Movie News 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! Sun, 26 Oct 2014 01:37:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Damn, the Cast of Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Keeps Getting Cooler Damn, the Cast of Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Keeps Getting Cooler

Ridley Scott's next movie, the Old Testament epic Exodus: Gods and Kings hits theaters December.

Around IAR HQ, however, we're excited about his next-next movie, The Martian, which keeps sounding better and better thanks to a cast that just keeps getting more and more impressive.

The latest additions are the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who finally started getting the attention he deserves last year on account of his starring role in 12 Years a Slave.

Cap's former sidekick and the Oscar nominee join a supporting cast that already includes Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Michael Pena (Fury), Kristen Wiig (The Skeleton Twins), Sean Bean (HBO's Game of Thrones), Jeff Daniels (Dumb & Dumber To), Kate Mara (Netflix's House of Cards), Donald Glover (NBC's Community), Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment).

That's the supporting cast, but The Martian is really Matt Damon's movie.  Damon stars as a Mark Watney, a slyly funny and endlessly resourceful astronaut who ends up rock-marooned on Mars during a routine visit in the near future. 

Superficially, the movie star as an astronaut in peril invites comparison to Gravity, but The Martian is a different animal altogether.  It's based on the e-book turned hardcover bestseller by Andy Weir, a book that's a Robinson Crusoe survival tale of a man against the elements and the odds where Gravity is a vertiginous rollercoaster.

Sir Ridley is preparing to kick off production next month. Until a few months ago, Drew Goddard was set to write and direct, but his obligation to Sony's Sinister Six Spider-Man spinoff caused him to remove his butt from the director's seat.  The adapted screenplay by the writer-director of The Cabin in the Woods is still in place for The Martian, which is produced by Fox's go-to comic book universe builder Simon Kinberg.

“This is one of those movies that’s had a blessed life,” Kinberg tells Entertainment Weekly. “Every actor is doing it for significantly less than their normal fee. It’s a real labor of love.”

Ejiofor, who was one of the many, many actors who almost starred in Star Wars: Episode VII, will play Venkat Kapoor, the Earthbound director of NASA's Mars operation, according to Deadline.  Erstwhile Ned Stark Bean, meanwhile, is lending support as the mission's flight director.

The roles played by Stan, Chastain, Wiig, Mara, Daniels, Glover, and Davis are still mysterious.  Though The Martian is undoubtedly Watney's show, there's no shortage of solid roles among the terrestrial NASA nerdlingers and the crew who accidentally left Watney on Mars, hyper-professional astronauts who all grapple with their guilt aboard the Hermes, a spacecraft rocketing them home, farther and farther away from their compatriot.

Ejiofor's involvement has us wondering about those rumors that he may play the bad guy in Bond 24.  The Skyfall follow-up from director Sam Mendes is also set to shoot this winter, and since Ejiofor's involvement was far from official, his casting in The Martian may mean somebody else is going up against Daniel Craig in his next 007 adventure.

The Martian is set to open on November 25, 2015.

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:16:26 +0000
Jesse Eisenberg in Talks to Bring Lex Luthor to 'Suicide Squad' Jesse Eisenberg in Talks to Bring Lex Luthor to 'Suicide Squad'

Superman's archnemesis may very well be part of David Ayer's "Dirty Dozen with supervillains."

Jesse Eisenberg is reportedly in talks to join Suicide Squad as Lex Luthor, who will be introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

As per the six-year master plan Warner Bros. announced for its DC Comics properties last week, Suicide Squad is set to follow Batman v Superman by about four months.  Zack Snyder's Dawn of Justice sets up a greater DC universe in theaters on March 25, 2016, but up until now it hasn't actually been clear if Suicide Squad, due on August 5, 2016, will take place in that shared continuity.

Apparently the connection will be quite clear, because Deadline reports that discussions between Eisenberg and Warner Bros. are taking place.

