After months — years, really — of rumors about the next James Bond film, it’s nice to finally have some actual facts to sink our teeth into. As shooting on the film began today, director Sam Mendes, his producers, and several of his stars held a press conference giving away some tidibts about the film we’ve been referring to as Bond 23. Among the things we’ve learned: the actual title of the film, which characters some of the actors will be playing, and a basic concept of the plot. More details after the jump.

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Javier Bardem Confirmed For ‘Bond 23′

We’re still in the grey zone with respect to real news about the next James Bond film. Rumored to be called Skyfall, we’re still just calling it Bond 23 for now. There will be a press conference early next month to announce the beginning of production, at which point we’ll likely get a batch of official info.

But for now, we’ll take a statement from Javier Bardem confirming that he’s playing the bad guy in the movie. (Or one of the bad guys, at least.) Along with that confirmation, there are confirmations that French actress Berenice Marlohe will be in the film, as will Ben Whishaw (who is shooting the Tykwer/Wahcowski Cloud Atlas right now) and Harry Potter‘s Helen McCrory.

Get Bardem’s statement and another rumor about Bond 23 after the break. Read More »

The theme of this Casting Bits seems to be “rising stars,” as All My Children‘s Ambyr Childers stakes out a spot in an all-star cast, War Horse star Jeremy Irvine leads a movie starring Britain’s finest, and Thor actress Jaimie Alexander signs on to co-star with the Governator himself. Read more after the jump.

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Confirmed details on Sam MendesBond 23 are still scarce, but it seems screenwriter John Logan may have let slip a very useful detail about the villain. At a talk earlier this week, Logan hinted that iconic Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld just might be making an appearance in the upcoming film. Logan didn’t go so far as to actually announce anything, but hey, until we have a better idea of the plot, we’re gonna sit here and read into every dubious crumb of information that gets out. Read more after the jump.

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Here’s a bit of wild speculation about Bond 23 — or possibly not so wild, depending upon how much faith you place in various online translations and reports. Hint: in this case, be cautious. But let’s lay out the steps that have lead some to suspect that the twenty-third James Bond film may be based in part on the most recent Bond novel, and share with it the rather awkward title Carte Blanche. (Which is, I have to say, not anywhere near as awkward as Quantum of Solace. And, not being as awkward, it probably won’t inspire a very funny song by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish.) Read on for the steps that lead to the speculative conclusion… Read More »

With his modern update of Shakespeare‘s Coriolanus, first-time director Ralph Fiennes earned quite the warm reception earlier this year at the Berlin film festival. Some of the most vocal adulation went to the supporting performance by Vanessa Redgrave. Indeed, even in this trailer her performance looks nuanced and impressive, with fierce notes that stand out even against the intense work from director/star Fiennes as Coriolanus. He’s a powerful general, she’s his controlling and power-hungry mother; when Coriolanus fails in a bid for greater power, he is expelled from Rome and allies with a former enemy (Gerard Butler) to take revenge.

This first trailer certainly makes the film look like a compelling piece of work and a persuasive translation of Shakespeare to a modern setting. Check it out below. Read More »

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 »

What happens when a studio dedicates a decade to adapting one of the most popular novel series in the world, and does so with an eye for quality? In the case of Harry Potter, the result is a massive payoff. Warner Bros. upset its own record for the biggest domestic opening weekend box office take, set by The Dark Knight in 2008, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opened to a $168.5 million domestic haul and earned nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Read the numbers below. Read More »

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