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Everyone on the set of Prisoners looked exhausted. Some of that was makeup, but some of the drain and fatigue was quite real. When I visited the production, it wasn’t working on a constructed set, but in a location. A real hospital, complete with physical dimensions that aren’t all that friendly to wide lenses and large groups of film crew, was the site of the shoot towards the end of the film’s schedule back in March.
The location wasn’t helping the mood, but it wasn’t just cramped quarters that was grinding down the cast and crew. Prisoners, scripted by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve, is not a cheery film. It follows two families whose children are abducted on Thanksgiving, and examines the different coping mechanisms employed by the two adult couples as they wait for any news. Ironically it was quite nice outside on the day of our visit, but Prisoners is the sort of movie that retreats from sunshine. When the weather got good, the crew shot indoors.
The couples are played by Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello, and Viola Davis and Terrence Howard. Garbed in realistic costume and styled like people rather than movie starts, several looked like they’d been put through the wringer. Slightly more energized was Jake Gyllenhaal, playing the detective who takes charge of the missing persons case. In conversation, each outlined their approach to the difficult material, and after the break you’ll find a lightly edited oral pre-history of Prisoners, assembled from their comments. Read More »
‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Rush, ‘Fifth Estate’ and ‘Labor Day’ Among Toronto Film Festival 2013′s First Wave
Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 by Germain Lussier
One of the most prestigious film festivals in North America, the Toronto Film Festival, has begun to announce its line up for 2013. The event takes place September 5-15 and as usual, the line-up includes pretty much every highly-anticipated awards contender scheduled for release through the end of the year.
Just a few examples are the Jackie Brown prequel Life of Crime, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, the star-studded August: Osage County, Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot (above), Jason Reitman’s latest Labor Day, Jason Bateman’s debut Bad Words, Ron Howard’s Rush, the Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate, Mike Myers’ documentary Supermench, Matthew Weiner’s You Are Here, Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi and Alfonso Cuaron’s space drama, Gravity.
And they haven’t even finished announcing everything. Below, read everything in this first wave. Read More »
Posted on Friday, June 28th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
Summer only officially started a few days ago, but for those who don’t want a long procession of super-powered tentpoles, summer movie fatigue is here in full force. If you’re in that crowd the fall festival season may seem like a great promise on the horizon, and one of the first films in that season is Denis Villeneuve‘s Prisoners. The story follows a family (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) whose daughter is kidnapped; Terrance Howard and Viola Davis play another couple whose child is also missing. Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, and Jake Gyllenhaal factor in to the plot, too.
We just saw one fairly heavy trailer for the film a few weeks ago, but now there is already a second. Like the first look at the movie, this positions Prisoners as a tense and very promising fall entry. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
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 »
The revenge film Prisoners is in a weird position: it seems like very familiar territory to those who closely follow projects in development, but for those who don’t get too interested in films until they’re shot, it might be a total unknown.
In short, Aaron Guzikowski‘s script landed on the Black List in 2009, after which it was briefly set to be a Bryan Singer film with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, before those two actors dropped out and it even more briefly became an Antoine Fuqua and Hugh Jackman movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was interested in it, too, and Michael Fassbender was rumored at one point. In 2011 Incendies director Denis Villeneuve was attached, and he’s finally going to get the movie made, it seems. And he’ll do so with Hugh Jackman in the lead, as the actor just signed on. (Again.) Read More »
Little known fact: casting never stops in Hollywood because movies constantly need actors. See? You learn something new everyday. Here’s one such update with five films that have all made major additions to their cast. After the jump read much more about:
- Weeds star Mary Louise Parker joining the comic book adaptation R.I.P.D.
- Anna Paquin, Ryan Phillippe and Luke Wilson all getting Straight A’s
- Danny Trejo and M.C. Gainey heading to Haunted High
- Abigail Breslin killing her mom as a Class Project
- Michael Fassbender being offered the lead in Prisoners
Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 by Russ Fischer
The history of the development of the film Prisoners is convoluted. Suffice to say that the Aaron Guzikowski script hit the Black List in 2009, was briefly set to be a Bryan Singer film with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, before those two actors dropped out and it briefly became an Antoine Fuqua and Hugh Jackman movie.
But that version never happened, either. Leonardo DiCaprio almost looked like he was going to star, but eventually it was back to square one and a number of other possible directors were floated. Now, with his film Incendies opening in the US this weekend, Denis Villeneuve is looking like the new Prisoners director. Read More »