Suicide Squad has yet to lock down a single castmember, but the studio is aggressively courting Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Tom Hardy, all of whom are said to be this close to committing to star. Obviously, Smith would bring a whole lot of movie star cachet to Suicide Squad

Eisenberg could bring something even more critical, clearly announcing the movie as part of the Snyderverse Warners is so bullish on building over the next several years.  Lex Luthor will be the only real heavy hitter of an established villain, since Supes snapped Zod's neck (spoiler) in Man of Steel.  And if audiences grok to Eisenberg's take on the iconic bad guy, then Suicide Squad can only benefit from the Oscar-nominated actor's participation.

That doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen. 

Eisenberg's pretty busy for the foreseeable future, as he's set to return for Now You See Me 2 and star in Todd Phillips's Arms and the Dudes, shooting on which coincides pretty closely with Suicide Squad.

Luthor has never been a part of the comic book team, but he would fit in quite nicely.  Suicide Squad, occasionally known as Task Force X, is a team of a convicted supervillains given a shot at redemption by participating in dangerous top-secret missions that are extremely likely to get them all killed.

“I can say that it’s a Dirty Dozen with supervillains," writer-director David Ayer said just this week. "Then I can ask the question, ‘Does a movie really need good guys?’”

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:11:17 +0000
Awards Season Begins: 'Boyhood' Leads Gotham Award Nominees Awards Season Begins: 'Boyhood' Leads Gotham Award Nominees

This year's Gotham Award nominations position Boyhood as a favorite in the nascent awards season.

There's a lot of time left before the Academy Awards in February.

Most of this year's prestige pictures and Oscar-fodder have yet to be strategically released and promoted through huge behind the scenes awards campaigns, but already – even before the annual candy gorging of Halloween – we can hear the faint bugle call of awards season.  In the coming months, the interminable song pomp, circumstance, and self-congratulation will grow louder and louder. 

But for now, it's all just starting, as evidenced by the announcement of nominees for this year's Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Overall the Gotham Awards tend to favor independent movies rather than the more middle-of-the-road fare that wins big at the Oscars.  In the last two years, for example, Inside Llewyn Davis and Moonrise Kingdom won for Best Feature.

This year, Boyhood leads the Best Feature nominees, which also include Birdman, Love Is Strange, Under the Skin, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, and Ethan Hawke all received nominations for their performances in the film, shot over the course of twelve years.

Also notable among the acting nominations is the Best Actress nod for Gugu Mbatha-Raw on account of her powerhouse performance in Beyond the Lights, coming to theaters November 15th thanks to Relativity Media.

The Gotham Award winners will be announced in just over a month, on December 1st

So check back in December, but for now, feel free to browse the 2014 Gotham Award nominees:

Best Feature

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers (IFC Films)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Love Is Strange

Ira Sachs, director; Lucas Joaquin, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer, director; Nick Wechsler, James Wilson, producers (A24 Films)

Best Documentary


Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Robert Greene, producers (The Cinema Guild)


Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)

Life Itself

Steve James, director; Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch, producers (Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films)


Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, directors; Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, producers (The Cinema Guild)

Point and Shoot

Marshall Curry, director; Marshall Curry, Elizabeth Martin, Matthew Van Dyke, producers (The Orchard and American Documentary / POV)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Kino Lorber)

James Ward Byrkit for Coherence (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Eliza Hittman for It Felt Like Love (Variance Films)

Justin Simien for Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Best Actor*

Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year (A24 Films)

Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Miles Teller in Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

* The 2014 Best Actor nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble performance in Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics).

Best Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)

Julianne Moore in Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin (A24 Films)

Mia Wasikowska in Tracks (The Weinstein Company)

Breakthrough Actor

Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Macon Blair in Blue Ruin (RADiUS)

Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Joey King in Wish I Was Here (Focus Features)

Jenny Slate in Obvious Child (A24 Films)

Tessa Thompson in Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:34:25 +0000
Martin Scorsese to Jam Out with The Grateful Dead Documentary Martin Scorsese to Jam Out with The Grateful Dead Documentary

Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Grateful Dead's formation in 1965.

To celebrate the occasion, one of the most influential bands of the 20th century is getting one hell of an anniversary present: a huge official documentary executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese's no stranger to the world of music.  He recently directed the documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, as well as the Rolling Stones IMAX concert movie Shine a Light.  About a decade ago, he directed the outstanding Bob Dylan: No Direction Home for PBS's American Masters series.  And he's currently working on an untitled HBO project with Wolf of Wall Street writer Terence Winter chronicling the New York rock and roll scene in the 1970s.

