Nicholas Hoult

Kate Lyn Sheil

Remember back when we told you that it was time you started paying attention to indie it girl Kate Lyn Sheil? Well, not to get out braggy on, but we were right. Sheil has got a packed schedule — just look at her IMDb page, which is crammed with “completed” and “post-production” features, shorts and television projects — but the actress has managed to make some room for another feature film, one that’s already been poised to rocket its talented team into the next echelon of indie filmmaking. Needless to say, it’s a good fit for Sheil. Sheil has just joined up with Drake Doremus‘ Equals, the latest feature from the perennial Sundance favorite (the director behind films like Breathe In and Like Crazy, both of which have bowed at the film festival in recent years to general acclaim), a futuristic and sci-fi-tinged project titled Equals. The film is a big step forward for Doremus, a high concept affair that still manages to focus on relationships (Doremus’ speciality). Complete with a script by Nathan Parker (Moon), Equals could be the next big sci-fi romance to hit the box office. Oh, and the rest of its cast doesn’t hurt, with Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce already on board.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bryan Singer has been very generous during the production of X-Men: Days of Future Past about letting us normal people see behind the scenes photos of the coolest aspects of the film. From tweeting a sneak peek at a full-sized sentinel, to even showing glimpses of character concepts (we’re very into X-Men), Singer is all about letting fans know what they’re getting with this movie.

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Beast Concept Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer recently tweeted out a quote from the original “Beauty and the Beast” accompanied by the above image of Hank McCoy in his natural form. As you can tell, Beast has gone through puberty. Here’s the tweet and a nice little photo comparison of Beast throughout the films:

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Brad Pitt

What is Casting Couch? It’s casting news. A bunch of it. All in one place. Today we’ve got the short list of young ladies who may be playing Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Disney film, among other things. People seemed to love watching Brad Pitt don military garb and do a World War II movie for Quentin Tarantino, so it stands to reason they should be willing to line up to watch him go period again for David Ayer. According to Heat Vision, the director is looking to sign the star for his upcoming WWII-set project, Fury. If he becomes official, he’ll be taking the lead role of the film, which is an ensemble piece that will follow the 5-man crew of an American tank. More specifically, it follows the 5-man crew of an American tank in the waning days of the war, as they come across a battered and desperate division of German soldiers. Ayer wrote the film and sold it to QED on spec, which is going to start to look like a smart investment on their part if a star as recognizable as Pitt becomes official.

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Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer is like an expensive remake of The Brothers Grimm, except more pricey and less interesting. Director Bryan Singer has always been a reliable director, but as is sometimes the case with Terry Gilliam the audience for his latest work seems unclear. It’s too goofy for most adults, not energetic enough for kids and instead exists as a tonally bizarre, lethargically paced oddity. It does manage the occasional moments of light-hearted entertainment, but they’re few and far between resulting in a strange and surprising misfire since on paper Jack’s journey sounds like a sure thing of a popcorn movie.

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WARM BODIES

Warm Bodies really messes with zombie mythology. If zombies try hard enough they can talk. They can also have zombie friends. They can also fall in love. And mostly skeletal zombies, called Boneys, can run faster than any human, while regular zombies lurch along at a rigamortis-ridden, glacial pace. With these and other transgressions aside, Warm Bodies never ceases to be entertaining. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50), the film features winning performances from all of its lead actors, a cleverly written script, and most importantly, an innate heart that makes it easy to overlook any mistakes. Our protagonist and narrator is R (Nicholas Hoult), so named because he can’t remember his name from when he was alive… only that it might have begun with an “R.” R is a zombie, and yes, he does eat people, but at least he’s conflicted about it, right? Death has also been kind to him, as while he is slowed down some, and is really pale and quite banged up,  his hair looks artfully tousled and his eyes have turned a dreamy ice blue.

