Benicio Del Toro

Marvel Studios

One of the many highlights of Guardians of the Galaxy (out next week) is when the gang pays a visit to The Collector. James Gunn‘s film already had shades of strange, but Benicio del Toro kicked it up a few notches. Once you visit his black market, you don’t want to leave it. Maybe the film’s biggest problem is del Toro: he’s not in it enough. They’ll likely incorporate him more in future Marvel movies, but he’s a character you want to see more of. Take one look at that guy and it’s pretty obvious he lives an interesting life. Him wheeling and dealing with that funky outfit on could be as exciting as any huge set piece. The fact of the matter is, we need a movie about The Collector. It wouldn’t have to be a super expensive tentpole movie. The Collector is the kind of character we don’t need to see in action. He’s engaging enough on his own. In the past there’s been talk of Marvel movies making smaller scale pictures. They recently announced their release date schedule for the next five years. It’s doubtful any of those summer and fall releases aren’t huge blockbusters. That’s fine, of course, but wouldn’t fandom turn up for a smaller Marvel movie? A little slice of life kind of story in the life of a hero or villain?  Will we ever see those movies from Marvel in the future? “Well, someday,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige tells us at the press day for Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Dr. Who signing - Glasgow

What is Casting Couch? A list of the weekend’s casting news, headed up by various Guardians of the Galaxy castings, but also including news on what’s up with Judd Nelson. The cast of Marvel’s space adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, is getting so extensive, and so many actors appearing in it have been described as having a “lead role,” that it’s starting to get pretty confusing as to how all this stuff is going to fit into one movie. We’ve got intergalactic superheroes, intergalactic police, bounty hunters, liaisons to government agencies on Earth, and who knows how many other players introduced at this point. Nonetheless, Heat Vision has a report that the film has now cast its “lead female villain,” and the lady they’ve got to play the role is Doctor Who’s beloved companion, Karen Gillan. As if this balls crazy movie didn’t have enough geek cred already.

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jimmy p 01

The clunkily titled Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (aka Jimmy P.) is Arnaud Desplechin‘s first film in a whole five years, though disappointingly proves a shakily uneven return for the director, entrenched in the more laborious, bone-dry methodology of its famous case study rather than probing the complex emotional state of the titular character. Resolutely a work of special interest and little else, of all the In Competition entries to screen so far, this is the one that can most easily be ruled out of the running for the Palme d’Or. The true story on which this film is based revolves around Jimmy Picard (Benicio Del Toro), a Blackfoot Indian who returns from service in World War II and begins suffering from headaches, sight loss and countless other ailments. While American doctors are quick to diagnose him as mentally ill, it is the arrival of anthropologist-turned-psychiatrist Georges Devereau (Mathieu Amalric) that changes everything, as he manages to unlock past traumas in Jimmy’s life to arrive at the root of the problem.

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benicio

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s headlined by news of three big actors working with three well-respected directors, but it also has news about new jobs for ladies like Keira Knightley, Reese Witherspoon, and the Dowager Countess. Benicio Del Toro is the talented and unique sort of actor who manages to be interesting to watch even when he’s in a project that isn’t that great. The dude was fun in Savages. Basically, you can set your watch to him. But pair him with a director who’s good at working with actors, and you’re likely to get pure magic. That’s why The Wrap’s news that Del Toro is in talks to join Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is basically the best thing that’s happened all day. Big actors often times give their best performances when working with Anderson, Del Toro is a big actor—it’s perfect. Also, he’s supposed to be playing a lawyer in the film, which, if you’ve seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you know can get pretty entertaining. Zang.

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Josh Hutcherson

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column that has updates on the careers of some promising young talent. And Matthias Schoenaerts. Josh Hutcherson is one of the hottest young actors in the business right now, but when you first hear that he’s negotiating to star in a movie about Pablo Escobar, it sounds a little confusing. Never fear though, because Deadline has an explanation. Paradise Lost is the movie about Escobar that’s being written and directed by Life of Pi actor Andrea di Stefano and is starring Benicio Del Toro as the infamous drug lord. The reason that Hutcherson is said to be negotiating for the lead role is because, while Del Toro gets to do the showy stuff as Escobar, Hutcherson’s character is the one whose eyes we see the story through. If he signs on he’ll be playing an Irish surfer who falls in love with Escobar’s niece and then has to meet her murdering, drug-dealing uncle. Colombia sounds fun.

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Sylvester Stallone in Cobra 2: Axing for Trouble

What is Casting Couch? It’s a news roundup that’s jam-packed with updates about big star doing big things. Look at this list of names! There’s barely a second-stringer on there. When you shoot as many people in the head and blow as many things up onscreen as Sylvester Stallone, every once in a while it’s nice to take a break from all of the insanity and do a quiet little indie drama. So, according to Variety, that’s exactly what he’s doing with his next film, Reach Me. Written and directed by Stallone’s Cobra co-star John Herzfeld, Reach Me is an ensemble piece about a group of characters who were all touched by a self-help book that was written by a reclusive football coach. There isn’t yet any word on what role Stallone will be playing, but, for the sake of his old knees, let’s hope it doesn’t involve any running. Those hobbling away from the explosion scenes in the Expendables movies are starting to look pretty painful.

