Movie News IAMROGUE.com gives you EXCLUSIVE access to MOVIES, FILM & TELEVISION with an Attitude! View Upcoming Movie Trailers & Clips, Insider TV & Movie News, the BEST Movie Reviews, Interviews and Contests…Join our Film Community! http://www.iamrogue.com Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:03:09 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb First Look: Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Unhappily Married in 'By the Sea' http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12036-first-look-brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-together-in-by-the-sea.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12036-first-look-brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-together-in-by-the-sea.html First Look: Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Unhappily Married in 'By the Sea'

So apparently super-couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are married now, and they've consummated it by starring in a movie together for the first time since Mr. and Mrs. Smith kicked off their relationship a decade ago.

This time, though, Jolie not only co-stars, but she's writing, producing, and directing the whole thing. 

Thanks to a trio of images, we now have our first look at the film, By the Sea, and a much better sense of what it's actually about.

Not coincidentally, the film stars one of the planet's most famous couples as a married couple, albeit a pair whose relationship is coming apart at the seams.  He's a writer, she's a former dancer, and they both acquire a new sense of their relationship thanks to conversations and encounters with locals in a sleepy French seaside village.

Jolie made her directorial debut with the Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey.  Her sophomore effort is this December's Unbroken, a WWII drama based on the life of the late Louis Zamperini.  That one seems destined to be an awards season heavy hitter a few months from now, but she's already got By the Sea in the pipeline for next year.

 "I chose to set By the Sea in the 1970s, not only because it is a colorful and alluring era, but because it removes many of the distractions of contemporary life and allows the focus to remain squarely on the emotions that the characters experience in their journey,” Jolie tells Entertainment Weekly, which debuted these images today.


EW also provides a more thorough breakdown of the story, which is described thusly:

Set in France during the mid-1970s, Jolie plays Vanessa, a former dancer, and Pitt is her husband Roland, an American writer. As they travel the country together, they seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and hotel owner.

Niels Arestrup, who is great in A Prophet (a movie you should see right now if you haven't) plays the bar owner, while Richard Bohringer lends support as the hotel proprietor.

There's no release date for By the Sea, but late next year is a safe bet, since the movie will almost doubtless be positioned for a shot at Oscar glory.

On that note, let's take a moment to appreciate Pitt's brief performance in True Romance:

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Movie News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:41:25 +0000
Ang Lee May Have Finally Found His Next Project: 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12035-ang-lee-may-have-finally-found-his-next-project-billy-lynns-long-halftime-walk.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12035-ang-lee-may-have-finally-found-his-next-project-billy-lynns-long-halftime-walk.html Ang Lee May Have Finally Found His Next Project: 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk'

Not too long ago, Ang Lee won his second directorial Oscar for the tricky novel adaptation Life of Pi.

He's been developing a movie that sounds more like a theme park attraction since then, but it turns out his next movie may instead be Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, another tricky novel adaptation that could be something special.

Generally, audiences have been happier more or less ignoring movies to do with the Iraq War.  In some ways, that's what Ben Fountain's acclaimed novel is all about.  It's sort of an Iraq War movie, but not a moment of it takes place in Iraq.  Instead, it takes place exclusively at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium on during the Thanksgiving game.

It's the mid-2000s and Billy Lynn is a nineteen-year old U.S. soldier, one of eight members of Bravo Squad on a two-day public relations tour after a firefight becomes a mainstay on Fox News.  Before they're shipped back to war, the centerpiece of Bravo's tour finds them as honored guests on one of the NFL's biggest days, even partaking in a halftime show featuring Destiny's Child while also trying to put together a movie deal.

Fountain's novel is funny, insightful, and fiercely satirical.  In the right hands, it could make a hell of a movie.

Film4 and The Ink Factory have the rights to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and apparently they're thinking Ang Lee's hands might be right.  According to The Wrap, Lee is the "frontrunner" to direct.  Since it's unlikely that Lee is, in fact, waiting around for a call, we're thinking that this may mean producers are really hoping Lee will direct.

