Jessica Chastain

Denis Villeneuve

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is a busy guy – after all, the frequently lauded director is steadily lining up compelling new projects after the one-two punch of his last two projects (that would be last year’s Prisoners and this season’s Enemy, both of which bowed back in September at TIFF, making it clear that the Incendies director had arrived in a big way) – but the new heat on his career doesn’t mean he’s cutting corners. He’s not getting sloppy. He’s not picking up films about monster trucks or winged aliens or whatever it is that Hollywood is throwing at emerging filmmakers. Villeneuve is making his own way. But is that going to include finding a female muse to match the relationship he’s cultivated with Jake Gyllenhaal, who quite memorably starred in both of Villeneuve’s latest projects, in very different roles? 

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reilly

What is Casting Couch? It’s just coming out of a holiday weekend, so it doesn’t have all that much casting news at the moment. But how about we put all of the actors we’re reporting on in stylish sunglasses to celebrate the kickoff of the summer season? It would be pretty hard to argue that Marvel Studios’ recent slate of interconnected superhero movies hasn’t been a huge success. Marvel movies have pleased longtime fans, cultivated a generation of new fans, and made gobs and gobs of money. Everyone knows that you’re not truly a success in the movie business until you’ve worked with John C. Reilly though, so Hitfix is reporting that the studio is currently trying to get the living legend on board one of their upcoming projects. Apparently an offer has gone out for him to play Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy. Things are a bit more confusing than that though, because while Dey was an alien member of the intergalactic Nova Corps in the comic books, apparently in the movie world he’s going to be a human agent of SHIELD who works as the liaison between the organization and this new team of space heroes. Weird.

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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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portmangarb

What is Casting Couch? Maybe not more casting news than you can shake a stick at, but just enough so that you’ll feel comfortable shaking a stick at it. Today we have news of movie roles for TV stars Allison Williams and Jon Hamm. Get shakin’. Back a few months ago it was looking like Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender were going to be working together on Jane Got a Gun, but we all saw what happened there. No dice. Those who were hot and bothered by the idea of a Portman/Fassbender pairing need not worry though, because not only will they both be appearing in Terrence Malick’s newest project in some form or another, but they’ll definitely be sharing serious screen time in Justin Kurzel’s new adaptation of Macbeth. Just two days ago we learned that Fassbender would be taking the title role of the stage-to-film adaptation, and now Screen Daily is reporting that Portman has signed on for the role of his scheming, murderous wife, Lady Macbeth. This should give her more of an opportunity to cultivate that creep factor she showed flashes of in Black Swan. Intriguing.

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Benedict Cumberbatch

What is Casting Couch? A big list of casting news. Today we’ve got word on who’s going to play the new Hercules. And no, we’re not talking about Dwayne Johnson. The other new Hercules. The new new one. Big things are happening over on Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house project, Crimson Peak. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but we do know that Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam are already on board to co-star, and we do know that del Toro is approaching the film as a throwback to the classic haunted house movies of yesteryear. And now, thanks to Variety, we also know that star-on-the-rise Benedict Cumberbatch has been brought on board in a lead role. As if starring in Sherlock, the new Star Trek, and The Hobbit wasn’t already enough to make him a geek icon, now he has to go and work with del Toro. If he keeps this up he could soon find himself at the center of one of those trusty geek backlashes.

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Zero Dark Thirty

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering! Still trying to find bin Laden? Sounds like you need to revisit Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty. In celebration of the home video release of one of 2012′s finest films, we’re giving away two very cool prize packs. Each pack includes one ZDT t-shirt and one script book (you can read it while you watch the movie, you big nerd!), and one pack will include a Blu-ray of the film, while the other will include a DVD. So how do you win? Well, you’re going to have to find us! Ahem, on Twitter. Hit the break to read our very precise, years-in-the-making, social media-fueled instructions on how to win your very own Zero Dark Thirty prize pack.

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Carrie Fisher

What is Casting Couch? Yesterday it was mostly about a bunch of dudes who got jobs acting in movies, today it’s mostly about a bunch of ladies who got jobs acting in movies—ladies from the show Mad Men in a couple of cases. Tomorrow? Who knows. UPDATED: CNN now reports that Fisher was “joking.” Sure. Probably Carrie Fisher was supposed to wait for some sort of official announcement from the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm’s marketing team before she went and confirmed what we all were thinking, that the main players from George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy are going to be showing up in J.J. Abrams‘ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. But Carrie Fisher being Carrie Fisher, she seems to have gotten sick of all the questioning and just confirmed that she’s coming back anyway. And she confirmed it to Palm Beach Illustrated, of all outlets. When asked if she could confirm that she would be reprising her role as Leia Organa for Abrams, Fisher simply responded, “Yes.” Oh, Carrie Fisher, never change.

