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! Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 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 dystopian series.  Over the summer, she stuck the landing playing Hazel 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
'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Goes Big for One Final Poster 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Goes Big for One Final Poster

One last poster pulls out all the stops to show how epically epic this epic conclusion to an epic trilogy The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is going to be.

Thanks to financial documents filed in New Zealand, where Peter Jackson has created a mini-filmmaking industry, we now know how much The Hobbit actually cost.  Or close enough.

The production cost of the trilogy, not counting the final eight months of post-production on The Battle of the Five Armies, stands at a whopping $745 million in US currency, according to the AP.  That makes the trilogy the most expensive production on the books, though no single entry stands as the most expensive movie ever made, a dubious title that nobody wants to claim (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is generally thought to be the costliest movie at about $300 million).

Luckily for Warner Bros., the two The Hobbit movies have grossed $1.98 billion worldwide.  And the studio is going out of the way to make sure that the final Hobbit caps off the trilogy in profitable fashion.

Part of the marketing effort has included a deluge of posters.  We've seen one of Bilbo, another featuring Gandalf, and then a plethora of supporting characters.  And now the final one-sheet reminds us that Smaug was on a warpath when The Desolation of Smaug suddenly ended on a cliffhanger. 

Peter Jackson is firming up the idea that this is the Return of the King of the Hobbit trilogy, enlisting erstwhile Pippin Took Billy Boyd to sing an outro song over the end credits of this surprise third movie in what was initially filmed as a two-parter.

Expect a full theatrical trailer in the near future, because The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is due in 2D, 3D, IMAX 3D, and high framerate 3D this December 17th.

Here's the official synopsis:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

Movie News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:06:17 +0000
First 'Avengers 2' Trailer and Poster Tease a Dark, Ominous 'Age of Ultron' First 'Avengers 2' Trailer and Poster Tease a Dark, Ominous 'Age of Ultron'
The first teaser trailer and poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron arrived online tonight way ahead of schedule.

With The Avengers, Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios put together Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

If this trailer is any indication, then Age of Ultron is going to be all about tearing them apart.  

The trailer is plenty ominous and dark, promising that the Avengers are going to be pushed to their very limits and perhaps beyond.   Black Widow even says at one point that nothing lasts forever, making it clear that they heyday of this super-organization has already passed.  

The heavy hitters aren't necessarily facing their biggest challenge yet all that gracefully, either; the team looks plenty fractious and feisty this time around, with Thor even hoisting puny mortal Tony Stark by his throat.

Since S.H.I.E.L.D. went up in smoke during Captain America: The Winter Soldeir, the Avengers are now the top lawdogs on the planet, and they're getting a little worn out from all the world-policing.  So in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Stark executes an ambitious plan to build a global Iron Legion of super-drones.  To run the operation, he creates Ultron, a wholly unique artificial intelligence designed to keep the world safe.  Except Ultron figures that protecting Earth means wiping out humanity, staring with our Avengers.

A recurring complaint about Marvel is that, with the exception of Loki, the MCU lacks villains on the level of its heroes.  James Spader's magnificently villainous Ultron looks like he's going to change that, representing an unprecedented physical and mental threat.  He owns this teaser trailer.

This humdinger of a teaser was originally meant to debut during next week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but after a leaked, lo-res version leaked online this evening, Marvel went ahead and pulled the trigger on big trailer event.  And they even added the teaser poster included below, showing an Ultronned-out Avengers logo.

It's the wide world's first look at footage from the sequel.  The trailer, an abbreviated package of the hype-stoking footage shown at Comic-Con over the summer, effectively declares that Avengers: Age of Ultron is bigger and darker than its predecessor, boasting higher stakes.  Not that it's a depressing slog.  There is, after all, a knock-down-drag-out between Hulk and Iron Man sporting Hulkbuster armor.

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, obviously, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.

Don Cheadle makes the jump from one franchise to another thanks to an appearance as Rhodey, while Paul Bettany makes the jump from vocal to physical performer as Vision.

Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson join the MCU as super powered siblings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.  Andy Serkis, who also contributed substantially to the sequel's motion-capture repertoire, appears in the flesh as well.