Since winning his Life of Pi Oscar, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helmer has been cooking up an untitled 3D boxing movie for Universal.  That project involves immersive 3D presentations of historical fights, including the 1975 "Thrilla in Manila" matchup between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.  The director is still on board that one, but Universal has reportedly pumped the brakes over budgetary concerns.

Lee was also on board to direct the pilot episode of the FX series Tyrant, but his awards season Life of Pi promotion left him exhausted.  David Yates took his place overseeing the Tyrant pilot.

Producers are keen on Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk as a potential awards season heavy hitter.  Not too tough to see why, especially since the screenplay is by Simon Beaufoy, who won an Adapted Screenplay Academy Award a few years back on account of Slumdog Millionaire.  The Fully Monty scribe also got a nomination for 127 Hours and, more recently, contributed to the critically acclaimed blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Stay tuned to find out if Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk actually makes it to the screen.


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Movie News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:59:28 +0000
All-Out War in Epic 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I' Theatrical Trailer http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12034-its-all-out-war-in-epic-the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-i-theatrical-trailer.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12034-its-all-out-war-in-epic-the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-i-theatrical-trailer.html All-Out War in Epic 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I' Theatrical Trailer

The full theatrical trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I makes it abundantly clear that this is no longer a game.

This time, the trailer basically declares, Katniss Everdeen is fighting an actual war.

The word "epic" gets tosses around these days, quite frequently to describe things are in absolutely no way epic whatsoever.  This look at the penultimate chapter in the Hunger Games franchise promises that Mockingjay is going to be epic.

After two consecutive survival competitions, Katniss is now preparing for battle as District 13 harnesses Panem's unrest and takes the fight directly to the tyrannical Capitol.  Having become the primary symbol of the rebellious spirit, Katniss finds herself leveraging her political importance in an attempt to rescue Peeta Mellark from the clutches of President Snow.

There's a whole lot of really big action in this theatrical trailer.  A lot of stuff blows up, cities are leveled, a damn breaks, and Katniss slickly uses a single arrow to bring down a Capitol airship. 

It's stirring stuff that clearly communicates how high the stakes have been raised, but almost more promising is the way both Katniss and Peeta continue to be used as public relations pawns.  No matter how many airships Katniss explodes, the real war in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is still in the hearts and minds of Panem's citizenry.

Just last week, the final Mockingjay - Part I poster debuted, showing Jennifer Lawrence ready for war in front of a flaming mockingjay symbol.  The week before that, a companion poster primed the hype pump with Katniss's quiver.

Obviously, this is once again Lawrence's movie, but it looks like Liam Hemsworth finally gets something to do as Gale Hawthorne.  Josh Hutcherson, meanwhile, makes like a damsel in distress as Peeta awaits rescue from our indomitable heroine.

The sequel also sees the return of Sam Claflin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Jena Malone, Toby Jones, Willow Shields, and Donald SutherlandJulianne Moore joins the party in the biggest new role, President Alma Coin, the leader of District 13 who attempts to manipulate Katniss not entirely unlike her despotic counterpart President Snow.

“It’s a very confusing, conflicted, complicated time for Katniss,” director Francis Lawrence explained last month.  “Having gone through the games one more time and having lost Peeta and having been run through the wringer, she’s even more damaged. So you find her in a more agitated place. She’s distraught, confused, angry.”

We'll experience her conflict in theaters on November 21st. 

Of course, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I is only half of the final story, partially adapting the final novel in Suzanne Collins's bestselling trilogy.  Keeping with the approach that proved so profitable for Harry Potter and the vampires of Forks, Washington, Lionsgate is slicing the last book in two, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II concluding the series in November 2015.


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Movie News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:46:56 +0000
Funny 'Batman v Superman' Picture, Plus Ben Affleck Discusses Bat-Rage http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12033-funny-batman-v-superman-picture-plus-affleck-talks-bat-rage.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12033-funny-batman-v-superman-picture-plus-affleck-talks-bat-rage.html Funny 'Batman v Superman' Picture, Plus Ben Affleck Discusses Bat-Rage

Based on his social media output, it seems like Zack Snyder is a funnier fellow than his movies imply.

