imitation_game

That image above is Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of The Imitation Game, in which he plays mathematician Alan Turing. The film is based on a Black List script by Graham Moore, directed by Morten Tyldum, and evidently Harvey Weinstein sees it as a primo Oscar contender to open later this year. The indie mogul just paid $7m for distribution rights at the Euopean Film Market going on as part of the Berlin Film Festival. That, says Deadline, is the most ever paid for an American production at the market there. Read More »

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Cumberbatch Knightley

Benedict Cumberbatch sure does love movies about technology. He stars as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate;Star Trek is based around technological advancement; and now the Sherlock star will play one of the most famous computer scientists and codebreakers in history. Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the filmThe Imitation Game, a while back, but the role went to Cumberbatch.

Production has just begun on The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters). It tells the story of Alan Turing, a British computer pioneer who is (among many other achievements) credited with cracking a top-secret German code during World War II. Cumberbatch plays the lead (which we already knew), Keira Knightley is a fellow code-breaker, and they’re joined by Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear.

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Drive

There are lots of small updates on upcoming and hypothetical sequels, which means it’s time for another edition of Sequel Bits. Read about the following after the jump:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger says The Legend of Conan, Terminator 5 and Triplets are all still being written.
  • Kevin Smith has a production schedule in mind for Clerks III.
  • Eric Roberts joins the cast of Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence).
  • As we wait on the new Bridget Jones movie, the character returns in book form.
  • Another director may be on the short list for Bond 24.
  • Daniel Radcliffe hypothesizes a Harry Potter sequel.
  • Nicolas Winding Refn says don’t expect a sequel to Drive.
  • Will Smith suggests he could appear in Independence Day 2, but it’s not looking good.

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It’s been a lot of fun watching the rise of Benedict Cumberbatch over the past couple years. The great BBC version of Sherlock propelled him to the top of some casting lists, and he quickly went from supporting roles in Four Lions, War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to being the lead villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, and playing both the Necromancer and the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit. He’s shooting the Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate right now, and today a new role has cropped up for the actor.

Cumberbatch is in talks to play Alan Turing, the legendary father of computing and artificial intelligence, in the film The Imitation Game. Originally set up at Warner Bros. with Leonardo DiCaprio as a likely star, the film moved to Black Bear Pictures. Headhunters director Morten Tyldum will direct the picture. Read More »

Jo Nesbø’s best-selling 2008 thriller Headhunters was turned into a film that did quite well at festivals last year. Well enough, in fact, that rights to remake the picture were quickly snapped up by Summit, leading to Mark Wahlberg voicing his desire to take the lead role.

The film follows a successful corporate headhunter (Askel Hennie) who is deep in debt, and so has turned to stealing and selling art to maintain his lifestyle. When he goes after one particular painting, however, he discovers a secret that makes him a target for the sort of people we’d all rather avoid. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones plays a major role. It’s easy to see why Summit would be interested in a remake, but based on the footage we’ve seen so far I’d much rather just watch the original. Check out a US-tailored trailer after the break. Read More »

Two guys who use their heads for very different things are the stars of Headhunters and Aardvark, another pair of films playing at Fantastic Fest 2011. Headhunters is about a job recruiter who also steals art on the side. He is forced to use all his wit and skill to compete against his latest mark, played by the man best known as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. As for Aardvark, Larry Lewis Jr. is a real-life blind man who plays himself in a movie that combines his aptitude for jiujitsu, inability to see and a murder mystery. Read about each after the jump. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

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