Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s not remotely fair to call a film Oscar bait when it’s not even close to shooting, but when a project combines an Oscar-winning director, two Oscar-winning stars, and a World War II premise, it’s tough not to wonder whether little gold men are in its future.
The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius has entered talks for In the Garden of Beasts, based on a book by Devil in the White City author Erik Larson. Tom Hanks has been attached to star and produce since last year, but the project’s only now picking up steam as Hanks has been tied up in other projects. That means casting is now underway as well, and producers currently have their eye on Natalie Portman to play Hanks’ daughter. More after the jump.
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Lynne Ramsay has made three very good films (most recently We Need to Talk About Kevin, which followed Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar) and now she’s prepping a western called Jane Got a Gun. The film has Natalie Portman attached to play “a woman whose outlaw husband returns home barely alive and riddled with bullet wounds. She is forced to reach out to an ex-lover and ask if he will help defend her farm when her husband’s gang eventually tracks him down to finish the job.”
Now it looks like Michael Fassbender could be the main recruit. Read More »
Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) isn’t going to have the market cornered when it comes to new female-led Westerns. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ratcatcher) is now attached to direct a film called Jane Got a Gun. And now the project has Natalie Portman attached to star and produce. Read More »
Though he’s not even old enough to watch The Dark Knight Rises by himself, Bart Simpson’s got the kind of ex-girlfriend roster most of us can only dream about — and many of them, including Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, and Anne Hathaway will be back in his life for the upcoming 24th(!) season. Also after the jump:
- Has HBO started casting for Season 3 of Game of Thrones?
- TNT’s Southland and Showtime’s Borgias renewed
- AMC orders two more murder mystery pilots
- Dish Network will drop AMC, IFC, Sundance, and WEtv
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How wild will it be if Javier Bardem plays the villain in another tense drug-related thriller cooked up by author Cormac McCarthy? The writer recently sold a screenplay called The Counselor, which Ridley Scott will bring to the screen with Michael Fassbender playing an attorney who tries to get into the drug trade just a little bit, only to find himself in deep trouble.
Now Bardem and Jeremy Renner are reportedly the last men standing in competition to be the movie’s bad guy, with Bardem favored by Scott. And Natalie Portman is looking like Scott’s choice to play the fiancee of the lead character. Read More »
Last month I received a cryptic e-mail inviting me to a private screening of a new Star Wars film edited by Topher Grace — which is funny because I had no idea there was a new Star Wars film in the works, with or without Grace’s involvement. I was told the screening was a secret private event arranged only for friends only and was asked not to talk about it beforehand. The event was held somewhere in the Hollywood area in a a screening room filled with filmmakers, editors, actors, actresses and only a few press friends. I was told I could blog about it afterwards if I wanted, so here goes…
For those of you who don’t know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.
His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels’ (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.
The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.
Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.
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Chances are if you read this site, you spend a lot of your time thinking about movies that are on the horizon. Whether it be through reading, discussion or just general anticipation, movies that you haven’t seen are of the utmost importance. Then, once you see the movie in question, a few days pass, and it’s on to the next thing. The positive side to this mindset is you always have something to look forward to. The negative is you can sometimes forget about the great films you’re already done with.
For example, when Natalie Portman came out to award Best Actor at the Oscars last week, it took me a second to put two and two together. Of course, Portman deservidely won Best Actress the year before for her role in Darren Aronofsky‘s Black Swan. That made me think of Black Swan again, which I hadn’t done in several months and, wouldn’t you know it? Some really cool behind the scenes photographs from that film taken by Ray Lewis are now online. Do a little reminiscing and check them out below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
After taking a hiatus for the birth of her son, Natalie Portman is gearing up to get back to work. Portman, who won Best Actress at last year’s Academy Awards, has found her first post-Oscar roles in two upcoming Terrence Malick films, Knight of Cups and Lawless. Details on the two films are still scarce, but given the combination of Malick, Portman, and her co-stars on the two projects, I’m pretty excited all the same. More details after the jump.
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