His take on Superman was very, very serious, and there are rumors afoot that Warner Bros. has an actual "no jokes" rule for its nascent DC Cinematic Universe, but Snyder just keeps tweeting out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pictures with a sense of humor.

Snyder started dropping pictures that tickle the internet's nerd bone during Comic-Con, when he revealed an image Henry Cavill as a Super-Jedi. 

Since then, he's shared some more Star Wars mashup images from the Detroit, Michigan set of the Justice League prequel, which pits Cavill against Ben Affleck's Batman and even introduces Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth.

Last week brought our best look at the new Batmobile featured in Batman v Superman, since somebody just left the damn thing right out on the street and unofficial photos naturally followed.  The director responded by unveiling a slick official image of the Dark Knight's latest ride, this one made by the General Motors Advanced Design Studio.

Now Snyder has combined his love of Star Wars-inflected pictures and Batmobile pictures, tweeting the below image of a stormtrooper who took Batman's car for a joyride.  Snyder's caption read simply "Case closed."  See, it's a joke.


Pictured: Batman's car.  Not pictured: Batman.

Not since Michael Keaton signed up to star in Tim Burton's Batman have fans groused as vocally about Bat-casting as they have about Ben Affleck donning the cape and cowl.

We'll see how his growl sounds when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits on March 25, 2016.   For the time being, though, Affleck's talking about his approach to the character.

Affleck is a likable guy, one who doesn't seem to have a lot of anger issues, but he tells The Sunday Times that rage is an indispensable part of Batman. 

"I think it's a necessity, historically, in the tradition of these films," he says.

"For me, anger is so deeply buried and contained that when it does kind of come out, it comes out in stronger bursts. I tend to be respectful, polite, get along, put up with, put up with, put up with... then, when it finally emerges, it's not something I have a ton of control over. I'm not gonna go into a Wolverine berserker rage," he continues. "That is an interesting thing that you point out. That's my personality... By the way, that's a character flaw, I think. I should sit down and say, 'Listen, I just want to let you know what happened there wasn't OK', instead of going, let it go, let it go, let it go ... 'Ah, that's not a big deal,' until finally you just pop!”


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Movie News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:13:02 +0000
'Dracula Untold' Clip & Mega-TV Spot: Luke Evans Makes Like a Monster http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12032-dracula-untold-clip-mega-tv-spot-luke-evans-makes-like-a-monster.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12032-dracula-untold-clip-mega-tv-spot-luke-evans-makes-like-a-monster.html 'Dracula Untold' Clip & Mega-TV Spot: Luke Evans Makes Like a Monster

For more than a century, Count Dracula has been synonymous with villainy.  Regal, erotically charged, shapeshifting, bloodsucking evil.

Next month's Dracula Untold hinges on a pretty simple concept: What if Dracula isn't such a bad guy?

What if the most famous vampire ever conjured only ever got into the vampirism game because he's such a good guy?  What if his road to villainy was paved with the very best intentions?

Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman in two out of three The Hobbit movies, Jason Statham's doomed bro in Furious 6) stars as a noble Transylvanian prince in this prequel to Bram Stoker's famous 1897 novel.  He's a lover of peace and a devoted family man, so much so that he forfeits his love of the former for the latter, inadvertently kicking off a war just to protect his son.  With an unbeatable force marching on his homeland to pay him back for insolently saving his little wiener kid from the medieval draft, saintly Prince Vlad must make a devil's bargain.

He makes that bargain with Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister on Game of Thrones, the bad guy in Last Action Hero), a monster who lives in a cave atop a really steep cliff.

The first Dracula Untold clip comes from Metro and it has both Evans and Dance in a confrontation that allows Dance to go maximum-gravitas.  It's a good introduction to the movie, since Vlad spells out pretty clearly his Batman Begins-style rationale for selling his soul.  The clip is followed by an extended TV spot that makes it clear Dracula Untold is also a big splashy action picture complete with Dracula laying waste to thousands of soldiers.


