Aaron Eckhart

I Frankenstein

Where to begin? In 1795 Dr. Frankenstein creates a “monster” (Aaron Eckhart) who, contrary to past representations, is a pretty boy with a few nasty scars. The doctor considers it a monstrous creation of science, and while we’re never shown exactly why that is he attempts to kill the creature for the betterment of mankind. The monster survives and, as revenge, murders the doctor’s wife. Sounds fair, right? That’s a part of Mary Shelley‘s classic novel, but in this retelling, that murder does not fit in at all. Writer/director Stuart Beattie‘s film is all about the monster being as human as the rest of us even as he’s on a path towards true humanity. The problem is you’ll never care. He shows no regret killing the good doctor’s wife, and in one of the unintentionally funniest bits of the film he shrugs off a cop’s death as no biggie. It’s a strange choice to have a character an audience is meant to root for act so nonchalant over something like this to the point that he even makes a sarcastic quip over the cop’s death. Beattie and Eckhart are trying to create an anti-hero, but Adam (as the monster comes to be known) is too villainous for too long. His character arc is a flatline making it difficult to invest in whether or not he’ll come to learn about himself or grow as a “person.” Adam is a character passively wandering through a bigger story, and that’s not engaging movie […]

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news london has fallen

When it comes to sequels, bigger is usually better, but one of this year’s “White House gets partially exploded” films is getting a sequel that appears to have skipped over this golden rule when it comes to its title. The follow-up to Olympus Has Fallen will be called London Has Fallen. Now, London might be far smaller and less majestically-Greek than Olympus, but the sequel’s title does come with a distinct advantage. The words “Olympus Has Fallen“ have a tenuous connection at best with the idea of terrorists placing bombs in the White House and cackling maniacally whereas London Has Fallen is probably a far better description of what will happen in the actual film. But it seems so much vague titling didn’t stop Olympus Has Fallen from raking in heaps of cash at the box office, enough to both greenlight a sequel and bring all the same stars on board for round two. Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell have all been confirmed (by ScreenDaily) to return, but director Antoine Fuqua will apparently be passing the head-shot baton to an as-of-yet undeclared replacement. The story will see Messrs. Butler, Eckhart, and Freeman attending the funeral of the British Prime Minister when a band of terrorists begin running amok in London, forcing the trio to spring into action and and perform daring acts of bad guy-shooting. London Has Fallen will begin filming in London on May 5, 2014.

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I Frankenstein

Though not a sparkly vampire, Aaron Eckhart isn’t that much better as a rugged version of the Frankenstein monster (sorry, Adam Frankenstein) in the trailer for Stuart Beattie‘s I, Frankenstein. Far from the slow-moving, slow-witted monster we’re used to seeing terrorize villagers, the new reimagining of the Mary Shelley horror classic (this one is based on a graphic novel) has Eckhart surviving 200 years to the present day to become some sort of knife-wielding action hero. You see, being composed of various dead body parts doesn’t make him an abomination of nature – it makes him a superhuman with strength and speed that can surpass any regular person. Like a corpse Voltron. It’s up to him to lead other good supernatural creatures in a fight to save mankind(?) from bad gargoyles(?) led by dark prince Bill Nighy. Guys, this looks really, really bad. There’s also a savvy scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) who’s fascinated with his hot bod (it’s made of other bods!) who says things like “you’re only a monster if you behave like one,” and strokes his back. Mmm, pretty sure being the Frankenstein monster makes you a monster. But it’s a nice sentiment. Check out the trailer here:

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smoking-truth1

Before he directed award-nominated movies like Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult, Jason Reitman’s debut feature film was the bitingly sarcastic Thank You For Smoking, a tale of a unscrupulous spin-doctor for the tobacco industry. Being a self-described “Merchant of Death,” Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) becomes the target of pretty much everybody from his own family to a U.S. Senator. During the course of the film, Nick is kidnapped by unknown assailants who strip him down to his skivvies and cover him with dozens of nicotine patches. Soon, Nick loses consciousness and later wakes up in a hospital, miraculously alive due to his personal high tolerance for nicotine that he gained from years of smoking cigarettes. While the movie moves along to a sharp political and ethical point in the end, this scene got us thinking, just in case we needed to quit smoking and burn through the four-week patch program in a weekend, would covering ourselves with nicotine patches in one fell swoop kill us?

