Benedict Cumberbatch

Is Sherlock going to be over too soon for you? Good news for fans of its star: we might see Benedict Cumberbatch scale Blood Mountain. The actor is now attached to star in the thriller from director Sergei Bodrov (Mongol, Seventh Son) and screenwriters Jonathan W. Stokes (who wrote the original draft) and John Romano.

The film, says Variety, is about “a private military contractor whose special forces team is ambushed and killed during a covert raid, forcing him to personally escort one of the world’s most wanted terrorists over hostile terrain in order to bring him to justice. With a bounty at stake and insurgents and rival mercenaries hunting them, the two find themselves facing not only their enemies, but each other in their fight for survival.

It is set to shoot this coming April in Morocco. Rights are being sold at the European Film Market in Berlin, which is where news of Cumberbatch’s involvement broke. Normally, with a film market project, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see someone like Cumberbatch move on to different things, but this is ready to go so soon that he might be locked into it.


Jeff Bridges may be doing a variant on his True Grit voice for his role in Seventh Son, but if this fantasy action adventure film is made up of recycled parts, at least they look like they’ve been assembled in a lively fashion. The first trailer for the film introduces Bridges as a warrior/wizard/knight who is opposed to the big, bad forces of evil — especially the version incarnated in the person of a witch played by Julianne Moore.

He’s joined by a new apprentice, played by Ben Barnes, who has a useful personal history. He’s the seventh son of a seventh son, which fantasy lore and an Iron Maiden album will tell you is a powerful thing. And so they fight evil together. As you’d expect from a big fantasy film produced by Legendary, that evil is incarnated in impressively-rendered digital monsters. (By the late effects house Rhythm & Hues.)

Admittedly, it’s also fun to watch Bridges doing a pastiche of Rooster Cogburn and Nicol Williamson’s Merlin from Excalibur, so Seventh Son might be worth a look for him alone. Read More »

The Big Lebowski co-stars Jeff Brides and Julianne Moore are back on set together, but their latest project couldn’t be further away from the Coen Brothers’ sun-bleached SoCal landscape. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, The Seventh Son unfolds in a fantasy universe where demons, ghosts, and witches tread.

Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia) stars as Tom Ward, who becomes apprenticed to a Spook named John Gregory (Bridges) and battles supernatural forces. Moore plays the villain of the piece, the powerful witch Mother Malkin. The first photos have just hit the web, and you can check them out after the jump.

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Jeff Bridges trains an apprentice in the ways of dark magic to fight an evil witch played by Julianne Moore…and I’m sold. That’s the plot to Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Seventh Son, directed by Sergei Bodrov (Mongol) and written by Matt Greenberg, Charles Leavitt and Steve Knight from the book The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. It just went into production aimed at a February 8, 2013 release date and Legendary revealed a new piece of concept art from the film on the occasion of the launch of their new website.

Check it out in all its glory, as well as read the official plot description of the film – which also stars Ben Barnes, Olivia Williams and Kit Harington – after the break. Read More »

Today’s second casting break — possibly the latest in a series, given the density of news on that front lately — has three pretty divergent stories. After the break, you’ll find info on the following trio:

  • Channing Tatum is attached to a thriller pitch called Blood Brothers.
  • Chelsea Handler grabs a role in the teen comedy Fun Size.
  • And the porn drama Cherry, in which James Franco plays a coke-addled lawyer, now has an actress to play the lead. Read More »

Mongol Movie Trailer


Exceeding all expectations and boldly showing up Hollywood on how to craft a stunning, historical battleground epic with tasteful violence and, sure, sweeping romance, Mongol was one of my top 10 films of 2007. And while it’s valid to make the argument for those films notoriously left out of the category, Mongol deserves to win this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. The American critics who are not gushing over it, simply have not seen it and are dismissing for shades of the some reason that many will dismiss it after viewing this trailer: it’s being marketed like 300 meets The Last Samurai meets Hero.

Instead, the soon-to-be signature effort from Russian director Sergei Bodrov conjures the hushed, bewitching appreciation for the existential qualities of nature and landscapes seen in Andrew Dominik and Roger Deakins’s The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, the Oscar-caliber clashes of Braveheart, and the universal, R-rated, crowd pleasing paternal tale of John Milius’s Conan the Barbarian. Believe it. You feel the small warmth of the campfires burning under majestic China night skies in this film, and you are transported into the main character’s sprawling travels from boy to man of ye gods. The first of three planned films about the life of Genghis Khan aka Temudjin, played with stoic depth by indie Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Ichi the Killer), Mongol is the convincing introductory piece to what might become one of the great trilogies in all of modern cinema.

Watch the trailer after the jump. Mongol will be released in the United States on June 8 by Picturehouse Entertainment.

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