Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Shia LaBeouf

In “hey, I’ll give these guys a shot at this” news, Deadline reports that 28 Weeks Later and Intruders director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, newbie screenwriter Joshua Zetumer (he just penned the new Robocop remake), and Even Stevens and Holes star Shia LaBeouf are set to team up on Zetumer’s Villain. Fresnadillo will direct (uh, of course) the psychological thriller that “follows two brothers who mysteriously re-connect in an unforgiving wilderness.” LaBeouf will play one of the brothers (the villain?), with the other brother role reportedly set to be cast soon. For now, that’s all we know about the project, but that tantalizing bit of plot information is certainly rich with possibility. Obviously, there’s still a lot that could go wrong with this one, and much of the film’s success will depend on who they get to star opposite LaBeouf (perhaps his Orphans replacement Ben Foster?), an actor who seems to be screaming out for a juicy role that reminds people that he can more than just act alongside robot aliens and piss off Alec Baldwin. We haven’t seen anything out of Zetumer just yet, and Fresnadillo hasn’t lived up to his post-28 Weeks Later promise, but this could very much be the type of feature that works out well for all of them. Also important to the film’s success? Well, a plot worthy of that one sentence slug. Any film can sound great when it’s distilled down so finely, but here’s hoping that this one works out and capitalizes on the talent involved. We’re not usually the type to get over the moon about simple marketing bits, but […]

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Highlander Movie

If you had to pick one guy to kick off the Highlander remake, would it be director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo or Ryan Reynolds? Exactly. However, according to Deadline Hollywood, it’s Fresnadillo that has left the production due to creative differences with Summit. He helped develop the project for a year, but never saw the picture the same way the studio did — which marks a bit of a pattern for the filmmaker who also detached himself from Bioshock and The Crow (which he left to direct Highlander). Also like that production, it has a leading man who is stunningly wrong for the role. Reynolds is a charming, funny actor, but he’s not the guy you get to play Duncan MacLeod; he’s the guy you get to play Duncan MacLeod for your MTV Movie Awards spoof intro. At any rate, the loss of Fresnadillo puts the project back into the air, and it’ll be fascinating to see if Summit continues to stick with it, and if they do, what director they’ll ultimately land on. No matter who it is, Reynolds playing the lead is going to feel like putting on a wet bathing suit for a lot of fans, and if Summit decides not to (or can’t) re-cast, they’re going to be shooting themselves in the foot even before the starter gun goes off. That’s not to say that Fresnadillo was the absolute best choice for the potential franchise launch, but Reynolds is still clearly, obviously, gut-reaction-level wrong for this one. […]

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Ryan Reynolds

According to The Tracking Board, Ryan Reynolds has nailed down the theoretically coveted role of Conner MacLeod for the reboot of The Highlander being directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Insert your own “there can be only one” joke here. So, okay. The truth is that mustering up any form of excitement for this news or this project is just too much work. It’s the movie equivalent of room temperature tap water. Of course, I can’t wait to hear Reynolds’ Scottish accent attempt, but other than that, what is there to care about? Is this really what you get rewarded with for making a flick as imaginative as Intacto? Or for showing excellent acting range in The Nines? Not to sound anti-mainstream, but there can’t be anything left in the Highlander well. There just can’t.  

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When it was said that “there can be only one,” obviously the original Highlander movie was referring to mystical, sword-wielding immortals and not movies about mystical, sword-wielding immortals because, despite the fact that we were down to one by the end of that first film, sequels were made. And now Lionsgate-Summit seems to be well on their way to making a reboot a reality. They’ve already got Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) on board to direct and a script from screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, so, after a little casting, things should be good to go. In an earlier press release announcing the project Summit described this new Highlander’s plot by saying, “In Highlander, after centuries of dueling to survive against others like him, Connor MacLeod, an immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his kind, a murderously brutal barbarian, who lusts for the Prize.” So, basically this is a straight remake of the first film, and though Christopher Lambert was still looking pretty spry the last time I saw him, he’s definitely aged out of playing a hunky immortal. Simply put, we’re gonna need a younger Connor MacLeod.