Avengers: Age of Ultron finishes of Marvel's Phase 2 in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Movie News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:25:12 +0000
IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Stormare Talks 'Autumn Blood,' 'The BIg Lebowski 2' and 'The Blacklist' IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Stormare Talks 'Autumn Blood,' 'The BIg Lebowski 2' and 'The Blacklist'

Swedish born actor Peter Stormare has become one of the most popular supporting actors working in Hollywood today. 

Stormare first gained attention for his role in the Coen Brothers classic Fargo, and has gone on to appear in such successful films as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Armageddon, The Big Lebowski, Minority Report, Constantine, Pain & Gain, and 22 Jump Street. He is also known for his work on television playing mob boss John Abruzzi on Prison Break, and most recently appearing as main antagonist Berlin on The Blacklist. But now Stormare returns to the big screen with his new film Autumn Blood, which is available on DVD beginning October 14th. 

In Autumn Blood, a widowed mother dies and leaves her two children orphaned. Fearing being split up they keep their mother's death a secret. They survive until villagers destroy their innocence when they brutally assault the girl. Now the siblings must come of age to protect each other and survive. The film was co-written and directed by Markus Blunder, and in addition to Stormare, also stars Sophie Lowe (Adore), Maxmilian Harnisch (TV’s Fast Forward), and Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back). 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Peter Stormare about his work on Autumn Blood, as well as his recurring role on The Blacklist, and a possible sequel to The Big Lebowski. The veteran actor discussed his new film Autumn Blood, why he wanted to be in the movie, how he’s different than most actors, appearing in a film with very little dialogue, what he told Steven Spielberg would make Minority Report better, possibly returning for The Big Lebowski 2, and his recurring role on The Blacklist

Here is what Peter Stormare had to say about Autumn Blood, The Big Lebowski 2, and The Blacklist:

IAR: To begin with, at this point in your career, what are you looking for when you are choosing projects and what was it about Autumn Blood that made you want to make this film?

Peter Stormare: First of all, I like Western movies. I thought it was a Western movie. I was thinking first it was going to be in Austria up in the Alps, but then I decided to go with an American accent. I thought, Jesus, this guy is crazy. It was a really cool script, and director Markus Blunder is very enticing. It was a really good cast. Sometimes those elements and not necessarily money are the most important thing. I am a simple human being. I have one house. I have one car. That is enough. I use my bicycle mostly in West Hollywood. I am not in this business to make a lot of money. But I make money better than most people maybe. My philosophy has always been to do what my heart tells me to do. I am dabbling in music. I am writing and producing. I am helping younger people now to get their projects off the ground by being in small independent movies and taking no salary. I know some actors are just doing one movie a year and try to get as much money as they can. I have always wanted to do eight projects a year and go out and do some fun things with my time.

Your philosophy on show business is very interesting and also impressive. But you often work on various projects with a lot of very famous movie stars who may have a different outlook on their careers than you do. Does that ever become a conflict for you when you are working with other actors?

Stormare: Well, it is really complicated. There are just very different people here on Earth. Some people are so happy to get a TV show for X amount of years. I like to do TV, but I hate to be tied up with a big network telling me exactly what to do in my life. I do not mind doing TV only if I am there for a couple of episodes. You might be making some money, but you have no life and it is quite humiliating in the long run.

There is not a lot of dialogue in Autumn Blood. As an actor, is it more challenging or more freeing to be in a film with very little dialogue?

Stormare: I think in most movies, especially American movies, they talk too much. I have never met an actor who actually cuts his lines. Usually actors come in and say that they want more. I think it is much better if I cut lines out. It becomes more enigmatic and more core to the character. I have cut entire pages, and not just my part. I usually read the whole script too, which is sometimes amazing for some directors. If the director is Steven Spielberg I can say, I have read the script. The ending is very strange when it is happening this way. Are you happy with the ending? Would it be better if you did something like this? Sometimes they go crazy, and sometimes not. Eight out of ten directors take it into consideration. Do you remember the movie I did where I was an eye doctor?

Are you talking about Minority Report?

