game. So if you watched that original trailer and liked the visuals but had no idea what was going on, an English language version has come online along with a poster. And if you never imagined you’d be bored by a simple movie trailer, prove yourself wrong after the break. Read More »