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Warm Bodies

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a notorious dead zone in Hollywood Newsland, but like a moaning, grasping zombie, we here at Film School Rejects are determined to rise above it with fresh content. Mmm, delicious fresh content, arrrggghhh, brainnns. Where were we? Right! Fresh content! Content like the first four minutes of Jonathan Levine‘s upcoming Warm Bodies.The Nicholas Hoult-starring zombie comedy (zom-com) puts a on sweet twist on the horror movie trope, with Hoult’s “R” struggling to be a young zombie in a undead-filled world. He just wants to connect to people! But, of course, that’s hard to do when you’re a zombie and most “people” aren’t really people anymore. That all changes when he meets a red-blooded young lady, but before we get to that, let’s get to know a little bit about R’s day-to-day life (or something like it). After the break, check out the first four minutes of Warm Bodies, thanks to Fandango. Let’s snuggle.

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What is Casting Couch? Despite the fact that the movie business seems to be slow to get back to work after the long weekend, it’s a column that’s managed to dig up a couple exciting casting coups. Bryan Singer out-scooped everybody in the news breaking business today when he suddenly started tweeting big updates on how the cast for his upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was developing. He started off small by first confirming that a few members of the First Class crew would be returning. He tweeted, “I’d like to officially welcome back James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, & Nicholas Hoult to #XMEN for #DaysOfFuturePast.” But then he got a little crazy and started confirming rumors that actors from his original X-Men movies will be joining the film as well by tweeting, “Thrilled to announce @ianmckellen118 (Ian McKellan) & @SirPatStew (Patrick Stewart) are joining the cast of #XMEN #DaysOfFuturePast #magneto #professorX More to come…” Do you think we could get scenes where old Professor X and Magneto meet young Professor X and Magneto? The head spins with awesome possibilities.

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Warm Bodies Trailer

Zombies don’t exactly lend themselves to teen romance stories as well as vampires do, what with their flesh being all gross and decaying, like a jack o’ lantern in November, rather than pale and smooth, like a porcelain doll. But that’s not going to stop the creators of Warm Bodies from capitalizing on the current zombie crazy by making a teen zombie romance anyway. Ridiculous idea or not, one has to admit that the zombie apocalypse genre can get pretty homogenous and predictable, and could use some sprucing up. It feels kind of refreshing to see a zombie movie where the walking dead have thoughts and emotions, but have trouble acting on them due to their newly unresponsive bodies and overpowering craving to consume living flesh. Not only does the conceit seem to make for good comedy, but there are hints in this new Warm Bodies trailer that it could make for an effective character moment or two as well; which kind of makes sense, because this one is being brought to us by Jonathan Levine, the director of the funny, yet affecting cancer drama 50/50.

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About a Boy gets a TV series

Hugh Grant is in need of a comeback. But this is not a story about that hypothetical comeback. (Although Grant fans should most definitely check out his crazy, cruel and fantastic performances in the upcoming Cloud Atlas.) Instead, news has broke that one of Grant’s finer films, his last great one with him in a leading role, is getting adapted into a television series. About a Boy featured Grant as a cynical, well-off bachelor incapable of forming real human connections, but when a teenager (Nicholas Hoult) facing his own social obstacles form an unlikely friendship with him they both learn that growing up doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Chris and Paul Weitz adapted the Nick Hornby novel for the big screen in 2002, and the story (in both mediums) is a wonderfully warm, often acerbic look at relationships and loving the people who matter most.

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Looks like we’re going to have to adjust our list of The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012, knocking the number down to a significantly less exciting 51. Summit Entertainment has just announced that they are pushing the release of Warm Bodies from August 10 of this year allllllll the way to February 1 of next year. When I touted the film as part of our most anticipated list of plenty, I explained it as such: Jonathan Levine follows up his critical cancer comedy hit, 50/50, with an en vogue type of affair – a zombie love story based on a YA novel. But Isaac Marion’s source material shares considerably more with Romeo and Juliet than it does with The Walking Dead and that, along with its up-and-coming cast (Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Rob Corddry, and no less than John Malkovich) recommend this original look at love at the end of the world. And that’s all still true, but now we have to wait six more months to catch it. I feel like a zombie just took a bite out of my heart. While I’m not the biggest fan of Marion’s novel, I think it’s a fun basis for a film, and I believe in both Levine and the solid cast he’s assembled for this outing.

