Christopher Nolan

Pacific Rim

One of the top-ten highest-grossing movies of 2013 will be nominated for Best Picture, and that’s something that didn’t happen in the past two years. The same movie, Gravity, will very likely be the sixth in a row to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects to also be a Best Picture nominee. If it wins the top award, it will be the first to win both those honors since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  I know a lot of people consider Gravity to be a science-fiction film, while I don’t quite qualify it as such. So I merely see it as the closest thing to a genre movie contending for Best Picture this year rather than a true representative. It’s more The Right Stuff than Star Wars. Wasn’t the allowance for more Best Picture nominees intended to accommodate those more popular choices? The first year the Academy returned it to a ten-title category was 2009, and then we saw Avatar and District 9 plus Up, the first animated feature to get a slot since 1991. The next year we had another animated feature in the bunch, Toy Story 3, as well as the sci-fi film Inception. In 2011, Hugo nearly counted as a fantasy picture while Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was a kind of time travel film, but they stretched the definitions of genre film. Last year, the same went for the fantastically dipped Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild. […]

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interstellar teaser 1

How do you fill a nearly two-minute-long teaser for a movie you’re not ready to show much footage from? Pad it with archival material, of course. The first look at Christopher Nolan‘s highly anticipated new sci-fi film Interstellar has arrived online, and at first we could mistake it for a documentary with its clips from the Great Depression and the history of the U.S. space program plus some celebrity voiceover narration by Matthew McConaughey. This is a nonfiction propaganda film about why we must support a return to space exploration, isn’t it? After all, the concept is nearly identical to that of the Peter Cullen-narrated “We Are the Explorers” NASA PSA that played ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness earlier this year.

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Cillian Murphy Batman

If you’ve ever wondered what Cillian Murphy would have looked like as Batman, wonder no more. The above image (via Batman-News) is from the new Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set, and they’ve got him as Bruce Wayne, too. Somewhere, Tim Burton is jumping with glee. Now, if you’ve ever wondered whether the Swear To Me voice was always in the mix, wonder no more again. As the below screen test video proves, Christian Bale was asking where the drugs were in that now-signature growl from the very beginning (although I wonder if Kevin Conroy has something to say about what Christopher Nolan is claiming here). Just think. In ten years, we’ll be seeing shots like this of Josh Brolin and video like this of Ben Affleck surface. But who will we be watching in the Batsuit in twenty?

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Matt Damon

We still know next to nothing about Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. Matthew McConaughey will voyage through a wormhole- that’s about it. But at least we can add one more name to the list of those joining him on his cosmic voyage: Matt Damon. The actor will be joining Nolan’s latest for a small role; one that only necessitates two weeks out of Interstellar‘s four-month shoot. Obviously, it hasn’t yet revealed who Damon will be playing, but presumably he’ll be another space voyager, or an alternate-universe version of McConaughey’s character, or a caveman in some elaborate sequence where the film jumps back to the dawn of time (as people are already comparing this one to 2001: A Space Odyssey).

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Paramount announced today that principal photography is officially underway in Canada for Christopher Nolan‘s galactic voyager movie Interstellar. The film, based on a combination of an original idea by Nolan and an existing script by Jonathan Nolan, follows a group of intrepid explorers who use a wormhole to bend the limits of human travel and experience a radical space journey. On this fantastic voyage? Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael Caine, among others. Nolan is re-teaming with his usuals: production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith, and composer Hans Zimmer for the film as well. Though not much is known about the film yet besides these little tidbits, it sounds like a fantastic sci-fi affair with the trappings for something of epic proportions. Can you just picture Michael Caine hurtling through a wormhole set to a Hans Zimmer score? Because I’m definitely imagining that right now, and it’s the best movie of the year. Interesting to note: renowned physicist Kip Thorne is consulting on the film, as well as serving as executive producer, so this wormhole journey might actually be pretty factual. Interstellar is in theaters November 7, 2014.

