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! Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:11:01 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Stephen King's 'The Stand' Is Now Planned as Four Movies Stephen King's 'The Stand' Is Now Planned as Four Movies

Warner Bros. has been trying to adapt The Stand for about four years now, and just how to tell Stephen King's massive story onscreen has been an open question.

The book is huge; the unabridged mass market paperback weighs in at a whopping 1,141 pages. 

For a while, the studio was playing with idea of a two-film adaptation, but since Josh Boone came aboard to write and direct, he's been talking about a "three-hour, R-rated version" of the apocalyptic epic.

Now, though, Boone has declared a new plan: The Stand won't be one movie or even two.  The Stand has expanded into four separate films.

King's bestseller opens with the inadvertent release of a man-made virus and takes a breathtakingly wide angle as the Captain Trips pandemic quickly sweeps out civilization, leaving a sparsely populated continent of immune survivors in the remains of America. 

In the world after the Superflu, our heroes, driven by dreams of saintly centenarian Mother Abigail, assemble in Colorado, where they attempt to rebuild society in the Boulder Free Zone.  In Las Vegas, meanwhile, survivors with a less idealistic bent are drawn to Randall Flagg, aka the Dark Man, the Walkin' Dude, and the Hardcase, a grinning, denim-wearing, skin-walking manifestation of evil with a mind on some of the destructive toys left behind.

When Boone picked The Stand as his follow-up to The Fault In Our Stars, he sold Warner Bros. on a new approach, abandoning the studio's previous attempts to turn it into a blockbuster actioner with the sort of huge, VFX-intensive setpieces that sell tickets overseas.

“I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie. I sold them on that and they hired me, Boone said on Kevin Smith's Hollywood Babble-On podcast (via Slashfilm).

"I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited. I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script. You open with Mother Abigail dying and sending the guys off, and then you jump back in time," he said.

"So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces.”

From there, according to Boone, the Warners brass "came back and said 'Would you do it as multiple films?' And I said 'Fuck yes!' I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies."

"I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do The Stand at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds," he said. "We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about. We’re looking to go into production next year, maybe in the spring."

This is fascinating, partially because King and Mick Garris already made The Stand into a deeply silly miniseries spanned four feature-length episodes.  This four-movie plan sounds like a big screen miniseries, one that will doubtless shoot as one big mega-production.

It's also interesting that the studio is still struggling with what type of movie(s) The Stand is meant to be.  Over the last few years, several heavy hitters have taken swings at the material.  Directors like David Yates, Ben Affleck, and Scott Cooper have all given it a shot.  With Boone, Warner Bros. apparently went from a back-to-basics approach then swung around to event movies all over again.

Three years ago, Yates described the basic problem succinctly, saying, "We felt this pressure to make these super tentpole movies with this material, and the things that you get in Potter—which are these extraordinary episodes of action—they didn’t exist in the material, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to deliver the kind of movie that ultimately the studio was hoping to get from this material."

It sounds like Boone is now in the same boat.  He's exchanged the ability to tell a long story under the condition that he also tell a spectacular one.  Whether or not The Stand can support action shenanigans is an open question.  A recent draft of the script from before Boone signed up climaxed with an Akira or Man of Steel-style superbattle in Vegas, which sounds awkward at best.

Both Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale have been rumored as possibilities to play Flagg and good guy hero Stu Redman, but no casting is official yet.

Movie News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:57:25 +0000
Rogue 10: Ten Sci-Fi Action Heroines Who Unapologetically Kick Ass Rogue 10: Ten Sci-Fi Action Heroines Who Unapologetically Kick Ass

Did you know that Jennifer Lawrence has her own record in the Guinness Book?

She's the highest-grossing action heroine in the history of movies.

It's true.  And it's all thanks to her role as Katniss Everdeen, the Tribute who incites an oppressed nation to rise up in The Hunger Games series, which has hauled in $1.6 billion between just the first two movies.

The penultimate installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I is adding to that total, grossing $17 million from Thursday night shows before properly opening nationwide today.