Stormare: Yes, Minority Report! I told him that he was missing the point. You should have a scene in the end of the movie where Tom Cruise comes back to me and only has one eye left. He would knock on the door and say, “Doctor, please help me to put this eye back. I want to see the world with my old eye. I know I have a new one, but I can block it out with a patch.” I would open the door and say, who are you looking for? You have got the wrong room. Get the fuck out of here. Afterwards when the movie opened, Mr. Spielberg said, “You were right. We should have shot that scene. That would be so cool if that was the ending.” It is kind of a rewarding thing to hear that.

There have been some rumors lately that the Coen Brothers are planning to make a sequel to The Big Lebowski. Have they talked to you about returning for the new film?

Stormare: Absolutely. Whatever they are up to, I am there. They have a couple of other projects coming up in the future that they want me for. They are very unique. They are old-timers, and actors seem to love working with old-timers because old-timers are prepped. They are so prepped. For some directors there is no preparation at all. It is very hard for an actor because you do the same action twenty times, and they just change the camera. Today we have a saying, “Even the blind can find a golden nugget.”

Finally, you currently have a pivotal recurring role on The Blacklist. Have you enjoyed working on that series and will you be returning again before the end of the season?

Stormare: James Spader and I like each other. We met a couple of years ago, and we have always wanted to work together, but it never happened. Now we have! I am in a couple more episodes this season. I am shooting another episode next week. I do not know what they are going to do with my character. It is TV. They have six or seven different scenarios, and I don’t know what direction they will go in. I do not envy the writers because they are really kicked from both sides all the time. They try to come up with the best solution, and sometimes they have to do rewrites over night. TV is a gruesome business. But there is a great revolution that has happened on TV. A lot of talent is moving in because the line between TV and movies is slowly evaporating. That is a cool thing to be a part of. It is like being part of The Beatles revolution. 

Peter, it was great talking to you. Thank you for your time.

Stormare: Thank you, Jami. By the way, I love your website. It’s a very cool website.

Thanks, man! I really appreciate that. 

Stormare: Thank you, Jami.

Autumn Blood will be available on DVD beginning October 14th. 

The Blacklist airs Monday nights on NBC.

The Big Lebowski 2 is currently in development. 

Interviews Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:48:17 +0000
Emotional 'Mockingjay' TV Spot and Images Hype the Penultimate 'Hunger Games' Emotional 'Mockingjay' TV Spot and Images Hype the Penultimate 'Hunger Games'

A new TV spot for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I really swings for the fences emotionally.

Some new stills from the upcoming sequel, meanwhile, remind us how big a change of pace Mockingjay represents for the four-film series.

The stakes have been life or death for Katniss Everdeen pretty much from the jump.  After surviving two consecutive Hunger Games as a Tribute, though, Jennifer Lawrence's resourceful heroine has gone from the frying pan to the fire.  Instead of a televised survival competition, Katniss is now facing full-blown civil war as tensions escalate across Panem.

A recent tease took Katniss home to the ruins of District 12, her home, which was blown to smithereens offscreen as a consequence of the events in The Hunger Games: Catching FireThe first TV spot then underlined Everdeen's new circumstances within the Resistance, a revolutionary force based out of the until-now-secret District 13.

This second TV spot alludes to Katniss's love triangle: she's reunited with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), but dark horse Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is still in the Capitol, being tortured and coerced into being a propaganda mouthpiece for President Snow (Donald Sutherland). 

The spot mostly emphasizes Katniss's symbolic importance to the revolution and the war effort, a public image responsibility much greater than in the past, where her concern was mostly staying alive.  Now, she's responsible for the lives of pretty much everybody taking up arms against the Capitol, since they were galvanized by her selflessness in the first place.

In addition to the TV spot, Lionsgate has rolled out several official images from within the Resistance.  The pictures include a new look at Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy and Mahershala Ali as Boggs, a big new player in the rebellion.

There's also a picture from behind the scenes of the film, which hits theaters nationwide November 21st.  This image shows returning director Francis Lawrence chopping it up with four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, who joins the series as President Alma Coin, the leader of the Resistance.

Coin is a bigger player in the movie than the books, Lawrence explained recently, saying, “What’s interesting is although she’s a huge character in Mockingjay the book, there’s actually very little of her in it. There’s more of her in this than in the book and because of that, there’s some development.”