Dracula Untold has a pretty sharp supporting cast, too, one that includes Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis), Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger), and Samantha Barks (Les Miserables).  And Charlie Cox, currently playing Matt Murdock on the Marvel Studios Daredevil Netflix series, also appears in the origin story.

Originally, Avatar star Sam Worthington was set to star in Dracula Untold, but when he dropped out, Universal and Legendary enlisted Evans, an actor right on the cusp of big-time stardom.

The film marks the feature directorial debut of Gary Shore, who previously oversaw The Draft, a short film in the style of a 1950s creature feature.

This vampire origin story come from Universal and Legendary.  Universal is eager to create a Marvel-style shared cinematic universe for its stable of classic monsters, which of course includes the Bela Lugosi Dracula Since Alex Kurtzman's contemporary The Mummy seems to be the launching pad for that universe, Dracula Untold probably isn't part of the deal, but still, don't be too surprised if Evans ends up appearing in more Dracula movies down the line.

The movie opens on regular-sized and jumbo-sized IMAX screens on October 10th.


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Movie News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:42:46 +0000
B.O. Roundup, September 12-14: 'No Good Deed' Defeats 'Dolphin Tale 2' http://www.iamrogue.com/news/box-office/item/12030-bo-roundup-september-12-14-no-good-deed-defeats-dolphin-tale-2.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/box-office/item/12030-bo-roundup-september-12-14-no-good-deed-defeats-dolphin-tale-2.html B.O. Roundup, September 12-14: 'No Good Deed' Defeats 'Dolphin Tale 2'

Home invasion proved more popular than a heartwarming animal story at the box office.

No Good Deed debuted in first place this weekend by a considerable margin, outpacing fellow new release Dolphin Tale 2.

Elsewhere in the top ten, a crime drama opened in limited release while Marvel's latest blockbuster continued busting blocks, crossing a big box office milestone.

The summer movie season closed with a whimper.  Last weekend was, in fact, the quietest in several years.  This frame was still nothing stellar, but saw a brief uptick thanks largely to No Good Deed, which stars Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson as an escaped convict and the mother he's terrorizing in a taut, straightforward thriller.

The easily-sold setup and stars with increasingly devoted fan followings opened on 2,175 screens in North America and earned an estimated $24.5 million.

No Good Deed's debut is about on par with 2009's Obsessed, another thriller starring Elba that debuted to the tune of $28.6 million.  That earlier film also co-starred Beyonce, though.  Taraji P. Henson is an Oscar-nominated thespian, but Queen Be is is probably a bigger draw.  Comparisons aside, No Good Deed is the first new release since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to open with more than $20 million.  And it did so without being screened for critics; Screen Gems said this was to keep a lid on spoilers but the 12% RT® score suggests otherwise.

No Good Deed enjoyed strong business from female moviegoers, but Dolphin Tale 2 was aiming right for families.  According to current estimates, the feel-good sequel opened to $16.5 million from 3,656 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

That's down about 14% from the $19.1 million debut of the first Dolphin Tale back in September 2011.  Diminished returns still tend to be the rule among non-event movie sequels, however, so the slip downwards isn't exactly a huge surprise.  Here's the funny thing in comparing the two: the actual audience is pretty much the same between Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, but the first got a little boost from 3D ticket sales.

Guardians of the Galaxy dropped down to third place for the first time, adding an estimated $8.0 million to its domestic total.  Speaking of which, the slick space movie's Stateside haul now totals $305.9 million.  Last weekend it became the biggest film of 2014 so far, now it's the first movie since Frozen to cross the $300 million mark domestically.  With another $305.6 internationally, Guardians has now tallied up $611.5 million worldwide.

Let's talk limited releases. 

The Drop, which includes the late James Gandolfini's final screen performance, opened in just 809 theaters, but it still cracked the top ten at sixth place, bringing in an estimated $4.2 million.  The well-reviewed crime drama starring Tom Hardy and Gandolfini will expand to several hundred more theaters next week.