And now he's lending his imprimatur to this as-yet untitled Grateful Dead doc following the band's formation in Palo Alto, its folksy roots, its associations with psychedelic drug movement, and everything in between.  Amir Bar-Lev, who proved his chops with the excellent propaganda-dissection The Tillman Story and the Penn State scandal examination Happy Valley, is directing the Grateful Dead doc.

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band.  They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans.  I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved,” said Scorsese in the official announcement included in full below.

The documentary is fully authorized by the band, so it's likely to shy away from some of the darker elements of the Dead's history. 

According to Deadline, this documentary will incorporate, "never-before-seen footage of performances and backstage stuff involving the band, as well as new interviews with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir, as well as many other characters and pranksters from the Dead universe."

Around here at IAR HQ, we're big fans of The Grateful Dead, and, obviously, big fans of Martin Scorsese, so this documentary sounds like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  By which we mean to say two great tastes that taste great together.

Check out the full press release:

LOS ANGELES – The Grateful Dead are proud to announce their first official career-spanning documentary to coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary celebration. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley,” “The Tillman Story”) will direct the as yet untitled documentary. Alex Blavatnik is financing through his AOMA Sunshine Films. Eric Eisner (“Hamlet 2”), Nicholas Koskoff, and Justin Kreutzmann will serve as producers.  Executive Producers are Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Andrew Heller, Sanford Heller, and Rick Yorn. Longtime Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will serve as the film’s music supervisor.

This monumental documentary will meld a cornucopia of never before seen performance footage, vintage interviews, and other candid moments unearthed from the Grateful Dead’s vast vaults along with newly captured conversations with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir, as well as many other characters and pranksters from the Dead universe.

“Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years. With our 50th Anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves and Amir is the perfect guy to help us do it. Needless to say, we are humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them,” said surviving members Hart, Kreutzmann, Lesh, and Weir in a joint statement.

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band.  They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans.  I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved,” says Scorsese.

“It’s been ten years since I first set out to make a film about the Grateful Dead and I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening,” says Bar-Lev.

“I am ecstatic that this project was able to come together and look forward to finding the perfect distribution home for the film,” says Eisner.

Production entities partnering on the project are Double E Pictures, Axis Films, and Sikelia Productions, Inc.

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:58:59 +0000
Fairy Tale Sing-Along: 'Into the Woods' Featurette and Images of the All-Star Cast Fairy Tale Sing-Along: 'Into the Woods' Featurette and Images of the All-Star Cast

Disney is priming the hype-pump for a deluge of Into the Woods promotion.

Earlier this week, a magazine cover revealed Johnny Depp in his supporting role as the Big Bad Wolf, now we've got a pretty detailed behind-the-scenes featurette that gives a first listen to some musical numbers in the Broadway adaptation.

That's not all, either, as a bumper crop of official images provide new looks at the ridiculously stacked cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Lucy Punch, Lilla Crawford, and Daniel Huttlestone.

Described as "a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales," Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay by Tony Award winner James Lapine based on his popular stage musical.  Like the play, the movie boasts music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, who also contributed an all-new song to Into the Woods.

In order to shift the song "On the Steps of the Palace" from a flashback to the story's present, Sondheim rewrote the lyrics. ''I felt lucky and terrified that Sondheim was handing me new lyrics,'' Kendrick, who plays Cinderella, tells Entertainment Weekly. ''I felt, like, Oh my God, he's making history and I get to be here watching him change his own work for a movie adaptation.''

Depp, who reunites with his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director, took inspiration from Tex Avery cartoons for his zoot suit-sporting riff on the Big Bad Wolf. ''Rob Marshall wasn't afraid to let me take the role to a level of heightened reality, almost cartoon-like, where one second the Wolf is here, and then, boom, suddenly he's over there,' says Depp.

