Rhys Ifans

seyfried

What is Casting Couch? It’s a tireless wanderer that scours the Internet in search for news of actors getting hired to appear in movies. Today it’s found more, including new roles for Rhys Ifans and Monica Bellucci. With his latest film, Frances Ha, just getting ready to expand beyond New York and LA this weekend, director Noah Baumbach now turns his attention to his next project, a story about an older couple striking up a friendship with a younger couple called While We’re Young. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts have been on board to play the older couple, and Girls star Adam Driver is official for the younger male, but the search for the female half of the younger couple has been an ongoing process. It’s an ongoing process that’s likely to soon come to an end though, because The Wrap is reporting that Amanda Seyfried has emerged as the potential candidate to play the free-spirited young lass, and she’s even cleared some room in her schedule to make it happen. Sounds like it’s nearly a done deal.

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Rhys Ifans

Given the reliable financial formula of taking classic novels and turning them into feature films with lots of fancy period costumes and either Keira Knightley or Mia Wasikowska in the lead role, it was probably only a matter of time before somebody decided to make another film version of Gustave Flaubert’s influential masterpiece, “Madam Bovary.” So we weren’t at all surprised when it was announced that Cold Souls director Sophie Barthes would be taking a crack at the material, and that she had Wasikowska all booked up to be her lead. Sounded like a pretty good idea. But after that the pot was sweetened even further when versatile young actor Ezra Miller, who effectively played a creepy kid in We Need to Talk About Kevin and a flamboyant friend in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, was announced as playing one of the Bovary character’s many extramarital boy toys, and acting god Paul Giamatti signed on to play Monsieur Homais, a man who threatens to reveal the title character’s many indiscretions. Don’t think that Barthes and her crew are done when it comes to their attempts at luring you into watching a movie based off a book you avoided in high school, either. Variety is now reporting that another great actor is joining the cast, as Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, The Amazing Spider-Man) has signed on to play Monsieur Lheureux.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Here be Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man. Consider yourself warned. With The Amazing Spider-Man performing considerably well — and better than a supposedly worried Sony had expected — we’re bound to hear news of a sequel in the coming weeks. We already know the plans for a trilogy, but where that trilogy will actually go remains something of a mystery. The dull Peter Parker’s parent subplot/question will likely be answered, sure, but why not move away from this topic? Better yet, why not take a crack at all these suggestions below that I just know every exec at Sony is feverishly scribbling down? They may need to. Although Marc Webb‘s reboot of Spider-Man is pretty good, the impending release of something like The Dark Knight Rises means “pretty good” doesn’t exactly cut it. Sam Raimi handled the character properly, and showed how to make a great movie or two with him in the meantime. Even with all these origin amnesia criticisms that have been made, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly take notice of what worked in Raimi’s first two Spider-Man installments, and it should have; there’s plenty to improve on. Some of these things include:

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Denis Leary in The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man can get ridiculous. By its very nature, there’s an inherent silliness to Marc Webb‘s reboot of the iconic character. There’s a giant talking lizard wearing a lab coat, and in terms of comic books movies, you can’t get much more cartoony than that. What stops The Amazing Spider-Man from playing as an all out cartoon is both the emotional grounding from Webb’s part and the comedic touches made with Captain Stacy, played by Denis Leary. Without ever making an obnoxious ironic smirk about that kid in unitard, Webb utilizes Leary as a way to pull the film back down to earth. In the 1990s, we saw Denis Leary in his fair share of commercial movies, and, as even he would admit to and poke fun at, not many of them were particularly good. As of late, while Leary’s schedule was packed with his Rescue Me duties, we saw a real lack of him appearing on the big screen. What does it take to get Leary in your movie now? The possibility of a good time is certainly a part of it. Denis Leary, who seemed to be enjoying himself during The Amazing Spider-Man‘s press day, sat down with us to discuss firing shotguns, when making a movie doesn’t “suck,” and the importance of knowing structure:

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A large portion of The Amazing Spider-Man does not come off as a typical summer movie. Battling that lab coat-wearing Lizard aside, the heroics of Peter Parker’s life often take a backseat to his identity crisis. Director Marc Webb, as he told us, did not want to retell the origin of Spider-Man, as we already got that film ten years ago. No matter how much we all like to chuckle at the “untold story” tagline, Webb gives us good reason to reconsider why this is a new origin story: this is Peter Parker’s origin, not Spider-Man’s. The first hour of The Amazing Spider-Man takes its time to set up this new Peter Parker and the grounded world Webb aimed to capture. Tonally everything, including the giant green lizard who talks, Webb takes as seriously as he can. The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t realistic and gritty in the Nolan sense, but bares a key similarity in its dramatic grounding. Here’s what director Marc Webb had to say about the emotional chip Peter Parker carries on his shoulder, the wise-cracking teenage hero he saw while reading the comics, and why we’ve seen so much footage from his major tentpole release:

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The Amazing Spider-Man

It was a kinder, simpler time back in January of 2010. Daybreakers and Youth in Revolt were both in theaters, New York City was asking people to eat less salt, and we were all about to find out the one-two punch that Sam Raimi was done with Spider-Man but Sony was not. It was the sort of news that reeked of corporate thinking – extending a franchise cash cow without the creative forces behind it; rebooting an unimaginably familiar character just five years after his last outing; and deciding to do all that on a dime. Optimism pointed to characters like James Bond getting new actors, but this was that rare time where a character introduced to us was being re-introduced to us, and the announcement was, admittedly, a bit surreal. It won’t be revolutionary, but there are two ways, two chances for that reboot to change the ways that movies are made. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man will have a lot of eyes on it these week, and a few of them will be watching it as an experiment instead of entertainment.

