Tom Hardy

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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Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire are primarily known for being three of the most famous actors in the world, but did you also know that they’re all animal lovers? Well, they are. Or, at least, they’re looking to market a new movie to animal lovers. THR is reporting that the trio has teamed up to produce a new (still untitled) feature for Warner Bros. that will detail the horrific world of animal trafficking. Reportedly the film will look at the grizzly business from all the different angles, from the poaching of the animal out of the wild, to the way it gets chopped up and turned into boots or whatever (See my loafers? Former gophers). It’s going to be kind of like how Steven Soderbergh took an extensive look at drug trafficking in Traffic, or how The Wire looked at how Baltimore street crime affected every aspect of the city, only more horrific because of the inclusion of cuddly things that get mistreated. Why are these three guys the ones who are involved? Well, apparently the idea for the film comes from Hardy, who has friends who are former Special Forces operatives turned anti-poaching mercenaries in South Africa. And Maguire and DiCaprio? They’re just best buds who have done a lot of animal rights stuff in the past. Combine all three and you don’t quite get Captain Planet, but it’s close.

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Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon

Variety reports that, yes, dreams do come true, and Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon will soon star together in a movie in which they will play no less than actual brothers (insert Warrior joke here). The pair will star in a big screen adaptation of Brett C. Leonard‘s play The Long Red Road, which will see Hardy reprising the role he originated in the stage version back in 2010. The play centers on Hardy’s Sammy, a drunk who seems bent on pulling of a Leaving Las Vegas maneuver, and is attempting to drink himself to death on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. Shannon will play his brother, Bob. Leonard himself will adapt his play for the screen. Interestingly enough, Shannon also has a background on the stage, and though he has not performed in Road previously, many of his theatrical ties are also rooted in the Chicago scene from which it emerged.

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Culture Warrior

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises (and other Christopher Nolan films). Christopher Nolan is the first director to make more than two Batman films. In the past, a second Batman film has provided a space for filmmakers to explore their excesses. In the case of Batman Returns, Tim Burton was able to further develop a vision of Gotham as an elaborate fairy tale. Batman & Robin was Joel Schumacher’s venue for exploring Batman as full-blown camp. For Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight manifested a mammoth vision of the summer superhero blockbuster by way of Jules Dassin and Michael Mann, where the Gotham setting gave way to an intricate, sprawling matrix of a metropolis that contains an eternal struggle between order, chaos, and every gray gradation in between. Until Nolan released The Dark Knight Rises, however, a Batman story reaching a third and final act was without precedent in the hero’s manifestations within the moving image. Not only has no previous director articulated a vision of the Caped Crusader in three parts, but no film, serial, or television show has attempted to bring a definitive end to their particular version of the superhero’s arc. The Batman of the moving image is one that largely exists in perpetuity. That Nolan has attempted a completist, closed vision of the Batman universe is relatively anomalous. Despite The Dark Knight Rises’s virtues and shortcomings (and the film has both of these in spades), perhaps the major reason for the film’s comparably […]

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Aural Fixation - Large

With temperatures on the rise and Comic-Con officially over, there is one place comic book fans can still find solace in the middle of these hot summer months – your local movie theaters. Christopher Nolan is poised to complete his epic Batman trilogy with the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, set to hit theaters this weekend. Not only will Christian Bale be returning as Gotham’s caped crusader, he will once again be joined by his trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), his business manager/tech wizard, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and Batman champion, Commission Gordon (Gary Oldman) – to name a few. And in true Nolan fashion, some other faces familiar to the director’s work will help round out this final battle with Inception alums Tom Hardy taking on the villain role as Bane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as hopeful police officer, John Blake. But Nolan’s affinity for working with those he has before does not stop at the cast. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight composer Hans Zimmer (whose score for Inception was one of the most memorable of 2010) returns to finish out the trilogy as well. While most of us will have to wait until this Friday (or for you late-nighters, Thursday at midnight) to see the conclusion of this heroic tale, Zimmer’s score (now available) takes us there now.

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A Tale of Two Cities Movie

Look, everyone. Let’s be honest. From here on out it’s going to be all The Dark Knight Rises, all the time. A few foreign films might slip into the mix, and some sort of Asian Film Festival in New York might end up on the radar, but for the most part everyone will be writing about Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming trilogy cap forever and ever and ever for the next two weeks. That being said, Wired has crafted a must-read article on how Nolan’s vision has been brought to masterful life. It features Nolan, co-writer Jonathan Nolan, and the stars of the film weighing in on various aspects of production, but the most interesting note might be where the story was really born from: Dickensian England. Jonathan Nolan claims that the goal was to see Gotham truly destroyed, and the best place to look for a story of total. shocking destruction in a modern city was the classic you were forced to read in high school, “A Tale of Two Cities.” 

