Movie News

Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

Though Channing Tatum has made a great home for himself staying in school way past his age limit, he’s lined up a very compelling project to produce and utilize as a potential starring vehicle as someone who left college behind long ago and found his genius in an arguably unorthodox way. Struck by Genius is the true story of Jason Padgett (based on his memoir of the same name), a hard-partying dude who suffered a serious, traumatic brain injury at the age of 31 after getting brutally mugged. The violent incident isn’t even the whole story here; it’s the fact that Padgett’s brain injuries led to him becoming the first documented case of acquired savant syndrome — with the added result of extreme mathematical synesthesia as part of the package. Effectively, after being brutalized, the shift in Padgett’s brain turned him into a mathematical genius who could see geometric shapes and mathematical formulas everywhere he looked. What’s your excuse for struggling through 10th grade Algebra?

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Columbia Pictures

Do you remember a time, a simpler time, when Ghostbusters was just a movie about some innovative guys who decked out a former firehouse to house New York City’s unruly spirits, a scientist who was simultaneously attempting to woo a woman and also figure out how to get an ancient Sumerian god to stop possessing her and her refrigerator, and a beloved childhood figure stomping through the streets of New York City to wreak havoc and commit some casual murder? Dan Aykroyd sure does. But the difference between the rest of us and Aykroyd is that while Ghostbusters II was a beautiful triumph of a sequel that deals with the very real and sensible repercussions of what happens when heroes have to face the consequences of their city-destroying attempts to help the public (and when painting-dwelling spirits want to steal a baby), and the love for the franchise has never truly died — it’s just stuck in a proton pack somewhere — the great majority have realized there’s a point at which you leave perfection to perfection. Aykroyd, one of the biggest proponents of a third Ghostbusters movie, that one that never seems to actually be happening, spoke in London at an event promoting his vodka brand, where the conversation turned to Ghostbusters. The third movie is just the tip of the iceberg; Aykroyd, who wrote the first two films alongside the late, great Harold Ramis and will be penning the third as well, wants to see an entire Ghostbusters universe a […]

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Lucifer Comic Character

You know the rules. There must be one new comic-to-TV adaptation per week, every week, lest Superman come down from his throne on high and smite us with his cool Superman powers. Two weeks ago, we were given Supergirl. Last week, (Teen) Titans. And for September 14-20, our weekly allotment is Lucifer. Deadline tells us that Fox has a put pilot commitment (that is, “shoot a pilot and air a pilot, or face a severe fine”) for a Lucifer series, based off the DC/Vertigo comic of the same name. Lucifer is basically who you think he is — big guy, red skin, horns, jumbo pitchfork. Except in the DC comics chronology, he’s rocking a more angelic look, as a stately blonde fellow in a suit with a large pair of wings. This Lucifer first popped up in Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” (the same “The Sandman” that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so interested in adapting), as a demon bored of the whole Hell thing and looking for a new gig. Eventually he moves out and opens a piano bar in L.A., which would become the setting for his eventual “Lucifer” spin-off comic, and also this Lucifer show. Tom Kapinos will be the showrunner for Lucifer, which feels like a good match. He also created Californication, where a malaised David Duchovny wandered about the glitz of L.A. Lucifer is the same thing, give or take a pair of six-foot wings.

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Listen Up Philip

“I’m told to expect big things out there.” Imagine what it would look like — what he would look like — if Rushmore‘s Max Fischer grew up without adhering to any of the lessons he learned in Wes Anderson‘s high school-set charmer. All that youthful striving, the gung-ho attitude, the self-involvement, well, that’s just not a good look for a grown-up, which is kind of the point of Alex Ross Perry‘s Jason Schwartzman-starring Listen Up Philip, an indie outing that looks to be taking Schwartzman’s Fischer in a terrible — and hilarious — new direction. In the feature, Schwartzman plays the eponymous Philip (who, yes, definitely looks like he needs to “listen up” to just about everyone else in his life), a self-obsessed novelist on the cusp of delivering his second book. That may sound promising, but things are not going so well for Philip, and his bad attitude and latent anger issues aren’t helping matters. See? He’s an adult-sized monster Max Fischer. Get to know Philip after the break, thanks to the first Listen Up Philip trailer.