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For the past few days a comical and depressing mash-up of the marketing materials for The Amazing (and pretty good) Spider-Man has taken the internet by storm. Louis Plamondon – who was today’s Reject Radio’s fine guest – made a short film out of all the footage Sony has released, nearly nailing the film down beat by beat. Speaking to the film’s director Marc Webb today, his response was simple: just don’t watch it. If you care about the movie, then why delve more into spoiler territory? When asked if he had seen it yet, Webb responded, “I have not seen it, but, listen, I think most movies reveal as much stuff. That’s a marketing department thing, so I wasn’t necessarily involved in that. If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it. Is it really that hard?”

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Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man

While everyone might still be buzzing about The Avengers, this summer does still hold yet another major comic book movie that just might end up being the unexpected hit of the season. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man again returns Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) to high school, but the focus this time around is on Peter’s relationship with his true first love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and his quest to discover his parents’ background and how that effects who he’s turned out to be. Oh, and of course he’s dealing with becoming a superhero with spider powers, but that’s just old hat at this point. The film’s latest international trailer features a lot of material we’ve seen before – some shots of the Lizard going after Spidey, a few sweet moments between Peter and Gwen, and a hefty reliance on Peter’s parents and whatever the heck it is that Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) is cooking up in his lab – but it also continues to hint that Stone’s Gwen Stacy is quite aware of what’s really going on with her boyfriend. Especially when Spidey tosses her out a window and reels her back in, thanks to those nifty web-shooters. Do you have that kind of trust in your relationship?

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As superhero fever sweeps across the world and The Amazing Spider-Man’s release date approaches, the film’s Viral Videos Division (I assume this is a thing movies have) is ramping up their efforts and doing everything possible to get the public excited about Spidey’s new screen villain, The Lizard. To that end, two new videos have been released: one that’s structured as a fake recruitment video and feels all virally, and another that looks like the traditional sort of featurette you’d find in a DVD’s special features menu or whatnot.

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The summer of 2012 will go down as one of the biggest movie-going seasons for comic-book superheroes, and it’s a feat that probably won’t be repeated anytime soon. Joss Whedon’s fantastically entertaining The Avengers opens tomorrow and Christopher Nolan closes out his epic Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises this July, but nestled in between those two guaranteed blockbusters is a web-slinging wildcard. Director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man is fighting an uphill battle as it reboots Sam Raimi’s beloved trilogy that’s less than a decade old. It’s an origin story, of course, but Webb and friends insist that doesn’t mean we know the whole story… Check out the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man below.

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It’s funny how desperate the anticipation for a movie can make some people. Months ago, when blurry images of plastic toy prototypes leaked onto the internet, some went nutty trying to find them and then trash them for looking ridiculous. Those toys were from any comic book movie ever, but the latest were from The Amazing Spider-Man and featured a very naked Lizard in all his glory. Now, Apple has some better pictures to look at. They feature the Lizard having to choke a bitch and holding a very family camera. Not at the same time, though. It’s two different pictures. Check them out for yourself:

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Compared to Nicholas Stoller‘s two previous films, The Five-Year Engagement has a lot going on. While his prior efforts only covered a few days, Engagement‘s timeline, if you couldn’t guess, goes well over… five years. Fitting all that time in one movie mustn’t be easy, as well as all the drama and comedy that takes place in that same period. As Stoller described the long writing process, it wasn’t easy, but life saves such as When Harry Met Sally helped him get through it, along with the help of co-writer Jason Segel.  With their dramatic comedy, the frequent collaborators took on an idea not discussed enough in love stories: that no one is ever going to be 100% perfect for you. As you’d expect from Stoller and Segel, said idea is milked for every comedic turn possible. Here’s what co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller had to say about the long writing process, why he never screams, and how the world almost got the Eminem animated show it deserved:

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The new trailer for Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot has just hit the web… and it doesn’t look bad at all! The film stars Andrew Garfield as the titular and angst-filled hero and Emma Stone as the love interest alongside Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary, Rhys Ifans, C. Thomas Howell and Campbell Scott (and yes, probably Stan Lee). It claims to tell the “untold story” but appears to be an origin tale, so who knows what Webb and friends have up their sleeve. (Beside the web shooter I mean.) Check out the new trailer below.

