Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Any movie franchise with a 53-year history is going to have some stories of things that never happened and what could have been. Fans of the James Bond films always like to play the “What If?” game. What if George Lazenby had hung around for more movies after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? What if The Spy Who Loved Me could have actually seen the return of Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E., as originally intended? And now we have a new one to ponder: What if Peter Morgan‘s concept for the film that would eventually become Skyfall was filmed?
Morgan, a two-time Oscar nominee for penning The Queen and Frost/Nixon, contributed a treatment titled Once Upon a Spy, which was ultimately rejected by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. And we can see why – this lost James Bond movie would have taken 007 into territory that would’ve been a little too dark, even for Daniel Craig‘s morally gray run with the character.
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Sadly, the Freddie Mercury biopic gets a little less promising with each development step. The long-standing assumption was that Sacha Baron Cohen would play the late Queen frontman based on a script by Peter Morgan, with the surviving members of the band (Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon) acting as producers. The band is still on board, but Cohen is gone, reportedly because he wanted to make a wild, R-rated tell-all film, while the band wants something a little more sanitized.
Enter Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas), who will likely be a fine performer to take on the role. And now a director has finally been found: actor turned director Dexter Fletcher (who played roles in Misfits, Stardust, and Kick-Ass) has been signed to make the film as his third directorial effort. Read More »
Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
Sacha Baron Cohen dropped out of the long-gestating Freddie Mercury biopic this summer when he and the remaining members of Queen couldn’t come to an agreement over the film’s tone. The role has remained unfilled since then, but drummer Roger Taylor has now revealed that they already have someone in mind: Ben Whishaw. More details on the possible casting after the jump.
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Another impressive name has joined Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier for Ang Lee’s latest film. A few months back, we reported that the multiple Oscar winner is prepping a 3D film based around some of the classic boxing matches of the Sixties and Seventies. Very little was revealed beyond that. Now a screenwriter has been added, and he gave up a few more details.
Peter Morgan, the Oscar-nominated writer of The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland and Rush, will write the film for Lee. Read his quotes below. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
Ron Howard is by no means critically reviled, but as a director he hasn’t had the sort of career that gets hardcore cinephiles all hot and bothered, either. So while we’ve been curious about Rush, his Formula 1 racing drama, it’d be a stretch to say it was one of our most anticipated releases of the year.
In the wake of its Toronto Film Festival debut, however, we may have to reconsider. Early reactions have ranged from solid to positively glowing, with plenty of reviewers noting that Howard has managed to avoid his usual sentimentality. As a matter of fact, praise was lavished on just about everyone involved, including stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, screenwriter Peter Morgan, and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle. Hit the jump to read the reviews.
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Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 by Angie Han
The Ron Howard project we’ve covered most extensively in this space is probably the fourth season of Arrested Development, but we’re also pretty pumped for his other big release of 2013, the Formula One racing drama Rush.
Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl play James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two real-life racing rivals that spent the ’70s neck-in-neck with one another. Their intense competition only intensified in 1976 after the latter suffered a horrific crash that put him in a coma, only to return to the track weeks later. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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Every once in a while we get an update on the planned biopic of late Queen frontman and consummate showman Freddie Mercury. For quite a while Borat star and Hugo supporting actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been set to play the mustachioed singer, but beyond that we’ve heard fairly little.
But founding and current Queen guitarist Brian May says the film is still moving forward. There’s been a delay, and so contrary to previous reports shooting is now planned for spring 2013 with a release to follow in 2014, but the thing is still happening. Read More »
Rush reunites director Ron Howard with his Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen), to tell the story of real-life racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose competition came to a head during Formula 1 series in the mid-’70s. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Cabin in the Woods) plays Hunt and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) is Lauda, who nearly died in a terrible crash in 1976, but strapped himself back into the driver’s seat only weeks later to challenge Hunt. Also appearing in the movie are Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Christian McKay, and Natalie Dormer.
We’ve seen on-set pics from the production, but the still above is one of four images that recently hit the film’s official site. Given the fact that the opening date is more than a year away we’re not likely to see much footage any time soon, but the official stills give us a fairly good idea of how things look, at the very least. Read More »
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With Cannes around the corner, new film projects are cropping up, and deals are being signed. As Germain mentioned earlier we’ll see a lot of indie projects cropping up in the next couple weeks, but there are also studio projects moving forward.
For instance, Antoine Fuqua has added another project to his slate. Chicagoland, written by Peter Morgan, now has the director attached at New Line. It’s one of several films to which the director is attached, but he jumps on and off films with seeming alacrity, so it’s hard to say if this one will get made under his guidance. (For reference, the last theatrical film Fuqua made was the 2009 release Brooklyn’s Finest. He’s been attached to a good half-dozen or more since then.) The most interesting film on his slate, however, the Eminem-starring boxing drama Southpaw, seems to be pushed into the ether at this point while Eminem rides the latest wave of his music career.
There isn’t a lot of info about Chicagoland, but the script has been vaguely likened to Fuqua’s greatest success, Training Day. It seems like that comparison has been thrown at other films to which Fuqua has been attached, too. So we’ll see if it helps this one; a Peter Morgan script certainly isn’t a bad thing. [Variety]
After the break, Gavin O’Connor, who made the sadly under-seen film Warrior, will direct Yakuza, a thriller set in Japan. Read More »
As Sacha Baron Cohen‘s new comedy The Dictator strolls towards theaters, I know some have been wondering if his plan to play late Queen singer Freddie Mercury remains intact. As it turns out, that plan has not changed, and now Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) is the frontrunner to direct the film that has the backing of remaining Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Read More »