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Somehow, I just knew that our “52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012″ would pay off! You know, eventually. Included on that massive list is 50/50 director Jonathan Levine‘s next film, and while the idea of a sexy zombie story about teens might turn some of you off, I beg you to give it a chance. Based on Isaac Marion‘s 2011 novel of the same name, the film follows young zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) as he grapples with a new twist on the classic zombie story – he’s not dealing with the fall-out of turning into a zombie, he’s trying to come to terms with becoming a human (again). Young R has been a zombie for, well, he doesn’t even know how long (but not too long, he’s still got meat on his bones), and everything else pre-zombification is just weird memory ether. It’s not there. But all that changes when a beautiful human girl (Teresa Palmer) and some weird happenings begin to dull the desire for brains and blood in R, while also awakening the human that might still lurk inside him. R’s change has not only personal implications, but effects on human-zombie relations at large. That may seem somewhat hard to picture, which is why I’m glad we get our first look at Hoult in his zombie get-up today. Readers of Marion’s excellent book will surely approve of his look, as it matches up with the author’s description of R quite handily. Check out the full look at Hoult […]

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Did you not already get your fill of the Jack and the Beanstalk myth from this year’s Puss in Boots? Good, because Bryan Singer has his own (live-action) take on the tale, and the results look to be similarly cartoonish. Listen, you try to make magic beans look menacing while also crafting a giant goddamn beanstalk that pops up out of the ground without it looking totally bizarre and silly, okay? Oh, you did already? Oh. Oh, that looks nice! While there was a fair bit of buzz around Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer before the film blossomed into existence (see what I did there?) mainly regarding Singer talking about the project for over two years, casting rumors as to who would be starring as the titular Jack (Aaron Johnson and Andrew Garfield were both talked about before the role went to another superhero kiddo, X-Men: First Class‘s Nicholas Hoult), and a delay that pushed the film back almost a year, news on the project has been surprisingly scarce since it started filming earlier this year. So what’s the finished result of the classic tale reimagined going to look like? Well, if you believe this trailer, a bit like a cross between Puss and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Check out the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, complete with its own big-eyed orange kitty (seriously), after the break.

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Back in May, the illustrious Matt Patches put together a list so honest, so compelling, so original, that I had absolutely no choice but to copy it almost totally wholesale to craft my own version. Patches’s list was comprised of eight films his previous girlfriends had forced him to watch that made him who he is today (the list was, of course, titled “8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today” because we here at FSR are nothing if we are not succinct). The list, while interesting on a purely cinematic basis, also said something surprisingly deep about the nature of relationships themselves – mainly when it comes to the all-important element of compromise. Patches, a gentleman and a scholar, found some compelling honesty in his consistently sweet tales of cinematic (and romantic) discovery. My list starts off with a film that made me realize my first boyfriend was possibly also interested in other men. That’s just the sort of list this is. Here are seven movies that seven different suitors all “forced” me to watch at different points in my (admittedly still young) cinematic life. More than any individual lesson each film taught me, together the list forms one giant reminder of what I love best about going to the movies – endless possibility. Take a peek at my list after the break, and then feel free to pipe in with any films that someone made you watch that ultimately changed your […]

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Culture Warrior

Themes of identity, difference, stigma, and othering are explicitly or implicitly present in much of the X-Men mythology, whether expressed through comics, television shows, or films. While I was never a devotee to the comics, as a fan of the 90s animated television series and (some of) the recent slate of Hollywood films (that have, as of this past weekend, effectively framed the continually dominant superhero blockbuster genre), I’ve always been fascinated by the series’ ability to take part in the language of social identity issues. Fantastic genres like horror and sci-fi have often provided an allegorical means of addressing social crises (vampire films as AIDS metaphor, zombie movie as conformist critique, or Dystopian sci-fi as technocratic critique, for example). The superhero genre has possessed a similar history in this capacity, even though it has thus far been mostly unrealized in the medium of film. As big entertainment, superhero films ranging from the first Spider-Man to the Iron Man films have bestowed narratives of exceptionalism and wish-fulfillment rather than shown any aspiration towards critique or insight. Perhaps The Dark Knight is most involved example of social critique thus far – a film that explores themes surrounding the personal toll on fighting terror and the overreaches of power that can result in the name of pursuing safety. What X-Men: First Class (almost) accomplishes is mining fully the allegorical territory made available by its fantastic premise in a way that few previous comic book films have.