Then there's The Skeleton Twins, a drama-comedy starring national treasures Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.  Playing at just 16 theaters, The Skeleton Twins earned an estimated $411,000 for an outstanding per-theater average of $27,400.  That bodes well for next week's expansion and the eventual wide release on September 26th.

Check out the top ten movies in America for the weekend of September 12th to 14th:

1. No Good Deed...........................................................$24.5 million..............New Release

2. Dolphin Tale 2............................................................$16.5 million..............New Release

3. Guardians of the Galaxy...........................................$8.0 million...............$305.9 million

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...................................$4.8 million...............$181.0 million

5. Let's Be Cops.............................................................$4.3 million...............$72.9 million

6. The Drop....................................................................$4.2 million...............New Release

7. If I Stay.......................................................................$4.0 million...............$44.9 million

8. The November Man...................................................$2.7 million...............$22.4 million

9. The Giver....................................................................$2.6 million...............$41.3 million

10. The Hundred-Foot Journey....................................$2.4 million...............$49.4 million

Your local multiplex gets a whole lot more crowded this Friday. 

Due in theaters nationwide are four wildly different new movies: dystopia YA adaptation The Maze Runner, Liam Neeson crime-drama-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones, all-star vanilla drama-comedy This Is Where I Leave You, and even Kevin Smith's Tusk, a film about a guy turning another guy into a walrus.


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Box Office Sun, 14 Sep 2014 20:36:33 +0000
'Daredevil' Showrunner Promises "Grounded, Gritty" and "Morally Grey" Marvel Series http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12029-daredevil-showrunner-promises-morally-grey-marvel-series.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12029-daredevil-showrunner-promises-morally-grey-marvel-series.html 'Daredevil' Showrunner Promises

Marvel is expected to show off a first look at the Daredevil streaming series next month.

Executive producer Steven S. DeKnight isn't waiting for New York Comic-Con to share his thoughts on the show, which he says stars a hero who "has no qualms about beating the hell out of somebody."

Matt Murdock got his own movie at 20th Century Fox more than a decade back, but now Marvel has the rights to the character back, and they're reintroducing Hell's Kitchen's finest blind lawyer/vigilante via a thirteen-episode season. 

Production has been going down in New York throughout the summer, with Charlie Cox (Stardust) starring as DD, Deborah Ann Woll (HBO's True Blood) as Karen Page, Vincent D'Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket) as Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, and Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I) as Foggy Nelson.

Drew Goddard was originally set to serve as showrunner, but when his obligation to Sony's Sinister Six forced him to exit, DeKnight took his place.  Like Goddard, DeKnight was a writer on Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and went on to the spinoff Angel.  He created the Starz Spartacus series, which featured no small amount of violence and nudity.

"Netflix has been fantastic. They are phenomenally supportive of the creatives. How much freedom will I have? This is a bit of a different scenario because it’s a Marvel property," DeKnight tells Paste. "Once you have an IP like that, there are restrictions that you have to accept. I’m fine with that, I totally understand. I’ll push it as far as I can, of course, but I also respect the fact that this character has been around for decades. Overall I’ve been surprised at how willing everyone is to take a really fresh look and really push what we’re doing."

So don't expect any Spartacus-style full frontal nudity or arterial spray on Daredevil.  But what of DeKnight's overall approach? 

"With this version of Daredevil, we wanted it to be grounded, gritty, as realistic as we could portray," DeKnight declares.

"That naturally fits in with the Daredevil character. Matt Murdock, on a regular basis, would get the shit beat out of him. That's one thing that makes him a great character. He's not super strong. He's not invulnerable. In every aspect, he's a man that's just pushed himself to the limits, he just has senses that are better than a normal humans. He is human. The other thing that really drew me to this character is that he's one of the most morally grey of the heroes... He's a lawyer by day, and he's taken this oath. But every night he breaks that oath, and goes out and does very violent things."

Recently, Mark Waid's tremendous run has proved that Daredevil doesn't need to be grim and gritty to work, but Marvel's cluster of Netflix series are meant to be more street-level.  It's not surprising, then, that like the 2003 movie, the show is taking inspiration from none other than Frank Miller.

