Jeremy Renner

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Everybody has heard the old fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. It’s a story about two little German children, a cannibal witch with a taste for tender flesh, a ginger bread house, and a blazing hot industrial oven. One question most people probably have never asked, however, is what happens after the story ends. Well director/co-writer of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow), did ask that question, and what he decided is that those little scamps probably “got a taste for witch blood” and grew up to be leather-clad badasses who hunt down witches with their extensive knowledge of kung fu and never-ending arsenal of futuristic firepower.

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Russell Crowe in Noah

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a column about movies and stuff. With a particular focus on “and stuff.” We begin tonight with a shot of Russell Crowe as Noah, in the upcoming vision from director Darren Aronofsky. He’s looking quite grizzled, like an older version of his character from Gladiator. And that’s alright. Because that situation worked out pretty well. Then again, he also looks like a slightly older version of his Robin Hood…

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Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy

Closure is a funny thing. Many great stories feature the quest for closure. It’s something that, as humans, we are often looking for with great intensity. Where have we come, how did it end and what did it all mean? For the Bourne franchise, based on the books by Robert Ludlum and launching Matt Damon as a righteous American answer to James Bond, closure is something that came along in 2007 with The Bourne Ultimatum. A franchise that came on with a flurry of excitement and pulse-pounding action was brought to a rest with the dizzying style of director Paul Greengrass. And it was good. It was over. Until Universal and Tony Gilroy, who served as writer on the second and third Bourne films, decided that it was time to give this story one more chapter. The only problem with The Bourne Legacy is that even though they brought down the paddles of the defibrillator and shocked this franchise back to life with great electricity, they missed the part of every movie that is important, be it the first part of a trilogy or a stand-alone effort: they missed the closure.

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From the aesthetic to its own protagonist, Tony Gilroy did some work to distance The Bourne Legacy from the previous, Jason Bourne-led trilogy. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) isn’t Bourne, and The Bourne Legacy isn’t a carbon copy of the voices Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass helped shaped this series with. His mythology-expanding feature focuses on one man with one simple goal – which doesn’t involve his identity, finding forgiveness, or getting revenge for his girlfriend’s death. As Tony Gilroy told us at the start of the summer, the Michael Clayton director didn’t want to “lose the balls.” With an edgy anti-hero in the lead – one who’s capable of using either a wolf or a fire extinguisher to save his own skin – Gilroy kept the balls of this series intact while also exploring new thematic corners of the Bourne universe. If Gilroy is correct, we’ll soon see more episodic and expansive mega-blockbusters told in the vein of The Bourne Legacy, and it’s a prediction the Academy Award nominee seemed excited by.

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It was announced back in March that David O. Russell had been attached to direct a Black List script from writer Eric Singer called American Bullshit. Well, seeing as casting has now begun, it would seem like the project is officially a go, but it’s no longer going to be called American Bullshit. Already on board this now untitled drama – which tells the true story of a con artist helping the F.B.I. weed out political corruption – are Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner; and THR is reporting that a deal has just been signed to add an exciting young actress who’s previously worked with Russell into the mix. The Fighter’s Amy Adams is now on board to play Maxine Gardner, the mistress to Cooper’s character, con man Mel Weinberg. Renner, for his part, will be playing an F.B.I. agent. As is the case with many of the more interesting-sounding projects that are chock full of fan favorite actors and creators these days, Russell’s latest is being brought to us by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.

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Well, someone had to move. Universal Pictures has just announced (via Deadline Prague) that they are moving their Jeremy Renner-starring The Bourne Legacy off of its set August 3rd release date to August 10th, partially to give exhibitors some breathing room when it comes to August 3rd opener Total Recall and July 20th opener The Dark Knight Rises. The move reportedly has “‘nothing’ to do with some recent reshoots” on the film, which took place earlier this month and which are believed to be mainly pick up shots (hell, writer and director Tony Gilroy wasn’t even present for the shoot). Universal announced, “Just as The Avengers demonstrated marketplace sustainability that well outpaced traditional patterns earlier this summer, the industry expects a similar trajectory for The Dark Knight Rises. Moving one week further from its release will give The Bourne Legacy an even greater opportunity to maximize its opening box office potential.” The studio also believes that the move will allow them “to extend valuable promotion for the film across all NBCUniversal platforms during the Olympics, which will dominate television and digital audiences beginning July 27.” Hey, at least they’re not trying to post-convert it to 3D.