Lawrence's can't be credited enough for the phenomenal popularity of this franchise.  It's a hell of a performance and a hell of a character, one in whom we can emotionally invest, placing us right in the middle of a vast, complicated science fiction world that's a frightening funhouse mirror of our own.  Katniss is a serious action hero, one whose chops as a kicker of asses is never in doubt.  She's not a damsel in distress and she's certainly not just a love interest for a man.

She's part of a proud tradition in recent scifi cinema, a tradition of female characters who have their own agency, who take shit from nobody, and who don't rely on guys to save the day.

With Mockingjay: Part I hitting theaters, out latest ROGUE 10 is devoted to ten of our very favorite action heroines in scifi movies:

River Tam (Summer Glau), Serenity (2005)

It's actually sort of funny that her brother spends fourteen episodes of a TV show and most the movie's runtime so desperate to protect his sister, when the zoned-out River is, in fact, the most dangerous person aboard Serenity.  A graceful, quiet creeper with intuitive precognition, River occasionally turns into a pint-sized tornado.  Her tendency to fly off the handle finds it most perfect expression when the gang is totally pinned down and outnumbered, leading her to really cut loose for the first and only time.

Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster), Contact (1997)

Eleanor doesn't physically throw down against anybody, but this inquisitive and indomitable scientist has the right stuff.  Let's put it this way: if mysterious aliens sent directions for a massive, untested wormhole-generator that looks like a dentist's office in your worst nightmare, would you sign up to ride that lightning?  And would you be able to maintain a stiff upper lip getting grilled by a fightin' mad Congressional investigation afterwards?  One led by James Woods no less?

Go Go Tomago (voiced by Jamie Chung), Big Hero 6 (2014)

Aside from a certain Tribute, Go Go's the most recent character on this list, but how could we resist?  She's a demon behind in a five-speed and an even fiercer force on her mag-lev wheel blades.  She's by far the most no-nonsense member of Disney's tech superteam and the one with the coolest moves, skating and slicing with dangerous grace. 

She even insists that her fellow heroes not "man up," but instead "woman up."  How could we not include her?

Tank Girl (Lori Petty), Tank Girl (1995)

Tank Girl gets her name from the fact that she tears around a post-apocalyptic wasteland in a tank.  She's all attitude, sneering in prime punk rock fashion as she flips the bird at the Man alongside her boyfriend, a mutant kangaroo. Who else could hope to keep up with the anarchic force of nature and violent rebellion that is Tank Girl? 

Barbarella (Jane Fonda), Barbarella (1968)

Because sometimes, a spacefaring hero on a mission of galactic import uses advantages other than blasters or hyperdrives. 

Inspired by French comics, Barbarella reads differently to modern audiences. The frequency with which the title character is asked to get down with men who've put forth the most marginal effort on her behalf is both a little surprising and a lot softcore.  To audiences on the tail end of the swinging sixties, though, Barbarella's adventures read differently, more liberated and empowering.  Plus, she overloads a machine designed to kill through too much pleasure.

Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Okay, yeah, Trinity basically becomes the hero's girlfriend in Reloaded and Revolutions, but in the Wachowski's 1999 diamond-bullet-to-the-brain of action cinema, she's the baddest wire-fu hopper, skipper, and jumper in Morpheus's crew.  While Neo spends most of The Martix cluelessly whoa-ing and doubting himself, the steely Trinity's out leaping concrete canyons, evading agents, and saving the digital messiah's virtual ass.

Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), Pacific Rim (2013)

The single most gloriously anime moment of this monster mash – when Gypsy Danger whips out a mega-sword to slo-mo slice apart a flying kaiju at fifty thousand feet – is all Mako.  Right before, the movie's ostensible hero, Raleigh Becket, has completely given up, even saying, "We're out of options" like a damn quitter. But Mako, an orphaned swordmaker's daughter, knows better, and she saves the day with an action beat cooler than any Raleigh busts at any point in Pacific Rim.

