Tom Hardy

Locke Movie - Tom Hardy

Start up the trailer for Locke, and the first thing you’ll see, right smack in the middle of the screen, is the BMW logo. Then, you’ll see Tom Hardy, seated in a BMW. Streetlights reflect off the vehicle’s glossy exterior. A faint orange glow dances across Hardy’s face from over the steering wheel. It can’t be long before Hardy starts extolling the virtues of the luxurious, all-new 428i Series. But Locke is a movie, not a BMW ad. It’s just a movie that happens to take place entirely within one car and entirely within real time. Hardy stars as a fellow named Ivan Locke, who’s driving to London and has a few phone calls to make during the long trek. And that’s the movie — Locke will dial up various people, confront various problems, and (from the looks of the trailer, anyway) have his mental state rapidly deteriorate. The “one character, one setting” movie has been done before, with All is Lost, 127 Hours, Buried, and so forth. But with all those films, it’s a dude who’s physically isolated from the rest of the world and is trying his hardest to not die horribly. With Locke, Hardy’s still safe within the bonds of civilization, and from the looks of this first footage there doesn’t seem to be much life-or-death struggle.

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At this point, it feels a little foolish to doubt Tom Hardy‘s transformative properties. Pick any two films from his filmography and you’ll find yourself faced with two drastically different Hardys. He may be rail-thin or bulging with muscle. Soft-spoken or screamingly incoherent. Like snowflakes, no two Tom Hardy performances are ever quite the same. So when the news comes in, as it has (via Deadline Hollywood), that Hardy has officially signed on to play Elton John in the biopic Rocket Man, all we can really do is shrug our shoulders and say “yeah, that sounds about right.” Before too long, Hardy will have made himself over in the image of the famous musician, sporting massive sunglasses and sequin-covered clothing, and will probably learn a thing or two about playing the piano. Although he may not be doing too much singing – according to the official press release, the real Elton John will be re-recording his own songs for use in the film.

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gibson

What is Casting Couch? It’s the news column that answers important questions like, what’s next for Denzel Washington? Which two Community cast members are going to do film work together? And how is that kid from Mud doing finding another job? You may had thought you’d seen the last of Mel Gibson, but a handful of public meltdowns can’t kill a career that had reached the heights of his, they can only cool it off for a few years. Is the public ready to dip their toes back into the Gibson waters to see if they’re still feeling manic and racist? That’s what Sylvester Stallone may soon find out, because Showbiz411 is claiming to have a source close to the matters that says Gibson has been hired to play the villain in The Expendables 3. It’s a rumor, but one they seem pretty confident of. If it does prove to be true, are you willing to give such a vital actor a shot at a second chance? Or does antisemitism and demanding blow jobs from everyone in a ten block radius earn someone a lifetime black mark in your book?

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Tom Hardy

Yup, this one is certainly unexpected. HitFix reports that the leading role in the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, is currently “out to Tom Hardy,” which the outlet clarifies does not “mean they’ve made him a formal offer yet, or even that he’s interested,” but it does mean that the Rocketman team is interested in the star.  John himself is serving as an executive producer on the project, which is coming to us from director Michael Gracey and screenwriter Lee Hall, and has been billed as “a biographical musical fantasy that weaves together the life of Sir Elton John and his music.” What’s most weird about the Hardy news is that, back in January of 2012, John himself announced that he wanted Justin Timberlake to play him in the biopic, a pick that certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense. Timberlake is clearly a busy guy, but playing John seems like a totally natural fit, so it’s strange that it hasn’t materialized and that Hardy is already seemingly in the mix. We’ll be keeping a close watch on this one. Until then, there’s always Gnomeo and Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes.

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khan

It’s long been said that the Star Trek movies work on an unwritten rule that the odd numbered ones wind up being disappointments and the even numbered ones wind up being the ones that are worth watching. If you go down the lineup and check the work on that theory, it seems to hold up. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was widely considered to be a misfire, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was considered to be the rebound that got things right, and then things keep sticking to that pattern all the way up to the tenth movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, which is said to have ended the streak of even numbered movies being good and is essentially the reason the franchise had to go through a reboot. Of course, if you’ve read this column before, you can probably predict that I don’t agree with this assessment. The Wrath of Khan is widely considered to be the best of the Star Trek movies, but to my non-fan eyes it plays as a set-bound bore full of paunchy, over the hill actors who were well past needing to be put out to pasture. Maybe you need an emotional investment in the franchise to really get its appeal. Nemesis, on the other hand, starts really horribly with a cringe-worthy wedding scene full of clunky banter and fake laughter, but as it goes on it develops into becoming an entertaining enough big, dumb action movie. It’s the perfect thing for the […]