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news pfister nolan

Apparently, being Christopher Nolan is contagious. The director’s 2010 film Inception was a twisty-turny science fiction epic shrouded in secrecy, and now Nolan is hard at work on the similarly twisty-turny Interstellar that’s similarly shrouded in secrecy. Wally Pfister, Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, has apparently caught the Nolan bug. He too has a science fiction film coming out in 2014- Transcendence- and up until now there’s been very little word on what the film’s actually about. All we’ve had to go on was a brief summary that mentioned how Johnny Depp‘s character will be assassinated, then turned into some kind of artificial intelligence. Now, ScreenCrush has the official synopsis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add a whole lot. Ready? Here it is:

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Batman Beyond

The heat of Comic-Con might already be getting to people because there’s a rumor going around that Warners is considering tapping into Batman Beyond for their post-Nolan reboot of the character. That’s according to Bill Ramey at Batman On Film, who is hearing “some whispers” that a movie version of the future-set animated show where Bruce Wayne passes the utility belt to teenager Terry McGinnis is “on the table” as a potential direction to take the character. The only problem is that there’s no way it’s going to happen. Full stop. It’s possible that it’s out there in a no-idea-is-a-bad-idea way, but if Warners is serious about Justice League, they’ll quickly shove Batman Beyond off the table. Ramey disagrees with that point, saying, “If you don’t think a solo Batman film series based on Batman Beyond would mesh with a [DC Universe] on film — if there ever is one — you’d be wrong. The ‘in his prime’ Bruce Wayne Batman could potentially be in a team-up film, while the aged and retired Bruce Wayne Batman would be the version of the same character in the Beyond solo films. Think ‘non-linear’ — same Batman, different time periods.” It’s not that the worlds don’t mesh; it’s that they don’t mesh easily. I love the wishful thinking, but there’s no chance a studio could (or would want to) sell “It’s Batman, but not Batman,” to general audiences.

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Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead-Death-Proof-Widescreen-Wallpaper-mary-elizabeth-winstead-7221018-1280-800

What is Casting Couch? It’s the news roundup that’s gathering together one last batch of casting reports before it takes a brief Comic-Con break. Read on for news regarding screen beauties like Linda Cardellini, Ashley Greene, and John Lithgow, and then we’ll see you again next week. After recent performances in dramas like Smashed and The Spectacular Now, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead seems to be leaving her past of performing in genre work behind in order to take more dramatic roles. Deadline is reporting that she’s just signed up for her third new job is just a few weeks, and this one will see her joining the Jeremy Renner-starring Gary Webb biopic, Kill the Messenger, as the character of Dawn Garcia, who was Webb’s editor at the “San Jose Mercury News.” Just a year or so ago people might have been questioning if she could pull this off, but now it’s clear that she can. Let’s just hope that all of these new bonafides don’t keep her from still doing the occasional cheesy action movie now and then. It’s important to let your hair down.

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horovitz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily news column that compiles the biggest casting scoops from all around the Internet. Today’s edition is absolutely bursting with news, so let’s jump right in. Due to his being a member of The Beastie Boys, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz is a legend in the rap game. Many don’t know that he has a little bit of a history in the acting world though. Of course, many don’t know that because his career consisted of a couple small roles in the late 80s and early 90s, and then he seemed to forget about his little hobby. The Wrap has a report that Horovitz might soon be making a big acting comeback though, because apparently he’s in talks to join Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in Noah Baumbach’s (Frances Ha) next film, While We’re Young. In it Horovitz would be playing a new father who can no longer relate to Stiller and Watts’ characters because they don’t have kids, which is pretty much the most frightening notion ever for those of us who remember Ad-Rock as being a beer-swilling teenager on MTV’s spring break.

