Rooney Mara

Spike Jonze’s upcoming follow-up to Where the Wild Things Are doesn’t yet have a title, but it has a cast in place. Or, at least, it did. A while back we reported that Jonze’s next film was going to be about a man who falls in love with a computer voice, a sort of forward looking commentary on the dangers of developing a Siri fetish. Joaquin Phoenix was already on board as the male lead, and Carey Mulligan, Amy Adams, and Samantha Morton were negotiating to come on in other capacities. The negotiations stuck, because all three ladies became official members of the cast. But now that’s changed. According to Variety, Mulligan has been forced to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts. All is not lost, however. Signing up Adams and Morton is still a pretty good haul in and of itself, and there’s word that Jonze is in final negotiations to recruit a more than acceptable replacement for Mulligan.

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Oscar 2012 Predictions: Best Actress

In recent years, the Best Actress Oscar has been a far more compelling race than the Best Actor Oscar. Where Best Actor winners have been those whose time has come (like Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart or Colin Firth in The King’s Speech), the Best Actress Oscar has been a tighter and less predictable race. The roles that have won Best Actress have been increasingly edgy over the past decade or so, as well as honoring relatively younger actresses (including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Hilary Swank). This year offers an interesting mix of candidates who cover a range of ages and experiences. The actresses in Hollywood should be proud that their top roles are about such challenging subjects as sexual identity and female empowerment. This is a more radical turn from the Best Actor field, which has roles dealing with relationship drama, sports and spying. To quote an old cigarette campaign for Virginia Slims, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” It’s been a long way from the early days of Hollywood where more traditional damsel roles were far more prominent. The meatier roles and blockbuster heroes continue to go to male actors, but the real depth of character and challenging subject matter has been making its way to the women of Hollywood, if in a smaller degree at least a more noticeable degree. Read on for the nominations and my predicted winner in red…

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Due to her Oscar-winning role in Black Swan and her pregnancy-imposed break from acting, Natalie Portman has been the subject of much talk in the movie world. When will she come back to work? What will her first post-Oscar role be? There have been reports of filmmakers as big as the Wachowskis actively recruiting her to come on board their projects, but still no word of an official signing. That is until now. Sorry, Hollywood directors, but Terrence Malick has beaten you to the punch. And, just to smear some dirt in your wounds, he’s done it twice. Deadline Ottawa is reporting that Portman has signed on to be in not one, but two of Malick’s upcoming projects, both shooting in 2012, which will mark her much anticipated return to acting. The first film is the Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett-starring Knight of the Cups, which is scheduled to start shooting this summer. The second is a film called Lawless, which sees Portman teamed again with Bale and Blanchett, in addition to other notable names like Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara. This film is scheduled to shoot in the fall.

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Yesterday I promised that if we just waited patiently, the remaining questions about Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming movie Side Effects would soon be answered, and a whole new set of questions would probably arise. Oh, how true that was. Before we get into all that, let’s do a brief rundown of the reporting that’s been done on this movie so far. First it was reported that a “psychopharmacology thriller” that Soderbergh was working on called Bitter Pill was getting its funding through a partnership between Annapurna Pictures and Open Road Films, but that the movie would be called Side Effects going forward. Then came news that Annapurna had pulled their funding, possibly based on concerns they had with Blake Lively being cast in the starring role. It was also theorized that the production was looking at a short list of new actresses to take Lively’s place and save the film some face. Finally, the casting rumors looked to be true, because it was announced that Rooney Mara had been chosen to take Lively’s place as the lead. We were then left only with the question of who would come on board to take Annapurna’s place as this movie’s sugar daddy.

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Here we are, once again, talking about Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller about depression and medication, Side Effects. The last time we left our players in this ongoing drama Annapurna Pictures had pulled their funding from the film, reportedly over a kerfuffle about casting. You see, rumor had it that there was some uneasy feelings about Blake Lively playing the lead role in this film, that of a depressed woman who battles addiction and is in the middle of a love triangle involving both her husband and her doctor. Further rumors indicated that there were a whole short-list of actresses that Soderbergh and his people were looking at to replace Lively, and hopefully restore faith in the project. Well, it looks like at least most of those rumors were true. Deadline Bedford is reporting that Lively has been shuffled off the film and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will now be taking her place as the lead. Seeing as Mara just turned a lot of heads playing a dark, troubled woman and Lively hasn’t ever turned too many heads doing anything, this is probably good news for the movie overall.

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Jonah Hill

As you may have noticed if you’ve gone online or been anywhere near a TV today, the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this morning. Along with that always comes the scrambling to contact those nominated to get their reaction to the honor. Usually what they have to say is pretty boring, but hey, it’s a tradition. And it’s one that Variety has been hard at work keeping all day long. As a service to the world, I’ve compiled some of the more high profile reactions they’ve received here in one place.