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cumberbatch trek 01

It’s a great week for Benedict Cumberbatch. Moviegoers around the world (though not yet in the U.S.) are currently flocking to see Star Trek Into Darkness, in which he plays the villain. And another film he’s set to star in has already become a humongous success thanks to a quick crowdfunding drive at Indiegogo. The newer project is a short titled Little Favour and will feature the Sherlock Holmes star as a PTSD-suffering man enlisted by an old friend (Harry Potter actor Nick Moran) to “help with a deal gone wrong.” With six days still remaining in the effort, Little Favour has already greatly surpassed its goal of £25,000 ($38,385) and looks to possibly triple that amount. This is a pretty remarkable achievement for a campaign that has nothing illustrating its potential, not a video nor storyboards nor any other sort of proof of concept. We don’t even know how long it’ll be. And the film is written and will be directed by newcomer Patrick Viktor Monroe, who is otherwise best known as Tom Hardy’s personal trainer and assistant (he also beefed up Cumberbatch for Star Trek). Producers on the project are also relative unknowns, Adam Ackland (second AD on The Killing Gene) and Ben Dillon, whose usual job is coordinating vehicles for movies including the upcoming Kick-Ass 2.

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s feeling a little left out this week since casting agents seem to be focused on getting their clients pilots for the next TV season, but it’s got a couple pieces of big movie casting news anyway. Chances are, as much as Tom Hardy’s face shows up in these casting updates, you assumed that he already had enough jobs to last him for the next decade or so. Turns out this isn’t the case. Whether or not Hardy actually gets around to starring in all of the projects he has in development will remain to be seen, but for now he has another gig to add to the pile. Deadline is reporting that he’s developing a new film with first time feature director Greg Williams called Samarkand. Much like the short film that Williams and Hardy collaborated on, Sergeant Slaughter, My Big Brother, this one will be dealing with the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental disorder that often plagues post-war combat soldiers. Williams co-wrote the script with his brother Olly, who reportedly has some real-life experience dealing with the issue. It will see Hardy portraying an SAS soldier returning from a tour in the Middle East and having trouble reintegrating with society. This is good news, because Hardy is even dreamier when he gets to keep his English accent.

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Christian_Bale

In a movie climate that’s mostly concerned with alien invasions and superhero showdowns, we haven’t gotten a good, old-fashioned man vs. nature disaster movie in a while. So, in tribute to the summer that brought us both Deep Impact and Armageddon, and the summer that brought us both Dante’s Peak and Volcano, Hollywood now has two movies about climbing Mount Everest in development. The first one, that we’ve already heard about, is called Everest, it’s going to be directed by Doug Liman, and it stars Tom Hardy as George Mallory, a British man who tried to scale Everest three times in the 1920s and eventually died on the mountain. Deadline has the rundown of the second Everest film that’s now being developed. It, confusingly, is also going by the simple title of Everest, but it’s going to tell the much more recent tale of a big winter storm that hit the mountain in 1996, while there were three different ongoing climbing expeditions, and led to the death of eight people. Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband) is set to direct the film, which shouldn’t be much of a stretch for him, given the fact that he made a stranded in Arctic waters movie called The Deep last year. The big news though is that Christian Bale is in early talks to star in the film, which should give it the star power necessary to go up against a dueling mountain movie that stars Tom Hardy.

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news round-up that continues its jam-packed week with stories involving Jesse Eisenberg, Emile Hirsche, Matt Smith, Kristen Stewart, Pierce Brosnan, and even more. We’re bursting at the seams here, people. Hearing that übermensch Tom Hardy is going to get a chance to beef up and kick some ass on screen is never a bad thing, so rejoice in the news that he’s just been cast as the lead of an action film called Locke. Anthem announced today [via ComingSoon] that they’ll be financing the film, which comes from a script by and will be directed by Eastern Promises writer Steven Knight. Locke is said to be about a man named Ivan Locke who receives a fateful phone call one day that forces him to put his entire life on the line in a “tension-fueled ninety minute race against time.” Title is the main character’s last name, plot has a real-time element…yeah, this definitely sounds like it was supposed to be a Jason Statham movie. Looks like somebody’s got some competition.