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david-goyer

Screenwriter David S. Goyer and his bank account must be very pleased with the audience turnout for Man of Steel, but this Superman reboot wasn’t always an easy bet. Remember in 2006 the months leading up to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns? The buzz and box-office expectations were all around hyperbolic. So much so even Entertainment Weekly predicted it would make over 300 million dollars domestically It didn’t. Was that because audiences no longer had an interest in Superman or that they just couldn’t get behind Singer’s idealistic ode to the Donner films? Maybe both. Goyer, producer Christopher Nolan, and director Zack Snyder realized audiences needed a more modern take on the character, which they delivered on with large-scale action sequences, shades of science-fiction, and no bumbling Lex Luthor goons. We spoke with screenwriter David Goyer after the film’s opening weekend about the project’s conception, grounding an alien who flies, and how we still haven’t seen a fully-formed Superman in our SPOILER-filled discussion:

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Man of Steel

Spoilers Ahead: This article contains advanced talking points for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. We recommend reading it after you see the film. Anyone who called Iron Man 3 or any other blockbuster in the past few years an “epic” will be eating their words once they see Zack Snyder‘s giant toy set called Man of Steel. It’s as if Shane Black and J.J. Abrams were playing with plastic action figures and then, all the sudden, Snyder showed up with real heroes. His Superman reboot is exciting, a visual marvel, and gives fans the movie they wanted to see from Bryan Singer. Finally, we have a 21st century Superman who punches somebody, but is there more here than a few wicked brawls? For the most part, yes. There’s some heart present, especially with Russell Crowe taking part in the film’s emotional peak within the first twenty minutes. After that, the movie loses some of that patient drama with certain structural and character choices. This isn’t, let’s say, a Star Trek Into Darkness situation where the experience falls flat by Abrams & Co. consistently choosing spectacle over logic. For every confounding choice made in Man of Steel, there’s plenty of right choices made. Some of those puzzling choices raise questions, though. There’s no plot holes to drive buses through here, but they feel like issues that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Man of Steel

It’s a story about the potential for every person to be a force for good. Yes Russell Crowe, that’s exactly what the story of Superman is about. And as we see here in this brand new behind the scenes featurette for Warner Bros.’ upcoming film Man of Steel, it’s also about the potential of a Christopher Nolan Dark Knight-esque reinvention of a character who is a 75-year old that wears his underwear on the outside. “It’s not a comic book Superman,” explains writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight). “We wanted a Superman that exists in the real world.” A tall task, to say the very least. Needless to say, after 12 minutes of behind the scenes B-roll and cast interviews, you might start to believe that Zack Snyder could pull off his greatest trick of all: making Superman feel new again.

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Page

The last time Ellen Page was onscreen, she played a pseudo intellectual temptation for the protagonist of Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love. It was a comical role, one that really fit in nicely with the oblivious Allen-type characters. Now she can be seen in The East with a performance that couldn’t be more different. Here, playing Izzy, Page is an intimidating presence in the eco-terrorist group the film follows. In terms of genre and performance, it’s a 180-degree turn for the actress. Like most actors, that’s something Page strives for. She’s been making some inspired, or no-brainer, choices of who to craft those diverse performances with. In Christopher Nolan, David Slade, Jason Reitman, Lynn Shelton and James Gunn, Page has worked with some of today’s best talents. The East finds her joined up with an exciting duo in the film world, Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling. We discussed Batmanglij and Marling’s thriller with Ellen Page, as well as her process, the world The East unveils, and more:

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Caine

What is Casting Couch? Today, it’s pondering the inevitability of all Christopher Nolan-related casting while readying some sweet margaritas for the weekend. Please contain your shock as we pass on news that Michael Caine will join Christopher Nolan for a sixth outing, as the veteran actor has now signed on for a role in the director’s upcoming and already tremendously anticipated Interstellar. It’s currently unknown what role Caine will play in the sci-fi feature, so there’s scarce little for us to write here beyond the usual “he will be great,” “it will be great,” “they will be great.” Great stuff. [Deadline, via ComingSoon] Fine, fine, we’ll also throw you another Interstellar bone to make up for our lack of knowledge. Deadline (via ComingSoon) also reports that Jessica Chastain is lining up to join the new feature as well. Chastain is in talks to play the “third lead” in the film, next to the already-cast Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, which pretty much tells us just as much as that Caine casting does, so we’re at a bit of a loss here. Perhaps a love triangle? Pure speculation? Fine, we still don’t know much about the film. But isn’t that sort of nice?