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We Are What We Are (2013) Blu-ray Screenshot

For the last 12 years, you could say that Richard Linklater has been just a little bit busy developing Boyhood, his triumph of a film concerning the growth and life of a boy from childhood through adolescence — in real time. And while that ate up a dozen actual years, Linklater didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. As with his Boyhood cast, he allowed himself to work on other projects and tinker with new ideas for future films. One such project is the long-awaited follow-up to his 1993 masterpiece Dazed and Confused. The Playlist reports that Linklater has begun casting this “spiritual sequel” (as Linklater has called it), which is titled That’s What I’m Talking About. He sent offers for three of the lead roles to the following up-and-coming young actors: Blake Jenner (Ryder from Glee — you know, the one that got catfished by another Glee club member), Tyler Hoechlin (the Teen Wolf from Teen Wolf) and Wyatt Russell (Zook from 22 Jump Street and the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn).

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

No one has any lingering affection for I Know What You Did Last Summer, right? No? Great. Just making sure no one’s feelings will be crushed by the announcement that Sony has an IKWYDLS reboot fast-tracked for 2016. The following details come by way of Deadline: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (Oculus) will script the reboot, which will “again” take its inspiration from the 1973 novel by Lois Duncan. “Again” should really be up for debate, because it’s not like the original film was a slavish page-to-screen update. The book saw a group of teens kill a kid in a hit-and-run and then be haunted by a mysterious figure with a spooky connection to the killing. The movie saw a group of teens kill a scary hobo. Then they were slashed apart by a scary hobo. Still, it’s not like anyone’s thought of IKWYDLS in years. It made a boatload of cash in 1997, churned out a sequel in 1998 and was promptly forgotten, but for a direct-to-DVD threequel in 2006 that turned the hook-wielding killer into a magic zombie with teleportation powers. Long-dead franchise that was originally a hundred-million-dollar hit? That’s prime reboot real estate. It’s also a sign of the times — as a society, we’re above continually remaking the slashers of the ’80s. Because it’s now been 20 years since the ’90s, and whatever weird cultural embargo everyone was following is up, it’s open season on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-era serial killers. Hollywood is already dipping its toes into ’90s slasher rebootdom, […]

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Avengers Age of Ultron Poster

How about that Avengers: Age of Ultron plot synopsis, eh? Shockingly generic? Yes it is. They might as well have said, “The Avengers are getting back together because the world is even more threatened this time, and you know you’re going to see it anyway you have your alarm set for May 2015 so why do you keep asking us for a plot synopsis?” In other words, it’s an excellent synopsis that doesn’t give everything away or deliver pure fan service to the faithful. It’s also kind of pointless, so to make it more useful, let’s play Avengers: Age of Ultron Plot Synopsis Mad Libs. Here’s how: Choose a noun, a plural noun, the name of someone in the room, a verb that ends in S, the name of your favorite person, an adjective and one more noun. Plug them (in order) into this handy be-underlined paragraph, and you’ve got the makings of your own superhero film!

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The Hunger Games Mockingjay

Near the opening of the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss points out that she didn’t set out to cause massive social disruption; she only wanted to protect her little sister from certain death at the hand’s of an oppressive regime. It’s an excellent thematic introduction to a penultimate series entry that should radically change what the franchise is all about. What she did by volunteering was intimate and fiercely personal, but it resonated in a way that opened everyone else’s eyes. When one person stands up, the question is why everyone else isn’t on their feet. Donald Sutherland’s President Snow responds with a poetic zen koan about the things we love killing us. Undoubtedly, he loves power, so we’ll see how that all works out for him. Before you watch the trailer, a fair warning: it shows how one character has significantly changed — altering the lines in the sand and blurring what everyone is fighting for. For some, it’ll be more interesting to watch the transition in the film itself, but, if you need a shot of confident adrenaline to get you going and don’t mind the information, this should do it.