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FIN03_IFrank_1Sht_Immortal

This week’s Comic-Con will finally give audiences their first real look at the upcoming I, Frankenstein, but Lionsgate is offering up a little tease before then. The studio has provided three new posters for the film that feature the three sides that duke it out over the course of the film – gargoyles (the good guys), demons (the bad guys), and Aaron Eckhart‘s titular monster (our immortal hero). Gargoyles fighting for justice is never not cool (the Gargoyles animated series is proof of that), but the monster vs. monster idea smacks more than a little of the Underworld series – two warring clans of gothic monsters with an undead hero caught in the middle. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that I, Frankenstein comes from the same producers as the vampire-and-werewolf-brawl franchise, even if this film is an adaptation of Kevin Grevioux‘s similarly-titled graphic novel. And like we’ve written previously, Eckhart’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster (here referred to as “Adam Frankenstein”) looks more like a regular guy after a particularly ugly knife fight than he does a reanimated patchwork of various corpse parts, although the hoodie is kind of a cool touch. And it keeps with the film’s modern setting, an alternate version of the present full of monster battles and undead creations. You can check out the other two posters after the break.

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I Hottie

If there’s one thing that Mary Shelley’s original “Frankenstein” was missing, it was eye candy, but that pesky problem is about to get solved in a modern adaptation if this first official still from Stuart Beattie’s I, Frankenstein is any indication. Aaron Eckhart stars as Adam Frankenstein, who looks as if his creator was kind enough only to raid the graves of the most attractive shirtless dudes for his little science experiment (minimal scarring, thanks doc!). The film is based on a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux, the co-creator of Underworld. A genetic quirk in Adam’s makeup allows him to live until the present day, but being immortal has its consequences. In the middle of a “dark, gothic metropolis,” he soon finds himself in the middle of a war between two immortal clans beyond his control.

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Aaron Eckhart Erased

You know how you went downstairs this morning, and there wasn’t quite as much cereal left in the box as you thought there should be? We did that. We have operatives everywhere. We can see and hear everything you taste and smell. Which is why this week — on an episode that won’t self-destruct no matter how much you want it to — we offer some of our favorite conspiracy narratives (including a new take on The Usual Suspects) after talking with Aaron Eckhart about his latest CIA thriller, Erased, and the physical reaction he gets when reading a great script . Plus, we’ve got a review of Iron Man 3 done interrogation style. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #17 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.35.52 AM

Unlike a lot of actors, Aaron Eckhart maintains a great balance of starring in indies and blockbusters – muse to Neil LaBute, he appeared in his films In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors as well as starring as Harvey “Two Face” Dent in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster The Dark Knight. He also has a chin dimple that rivals Cary Grant’s, which can never be a bad thing. For his latest film, Olympus Has Fallen (directed by Antoine Fuqua), Eckhart gets back into blockbuster mode as the recently widowed President Asher, who is held hostage in the White House by a terrorist group. While his former Secret Service Agent/boxing buddy Mike (Gerard Butler) infiltrates the White House in hopes of saving the day, the President never backs down, even while being held hostage. Eckhart talked with us about his everyman approach to playing the President, the fallout of his character in The Dark Knight, potential upcoming collaborations with LaBute, and a possible name for his autobiography.

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review olympus has fallen

What if I told you that the new Gerard Butler film is like ‘Die Hard in the White House’ in more than just a generic ‘Die Hard in/on/at a…’ kind of way? Or that it features the highest, bloodiest, most ridiculous onscreen body count in an action film since Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo? Or that it’s the most purely entertaining film of Butler’s career? Or that the damn thing is a ton of fun? It’s all true… but none of it means there aren’t some incredibly unfortunate elements in Olympus Has Fallen too. Mike Banning (Butler) is head of the president’s (Aaron Eckhart) secret service protection detail, but an accident resulting in lost lives sees him reassigned to a desk job down the street at the U.S. Treasury building. When dozens of well-armed and highly organized North Korean terrorists attack the White House 18 months later the formerly disgraced agent becomes the president’s, and America’s, greatest hope. (Good thing they don’t know he’s actually Scottish.)