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Best Actress

There are two main rivalries in the 2013 Best Actress race. There’s a head-to-head showdown between Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain. These ladies even have a supposed rivalry brewing between them. By all accounts, they are the ones to beat. There’s also that oldest versus youngest match-up between Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva [oldest] and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis [youngest]. And then there’s The Impossible’s Naomi Watts. Hopefully there will be an upset so this Oscars 2013 don’t prove to be too boring. Though the Oscars do lean toward the predictable… Will any of these actresses go down in history with a bombastic speech, featuring a line akin to “You like me! You really like me!” or suffer some sort of horrendous wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet? Will there be a deluge of tears that goes down in history? Only time will tell. Hopefully the chosen lady is somewhat well-deserving of her award and at least has a good stylist. Here are the nominees with my predicted winner is in red:

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s bursting at the seams after Hollywood had a very gabby twenty-four hours. Dig in. Tom Hardy: quite simply, he’s awesome. But can he do a Russian accent? We’re likely to find out now that he’s signed up to co-star alongside the also awesome Noomi Rapace in a new film called Child 44. Deadline reports that this one is about a Soviet war hero who uncovers a mass murder and is suddenly faced with doubts about the country he’s spent his life believing in and fighting for. Michael R. Roskam will be directing the film, which is an adaptation of the first in a trilogy of Tom Rob Smith novels. So, if you like bleak Soviet Union-set murder stories, you might be getting sequels!

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Old Spice Unchained

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the most talented, most handsomest, often silliest movie news column on the planet. Movie news columns from other parts of the galaxy might be able to compete, but they are yet undiscovered, so they can suck it. He’s On a Horse – Sometimes memes are fun. In this case, mashing the Old Spice guy together with Samuel Jackson’s head house slave character in Django Unchained is a simple, wonderful choice.

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review_mama

Once upon a time… horror films knew how to consistently land their third act. The original Black Christmas, The Exorcist and John Carpenter’s The Thing build tension and escalate the scares without falling apart by the end, but you don’t even need to go back that far to find ones that get it right thanks to (relatively) recent movies like [REC], The Mist and The Innkeepers. But more than any other genre a lot of horror films from the last few years simply drop the ball before the credits roll. Andrés Muschietti‘s Mama continues that trend unfortunately, but truth be told its grip is pretty damn tenuous from the beginning. After Victoria and Lily’s father kills their mother and some co-workers he takes the girls on a drive that ends with a crash in the woods. The trio wander the cold, desolate forest before finding an old, seemingly deserted cabin and settling in for the night. Father of the year doesn’t make it to morning. Five years later the now feral girls are found and returned to their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabelle (Jessica Chastain), but something else has come home with them and it’s not too keen on sharing custody.

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

The 70th Golden Globe Awards will be held tomorrow night, and I invite you to join myself and FSR’s awards guru, Daniel Walber, for live-blog commentary during the ceremony. We’ll try to keep it smart, avoid too much snark and will likely be obeying the rules of the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised. It will also hopefully be more conversational than remarks we could have just tweeted, in order that I can turn the discussion around as a more readable post-event recap of the night. In case you’re too busy paying attention to your TV to also read our words simultaneously. Anyway, you can’t head into a big awards telecast viewing without predictions for what you think will win. Daniel and I seem to agree on exactly half of the movie categories. So, maybe it won’t be such a predicable night. Check out our choices after the break and give us your own predictions in the comments. If you do better than either of us, we commend you in advance (and maybe at the end of our GG coverage too).

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Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 12.33.05 PM

A fair amount of critics are touting Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty as her masterpiece. While Bigelow has definitely directed films in her decades of filmmaking that are comparable to the overall quality of Zero Dark Thirty, it is great that between this and her Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, she is getting the acclaim that she deserves. What does set Zero Dark Thirty apart from the rest of the Kathryn Bigelow oeuvre is that is a far more deliberate and slower paced film that her others. At about two-and-a-half hours, it includes only perhaps two or three major “action/suspense” scenes, which are all impeccably executed in her usual fashion. Mostly, however, the film follows the mental unraveling and rise to power of CIA agent Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she follows a seemingly-circumstantial hunch, which results in her looking over Osama bin Laden’s body bag. The film certainly is successful in what it sets out to do. Through Chastain’s Maya, it is a more nuanced study of the disappointments of losing the war on terror against Al Qaeda and then fighting back, resulting in less of a fist pump of exultation, but more of a quiet recognition of accomplishment.

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Zero Dark Thirty

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the massive praise that’s already been heaped on Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty – so far, they include four Golden Globe nominations, three National Board of Review wins, inclusion in AFI’s list of the best films of the year, countless critics associations nominations, and that’s just going top-of-the-head here – you’ve managed to stay insanely out of the loop on one of the year’s very best films. Congrats to you. Now let’s correct that. Sony has just sent out their final trailer for the Jessica Chastain-starring, Osama Bin Laden-killing, truth-based tale, and it may be your last chance to jump on the ZDT bandwagon before that train pulls out of the station (forgive these mixed metaphors). All aboard? (Shh, secret time, I didn’t even watch this trailer, and I already know it’s awesome.) Check it out after the break, as if you need a reason.