“Instead of changing the plot and changing characters what we did was have the opportunity to show scenes that could have been happening at different times in the book,” said the director. “For us it’s world expansion instead of changing things. I think it’s exciting for the fan to see certain things. So we’ve been able to open the world up in this and see some new places. We get to see some new districts this time and the scope gets quite large.”

Movie News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:25:34 +0000
Justice League: Ray Fisher Had No Idea He'd be Starring in a 'Cyborg' Solo Movie Justice League: Ray Fisher Had No Idea He'd be Starring in a 'Cyborg' Solo Movie

Now that Warner Bros. has announced its huge DC plans for the next six years, all the actors who've spent months keeping the cat in the bag can now speak far more freely about playing neon gods in Justice League and beyond.

This week, Jason Momoa finally opened up about playing Aquaman in the team-up and his own solo movie.

Now it's Ray Fisher's turn to share his thoughts on the cinematic debut of Cyborg in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, slugging it out alongside the Leaguers in two movies, and how surprised he was to discover the plan for a solo Cyborg adventure.

Word of Fisher's casting as Victor Stone first broke back in April, but for six months Warner Bros. didn't comment one way or another on its plans.  When chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara laid out the studio's entire DC slate from now through 2020, however, he announced Cyborg for April 3, 2020, wedged between Justice League: Part Two in June 2019 and the Green Lantern reboot in June 2020.

27-year-old virtual unknown Fisher was as surprised by the plan for Cyborg as anyone else, telling Entertainment Weekly, “I didn’t know the extent to which DC and WB had planned on taking my character.  When I signed on, I just wanted to be part of this world.  But that specific information, I found out then and there.  I didn’t think I’d be getting my own stand-alone film.”

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is actually set to be Fisher's feature film debut.  So how does an actor with zero film credits snag a major superhero role in multiple movies?  Well, Fisher's an acclaimed stage actor.  His Broadway turn as Muhammad Ali in the play Fetch Clay, Make Man, brought him to the attention of Ang Lee when the director was putting together his 3D boxing movie (the one that has taken a back seat to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk).

“Once we were in previews, Ang Lee came to see the show. One of his next projects is a 3-D boxing movie about Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.  So he’s scouting for people to play Ali in this film," Fisher explains.  "Ang and I meet to talk about his ideas for the project and it’s all very interesting.  Waiting to see where everything goes with that.”

His meetings with Lee led to a flurry of interest in Fisher for high profile parts; he even tested for a big role in Star Wars: Episode VII.

“I’m a long-game player and didn’t see any of this happening until at least my 40s," he says. "It’s a huge honor, but a bit of pressure comes along with it.  My mind is just boggled right now.”

Fisher actually finished shooting Dawn of Justice back in July, and his involvement allowed him to meet many other long term DC cinematic universe players, including Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), and Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor).

“I met everyone in the Justice League except Henry Cavill and Ezra Miller.  It was surreal," says Fisher.  "You get this idea of going to work on a Hollywood set as being really stressful and nerve-wracking.  But it blew that stereotype away.  If they did have stressful times, it wasn’t while I was there.”

Obviously, Fisher can't exactly go revealing any details about Batman v Superman, either Justice League film, or Cyborg, but he's pretty confident.

“Let me tell you, man, people are in for a hell of a treat,” he declares.

Fisher's Victor Stone gets his introduction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, 2016.  He'll then get more to do in Snyder's Justice League: Part One on November 12, 2017, followed by Justice League: Part Two on June 14, 2019.

Movie News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:14:06 +0000
'The Gambler' Red Band Trailer: F-Bombs Abound in Wahlberg's Oscar Bid 'The Gambler' Red Band Trailer: F-Bombs Abound in Wahlberg's Oscar Bid

The first teaser trailer for The Gambler remake knows just what it's doing.

First off, it keeps things snappy, clocking in at just over one minute.  Secondly, it keeps things salty, going red band so as to allow John Goodman to say repeatedly say "Fuck you" with relish.  And finally, it keeps things high-impact, eschewing story or detail in favor of real punchiness.

The original 1974 movie starred James Caan, but this new version finds Mark Wahlberg starring as Jim Bennett, a charismatic literature professor who is completely obsessed with gambling, pissing his savings away, leaning into his downward spiral, and running afoul of some ruthless loan sharks. 