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Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

As Tom Hardy’s star power increases, so does the anticipation for George Miller’s new Mad Max movie, Mad Max: Fury Road. What with Mel Gibson being something of a touchy subject these days, is there any other actor out there who would be more fun to watch battling weirdos in crazy outfits over gasoline in the desert? Fury Road is a film that’s been plagued with all sorts of disasters and delays over the course of its pre-production though, and sometimes it’s felt like we’re never going to get our chance to see Hardy rev up his engines and do his thing. Well, there’s good news and bad news regarding the film’s production. After experiencing weather related problems with its original location – Broken Hill, Australia – Fury Road has been moved to the African nation of Namibia, where Hardy and crew are currently shooting. That’s the good news. The bad news is, despite Miller’s early insistence that the film was going to be shot with 3D cameras, that’s no longer going to be the case. Any plans to shoot natively in 3D have been scrapped in lieu of using a mix of ALEXA, Canon, and Olympus digital cameras.

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Christopher Nolan‘s third and final Batman film hits theaters this summer, and it promises to be huge in pretty much every way. It’s all but guaranteed to be one of the year’s highest grossers, and fans are equally assured to eat it up like Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter. The film opens eight years after Batman (Christian Bale) took the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes at the end of The Dark Knight and sees a new master criminal in the form of the terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy). He’s forced back into the spotlight to protect the city, but by the looks of things he may not fare that well in his first face-off with the muscular, muffled Bane. Early teasers have underwhelmed some viewers, but WB has just released their final full-length trailer, and it’s loaded with new scenes of action, scale and a real sense of finality. There are some genuine chill-inducing moments here that not even the appearance of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman can ruin. (I still don’t see how her presence here turns out okay. And by ‘her’ I mean both the actress and the character.) Check out the new trailer below.

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The MTV Movie Awards are good for two things: pouring slime on people and premiering footage from highly anticipated, forthcoming movies. Plus, one of those things is done by the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, so you do the math. Fortunately, there’s no difficult math involved in this amazing Dark Knight Rises footage that came as part of the Twilight/Hunger Games worshiping ceremony. It features a difficult conversation between Anne Hathaway‘s Catwoman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s policeman surrounded by explosive images, crowded fight scenes, and a dire warning. Check it out for yourself:

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The Paperboy John Cusack

Last year’s Cannes Film Festival featured this year’s Oscar winning Best Actor performance thanks to the inclusion of the wonderful The Artist in competition, and though the films seem to have been chosen for their artistry and provocative subtexts more than any really commercial pointers (as always happens the year after the festival is deemed “too commercial”), there have been some seriously fine performances this year as well. There wasn’t an Uggy this year, but there was a murdered pooch in Moonrise Kingdom, a bitey Killer Whale in Rust & Bone, and a striking performance from an armadillo in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Me and You, so we’ll have to wait and see who emerges with the best animal performance. Probably won’t come from Madagascar 3 though…so for the time being, let’s stick to the humans.

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Two TV spots, new pictures, and banners from The Dark Knight Rises? What else could you ask for in about a day’s time? To make that month and a half wait we have left until the film finally opens a little more tolerable, there’s plenty to chew on and savor here. In usual Christopher Nolan cult fan fashion, it’ll be interesting to see how the fandom dissects the meaning of Joseph Gordon-Levitt “kneeling,” what secret Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are “talking” about, or what Selina Kyle is really looking at. These new pictures and posters (courtesy of Empire) don’t give us the answers we need, but some message boards out there will most likely come up with countless theories over the matter. First up, here’s a slew of gritty pics, all featuring nothing but gumdrop smiles and a much needed reminder of Nolan’s undying love for “happy” characters:

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There are somewhere around a million reasons to look forward to John Hillcoat’s upcoming movie about Depression-era bootleggers, Lawless. Not the least of which is that it’s got one of the most exciting up-and-coming actors on the planet, Tom Hardy, in a prominent role. Hardy has already proven to be a versatile enough talent, but it’s clear that he’s always at his best when he’s projecting an aura of extreme manliness, and these two new clips from Lawless give us a chance to watch him do just that. In the first his bootlegger character, Forrest Bondurant, is trading some snarky dialogue with the new authority in town who’s been tasked to take him down, as played by Guy Pearce. You see, Pearce’s character is all snooty and from the big city of Chicago, so he thinks he’s going to roll into town and run the joint, and Hardy’s character is from the backwoods and doesn’t get impressed by fancy big talk, so he’s not going to listen to anybody. When they get nose to nose and start poking at each other you could swear that you’re watching a hype video for this year’s Wrestlemania. It’s glorious.

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In Lawless, John Hillcoat has almost crafted the perfect modern Western, infusing more explicitly the gangster genre elements that always occur in the genre, but never quite so explicitly. The film follows the Bondurant brothers – Jack (Shia Labeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) – rise as the most famous bootleggers in sun-dried Prohibition-era Virginia, and the government’s attempts to stop them. The government’s chief agent is Guy Pearce‘s Charlie Rakes, a flamboyant looking, but profoundly villainous Special Deputy, let off his leash when the Bondurants, lead by Hardy’s powerhouse Forrest refuse to pay a monthly toll on their illegal activities. While it may sound like an all guns-blazing, epic Prohibition-era Western, the story, adapted well from Matt Bondurant‘s historical novel by Nick Cave (who also once again offers a superlative score) focuses on human stories to add poignancy and depth to the more explosive sequences.

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