And Pine was eager to do a bit of a revisionist take on his Prince Charming, saying, ''I sat in the makeup chair, and we started playing around with hairstyles,'' said the actor. ''I said, 'What if he had this weird Elvis pompadour, always coiffed and absurdly too big?'' There's something laughable about him. He's very gallant, but you just want him to also be, like, a douche.''

This extended featurette is here for your viewing pleasure thanks to Comic Book Movie.

Man, the movie could really go either way.  Will it be a fun revisionist fairy tale musical or a self-indulgent bunch of nonsense?  Either way, we've been spared Depp and Marshall's remake of The Thin Man, and for that we're grateful.

Into the Woods is scheduled to open nationwide on December 25th.

Here's the official synopsis, followed by five brand new images by way of EW:

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:23:08 +0000
Warner Bros. Seeking a Female Director to Helm 2017's 'Wonder Woman' Warner Bros. Seeking a Female Director to Helm 2017's 'Wonder Woman'

When Warner Bros. backed up a dumptruck of DC movie plans onto the internet's front lawn last week, the studio announced a Wonder Woman solo movie for release between Suicide Squad and Justice League: Part One.

Yes, if all goes according to the studio's plan, the first ever live-action Wonder Woman movie will hit theaters on June 23, 2017.

Gal Gadot is already set to star as the Amazonian ass-kicker, but Wonder Woman is in need of a director, and Warner Bros. is looking to enlist a women to direct the biggest superheroine around.

Comic book blockbusters starring female heroes have been in notoriously short supply.  Actually, there have been virtually none since Catwoman whiffed big time a decade ago.  Similarly, there aren't many female directors playing in the big budget studio sandbox.  Of the fourteen completed and upcoming Marvel Studios movies, for example, not a single one has been directed by a woman, though Patty Jenkins was briefly set to direct Thor: The Dark World.

Diana of Themyscira is making her cinematic debut in a male-led super-movie directed by a man, Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, hitting theaters on March 25, 2016.

Warner Bros. is eager to find a lady director to oversee Wonder Woman, however, and according to Forbes, the studio's shortlist includes Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, inaugural Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke, film-to-TV director Mimi Leder, musical specialist Julie Taymor, and Karyn Kusama, who went from Girlfight to Aeon Flux to Jennifer's Body.

Bigelow, who most recently directed awards season favorites Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker, almost certainly isn't interested in Wonder Woman.  She started out with genre fare like Near Dark and Point Break, but she's currently the biggest female director in the business, and her potential projects are all hard-hitting, intense dramas based on true stories.

Hardwicke, an accomplished production designer, got hosed by Summit after launching the Twilight franchise, and went on to direct Red Riding Hood.  Leder, meanwhile, was a go-to action director in the late-nineties, delivering Deep Impact and The Peacekeeper before segueing into TV, where she most recently directed and produced on HBO's The Leftovers.  And there's Taymor, the Across the Universe and The Tempest helmer who recently had a lot of trouble bringing Spider-Man to Broadway.

That's not all, either, as the studio's shortlist is also said to include television heavy hitters Tricia Brock and Michelle MacLaren.  Brock has directed episodes of The Walking Dead, Suburgatory, and Person of Interest.  MacLaren, who we're guessing is the most likely candidate to direct Wonder Woman, was indispensable as a producer and director on Breaking Bad before taking her talents to Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and The Leftovers.

Which of these ladies will be the first woman to direct a comic book movie since Lexi Alexander handled the little-noticed Punisher: War Zone?

Stay tuned to find out.  Right now, our money is on MacLaren, but a lot can and almost certainly will change between now and the announcement of a Wonder Woman director.

As for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a teaser trailer is on the way in the next seven to eight weeks, probably attached to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, according to Forbes.  That's a really, really long lead-up to the March 2016 release date, but since it's a movie pitting Batman against Superman, it's probably worth WB's time building long term hype.

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:48:41 +0000
James Spader Declares 'Avengers' Villain Ultron "Batshit Crazy" James Spader Declares 'Avengers' Villain Ultron

Holy hell, did you see that Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer?

The villain introduces himself promising to show us "something beautiful: everyone screaming...for mercy!" so obviously he's a bit of a maniac.

