Taking the filler out of filmmaking.

Archive for June, 2009

Trailers: ‘The Box’

Posted by Brian on 06/25/2009

The BoxSource: AOL

Donnie Darko left me breathless, literally. The credits came up, my mouth was wide open, and I was completely in awe. Southland Tales left me another kind of breathless; pissed off, mouth agape in confused wonder. So with that, I present the trailer for Richard Kelly’s follow-up The Box, based on Richard Matheson’s short story, “Button, Button”, which later became a Twilight Zone episode. The story concerns a married couple who are offered a simple proposition: “Push the button and you’ll receive a million dollars, however; somewhere, someone you don’t know will die.” What would you do?

This trailer is a poor example (mostly the music), but I believe we’re in for something special. When I finished the script for his upcoming adaptation of  I actually had to stop a moment to pause. This isn’t like anything we’ve gotten from Richard Kelly before. It’s much darker than Darko, insanely more cohesive than Tales, and more mainstream than both. It’s a disturbing story, with a great hook, and an amazing ending. I don’t know what draft I read, but I’m really excited for Kelly to prove everyone wrong. The film stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, and Frank Langella. It is being scored by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, and Owen Pallett, of Arcade Fire and Final Fantasy fame, respectively.

Posted in Drama, Horror, News, Science Fiction, Thriller, Trailers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Four Join ‘Father Of Invention’

Posted by Brian on 06/25/2009

Cast of 'Father Of Invention'Source: THR

Craig Robinson (Zack And Miri Make A Porno), Heather Graham (The Hangover), Johnny Knoxville (Jackass), and Camilla Belle (Push) have been cast opposite Kevin Spacey in Father Of Invention, an ensemble comedy that Spacey is independently producing via his Trigger Street banner. Story follows a humble inventor-turned-egomaniacal billionaire (Spacey) who spends eight years in prison when one of his inventions goes awry. Upon release, he is seeks to rebuild his reputation and fortune but finds that easier than salvaging his relationship with his family.

Robinson will play the husband of the former billionaire’s ex-wife who now lives in his house and drives his car and helps Spacey get back on his feet after he gets out of prison. Belle will play his daughter, a social worker hesitant to trust her father, while Graham is her lesbian roommate who sleeps with the father. Knoxville will play a store manager who hires Spacey’s character after his prison stint. Trent Cooper is directing from a script he wrote with producer Jonathan Krane and Nichole Beatty. Production begins this week in New Orleans.

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Concept Art: ‘Alice In Wonderland’ Hi-Res Images

Posted by Brian on 06/25/2009

Tim Burton's Alice In WonderlandSource: /Film

Those exclusive images from Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland that debuted at USA Today have shown up online in super high definition. I really suggest taking a look at these as the details in this concept art and, more to the point, the character banners is stunning.The only picture that seems to be missing is the banner for Tweedledee and Tweedledum, played by Matt Lucas (Little Britain). So click these for SUPER-DAMN HUGE pictures.

Alice In Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland

Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland comes to theaters March 5, 2010.

Posted in Animation, Concept Art, Fantasy, News | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

JJ Abrams Talks ‘Fringe’, ‘Star Trek’ Sequel

Posted by Brian on 06/25/2009

JJ AbramsSource: SciFi Wire

If you didn’t already know, JJ Abrams is the man currently leading a geek takeover through Hollywood. Recently, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman spoke about how they might approach a sequel to the critical and financial juggernaut, Star Trek, and stated that they were exploring all possibilities of the new timeline they’ve created. “The great thing is we’re all open to anything,” Abrams said. “I think the fun of where we are with Trek is that it can and should just be fully explored. So I think to limit ourselves to only new adventures would be a mistake.” Orci and Kurtzman spoke, of course, of whether all the adventures would be new or if there would be altered versions of things we’d already seen, i.e. How would the Kirk/Kahn story play out in this universe?

