Alicia Vikander

A24

Alex Garland is an excellent writer. The screenwriter behind Never Let Me Go, 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd has tremendous range, and the fact that he can go from breaking your heart with a tragic Kazuo Ishiguro adaptation to writing a ridiculously good action movie shows he has discovered few limits so far. Some may argue he has a problem landing third acts, but those final 30 minutes of Sunshine are completely built up to and valid. Seriously. Garland tackles high-concepts with real humanity, and his characters are generally as fascinating as his big ideas. He may strike that balance once again with his directorial debut, Ex Machina. The sci-fi film stars Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Domhnall Gleeson (In Time) and Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina). Gleeson plays Caleb, a coder who wins a contest to spend time with a private CEO, Nathan (Isaac), and his A.I. creation. When Caleb arrives at Nathan’s home he’s awe-struck by what he finds… but that sense of wonder soon turns to horror. Checkout the trailer released by A24 to see why.

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skarsgard

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily news column that’s full of all sorts of salacious celebrity gossip, so long as you consider actors being cast in movies to be salacious gossip. Read on to get news about new jobs for Dev Patel, Michael K. Williams, Alicia Vikander, and more. There’s always more. Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Cinderella seems to nearly have all of its casting ducks in a row. It’s got Lily James as the title character, Richard Madden as the handsome prince, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, and Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger as the evil stepsisters. There’s one question that’s still at the tip of everyone’s tongue though—who the heck is going to play the Grand Duke, AKA the duplicitous advisor to the King? Well, according to Heat Vision, Branagh is dipping into his Thor cast and negotiating with Stellan Skarsgard to fill this very important role that apparently exists.

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brosnan-love

What is Casting Couch? It’s a news roundup that’s solely concerned with actors getting cast in movies. Today we have news about the war against the machines as well as the war against the vampires. In a career move that has to be seen as a huge victory for a man the age of Pierce Brosnan, he has just signed on to play a role that will see him impregnating Jessica Alba. It’s a “passion project,” by his own admission. The news comes from Variety, who reports that Brosnan, Alba, and Kristin Scott Thomas will be the stars of How to Make Love to an Englishman, a romantic comedy from writer Matthew Newman and director Tom Vaughn that casts Brosnan as a Cambridge University professor, Alba as a graduate student, and Thomas as the Alba character’s stepsister, a lady who steps in after the miracle of life occurs in order to knock some heads around and straighten everyone out. Sounds like a situation ripe for creating age-appropriate romance.

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Jackie Chan

What is Casting Couch? It’s a column that has a lot of new casting news today, so settle in. Even after only two movies, the number of aged action stars who have yet to appear in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables series has dwindled down to a select few. So, given his age, his lengthy resume, and the way he’s linked almost exclusively to the action genre, Jackie Chan has to be seen as one of the biggest fish out there that Stallone has yet to catch. It looks like that’s going to change in The Expendables 3, however, as Chan has told Cinema Online [via Coming Soon] that Stallone has invited him to join the cast of the film, and he has agreed to appear as long as it’s in a featured part and not just a cameo. Looks like we might finally get our chance to see Dolph Lundgren get beat up with a ladder.

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Saoirse Ronan

What is Casting Couch? It’s just trying to cram its foot into this shoe. Just last week, we learned that Cate Blanchett was likely to be Mark Romanek’s wicked stepmother in the new Cinderella movie that he’s doing for Disney, and now Variety gives us word that the project is closing in on its Cinderella as well. According to the trade, Atonement actress Saoirse Ronan, Anna Karenina actress Alicia Vikander, and The Three Musketeers’ Gabriella Wilde have all been in to see Romanek for screen tests. So, clearly, the sweet spot for getting this role is to have an interesting accent and some period work under your belt. Keira Knightley better watch her back, because it looks like there’s a whole upcoming generation of ladies gunning for her roles.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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