Scoot McNairy

Liam Neeson in NON-STOP

You’d think, at a certain point, people would stop messing with Liam Neeson. Kidnap his daughter? He will kill you all. Mess with his memory? He will kill you all. Abduct his wife? He will kill you all. Glue his parents into place? He will ki-well he won’t be happy about it anyway. But no, the bad guys refuse to catch a clue, and now the fools are at it again. Bill Marks (Neeson) is an Irish-born U.S. Air Marshal having a really bad day. He’s drinking heavily, arguing with his boss, and heading out on a trans-Atlantic flight to London. Oh, and he hates to fly. Things worsen when an anonymous text hits his phone threatening to kill someone on-board the plane unless $150 million is wired into a specified account. Ever the professional, Marks sets out to find the culprit by any means necessary. Non-Stop is closer to Taken than it is to Unknown on the sliding scale of Neeson ass-kickery flicks, meaning it’s miles ahead of the brain-dead Taken 2, and that’s great news for fans of fun, quotable action-thrillers.

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frank

When it was first announced that everyone’s favorite actor, Michael Fassbender, would be appearing in an Irish indie film called Frank, it was said that he would be playing an “eccentric front man” who leads a band that gets joined by an aspiring musician played by Domhnall Gleeson. While that sounded interesting enough on its own, it turns out that description undersold the film a bit as far as its weirdness factor goes. You see, when the title character that Fassbender is playing here was initially described as being “eccentric,” what they really meant is that he’s a complete lunatic who wears an absolutely bonkers mascot head everywhere he goes while waxing on philosophically about music and the universe and whatnot. Fassbender is basically the most charismatic man ever, but can even he give an engaging performance while having his head completely covered by such an outlandish distraction? Of course he can. Duh. Click through to watch a clip from the film [via The Playlist] which proves just that.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Today was basically Godzilla day on the Internet. All sorts of news regarding Legendary Pictures’ reboot of the big green guy’s film series broke, and some of it involves casting. THR broke the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was being looked at to star, but one of their writers, Borys Kit, was then quick to point out that his potential involvement in the film is long dead. Variety writer Justin Kroll then jumped in with the news that a few names that are still possibilities for the project are Henry Cavill, Scoot McNairy, and Caleb Landry Jones. All of this news comes with a special thanks to /Film, who compiled all the chatter into a tight little narrative. Even though things between Gordon-Levitt and Godzilla didn’t work out, don’t let that make you think that he’s going to go an entire week without being attached to a high profile project. In more Gordon-Levitt news, Deadline has word that the in-demand actor has just signed on to play a big role in Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Apparently he’s going to be playing Johnny, a role that was meant to go to Johnny Depp at one point, and that is said to be a core character in the overlapping parts of the film’s story lines. This comes at the same time as news that Gordon-Levitt’s possible involvement in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t going to end up happening, which is essential information if you happen to be exhaustively journaling all […]

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Maggie Gyllenhaal

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s been out of work since casting agents seem to be treating the week between Christmas and New Years as one prolonged food coma. If there’s one thing that Jurassic Park taught us, it’s that nature finds a way. Well, casting finds a way too. In a week where there isn’t any news getting leaked to the trades, leave it to Albuquerque Business First to break a new scoop. The eagle eyes over at The Film Stage noticed that, in an article about how that Michael Fassbender-starring rock and roll comedy called Frank is coming to town to shoot, the local source managed to break the news that Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town with it. Her involvement in the film sees her joining a cast that includes not just Fassbender, but two of the young MVPs of 2012, Domhnall Gleeson and Scoot McNairy, as well. Which, you know, makes her one of the luckiest ladies in the world.

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Andrew Dominik

Killing Them Softly is both a surprising and unexpected return for director Andrew Dominik, whose name has been missing from the big screen for five long years. What’s most surprising about the film is that it’s not much more commercial than his previous film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, a movie which didn’t nearly get its due back in 2007. His latest film is, however, unsurprising in terms of theme: the power of the dollar. After Jesse James didn’t light the world on fire financially, Dominik found it difficult to get other projects off the ground, so money must have been on his mind. And, according to Dominik, it was, and that’s a part of how we got his new political crime picture, Killing Them Softly. Here is what writer and director Andrew Dominik had to say about the film’s slightly cartoonish approach, why the crime genre is so appealing, and the trials and tribulations caused by Jesse James:

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Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