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Magnet Releasing

Here’s the thing. It’s fashionable to bash remakes from their very first announcement as unnecessary and doomed to failure, but there have been more than enough good (and even great) ones to know that’s just dumb. No remake, whether good or bad, has the power to alter the original which will always be available to watch and enjoy. Of course, knowing that doesn’t change the knee-jerk reaction you feel when a particularly fantastic foreign film is snatched up and scheduled for American consumption. Kim Jee-woon‘s deliciously brutal I Saw the Devil has been on the path towards an English-language remake since its release in 2010, but details as to who would actually be involved have been up in the air until now. The Wrap just revealed — and producer Keith Calder confirmed via Twitter — that the team behind You’re Next and the recent The Guest will be writing and directing the film. Adam Wingard will direct from Simon Barrett‘s script, and while we’re still more than a year away from a finished product there’s reason to feel both excited and concerned… while still remembering that Kim’s original will always be here regardless.

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Morgan Freeman Dolphin Tale

Somewhere, someone owes Morgan Freeman $20. Because someone was foolish enough to bet Hollywood’s sagest actor that he couldn’t land roles in both the Ben-Hur remake and the pot-smoking teddy bear sex comedy in the span of 36 hours. And Freeman has proved this poor fool wrong. At least, that’s what I assume has happened. Here’s the news, which brings us the first official cast member for the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace’s classic Christian novel: Deadline announced that Freeman has come aboard Timur Bekmambetov‘s remake-stravaganza. He is playing Ildarin, the sheik who instructs Judah Ben-Hur in the ways of chariot racing. It’s most definitely a “wise old man” role, but that fits Freeman to a T — after all, he is our nation’s foremost expert in dispensing time-tested wisdom and then chuckling to himself, softly. It’s been said roughly six billion times that doing a Ben-Hur remake is some kind of film blasphemy (although it might just be following the example set when Exodus: Gods and Kings stepped on the toes of another Charlton Heston religious epic). Even though the Ben-Hur everyone knows was actually a remake of a 1925 silent Ben-Hur. Which, in turn, was based on a 1907 film reel, which was based on a book. Plus it was already redone as an animated feature in 2003 and a mini-series in 2010. So it’s not as though remakes have no precedence here.

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Katie Holmes in Thank You For Smoking

Joey Potter, if there was any doubt you’d make it out of the Creek and make it big, that’s rightly been shattered. Katie Holmes is continuing her streak of pushing haters to the left and taking on unique, out-of-character projects by tackling her directorial debut with All We Had. Variety reports the drama, also a starring vehicle for Holmes, is an adaptation of the recently released Annie Weatherwax novel of the same name, scripted by Josh Boone. Boone’s name may sound familiar, as he just directed the self-refilling teenage pond of tears and despair called The Fault in Our Stars last spring. This means he has ample experience in dealing with misery and emotional mayhem, which will bode well in writing the movie — it’s a story centered upon a mother and her 13-year-old daughter who are struggling to hold their heads above water and escape poverty.

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Rant Hardcover

It’s unfortunate that each new announcement of a Chuck Palahniuk book being optioned for production has become a ritual in heart-protecting restraint, but after several dozen attempts to bring all of his novels to the big screen, it’s hard to take anything without a salt block handy. Except when James Franco is involved. Which he is. Say what you will about his talent, the guy gets shit done. So there’s a kernel of hope for “Rant” to do what most others couldn’t do. According to Deadline, Franco is producing while Adderall Diaries director Pamela Romanowsky will write and direct. It’s highly likely that Franco will take the lead role of Buster “Rant” Casey — a figure living in a future dystopia where classism has divided the population by curfews. Casey is a “Nighttimer,” part of the oppressed class, who participates in an elaborate urban racing game where the goal is to slam your car into other cars for points (and for the transcendent feeling you get from the jarring motion). He’s also got a thing for spider bites.

