The films of Denis Villeneuve stick with people. Movies like Incendies, Polytechnique, and Maelstrom demonstrate a knack for plunging recognizable characters into difficult situations (some based in reality, some purely fictional) and exploring the outcome in ways that most audiences won’t readily forget. His work is strong enough to attract an incredible cast to Prisoners, a drama in which two young girls go missing, shattering the complacent lives of their parents.

Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Paul Dano are the core cast, and the film was shot by the stunningly talented Roger Deakins. This first trailer for the movie is very intense, but may also give away more than you’d like to know. (Or it gives that impression, at least; I bet there’s a lot more than we see here.) I stopped watching 2/3 through, but what I saw was enough to confirm the September release as a must-see. Check out the footage below. Read More »


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With one Beach Boys biopic already on the way, another is gaining momentum. Paul Dano has signed on to star as Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy, a new film by Oscar-nominated producer Bill Pohlad (Tree of Life, Into the Wild). Specifically, he’ll play the younger version of Wilson. Another actor is being sought to portray Wilson in his more current state.

The big question with most musical biopics is whether the film has actually managed to nab the rights to the artist’s tunes. So I’ll just get that out of the way — yes, Love & Mercy will include Wilson’s real music. It’ll also feature additional soundtrack material and sound design by Atticus Ross, who picked up an Academy Award for scoring (with Trent Reznor) The Social Network a few years ago. More details after the jump.

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Excited for Looper? You should be. Rian Johnson‘s return to the big screen featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano and a whole bunch of time-travelling awesomeness is fantastic. Lots of new posters, videos and more have been popping up leading up towards the September 28 release and now two videos of behind the scenes footage have come online.

Both are certainly filled with spoilers but, if you’ve seen the film or don’t care about a few small things being revealed, there are much worse ways to spend 12 minutes. Check them out below. Read More »

Having played struggling writers in Being Flynn and Ruby Sparks, Paul Dano is switching gears to play a struggling musician in For Ellen, his third feature of 2012. Directed by So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain), the indie drama centers around a wannabe rock star named Joby Taylor who never quite attained the fame and fortune he set out to achieve.

He faces failure in other aspects of his life as well: After years of absentee parenting, he suddenly faces the prospect of losing his kid completely when his lawyer (Jon Heder) hands him divorce papers giving his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva) sole custody. He decides to reach out to his daughter in a last-ditch effort to reconnect. Jena Malone and Dakota Johnson also star, along with newcomer Shaylena Mandigo as the titular six-year-old. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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I’m starting to suspect Steve McQueen watches the same TV we do. The British director of Hunger and Shame has already cast Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam, and Raising Hope‘s Garret Dillahunt in his upcoming Twelve Years a Slave, and he’s now added another small-screen favorite. Michael K. Williams, a.k.a. Omar Little on The Wire, has just boarded the cast, which also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. More details after the jump.

UPDATE: A few hours after this post went up, it was announced that Beasts of the Southern Wild star Dwight Henry had also joined Twelve Years a Slave.

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A young, struggling author begins to fall in love with the woman he’s writing about and then, one day, she manifests herself in his apartment. Is she real? Where did she come from? Is their love something that can endure? These are the questions central to Ruby Sparks, a new film by the directors of Little Miss SunshineJonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. It’s written by and stars Zoe Kazan as the title character along with her real-life boyfriend, Paul Dano, as the author. The supporting cast isn’t too shabby either: Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould and Chris Messina.

Fox Searchlight will open the film July 25 and you can check out the first trailer below. Read More »

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At this point I’d be lying if I claimed I knew what to expect from the live-action version of Akira that Jaume Collet-Serra will direct early next year. The film is budgeted in the $90m range — not a lot to create a post-apocalypse future version of Manhattan in which motorcycle gangs do battle as a precursor to psychically-powered mayhem. We know that Garrett Hedlund is playing Kaneda, a biker gang leader whose brother, Tetsuo, is wounded and finds his own psychic power awakened, leading to madness.

We don’t know who will play Tetsuo, but a new list of actors testing for the role includes surprising names like Michael Pitt, Alden Ehrenreich and Paul Dano. Read More »

After a promising start that included sweet, gentle About a Boy, Paul Weitz‘s career hasn’t been doing so well these past few years. His more recent work include American Dreamz, Cirque du Freak, and Little Fockers, none of which are exactly creative smashes. But if the moving trailer for his next project, Being Flynn, is any indication, Weitz could be on his way up again.

Based on Nick Flynn‘s acclaimed memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Being Flynn centers around the relationship between a young writer (Paul Dano) and his absentee father (De Niro). The two cross paths one night at a homeless shelter, where the son works and the dad is seeking a room. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The Die Hard 5 news continues Thursday. We recently learned that the film, directed by John Moore, would be called A Good Day To Die Hard and released February 14, 2013. It’ll focus on John McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, heading to Russia to get his son out of prison which then escalates into some kind of massive terrorist threat. With the McClane’s son seemingly the second lead and possible torch-bearer for the franchise, it surely will be a sought after role.

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