It was also recently announced that JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise would be teaming up to produce a fourth installment of Mission: Impossible, but declares he doesn’t plan to direct. He didn’t plan to direct Star Trek either, and look how well that panned out.  “There’s no director attached to the movie yet,” Abrams said. “We’re just developing an idea, which I think is very cool, so we’re just starting it out, but it’s exciting. It’s a fun idea, and it’s always an honor to work with Tom. We would definitely produce the movie together, and details from there we’re still figuring out.”

Finally, Abrams touched on Fringe and how the reveal of the still standing Twin Towers (which made me go meh) would be addressed in the second season. “You have to watch to see how that plays out,” Abrams said. “That was a big decision for the show, because it was obviously a potential sensitive kind of choice. But I feel like, given what our story is, given the world of Fringe, I think it will be very satisfying.”

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Harvey Weinstein Talks ‘Basterds’ Cuts, Prequel

Posted by Brian on 06/25/2009

Harvey Weinstein and Quentin TarantinoSource: GQ

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Harvey Weinstein was asking Quentin Tarantino to chop forty minutes from his World War 2 opus, Inglourious Basterds, over mounting concerns that The Weinstein Company was approaching near bankruptcy. In an interview with GQ, Weinstein dismissed the rumors outright: “Here, read my lips: That is nuts. There’s no truth to any of this. He’s not gonna cut.’

So uh, awesome. But what exactly is Tarantino doing to the film then? “He’s just reorganizing some scenes. I mean, the guy had six weeks to cut his movie [for Cannes]; most guys take six months. Most guys take a year.  Quentin Tarantino cuts a movie in six weeks? Come on, there’s shit on that cutting-room floor that’ll blow your brains out. I was telling Quentin the opposite—”You should put that shit back in the movie.” There’s scenes with Brad Pitt and the Basterds, and I’m praying he puts that shit back in, ‘cause it’s un-fucking-believably great.”

In terms of length, it seems that Tarantino being granted final cut still stand. “Listen—this movie will be between two hours and twenty minutes and two hours and twenty-seven minutes. I know he’s putting footage back into the movie. I know he’s got some cool shit that he didn’t get time to address.”

The interview also touches base on a prequel/sequel to Basterds. Apparently, the plan was to have it be a Band Of Brothers-type mini-series, 16 hours or such on HBO or Showtime. Harvey wanted the movie, Bob [Weinstein] & Quentin wanted the mini-series. So what happened? “I just think that it was such a big undertaking that it dawned on him that it was time to say, you know what? This piece, unto itself, can make a movie,” Weinstein said. “After that there’s a bunch of places you can go. He can do the pre-story; he can do the post-story, too. I don’t want to jump to conclusions on his behalf, but I know he’s talked about the past and the future of the Basterds.”

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Daniel Craig Builds ‘Dream House’

Posted by Brian on 06/24/2009

Daniel CraigSource: THR

Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace, Defiance) is in early talks to star in Dream House, a psychological thriller set up at Morgan Creek to be directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In America). Scripted by David Loucka script, Craig would play a man who moves his family to an idyllic small town, only to find his house haunted by its former inhabitants, who were murdered there. Sources close to the project stress that the two sides have not reached a deal. Craig’s name recently surfaced in connection with The Eagle Of The Ninth, a period pic for Focus Features being helmed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King Of Scotland).

Posted in Casting, Drama, Horror, News, Thriller | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Meghan Markle Joins ‘Fringe’

Posted by Brian on 06/24/2009

Meghan MarkleSource: THR

Meghan Markle has joined the cast of Fringe as a recurring character. Set to return for a second season in the fall, Markle will play an attractive, brash and quick-witted junior FBI agent. Markle got her start as a model holding cases on stupid NBC gameshow, Deal Or No Deal. I really hope this isn’t who they decided to replace Kirk Acevedo with. All that stuff about servicing the cast they have seems like a load of shit if you ask me. The series, from J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, stars cyborg Anna Torv (cos that’s the only way she could be this emotionless, right?!) as FBI special agent Olivia Dunham, who investigates paranormal phenomena with the help of Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson).