"The image that always stuck in my mind was the Frank Miller Elektra run where he's holding Bullseye over the street and he lets Bullseye go because he doesn't want Bullseye to ever kill anyone again," says DeKnight. "When I read that originally, when I was young, I'd never seen anything like that in comics. Superman scoops up the villain and puts them in jail. This time the hero didn’t do that. It was a morally grey ground that I found absolutely fascinating. There are two sides to this character. He's literally one bad day away from becoming the The Punisher!"

"Daredevil has no qualms about beating the hell out of somebody. He’s not going to tie them up with his webs! He’ll come close to killing somebody," he says. "And it’s that fine edge—Why doesn’t he go all the way? I really liked the flawed heroes, the human heroes."

Daredevil is the first of four Marvel-Netflix series.  The first season will be followed by thirteen episode-runs of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist.  Then, in a steaming TV version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first phase, they'll all join up for an ensemble miniseries titled The Defenders.

"How that all fits together, and whether or not there will be a second season of this show—or if it will fold into the others—are questions nobody really has answers to yet," DeKnight says.

"I can say we’ve been talking about some very cool stuff for Season Two that, good God, I can’t even hint at," he concludes. "It’s something that would be just fantastic to work on!"

Check back on October 10th for word on Daredevil, as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from New York Comic-Con.

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Movie News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 22:23:50 +0000
IAR INTERVIEW: Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Talk 'The Skeleton Twins' http://www.iamrogue.com/news/interviews/item/12028-iar-interview-bill-hader-and-kristen-wiig-talk-the-skeleton-twins.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/interviews/item/12028-iar-interview-bill-hader-and-kristen-wiig-talk-the-skeleton-twins.html IAR INTERVIEW: Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Talk 'The Skeleton Twins'

The Skeleton Twins is a hard movie to peg to just one genre.

On the one hand, the critically acclaimed film stars two of America's funniest comedic actors and has moments of genuine humor.  On the other, it deals with weighty issues like depression, infidelity, and suicide.

So which is it, a comedy or a drama?

"As long as they do not call it just a comedy, and as long as they do not call it just a drama," Kristen Wiig said in a roundtable interview promoting The Skeleton Twins, which opens in theaters September 12th.

"As long as they do not call it shit," quipped Bill Hader. "That’s good."

Both Hader and Wiig are basically national treasures.  Two of the most talented performers ever to grace Saturday Night Live, they've proven their cinematic chops in movies such as Bridesmaids and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs; they even played husband and wife in Adventureland.

With The Skeleton Twins, both actors demonstrate a dramatic range that neither had the opportunity to show prior.  In the film, Hader plays Milo, twin brother to Wiig's Maggie.  The two haven't spoken in a decade, but after Milo attempts to kill, himself, the formerly close twins are reunited, slowly reconnecting and discovering that they may just be able to help each other repair their lives.


Hader routinely turns up in outstanding supporting performances, but here he takes center stage for the first time as Milo, who happens to have the same sexual orientation as his most famous SNL character, the bizarre New York club kid Stefon.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick asked Hader if he was conscious of steering Milo away from any similarities to Stefon, an outsized comedic figure.  "Actually that’s funny. That never came up when we were making the movie very much. Actually, we had the premiere at Sundance and someone brought it up and we thought, 'Oh yeah, I’m famous for playing another gay guy.' But no, I was very specific with this guy," replied Hader.

"What I liked about the script that these guys wrote is that Milo being gay was not his issue or his problem. He had these other issues that he was dealing with. But he’s a gay guy," he continued. "When I read the script that was one of the first things I talked about, which was how much I appreciated that. That’s the thing with Stefon too. The joke wasn’t that he was gay. The joke was that he’s bad at his job."

Wiig similarly praised the specificity of the screenplay by Mark Heyman and writer-director Craig Johnson, saying, "Reading what these guys wrote, you knew exactly who they were. A lot of times you do have to ask a lot of questions about where a character is coming from in a certain situation, and I just felt like I knew both of these characters, and specifically for me, Maggie, so well. It was in the script. It was all there."