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Sure, this latest trailer for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty is a lot of things: cool, collected, awesome, awesome, exciting, cool all over again, bold, vibrant, but it’s also dominated by one overwhelming force that encompasses all those adjectives. Jessica Chastain. Did we somehow miss that this film, Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal‘s true life take on the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, was really The Chastain Show? Looks like it, and we’ve already got our ticket in hand. Check out the latest Zero Dark Thirty trailer after the break.

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Mama 2012 Trailer

Blanket statement: let’s stop associating with feral children. It really hasn’t worked out too well, you know? Cinematically speaking, we have Nell from Nell (heartbreaking), Howie Mandel’s character from Walk Like a Man (embarrassing), Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th (yup, he lived in the woods), The Penguin from Batman Returns (yick), and the little monsters of the upcoming Citadel (monstrous). When it comes to real life, well, perhaps you can draw yourself away from this brief listing of feral children over at Wikipedia, which I’ve been studying intently for quite awhile now, but good luck on that. That all said, look! New feral movie children! What a terrible idea! In Andres Muschietti‘s Mama, a pair of kids are discovered years after their mother was murdered and also after they disappeared into some nearby woods. To live in. Ever since. For years. Let’s definitely adopt them! Of course, their uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has no choice, and does just that. Too bad that his little nieces might not have been alone in the woods after all (cue creepy stuff). And, for added scares, the gorgeous Jessica Chastain goes Goth for her role. After the break, check out the first trailer for the full-length Mama and, for added scares, you can also watch Muschietti’s original short, 2008′s Mamá, which inspired the film.

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John Hillcoat and Tom Hardy

Director John Hillcoat isn’t entirely known for crowd-pleasing studio fare. After putting The Road and The Proposition under his belt, Hillcoat showed he’s the type of filmmaker never to shy away from bleakness. One would think that’s what made Lawless such a difficult project to get off the ground, but surprisingly, Hillcoat has made a real summer movie. However, even when striving for some of those cinematic thrills, the acclaimed director never pulls his punches. One major difference between Lawless and his previous films is the fact Hillcoat shot the picture digitally. Although he sounded quite sensitive about going that route, Hillcoat approached the film with a futurist point of view. Still, the director states there’s nothing more magical than celluloid, even after dealing with advantages and disadvantages of digital. Here’s what Lawless director John Hillcoat had to say about his attraction to brutal violence, the film’s sociopathic villain, and his experience with the ARRIRAW:

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The twelve-year run of prohibition in the United States was a period that punctuated social imparity, religious activism, and was a launchpad for some of the biggest names in organized crime. Basically, it’s a mixed bag of deeply interesting subject matter that is spot-on perfect for the big screen. Director John Hillcoat‘s Lawless is a violent slice of that era’s dying days. Distilled by screenwriter Nick Cave from the pages of Matt Bondurant‘s 2008 historical novel, “The Wettest County in the World,” Lawless tells the story of the Bondurant brothers, a family of moonshiners in the Blue Ridge Foothills of Franklin County, Virginia. In the midst of the Great Depression, the citizenry of Franklin County carved a living out of  making moonshine, and none are more successful than the brothers Bondurant, who run a healthy bootlegging racket.

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Over Under - Large

In 2011, director Tate Taylor adapted Kathryn Stockett’s novel “The Help,” a story about the relationship between the wealthy whites and the poor blacks who raised their children of 60s-era Mississippi, into a feature film. When all was said and done, Taylor’s film made nearly ten times its production budget, was nominated for a truckload of awards (including 8 NAACP Image Awards and 4 Academy Awards), and had everyone’s aunts and grandmas talking their ears off about how much they wanted to go see it. To say that it ended up being a success would be something of an understatement. The Landlord is the debut of director Hal Ashby, one of the great ’70s filmmakers who, for some reason, doesn’t get the same recognition as many of his contemporaries. It earned Lee Grant a nomination for Best Supporting Actress back in the day, but it’s a film (like most of Ashby’s work not named Harold and Maude) that’s been generally forgotten over time. This is strange, because not only is it a great film that pushes some racial hot-buttons, but it also features a couple of actors who went on to do big things in Beau Bridges and Lou Gossett Jr.

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James McAvoy to Star in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Last we heard, hot commodities Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton were set to star as a married couple in Ned Benson‘s very ambitious double feature, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, but despite that official announcement back in February, it appears that Edgerton is out and James McAvoy is now in. Another press release from Myriad Pictures announces that McAvoy will now play the male lead in Benson’s perspective-bending marital dramas, with Chastain still a go to play the female lead. Benson (In Defiance of Gravity) has written both scripts and will also direct both films. Eleanor Rigby is an extreme case of using two perspectives to tell one story, as Benson wasn’t satisfied with making just one movie split between narrators, he’s now crafted two entirely different films to be told by each character. The films will be officially titled The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her. The plot of the films centers on McAvoy and Chastain’s couple, a married pair in New York City, and how they deal “with an emotional, life-altering experience, from the two different perspectives of the husband, Conor, a restaurant owner, and of the wife, Eleanor, who goes back to college.” While there’s no indication of just what that life-altering experience is, the film is also billed specifically as a love story, so take from that what you will. Of course, the title could be totally goddamn literal and Chastain could be named after a Beatles song and she […]

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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