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Sarah goes from a frivolous party girl to homicidal warrior, from feathered hair and dance clubs to jacked biceps and sniper rifles.  When The Terminator starts, she's of strategic importance to Skynet just because of the baby she'll someday carry, but she's resilient enough to squish the ultra-macho T-800 the unkillable future-bot.  By the time Judgment Day rolls around, Sarah Connor's her own player, whupping the hell out of pervy orderlies, sticking a syringe full of drain clear in a man's jugular, and stacking up against any mechanical time-travelers.

Lena Headey played her on The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and her fellow Game of Thrones star is taking over in the upcoming reboot Terminator: Genisys, but in our hearts, Linda Hamilton is the one and only Sarah.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), The Hunger Games (2012), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Parts I and II (2014 and 2015)

She's handy with a bow and calm under pressure, tough enough not only to make it through two televised survival competitions, and strong enough not to buckle under the manipulations and machinations of a horrifying totalitarian government and the silver-haired despot who sits atop it.  She's so awesome that Peeta and Gale both openly pine after her like dewy-eyed middle schoolers, but what really sets Katniss apart is how much she cares.  Her compassion goes so deep it gets her into the Hunger Games, upends the whole despotic propaganda machine, and ultimately starts a revolution. 

No male hero would have the balls (figuratively) to follow her empathy even when the personal cost is so, so huge.

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997)

She's the most obvious choice for number one, but our goal here isn't to be cunning or subversive; our goal is to celebrate the badass leading ladies of science fiction cinema.

And nobody leads more strongly than Ellen Ripley.  Tougher than a bunch of space truckers, more capable than a squad of colonial marines, and more fiercely maternal than a riled-up xenomorph queen, yet always achingly human, Ripley is the indomitable scifi heroine who casts the longest shadow in the popular culture.


Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Vasquez (Jenette Goldstein), Aliens (1986)

Lists Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:22:57 +0000
Brenton Thwaites to Play the Boring Hero in 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' Brenton Thwaites to Play the Boring Hero in 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'

Every Pirates of the Caribbean movie needs a hero as generic and boring as Jack Sparrow is eccentric and boozy.

In the first three movies it was Orlando Bloom as noble, lovesick Will Turner.  In the fourth it was Sam Claflin as noble, lovesick Philip.

In the fifth, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, it'll be Brenton Thwaites as another Henry, a British soldier and boring hero who is also presumably noble and lovesick.

The 25-year-old Australian actor has had a very, very busy 2014.  He starred with Karen Gillan in the acclaimed horror tale Oculus and impressed with the low-budget thriller The Signal.  He played the lead, Jonas, in the long-awaited adaptation of Lois Lowry's The Giver, and he soon stars alongside Ewan McGregor in Son of a Gun.

He also showed up as Prince Philip in Maleficent over the summer.  Perhaps his Disney connection there helped him secure the Pirates role, competition for which reportedly included Ansel Elgort from The Fault In Our Stars and Taron Egerton of the upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Whether or not Maleficent was involved, The Wrap reports that Thwaites is now in talks to join the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean.

Obviously, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, the sexually omnivorous drunkard who carries the whole franchise on his sunburned shoulders.  Geoffrey Rush is expected to reprise his role as Sparrow's nemesis Captain Barbossa, and Bloom has actually indicated he'd be up for a cameo. 

Sprinkling some of that villainous Skyfall dust on the sequel is Javier Bardem, who is in talks to play the bad guy, Captain Brand, a ghost who blames Sparrow for the death of his brother.

Despite starting development before On Stranger Tides hit in 2011, Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer have taken their time putting together the fifth installment.  After several delays, production is expected to kick off in Australia come February, with a July 7, 2017 release date in place.

Norwegian directorial duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are helming this latest adventure on the high seas.  Together, they proved their seafaring abilities with Kon-Tiki, an Oscar-nominated chronicle of explorer Thor Heyerdal's 1972 crossing of the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft.

Movie News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:56:56 +0000
'Strange Magic' Trailer: George Lucas Whips Up a Weird Animated Movie 'Strange Magic' Trailer: George Lucas Whips Up a Weird Animated Movie

Apparently Strange Magic is just two months away from release, so the animated movie nobody's heard about now has a trailer to make up for lost time.

