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While the mainstream is fetishizing the ’90s, a crew is still looking back at the forgotten corners of ’80s pop culture. IFC mini-series The Spoils of Babylon is from exec producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. (Steele and Piedmont wrote.) It is designed as a spoof of ’80s event television, and skewers stuff like The Thorn Birds; beach lit stories that, in their small-screen incarnations, are forgotten by most people who weren’t around to watch them the first time.

The series is about the Morehouse oil tycoon family, with Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig among the leads. (Jessica Alba, Jelly Howie, Val Kilmer, Michael Sheen, and Steve Tom also show up.) Below, watch a trailer in which Maguire narrates a brief history of the family, culminating with the ominous memory of the Morehouse son Winston. Read More »

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Few modern American historical figures are as mysterious and mythical as chess champion Bobby Fischer. The first American, and youngest World Chess Champion, who famously disappeared for several decades, has been the subject of multiple narrative and documentary films.

A new effort has recently moved up on the board. It’s called Pawn Sacrifice and will be directed by Ed Zwick with Tobey Maguire set to play Fischer. Now Peter Sarsgaard and Liev Schreiber have joined the film, which has been gestating for several years with David Fincher once attached to direct. It finally starts filming in October. Read More »

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Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are living in the past. The modern TV “event series” has its roots in, well, Roots, and other mini-series adaptations of popular epic fiction. The late ’70s and early ’80s saw a rash of highly-touted adaptations of historical novels and family sagas, with the runaway success of Roots followed by Jesus of Nazareth, Shogun, The Thorn Birds, The Winds of War, and many more.

The basic format has changed little today — you’ll still see mini-series novel adaptations with a high-profile cast and a budget that outstrips some television. but there’s a way of advertising these events that has changed a little bit.

For their IFC mini-series The Spoils of Babylon, Ferrell and McKay are taking aim at those TV events, and they’ve appropriated the old ’80s ad style to go along with it. Or a comic version of it, at least. I don’t know if this will work on people under 30, but anyone who was watching TV in the late ’70s and early ’80s will chuckle at this spot. (The series features Ferrell, Kristin Wiig, Tobey Maguire, Jessica Alba, Michael Sheen, Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins and Haley Joel Osment, but none of them show up in this teaser, just warning.) Read More »

Amanda Seyfried

In a post-apocalyptic world, one girl believes she’s the last human alive. Then she sees some smoke on the horizon, and a man appears. She and the man fall in love, assuming they’re all that’s left. Then another man emerges. That’s the plot of Robert C. O’Brien‘s ’70s sci-fi novel, Z For Zachariah, which is about to get the big screen treatment.

Directed by Craig Zobel (of the amazing Compliance), produced by Tobey Maguire and adapted by Nissar Modi, Amanda Seyfried will play the young girl, Chiwetel Ejiofor the man she falls in love with and Chris Pine the mysterious stranger. Filming should occur later this Summer. Read More »

‘The Great Gatsby’ Trailer: Party ‘Til You Drop

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Though Fergie‘s contribution to the The Great Gatsby soundtrack insists that “a little party never killed nobody,” anyone who’s read the book will know that’s not exactly how things turn out for Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his pals. But until the consequences come, you can bet they’ll take her suggestion to “dance until we drop.”

While the earlier trailers have played up the tragedy of Gatsby’s tale, the latest one mostly emphasizes the hardcore partying. That means fast cars, fancy boats, sparkling diamonds, glitter by the bucketful, and all the booze one could possibly want. Watch the video after the jump.

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Great Gatsby headerThis short UK trailer for Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby puts the focus on the (possibly) manufactured nature of Gatsby’s life and persona. That was a big part of the last full trailer, too, but here the aim more than ever is to show the personal nature of the conflict between Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton), with Daisy (Carey Mulligan) in the middle.

In addition, a few more posters (yep, one more set, to complement the other two) have come online. Read More »

The Great Gatsby

A week’s worth of new posters have paved the way for The Great Gatsby‘s latest trailer, which shows off quite a bit of new footage. In contrast to the earlier trailers, which played up the heady party atmosphere of the 1920s, this one emphasizes the fiery passions that drive the Baz Luhrmann-directed tale. Specifically, it delves into the mysterious Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), the tragic embodiment of the American Dream.

To complement the shift in focus, the trailer also samples some different tunes from the soundtrack, including a haunting cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” by Beyoncé and André 3000. Check it out after the jump.

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The Great Gatsby

Originally slated for Christmas 2012, Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby is now preparing to make a splash as a summer release this May. It’s been fairly quiet on the marketing front for the past few months, but that’s changing with the new release date just around the corner.

A new series of character posters featuring Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Daisy (Carey Mulligan), Nick (Tobey Maguire), Tom (Joel Edgerton), Myrtle (Isla Fisher), and Jordan (newcomer Elizabeth Debicki) has just hit the web, giving us a glimpse at the troubled characters who populate this glitzy landscape. In addition, two TV spots show off Lurhmann’s ostentatious style. Check ’em all out after the jump.

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The Jane Got a Gun story keeps getting more complicated.

The outline of the story, as we know it, is that the indie western produced by and starring Natalie Portman was set to begin shooting this past Monday, but that Ramsay didn’t turn up to direct on the day. Producer/financier Scott Steindorff spoke out via Deadline, saying he was “shocked” at the director’s behavior. He quickly hired Gavin O’Connor (of Warrior, which also starred Jane Got a Gun cast member Joel Edgerton) as a replacement director. Now Steindorff is looking for an actor to replace Jude Law, who had recently been hired for the film, but dropped out following Ramsay’s departure.

But the bigger story about the film is still in between the lines. Suggestions are emerging that Ramsay had actually quit the weekend prior to production start; if that is the case, then the big statements and assumptions made this week have to be re-evaluated. In the meantime, however, there is a new casting effort to report. Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann‘s adaptation of The Great Gatsby was once set to be released right about now, but the film was pushed off the December 2012 calendar and into a new date in May 2013. By the time the film hits, the first trailer for the film will be a year old.

But now we’ve got a new look at the movie, thanks to a trailer that arrived today. This gives us a much better look at the film, with Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) telling us his history, and further voiceover from Gatsby’s new friend Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) helping to ease us into the story as the circle of characters around the wealthy Gatsby are introduced. All along the way, Luhrmann’s vision of the Roaring Twenties is gloriously huge and dazzling; whether that will work for the story remains to be seen. Read More »