It’s rare that I look at a TV project and wish that it were a $100m theatrical production instead of a much smaller television affair. I like seeing what creative teams can do with ingenuity rather than money, so almost never think something should be more expensive. But I do wish the $25m television version of Moby Dick, currently shooting, had more cash to work with. Oceangoing stories look amazing on the big screen, and we get so few of them. Still, with the cast assembled for this version of Herman Melville’s novel, I’ll take what I can get. Read More »

robin hood william hurt

William Hurt has joined the cast of Ridley Scott‘s untitled Robin Hood film. Hurt will play the Earl of Pembroke, William Marshall, a man who served four kings: Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John and Henry III. Marshall was a servant to the Plantagenet kings, who grew to become one of the most powerful men in Europe. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, called Marshall the “greatest knight that ever lived.” The film is set to be a retelling of the classic story, set in a more historically accurate setting than previous adaptations.

The main cast has already been announced: Russell Crowe as Robin Hood, Cate Blanchett as Lady Marion, Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Eleanor, Mark Strong as Sir Godfrey, Oscar Issac as King John, Léa Seydoux as French Princess Isabella, and the Merry Men: Scott Grimes as Will Scarlet, Kevin Durand as Little John, Alan Doyle as Allan Adayle.

I’m still not quite sure who is playing the Sheriff of Nottingham. The original plan calld for Crowe to play a dual role as both Robin Hood and the Sheriff, but Scott has said that is no longer the case. While the official plot synopsis mentions the Sheriff (see after the jump), Scott has said that it’s the “history of the time” and the “entire country” who will become the real villain in his film.
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The Incredible Hulk

The new issue of Empire Magazine due in newsstands on April 25th features a couple new photos from The Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile my friend Alex from Firstshowing who is at the New York Comic Con, saw footage that confirms the much rumored Iron Man / Incredible Hulk crossover. Apparently Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) shows up and talks with a drunk General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross (William Hurt) in a bar. Meanwhile ComingSoon reports that director Louis Leterrier offered Lou Ferrigno voice work for the film, saying his trademarked “Hulk Smash”.

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk Movie Trailer

The Incredible Hulk

FINALLY!! After months and months of waiting, Universal has released a movie trailer for The Incredible Hulk reboot/sequel.

Whatever company cut this trailer deserves a bonus. I love how you could have no idea this is an Incredible Hulk movie until the last 30 seconds. And the prolonged suspense of seeing the first reveal of the big green guy was handled masterfully. I don’t think he looks much different than the Ang Lee version, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many feel that Ang Lee’s film failed due to the lack of action and over dramatized plot (oh yeah, and the unfinished special effects superbowl incident). I’m not too impressed by Abomination however, and I’m not sure if they story will be a-level quality we expect from Marvel (especially from all the script reviews I have read). But it definitely sounds like this film will address all the concerns raised by Lee’s failed effort. Watch the trailer, and tell me what you think in the comments below.

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You can also watch the trailer in High Definition on MTV. Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William Hurt smashes its way into theaters on June 13th 2008.

Discuss: What do you think of The Incredible Hulk movie trailer?

X-Man Origins: Wolverine

The new issue of Empire Magazine (the one with Robert Downey Jr. on the cover) offers some interesting new photos from Universal’s The Incredible Hulk sequel/reboot, and 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The first from The Incredible Hulk shows Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, oabout to hulk out. The second photo gives us a first look at William Hurt as General Ross. Both photos from Wolverine, as expected. feature Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. As always, click to enlarge.

Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Edward Norton as The Incredible Hulk

William Hurt in The Incredible Hulk

Discuss: The movie comes out in three months… Do you think Universal will ever release a movie trailer for The Incredible Hulk?

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“If I give this to William, will he pipe down or turn into the ape from Altered States?”

When is the last time you used “funky” in a sentence? Never, right? Supercharged actor William Hurt paid homage to James Brown when he spoke to MTV , nearly spoiling the unprecedented Hulk and Iron Man crossover in this summer’s The Incredible Hulk. Alas, due to some dubiously eccentric wordplay, he merely revealed that his character, General Thaddeaus “Thunderbolt” Ross, is present when Tony Stark appears…

“I have a scene with Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr. It’s a funky scene. I don’t know how it’ll work,” Hurt admitted, saying it was a thrill to appear as General Thaddeus Ross during Downey’s scene. “I know it’s weird [to work with a character from another movie], and to know it’s a device. We did something; I don’t know what that’s going to be like [to watch].”

