Kate Beckinsale

Daniel Cudmore

What is Casting Couch? It’s a rundown of all the casting news we missed over the weekend. Keep reading for updates on new jobs for young actors like Aml Ameen and…Nick Jonas? Squeal! Bryan Singer’s shock and awe campaign of constantly keeping X-Men: Days of Future Past in the headlines through information leaked via his Twitter account seems to be paying off. Most recently he teased us all by tweeting a picture of his casts’ head shots tacked up to a wall, a picture that ComingSoon analyzed and discovered secrets in. Turns out the pic gives us three more names who are in the movie. Not only do we now know that Daniel Cudmore, who played Colossus in X2 and The Last Stand, is coming to turn metallic and smash things again, but we also know that Twilight vet Booboo Stewart has joined the pic in an undisclosed role, and that Chinese actress Fan Bingbing will be playing the mutant teleporter Blink. Those sure are some fun names to type.

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Director Len Wiseman made the 21st Century remake of Total Recall we kind of expected. It’s big, flashy, and in modern remake/reboot fashion it’s also gritty & grounded. Sure Wiseman nicely packed three-breasted women into his PG-13 picture, but this isn’t a movie fit for Kuato, small prostitutes firing off machine guns, and Arnold Schwarzenegger making funny faces. There’s little room for comedy in the futuristic world Wiseman has built. Compared to his previous films, it’s the biggest sort he’s created thus far. With a budget of $125 million — which, as Wiseman points out, has been falsely reported as being $200 million — the director has also made a blockbuster about as big as one can get. That scope isn’t what drew the Underworld filmmaker, but the identity crisis at the film’s core is. Wiseman set out to make a personal detective tale which happens to be set in a big, futuristic world. Here’s what Total Recall director Len Wiseman had to say about not going big for the sake of big, the influence of The Fugitive, and how certain Roland Emmerich classics served as his film school:

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Let’s get this out of the way – there’s quite a bit different about Len Wiseman‘s remake of Paul Verhoeven‘s Total Recall. Although the film hasn’t exactly been greeted with the most pleasant of critical responses thus far, one thing you can’t criticize the film for is being a carbon copy of the 1990 film. Obviously missing is the iconic Kuato and the setting of Mars, but also absent from the film is a widely reported appearance by Ethan Hawke. Although it sounds like Wiseman’s remake lost a sizable amount of material in the editing bay – considering there is a 17-minute-longer director’s cut in the works – Mars and Kuato never even made it past the script stage. While speaking with Wiseman yesterday, he told us why there is no Mars, no appearance or mention of Kuato, and why you won’t see Ethan Hawke’s brief role in the theatrical cut:

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As the cinematic summer season winds to a close, audiences everywhere will soon get to relive the joy of memory implantation, three-boobed ladies, and governmental double-cross. No, no, it’s not The Bourne Legacy (is anyone triple-stacked in that? Let’s hope so!), it’s Len Wiseman‘s take on Total Recall. This time around, no one goes to Mars and Ahnuld is nowhere to be found, instead Colin Farrell takes over as the mystified and misplaced everyman Douglas Quaid whose fun-time mind-trip ends up with some seriously unexpected consequences. Last weekend, Beverly Hills’ own Four Seasons Hotel played host to scads of press primed to interview the Total Recall crew about such things as what they’d want Rekall to implant in their minds, what it was like working with a married couple, and how the film’s lovely lady stars stay so young-looking. Of course, there were also interesting questions asked at the junket, and director Wiseman and his stars Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, and Bryan Cranston answered those, too. And also Cranston talked about Breaking Bad for twenty minutes and we all took it in, starry-eyed. After the break, check out 21 we learned at the Total Recall junket, from how Cranston thinks BB will end, what element of the film stands out as the major difference between it and the original (hint: it’s not that the film doesn’t go to Mars), what Biel knows about the status of David O. Russell’s Nailed, and the special cameo that Wiseman built into the film […]

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Total Recall

Here we are, the downturn of one of the most hyped cinematic summers in recent memory. Now, we’ll be getting all the films the studios weren’t quite sure would make it during the May-July run. We’ll be seeing a lot of these titles over the next two weeks…two weeks…two weeks. To kick off the Gilligan’s-Island-worthy “and the rest” season is Len Wiseman‘s remake of Paul Verhoeven‘s Total Recall. Based on the book, “The Future Hates You And Will Kill Your Face” by Philip K. FunnyLastName. No, it was actually (of course) Philip K. Dick‘s ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.” The basic premise is largely the same as it was in the before time, the Schwarzenegger longlong ago. A man trudging through a humdrum existence (Colin Farrell‘s Quaid), realizes he lives in futurey times and can have memories of a more exciting existences slam-packed into his brain via a company called Rekall. Trouble is that in so slam-packing, the company accidentally pops the top on a whole pickle jar of new skill sets and suggests that the life he currently knows may be a lie. The big difference of course between the original Total Recall movie and the remake is a profound reduction in the set pieces that take place on the planet Mars. That is to say, no part of the remake takes place on the planet Mars. This is where geeks like me would usually throw a conniption, or at the very least a strongly-worded hissy fit. […]

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Total Recall

While not everyone in attendance at San Diego Comic-Con is the biggest fan of Len Wiseman, tweeting out jokes spotlighting his missing film knowledge and pedigree, it could just be jealousy that he is married to star Kate Beckinsale. That’s enough to make any man, and most women, insane with jealousy. Feelings for the director, and remakes, aside, I didn’t know what to expect from a Total Recall total remake. Would there be boobs? How many? Would there be tiny mutants? How many? Would there be bullets, explosions, and car chases? How many? We have some answers for you now.

