If you read my top ten of 2010 you saw that, despite some diamonds in the rough, I felt 2010 was largely unimpressive in terms of film. Well, if potential says anything, 2011 is going to be amazing. We’ve got new films from filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Michel Gondry, Ron Howard and Jodie Foster, incredible genre action with films like Cowboys & Aliens and Green Lantern, the return of epic franchises with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and X-Men First Class and even huge blockbuster comedy with films like The Hangover Part II.

And as exciting as all those films sound, none of them made my top ten most anticipated. That’s how good 2011 looks. On paper at least. These things rarely pan out. See what I mean after the jump where you’ll find both my most anticipated films for 2011 as well as the films I picked at this time last year with retrospective commentary.

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Bennett Miller is finally directing Moneyball with Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and here’s the first look at Hoffman as Oakland A’s manager Art Howe. Not the most remarkable photo, really, but it at least looks right. Hey, it’s a baseball movie striving for at least some vague realism; you can’t expect him to be brandishing bats as weapons or anything. See a larger version after the break.

But the more interesting news is that, after years of development, Paul DePodesta, former assistant GM for the A’s, is reportedly asking that his name be taken out of the film. Read More »

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After his movie The Cross seemed to fall apart, writer/director Andrew Niccol diverted to a slightly more mainstream sci-fi approach: he’ll direct the ‘action love story’ I’m.mortal, which now has Amanda Seyfried set up to star. The film is about a society in which aging stops at the age of 25, which is as good an excuse as any to cast a lot of attractive 20-somethings. But because of the conceit behind the film, that’s actually forcing Niccol to find young actors who can play individuals who are a lot older than they look.

What’s the conceit? Variety explains a bit of the plot that we haven’t previously known: “In I’m.mortal, time has become the currency. Once you turn 25 and your aging gene turns off, you must buy and bank time. If you are rich enough, you can live forever. But if you run out of time, you are engineered to die automatically. When a rebel from the ghetto is falsely accused of murdering a wealthy man for his time, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful, rich hostage (Seyfried). Together, this duo rages against the system, living minute to minute. They discover that love is more powerful than all the time in the world.”
[Variety]

After the break, more Moneyball casting and the return of Haley Joel Osment. Read More »

Kathryn Morris Joins Moneyball

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The long saga of Moneyball is about to close — after the film was set to shoot with Steven Soderbergh directing his rewrite of Steve Zaillian‘s script, Sony shut things down at the last minute. Aaron Sorkin was brought in to rewrite (though some of Zaillian’s script is reportedly being used) and Bennett Miller is now about to direct Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the tale of baseball and statistics.

Now Kathryn Morris from Cold Case is about to join the cast, just as the film is about to go before cameras. Read More »

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How many runs through a script can a studio take? Moneyball is supposed to shoot in a little over a month, after a year of wrangling and being on life support. Now Steve Zaillian, who wrote the draft that got the scrapped Steven Soderbergh version moving in the first place, is back on the picture. For the time being. Read More »

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After a year of wrangling and new talent, I’m still going to be surprised when the cameras start to roll on Moneyball. Director Bennett Miller and Sony seem determined to give me that surprise, however. They’re in talks now with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright to bolster the cast, which still includes Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. Read More »

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Hey, remember Moneyball? How could you not? The film meant to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, which was famously shut down at the eleventh hour by Sony chief Amy Pascal, is still going forward. Bennett Miller is directing from a new script by Aaron Sorkin. Original star Brad Pitt remains part of the equation (which seems miraculous) but his co-star has changed. No longer will Demetri Martin play the young statistician that helps Oakland A’s manager make baseball history. Now it will be Jonah Hill. Read More »

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A month ago there was news that two directors were possibly in line to take Steven Soderbergh’s place on Moneyball: Marc Webb of (500) Days of Summer and Capote‘s Bennett Miller. At the time, there was conflicting info on who was first in line. THR seemed to emphasize Webb, but The Playlist had been told that Webb’s offer was old and that Miller was really the guy in line for the job.

Variety now confirms the latter info, saying that Miller is being tapped for the job. Questions linger: what is the new script, by Aaron Sorkin, really like? While Brad Pitt remains attached, will he actually make the film? What will the budget end up being, with or without Pitt? (It was in the realm of $60m with Soderbergh on board.) If Sony really has Miller signed, we should know some of those details soon.

After the break, some minor stuff on Bourne 4 and the new Jack Ryan movie. Read More »

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