According to James Spader, who voices the heaviest heavy Earth's Mightiest heroes have yet faced, Ultron is straight-up "psychopathic."

So far, Marvel Studios has lived and died on its superheroes.  By and large, the villains in these cross-pollinating franchises have been less memorable and compelling than the heroes they're battling.  Tom Hiddleston's magnificently arch yet vulnerable Loki is the exception that proves the rule.  Even when Marvel's cinematic bad guys have been fun, they haven't exactly always been threatening.

With the wrath of Ultron, writer-director Joss Whedon is bent on changing that.  The trailer points to the Avengers really meeting their match against a chillingly inhuman mech-monster who doesn't mind killing humans by the kajillions.

Ultron clearly has a Pinocchio complex – he quotes "I've got no strings," after all – but he also has some daddy issues as well.  His father figure is rock and roll superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr., obviously), who creates the A.I. to oversee the Iron Legion, a global drone force designed to keep the worldwide peace.

"In many ways he's a child, this character, because he's a brand new being who's just come to be," Spader tells Total Film. "And yet, through artificial intelligence, he has an incredible capacity for knowledge. So he's a very powerful, smart child.”

Spader compares the CGI bad guy to Raymond "Red" Reddington, the mysterious genius he plays on NBC's The Blackist, saying, "Ultron takes abrupt turns in scenes. Red isn't pyschopathic but Ultron is. Yes, he is psychopathic. He's really batshit crazy!”

Part of what surprised audiences about The Avengers was its nimble, witty sense of humor.  Whedon's fans weren't so surprised, and at this point, it's actually expected that even a bad guy as bad as Ultron will know his way around a one-liner.

"There's a humerous aspect to him," Spader says of Ultron. "Which is something that drew me in from the very first conversation I had with Joss.”

A courtly gentleman if ever there was one, Spader heaps his director with praise, saying, "Besides being just a lovely person, his directions are very precise."

Avengers: Age of Ultron is still a ways off.  The climactic installment in Marvel's Phase Two opens in 2D and 3D on May 1, 2015.

Marvel fans won't have long to wait for the kickoff to Phase Three: Ant-Man introduces Paul Rudd as a size-shifting hero on July 17, 2015.  Then Iron Man and Cap (Steve Rogers) square off in Captain America 3 aka Civil War aka Fallen Son on May 6, 2016.

That's looking to the far future...For now, we're content pondering the possibilities of James Spader playing a "batshit crazy" robot.  Will Ultron manage to do the impossible, usurping that son of a bitch Steff in Pretty in Pink?

Movie News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:10:34 +0000
IAR INTERVIEW: Shailene Woodley Talks 'White Bird in a Blizzard' IAR INTERVIEW: Shailene Woodley Talks 'White Bird in a Blizzard'

With this Friday's White Bird in a Blizzard, Shailene Woodley continues her year of exceptional performances in films based on novels.

The acclaimed young actress kicked off 2014 in blockbuster fashion starring in Divergent, the first in a series of franchise pictures based on a bestselling series.  Over the summer, she stuck the landing playing as in the adaptation of the enormously popular The Fault in Our Stars.

White Bird in a Blizzard is adapted from the book of the same name by Laura Kasischke, but it steps away from the Young Adult tone of both Woodley's other 2014 efforts.

She stars as Kat Connor, a teen experiencing a sexual awakening in 1988, just as her beautiful mother, frustrated by her daughter's blossoming and years in a loveless marriage, suddenly disappears without a trace.  As Kat attempts to track down her vivacious mom, she juggles her repressed father, her hunky but dim boyfriend, and the detective investigating her missing mother.

It's the latest from acclaimed indie auteur Gregg Araki.  With Woodley maintaining the film's center, White Bird in a Blizzard also stars Eva Green (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Christopher Meloni (Man of Steel), Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead remake), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), and Thomas Jane (The Mist).

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the White Bird in a Blizzard press conference in Los Angeles, speaking with Shailene Woodley about stardom, how she chooses a project, the awkwardness of onscreen intimacy, nudity, playing Kat, and the themes of White Bird in a Blizzard.