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Christopher Nolan

In tonight’s edition of Movie News After Dark, Christopher Nolan and Michael Bay share tools, Captain America starts the march toward more Avengers movies, Steve Jobs gets a tree and YouTube takes a step back in time. Also, The Simpsons…

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Anne Hathaway

Christopher Nolan’s next film as a director, Interstellar, is something of a mystery. We know that it was originally set up by Steven Spielberg, that it has something to do with wormholes and time travel, and that Jonathan Nolan was brought on board to write the initial script, but any sort of plot or character specifics have been closely guarded. Lately some casting news regarding the sure-to-be-huge blockbuster has started to leak though.

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Judy Greer

What is Casting Couch? It’s a handy list of the day’s casting news. Today we’ve got a joyous confirmation and some intriguing possibilities, including some huge news about the A-list director Matthew McConaughey may be working with next. So far all of the casting news we’ve learned about Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has regarded actors coming on board to play human characters, but in an exciting twist we now we have a tidbit about who’s going to be putting on a motion capture suit to join Andy Serkis’ Caesar over on the ape side of the equation. Vulture is reporting that Judy Greer (Arrested Development, The Descendants) has joined the film in the role of Cornelia, the hairy dame who’s serving as a love interest for Caesar. If Greer’s long history of being solid in supporting roles isn’t enough to convince you that she’s qualified to pull off such an out there role, Vulture also has a scoop that she had Planet of the Apes-themed toppers on her wedding cake. So, you know, turns out she’s a weirdo. Sounds great.

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thesixthsense1999720pbr

Less than two years ago, scientists at UC San Diego made the “discovery” that spoilers don’t matter. Not only did they find that stories aren’t ruined by knowing the ending but that people prefer stories when they know the ending. That sounded like hogwash to a lot of us, and to a degree the study was faulted. For one thing, it doesn’t really apply to anything but short stories, as that’s the only medium employed. And on top of that, these short stories weren’t of much significance to the participating subjects. The people weren’t invested in the stories, which makes a huge difference according to a more in-depth look at spoilers in a new article at The Atlantic. Change the studied medium to a series finale of a TV show the subjects had been watching for years (or at least many seasons’ worth of episodes), and you’ll surely see different results. Even then, there are always a number of factors to consider. One thing the UCSD study got correct, not that it was a revelation, is that good storytelling throughout is more important than plot, especially a plot’s conclusion. That is what matters most to enjoyment, regardless of the medium, and what makes us return to certain stories over and over. But if you consider the way we relate to stories, the return to some works can also be more akin to revisiting our past, thinking back on a memory or watching an old home movie. Even if you’re re-reading […]

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Christopher Nolan at Sundance

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the largest independent fests in the country, but it probably has the best reputation for launching filmmaking careers and being the only thing in January that will be remembered around Oscar time 13 months later. It’s debatable just how “indie” it is — especially with studio shingles routinely picking up audience favorites for distribution — but it’s difficult to deny the raw directorial power that’s moved through Park City over the years. Names like Christopher Nolan, Kevin Smith, The Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh can count themselves amongst the Sundance ranks, but there are many, many more. In that (independent) spirit, here’s a double-size list of tips (for fans and filmmakers alike) from 12 directors who made a name at Sundance.

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Batman Begins

Our good pals over at ScreenRant have introduced a little anarchy into the world by editing together a video that chronicles the entirety of Christopher Nolan‘s take on Batman in just 3 minutes. The plot beats and action moments they’ve left in to tell the story are almost as interesting as the stuff they left out in order to stay under the gun. Most noticeably absent is any hint of Bruce Wayne’s great romances. There are few snippets, but they’re under an ocean of acid-burnt faces and villains with strange hardware. It’s a bit of fun for a Tuesday though. Definitely meant for those who have seen the films (so, everyone) and can appreciate the condensed version of Gotham.  

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published: 12.23.2014
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