Hurt confessed that he only has two scenes with lead actor Edward Norton in the $125 million Marvel production, before revealing Hulk’s moment of truth in the film.

“Liv Tyler, I play her father, General Ross,” he explained. “There’s a scene, and during that scene there are a number of things happening. [Hulk] has beaten Abomination, and then there’s a crowd that gathers around, and they realize that he’s beaten Abomination. That Abomination was the one who was killing for just the joy of killing; Hulk is not the one. It’s the moment of turn,” Hurt added, “when society’s relationship with Hulk stops being so stupid.”

Well versed in the comics’ Hulk mythology, calling the character his fave, Hurt parlayed that the revamp is “stylistically very different” from director Ang Lee’s much maligned, underperforming 2003 effort, Hulk. This Hulk will be far more “heroic” and reflective of society’s worst tendencies. So, he’s less like Barry Bonds and more likes this kid?

“[The script by Norton and Zak Penn] has to do with the fact that [Banner’s] conscience still exists in a body that is a manifestation of power and is greater than his own ability to control it – and how he’s learning that relationship,” said the veteran actor, who can currently be seen in the awards-season favorite “Into the Wild.” “Because that’s what’s happening to us. That’s the central metaphor for all of us, that we’re learning these powers – technological powers, whatever – that we don’t know if we have enough conscience to control in a wise way yet. And that’s what he’s doing. “

This all comes from an actor who is well known for ripping productions he’s not fond of, so his enthusiasm is a good sign. But while the movie has a rather cool cast, there’s still no teaser trailer, and even Indiana Jones, a movie with nothing to prove, has one arriving before it. The core aspect to this film’s success is how much the filmmakers impress a potential audience when they show the new Hulk in action. Unlike Batman or Spiderman, Hulk is all CGI, and I feel the same about director Louis Leterrier (The Transporter franchise) as I did with Len Wisemen on Live Free or Die Hard last summer. They are like sillier Michael Bays with a kitchen-sink aesthetic that doesn’t work for me.

Sundance Movie Review: The Yellow Handkerchief

The Yellow Handkerchief

The Yellow Handkerchief follows a 15-year-old Louisiana girl, a ex-con, and an awkward annoying young eccentric kid with a blue convertible go on a road trip to, well, nowhere. Just like the film. The whole story is pointless and contrived. How three perfect strangers ended up in a car together is fully explained but not the least bit believable. I feel like the three characters were in a car together because the screenwriter wanted them to be in a car together. The backstories for both of the younger characters are mentioned, but never even followed-up upon.

I’m still not sure why Kristen Stewart has quickly become the new indie IT Girl (following Evan Rachel Wood, and Jena Malone before her). Stewart’s over-reactionary mannerisms look almost as odd as her unnaturally brown died hair. Eddie Redmayne’s eccentric act had me wondering if his character was mentally challenged, although nothing in the story seemed to suggest such. I’m guessing that the point of the film is for the audience to wonder how the character played by William Hurt, became an ex-con. They reveal this story through a series of LOST-inspired flashbacks intercut throughout. Only, the flashbacks don’t offer much to keep your attention.

Unfortunately, The Yellow Handkerchief is the type of stiff, boring and uninteresting film that the general public associates with independent cinema.

/Film Rating: 4 out of 10

TIFF Movie Review: Into The Wild

Into The Wild

Based on the bestselling book by Jon Krakauer, Into The Wild tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, a college graduate who one day decides to emancipate himself from his family and the material word. He leaves all his possessions, giving his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked his way across the America, with a dream to live alone in the wilderness of Alaska.

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Sean Penn’s Into the Wild Movie Trailer

 Into the Wild

Many of you probably know Sean Penn as an actor, but he’s been directing flicks since 1991. His latest, Into the Wild stars Emile Hirsch as a young, idealistic kid who abandons life as most of us know it for the Alaskan wilderness. Based on the bestseller by Jon Krakauer, and inspired by a true story. The movie also stars Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Kristen Stewart, William Hurt, and Marcia Gay Harden. Check out the trailer after the jump.
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