After only about five people paid to see Andrew Dominik‘s beautifully poetic The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the popular belief was that any director in that position would follow up his ambitious financial failure with something more commercial. While Killing Them Softly has far more public appeal than Jesse James, Dominik has fortunately made another film unafraid to polarize. Set in 2008, following the economic collapse, mobsters have been seeking easier ways to make a quick buck or two, there is no clear order left, and, in this America, as the smooth contract killer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) puts it, you’re on your own. Cogan — who’s sort of the protagonist — is brought down to New Orleans after a series of robberies hit Markie Trattman’s (Ray Liotta) poker games. With criminals afraid to play and spend their money, it’s Cogan’s job to get them back to playing, by finding the two men responsible for the latest theft, two big time losers named Frankie (Scoot McNairy, now holding the record for the most number of irritating characters in a single year) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn). This reads as all fairly simple, but there’s more to this story than the trailers have been leading us to believe. Killing Them Softly is, in fact, almost more of an angry, loud voicemail left for the politicians who aren’t all that different from the lost, scrambling criminals we see in the film.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s ready for the weekend. Colin Firth is kind of a sneaky hunk. At first glance he’s pretty handsome, but not the most attractive dude in the world, and then he’s got this charm to him that just grows on you until you’ve scrawled his name on all of your Trapper Keepers. He’s such saucy dish that it looks like he can make even a big name star like Nicole Kidman develop a schoolgirl crush. THR is reporting that she liked playing his wife in the recent World War II drama The Railway Man so much that she’s now actively recruiting him to join her in her next project, Before I Go to Sleep. Apparently, Before I Go to Sleep is an adaptation of a S.J. Watson novel about an amnesiac woman whose husband must reintroduce himself to her every morning. Early attempts at titling the film The Rich Man’s 50 First Dates were reportedly rejected by the studio.

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Argo John Goodman Alan Arkin Ben Affleck

The November 4th, 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Iran by students and other revolutionaries was front page news around the world as 52 American hostages were held captive. Negotiations were attempted and military strikes were considered, but the crisis didn’t end until well over a year later when they were all finally released. Lesser known, and in fact unknown to the public until 1997 when it was declassified, is the story of six Americans who escaped the embassy that November day to risk capture and possible execution as they awaited an unlikely rescue. It turned out to be a very unlikely rescue indeed. Argo is Ben Affleck‘s third film as director, and while it lacks the darkly emotional impact of Gone Baby Gone and the kinetic shoot ‘em up action of The Town it stands tall as his best and most entertaining film yet. Brilliant character actors swirl through the constantly surprising true story alongside wonderful period details, humor, humanity and the most suspenseful thirty minutes of the year.

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Andrew Dominik is not a prolific director. After bursting onto the scene in 2000 with the violent biographical tale Chopper he waited seven years before releasing the critically acclaimed The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt. The film was universally praised by critics, but theater-goers have notoriously short attention spans meaning most of them moved on to something else before they even finished reading the title. (The ‘something else’ in this case was a one-two punch of Resident Evil: Extinction and Good Luck Chuck, so shame on you America.) Five years later and Dominik is finally returning to the screen, and he’s bringing Pitt along with him. Killing Them Softly is a blackly humorous crime thriller about a pair of low-rent amateurs who rob the wrong poker game. Pitt plays a mob man brought in to find and handle the pair, and the film follows his efforts arrange for their demise while interacting with the local criminal element. The film is an adaptation of George V Higgins’ 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade, and while it updates the story to the modern day it keeps the Boston setting that has served the genre so well over the years. Pitt’s joined by Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard, Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy. Our own Simon Gallagher was a big fan when he saw it at Cannes, and now the rest of us can get a taste as well with the debut of the highly […]

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Scoot McNairy at Cannes

Scoot McNairy and Brad Pitt recently tag teamed Cannes with Killing Them Softly, which is apparently pretty good. Unsurprisingly.So it’s probably unsurprising that the pair are going to be working together again in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave. Speaking of people who love working together, the film stars Michael Fassbender as a plantation owner who buys a free man (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. According to Variety, McNairy will be playing a “shrewd circus worker” who has his eye on selling a free man as a slave. Hopefully McNairy can sell cabbage-smelling hands in a medium without scent.

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Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Andrew Dominik always had an ominous mountain to climb with his next feature, having polarized opinion with The Assassination Of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, that most tonal and visually textured of revisionist Westerns, but with Killing Them Softly he has certainly at least avoided the black hole that tends to suck young talents perilously down into obscurity. He might not, however, have scored a huge commercial hit. Taking a leaf out of Jesse James‘s book, Killing Them Softly is effectively a post-gangster film, deconstructing the genre and smashing it against the oh-so-contemporary wall built by recessions and austerity measures. The label might still seem to read “gangster,” with the presence of wise guys and henchmen presiding over their own lawless patches of the murky underbelly of normal society, but gone is the aspirational elements of Goodfellas and Casino in favor of a tight-belted, thoroughly modern revision of the gangster ideal. For all intents and purposes, this is the cut-price Cosa Nostra.