Posted in Action/Adventure, Casting, Drama, News, Science Fiction, Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

David Fincher To Direct Facebook Movie

Posted by Brian on 06/23/2009

David FincherSource: Variety

I’m so excited about this. Columbia Pictures is in advanced talks with David Fincher to direct The Social Network, scripted by genius Aaron Sorkin. The film will focus on the evolution of Facebook from its 2004 creation on the Harvard campus by sophomore Mark Zuckerberg to a juggernaut with more than 200 million members. Scott Rudin and Michael De Luca are producing with Trigger Street’s Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti. The aim is to begin production later this year.

So why am I so amped? Well, for one, David Fincher is my favorite director. Say what you will about his movies, but the man has only gotten better and better as a director. Zodiac and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button are absorbing, dialogue-heavy throwbacks. It’s absolutely the same man that made Fight Club, but he’s even more mature. Aaron Sorkin is the most rhythmic writer in Hollywood. I can listen to the West Wing without any visual and be completely fine.  So the pairing of these two actually makes me really excited for this film.

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Katherine Heigl In The ‘Know’

Posted by Brian on 06/23/2009

Katherine HeiglSource: THR

Katherine Heigl is set to star in Life As We Know It, for Everwood creator Greg Berlanti. The story centers on two single people who suddenly become caregivers to an orphaned girl after the parents, their mutual best friends, are killed in an accident. The project, written by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson, was originally set up by Josephson at Revolution in 2001 then moved to Fox 2000. Gold Circle picked it up, began packaging it, eventually catching Warner Bros. eye. No start date is set, but “Life” is expected to be fast-tracked.  Heigl is exec producing with her mother, manager Nancy Heigl, though not through the duo’s Abishag outfit.

Posted in Casting, Drama, News | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Concept Art: ‘Avatar’ [UPDATED!]

Posted by Brian on 06/23/2009

James Cameron and Sam WorthingtonSource: MarketSaw

UPDATE: I want to point you all in the direction of a first hand impression of the James Cameron footage that was screened. What he’s describing is what it felt like to read the decade old scriptment. This is ten years on with WETA Digital at James Cameron’s disposal, so we’re well beyond ‘excitement’ at this point.

The audience afterwards was stunned. Everyone just gasped, wondered and just couldnt believe what they saw. [Cameron] is so proud of this movie and still handles it with great suave like he just folded a paper plane. I am just mindbaffled how a genius like that can contain himself with something like this.

This movie will change the industry. It can now enable me to play a character in a studio, then to be transferred into something different on screen so an audience will believe I am that different character. This is not the Polar Express style ‘change of character’. This will enable actors to act without them being cast on looks, but on bodylanguage from now on. [Source]


Now that I’ve calmed down a bit, James Cameron along with cast-members Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang debuted 24 MINUTES OF FOOTAGE (!) from Avatar. While the general consensus has been “Holy shit, my eyes!” and sustained applause, people are using phrases like “stunning, literally jawdropping. Amazing visuals unlike any before seen, with incredible detail.” The footage was premiered at CineExpo in Amsterdam and while practically everyone was sworn to secrecy, a couple of shots of Avatar concept art from the after-party have shown up online.

We’ve seen concept art before but this, to my knowledge, is the latest to give us an honest-to-god look at what James Cameron is trying to create. The last time I was seriously blown away by special effects, and I’m talking jaw on the floor, was Termintator 2: Judgement Day when the T-1000 walked out of those flames, and morphed back into Robert Patrick. From that moment forward, I needed to know how every special effect was done. I don’t know if it’ll be at all the same, but: This. Looks. Friggin. Gorgeous. Decemember can’t get here soon enough.

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