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Batmobile in Batman vs Superman

The very first thing you notice when you look at the new Batmobile from Batman vs Superman is that it looks fantastically aggressive. It’s a beast. Local police forces looking to oppress their citizens are drooling on unfiled paperwork right now. The second thing you notice about this progressively armored urban assault vehicle is the twin guns where the hood ornament should be. But if Batman doesn’t kill people, what’s the point of it? Flashbangs? Rubber bullets? Will the older, gruffer Batfleck replace Intimidation Mode with live rounds? Obviously, Zack Snyder hasn’t shied away from having Superman snap necks, so maybe the dark knight has finally relented on his one rule after a half century of fighting the same dumb battles. Then again, maybe Batman simply doesn’t understand what death is. R.I.P Doctor Fishy.

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Jonah Hill and Leo DiCaprio in WOWS

We’ve known since February that the fabled Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill bromance first seen in The Wolf of Wall Street would continue into a second film. We’ve also known who that film would be about: Richard Jewell, the security guard who saved the ’96 Olympics from a bomb threat and was wrongfully crucified for it. And now thanks to Deadline, we know who’s interested in directing it (“circling” the project, as they say): Paul Greengrass. Makes sense, given that the script is being handled by Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray. Right now, some outlets are referring to the pic as American Nightmare, but it’s not totally clear if that’s the official title or just something taken from the Vanity Fair expose this is all based off of, “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell.”

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Morgan Freeman Laughing

In casting news that really makes you think about the significance of life on this big blue rock hurtling through space we call our world, Morgan Freeman has signed on for a “juicy role” in Seth MacFarlane‘s much-anticipated sequel to Ted, according to Variety. The aptly named Ted 2 will again be scripted and directed by MacFarlane, who will also return to voice the pesky little teddy bear with the loudest mouth. The details of the plot are scarce for the time being, but Freeman was apparently sought for his role — which makes sense, because if you’re going to attempt to go big you might as well go all the way to the top and fight for someone like Freeman. MacFarlane has been searching for high-profile celebrities to nail down supporting roles and cameos (still uncasted) to join the film and step out of their comfort zone for some gross-out humor and casual conversation with a talking teddy bear. What’s clear at this point is that the actor will play an “iconic” civil rights lawyer who steps into the mix when Ted lands himself in some legal trouble that needs to be resolved. To accompany Freeman, several members of the original cast will return, including Mark Wahlberg and frequent MacFarlane collaborator Patrick Warburton. The former starred as Ted’s best friend and partner in crime, John, who wished for the toy to come to life when he was a child and had the wish fulfilled during a particularly generous falling star. 

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Chris Pine in Stretch

With Joe Carnahan‘s latest film, Stretch, Blumhouse is hoping to do for action what the production company has done for horror: make a project with low risk, high reward. Their movies cost peanuts compared to most major releases. If they make a hit, it’s a major success. If they put out a bomb, nobody is going to the poorhouse. It’s a great business model that’s mostly been used for horror movies. They’ve stepped outside of their wheelhouse every now and then, to mixed results. For example, Catherine Hardwicke’s Plush was a melodramatic rock ‘n’ roll sex thriller that, despite being Hardwicke’s most fun movie in a years, went unnoticed. Hopefully that won’t be the case for Stretch. The film was originally going to be released by Universal back in March, but they dropped the picture two months before its scheduled debut. The studio was unwilling dish out the money necessary to advertise it. Carnahan, to a degree, empathizes with their decision. “To hear $25-40m [to market it], okay, I guess that makes sense,” he told Slashfilm. “I don’t know why we’re still marketing films that way. Do you know what I mean? It seems like that’s the only way. But like for everything you need, you can’t just be ‘it’s only this way.’ But again, I get it. It’s Universal. It’s a studio. They have a way of doing things. I respect that.”

