Emma Watson

After his break-out performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, it looked as if Ezra Miller would be permanently doomed to creeper status, haunting the edges of our collective cinematic nightmares forever, so I was predictably cagey about his casting as Patrick in Stephen Chbosky‘s The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Author Chbosky has adapted his own (beloved) novel for the film (which he also directs), and while so much of the film’s other casting – namely Logan Lerman as protagonist Charlie – seemed spot-on, Miller bothered. Patrick is one of the first people who makes Charlie feel accepted in high school – a profound feat once you’re aware of how much young Charlie has already endured and how much Patrick himself is going through – and Miller hasn’t previously seemed to be the type of actor who could pull off such a kind-hearted character. Wrong. In the first trailer for Perks, Miller steals the show as Patrick – he’s hilarious, zingy, vibrant, and about as far removed from his We Need to Talk About Kevin character as humanly possible. Everyone else looks totally radical, too (after all, the book is set in the ’90s), but Miller is the main attraction here. Check out the first trailer for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower after the break!

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If you had bet that Sofia Coppola’s next film would deal with disaffected young women in some way, then it turns out you’re a big winner. And if you imagined it would be a look at the bored lives of the rich and depressed, then congratulations, you were pretty spot-on. But what may come as a surprise is that, despite Coppola’s trademark inert style, her next film is going to have something of an action element. Based at least in part on true events, The Bling Ring tells the tale of a group of fashion- and celebrity-obsessed teens in Beverly Hills who form a crime ring and proceed to break into celebrity homes. Coppola says that the film will “reveal a sobering view of our modern culture,” which sounds about right if you replace the word “sobering” with the word “infuriating.” The movie is intended to be an ensemble piece, and Coppola says of pre-production so far, “I’m excited about the young cast we’re assembling and I’m looking forward to shooting on location here in Los Angeles.” While most of the specifics of who make up this exciting young cast aren’t known, we do know that Coppola and her producers have landed a pretty huge name already.

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If this year is going to be the year of revisionist Snow White tales (what with both Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror hitting screens, and that Order of Seven film still getting worked out), then next year is already shaping up to be the year of new takes on Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps it would be wise to mark your calendars for 2014 – which will certainly be the year of Little Mermaid remakes, should this trend continue. Just last week, word from Berlin revealed that Brotherhood of the Wolf helmer Christophe Gans had set Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux to topline his new Beauty and the Beast project. With that project, Gans has promised to “keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original… [and] surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality.” Sounds good! The film will also be “based on one of the earliest published variants of the traditional fairy tale, included in Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s 1740′s collection, ‘La Jeune Ameriquaine et les Contes Marins.’” Also, great news! But maybe not so great for Guillermo Del Toro, who has just signed on to direct yet another take on the classic fairy tale. While his film (which he was previously attached to only as a producer) will likely boast Emma Watson as Belle (she’s in final negotiations […]

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In what can only be a (giggle) magical turn of events (or a director and star wanting to work together again, whichever), Harry Potter‘s own Hermione Granger is joining back up with director David Yates for her next project. Granger – er, sorry – Emma Watson will star in Your Voice in My Head, based on Emma Forrest‘s memoir of the same name, which she is penning for the screen. Published just last May, Forrest’s book is based on some a very personal story, one that serves as a memoir of a specific time in her life after a tragic, and somewhat bizarre, death. In her early twenties, Forrest was living in New York City and was caught up in what appeared to be a satisfying life, complete with a great job and a meaningful romance. But however charmed Forrest’s life might have looked from the outside, she was suffering on the inside, to the point that she ultimately sought out a therapist to help her and her bi-polar disorder. She found a beloved psychiatrist who helped her immeasurably – until the day she called his office to set a new appointment and was told that he had passed away. Your Voice in My Head charts her recovery from that tragedy. Deadline Henderson also reports that Tom Hanks and George Clooney are “in the mix” for the role of the psychiatrist.