Basically, the visuals looks sharp, the story looks awkward, and the characters look unintentionally creepy.

In this fabulous modern age, it's rare that a high-profile family movie doesn't have months or even years of anticipatory hype, but Strange Magic just kind of dropped out of nowhere.  Disney announced that Lucasfilm is behind a cartoon fantasy musical just a few weeks ago, leaving the internet to scratch its collective head over the movie's existence.

George Lucas himself has a story credit on the movie, which takes inspiration from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for a pastiche in which,"Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion."

Gary Rydstrom, who directed the Pixar shorts Lifted and Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation oversees Strange Magic, a collaboration between Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects powerhouse that go into feature animation with Rango.

Like Rango, Strange Magic is distinctive in appearance.  Unlike Rango, Strange Magic appears to be more in the wacky, self-aware musical vein of, say, Shrek.

The trailer debuted at Yahoo! Movies this morning.

The voice cast here is as eclectic as you'd expect, consisting of thespians like Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare, Kristin Chenoweth, Bob Einstein, Sam Palladio, and Meredith Anne Bull.

Lucas, who has been laying low since selling Lucasfilm to Disney, contributed to the story and also serves as executive producer, with a screenplay by Rydstrom, Irene Mecchi, and David Berenbaum.  Mecchi and Berenbaum both have their family movie bona-fides in order, having worked on Brave and Elf, respectively.

Strange Magic is scheduled to open in theaters on January 23, 2015.

In addition to the trailer, Disney just dropped four official images from the movie:

Movie News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:23:09 +0000
Spank You Very Much: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' TV Spot Goes for Subtlety Spank You Very Much: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' TV Spot Goes for Subtlety

Adapting any bestseller is tricky, but Fifty Shades of Grey is particularly challenging to both make and market.

How many other bestsellers have famous sex scenes involving female hygienic products plucked away by Prince Charming, after all?

A quick new TV spot illustrates how Universal is handling some of the, ahem, racier elements of Fifty Shades of Grey: by basically avoiding them.

That's not to say there's no hint of kink in this commercial.  The Red Room of Pain is glimpsed, complete with various whips.  There's a blindfold, a bit of hand-tying, and billionaire BDSM enthusiast Christian Grey coyly saying "My tastes are much more singular."

The overall impression is of a more conventional love story with the kink cranked up a bit, and it has us wondering how closely director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel are hewing to the source material by E.L. James.  Universal is obviously selling Fifty Shades of Grey as a classy but still erotically charged romance, counting on the book's reputation to do the sexy heavy lifting.  But is that the movie that Taylor-Johnson is actually making?

Will the movie's Christian Grey be a softer, gentler version of his printed counterpart?  Or is he still the guy who, when asked if he's going to make love to virginal college student Anastasia Steele, replies, "Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for?"

Jamie Dornan, a Calvin Klein model who starred on the series The Fall alongside Gillian Anderson, snagged his biggest role to date as Grey, a 27-year-old billionaire with an almost reptilian coldness.  Dakota Johnson, best known for her brief appearance in The Social Network, stars as Anastasia, who stumbles into a contractually-obliged relationship with the spank-happy Grey.

The movie is very much focused on the intense relationship between these unlikely lovers, but there's room for a supporting cast that includes Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, and Max Martini.

Eloise Mumford, who plays Steele's best friend and roommate Kate, suggest to IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick that Fifty Shades of Grey won't skimp on shockingly erotic moments.

"It’s also just great to be a part of a film that’s so daring. I try to choose work that I’m challenged by and that I find controversial and daring," Mumford said in an exclusive interview. "This film is incredibly daring. This film is for grownups, it’s about grownups and I think people are going to be really pleased when they go to see it."

Just last week, Universal revealed a full theatrical trailer.  Like this TV spot, the trailer played it pretty classy, so fans will have to wait until February 13, 2015 to find out if Fifty Shades of Grey does justice to James's bestselling "mommy porn."