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Savages 2012

It’s tough trying to figure which side of Oliver Stone’s career Savages would fall under. Part of the director’s output is fueled by an angry that’s always unafraid to show people at their ugliest. Then there’s another side, which we’ve seen these past few years, that’s much softer. While Stone’s recent work has been far from the image of a cuddly teddy bear — with the exception of familial scenes peppered throughout Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps — he’s become more empathetic towards his characters and less willing to poke fun at them, which was highlighted best by 2008’s W. Where does Savages fit between those two distinct outlooks? Somewhere comfortably in the middle. Based on Don Winslow‘s novel of the same name, Savages tells the bloody, dramatic, and comical tale of a three-way relationship taking a turn for the worst. The thinker, Ben (Aaron Johnson), and the doer, Chon (Taylor Kitsch), run a business together, providing some of the best weed in California. With business and life going too well, others attempt to cash in on their success, namely Elena, a major drug kingpin who features both genuine charm and ferocity, played by Salma Hayek. When Ben and Chon decline her business proposal, Elena hits them closest to home: their shared lover, O (Blake Lively). To get her back, Ben and Chon wage a small-scale war, attacking both the business and family side of Elena’s life.

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The other day, I labeled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as the “wild card” of the summer, and if there’s any other film which comes close to its riskiness (or more so?), it’s Oliver Stone‘s adaptation of Don Winslow‘s book of the same name, Savages. Stone’s pic is an unconventional summer movie: an R-rated, hard-edged movie for adults. Based on what I’ve heard from the positive test-screenings, which led to the film getting bumped up to a summer release, Savages lives up to that riskiness, with Salma Hayek and John Travolta possibly being the two standouts. Now, with over a month until release, some terrific behind-the-scenes pics from the film have been released (via Oliver Stone’s website and the film’s Facebook page). Take a peak of a bloodied up Blake Lively and Benicio Del Toro‘s lovely evil ‘stache after the break:

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Oliver Stone’s adaptation of the oppressively hip Don Winslow novel Savages’ has been making a lot of waves on FSR today. First we showed you the teaser for the film, something like the trailer for the trailer (a new marketing trend that could get hilariously annoying if it becomes more pervasive), and now we’ve got the the full length trailer for the film; which adds some actual plot description to the loud noises and sexy imagery of the teaser.

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Trailers for trailers are generally underwhelming and don’t give us much information to go off of. This preview for the Savages trailer, which is scheduled to hit online soon, happens to be an exception to the rule. This tease shows the Oliver Stone we haven’t seen since the 90s, an energetic and propulsive Stone. In the vein of Natural Born Killers and the hugely underrated U-Turn, Savages looks to have a fun, dirty, and stylish atmosphere. After a terrific test screening Universal bumped the film up for a summer release, believing it’s got real financial potential. While an Oliver Stone film about young pot dealers clashing with a drug cartel doesn’t scream “box-office smash”, I’ve heard Savages has commercial appeal. I recently spoke to someone who saw the film, and they had plenty of positive things to say, namely about Salma Hayek and John Travolta‘s performances. Apparently if you’re a Stone fan, such as myself, you may see this as a big return to form. Check out the short but stylish teaser below.

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Possible introductory pieces of wordsmithery to lead off this post – “not worth nyuk-ing about!” or even “better than a poke in the eye!” or possibly a longer rife on the use of “just say Moe” as the film’s tagline. Yet all of those cracks at humor are rendered absolutely and starkly unnecessary by this first trailer for the Farrelly Brothers‘ The Three Stooges, which is so painfully unfunny that it makes even related humor feel useless. The Farrellys have been wanting to make a Stooges feature film for years, proclaiming it a passion project, but its journey to the screen has been filled with its own pratfalls and slams to the face – development delays and huge casting issues abounded. The film was originally rumored to star Jim Carrey, Benicico del Toro, and Sean Penn, but when they all dropped the project, other potential casting options were mentioned and reported, including Hank Azaria, Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg, and Shane Jacobson. Which doesn’t explain how we ended up with a cast that includes Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe Howard, Sean Hayes as Larry Fine, and Will Sasso as Curly Howard. And Snooki is there, because why not make something that looks terrible look even more bogglingly awful? If you don’t value your eyes, your soul, or the possibility that Hollywood would greenlight an original and creative project, check out the first trailer for The Three Stooges after the break.