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It looks as if the absurd notion of making a teen zombie romance movie is becoming more than just a notion, as Summit’s Warm Bodies is deep in the casting process. Already signed to star is Nicholas Hoult, who is about to take the screen as the new Beast in X-Men: First Class. And now actress Teresa Palmer is rumored to be close to signing on as the love interest. The film is being described as a cross between Twilight and Shaun of the Dead, so I guess that means that half of it is going to be embarrassingly melodramatic, while the other half will be irreverent and fun. I’m not sure exactly how that will look, but the name drop of Shaun of the Dead at least gives me hope that this project could be entertaining, and not a complete train wreck. Palmer’s character is described as the daughter of a high-ranking military man who falls in love with a zombie after it eats her boyfriend. Their budding relationship goes on to change the way humans and zombies interact all over the world. I’ve seen Palmer work in both I Am Number Four and Take Me Home Tonight. In I Am Number Four she didn’t get much to do other than look like a stone faced badass, but she handled the jumping around and punching stuff thing well. And I thought that she was appropriately charming and magnetic as the object of affection in Take Me Home Tonight. If […]

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Director of the Mad Max franchise George Miller sat down with The Daily Telegraph to give an update on the status of his delayed project Mad Max: Fury Road. The film, which has Tom Hardy set to star as the new Mad Max and also includes Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Teresa Palmer in the cast, was already set to begin filming, but has been shut down due to extreme flooding in Broken Hill, Australia, where it was scheduled to shoot. If you’re a fan of Mad Max, then you know how important its dry, desolate, scorched Earth setting is to the story. Getting that post-apocalyptic desert landscape feel to resonate on film is pretty hard when you’re standing in ankle deep water. Miller said, “The week we were to start, it rained the heaviest it had in 10 years. I’ll never forget the first day — we were holed up in a big sort of shed watching the rain. We couldn’t shoot. If you want the rain to come, just send a film crew there.”

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Just like that time you got snakes to get rid of the mice infesting your house, and you ended up having to get mongooses to eat the snakes and then honey badgers to eat the mongooses and then armored tanks to get rid of the honey badgers, the next wave of horror romance has infected its next fad. Vampires are now passing the burning sensation in their loins over to Zombies. Summit, as you might guess, is still to blame. The plucky young studio will be using some of its Twi-capital to produce Warm Bodies – the story of a zombie named R that falls for one of his victims’ girlfriends and starts what must be a fetishistic relationship with her. Nicholas Hoult, who plays Beast in the forthcoming X-Men: First Class, is set to star. It’s unclear how this twist on the genre works exactly. Romance and vampires? Got it. Easy. Romance and that mindless mass of rotting flesh trying to constantly eat brains? That’s a different story. Speaking of which, the project is an adaptation of an as-yet-unpublished novel by Isaac Marion. It’s also the next evolution in shoving genre monsters into other formulas and calling it interesting. Of course, as always, it’s the execution that really matters. The bright side is that Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) will be writing and directing, so at least there’s talent bringing a singular vision to the project. Plus, Hoult may prove to be a strong acting presence even without blue CGI […]

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Combing through movie news and trivium all day is enough to make someone jaded. Thus, it’s important to remember when a piece of fluff marketing like this comes out, to keep a level head about what it really means. Does it say anything about the movie itself? Not really. Does it say something about the photoshop skills of whoever made it. Certainly. With that in mind, here’s the first official cast picture from X-Men: First Class, showing off a little midriff on January Jones, a little stone cold stare from everyone else, and a whole lot of cheese.

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