Movie News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:45:28 +0000
IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kal Penn and Director Ravi Kumar Talk 'Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain' IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kal Penn and Director Ravi Kumar Talk 'Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain'

Opening in theaters on November 7th is the new historical drama Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, which is based on a true story and stars Kal Penn

Penn is best known for his roles in such popular film and TV projects as Van Wilder: Party Liaison, Superman Returns, 24, House M.D., How I Met Your Mother, and the Harold & Kumar trilogy. But in 2009 Penn decided to take a break from acting to join the Obama administration as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. 

Now back from his side job in D.C., Penn joins Mischa Barton (TV’s The O.C.) and the great Martin Sheen (The Departed, Apocalypse Now, TV’s The West Wing) in Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. The new film interweaves stories of people in India and the US as they face dilemmas in the months leading to the biggest Industrial disaster in human history that claimed 10,000 innocent lives within a few hours. The movie was written and directed by first time feature filmmaker Ravi Kumar

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kal Penn and director Ravi Kumar about their work on Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain. The actor and his director discussed their new project, the true story it is based on, why they wanted to make the movie, Penn’s post-White House acting choices, casting Mischa Barton and Martin Sheen, how Bhopal marks the second time Penn has worked with a US President, and what they hope audiences will learn from the film. 

Here is what Kal Penn and director Ravi Kumar had to say about Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain:

IAR: To begin with, Ravi can you talk about the real life event that Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain is based on?

Ravi Kumar: You will have to excuse my accent. When I first hear about the subject, I was twelve I think. This is quite a vivid memory I have. When you start learning in a different perspective it changes everything. We did a lot of research on other subjects from the courtroom documents to the trial and testimony when we were writing the scripts.

Kal, what were your initial impressions when you first read the screenplay, and why did you want to be a part of this film?

Kal Penn: When I first read the script, I was actually very impressed. I knew about the story just from college classes and books that I grew up with. I was hesitant before I read the script because I was worried about it being told from a singular perspective. Whether that perspective in my head would have been industrialization is bad or government corruption is bad, I had a feeling before I read it that it would be through the lens of something that was not artistically interesting. I was wrong which was awesome. I read the script and was floored at the complexities, and I applaud Ravi for that. I think it is a hard thing to do. It is hard to write a film that is succinct, and that is an efficient adaptation of world events that touches on all the complexities of this disaster that lead to it happening. As soon as I read the script, I emailed him back and set up a meeting with him in L.A. That is really when I overheard the passion from which he speaks about why he wants to tell this story. As a first time director it is a huge undertaking. I thought that if this guy is really that passionate about it, I would love to be a part of it.

Kumar: When Kal was first in India, as far from the US you as you can imagine, he was in a pink shirt under an umbrella sweating. He was looking at me with a glare in his eye. “What I am doing here?” he said. I thought that was great. From Kal Penn to Mischa Barton, they came to India in an exotic location where a first time director was trying to make his film. They were very polite to me. It is nice now, but I think it was an event for me.

Kal, did working in the White House for President Obama change the types of projects that you are interested in, and did having that life experience change your approach to acting?

Penn: No. Actually I loved the fact that I have been able to keep the two worlds so separate. I feel like it is a blessing to go from doing these outrageous stoner movies and having the privilege of being on a show like House, which is a very mainstream and network show. Then taking two years off to do something completely unrelated, and then back to Harold & Kumar or an independent film like this. Having audiences still be willing to invite me into their living room or come to the theater is really a blessing. I cannot thank the fans enough for giving me the chance to do that. I also like that the two worlds are separate. When I went to take the sabbatical in D.C., I was straight from Hollywood. I think my first project back from D.C. was How I Met Your Mother. I feel like I was a little rusty if anything from not acting for two years. But I would not say that working in D.C. had any bearing on any of the roles that I am looking for and taking. 

Ravi, you’ve said publically that you wanted to make this movie for the younger generation who did not know the story, and also for the generation who lived through it but may have forgotten about the details. Can you talk about that and your motivations for making this film?

