Rooney Mara

Warner Bros.

It’s been 11 years since we last saw Peter Pan. In 2003 P.J. Hogan made a surprisingly exciting and faithful adaptation of Peter Pan — one that really delved into the sexual subtext of J.M. Barrie’s text — but it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Since it wasn’t much of a hit, that means nobody is complaining about already bringing the character back to the big screen. Joe Wright’s Pan isn’t a remake or reboot, though, but a prequel. Pan stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Garrett Hedlund as the innocent James Hook (who one day, of course, becomes Captain Hook). The trailer begins with an introduction to Pan (Levi Miller), an orphan during WWII. One night him and his buddies are kidnapped by pirates disguised as clowns, led by Blackbeard.

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rooneymara

When Carol first got announced to the world, it seemed like the perfect package to make for an important movie. Its script was an adaptation of a novel from famed writer Patricia Highsmith, called “The Price of Salt,” which is considered to be one of the seminal pieces of gay fiction. Its director was Todd Haynes, the interesting voice behind projects like Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There. And, perhaps most importantly, it cast two of our strongest working actors today, Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, as the two women who make a connection over the course of the film. That’s what the project used to look like, but today there’s some good news and some bad news about how it’s been coming together. The good news is that every element that made the film look so promising except for one is still in place. The bad new is that Mia Wasikowska can no longer play the younger of our onscreen lovers, Therese. Don’t let that upset you too much though, because along with the news that Wasikowska is no longer in the film comes a little bit of sugar to help the medicine go down. It’s also been announced [via Screen Daily] that a replacement has already been found for her, and wouldn’t you know it, they got another one of the best and most high-profile actresses working today to step in and do the job, Rooney Mara.

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints isn’t a Terrence Malick knockoff. Whenever a movie has beautiful landscape shots or characters talking with a musical quality, Malick’s name is the first one to appear in comparison, but writer/director David Lowery‘s Sundance darling bares little similarity to Malick’s work. This isn’t a story of criminals wildly in love, but of a man, Bob (Casey Affleck), trying to return to his lover and former partner in crime, Ruth (Rooney Mara). With the exception of the film’s opening, Lowery doesn’t show any of the big scenes you expect from that plot synopsis: Bob escaping from jail; getting into a car chase with the coppers; or finding himself in a shootout. The film starts with a bang, but as Lowery puts it, he wanted to focus on what came after that bang.

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

For the writer and director of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery, the story of Ruth (Rooney Mara) and Bob (Casey Affleck), two lovers pulled apart by their Bonnie and Clyde-style life, was too compelling to be confined to one film (read our own Allison Loring’s glowing review from Sundance here). Thoughout Saints, the characters are mostly apart, compelling Lowery to go so far as to write a short film about the couple in their carefree, young-love days before their crime spree caught up with them. But alas, the project never worked out. Enter Criterion Collection artist Eric Skillman, who together with comic book artist Matthew Southworth, took the plot of Lowery’s prequel and created New Tattoo, a digital graphic novel available in its entirety over at Entertainment Weekly. It’s a cool-hued (and just plain cool), subdued little feature that complements the film beautifully; anyone who saw Saints would have loved to see more about the hopeless lovers in the days when things were a little less bleak. Plus, isn’t it always great when filmmakers give us something like this for free?

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Aint Them Bodies Saints

Editor’s note: Allison’s review originally ran during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but we’re re-running it as the film opens in limited theatrical release this weekend. Bob (Casey Affleck) and Ruth (Rooney Mara) are hopelessly in love. Even when they fight, they cannot help but fall back into each other’s arms with Bob reminding Ruth he will always follow her, always be with her. But with Bob down on his luck, a bad decision and a few gun shots have him headed off to jail, leaving Ruth without her husband and a baby on the way. Despite this turn of events, Bob and Ruth never give up on each other, a fact made achingly clear from the way they cling to each other even as Bob is being taken away. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints starts where most heist stories end, showing audiences what happens when the dust settles and the “bad guys” are put away. Skipping ahead four years, Ruth’s daughter, Sylvie, is now grown and the two are now living a quiet life on their own. Bob still writes to Ruth, and she keeps every letter, but beyond that Ruth has not seen him since that faithful day, and Sylvie has never laid eyes on her own father. While there are a few men looking out for Ruth and Sylvie, Officer Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster) has clearly taken a particular interest in the two. Ironically, Patrick is the officer who was gunned down, which then lead to Bob’s arrest, but it is […]