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Over Under - Large

Kathryn Bigelow is the sort of director who’s been defying perceived gender limitations her entire career. The biggest of those accomplishments came when she became the first woman in history to win the Oscar for Best Director. Her Oscar-winning film, The Hurt Locker, was a tense look at military bomb defusers that created more movie chills than 99% of the horror films that get released in any given year. And it showcased a strong performance from Jeremy Renner that essentially made his career and catapulted him toward being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Before she ever won her Oscar, however, she was already defying expectations by shattering the myth that a woman couldn’t direct kick-ass action movies. Her 1991 film Point Break is probably one of the most manly movies ever made. It’s about extreme sports-loving adrenaline junky bank robbers, and it stars Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze as the cops and robbers. But, despite the fact that Point Break has a cult audience, it’s viewed by most as being a guilty pleasure, a relic of the early ’90s when cheesy action movies ruled the day. Maybe it’s because Keanu is milking his dense, surfer persona for all it’s worth, or because the movie is so unapologetically an action film, but people just don’t take Point Break seriously these days. And that sucks, because it’s really well-made.

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The announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue? The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films. Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

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WARNING – THIS ARTICLE GIVES AWAY SPOILERS FOR THE AVENGERS, SERENITY, AND DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-ALONG BLOG. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. Joss Whedon has a penchant for killing off his characters, particularly the likable ones. This is something you should know going into this article. It’s the reason why there’s so much built-in weight to his projects, the idea that characters you grow accustomed to might meet a bad end before it’s all said and done. It’s also the reason why the 360-degree shot in The Avengers – you know, the one your comic book geek mind exploded over after seeing it for the first time – shouldn’t be used as a marketing tool. One has to think that the shot was designed for trailers and TV spots long before the actual storyboards for The Avengers were even inked on. It’s the kind of shot that makes fans of the series, comic book and film, alike, furious, stomp out of the theater, head for the box office, and pre-order a whole row for The Avengers. They’ve got friends.

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We normally reserve 10 & 5 posts for big movies that are familiar to the masses, but once in a while it’s good to shine a light on a low profile indie film. This is not that time though, so instead we’re taking a look at the movie with the biggest opening weekend in history. Joss Whedon‘s entertaining as hell blockbuster, The Avengers, has already earned a rare A- grade from us (read Cole Abaius’ review), but Robert Fure and Rob Hunter wanted to take a more detailed view complete with potential and actual spoilers. Warning: There are major spoilers below. Major spoilers. You’ve now been warned about the major spoilers.

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The Avengers want you to see The Avengers in theaters.

It’s been open overseas for a week, already raking in more than $200m, and now The Avengers is landing on U.S. soil with one of the biggest summer openings in history. But does that mean you should see it now? Or do you wait for home video? Sure, there’s plenty of arguments as to why you can wait, including obnoxious crowds, high ticket prices, and the general hassle of getting your butt off the couch and driving to your local multiplex. However, here are seven ultimate reasons should convince you to, paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Get thee to a theater!” and witness Marvel’s greatest achievement in superhero movies.

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Did you hear? Did you hear? Go tell Paul Revere! Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers is out this weekend which marks the beginning of the summer and an end to the anticipation. To discuss the film, we turn to comic book/Avengers expert John Gholson from Movies.com. Plus, ScreenCrush critic Jordan Hoffman plays Movie News Roulette and talks Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek and texting in theaters. Download Episode #132

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The Bourne Legacy is not only one of the most highly-anticipated films of the summer, it’s a unique chance to revisit the blockbuster franchise with a different star at the helm. Meanwhile, co-writer/director Tony Gilroy, one of the key creative voices behind the original trilogy, is preserving the series’ lore while giving its events a broader and more epic context. As the film’s trailer observes, “Jason Bourne was just the tip of the iceberg,” and Gilroy’s insights about the direction he took the franchise in, for the first time as both writer and director, suggest that this expansive view of the world of Bourne was part of his plan all along. But as if embodying the director’s perspective, Jeremy Renner’s character Aaron Cross isn’t an unknown entering a larger world, but an experienced agent who knows exactly who he is and what he’s meant to do. Speaking to the Academy Award nominated filmmaker recently, Gilroy talked about reviving the franchise via The Bourne Legacy, revealing how he paid tribute to longtime fans even as he looked to a broader horizon, and the organic approach he and cinematographer Robert Elswit approached the picture with.

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The Avengers the film needs no introduction, and that’s mainly because The Avengers themselves need no introduction. A dream team of superheroes and superallies, The Avengers first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1963, so for fans of the mighty band of heroes, a big screen cinematic adaptation that would do justice to the justice-doers has been a long-held wish. With Marvel Studios churning out blockbusters for eventual Avengers like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk in recent years, it was only a matter of time before that wish was granted and the heroes united for one massive film outing. It goes without saying that Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers is already a big hit here at FSR (our own Cole Abaius called it “Marvel’s mightiest movie” in his review), and we’re all anxious to see what movie-going audiences think of it. To whet your palate for the inevitable Avengers bonanza, here are 12 things that we learned at The Avengers press conference (spoiler-free if you’ve seen a trailer or two!). The event featured a massive gathering of Avengers and pals, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemwsorth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk/Bruce Banner), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Kevin Feige (Marvel President), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton),Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Joss Whedon (writer and director). Check it out after the break!

