Marc Forster

A few weeks ago I interviewed Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, and at the time, he told me something I thought had already been reported: that he won’t be appearing in Marc Forster’s zombie epic, World War Z. IMBD had him listed and it was reported virtually everywhere that Cranston would have a small role in the film. Sadly, those reports are wrong. I talked to the Breaking Bad star a few days before speaking with Forster, so naturally, I asked how that collaborating was going. As Cranston pointed out, it’s not going, and for understandable reasons: “I didn’t work with Marc Forster. I was supposed to, but scheduling got in the way, so I’m not able to. I regretted the omission. I sent him an email, wished him well, and said I was sad it didn’t workout. You know, on some other project we’ll hopefully — will you please tell him I said hello? And tell him the zombies are coming to get him.” Of course I told Marc Foster that the zombies were going to get him — and like Cranston — he was disappointed the actor won’t be a part of the film. It’s a real shame Cranston isn’t in WWZ, because it would have been cool to see him fighting off some brutal, fast-moving zombies.

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People are already ragging on World War Z, a movie over a year away. Adaptation always requires changes, but a book like World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War requires many, many changes. The structure doesn’t lend itself to a big budgeted Hollywood film. Director Marc Forster, clearly, knows this. Instead of making a documentary zombie movie, it’s a Brad Pitt and his family trying to survive movie! That’s not the World War Z fans know — and despite the current popular belief — that’s not the approach Forster is taking. A few weeks ago I spoke with the filmmaker, and his zombie epic was briefly touched upon. The interview was for Machine Gun Preacher, so I didn’t set out to ask about WWZ. But after discussing a few different aesthetics he’s shot and trying to bring smarts to blockbuster filmmaking, his currently filming adaptation naturally came up. Despite the narrative changes we all know about, Forster did set out to capture the spirit of the book, the political spirit:

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Machine Gun Preacher! It’s not just fun to say! It’s a movie, too! Marc Forster’s latest (the one before the World War Zadaptation fans everywhere are already bemoaning) focuses on a true-life story that comes oh-so-conveniently pre-packaged with a catchily-nicknamed protagonist. The film stars Gerard Butler as that supposed “machine gun preacher,” Sam Childers, a former drug dealer who turned his life around to save the often-orphaned children of East Africa, youngsters forced into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to serve as soldiers before they’re even old enough to properly wield a gun. The synopsis for the film makes the story seem fantastic, and in the hyperbolic sense, because the concept of a former drug dealer saving African child soldiers by way of going straight into the belly of the beast and rescuing said kids by hand (and with a machine gun) is all a bit too much to believe. Yet, Childers is indeed a real person, and Forster’s film does depict some real life instances in between a mess of standard action film beats. Take a look at the boom-boom-pow trailer after the break.

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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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When an adaptation of “World War Z” was first announced back in 2008 with Marc Forster at the helm, a major question was how they would take an oral history that recounts a globe-spanning amount of zombie action and turn it into a workable movie. After all, the conversations of the book take place after the war and deal closely with survival and societal themes. As it turns out, the answer is apparently to redo the entire thing. According to the synopsis sent out by Paramount, the movie will look a little something like this: “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.  [Mireille] Enos plays Gerry’s wife Karen Lane; [Daniella] Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.” Aside from nitpicking that they didn’t use the word “decimate” correctly, that description looks more than a bit different than the book…

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Like most human beings, I long for the moment when the lights will lower in the theater, and the title screen for World War Z will appear out of the darkness. It’s a tough adaptation to envision, but it’s also brimming with potential and zombies eating people’s faces. Just like the real zombie apocalypse, this flick has had some trouble getting started, but with potential financing in place, it looks like the production has hired a cinematographer. And they shot for the top. According to Bleeding Cool, the movie is moving forward, and Robert Richardson has been brought on to act as DP. The Oscar-winning Richardson, who directed photography for Platoon, A Few Good Men, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Shutter Island and many others, is a hell of a choice. So we know that, if this is true, the film will look good no matter what. Hopefully it’s all true, and Marc Forster will be side by side with Richardson, battling zombies for a summer shoot.

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The Hobbit

As I’m sure we all know by now, fan favorite director Guillermo del Toro has vacated the position as director of The Hobbit. That leaves the production with a big hole to fill. Which leaves us with plenty of room for idle speculation, guessing and (hopefully) something that seems like a logical path for the future of The Hobbit.

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It might be a few more weeks until it’s finished, but the highly anticipated script goes to Paramount soon.

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Marc Forster apparently developed a taste for action, adrenaline, and chase scenes while directing Quantum of Solace… he’s signed on to an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Chancellor Manuscript. Of course, he’ll be petitioning to change the title to Palimpsest of Justice.

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world-war-z-concept

One project worth following is the adaptation of Max Brooks’ fantastic novel World War Z, which has been underway at Paramount for quite some time. That said, we’re still not that excited about it.

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earlyedition-samjackson

It’s been a few days, sure, but you know that you can’t resist another wonderfully packed edition of the Early Edition…

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“No fucking way,” that is what Daniel Craig had to say when asked whether or not Quantum of Solace would be the second film in a three picture story arc.

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Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace

It would appear that the 22nd installment of the James Bond franchise is having absolutely no trouble finding an audience this weekend, with many calculations pointing to Quantum of Solace being the biggest Bond opening in history.

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Marc Forster to direct World War Z

Do you like zombies? Do you like plots that involve the decimation of humanity? Do you like action scenes shot and edited into confusing jumbles of blurs so you have no clue what is happening on-screen?

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Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster

I’ve been a James Bond superfan going on 22 years. Before yesterday, there were only two Bond films I hated–A View to a Kill, and License to Kill. Now there’s a third. Because overall, Quantum of Solace just plain sucked.

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Our European correspondent Loukas checks in with an early review of Quantum of Solace from across the pond, and it looks like it’s just as badass as we’d hoped for.

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Daniel Craig as James Bond

As November 14th continues to inch closer and closer — quite literally — by the day, the one man that is one almost every movie fan’s mind is Bond, James Bond.

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Daniel Craig and Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace

After watching the first full-length trailer for Quantum of Solace, I can understand why Bond appears on the cover of Empire this month with the phrase “The Bloodiest Bond Ever” floating ominously nearby.

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace

Those of you with tricky internet skills may have seen these elsewhere, but this was my first time seeing them, so I thought that it can’t hurt to share.

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Quantum of Solace

The action in the following trailer is oddly reminiscent of the fast-paced, high flying energy of the Bourne franchise. Combine that with the flashy, colorful shots that are almost direct descendants of the flamboyant Bond films of the 70s and we’ve got ourselves a damn impressive trailer.

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