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Zodiac

Please read the following sentence: Look here, sister, start usin’ them getaway sticks or you’ll be takin’ a pill from this roscoe here.* Did that make any earthly sense? Yes? No? Well, either way we’ll be learning the ways of the noirish gentleman (and lady) soon. Hopefully. Because David Fincher and James Ellroy are in talks with HBO to start up a film noir TV series. From the Playlist, we’ve got a scant few details: it’ll be set in Los Angeles and steeped in the same general ’50s backdrop as previous Ellroy works (they cite “L.A. Confidential” as a biggie). And that’s about as far as “scant” gets us. The Playlist stresses that there’s “no deal in place,” but given the talent involved, HBO would be foolish to pass this one up. Fincher’s never made an out-and-out film noir (unless you count a couple of ads for The Gap), but he’s dabbled in things with noir-ish vibes to them. Like Se7en, which was kind of a horror movie and kind of a neo-noir but still had Morgan Freeman in a three-piece suit, trenchcoat and hat. Totally counts in that regard. Ellroy, by comparison, is 100% gumshoe, having written two of the best noirs in recent history: “L.A. Confidential” and “The Black Dahlia.” Also, here’s a salient quote that should be mentioned every time his name comes up — Said by Ellroy, about Ellroy: “declarative and ugly and right there, punching you in the nards.”

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WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

After Reese Witherspoon dyed her hair and stepped into June Carter Cash’s shoes for Walk the Line, it was no longer a secret that she could sing, and sing well. The 2005 biopic that earned her the Oscar for Best Actress is a dark and complicated journey through the singer’s life with Johnny Cash, just as much about their volatile relationship as it is about the music. And though Carter was never someone with a just an ordinary voice, Witherspoon absolutely nailed what made her tick, hitting ever lilt and country twang with ease. Now she’s tackling another giant: legendary jazz singer and songwriter Peggy Lee (who herself received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination). There’s actually no title for the biopic yet — who wants to bet good money that it’s called Fever? — but Witherspoon has actually been circling the project for over four years, during which time it was to be written and directed by the late and great Nora Ephron. When she passed away in 2012, it was assumed that the project wouldn’t be moving forward, but news surfaced from Witherspoon herself that indicates otherwise. The actress revealed during an onstage interview at the Toronto Film Festival last night that Ephron completed her script before her death, and Todd Haynes will now be directing. He is the man to talk to when it comes to original and unconventional music biopics, so this is promising news for getting the project back in the running. Among his larger filmography, Haynes is responsible for the very unauthorized Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, the fictionalized-but-little-too-real glam-rock […]

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justin-lin-and-michelle-rodriguez-in-furios-si-iute-6-2013--large-picture

We’ve known for a while that True Detective isn’t doing the one-director-per-season thing, because that takes eons longer to film than an average TV show and HBO would very much prefer to run new episodes on a consistent schedule, not whenever a bunch of “time is a flat circle” mystics will it into existence, man. What we haven’t known is which directors will be stepping in to fill the Cary Fukunaga-sized hole left in the series. Until now. Potentially. The Hollywood Reporter names Justin Lin as the first director to be officially courted by HBO. The publication, sporting a stringy ponytail and jamming a penknife into a Lone Star beer can, says he is in talks to direct two episodes of the eight that are coming next season. Probably the first two, but it’s hard to tell amongst the crinkle of metal on metal and THR’s lengthy discussion of how life is memory that’s been locked away and left to rot, and all that remains is something something nihilism, alright alright alright.

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Robert De Niro in Grudge Match

We can never have too many wacky road trip comedies, but they need to involve particular formula to make things extra off-the-wall. Here’s one version: take a no-nonsense youngster — extra points if he’s a millennial completely dependent on technology who doesn’t appreciate how good things are nowadays (a mile uphill in the snow to school, etc., etc.) — and pair him with a zany sex-obsessed octogenarian who just wants to party. And party hard! Where we going? Vegas? Why? Who cares? Such an adventure is set to star Zac Efron and Robert De Niro with a script by John Phillips and direction by frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer (he’s a writer on Borat, Bruno and The Dictator). The project is going through a bit of an identity crisis at this point — it’s either called Dirty Grandpa or Driving Dick Kelly, depending on which outlet you consult. But the premise is the same no matter the name: Efron will play a very uptight young man with a huge problem: he’s going to marry the wrong woman! He is also tricked into driving his grandfather (De Niro), a retired, recently widowed and — this is important — perverted Army general, down to Florida for spring break. We all know where it goes from there. Spring. Break. Forevahhh. Question: How would Robert De Niro look in a pastel colored balaclava while holding a machine gun? Is there any answer besides amazing?

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