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Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn isn’t really a bio pic. Underneath the core love story of a naive dope, it’s about a clashing of two actors. In one corner, there’s Miss Marilyn Monroe, wanting to be taken seriously. In the other (and more respectful) corner, there’s Sir Laurence Olivier, possibly wanting the fame Marilyn has, at least according to a few characters. Marilyn needs to “find” the character, while Olivier believes it’s all on the page. The veteran actor sticks to his classical roots, while the blonde bombshell attempts more unusual methods. Kenneth Branagh, who portrays an artistically frustrated Olivier, sympathizes with both sides. Underneath their differences, the two portrayals of Monroe and Olivier are similar at heart: they’re both simply trying to create something, but they use the opposite methods. My Week with Marilyn is a deconstruction of what it means to be an actor, and those types of discussions seem to be the kind Branagh revels in. Here’s what Kenneth Branagh had to say about faking the truth, the fright of acting, and how you don’t have to be a murderer to play one.

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Simon Curtis’s upcoming film starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe doesn’t look like the typical film about historical figures. This isn’t a look at Monroe’s entire life, the tale of her rise and fall. This film is, just like the title says, about one week only, the week when Marilyn Monroe went to England to film The Prince and the Showgirl and ended up getting escorted around by a regular guy named Colin Clark. It doesn’t look like it’s really a story about Monroe or her costar in that film Sir Laurence Olivier, so much as it is a character drama that happens to have real life famous figures in it. That’s an interesting approach and it keeps me from dismissing this as just being yet another movie about Marilyn Monroe. The other thing that keeps me from dismissing My Week With Marilyn is the outstanding cast. It’s got veteran performers that are reliable rocks like Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, and Judi Dench. It’s got promising young actors like Emma Watson, and Eddie Redmayne (who was the only thing worth watching in Derick Martini’s new film Hick). And it has an actress enjoying the prime of her career, one of the most talented ladies on the planet, Michelle Williams, in the title role.

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We’ve been following the development of British TV vet Simon Curtis’ Marilyn Monroe film My Week With Marilyn for quite some time. First, there was the news that Michelle Williams had replaced Scarlett Johansson as Monroe. Then we got our first look at how Williams looked when dressed up as the sexual icon. And now we have news of where you’ll get your first chance at seeing the film.

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In a perfect world, projects like this would be handed all the money the need and shot out of a cannon toward the public. In the real world, producer Denise Di Novi still has a long way to go before the “Beauty and the Beast” project she’s working on with Guillermo del Toro will actually see the light of day (if it ever does see the light of day). But with del Toro’s creative involvement and the actor attached to the project, someone should really pick this ball up and run with it. According to Coming Soon, Emma Watson has signed on in what can only be a starring role (my guess is as the “Beauty” part of the equation, but I’ve been wrong many times before). This is a great combination, a concept that seems both commercial and satisfying on a story level, and could be a massive experience with the right director. Which is the next question. What director should take on a retelling of a pixie cut-owning Beauty who meets her Beast? Hint: Daniel Barnz isn’t it. Another great question: who will play the singing teapot? There’s gotta be a singing teapot, right?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dances with joy because it’s the only time you can dress up in flowing robes and head to the cineplex to see a movie based on an alleged children’s book and not get arrested. After cinching his wizarding cloak around his waist with his Gryffindor scarf, he sails off to check out Winnie the Pooh. Then, from the dysfunctional head cases in the Hundred Acre Wood, Kevin sneaks into the screening room next door to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II only to discover he doesn’t have his 3D glasses. Curses!