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Recently, we’ve been reporting on rumors that strange but awesome actor Benicio Del Toro was being pursued by J.J. Abrams to play the villain in the upcoming sequel to his Star Trek reboot. Those rumors were coming from multiple sources and seemed to be completely legit. Alongside that, we’ve also been completely irresponsibly speculating that the villain Del Toro was being asked to play was Khan, the genetically engineered tyrant who served as the crew’s nemesis in the previous film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This was based on nothing other than Del Toro’s general swarthiness and how great he would be at stepping into the scantily clad shoes of Ricardo Montalban, and wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Today, however, there is news on both of these fronts. Vulture is reporting that the deal with Del Toro is dead. Reportedly, as of last Wednesday, both sides decided that they couldn’t agree on money and parted ways. So, given that shooting for the film is scheduled to start in January, that gives Abrams a window of only a few weeks to find someone else to step into the role. A role that there is new news about. In the same Vulture article, they are claiming that they have heard from “highly placed sources” that despite Abrams’s comments to the contrary, the villain for this new Trek is indeed going to be Khan Noonien Singh. Speculation is that when Abrams told Hitfix that it was “not true” that Del […]

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There’s some action going on over at J.J. Abrams’ super secret lair where he makes all of his super secret movies, and Variety has the scoop. Apparently his upcoming Star Trek sequel calls for even more attractive young actors than his original go around with the franchise did, because he’s been testing actresses like Theresa Palmer, Hayley Atwell, and Alice Eve to play a character new to Star Trek canon. And after all the tests were tested and the deliberations were deliberated, it’s looking like Eve is the first choice of Abrams and crew to become the newest member of the Star Trek universe. She hasn’t officially signed yet, but sources expect it to happen soon. Eve is kind of a wild card casting in my eyes. Mostly she’s done a bunch of TV series and the Sex and the City sequel, so I don’t have much of a basis to form an opinion on her as an actress. I did see her starring turn in She’s Out of My League though, and I remember that not only was I presently surprised by how palatable that film was as a whole, but I kind of walked out of the theater having a crush on Eve as well. She’s pretty and charming, so high five Star Trek 2!

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JJ Abrams Directing Star Trek

The sequel to J.J. Abrams’ slick and successful Star Trek reboot was originally supposed to come out on June 29, 2012. That date didn’t really take into consideration that Abrams was a busy guy doing a lot of other things though. Because of his directorial and promotional duties on Super 8, there was no way he was going to hit that date and make it good. Thankfully, instead of forcing Abrams to rush the project out, or flat out firing Abrams and then hiring Brett Ratner to rush the project out, Paramount had the good sense to pull back on their expectations, give Abrams a reprieve, and actually try to make a good movie.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has just discovered its lack of Photoshop talent. Don’t worry, you’ll see it. It’s not hard to spot. Otherwise, it’s all news, baby… Benicio Del Toro could be the next Star Trek villain, if J.J. Abrams gets his way. And we all know that J.J. Abrams gets his way. Of course, the character he’s in line to play is still being kept under wraps. Will he be a Klingon? Khan? Some nobody like Eric Bana’s Nero? I do know this: he will be creepy, even if he plays himself.

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It was a month ago that I first heard about Oliver Stone directing an adaptation of the Don Winslow Novel “Savages.” A couple of the key male roles had been cast, but Jennifer Lawrence was out as the female protagonist, O, due to her involvement in The Hunger Games. Now Stone and company seem to have found their new choice to play O, and they’ve filled out a couple of the other key roles as well. The three main characters of the film are Chon, Ben, and O, two dudes and a chick who start a successful grow operation and find themselves running afoul of a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. When we last saw Savages it had already cast Taylor Kitsch as the ex Navy SEAL Chon, Aaron Johnson as the botany expert Ben, and Salma Hayek as the head of the cartel Elena. This time Deadline Laguna reports that not only has Gossip Girl star Blake Lively been chosen to play O, but also a few big names have been approached to join the cast as well.

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Depp was once believed to be a lock for playing the titular character in Emir Kusturica’s upcoming film The Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Seven Fingers, but delays on the project and too many upcoming obligations on his plate have forced him to step back from the role. This couldn’t have been an easy decision as reportedly he and Kusturica are pretty chummy. But what could be seen as a fairly big blow for the developing feature might not be so big of a deal after all. Blic reports that there are already two possible stars likely to step in and take Depp’s place. More good news abounds due to the fact that they are both accomplished actors, and they are both actually Hispanic to some degree. Maybe Pancho Villa didn’t need to be played by the kid from 21 Jump Street after all? The first guy rumored to play the role is Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal. He’s already sucked up big time trying to land the part at the Kustendorf film festival by saying, “I believe Emir is the only director who can do the Pancho Villa story. Even better than any Mexican director. You know why? Because he is a kind of Pancho Villa in his own right.” Okay. Really? In what respect? And if that killer quote wasn’t enough, Bernal goes on to posit, “I will probably land the leading role because of physical resemblance with Pancho Villa.” Can’t argue with that logic, […]

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We get it. Diaz’s career is headed this direction as it is…but Del Toro? Benicio Del Toro in a romantic comedy? Who in the what now?

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if The Wolfman, Valentine’s Day and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief can make the grade.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil snuggle up with each other in the Magical Studio in the Sky… what a way to spend Valentine’s Day weekend. They talk about romantic movies like The Wolfman while Neil rants about Valentine’s Day (the movie, not the holiday).

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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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