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Film Friday: This Week's Movie News and New Trailers

  • Publish Date: August 10, 2012
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The first teaser for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty

Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal each won Oscars for their work on best picture winner The Hurt Locker 94. Now, a little over three years later, they’ll bring another American military story to the big screen with Zero Dark Thirty, a chronicle of the decade-long search and eventual death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of SEAL Team 6. Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Jessica Chastain, Edgar Ramirez, Mark Strong, Jason Clarke, Harold Perrineau, Frank Grillo, and Jennifer Ehle all star in what is sure to be a tense, well-researched account of what happened leading up to and on May 2, 2011. See it in theaters beginning December 19th.

Clint Eastwood has Trouble with the Curve

Clint Eastwood returns to acting for the first time since 2008’s Gran Torino 72 with this film directed by his longtime first assistant director Robert Lorenz. Eastwood stars as an aging baseball scout whose rocky relationship with his daughter, played by Amy Adams, gets some time to heal when she accompanies him on one last scouting trip. Justin Timberlake appears as a possible love interest, and the strong supporting cast includes John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, and Robert Patrick. Trouble with the Curve hits theaters September 21st.

The second trailer for Judd Apatow’s This is 40

Advertised as the “sort-of-sequel” to Knocked Up 85, This is 40 catches up with Paul Rudd’s Pete and Leslie Mann’s Debbie as they approach that magical age. Jason Segel reprises his role from the previous film, as do Apatow’s own kids (Maude and Iris), and joining the cast are Albert Brooks (as Rudd’s father), Megan Fox (and her body), Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Lena Dunham, and John Lithgow. Look for the film, written and directed by Apatow, in theaters beginning December 21st.

Joss Whedon and Marvel extend their relationship

After the huge success of Joss Whedon's The Avengers 69 (which collected plaudits from critics as well as close to $1.5 billion worldwide), it made sense for Marvel to pursue Whedon to write and direct the sequel, and it looks like they have landed their man. Early in the week, it was announced that Whedon had agreed to return for The Avengers 2, but even bigger news came shortly thereafter, when the L.A. Times reported on Marvel’s official statement, “Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel's 'Avengers 2' as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.” Sounds like a good deal for both parties (and fans of superhero entertainment). Hopefully, Whedon can continue to do the occasional indie project as well. His on-the-cheap adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing will premiere at TIFF next month.

Gerard Butler woos a soccer mom in Playing for Keeps

Gerard Butler’s romantic comedy history is a bit spotty to say the least. He’s starred in P.S. I Love You 39, The Ugly Truth 28, and The Bounty Hunter 22, so word that he has a new romantic comedy coming out doesn’t engender confidence. In Playing for Keeps, Butler stars as a washed-up soccer star coaching his son’s soccer team in hopes of winning back the heart of his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) while also attracting the eyes of the other soccer moms played by Uma Thurman, Judy Greer, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Gabriele Muccino, director of the Will Smith-starring dramas The Pursuit of Happyness 64 and Seven Pounds 36, is behind the camera, while the script comes from Robbie Fox (So I Married an Axe Murderer). See it in theaters beginning December 7th.

A first trailer for Liberal Arts

Josh Radnor’s follow-up to his directorial debut, Happythankyoumoreplease 45, revolves around the relationship that forms between a 35 year-old (Radnor) returning to his alma mater and the 19 year-old coed (Elizabeth Olsen) he meets there. Richard Jenkins plays the professor who asks him to return to give a speech at his retirement party, and Allison Janney plays his second best professor. At Sundance, the film received mixed to slightly positive reviews (an improvement over his debut), and Zac Efron earned notice for his against-type turn as a stoner. Liberal Arts opens September 14th in limited release.

Nobody Walks

Another 2012 Sundance film getting a fall release is Ry Russo-Young’s Nobody Walks. The film stars Olivia Thirlby as Martine, a New Yorker who comes to stay with family friends in Los Angeles, only to disrupt their seemingly idyllic life. John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt play the couple who open their pool house to Thirlby, and as Thirlby tempts Krasinski, Justin Kirk flirts with DeWitt. Lena Dunham (Girls) co-wrote the script with Russo-Young, whose previous directing effort was the little seen You Won’t Miss Me 41. Sundance reviews were mixed to negative, but check it out for yourself on VOD beginning September 6th or in theaters starting October 12th.

The younger Cronenberg goes Antiviral

While David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis opens in U.S. theaters next Friday, his son Brandon has his debut feature Antiviral arriving on October 12th. The story takes place in a future where obsessed fans are injected with the same viruses their favorite celebrities contract. When the film premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year, critics were divided, admitting that the son had some of the same flair for body horror as his father but without the complex characterizations and narrative drive that a more seasoned director might bring to the material. Prepare to be disturbed.