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Aint them Bodies Saints

So you wanna see the Rooney Mara/Casey Affleck movie that everyone (including us) lost their minds over at Sundance? Awesome. We want to show it to you. We’re co-hosting a screening in Los Angeles tomorrow evening (8/13) at 7:30 Pacific, and we need you (and your handsome/beautiful +1) to fill some seats. All you have to do is email me at scott@filmschoolrejects.com by midnight Pacific (8/12) with the subject “How About Them Saints?” and tell us your name and why you want to go. Super easy. We’ll choose the winners at random and notify them tomorrow morning. And in case you don’t know about the film, here’s a trailer and a bit more about it.

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her trailer

Spike Jonze returns from a four-year hiatus from filmmaking to fuck us all up with the trailer for Her, the story of a woe-begotten Joaquin Phoenix who falls in love with the AI in his computer, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It’s dreamy, creepy, uncomfortable, and like the poster proclaims: it’s a Spike Jonze love story. Heartbroken Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) decides to cheer himself up with a fancy new operating system that promises to be incredibly intuitive and unique to each user. What he gets is “Samantha,” a chipper female voice who interacts with him as a friend and confidant, and who seems to grow more lifelike every day. Samantha is the woman of Theodore’s dreams, and it’s unsettling how easily you find yourself rooting for the “couple” in the trailer when you see him laughing and smiling through hazy shots of sunshine and blue skies. But just as soon as the happiness appears, reality kicks in when it’s a phone that Theodore is twirling with on the beach and, you know, not a human lady. Dammit, Jonze! The trailer only continues to spiral and become more sinister from there as Samantha becomes more sentient and their relationship gets more “serious.” I’m just worried about getting emotionally invested in a story about a man and a computer program. Check out the trailer below and see what you think.

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skarsgard

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily news column that’s full of all sorts of salacious celebrity gossip, so long as you consider actors being cast in movies to be salacious gossip. Read on to get news about new jobs for Dev Patel, Michael K. Williams, Alicia Vikander, and more. There’s always more. Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Cinderella seems to nearly have all of its casting ducks in a row. It’s got Lily James as the title character, Richard Madden as the handsome prince, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, and Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger as the evil stepsisters. There’s one question that’s still at the tip of everyone’s tongue though—who the heck is going to play the Grand Duke, AKA the duplicitous advisor to the King? Well, according to Heat Vision, Branagh is dipping into his Thor cast and negotiating with Stellan Skarsgard to fill this very important role that apparently exists.

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Scott Z. Burns

Side Effects marks the third collaboration between screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and director Steven Soderbergh. They previously tackled the mind of a bipolar pathological liar with The Informant and a horror-esque “what if?” movie with Contagion. For Side Effects, they’re not taking on pharmaceuticals, but a twisty thriller in the vein of Fatal Attraction and Body Heat. This is the type of movie that drops a new piece of information in almost every scene, causing you to rethink most of what you previously saw. Burns accomplished that with a split narrative starring characters who aren’t exactly the most noble. An ensemble movie with characters one can’t really root for is something of a rare commodity these days, and from the sounds of it, it’s something Burns would like to see (and write) more of. Here’s what screenwriter Scott Z. Burns had to say about constructing ensemble narratives, how Russian literature inspired Side Effects, and some of his frustrations with the studio storytelling norms:

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Side Effects

If Side Effects truly is Steven Soderbergh‘s final theatrical film, the director has ended his storied career on a somewhat surprising note – Side Effects surely combines all the character intrigue and well-crafted filmmaking technique we expect from Soderbergh, but its seemingly unoriginal plotline will likely fall flat with a number of viewers. And yet, that does read “seemingly,” because bundled up within Scott Z. Burns’ relatively straightforward thriller-influenced screenplay is one hell of an intriguing story, one that will linger with its dedicated viewers for far longer than its swiftly-moving 106 minute runtime. It’s not Magic Mike or Ocean’s Eleven or even Erin Brockovich, but Side Effects is a more than worthy film for anyone to end their career (well, maybe) on. Side Effects benefits most from fresh viewings and relatively uninformed audience members, ones not steeped in trailers and television spots (in fact, a couple of recent TV spots for the film have revealed far more than this critic would have liked), but the basic plot can be shared without concern over potential spoiling. Rooney Mara stars as Manhattanite Emily, a reserved young wife who is trying to delicately balance the pieces of her life in the wake of what should be a pleasant change – the recent release of her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), from a white collar prison after a four year stint for some messy professional mistakes. Emily has a history of anxiety, one that certainly wasn’t aided by Martin’s legal troubles, and things are […]

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February Must Sees

This February isn’t such a hot month for movie-going. When it comes to genuine “must-sees,” there are only two movies on this list which earn that title, and they’re the expected picks. January could have been worse, but this February won’t do 2013 any favors, unless the fifth Die Hard movie ends up blowing everyone’s socks off, and since it’s from the director of Max Payne, how could it not? In short, this year isn’t off to a good start. We got spoiled with last December, as we usually do, so hopefully we see something genuinely great soon, unless you thought Mama overcame a lackluster script, that Movie 43 wasn’t the Antichrist sent from Satan himself, and if you even remember that movie with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. The Last Stand isn’t included, because no more than five people saw it. Hopefully a few of you go out to see these movies and have a fun time, though:

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dragon tat

The Girl Who Played With Fire hasn’t exactly been a fast-tracked project over at Sony. Since the 2011 release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, things have been slow on the sequel front. Screenwriter Steve Zaillian has a ready-to-go script, but Sony hasn’t been keen on sinking another $90m into the project. That was the cost of the first movie, and while it did make over $230m worldwide, it wasn’t the major hit everyone was hoping for. Now Sony has another reason – or possibly an excuse – to stall. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Craig ‘s asking price for the sequel is too high for their taste. They didn’t specify how much Craig wants, but coming off the billion dollar success of Skyfall, it’s logical to guess he wants a good chunk of change. Billion dollar box office aside, why would Sony give in? Craig isn’t exactly a box office star, he’s James Bond. Looking over his recent filmography, Dream House, Cowboys & Aliens, The Golden Compass, Defiance, and The Invasion, none of those films proved Craig’s presence equal success when he’s not playing an iconic spy.

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Side Effects trailer

The last time we got a trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller, Side Effects, it was a little too dream-like and abstract to really tell us what the movie was about. Rooney Mara was taking drugs of some sort, Channing Tatum tried to pull off wearing a fedora, Jude Law screamed a bunch, and apparently a murder got committed—but what order all of that happened in and who the good guys and the bad guys of the film were never quite got made clear.

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Side Effects Poster

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in this trailer for Side Effects from Steven Soderbergh, but it’s intense. From the synopsis, I know that Rooney Mara plays a woman taking prescription pills to deal with the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison, but in the trailer? Maybe she got seduced by her shrink (Jude Law)? Or maybe she’s claiming something worse? Maybe they made meth together in a travel trailer? In a way, it’s kind of cool to see a bunch of puzzle pieces but no picture on the front of the box. From the vague description and this jumbled trailer, the movie’s plot is still in the fog, but the tone and performances are given a great spotlight in which to shine.

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Garrett Hedlund

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that was compiled today with the help of Daft Punk musical accompaniment. You may not remember much about TRON: Legacy’s story, because other than its glowing lights and its pumping soundtrack, that 2010 sequel to Disney’s cult classic TRON was pretty dull. So, let’s refresh your memory. The movie starred Garrett Hedlund as the son of Jeff Bridges’ character from the first film. He went into the computer world, found his dad, and then there was a big battle. Remember all this? Good, because Next Movie just confirmed that Hedlund will be back for whatever TRON 3 ends up being called. Disney apparently started getting a script together for a third film just last week. This, of course, means that we’ll all now be keeping our eyes open for the real news regarding this new sequel: whether or not Daft Punk is coming back to do another soundtrack.