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A young Spanish boy named Juan crawls out his bedroom window in search of a mewling cat, but before he can catch it he sees a shrouded figure scale the outside wall and enter his bedroom. The boy rushes back through the window to find his mother being choked by the dark figure. He yells at the intruder who immediately turns his attention to the child and begins to approach… A young British girl named Mia (Ella Purnell) wakes in the middle of the night convinced that someone is watching her from the closet. She entreats her father to investigate, but he finds nothing until he sits on her bed in the dark trying to calm her nerves. She stares wide-eyed over his shoulder and whispers “He’s here.” Her father stands and turns just as a figure emerges from the closet… Juan’s mother (Pilar López de Ayala) struggles to help and even asks a friendly priest for an exorcism, but Father Antonio (Daniel Brühl) suspects the devil has little to do with the boy’s troubles. Mia’s father (Clive Owen) meanwhile finds himself battling the threatening visitor but his disbelieving wife (Carice van Houten) as well. What’s the connection between the faceless intruder haunting both Juan and Mia, and will their parents’ love be enough to stop the nightmare?

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Either the mulitple-impling title of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo‘s Intruders is not entirely apt, or marketing for the film is playing some serious tricks on us. Titles aside, the 28 Weeks Later helmer is back with a new horror flick that might just scare your face right off – or, if not yours, perhaps some of the film’s stars. The film sees Clive Owen as a dad whose creative 13-year-old daughter (Ella Purnell) tells her class a story about a scary, faceless creature that visits kids during the night. And then the creature (“Hollow Face”) just goes ahead and shows right up – at least, that’s how it looks in this new trailer. The film’s official synopsis explains the situation as such: “Though no one can see him, Hollow Face lurks in the corners, desperately desiring love but only knowing how to spread fear and hate…The line between the real and the imaginary blurs as fissures start to open within the family unit.” And while that’s terrifying enough, perhaps the film’s title is spot-on, because that same synopsis also tells us that this “is the chilling story of two children living in different countries, each visited nightly by a faceless being who wants to take possession of them.” So why are we only meeting Owen and Purnell? I wonder… Keep your eyes open and your mouth wide, and check out the new trailer for Intruders after the break.

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The Crow

Back last spring Relativity Media was pretty gung-ho about putting together a remake of the cult classic, Brandon Lee starring, goth-actioner The Crow. They had a director picked out and everything. A snag was hit, however, when The Weinstein Company claimed that they had rights to the worldwide distribution of any Crow remake or reboot and slapped them with a lawsuit. Work on the film got halted and everything was left up in the air.

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Every bit of movie news has to be taken with a fistful of salt. With so many moving parts, even the biggest players in the game sometimes see their work fall into the tall grass of development hell. That’s the bad news. The good news is that all of those times you shake your fist at a new project (be it remake or reboot) are warranted, but they don’t always get made. Sometimes, the stuff we’re dreading goes down in flames too. So it’s with that bittersweet spirit that we look back on a few announced projects that still haven’t been made. And might never be.

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Back in August, Justin Lin vacated the director’s chair for the latest in Hollywood’s seemingly endless string of remakes – jumping off Highlander to spend more time making Vin Diesel and Paul Walker jump off moving trains on to moving cars (or similar) with his next entry into his wildly successful spin on The Fast and the Furious franchise. Summit Entertainment has now announced that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will take on directorial duties for their Highlander reboot/magination/whatever, so let’s all pause to yell “there can only be one!” and move on with the news. Fresnadillo will direct from Melissa Rosenberg’s script, with the film poised to start filming in the spring of 2012. Summit’s official press release gives a quick plotline for the new film – “In HIGHLANDER, after centuries of dueling to survive against others like him, Connor MacLeod, an immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his kind, a murderously brutal barbarian, who lusts for the Prize” – so, yes, rest easy, this is definitely a Highlander film.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the movie website equivalent of stuffing a turkey with three chickens and an eel. News of all shapes and sizes finds itself among some strange bedfellows here even if you can’t sleep. We get things started with a metric ton of images and information about The Muppets. If you’re willing to brave the spoilers, /film has everything from character descriptions to photos to trivia. Or, you can let the burning questions wash over you. Why is Kermit behind bars? Does it have anything to do with inter-species sex laws? Why wouldn’t it?

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With the Toronto International Film Festival mere weeks away, cinephiles everywhere are prepping to ship off to America’s hat for ten days of films and fun, all fueled by bagged milk and and trademark Canadian politeness. TIFF has already established itself as North America’s premiere film festival (duking it out with Sundance for top billing), but this year, the festival’s programmers have truly outdone themselves when it comes to putting together a drool-worthy schedule. This year’s TIFF has already announced the bulk of their lineup, including The Ides of March and Moneyball and their documentary and genre picks, but they now round out their programming with some final and spectacular picks.