Kumar: What happened when we screened the film early on was that people were surprised it was a fictional drama. They were shocked. But we will be old soon. I mean I am already old. So basically what I am saying is that we actually have the power to do something about our planet. 

I thought actress Mischa Barton gave an excellent performance in the film. Ravi, can you talk about casting her against type for this movie?

Kumar: She is an amazing actress, which is a great bonus. She did an amazing job in the film.

Ravi, how did you get veteran actor Martin Sheen involved in the project?

Kumar: I met one of his friends and gave the script to him. Within 24 hours I got a note that said, “Yes.” So actually because of him, the whole thing generated very quickly. Because of him I think people could tell we were serious. Martin was the driving force behind this project. He changed some lines of the script, and that actually made all the difference in the film. I think he knows how to make films with etiquette. I am a first time director, and he took me under his wing. He was reassuring the whole time. He was a wonderful actor. I do not really know what else to say about him.  

Kal, do you realize that you can now say that you’ve worked with two different Presidents: Barack Obama, and Josiah Bartlet (Sheen’s character on The West Wing). 

Penn: That’s true. I hadn’t thought of that before. 

Finally, what kind of impact are you hoping the film will have with audiences, and do you think with education we can prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again?

Penn: Yeah, it is an interesting question. We can easily point to disasters like this that have happened, and of course the BP oil spill. It is very hard to point to disasters that have been averted because they do not make the news. I think that is a good thing ultimately but a harder thing to rally around. I think it is always important to remember. If you look at how frequently disasters occur, are they occurring less frequently? Is that not a testament to the fact that it does make sense to put checks and balances, and oversight into industrial plans and environmental regulations, things that the rest of the world does not debate anymore. Our politics mandated that we keep debating these relatively archaic things. But that is fine considering the fact that it is the reality. If a movie like this can help advance that conversation, I think that is great.

Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain opens in theaters on November 7th. 

Interviews Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:14:15 +0000
'The Wedding Ringer' Red Band Trailer Slings F**s Aplenty 'The Wedding Ringer' Red Band Trailer Slings F**s Aplenty

A red band trailer for The Wedding Ringer boasts an adolescent's enthusiasm for the word fuck.

You know how some kids, when they discover swearing, they take to it with reckless abandon, cursing up a goddamn storm that soaks every sentence in expletives?

It's a phase some youngsters go through, a verbal rebelliousness that finds them cursing like sailors on PCP for anywhere from weeks to years.  In some situations, it can be pretty funny, sure, but it can also be the kind of pointless profanity that's simply trying too hard. This trailer is kind of like that. 

For a minute and a half, Kevin Hart says fuck a bunch of times, a many tweets from advanced screenings spit hypberbole, often saying fuck as well.  A grandma says "red hot pussy seltzer."  Josh Gad also says fuck once or twice.

The Wedding Ringer follows Gad as Doug Harris, a nice guy marrying a woman he thinks is way out of his league.  So awkward is Doug that just weeks away from the big day, he still doesn't have a best man or even a single groomsman.  So he goes to Best Man Inc., a business/con in which a mercenary party animal pretends to be the best friend of guys like Doug, giving them the finest wedding experience money can buy.  For Jimmy Callahan, played by Hart, Doug is the biggest challenge he's ever faced.

If the setup has the ring of a fluffy romantic comedy, this "holiday" trailer is here to spout off like a callow teen and make it known that The Wedding Ringer is R-rated.

If you blinked, you might have missed Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, who plays Doug's fiancee.

Obviously we've got a buddy comedy situation here, but this two-hander also boasts appearances from Olivia Thirlby, Jorge Garcia, Cloris Leachman, and Mimi Rogers.

The Wedding Ringer is set to hit theaters on January 16, 2015, almost a year to the day after Ride Along's huge debut.  If The Wedding Singer reigns supreme, we might just to start thinking of that as Kevin Hart's weekend. 