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Side Effects Poster

Whether or not Side Effects is director Steven Soderbergh‘s final film still remains to be seen, but even that added (potential) intrigue seems unnecessary so far, because the Channing Tatum, Jude Law, and Rooney Mara-starring film looks satisfyingly confounding all on its own. Mara stars as a young wife (to Tatum, lucky duck) who turns to a doc played by Law to help ease her anxiety. He prescribes her a new drug. And it has, you guessed it, side effects. The film’s first poster is a sleekly designed affair, and we’re willing to bet it holds more than a few secrets to Side Effects. Like just what does “a doctor’s most important prescription is trust” mean? Side Effects opens on February 8, 2013. [The Huffington Post]

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Side Effects trailer

Rumors of Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement have been greatly exaggerated (seriously, guys, that’s just not happening), but the director’s supposed “next-to-last” film, Side Effects, has perhaps been the victim of not enough exaggeration and chatter. The Rooney Mara-starring film also features Soderbergh returning players Channing Tatum and Jude Law (and even comes with a screenplay by Contagion‘s Scott Z. Burns), but it’s flown quite spectacularly under the radar. The only thing resembling an official synopsis for the film, as reflected over at the film’s IMDb page, promises that Side Effects centers on “a woman [who] turns to prescription medication as a way of handling her anxiety concerning her husband’s upcoming release from prison.” And yet, this first trailer feels more in the spirit of some sort of infidelity thriller, like Unfaithful or Closer, though those prescription drugs are definitely present. So just how much of all the dark drama we glimpse in this first trailer is real…and how much of it is in Mara’s seemingly drug-addled brain? We can’t wait to find out. Swallow down the first trailer for Side Effects after the break. It will go down quite nicely, we promise.

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Siri

We’ve been following along with the development of Spike Jonze’s next project for a while now, and with good reason. For one, it’s a new Spike Jonze movie, and that should be enough to get film geek blood pumping on its own. But when you factor in the cast that he’s compiled, which includes names like Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Samantha Morton, and Olivia Wilde, well, it doesn’t take long before the anticipation hits a boiling point. There is one cloud of uncertainty that’s been hanging over the project’s head ever since it got announced, however, and that’s the fact that it has been sold as being a story about a man who falls in love with Siri. Yeah, the iPhone thing.

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Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning in Night Moves

In somewhat disappointing casting news, Variety reports (via FirstShowing) that Kelly Reichardt‘s next film, the eco-terrorism thriller Night Moves, will not star Paul Dano and Rooney Mara as had been previously reported. Dano had been linked to the film earlier this year, while Mara’s name had been consistently mentioned, though she had never been officially attached. Instead, the film will star Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning, who join the long-attached Peter Sarsgaard to round out the main trio, three eco-terrorists who hatch a plan to blow up a dam. Sarsgaard will be the “mastermind behind the bomb,” with Eisenberg set to play the “ringleader” and Fanning as a rich girl who backs the plan financially. While both Eisenberg and Fanning are interesting actors, Dano and Mara have always struck me as much more compelling, so it’s hard not to feel as if this is a trade down. However, Eisenberg’s role will likely call for him to exhibit some new facets to his craft (it’s hard to imagine that a eco-terrorist ringleader won’t have to rely on something like charisma to pull in new recruits), and working under a performance-minded filmmaker like Reichardt should be good for everyone involved. Also, they don’t really seem to have as much to lose.

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After months of carefully choosing her next roles post-The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, star Rooney Mara has gone on a bit of a signing bonanza – at least, a Mara-sized bonanza. Though Mara earned an Oscar nomination for the film (and the bulk of its kudos), she’s shied away from jumping into just any role – she’s signed on for films from auteurs like Terrence Malick (Lawless) and Stephen Soderbergh (Bitter Pill), showing her clear choice to not go a more traditional and commercial route with her burgeoning career. But Mara is easing up a bit, signing on for no less than two project this week alone. Just yesterday, Nathan reported on her apparent casting in Spike Jonze’s next film, in a role that once belonged to Carey Mulligan. As if that project didn’t already sound wonderful enough, Mara has signed on for another project that sounds, if possible, still more amazing. Variety reports that Mara is attached to play the female lead in Brooklyn, based on a novel by Colm Toibin and with a script adapted by no less than Nick Hornby. The film is still in need of a director, but it will be produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey of Wildgaze Films, who also produced An Education.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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