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Tom Hardy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s bursting at the seams after Hollywood had a very gabby twenty-four hours. Dig in. Tom Hardy: quite simply, he’s awesome. But can he do a Russian accent? We’re likely to find out now that he’s signed up to co-star alongside the also awesome Noomi Rapace in a new film called Child 44. Deadline reports that this one is about a Soviet war hero who uncovers a mass murder and is suddenly faced with doubts about the country he’s spent his life believing in and fighting for. Michael R. Roskam will be directing the film, which is an adaptation of the first in a trilogy of Tom Rob Smith novels. So, if you like bleak Soviet Union-set murder stories, you might be getting sequels!

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Crowdfunding campaigns are everywhere these days, and with this week’s report on the huge success of films financed through Kickstarter (more than 8,500 projects have made their goal since 2009), the number is sure to keep getting bigger. So, how do you choose which projects to help out, if that’s something you’re interested in? The easiest way to go is to find familiar talent, such as a veteran indie filmmaker looking to both avoid the established studios and financiers and focus on pleasing his fans rather than a suit with a checkbook. Animator Bill Plympton is a perfect model for how crowdfunding works best with an artist’s fanbase, by calling on and also giving back to the loyal followers as well as potential newbies. His latest feature, Cheatin’, is currently in the works and needs financial support, which he’s seeking through Kickstarter. It’s likely mostly people who know and love past “Plymptoons” like the feature-length Idiots and Angels (which we recently recommended you stream), the Oscar-nominated shorts The Face and Guard Dog and his brilliant first feature, The Tune, who will be lending a hand.

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Drinking Games

You may have heard of the small independent film The Dark Knight Rises, which hit theaters this summer. Now, it’s out on DVD and Blu-ray, and also available in a box set of all the Nolanverse Batman movies. Bat-fans around the world can finally die happy in the Mayan apocalypse with the knowledge that they can have this movie in their Blu-ray collection. Of course, the film does run close to three hours, and in the privacy of your own home, it’s something that can be enjoyed with a drink in hand. You may not get as tipsy as Bane does with that opium-fueled mask he has, but with this drinking game, you can have even more fun as Gotham crumbles.

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George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? The day’s casting news, all in one place, because you’re a very busy person. At this point we don’t know anything concrete about the secret project Brad Bird is directing over at Disney. It’s largely being developed under the code name 1952, but for a minute it was being called Tesla. It’s rumored to be a science fiction film involving aliens, but in what regard isn’t clear. It’s said that Disney is thinking of it as a major tentpole release, but why it would have such mass appeal is being kept under wraps. All we have is rumors. And the latest rumor for the pile, courtesy of Variety, is that The Facts of Life star George Clooney is currently negotiating to star. If this proves to be true and Bird lands Clooney, that would be a pretty big step toward making this the blockbuster sort of feature that Disney wants it to be. And, generally, what Disney wants, Disney gets.

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Tarzan Bo Derek

It’s been over a decade since Tarzan graced the big screen in Disney’s animated adaptation and over three since the jungle hero was sexed up by Bo Derek in Tarzan the Ape Man. Between those two we’ve seen Christopher Lambert go ape in Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan…and that’s about it. But Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ high-flying hero looks set to be a hot property in the next couple of years. First up will be a motion-captured adventure starring Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz, but it’s probably safe to call that one a bomb right now. The much safer bet is the big budget reboot coming from WB. David Yates has been rumored to take on the directing gig for a few months now, but the veteran Harry Potter-helmer seemed to be in no rush to jump into another possible franchise. Per Vulture though, it looks like Yates has finally signed on the dotted line. The question now becomes who will be cast in the high profile but somewhat risky role of Tarzan?

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Jesus H. Franco, it’s been a busy week here at Film School Rejects. Mainly because of Fantastic Fest, of course. Since the last Reject Recap, we’ve posted 36 reviews of films from the event, plus six interviews, including one with Tim Burton. And we’re not done. The festival may be over, but we’ll still be rolling out the coverage for a couple more days. Obviously, this link to all that content, which can take you in reverse through that which you’ve missed and forward to what will appear (once it appears), is a crucial bookmark for you in these post-fantastic times. Once again, you can easily track through the week’s prominent other features by clicking on buttons around the main page, but here are some links to help you out: reviews (new releases include Pitch Perfect, Won’t Back Down, The Hole, Hotel Transylvania and Hello I Must Be Going); interviews (including Brian DePalma); the Reject Radio podcast (this week was episode 150!); Short Film of the Day and of course your best spot for the most pertinent movie news. Check out our ten best features from the past week plus some other additional reading after the break.