Since her breakout film role in The Descendants, the erstwhile star of The Secret Life of the American Teenager has seen her star rise consistently, but the young actress isn't daunted by her nascent stardom.

"I do not have any social media, and I do interact with people in that way," she said.  "People who I have met are always very generous and kind. I do not really have any crazy fan stories."

While many actors on the rise follow a rigorous plan and carefully cultivate an exacting image, Woodley's choices reflect a more eclectic sensibility.  In fact, her filmography is so varied that it's natural to wonder just what attracts her to a role.

"It is sort of an instinctual decision. When I read a script, I look at butterflies or I do not," she said.

"There is obviously lots of factors that go into choosing a project, whether it is a director I want to work with or a screenplay that just affects me on such a deep level or certain actors," Woodley continued. "But at the end of the day for me, no matter how much I might love the director and love someone’s body of work, if the screenplay is not there or does not elicit a certain physical response or a physical passion to do something, then I probably will not do the film. But never say never. You never know."

From The Doom Generation to Mysterious Skin to Kaboom, Araki's work invariably deals with sexuality, particularly the experience of young people waking up to their complex feelings.  In White Bird in a Blizzard, Kat's nascent sexuality is at the forefront and after the relatively chaste onscreen relationship of The Fault in Our Stars, one scene in particular could prove surprising to audiences.

"The thing about intimate scenes in movies is that it is not like it is a sexy environment or that you are really heated in the moment. It is a sort of very clinical action. I really loved that scene," said Woodley. "When I first read the script, that was one of the butterfly moments because you do not ever see that unfold. I think that is something that some young people do. I definitely think it is something a lot of young people think about.

"Every time we did it, it was a little bit different," she said of a sequence she shares with Thomas Jane as Detective Scieziesciez. "I love that scene."

"To prepare for a scene like that, you just have to learn your lines, show up and see what happens. There is not really a lot of preparation. Thomas Jane is so good, and he is so fun to work with because he is very much in the moment," Woodley explained. "Thomas was very much in his body and very natural in his movements. I love the fact that it is creepy, but you kind of love it. You feel weird watching it, but it is kind of intriguing. I love that because there is something so unique about that. You do not often see that in cinema."

"I felt like it was very truthful. I felt like it lent itself to this movie. It was not exploitative," she said.

As for appearing nude onscreen for the first time, Woodley said that White Bird in a Blizzard's verisimilitude made a decisive difference, explaining, "There is something that bothers me about seeing people have intimate scenes in films and the woman has clothes on and full makeup and the man has boxers. That is just not how it works. Intimacy is a natural part of being a human being. Especially when you are young, you are exploring that part of yourself for the first time."

"I think that a lot of young films that have young people in it, do not often explore that factor because of various reasons," she said. "But I do love Gregg’s films in that way because they are truthful and daring, especially this one."

Any risque material in the film is a reflection of character, Woodley said. "Kat, even though she is an adolescent, is extremely mature and strong and confident in a way you do not see in coming of age films. I think part of that lends itself to the fact that her parents were not emotionally available for her when she was a child so she had to age herself quickly and realized that for her own survival she had to be her own parent," the actress explained.

"As we evolve and as we grow, the things that you suppress always seem to find you. I thought it was interesting, the juxtaposition of a teenager having so much anger and disrespect for her parents in a way and really tried to be someone else that they were not. When you see her at the university, you realize that she is subconsciously becoming her mother and subconsciously has her father’s traits. That is something we often do. The things we try to run away from wind up running towards us," Woodley concluded.

White Bird in a Blizzard opens in select cities Friday, October 24th.

Interviews Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:45:11 +0000
Spooktacular 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Teaser Trailer Returns to the Further Spooktacular 'Insidious: Chapter 3' Teaser Trailer Returns to the Further

New family, new address, same unspeakable horror.

The first teaser trailer for next year's Insidious: Chapter 3 has landed online, introducing the players who will venture into the nightmarish realm of The Further in this prequel.

The first two movies followed the Lamberts, a family played by Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Ty Simpkins.  In 2011, the first movie found the young couple's comatose son playing host to malevolent spirits from a world known as The Further.  The 2013 sequel found the Lamberts realizing that their connection to this realm was stronger than they ever expected.