In fact, the script was so specific that even ringers like Wiig and Hader didn't feel any imperative to improvise, goosing the material with off-the-cuff funny business. "So much of it was on the page," said Wiig.


"We will give them credit, they wrote a really amazing script that was again, going back to this balance was so tonally that you didn't want to mess with it, you go one way or another, this thing is so nicely drawn," Hader said on the subject of improv. "But the scene when we were on nitrous, we improvised on that. That was the one improvise."

The relative lack of riffing is in keeping with the delicate tonal balance of The Skeleton Twins.  "It’s such a hard tone, and it’s a real testament to these guys and Jenny Lee, the editor, that they were able to get this tone in the movie that is really, really difficult," said Hader. "You go one way just a little too much and you lose the audience – too funny, too sad. And we shot a lot of stuff that was really funny, but it was too funny, and we shot some stuff that was just too sad."

Both Milo and Maggie grapple with at times debilitating depression.  "It is touchy subject and it is hard to generalize and it kind of depends on the individual and with this movie we kind of had to approach it from where these people were coming from," Wiig explained.

"I had a friend who was clinically depressed in high school and committed suicide. But I think these characters it is different, it is a little bit more of they are having a hard time forgiving themselves, and its more of a cry for help," said Hader. "And also when you have a parent commit suicide, you know their father committed suicide, now that is like an option that’s on the table. These people are having a really hard time grappling with who they are, that is just like an option now. I think its two different things, I don't think it's the same thing as being clinically depressed."

Wiig and Hader go way back thanks to Saturday Night Live; both performers joined the comedy institution in the fall of 2005. 


Asked if their longtime friendship aided her performance, Wiig replied, "It absolutely helped. Bill and I’ve been friends for now, I just realized, almost ten years. To have someone there that you’re really close to, especially someone that’s supposed to play your sibling, and to do some of those more difficult scenes as well as the comedic scenes, to know each other the way that we do, and I think that we know how the other person works and reacts, it just made it so much easier to do our own jobs. It was also great for me to watch what Bill did in this movie."

"That was the thing Kristen did, there was a scene, we get in a big argument at the end of the movie in a backyard. When she came out, I had never seen her in our life, our friendship, I’d never seen her that angry," recalled Hader. "So if it was any other actor, it wouldn’t have been the same. But with her coming out, I was just legitimately reacting to her. So it was a gift that she was in the movie."

Between them, Wiig and Hader are two of the most acclaimed and sought-after comedic actors working today, but they each remain humble and gracious.

"I mean when you are trying to be an actor you don’t ever think that you’re going to end up here. I feel so lucky," said Wiig. "I started at the Groundlings doing little shows in backyards and garages and stuff. You hope that you can make a living doing something like this but it’s always a surprise. You never expect it. I feel very lucky."

"Never in my wildest dreams, it’s the same thing," Hader agreed. "I actually did shows in backyards too. You call your friends and say, will you come? It’ll be really good but you have to bring your own beer. We will not provide food. I’m very sorry and you need to be very quiet because there are no microphones. If the cops break it up it’s your problem man."

The Skeleton Twins opens in select cities this Friday, September 12th.


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Interviews Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:46:03 +0000
Theo James Starring in 'Underworld 5' Without Kate Beckinsale http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12027-theo-james-starring-in-underworld-5-without-kate-beckinsale.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12027-theo-james-starring-in-underworld-5-without-kate-beckinsale.html Theo James Starring in 'Underworld 5' Without Kate Beckinsale

Okay, so the fifth Underworld is not, in fact, a reboot.

That doesn't that Kate Beckinsale will be back to squeeze off infinite rounds and wear the hell out of a black leather catsuit, though.  Nope, Beckinsale is out and the future of the Underworld series belongs instead to Theo James.