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score olympus has fallen2

A composer known for his otherworldly scores for films such as Immortals and period scores for television programs such as The Borgias, The Tudors, and The Pillars of the Earth may seem like an odd choice for a film about a very real place (the White House) falling victim to a fictional (albeit extreme) situation. However with a title like Olympus Has Fallen, composer Trevor Morris‘ past pedigree seems to make him the perfect fit to tell a story that is in fact as grand, and moving, as his past work. A fan of action movies himself, Morris worked closely with Olympus‘ director Antoine Fuqua to not only bring the story of the White House being taken over to life, but do so by getting audiences’ adrenaline and emotions racing.

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LaBute

Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Neil LaBute‘s stories aren’t for the faint of heart. They can be grueling in their dark humor, awkwardness and characters who will go as far as they have to for their own gain. Some Girl(s), which LaBute scripted from his own stage play, recently made its premiere at SXSW and sits comfortably in the gut-punching world his fans have come to love. The lead of the film, the Man (Adam Brody), is a selfish, narcissistic writer who isn’t afraid of embarrassing others with his stories. According to LaBute, he himself isn’t that kind of man, and none of his personal life sneaks into his work. The writer and director of In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, and others creates from his imagination, choosing not to pirate from his own life or others. When we see the protagonist of Some Girl(s) doing so, it makes for an annoyingly oblivious character, but as LaBute tells us, he never sets out to annoy the audience with his conniving. The writer of Some Girl(s) was kind enough to speak with us at great length about those uncomfortable stories he’s famous for, how The Wickerman isn’t based on his life, and more about his process:

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Aaron Eckhart as President Benjamin Asher in OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. Photo credit: Phillip V. Caruso

It’s quite serious. That’s the one thing that FilmDistrict seems to want you to know based on these new images from Olympus Has Fallen, released exclusively to Film School Rejects this morning. It’s true, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this one. Among them: Antoine Fuqua is a director who has dealt in more quality than anything else, as evidence by his gritty turns with Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Training Day and Tears of the Sun; Aaron Eckhart‘s jaw structure, as seen in The Dark Knight, was clearly made to exist about a foot and a half above the Presidential podium; Gerard Butler plays a good redemption story, always delivers with a gun in his hands; and it’s got Morgan Freeman. On top of all that, it’s a movie about a siege of the White House, in which one man is the key to saving POTUS from some Asian-based threat. It’s also quite bloody and full of what the kids might call “mean mugging,” also known as serious people looking very serious.

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Olympus Has Fallen

Although Olympus Has Fallen foolishly begins with Aaron Eckhart playing the president, it eventually rights this wrong by replacing him with Morgan Freeman, the true ruler of this great nation. All it takes is a terrorist takeover of the White House. Luckily, we have Gerard Butler on the inside and presidential succession on the outside to ensure that the bad guys won’t win. This one from Antoine Fuqua is the first of two “White House being taken over while a secret service agent is the only hope” movies we’ll see this year. It hits in March, and Roland Emmerich’s version, White House Down, hits in June. Hopefully we’ll get a trailer for that soon so we can compare, but check out the aggressively average look at Olympus for now:

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On one side, we have Roland Emmerich, Channing Tatum, and Jamie Foxx. On the other, we have Antoine Fuqua, Gerard Butler, and Aaron Eckhart. In the middle? Similarly themed and plotted films that have (apparently) both been deemed “Die Hard in the White House.” Choose a side now or…choose one later when the films are actually made? Variety reports that Eckhart has now joined the cast of Fuqua’s film, Olympus Has Fallen in the role of President of the United States (that’s the Jamie Foxx role, for those of you still trying to keep track). Eckhart’s good locks and lantern jaw seem pretty classically presidential, which is fair enough, because Emmerich’s White House Down is obviously going for awesome, ass-kicking points with Foxx.

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Fear not Harry Potter fans, it looks like we’ve finally found a promising project for Rupert Grint. Over the past year or so we’ve been living in a post-Potter world, and Grint’s co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have been flourishing. It seems like rarely a week goes by without one or the other poking their head into a new project. Grint has had a bit tougher of a time landing significant work so far, and things were starting to look a bit worrisome. But holy heck does this new film The Drummer sound like it could be a great chance for the young actor to show what he’s got apart from being Ron Weasley. Despite the fact that this one is from a writer/director duo that haven’t done much I’ve found noteworthy (Randall Miller and Jody Savin), The Drummer could be a winner just based on subject matter alone. It’s a look at the last few years of the life of Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson, when he was working on his solo album “Pacific Ocean Blue.” With the legions of Beach Boys fans still out there in the world, undoubtedly this is a project that will be getting a lot of attention, especially when you consider the cast that Grint will be joining.