Insidious: Chapter 3 doubles back to before the Lamberts' paranormal troubles, picking up with a teenage girl targeted by an unhinged demonic presence.

It's a kinda-sorta origin story for Elise Rainer, the psychic who helped the Lamberts in the first two movies.  Lin Shaye reprises her role as Elise, who here agrees to assist a supernaturally vulnerable family for the first time. Angus Sampson and Leigh Whannell also return in their supporting roles as Tucker and Specs, featured in both previous installments.

Stefanie Scott plays the teen with Dermot Mulroney as her caring, maybe a bit overprotective father. 

Whannell isn't just playing Specs.  The series screenwriter is putting on his director pants for the first time, writing and directing Insidious: Chapter 3.

A decade ago, he and creative partner James Wan created a franchise with 2004's Saw, which Whannell starred in and wrote from a story the duo cooked up together. 

After the spooky ventriloquist tale Dead Silence and revenge thriller Death Sentence, Whannell and Wan struck gold on Insidious.  Made cheaply, the old-fashioned ghost story made damn near $100 million, generating a whole lot of profit.

With Wan busy finishing up Fast & Furious 7 then hopping straight to work on The Conjuring 2, Whannell gets to step up on Insidious: Chapter 3.  Based on this trailer, the Australian filmmaker knows his way around the Further, offering up plenty of spookiness and that one big jump scare deep into the teaser.

Insidious: Chapter 3 is scheduled to open in theaters nationwide on May 29, 2015.

Movie News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:09:02 +0000
Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christan Bale is Starring in the Steve Jobs Biopic Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christan Bale is Starring in the Steve Jobs Biopic

Christian Bale has played plenty of venerated figures, from Jesus to Batman to Bob Dylan to Moses.

He's tackling a messianic modern tech figurehead too, as he has signed on to star as Steve Jobs in the as-yet untitled Jobs movie directed by Danny Boyle.

For a while, Sony's Jobs biopic was set to be a big Social Network reunion, with David Fincher set to direct a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin with Scott Rudin producing.  One of the Gone Girl helmer's stipulations for directing was that Oscar-winner Bale would play Jobs.

When Fincher said sayonora to the project, though, Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire auteur Boyle replaced him in the director's chair.  Boyle had his sights set on Leonardo DiCaprio to star as the Apple co-founder, who died three years ago.

After Bale's negotiations with Fox to star in The Deep Blue Goodbye broke down this month, word emerged that the actor was circling back to the Jobs project.

Now, no less a source than Sorkin himself has confirmed that Bale, who next plays Moses in Exodus, is indeed playing the beloved late billionaire.

"What we needed was the best actor. It's like the NFL draft. There are some people who make a science [out of it]. We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale," Sorkin tells Bloomberg News.

"I couldn't be more excited. He really is a phenomenal actor. He didn't have to audition. There was a meeting. The role is an extremely difficult role. He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined," the writer continues. "There isn't a word or frame that he's not in. There's a tremendous amount of language. It’s an extremely difficult part and he is gonna crush it."

Since two consecutive awards season favorites with 2008's Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, Boyle kept busy with the 2012 London Olympics and last year's trippy British thriller Trance starring James McAvoy.  Boyle is a very, very different filmmaker than Fincher.  His caffeinated, whipped up style can be found in the aforementioned movies or his classic Trainspotting adaptation.  For (relatively) subdued Boyle, there are the likes of Sunshine and Millions.

Boyle has directed plenty of theater, but he has never worked with Sorkin before.  Though technically based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling Steve Jobs biography, Sorkin's script has an unusual structure for a film like this. "I hope I don't get killed by the studio for giving too much away,” Sorkin told The Daily Beast back in 2012, “but this entire movie is going to be three scenes, and three scenes only, that all take place in real time.”

"There will be no time cuts. Each of these three scenes is going to take place before a product launch—backstage before a product launch. The first one being the Mac, the second one being NeXT (after he had left Apple), and the third one being the iPod."

Movie News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:47:33 +0000