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Remember when Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Richard Kind, Scoot McNairy, Chris Messina, Michael Parks, Kerry Bishe, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, and Tate Donovan all got together to make a movie about a fake movie being made in order to rescue hostages being held in Iran? This trailer is one more slice of proof that Affleck knows what the hell he’s doing behind a camera, especially when it comes to the slightly funny world of serious issues. Instead of crime-riddled Boston, this time it’s the Iranian Hostage Crisis, a fake script called Argo and a crazy attempt at rescuing 6 people. It’s Ocean’s Eleven except the stakes are real, and they’re life-or-death. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Consider this a bit of friendly advice – get on the Scoot McNairy train now. The actor has been steadily working in Hollywood for over a decade, with roles in film and television projects as varied as Herbie: Fully Loaded and The Shield, but he’s best known for his break-out role in Gareth Edwards’s 2010 indie gem, Monsters. Since then, McNairy has collected a series of interesting roles from a variety of filmmakers that should (and, if Hollywood has any sense, will) make a household name out of him. McNairy will next be seen in Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly (the project formerly known as Cogan’s Trade) and Ben Affleck’s Argo. Not too shabby, right? Let’s just go ahead and add two more high profile roles to McNairy’s resume – Deadline Mexico City reports that he’s signed on for a supporting role in Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land and the lead male role in Lynn Shelton‘s Touchy Feely. All aboard the McNairy Express.

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Scoot McNairy likes to get things done. That’s his general attitude toward life and filmmaking. The indie actor most recently peeked his head out into pop culture awareness with a great photoshop job in In Search of a Midnight Kiss and in Gareth Edwards’s Monsters. Off-kilter romance with or without giant aliens seem to be his thing. Now, McNairy could possibly be jumping in feet first into that mainstream awareness. According to Variety and Deadline Burbank, the actor has joined Brad Pitt for Cogan’s Trade (being directed by Andrew Dominik). He’s also up for co-starring roles in Prometheus: Not an Alien Prequel (as a love interest for Noomi Rapace’s character) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Good thing he likes to get things done. This is great news for a strong talent and for audiences that like talented actors. It’s akin to Jeremy Renner making it to major casting lists, although it’s not quite as big as strapping on superhero gear (yet). It’s always nice to see casting directors considering/hiring actors instead of just slapping hollow, pretty faces into everything.

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Gareth Edwards is a funny man. You might not know that just from seeing his feature film debut Monsters. You also might not know it from the things he had to do to get the film made. Edwards speaks with the casual tone of a seasoned pro, and after seeing heads on spikes, making his actors eat ants, and making a CGI-heavy film with almost no money, he might just be a few years ahead of his own resume. I got the chance to speak with Edwards, whose film comes out Friday October 29th, and we spoke about the advice he has for aspiring filmmakers, the challenges of shooting in South America and why the worst day of his life happened during production.

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The tone of the thing may oversell the giant monster movie aspect of what is essentially an unscripted drama taking place in the stomping grounds of the extra-terrestrials who have now taken up residence in Northern Mexico, but I realize as I write that sentence that it stills seems incredibly cool. The FSR team got to see Gareth Edwards’s Monsters when it hit Austin for SXSW. The reactions were mixed, but I honestly loved the film. It’s got a creativity and low-budget bargaining that makes it look like a million bucks (for much less than a million bucks). Plus, the lead actors (Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able) have the burden of carrying the entire film. Fortunately, they’re charismatic enough to do it. This first trailer doesn’t give much of an eye into that world, but it should do a bit to tease you with the things that go boom in the night.

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If you spent any time checking out our SXSW coverage, you probably noticed a few pieces on Monsters, the romance/horror/alien-love-making-movie-that-isn’t-Splice movie from director Gareth Edwards. You probably also noticed that, like most movies coming out of festivals, there wasn’t a release date for you to hang your excitement on. Without it, your excitement just sat there in the air like a man waiting for a bus in the rain. Fortunately for your excitement, he can rejoice, because his metaphorical bus has arrived.

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Monsters

Take Garreth Edwards’ Monsters. On the surface, it’s a good movie. But when we pull back a few layers and see what went into this film, it’s both good and very interesting. Interesting, for what it is.

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SXSW Film 2010

Just over a year ago, we talked to producer/actor Scoot McNairy about an interesting science fiction film shot without a script. A mumblecore action movie, if you will. Today, we get to preview that exact movie as part of our look ahead to this year’s SX Fantastic line-up.

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Scoot McNairy talks about love and loss in Los Angeles.

We got a chance to talk to the star of In Search of a Midnight Kiss and, now, Independent Spirit Award Winner Scoot McNairy about love and loss in Los Angeles.

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