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Tom Hardy has had a break-out few years, pulling himself out of the ensemble obscurity he found himself in even in larger movies (don’t pretend you picked him out of the line up in Black Hawk Down). Sure, he was solid in the Guy Ritchie and Guy-Ritchie-like films, but it wasn’t until Bronson that he really emerged as a major force in the film fan world. That’s when he became a household name in households that have Terry Gilliam-signed Brazil quads hanging in their foyers. Fortunately, he was able to translate that insider appeal into broad-based worship by stealing scenes in Inception and becoming the man that broke the bat in The Dark Knight Rises (which, ironically, means a giant part of the movie-going world still doesn’t know what he looks like). He’s proven himself fearless, and like many actors, he’s had an unusual road to get to the top. In a way, he’s a That Guy character actor who’s become a leading man, so let’s take a short, strange trip into the roles of his rising career. It begins in the ancient time of 2001.

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Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is swiftly becoming a solid bet when it comes to physically demanding roles; the actor has already pumped himself up for parts in Bronson, Warrior, and The Dark Knight Rises, but he may be taking his dedication to a different level (or at least a different elevation). Deadline Hollywood reports that the actor is “in early talks” for the role of George Mallory in Doug Liman‘s fact-based Everest. While this is an early report, Hardy certainly seems like a very good fit for the part, so hopefully this scoop will pan out for all involved. Liman, who is apparently both “an avid climber and fan of the Mallory story” will helm the film from a Sheldon Turner script adapted from Jeffrey Archer‘s book, “Paths of Glory.” The story centers on the British Mallory who, so determined to be the first man to ever scale Everest, he tried it three times in the 1920′s. It’s still a topic of hot debate as to whether Mallory and his climbing partner, Sandy Irvine, ever did make it to the top of the mountain – they were last seen on Mallory’s third attempt in 1924 as they attempted the final leg of the climb. Their bodies were discovered in 1999, and that discovery and the subsequent investigation as to whether the pair made it was the subject of Anthony Geffen’s documentary, The Wildest Dream. It really is wild stuff.

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Jason Clarke in Lawless

Lawless features some towering performances. Tom Hardy commands with every grunt, Guy Pearce snarls in every scene, and Gary Oldman gives a quietly vicious performance. Then there’s Jason Clarke, playing the oldest of the three Bondurant brothers, Howard. He’s the brute of the group, the unhinged ox who’s seen a mass-scale violence, and he has clearly been affected by it. Clarke, like Hardy and his grunts, walks through the film with a lumbering physicality, as if he’s not even in much control over his own violent tendencies. That physicality is a factor Clarke put a lot of thought into, from using a smaller heel on his boot to wearing weights on his ankles. It’s that sort of commitment which seems to have earned the actor gigs with the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Kathryn Bigelow, John Hillcoat, and the two peas in the pod, Roland Emmerich and Terrence Malick. The actor was kind enough to take time off from walking around the White House for Emmerich to discuss his love for research, finding a character, and how you should never be afraid to go big.

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John Hillcoat and Tom Hardy

Director John Hillcoat isn’t entirely known for crowd-pleasing studio fare. After putting The Road and The Proposition under his belt, Hillcoat showed he’s the type of filmmaker never to shy away from bleakness. One would think that’s what made Lawless such a difficult project to get off the ground, but surprisingly, Hillcoat has made a real summer movie. However, even when striving for some of those cinematic thrills, the acclaimed director never pulls his punches. One major difference between Lawless and his previous films is the fact Hillcoat shot the picture digitally. Although he sounded quite sensitive about going that route, Hillcoat approached the film with a futurist point of view. Still, the director states there’s nothing more magical than celluloid, even after dealing with advantages and disadvantages of digital. Here’s what Lawless director John Hillcoat had to say about his attraction to brutal violence, the film’s sociopathic villain, and his experience with the ARRIRAW:

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The twelve-year run of prohibition in the United States was a period that punctuated social imparity, religious activism, and was a launchpad for some of the biggest names in organized crime. Basically, it’s a mixed bag of deeply interesting subject matter that is spot-on perfect for the big screen. Director John Hillcoat‘s Lawless is a violent slice of that era’s dying days. Distilled by screenwriter Nick Cave from the pages of Matt Bondurant‘s 2008 historical novel, “The Wettest County in the World,” Lawless tells the story of the Bondurant brothers, a family of moonshiners in the Blue Ridge Foothills of Franklin County, Virginia. In the midst of the Great Depression, the citizenry of Franklin County carved a living out of  making moonshine, and none are more successful than the brothers Bondurant, who run a healthy bootlegging racket.

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