Here's the official synopsis:

Jimmy provides best man services for socially challenged guys, who – for whatever reason – have no one close enough to agree to stand by them on the day of their wedding. Doug, a groom-to-be, has found himself in just such a situation, but, to make matters worse, he fabricates the names of not only a best man but nine groomsmen as well. When all else fails, Doug seeks out Jimmy’s services to carry out a charade designed to make Doug look his best, but threatens to destroy everything if it fails.

And here's the first poster, courtesy of IMP Awards.  Those guys laying around are the weirdos Callahan hires to pretend to be groomsman.

Movie News Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:52:58 +0000
Ben Stiller Is Finally Making 'Zoolander 2' With Penelope Cruz Co-Starring Ben Stiller Is Finally Making 'Zoolander 2' With Penelope Cruz Co-Starring

Thirteen years after the world's hottest male model first flashed Blue Steel, it looks like a Zoolander sequel is finally for-reals going to happen.

Ben Stiller, who directed, co-wrote, produced, and starred as Derek Zoolander, has been trying to make Zoolander 2 a reality for years, but Paramount hasn't been eager to pony up the dough.  After all, the first movie wasn't a box office smash.  But it wasn't a calamity, either, and went on to become an eminently quotable part of pop culture, finding its audience on DVD and cable.

Over the weekend, another decades-later goofy comedy sequel that no studio wanted to fund, Dumb & Dumber To, opened to a whopping $36.1 million.  And last year, after Paramount finally let Will Ferrell and Adam McKay make Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Ron Burgundy's return made $173.6 million worldwide.

Maybe the success of these two improbable follow-ups tipped Paramount off to the potential profitability of another walk down the runway with a mega-model who struggles to turn left.

Whether Harry and Lloyd are to credit or not, it sounds like Zoolander 2 is coming together, with Penelope Cruz signing up to star alongside Stiller in the sequel. The Oscar-winning actress just finished up shooting Julio Medem's Ma Ma in her native Spain, and she recently wrapped Grimsby, Sacha Baron Cohen's next comedy.

No details are yet known about Cruz's character, but she'll be surrounded by outrageous figures like Jacobim Mugatu and Hansel.  Will Ferrell and Owen Wilsonare expected to return as the keyboard necktie inventor and so-hot-right-now supermodel, respectively.  Zoolander 2 might also boast Jonah Hill as a new villain.  He was on board for a spell, but since it has taken the movie so long to gain momentum, he may no longer be available or even willing. 

Regardless of Hill's involvement, expect this one to involve just as many famous people in mile-a-minute cameos, just like its predecessor.

According to Deadline, Stiller is directing and once again producing alongside Stuart Cornfeld.  Stiller, who stars in another Night at the Museum movie next month, most recently directed last year's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

For a long time, Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2 co-writer Justin Theroux was planning on directing Zoolander 2. He mentioned a few months ago that directing the sequel would depend on whether on not The Leftovers, on which stars, received a second season order.  Well, HBO ordered more Leftovers, so Theroux is out.

He's not directing, but he wrote the sequel screenplay.  Back in August, Theroux (who appeared in Zoolander as the sinister DJ), said, "Yeah, we’ve got a script for the sequel, and we’ve just been in talks again. We’re trying to sharpen it and hone it and, actually, I don’t want to jinx anything, but it looks like it actually might be starting to get up and running."

Sounds like Zoolander 2 is indeed up and running.  And it has a tremendous new asset in Penelope Cruz.  After all, she was far funnier than anyone remembers in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the performance that won her an Academy Award.

Movie News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:38:53 +0000
Melissa McCarthy to Star as Tinker Bell in a Live Action Comedy-Adventure Melissa McCarthy to Star as Tinker Bell in a Live Action Comedy-Adventure

Melissa McCarthy does believe in fairies.

Arguably the most popular comedic actress in the world is signing up to play Tinker Bell in a live-action comedy-adventure following the exploits of Peter Pan's fairy sidekick.

McCarthy has been absolutely killing it commercially since breaking out in 2011's Bridesmaids.  Last year she had two consecutive comedy hits between Identity Thief and The Heat, which paired her with Jason Bateman and Sandra Bullock, respectively. 