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Earlier today, our own dapper man Nathan Adams predicted that Rian Johnson’s Looper could go down as the best action picture of the year. Now we got a trailer for another upcoming sci-fi actioner: Total Recall, which looks to give that time travel hitman tale a challenge in the trailer set piece count. Based on these trailers, if Looper is going to be 2012′s thinking man’s sci-fi picture, then Len Wiseman‘s remake shall take the honor of being this year’s most expensive ADD teen boy movie. A few months ago, Wiseman told us he wanted to make a “dangerous mind trip” with Total Recall, but, based on what Sony is selling, he really made a teenage boy’s ultimate wish-fulfillment – beautiful gals, a hunky lead as their P.O.V., robots, three-breasted ladies, and a frustrated Bryan Cranston. Take a look after the jump!

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Drinking Games

There are two types of people in this world: those that like glittery vampires whose biggest battle is with a hunky teen werewolf over the heart of a humdrum angsty teenager… and those that don’t. If you’re in the latter category, you might enjoy vampires of a different kind, ones that actually rip their victims apart and fight to the death with real tear-off-your-face werewolves. Fans of the violent vampire/werewolf conflicts likely are fans of the Underworld movie series, and it’s latest installment, Underworld: Awakening hits DVD and Blu-ray this week. This drinking game will help you get through the latest film with some giggles, and it can also be used for the first two Underworld films as well.

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More than a few opinions were changed about the upcoming Total Recall when that trailer hit last month. The big summer sci-fi blockbuster’s preview sold an epic scope, the chance to explore a new world, and a fresh take on Philip K. Dick‘s story. Gone was Mars, the mutants, and a body builder acting like a killing machine. What director Len Wiseman is bringing to the table is more in line with the tone of Dick’s short story: serious, heady sci-fi. Wiseman has unquestionably made a film that will contain its fair share of explosions and one-liners, but the mystery of Douglas Quaid is what piqued the Live Free or Die Hard filmmaker’s interest the most. “Who am I?” is a quintessential life question, so imagine the stakes of having to answer that while being chased down and shot at. Speaking with Wiseman, the busy director discussed his reliance on practical effects, building an entire world without too many talking heads, and the identity crisis Douglas Quaid faces.

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It’s fair to say the reception for the Total Recall trailer has been positive. Nathan Adams notably went over the moon for it, declaring the visuals “mind-blowing.” While that might a bit extreme, the trailer was pretty damn cool, and certainly more impressive than most skeptics were expecting. Now, courtesy of MTV, director Len Wiseman provides a commentary for the trailer, in which he discusses the world of the film, the unique opium den take on Recall, and how that one shot is an all-practical effect.

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Colin Farrell in Total Recall

When it first got announced that they were going to remake Paul Verhoeven’s action/sci-fi classic Total Recall, the collective groans of film fans could be heard the world over. If there was ever an action movie full of iconic imagery and quotable lines that didn’t need to be sullied, it was that Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring original. This remake was going to star a pipsqueak like Colin Farrell instead of a mountain of muscle like Arnie, nobody was going to be getting their asses to Mars, and there wasn’t even any confirmation that it would include a three-boobed hooker. Who needed it? Well, after watching the first full-length trailer, I’d say that anybody who’s ever been a fan of adrenaline pumping action, jaw dropping special effects, sprawling future cities, the feminine wiles of Kate Beckinsale or Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston acting grizzled, guns, explosions, or Stormtroopers needs this movie. Check out the trailer and be blown away:

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This Sunday! There will be a thing on the Internet! That we all might be interested to see! But here is some of it now! The teaser trailer has somewhat recently become quite the en vogue way to heighten anticipation for films – throw up a few splashy title cards, dice in some scenes that could (or could not) be important to the film, bate viewers for the full trailer. It’s a fair way to market stuff, and when it works, it really works – like in this teaser trailer for Len Wiseman‘s take on Total Recall. Wiseman’s film is “inspired anew” by Philip K. Dick’s short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” and it stars Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston. While it’s hard to get too much of a feel for an entire production from a thirty-second spot that’s peppered with reminders to watch for the full trailer this Sunday, Wiseman’s film at least looks to be a bit more serious and hardcore than Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film. And, of course, it appears to come complete with Farrell jumping on stuff, like, all the time. The teaser trailer won’t make you wish you had three hands, but it will certainly make you want to see more.

