Opening in theaters on July 13th is a new thriller from Buried director Rodrigo Cortes entitled Red Lights. The film stars an all-star cast that includes Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins), Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House), Joely Richardson (Anonymous), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger), three-time Academy Award-nominee Sigourney Weaver (Aliens), and two-time Academy Award-winner Robert de Niro (Raging Bull).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with writer/director Rodrigo Cortes and actor Cillian Murphy to talk about their work on Red Lights. The two men discussed the new film, research they did into the paranormal, whether or not they are believers themselves, and working with legendary actors Sigourney Weaver and Robert de Niro.
NOTE: This video also includes a special introduction to the trailer by iconic actress Sigourney Weaver.
A quartet of character posters from Red Lights have emerged online, putting the thriller's impeccable cast front and center. Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, and Elizabeth Olsen each get their own poster, each featuring a cautionary phrase imposed over their faces, including the advice, "Don't trust your eyes" and the heads-up, "Your brain lies to you." Good to know.
After graduating from USC Film School, Screenwriter John Orloff spent the first ten years of his career working in advertising on various TV commercials but it wasn’t until he met an HBO executive, now his wife, that his writing career really took off. Frustrated with the below average scripts that had been submitted to her for work, Orloff’s wife recommended he write his own screenplay about a subject that he was obsessed with: the Shakespeare authorship issue. Orloff completed the script and it was sent to Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, but they were ultimately not interested in making the project. Instead, they asked the writer if he would be interested in penning a few episodes for their proposed HBO miniseries about World War II, which of course went on to be the Emmy award-winning Band of Brothers. Orloff would go on to write an adaptation of Mariane Pearl’s memoir A Mighty Heart, which was made into a film starring Angelina Jolie, as well as adapting the fantasy book series "Guardians of Ga’Hoole" into the animated 3-D film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole directed by Zack Snyder. But the writer never gave up his passion for the Shakespeare authorship film and after years of development his dream project, now titled Anonymous, has finally made it to the big screen and was released in theaters on Friday, October 28th.
The movie, which was directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day), revolves around the life of Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) who the film credits as being the true author of Shakespeare’s plays. However, the bulk of the story focuses on the succession to Queen Elizabeth I, played at different points in the film by both Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson, who are real-life mother and daughter. While the royal drama unfolds, we find out Edward’s true relationship to the Queen and why he is forbidden to write any prose. In order to have his plays published, Edward seeks out a poet named Ben Johnson and enlists him to disguise the work as his own. Confidant that he will write a great play of his own someday, Johnson refuses and allows a sleazy actor named William Shakespeare to take all the credit. The plays become a huge success of course, but as the political drama of the royal court heats up, the true origin of the literature becomes in question and begins to threaten England and the crown.
I recently had a chance to discuss Anonymous with screenwriter John Orloff, who will next be adapting the classic TV series Battlestar Galactica into a film for director Bryan Singer. The writer spoke freely with me about the new film, the origin of the idea, his passion for it, collaborating with director Roland Emmerich on the script, casting mother and daughter as the Queen, the authorship issue, and the controversy behind the new film.
Opening in theaters on October 28th is the new historical political thriller from Independence Day director Roland Emmerich called Anonymous. The film takes an exciting look at the legendary works of William Shakespeare and poses the question: who is the true author of his plays? Anonymous features an excellent cast of actors that includes Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave (Mission: Impossible), Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man), Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Xavier Samuel (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Sebastian Armesto (Bright Star), Rafe Spall (Shaun of the Dead), and Sir Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech).
IAR's very own Heather Newgen recently had a chance to sit down in New York with actors Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson, as well as director Roland Emmerich to discuss their work on Anonymous. The director and two actors spoke honestly about the new film, it's mysterious tone, the controversy that it has caused, its historic characters, and the choice to cast both Richardson and her real-life mother Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I.