Previously best known as the scumbagging Turkish diplomat who dropped dead in Lady Mary's bed during the first series of Downton Abbey, James is the male lead in the Divergent franchise, in which he plays taciturn Four to Shailene Woodley's heroic Tris.  James recently wrapped up the sequel, Insurgent, and has two more entries Allegiant Parts I & II on the way after that.

The 2012 sequel Underworld: Awakening introduced James as David, a vampiric ally to Beckinsale's Selene.

Now James is returning to Underworld.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, David will be the central figure in Underworld 5, with the strapping British actor starring alongside two as-yet uncast female leads.

Just a few weeks ago, we heard word that the Underworld series would continue without Beckinsale, whose Selene has led three our of the four previous installments.  At the time, this fifth entry was described as a reboot, implying it would start from scratch.  Now, though, it's clear that Underworld 5 is actually a sequel, albeit one that rejiggers the franchise formula a bit.  Isn't it about time we all settle on what really constitutes a "reboot" and what is still a "sequel?"

Anyways, Selene made her death-dealing debut in 2003's Underworld then showed up in the 2006 sequel, both directed by Beckinsale's husband, Len Wiseman.  She sat out the third installment, the 2009 prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which swapped in Rhona Mitra, another beautiful dark-haired British actress, as the female vampire lead.

Legion and The Last Witch Hunter scribe Cory Goodman is writing the Underworld 5 screenplay, with Lakeshore Entertainment's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi producing the next chapter in the vampire-lycan feud.

Stay tuned for more information on Underworld 5, including the casting of those two female leads who will share the spotlight with Theo James.

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Movie News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:08:29 +0000
First Look: Matthew McConaughey in Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea of Trees' http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12026-first-look-matthew-mcconaughey-in-gus-van-sants-the-sea-of-trees.html http://www.iamrogue.com/news/movie-news/item/12026-first-look-matthew-mcconaughey-in-gus-van-sants-the-sea-of-trees.html First Look: Matthew McConaughey in Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea of Trees'

The first look at The Sea of Trees allows you to go on a walk in the woods with Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe.

Unfortunately, you'll be strolling through the Aokigahara forest in Japan, one of the world's most popular suicide locations.

McConaughey is, of course, on fire these days.  Coming off the hot streak that culminated in his Academy Award for Dallas Buyers Club, he next stars in Christopher Nolan's scifi epic Interstellar.  In this drama, though, he plays Arthur, a man lost in an existential funk who goes to the forest at the foot of Mount Fuji seeking philosophical answers.  There, he encounters a Japanese man (the great Watanabe) looking to take his own life.

Obviously, this is heavy stuff, not necessarily too distant from the tone of True Detective, the HBO series starring McConaughey. 

“They are very different projects and characters yet they are both poetic,” McConaughey tells Entertainment Weekly, which debuted the first image. “I say another title for this film is ‘You’ve got to go through annihilation to get to salvation’. It’s one hell of a survival story.”

The Sea of Trees is the latest from Gus Van Sant, the two-time Oscar nominee who directed Milk, Good Will Hunting, Elephant, My Own Private Idaho, Gerry, and Drugstore Cowboy.

“Gus is a wonderful voyeur and a really gentle soul of a man," says the actor. "He’s got the right sensibility for a film like this. He listens and considers any ideas that I throw at him and I undeniably trust the direction he gives me. He’s a lot of fun to create with.”


Sounds like The Sea of Trees is more of the arthouse Van Sant than the crowd-pleasing drama Van Sant.  The screenplay is by Chris Sparling, who is best known for the single-location horror movies Buried and ATM.

While the film is something of a two-hander between McConaughey and the criminally underappreciated Watanabe, the cast also includes Naomi Watts and Katie Aselton.

Production on The Sea of Trees encompasses both Japan and rural Massachusetts.  Shooting is still underway and while a release date is a long way off, we're expecting the film to debut next fall or winter so as to be a part of next year's awards season scrabble.

"Everyone is going to leave the theater and have their own walk and talk through the parking lot to muse about its meanings, what it was about and what it wasn’t, what was real and what was a dream," McConaughey promises of this fascinating drama.

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Movie News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:34:49 +0000