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It’s been a year filled with silent screen stars seeking redemption, the 1920s coming alive in Paris, a young boy searching for the first great director, sex addicts in New York City, horses going to war, maids of dishonor, and skulls getting crushed in elevators. Now it’s time to celebrate all of those things and more with the 84th annual Academy Awards. They’ve come a long way since the Hotel Roosevelt in 1929 (although sex addicts have almost always been a fixture). Get to ready to smile, ball your fists with snubbed rage, or be generally unsurprised. Here they are. The 2012 Oscar nominees:

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Sony isn’t slowing down on its adaptations of Steig Larsson‘s best-selling novels, so according to Entertainment Weekly, we’ll get a healthy dose of Lisbeth Salander and The Girl Who Played With Fire soon. Undoubtedly, unless the second one struggles worse, we’ll have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest soon after that. Apparently there was some question as to the plan when The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo didn’t perform at insanely high levels. So far, the $90m-budget film has scored $72m worldwide, which isn’t all that great, but it’s still early in its life as a release at two weeks old. It’s not the crazy phenomenon that the Niels Arden Oplev flicks, but lightning so rarely strikes the same franchise twice. No matter what a studio believes. Checking the scoreboard, Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both signed up for two more movies, Steve Zaillian is already working on the script for the second film, but David Fincher is not secured. Maybe he’ll come back, maybe they’ll need to find a new director. Either way, the train is leaving the station and headed for a late 2013 release. Would you want to see Fincher stay on?

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I have been an advocate of “Trent Reznor, Composer” after being blown away by the score he created for The Social Network last year (along with Atticus Ross) and was excited when I heard they were teaming back up again with director David Fincher for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When the first teaser trailer for the film dropped, set to their pulse-pounding version of “Immigrant Song” (featuring Karen O), I was clamoring to hear more of the “turned up to eleven” sound that seemed like it would permeate throughout the “feel bad movie of Christmas.” Unfortunately, this in-your-face attitude seemed to live in this song alone and did not extend to the rest of the score. After releasing a six-track sampler (which you can download here), I realized this score was going to be much more subdued than their previous collaboration, but I was still intrigued and hopeful of what was to come. After hearing the music in the context of the film during a screening this past week, I couldn’t shake the surprising feeling I had when walking away from it – disappointed.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the first book (and film) in Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millenium Trilogy. The books have sold 65 million copies worldwide, and the three Swedish films have done blockbuster business throughout Europe and excessively well during limited runs here in the States. This much we know. The mohawked elephant in the room though is David Fincher‘s American remake/adaptation that hits theaters this week. Was it necessary to remake something already popular on such a global scale? Can Fincher improve upon Niels Arden Oplev’s original film? Can Rooney Mara do an equal or better job with the role that made Noomi Rapace an international star? No. Yes. And hell yes.

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David Fincher - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Anybody who has either read Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series or seen the original film adaptations directed by Niels Arden Oplev and Daniel Alfredson knows that David Fincher’s upcoming film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is going to have two potential sequels after its release. The question is, will he pass the torch to another director to make the English language versions of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and The Girl Who Played With Fire like Oplev did, or will he take them on himself? Ace Showbiz reports that Fincher spoke on this very issue during a recent press release, and though he doesn’t sound all that thrilled with having to make Dragon Tattoo sequels, he’s probably going to do it anyway. He plans on making them the same way you pull off a bandage though, in one quick motion so that he can be done with it.

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Looks like Sony’s official bid to make you happy you’re not a member of a twisted and wealthy Swedish clan of apparent criminals is coming a day early! That’s right, “the feel-bad” movie of Christmas and the spark of one of film journalism’s biggest hullabaloos of the year is opening a whole day early (well, really about five hours early, if you’re into midnighters). David Fincher‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will now open on Tuesday, December 20 at 7PM. It’s a smart move by Sony, as the holiday marketplace is already damn crowded. Next week sees the opening of no less than nine new picks, with further expansion by awards bait flicks The Artist and My Week with Marilyn. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be going up against a strong slate of other awards contenders – including War Horse, Albert Nobbs, The Adventures of Tintin, In the Land of Blood and Honey, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Oh, and The Darkest Hour is opening next week, too.

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Hugo

It is day four of awards season, and already some names are growing wearyingly familiar, and even the surprises don’t quite pop like they used to. On Monday evening, the Gothams announced their annual awards, followed swiftly by the Film Independent Spirit nominations announcement and the NYFCC’s winners, but director Martin Scorsese and his latest film, Hugo, were without some big awards love – until now. The National Board of Review has announced their best-of picks for the year, and Hugo has topped out as Best Film, with Scorsese grabbing Best Director. As the film opened just last week, here’s hoping that this NBR endorsement will pump up somewhat lackluster box office returns. Paired with a weekend box office free of new major releases, and maybe Hugo can swing up to the top of the heap. As for the rest of the Board’s awards, there’s a bevy of names here that already seem like old hat – picks like Christopher Plummer for Beginners and The Artist, The Descendants, and The Tree of Life as a “top” films for the year – but there are still a few eyebrow-raisers, as our friends over at /Film note, J.C. Chandor picking up another award for his debut, Margin Call, continues to be surprising. Where is Sean Durkin and his own Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene? And J. Edgar as one of the year’s best? And a Breakthrough to Felicity Jones and Rooney Mara, but no Elizabeth Olsen? Bizarre, really. But there are […]