Last week, we shared a gaggle of images showing Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in director David Fincher's take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Those official stills demonstrate Fincher's unconventionally artful and exceedingly distinctive approach to selling the film, putting these two characters front and center in evocative, meticulously created visuals. A new batch of pictures has arrived online today, and Craig appears in only one as journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Instead, this set is focused on Mara as Lisbeth Salander, and rightly so.
While Blomkvist has plenty to do in the story, the American printing of Stieg Larsson's novel posited Salander as the title character for a reason. She's the big draw, the character who makes the greatest impression, and the one on whose shoulders the whole endeavor lives or dies. This new take on the novel could get a lot wrong, so long as it gets Lisbeth right. Fincher, in his inimitable style, is going for broke with Lisbeth, and her look certainly makes a big impact, amply conveying the extent to which she does not give a shit what anybody thinks of her.
The first trailer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the American take on Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson's hugely popular novel, was like a kick to the solar plexus, a visceral scream of promotion that could very well induce epileptic fits. In that trailer, release way back in June, the title character Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara, was almost like bigfoot, appearing only fleetingly. A new, almost four-minute long extended trailer for David Fincher's take on the material, however, kicks off with Mara's Salander and gives a thorough idea of her approach to the character. Basically, she seems thoroughly badass, undoubtedly brilliant, and borderline autistic.
It also establishes Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist whose investigation into the wealthy Vanger family eventually teams him with Salander and leads to no end of trouble for both characters. Representing the Vangers is Christopher Plummer, being every shade of ominous. All of this set to what promises to be a great sophomore score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the Oscar winning duo who composed the accompaniment to Fincher's The Social Network.
So far, the marketing for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has been every shade of striking. Not that it really needs to be, since the novel by Stieg Larsson is the biggest mainstream publishing success since that book about Da Vinci's code, and even those who haven't read the book are naturally curious about David Fincher's follow-up to The Social Network. Still, if Sony's going to keep creating uniformly excellent trailers and posters, that's fine by me. The latest is a piece of promotional artwork that obscures Daniel Craig's famous face with the silhouette of titular dragon-tattooed girl Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara.
The unknown and mysterious is, pretty much without exception, way scarier than the known and explicit. This makes it somewhat odd that the trailers for so, so many thrillers and horror films rely on heaping helpings of exposition, would-be jump scares, and an excess of assaultive quick-cuts. By comparison, the first teaser trailer for Red Lights is refreshingly simple and ominous. It consists of a few title cards and one creeping shot crawling towards the back of Robert De Niro, then finishes with a clean, intriguing little surprise regarding his character.
It's a simple trailer that creates an aura of mystery around De Niro as Simon Silver, a world-famous psychic who may be a fraud but also might just be the real deal, with his finger on some serious goings-on. The film is written and directed by Rodrigo Cortes, the Spanish director who made an impressive debut last year with Buried, which took place almost exclusively in a simple box underground as Ryan Reynolds' character was, as the title suggests, buried alive.
Director David Fincher has always given his films a very specific look, and even though the dank, grimy settings that are so associated with his work don't show up in a film like The Social Network, it seems Fincher will always have a place in his heart dark, unclean locales. Sony has released three crystal clear new images from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, based on the international bestseller and all around literary phenomenon by the late Stieg Larsson, and one of them shows a vintage Fincher environment.
The second still has Daniel Craig striking a pose in a location that looks straight out of Alien 3, Fincher's first feature (which he disowned due to studio interference). The first one has Craig and Christopher Plummer in a suitably dark spot, while the last features Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander looking like a living embodiment of the director's methodically assaultive style.
You know what more movie posters could use? Pierced nipples. To prove this point, this international poster for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo features Rooney Mara as the eponymous inked female with one pierced nipple fully on display. It's virtually the same poster as the previous French one-sheet, but with the crucial difference that Mara's anatomy is in no way obscured. Daniel Craig is again backing her up, and this time we have an English translation of the film's tagline.