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Joss Whedon‘s excellent action geek-out The Avengers hits US theaters this weekend after a storm of anticipation that’s lasted for four years and five movies. Marvel’s ultimate team is finally together, and the results are incredibly impressive. You can read my review here, but while you sit in your Captain America uniform, unwilling to remove it or bathe for the next week, gear up to new giddy levels of excitement with these behind-the-scenes videos. From a disoriented Robert Downey Jr. to Jeremy Renner in fight choreography practice to a running Scarlett Johansson to Mark Ruffalo blissfully posing with a nude mini-Hulk, there are some really fascinating bits here:

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In a New York living room, sometime in the early 1970s, a young boy is sitting in front of his television (possibly watching an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and playing with plastic toy figures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He smashes The Hulk into Thor, zooms Iron Man around at incredible speed and makes Captain America leap over an H.R. Pufnstuf doll. Because, you know, he’s got one of those too. Forty some odd years later, that same little boy named Joss Whedon got a chance to slam those toys together again, and he achieved something that’s made up equally of the magic of childhood and the craftsmanship of a seasoned filmmaker. It was an impossible dream, a crazy call-out to the far left field bleachers, but The Avengers is the best movie that Marvel has made.

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Joss Whedon has sought to make The Avengers unique, and the latest way was shooting a scene for the movie after the movie premiered. According to HitFix, the entire team (from Robert Downey Jr. to Scarlett Johansson) used the opportunity of the occasion to shoot one last scene. Apparently it’s tough getting a dozen notable names in the same room. There’s no telling what the scene entails, although there’s speculation from Mark Ruffalo‘s press conference statements that the scene will appear at the end of the movie. It’s not the stinger; the audiences on Wednesday night already saw that. It’s definitely an interesting move. Or a really expensive way to get one audience to want to see the movie again. It’s not like they need it. The movie is already tracking for a $135m opening. Let’s see all of them try to get in the same room after that.    

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Can you feel it? Now that The Hunger Games has made its way into theaters (and the record books), the only thing left to do now is begin Summer Movie Season 2012. That will happen on May 4, when Marvel Studios delivers the long-anticipated superhero team-up film The Avengers. With a little bit of Iron Man, some Captain America, The Hulk and the rest, The Avengers feels like the perfect place to begin what promises to be an intense summer of movie watching. But before we get to that, there is more excitement to be had (read: Disney has more marketing to be done). So today is the day when we bring you a number of behind the scenes images from the set of The Avengers, along with a new behind the scenes featurette that takes us into the production with Joss and the gang.

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The Avengers

Wow. People holding Tribeca badges and passes just got a kick in the pants from a dude in a metal suit, a guy who rips his purple shorts with rage and a host of other dysfunctional family members. According to their latest press release, the Tribeca Film Festival is closing its 2012 calendar with The Avengers. At a film event that celebrates James Franco’s eccentricities alongside indie filmmakers famous and not-yet-famous alike, this is a blockbuster move – one that the fest is using no doubt for publicity and as an opportunity to celebrate the heroes of New York City and beyond. Firemen, police officials, military personnel and others will have a special chance to join in on the screening. Marvel head Kevin Feige weighed in, saying, “We are proud that Marvel‘s The Avengers is the closing film of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and we are excited to welcome local heroes to the screening as special guests. We all know and love our iconic Super Heroes, but when it really counts, it’s our real-life heroes who save the world every day by making it a better place for all of us.” Despite its normal focus on the obscure, this fits well with the Tribeca mission which arose from the ashes of 9/11 as a means to prop up the New York City economy and to celebrate its art. On another level, it’s a booking that’s incredibly cool and makes native New Yorker Joss Whedon very happy. The director had this to […]

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It’s getting to the point where there are so many huge names involved in Ridley Scott’s upcoming project The Counselor that you can’t even write a proper headline about it. Not only does it have a living legend for a director, but this is also a movie that’s being shot from an original spec script from a living legend of an author, Cormac McCarthy. Plus its attached star, Michael Fassbender, is one of the most sought-after future icons in the film industry. And now an upcoming second round of casting decisions have The Counselor set to become an even more studded-with-stars affair. The Playlist has picked up a report from Twitch stating that three huge names are currently in talks to help Fassbender fill out the cast: Jeremy Renner, Javier Bardem, and Natalie Portman.

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