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There was more than a little confusion when Bradley Cooper was all but signed on to appear as the dark hero of The Crow. For one, the weariness of the remake onslaught is enough to make any recycled narrative raise eyebrows. For two, this was like hiring the high school quarterback to play Puck in the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was either staunchly experimental or profoundly bad casting. Either way, none of that matters now because The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Cooper is not going to be involved in the project due to a scheduling conflict with Silver Linings Playbook and Paradise Lost. So now Relativity Media has a clean slate to work with, so of course the two names hovering over the carrion are Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum. Because when you think The Crow, that’s…who…you think…of. Apparently. Hopefully those names are part of the “Anytime We Make a Movie And Need a Male Lead Wish List” because if the counter-instinctual casting continues beyond Cooper, it’ll prove that someone involved in the production has a deep, deep misunderstanding of the character. Sadly, that might be the case because the role was once Wahlberg’s to turn down. It’s unbelievable to think it, but if those are really the frontrunners for the job, it’s a shame Bradley Cooper’s not still on board.

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There are few pleasures in life as great as walking into a film completely unaware as to its plot or purpose and walking out thrilled with the results. Okay, that’s clearly an exaggeration, but there are very few that don’t involve knee pads, whip cream, and tongue depressors. But I digress. Somewhere in the Spanish desert sits Uncanca, a casino filled with sweat, alcohol, and desperation. An old man on a Roulette winning streak triggers a call to the casino’s cooler, Federico (Eusebio Poncela). With a simple touch of his hand, the gambler’s luck runs out and he loses his final bet to the house. Federico leaves the casino floor and ventures into the basement where he meets a man wearing a black velvet bag over his head. If you predicted Max von Sydow was the man beneath the hood you would be correct and incredibly lucky… unlike Federico, who tries to leave Samuel’s employ and in return is given a brief hug and even briefer parting words. “Your gift I discovered, and your gift I take away.”

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If you tilt your head, squint your eyes, and stand on one foot, Bradley Cooper still doesn’t look like he’d make a good goth. He looks like the guy that beat up the goths in high school before throwing the winning touchdown and heading home to bed down the prom queen. So what’s his name doing anywhere near a remake of The Crow? It’s unclear, but it’s there. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cooper is in negotiations to star in the film now being directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. What does that mean? That the deal isn’t finalized, but that a deal very much exists. There is an odds on chance that Cooper will be The Crow. There are a lot of obvious negatives here, but there is at least one positive. This gives Cooper a chance to prove everyone wrong. The gut reaction is that he’s completely bad casting, that he’s a ray of sunshine where a blot of darkness needs to be, but wherever there’s doubt, there’s opportunity. If he can seize that opportunity and deliver a killer performance, then he can cement a great film and show that he’s got more range than people give him credit for. Whether he will end up getting the job or being up to it has yet to be seen. Fortunately, if it happens, it might mean despair for fans of The Crow, and they all love that sort of thing. It’ll be another excuse for us to jam some Morrisey […]

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Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who I’ve always referred to as “that guy who made 28 Weeks Later” is set to get a new nickname. Soon, I just may be referring to him as “that guy who remade The Crow”. Relativity has been trying to get a remake of The Crow going for a few years now, probably because the sequels and the TV series were all such huge smash hits.  At one point Blade director Stephen Norrington was attached to make it happen; but now this is happening instead. The most recent version of the script was notable as having been written by Nick Cave, but there will reportedly be a new writer coming on to work with Fresnadillo on rewrites, so it’s impossible to say how much of Cave’s version of the script will make it on screen, if any.

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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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It was eleven months ago that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the 28 Weeks Later director, took over helming duties for a Bioshock film with Gore Verbinski still bringing his larger than life producing to the project. That means that in one month, we’ll have gone a full year without any serious movement on bringing the video game adaptation to life on the big screen. That also means that it’s about that time for someone with big guns to be talking about it again – and Verbinski is still talking a vaguely strong game about delivering for the fans.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we Inglouriously review the recent releases while getting Thirsty and coming up with awkward puns for the film titles. We also get voted World’s Greatest Dad or something. Seriously, I’m not even trying anymore because my attention span is so Shorts.

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bioshock-1

After reporting mere weeks ago that Gore Verbinski’s big screen adaptation of Bioshock was about dead at Universal, we’re getting reports now that things are back on, with a new butt in the director’s chair.

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28 Weeks Later

For the record, it is quite alright if your first thought is ‘who the hell is Paul Andrew Williams?’

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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