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Usually when a filmmaker goes on a string of making a bunch of movies it’s nothing to bat an eyelash at. Hey, he’s a filmmaker, what did you expect? But when that filmmaker happens to be Terrence Malick, then it’s a whole other story. Malick is an infamous perfectionist who usually takes at least five years or so between everything he makes. Dude even waited twenty between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. It’s weird that despite the fact his newest film Tree of Life was just in theaters, he already has his next picture in the can. But it’s even weirder that before that picture has been put together and given a release date and what not, Twitch has already unearthed some information about the next movie he’s making a move on. Once he gets his Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams romance Voyage of Time out of the way, he’s said to be starting up a new film, which will star Christian Bale. That Bale is in the film shouldn’t come as a surprise, he’s worked with Malick before in The New World and he almost took the role Affleck eventually filled in Voyage of Time; but the fact that we look to be getting three Malick movies in two years is a gigantic shock. Who put what in this guy’s Wheaties? Does Malick know something that we don’t, or did he just blow all his money on a gambling debt or something?

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Generally, the last thing in the entire marketing universe that interests me is an upcoming film’s website, but damned if Sony Pictures hasn’t conceived of a nifty site for their The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo English-language remake that isn’t packed with some fine material. The film already has enough to recommend it – it’s based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling book series, it’s a stylish remake of a homegrown Swedish take on the material that few people saw stateside, and it combines the talents of director David Fincher and stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Basically, you already know if you’re going to check this film out, but Sony isn’t sitting around counting painful piercings and bad tattoos until its release date – they’re coming for an audience with a surprisingly user-friendly site that may suck in people who’ve so far avoided the Dragon Tattoo phenomenon.

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That’s Not Safe For the Lobby. I love making up new acronyms. Spread that one around, please. Do to my contractually obligated word limit on posts (at least 100, unless I can use “Verfremdungseffekt” correctly), I’m including this opening statement, but you’ve already skipped over it anyway. Normally for a poster, I might write about the artistic/salesmanship quality of who it will draw in or how it builds on a long and storied history of one sheet movie marketing, but for this new poster for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the nipple piercings speak for themselves. And they speak more than 1,000 words:

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A couple days ago a red band trailer for David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” hit the Internet and made the rounds among movie blogs and message boards. It wasn’t really clear if it was an unintentional leak, or if it was put out to look as an intentional leak as a bit of viral marketing that fit in well with the hacker status of the female protagonist, or maybe if it was just a trailer released without much fanfare due to its pseudo NSFW status. But none of that really matters anymore. Now we’ve got an officially released trailer for the film that looks a heck of a lot like the leaked one, but is all high definition and pretty, and doesn’t have any bits that are naughty (sorry, side boob lovers). So what does this trailer have in store for us? Nothing shocking really; but enough to get my blood pumping anyways. This little bit of advertising is quick, kinetic, and full of energy. It’s got a hip re-imagining of a Led Zeppelin classic, a very digital, very typical of David Fincher aesthetic, very gorgeous production design. Also, it probably can’t help but remind me a lot of that one movie I saw… you know, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The trailer is a reminder that I’ve already heard this story, already solved this mystery, already lived alongside these characters, and it can’t help but feel awfully familiar. But it looks awfully damn pretty […]

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The first images of Rooney Mara in the David Fincher-directed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation were released to the world on Wednesday. In the form of a cover for W magazine and one other still inside the actual article, the images sparked a brush fire of opinions, cynicism, and what some are calling misogynistic backlash all across the Interwebs. In his article on the images for Badass Digest, Devin Faraci referred to the actress as “Ruined Mara” and said she looks “sickly and awful and her haircut is just… yikes.” He also made a particularly pointed crack at the character’s eyebrows. But let’s sit back for a moment and look at that word. “Character.” What exactly are Mara and Fincher going for with Lisbeth Salander? Is she supposed to be iconic, something of a role model for young girls who watch the Americanized version of Stieg Larsson’s original novel? If so, then maybe Faraci’s claims and the claims by some writers and bloggers on Twitter that the girl is “disgusting”, “gross” or “needs a sandwich” might have some weight behind them. As they are presented, though, they’re just quick jabs that make sexist labels easy to apply.

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It’s unclear whether her dragon will be on the left or right buttock, but Rooney Mara has definitely evolved from a brash young college student in The Social Network to whatever the hell this is. The pictures are great, but they’re also not from the film itself, so it’s difficult to get all that excited. Still, Mara looks like she’s about to stab the cigarette butt into her artist’s eye as a tip for the ink job before (hopefully) going to get a sandwich. If that’s the attitude of the film encapsulated in photo form, then God Bless David Fincher. Check out the full pictures after the jump.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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