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When Sony released the “Untold Story” tagine for The Amazing Spider-Man, it rang about as true as a career politician and lobbyist claiming to be a Washington Outsider (or, for a less current joke, like Hot Pockets claiming they wouldn’t cause your bowels to erupt). It’s a rebooted franchise – essentially a remake of an earlier film that came out of the same studio a decade ago. However, there were always elements that hinted at Sony and direct Marc Webb going big instead of going home. A new synopsis, uncovered by the Times of India (via Screen Rant), shows off exactly what they mean by an untold story, and as it matches up to the original Sam Raimi film – it’s pretty damned untold. Sure, there are the teenage elements of angst and that certain feeling of being lost in a sea of hormones without a rudder or a helping hand. Hopefully there will be some playfulness and some sarcasm. Of course there will be a spider bite. All of it rings familiar, except the rest of the plot. In fact, much like a comic book, it reads like an alternate history of a character delivered by a new writer. Check it out for yourself:

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Now, normally I don’t post stuff like this because staring at plastic toy designs in order to determine what a character might look like in an upcoming movie is less fun than, say, flying a kite or punching myself in the face. However, these speculative product tie-in pictures for The Amazing Spider-Man were too good/terrible to pass up. Why? Because I fear for the movie. I fear for it. I fear that a character I love is getting an unnecessary recharge because Sony wants more money. Beyond that, I’m excited to see more work from Marc Webb, but I fear that a director with incredible creative potential is being wasted on a project no one really asked for – a character introduction to someone we already know really well. Plus, these images from Idle Hands are ridiculous. If this truly does echo the look of The Lizard (Rhys Ifans) in the movie, then we are all in for the laugh riot of the year. The design here is, I believe genuinely, channeled from the abomination that was the 1993 Super Mario Bros.  Judge for yourself:

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The trailer for The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t make it look like a movie I’m too excited to see. Which is strange, because it’s not just the latest film from director Nicholas Stoller, it’s also his latest writing collaboration with Jason Segel, and I love pretty much everything that these guys do. I think the problem is that this one looks like it’s going to be a romantic comedy that’s a little bit heavier on the relationship drama than it will be on the comedy. I like my Jason Segel more silly and whimsical than the one I’m seeing here, dealing with the trials and tribulations of loving a woman who’s career path is taking his life in a different direction than he saw it going. On the flip side of the coin, this little two-and-a-half minute trailer is pretty much the most comedy I’ve ever seen Segel’s co-star Emily Blunt do, and she seems to be rather good at it. Not every actor can do comedy, so you’re never sure what you’re going to get until they try. The image of Kate Hudson getting shot in the leg with an arrow really doesn’t do much for me, but when it happens to Blunt here I got my one solid laugh from the trailer. Emily Blunt certainly isn’t my issue. Check out the first trailer for The Five-Year Engagement after the break.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Yesterday the web was all aflutter with a “first look” at The Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man that came via a Pez dispenser mock-up. Yes, it’s come down to this. Waiting to see a wicked new baddie through the eyes of a candy-related toy. As you’ll note if you read us daily, we missed out on covering it. Something about the entire situation screams “There’s something better for those who wait.” And lo, there is something better that’s come along this morning: some leaked concept art of what Rhys Ifans may look like as Spider-Man’s foe. Check it out after the jump if you dare be spoiled (but only a little).

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on some 3D glasses to look at some puss… in boots, that is. He proceeds to rewrite fairy tale fiction to include more bodily function humor, an egg-shaped Zach Galifianakis and a hairy but still sexy Salma Hayek. Then, he heads to the reference department of his local library to discover who really wrote the complete works of William Shakespeare. When all signs point to Neil Miller as the real author, Kevin gives up, realizing he’s out of time. So he brings sexy back and heads out to kidnap Amanda Seyfried so he can occupy Hollywood and start a revolution together… or get arrested.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s all about movies, and television, and comics, and literature, and photos of hot women. Such as Miss Piggy, yo. We begin tonight with perhaps the most interesting twist of the fall movie season. In recent interviews, the likes of Frank Oz and other original puppeteers and writers from the Jim Henson school are speaking out about how The Muppets might not respect the characters they helped create. “I wasn’t happy with the script,” Oz told Metro. “I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”

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For whatever reason, Roland Emmerich has decided to jettison his traditional style of destroying the world on film by way of pre-destined end-times or global warming or goo-covered aliens and has taken his cinematic endeavors in an entirely new direction. This time around, Emmerich doesn’t want to blow up the world – he wants to blow up literary history (and, by doing so, also blow up the minds, hearts, and souls of English lit majors everywhere). In Anonymous, Emmerich riffs on the theory that William Shakespeare didn’t actually write all of his works, and that the entire literary world has been at the mercy of the widespread lie that he did. At its heart, Anonymous is a conspiracy flick. About Shakespeare. It’s a Shakespeare-icy flick (you’re welcome). Somehow, Emmerich’s bizarre left-hand turn into historical whodunit gathered a solid cast that includes Edward Hogg, David Thewlis, Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson, and Rafe Spall. I don’t know if they’re in on the joke or not, but Anonymous still looks like the cheap punchline of a terrible joke that doesn’t quite make sense. Even the jokes about this film seem too strange to be real:

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