This year she proved she doesn't need a major co-star to make a successful comedy starring in Tammy, which she co-wrote with her husband/director/Air Marshall Jon Ben Falcone.  She's currently playing opposite Bill Murray in the smaller indie dramedy St. Vincent, which has been something of a sleeper success.  She recently shot Spy for her Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig, leading to speculation that she'll be part of his all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

And now she's lining up a Tinker Bell project in which she'll star as the flighty fairy, with 20th Century Fox acquiring the as-yet untitled comedy project.

"Wait," you're saying to yourself, "Shouldn't this be a Disney movie?"  Nope.  J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan is in the public domain, and even though Disney's animated version of Tink is the most famous, anybody can take a crack at the character.

Shawn Levy is set to direct, which gives us a good idea of just what this movie will actually be like.  Family-friendly and right down the middle, in line with the Night at the Museum movies that Levy has helmed to lucrative effect at Fox. 

Levy's family movie bona-fides include Cheaper By the Dozen, Real Steel, and Pink Panther, along with slightly more risque stuff like This Is Where I Leave You, The Internship, and Date Night.

The director hasn't decided on his next project after Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens next month, but with McCarthy on board, this Tinker Bell endeavor sounds likely.

Especially since it also has a big-time screenwriter working on the script.  Nicholas Stoller is writing, which might surprise since his most recent effort as director was Neighbors, a sequel to which he's also developing.  Stoller isn't as unlikely a writer for a Tink movie as he sounds at first, though: he co-wrote 2011's The Muppets and this year's sequel Muppets Most Wanted for Disney.

Stay tuned to find out just when Melissa McCarthy will fly as Tinkerbell, Neverland's favorite fairy.

Movie News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:55:58 +0000
Sony Kicks Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs Biopic to the Curb Sony Kicks Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs Biopic to the Curb

Wow.  Talk about a huge surprise.

Just yesterday Sony Pictures appeared to be going full steam ahead on its anticipated Steve Jobs biopic.

And why not?  After all, the project has a venerated subject, bestselling source material, an Academy Award-winner for a screenwriter, and another Oscar-winner for a director, as well as attention from some of the biggest actors on the planet.

Despite all that, Sony is calling it quits, abandoning its high-profile Steve Jobs movie.

Initially, the studio planned this as a Social Network reunion, with David Fincher directing and Scott Rudin producing from a script by Aaron Sorkin.  Before he ultimately ditched the project, Gone Girl helmer Fincher set his sights on Christian Bale as the only actor he wanted to play the Apple co-founder and tech titan.

Once Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle took over for Fincher, he was looking at Leonardo DiCaprio to star, but Bale came around and very nearly signed up before unexpectedly deciding not to play Jobs just weeks ago.

Now, quite suddenly, Sony has decided not to make the movie, putting its A-list look at Jobs into turnaround.

Universal Pictures is eager to pick up the Jobsian baton, however.  According to Deadline, Universal is making a deal with Sony to lock down the biopic.  A deal should be done as early as tomorrow, at which point Universal will basically give the movie a green light in the hopes of keeping up the project's momentum.

Last we heard, Michael Fassbender was being courted as a potential replacement for Bale to star as Jobs.  It's unknown how the change of studios might impact casting, but Seth Rogen was signing up to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Jessica Chastain was recently eyeballing an unspecified role, as well.

Using the bestselling biography by Walter Isaacson, published after Jobs's death in 2011, Sorkin wrote a biopic with an unusual structure.  This as-yet untitled script is divided into three separate acts, each one basically a backstage play centered around a new product launch, from the Mac in 1984 to NeXt in 1988 to the first iPod in 2001.

Promoting the final season of his HBO series The Newsroom, Sorkin himself revealed that his script also deviates from Isaacson's book in that it extensively features Jobs's daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs.  She opted against participating in Isaacson's biography, but apparently Sorkin's 180-page humdinger of a screenplay is in some ways centered around her.

“I was very grateful that she was willing to spend time with me,” Sorkin tells The Independent (by way of Slashfilm). “She is the heroine of the movie.” 
Movie News Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:37:53 +0000