3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom

This independent comedy from writer/director Jordan Roberts (Around the Bend 46) stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Frank who, for most of his life, has been tortured, on film, by his older brother Bruce (Chris O’Dowd). Just as he’s starting to believe that Bruce has stopped with the pranks, Frank discovers that Bruce has an embarrassing sex tape of him and his girlfriend (Lizzy Caplan). Craziness ensues from there as Frank and Bruce try to get the tape back with the help and hindrance of a cast of characters including Chris Noth, Whitney Cummings, Nora Dunn, and Ron Perlman in drag. Check it out on VOD September 10th or in theaters October 12th.

Nicole Holofcener’s latest has a familiar face

For her next (still untitled) project, Nicole Holofcener will once again work with Catherine Keener, the star of each of her previous films as writer and director: Walking and Talking 67, Lovely & Amazing 75, Friends with Money 68 and Please Give 68. The story revolves around a divorced, empty-nester (played by Julia Louis- Dreyfus), whose budding friendship with Keener’s character inspires her to take a chance with her new love interest (James Gandolfini). The only problem? Gandolfini is Keener’s ex. Also in the cast are Toni Colette and Ben Falcone (Bridesmaids).

Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more

  • Vulture reports that Bill & Ted 3 is in the works with Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves returning as Ted Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston Esq., a script by original writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, and director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) attached.
  • Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan has been delayed from its original Christmas day release to an unspecified date next summer.
  • Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, starring Channing Tatum, got a new release date this week—June 28, 2013—and will eventually get a new title as well. Any suggestions?
  • A feature film adaptation of the 1980s television series The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, will come to theaters April 11, 2014.
  • Christian Bale is in talks to star in Todd Field’s adaptation of The Creed of Violence, Boston Teran’s novel about an assassin and an investigator caught up in the Mexican Revolution of 1910. - Variety
  • Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan have joined the cast of Scary Movie 5. - E!
  • George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) will re-write and direct an adaptation of Michael Dobbs' 2008 book One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. - THR
  • Joe Carnahan looks to be the choice to direct a reboot of the Daredevil franchise, if Fox can maintain the character rights. - Variety
  • Mickey Rourke is in talks to play the villain opposite Gerard Butler in Motor City and reprise his role of Marv in Sin City 2. - Deadline
  • Robert Zemeckis might direct Taking Flight: The Hunt for a Young Outlaw, an adaptation of Bob Friel's book The Barefoot Bandit, the true story of 18-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, who became a cult hero for a string of crimes. - THR
  • Kevin Costner is wanted for the role of Chris Pine’s mentor in Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan and the role of a dying assassin who wants to reconcile with his daughter in the Luc Besson-produced Three Days to Kill. - Deadline
  • Speaking of Jack Ryan, it looks like Keira Knightley is close to becoming the female lead, beating out other contenders such as Evangeline Lilly and Felicity Jones. - THR
  • Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Boardwalk Empire) is in talks to play Joel Kinnaman’s partner in Jose Padilha’s remake of Robocop. - Heat Vision
  • Justin Lin (Fast Five) is the favorite over Spike Lee to direct L.A. Riots for Universal. - Vulture
  • Three roles were cast this week for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Meta Golding and Bruno Gunn will play District 2 career tributes Enobaria and Brutus, and Patrick St. Esprit will play Romulus Thread, the Head Peacekeeper of District 12.
  • Julianna Hough will star in the Diablo Cody-penned romantic comedy Time and a Half. - Variety
  • Reese Witherspoon will star in the romantic comedy The Beard. It’s not about facial hair, but about a woman who poses as a date for a gay man to help him hide his sexuality. - THR
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers will play Shadowhunter Valentine Morgenstern in the upcoming adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s young adult novel The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, also starring Lily Collins. - Heat Vision
  • Ryan Reynolds will play a father searching for his abducted daughter eight years after her disappearance in Atom Egoyan’s Queen of the Night. - IndieWire
  • Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike) and Malin Akerman are in talks to join Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington in David Ayer’s action-thriller Breacher. - Heat Vision & Variety
  • Donald Faison will play Doctor Gravity, and Yancy Butler will be returning as Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s mother (aka Red Mist’s mom Angie D’Amico), in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall. - Heat Vision
  • Shia LaBeouf is in negotiations to join Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, and some porn actors in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. - THR
  • Tim Robbins will direct City of Lies, an adaptation of Arthur Phillips’ short story Wenceslas Square about two spies who fall in love while on separate missions in Prague. - THR
  • Hide the cats: an ALF movie is coming. - THR
  • Sean Penn is in talks to direct an adaptation of Norman Ollestad’s memoir, Crazy for the Storm. It will be his first time behind the camera since 2007’s Into the Wild. - Variety
  • Saoirse Ronan will play the title role in Mary Queen of Scots, written by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth). - Deadline
  • Heather Graham will reprise her role of Jade the stripper in The Hangover 3. - Variety
  • Justin Theroux (writer of Tropic Thunder, actor in Wanderlust) will re-write and direct the comedy Swear to God starring Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. - Deadline
  • USA Today shows us what Russell Crowe will look like as Noah.

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