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Yesterday, our own Cole Abaius reported on the possibility of Bill Nighy joining Stuart Beattie‘s I, Frankenstein as a demon, but before we get official word of Nighy going evil, Deadline Manchester reports that Yvonne Strahovski has signed on to play the female lead and principal love interest in the film. Best known for her work on television series Chuck, the role will continue Strahovski’s steady slip into more feature work (she recently co-starred in Killer Elite). Beattie wrote the script for the modern take on the Frankenstein’s monster tale, working off a graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux. Aaron Eckhart is on board to play the monster (which any nerd worth their salt knows is not actually named Frankenstein, that name comes from the monster’s creator Dr. Victor Frankenstein, so I am at a bit of a loss when it comes to the name of this project), who wavers between his more hideous needs and a burning desire to be truly human. As if that wasn’t enough to make a monster go positively batty, he’s also being “pursued by demons wanting to gain the secret of his reanimated corpse.” Also? Those demons want to create an army of the undead. And I thought Mary Shelley’s novel had enough issues to keep the staggering one busy.

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According to Variety, Bill Nighy is in talks to play another immortal-yet-aged being for I, Frankenstein. The movie is being written and directed by Stuart Beattie, the screenwriter behind the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which Nighy was a part of. This will be Beattie’s second feature as director after Tomorrow, When the War Began. A modernized version of Shelley’s story which sees Aaron Eckhart playing a centuries-old Frankenstein’s Monster is an abstract idea, but it should push Beattie more into the minds of American audiences as a director. So far, it’s also the furthest along in a slew of Frankenstein projects that have yet to be struck by lightning. As for Nighy, there’s nothing ever wrong with casting him, whether it be for a villainous demon or an aging rock star trying to mess up the lyrics to a Troggs song. Hopefully here, he plays both. I feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes.

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The Rum Diary marks Johnny Depp’s return to Hunter S. Thompson territory, following his cult favorite work in Terry Gilliam’s delirious adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Yet audiences expecting more of the same drug-fueled mania will be disappointed. While it’s filled with offbeat characters and the occasional stylistic quirk, Bruce Robinson’s film offers a straightforward, earnest narrative about a young marble-mouthed author finding his writing voice while fighting capitalist corruption. Set in a volatile Puerto Rico, circa 1960, Thompson’s semi-autobiographical story follows struggling journalist/alter ego Paul Kemp (Depp) as he joins the staff at a local rag run by domineering editor-in-chief Lotterman (Richard Jenkins). It’s a day-to-day portrait of Kemp’s hard living in paradise, set against a backdrop of conflict between the natives hoping to protect their land and the capitalistic cronies interested in transforming the archipelago nation into an overdeveloped tourist spot.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly celebration of what’s happening in the world of entertainment. It also usually manages to get in a few zingers. We begin tonight with an image of Wei Tang, an actress you may recognize as the gal who had a lot of sex with Tony Leung in that Ang Lee movie, Lust, Caution. She’s also a talented actress. Which is why she’s on the shortlist of actresses who could play the Asian Bond girl role in Bond 23, which is now rumored to be partially shooting in China.

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Kevin Grevioux is best known for creating the Underworld franchise, which tells the story of a centuries-old war between the vampires and the werewolves. He doesn’t just limit himself to writing about ancient vampires and werewolves though, it turns out he also has a penchant for writing about an immortal version of the Frankenstein monster. His graphic novel, I, Frankenstein is about a character named Adam, who is basically Dr. Frankenstein’s creation (who has survived to present day because of some genetic quirk inherent in his creation), going about his journeys and finding himself coming upon a stylized Gothic metropolis. After he arrives in said city, he finds himself caught between two immortal clans who have been warring for centuries. See? Kevin Grevioux writes about all sorts of things. The big news about I, Frankenstein is that it’s being adapted into a feature film. It has been adapted for the screen and will be directed by veteran genre screenwriter Stuart Beattie and, according to a press release sent out by Lionsgate, it will be starring Aaron Eckhart as the Adam character. Beattie says of the story, “Mary Shelley’s story is about the creation of the first human being. This is the story about that being becoming human.” Sounds like some pretty heady stuff. Luckily Lionsgate is confident that they’ve found the right actor to bring the character to life.

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