Pan trailer

Perhaps the first images from Pan weren’t quite what you expected, but we’re trusting in the guy who created a successful new fairy tale in Hanna to warp the Peter Pan story into a new shape that makes sense in the end. This Pan trailer shows a big, bright, and possibly strange take on the J.M. Barrie stories, seemingly with a story structure that doesn’t bother with a “Peter Pan in the real world” setup, but just goes straight for a fantasy tale. There’s a lot of light, pretty stuff here that positions this as a fluffy fantasy, but then there’s a shot of Hugh Jackman towards the end of the trailer that makes us wonder if this has something more dark in mind, too.

Joe Wright directs Levi Miller as Peter, and Jackman not as Hook, but as Blackbeard. Garrett Hedlund steps in as a young, romantically appealing version of Hook, with Rooney Mara playing Tiger Lily. Check out the Pan trailer below. (We’ve also got four Pan character posters, with Blackbeard’s showing that yes, that’s definitely meant to be a bad wig worn by the pirate.)

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ziggy musical

Well, you can’t accuse Dane DeHaan and Rooney Mara of not wanting to try new things. The hot young stars have signed on for Ziggy, a musical Jazz Age love story from Diesel Schwarze. Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Alex Da Kid will help provide original contemporary music.

If that sounds a bit like Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, there’s be a good reason for that. Schwarze is a protégé of Luhrmann’s who worked with him on Moulin Rouge! and Broadway’s La Boheme. Get Ziggy musical plot details and more.

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House in the Sky movie

Rooney Mara has never been one to back away from dark or difficult material, as she demonstrated with her breakout role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Now she’s looking to tackle the dramatization of a real-life kidnapping tale in A House in the Sky.

Based on Amanda Lindhout‘s autobiographical memoir of the same title, A House in the Sky will chronicle the Canadian journalist’s abduction by terrorists in Somalia and her subsequent fifteen-month imprisonment. Hit the jump for more details.

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David Fincher

David Fincher and Rooney Mara may be ready to team up again. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo pair is reportedly eyeing Red Sparrow, a spy thriller that Darren Aronofsky exited earlier this year. Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) is writing the script. Hit the jump for all the details on the project.

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Pan Rooney Mara, from Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Casting heats up on PanRooney Mara is getting in on the fairy tale trend. The Dragon Tattoo actress has just landed the role of Tiger Lily in Pan, the Peter Pan origin tale being directed by Joe Wright. She joins a cast that also includes Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Garrett Hedlund as Captain Hook. Get plot details and more after the jump.

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Joaquin Phoenix Her

There’s a vast difference between simply making a movie and taking the time to develop a new idea to make a movie about. It’s the difference between franchises releasing a new sequel every year, and the work of Spike Jonze, a filmmaker who up to this point has only made three movies in 15 years. His fourth film, Her, is the director’s first original screenplay. It’s everything you’d hope for from the mad genius who brought to life Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are.

Her is a dramatic sci-fi romance about a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It’s a simple, yet brilliant conceit realized with depth and emotion, two rare traits in mainstream cinema. The depth comes from Jonze’s ideas about technological dependence and loneliness, and the emotion is conveyed as the film raises questions about what it means to love and our capacity to do so. It’s a film that’ll both spark intelligent debate and plenty of tears.

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Note: This review originally ran during the Sundance Film Festival in January. It is based on a cut of the film that is slightly different than what opened limited last weekend and expands this week. 

The best way to revitalize a well-worn story concept is often to approach it openly and honestly, but from an unusual angle. That’s what writer/director David Lowery does with the ages-old conflict between an outlaw, a lawman, and the woman between them, in the exceptional modern western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara are the people crossed at a crucial point in time. You’ve heard the story before, or at least seen the setup: one guy pulls a criminal job, and is caught in a fight with sheriff’s deputies as a result. His girlfriend is stalwart and sticks with him, even when the consequences of his criminal actions hit hard. But life is complicated, and plans go right to hell.

Deliberately paced and more interested in aftermath than big action scenes, a shorthand caption for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints could be “Cormac McCarthy by way of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” Each role is acted with calm precision, and directed with a measured hand. Lowery never falls to the temptation of overplaying a scene. It is one of the best films I’ve seen at Sundance 2013, and a must for fans of the slow burn or directors Andrew Dominik and John Hillcoat. Read More »

her-trailer-header

There have been short films and music videos, but it has been four years since Spike Jonze‘s last feature film, Where the Wild Things Are. Now the director is back with his fourth feature, Her, which features Joaquin Phoenix as a guy who falls for a piece of software. Since the software in question is voiced by Scarlett Johansson maybe that’s not much of a surprise. Check out the first trailer below. Read More »

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