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Underworld Awakening

Vampires are still on the menu when it comes to nice sized box office morsels, as Underworld: Awakening, the fourth film of the franchise, sunk its teeth in and made its mark on the weekend take, the film series, and January openings as a whole. The only of these lists Awakening‘s opening of $25.4m tops is chart for this weekend. That’s a return for the series, whose third entry, Rise of the Lycans, debuted in the #2 spot behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and who can really contend with Kevin James? I mean, really?

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his favorite Jedi robe, grabs his lightsaber and heads out to see the latest George Lucas movie…and boy does he look stupid. After realizing that Red Tails has nothing to do with the color of creatures’ backsides in the Tattooine cantina, he then dresses in his favorite “Team Jacob” tee shirt to see the latest vampire/werewolf movie. Again, he looks ridiculous. Finally, he sulks into a movie theater showing the new Steven Soderbergh film, falls in love with new action star Gina Carano and is happy.

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Lots of actors have a niche they like to call home, and while it’s sometimes fun to see them stretch outside their comfort zone they often do their most relaxed and assured work with material that feels the most familiar. For Mark Wahlberg that zone is “nice guy committing criminal acts while remaining pretty damn charming.” When he sticks to it we get fun films like Three Kings, Four Brothers, The Italian Job, Shooter and more. When he veers too widely away though we get The Happening. Lucky for us Contraband falls into the former category of fun, lightweight films that take full advantage of Wahlberg’s physical appearance, under-utilized sense of humor and charismatic charm (that falls somewhere between a George Clooney and a Michael Shannon).

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from his colossal failure in getting any of his votes in the Critic’s Choice Movie Awards to count (except for A Separation for best foreign film, but who didn’t think that would win?) by engaging in therapy via multiplex. Unfortunately, it’s January, and his only choices were Marky Mark and the Smuggling Bunch or Queen Latifah going mano-y-mano with the robot Dolly Parton. He opts for the action film, but he may have also fallen asleep during it. How soon until good movies are released again?

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The first trailer for Mark Wahlberg’s upcoming team-up with Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, Contraband, has hit, and it packs just about every action movie trope that you can think of into two and a half minutes. First off, Wahlberg plays a former criminal, who “got out of the life” and started a family. Then there’s the matter of a trouble-making brother (or in this case brother-in-law) who does something stupid and draws the protagonist back into doing “one last job.” We get the development of the wife and family being kidnapped, and even a Mexican stand-off with everybody pointing guns at each other. Pretty much this movie has everything an action fan could want. Check out the first trailer after the break.

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After reading that headline, fans of J. Scott Campbell’s comic books series “Danger Girl” might have had their heads explode. And even people who don’t know what “Danger Girl” is are most likely now intrigued. Say what you will about the Underworld and Resident Evil series; they’re not great, but they managed to cast leading ladies so appealing that they just keep making money and getting more sequels produced anyways. And now this new action adventure tale looks to take both of those leads, Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich, and have them running around in skin tight outfits together. Plus they’re going to throw in Modern Family’s buxom and charismatic Sofia Vergara for good measure. I’ve maybe never heard better news in my entire life. Does that sound misogynistic? Who cares… hot ladies shooting guns and doing high kicks! Yeah! For the uninitiated, Danger Girl takes the James Bond concept and turns it on its head. We still get the sultry Bond girls, but this time they are the secret operatives kicking all of the ass. Danger Girl Freelance Operations Limited is kind of like the A-Team, but with hot chicks instead of grizzly old dudes and a black guy with a Mohawk. They often run afoul of a group of neo-Nazis called the Hammer Empire, and there’s even an Indiana Jones type mystical relic hunting aspect to their ongoing adventures. Basically, Danger Girl has everything.

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There’s something Schwarzenegger-esque about the opening to the first trailer for Underworld: Awakening. For one, we find out that it’s Selene’s (Kate Beckinsale) awakening. For two, she goes all Terminator by curling up naked in the fetal position before finding some conveniently skin-tight clothes and then kicking a bunch of ass. The way this trailer is edited together hints at the stupidity that the film might have in store, but there’s no denying that the action looks solid. At least it was enough to turn the entire thing black and blue:

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But which one of them will have a human growing out of their stomach? Collider is confirming that Kate Beckinsale is officially signed for Total Recall as Colin Farrell’s character’s wife. The more cynical of the world might believe that it’s simply because her husband Len Wiseman is directing that she got the part, but it might also have to do with her being incredibly attractive and outstanding in roles like this. Plus, with the production starting next week, they’ve secured Jessica Biel to play a woman that Farrell’s character meets in the “spy world.” As if that weren’t enough to get the blood flowing, The Hollywood Reporter is announcing Bill Nighy will be re-teaming with Wiseman and Beckinsale to play Quatto – the leader of an underground resistance. To play catch up, this incarnation of the Phillip K. Dick story will never make it to Mars. Instead, it will focus more on Quaid (Farrell), a factory worker who believes he is spying for one of the two major world governments. From the sound of it, Wiseman and company might be making it more along the lines of a confusing mystery thriller – so more Minority Report than, you know, Total Recall. This cast is strong, and sticking closer to Dick might make this re-adaptation one actually worth making.

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