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There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story. Talk to the right writer, and he or she will most likely tell you that typing the last bit of punctuation can be the hardest ink to stamp into the page because even though that’s the goal, it also means saying goodbye to characters you’ve fallen in love with. Characters you’ve fought for and alongside of. Characters that have reflected the best parts of you, shown you your weaknesses and made you all the better for it. We may use stories as escapism, but we have to return to the real world eventually. There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story because a final chapter has to encapsulate everything that’s played out in the much larger space that’s come before it. It has to confront the audience and its characters with choices they’ve been avoiding, trials that have been kept at arm’s length, and the lessons of all of the smaller tasks has to be used sufficiently against the most dire of consequences in order to be satisfying. It’s been a long journey, but in all of those undertakings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 succeeds with incredible resolve.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the day’s best movie news and links exploding onto your computer screen. Can you handle that? MSN has debuted a new image of two new characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “Two of the youngest Dwarves, Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner) have been born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of their uncle, Thorin Oakensheild. Neither has ever travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. For both, the journey to the Lonely Mountain represents adventure and excitement. Skilled fighters, both brothers set off on their adventure armed with the invincible courage of youth, neither being able to imagine the fate which lies before them.” Quick, get me a Tolkein nerd to translate that. Are these guys cool, or not? Because they look cool.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that digs and digs and keeps on diggin’ until it finds the most interesting things from around the web. Tonight it’s pretty proud of its ability to find things that it thinks you’ll like. Do enjoy. Long after it was one of the most buzzed-about movies of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, even after packing promotional screenings at SXSW months later, Eli Craig’s horror comedy Tucker & Dale vs. Evil had no distributor. Whatever the reason, no one wanted to bring these two bumbling hillbillies to the dance. Well now that’s all history, as Magnolia Pictures has acquired it. According to their press release, they will release it into theaters on September 30, with a VOD release on August 26. Personally, I can’t wait to see it again.

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My family has been friends with a children’s bookstore owner for years, so when we got an advanced copy of something called “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” I read it to give my feedback. I thought it was poorly written and wouldn’t go anywhere. I was incorrect. The books became the phenomenon, and the movies have translated that worldwide shared experience into something else entirely, but all that comes to an end this summer before someone at Warners decides to reboot the whole thing. This featurette shows off the main three in their first screen test, and takes a look back at the cinematic journey that’s brought us to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is going to have to be a lot of things to a lot of people. It will need to be explosive but thoughtful, dramatic but lighthearted, focused and fearless. The movie has its work cut out for it, but as for the trailer, it does every single thing right. Check it out for yourself:

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Update: Warners has confirmed that this trailer is not an official trailer. It’s fan made. No word yet on whether someone will hire whomever put it together though, because it looks great. Again, to make it clear, it’s not an official trailer for the movie. And now the original video has been taken down by the host site. Original post: Darkness. Foreboding. Wand fights. Explosions. Mobs of people running through the forest. Beachfront property. Dragons. Gingers kissing. Snape peeing himself. Yes, this teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has everything except Danny Glover complaining about being too old. It just looks so damned good. If the excitement wasn’t at its peak yet, it will be soon. I have a feeling we’ll see more and more incredible stuff from the production leading up to July 15th (a day that cannot come fast enough). Check out the teaser for yourself. You might even get to see a sweet anti-smoking ad from the source site!

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on a wizard’s robe, wears a colorful scarf and dances around in the woods with his magic wand yelling, “Stupify!” And that’s just to celebrate the release of Fair Game in his home town. He also takes a look at this little independent film that few people have even heard of, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I. Sadly, a bizarre mishap with his wizarding skills causes a boulder to fall on his hand and pin him for 93 minutes, which was actually quite fortunate because it gave him just enough time to watch 127 Hours.

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One thing that the Harry Potter series has always gotten right is the humor. It doesn’t matter who directed it, each film seems to have that unique comic sensibility that mostly comes from the trials and tribulations of puberty and young love. With the last installment, the focus is decidedly off of the awkwardness and onto the bloodbath on the horizon. Fortunately, it looks like the humor is coming from giving Emma Watson the eyebrows off of Daniel Radcliffe’s face. Plus, you just can’t beat the punch line from the twins. Well played. Check it out in HD over at their facebook page.

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Harry Potter 7

As the years have passed, many a worldy moviegoer has noticed that there’s something to this Harry Potter franchise. And as it embarks on its homeward stretch, we can’t help but think about how much the scale of said movies has grown from parts one to five. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the two-part finale, lurking on the horizon, the time has come for the big finish. Based on what we’re seeing from the marketing team over at Warner Bros., a big finish is exactly what we’re going to get. After the jump you will see exactly what I’m talking about — a new featurette that promises an epic scale for the big end of the world’s favorite wizard story.

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I don’t have a catchy title for this one. No snarky comment. No hilarious anecdote about wizards and their need to overcompensate with big wands. No, I’ve got nothing but awe for the first trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. From the looks of things, I would predict that I will have nothing but awe for the films as well. They look, for lack of a better word, monumental.

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