Until, that is, a student played by the great Brie Larson (seriously, see the quietly remarkable Short Term 12) gives him a reason to live again.

"This is a man who has everything — wealth, looks, education," director Rupert Wyatt said recently. "But he's trapped in a gilded cage of privilege. He sets out on this journey to rid himself of all material possessions — to blow it all up — a quest to strip himself to get back to zero."

This trailer suggests that Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Wyatt has put together a high-energy crime drama, a character study that keeps its focus on Wahlberg's Bennett but also includes room for established ringers like Goodman, Larson, Jessica Lange, Michael Kenneth Williams, Richard Schiff, and Leland Orser.

If you're at work, you might want to watch with headphones, since this Gambler teaser is stuffed to the gills with f-bombs.

Mere months after saving the world alongside Optimus Prime, Wahlberg is quite clearly hoping that The Gambler will give him a shot at Oscar glory. 

How clearly?  He pulled the dramatic weight loss move for the role, losing around sixty pounds to play Bennett, a man so consumed by his gambling addiction that he doesn't even eat much.

The erstwhile Marky Mark has, in fact, received a Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination before thanks to his scene-stealing performance in The Departed, but The Gambler takes him away from his Bostonian comfort zone.

"Forget losing the weight," Wahlberg explained earlier this month. "Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding. It meant being able to have the comfort to really understand and say those words. Comments we've been getting from the test screenings include, 'I never thought I would see Mark Wahlberg as a professor, but I believed it and went along for the ride.’  Hearing that hit on one of my big reasons for doing this part. It's different and unexpected."

The Gambler has an awards season-friendly release plan, opening in limited release on December 19th so as the qualify for the Oscars.  The movie then expands nationwide January 2, 2015.

Check out Wahlberg's slimmed-down look on the brand new official poster:

Movie News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:26:26 +0000
First Look: Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf of 'Into the Woods' First Look: Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf of 'Into the Woods'

Disney has unveiled the first official look at Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf in the all-star fairy tale musical Into the Woods.

He looks almost exactly how you'd expect, sporting a furry zoot suit, weirdly restrained makeup, and even a fedora with holes for his pointy wolf ears.

Basically, the Big Bad Wolf as seen on a new magazine cover, has the potential to be a self-parody of overblown, affected Johnny Depp characters.  Luckily, the cover is one a series of four that also provides good looks at the other members of the top-tier cast.

“I didn’t want this to look like a cartoon world,” director Rob Marshall tells Entertainment Weekly. “It’s not sunny, sunny, sunny—we wanted a sense of danger.”

Based on the Tony-winning musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods is a fairy tale riff that follows a baker and his wife into the woods, where their quest to break a witch's curse leads to encounters with familiar figures like Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.  In the course of their adventure, both the baker and the baker's wife must redefine their notions of what it means to live happily ever after.

Newly-crowned The Late Late Show host James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) star as the couple, with Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) as the Witch, Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) as Cinderella, and Chris Pine (Star Trek) as her Prince Charming.  

Then there's also Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher), Christine Baranski (The Birdcage), Frances de la Tour (Hugo), Daniel Huttlestone (Les Miserables), Mackenzie Mauzy (Brother's Keeper), and Lilla Crawford making her film debut as Red Riding Hood.

This is the first time we've seen three-time Oscar-winner Streep's witch looking distinctly un-witchy, ditching the hag look in favor of a slick dress big hair.

“I’ve been offered many witches over the years, starting when I was 40, and I said no to all of them,” says Streep. “But this was really fun because it played with the notion of what witches mean. They represented age and ugliness and scary powers we don’t understand. So here’s my opportunity to say, here’s what you wish for when you’re getting old.”

For clarification: Kendrick's Cinderella is not to be confused with the Cinderella of Cinderella, Disney's big budget live action take on the fairy tale hitting theaters in March.  That one, directed by Kenneth Branagh, stars Lily James as the title character, Cate Blanchett as her stepmother, and Helena Bonham Carter as her fairy godmother.

Back to Into the Woods, which opens in theaters nationwide on December 25th.

Official synopsis and teaser trailer included for your edification:

“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 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:02:27 +0000