Wentworth Miller

Stoker Trailer

There’s nothing quite like a dead dad, a hot uncle, and a wicked mother to really mess a kid up. After all, that classic formula worked out totally okay (read: horribly) for young Hamlet and myriad others who were inspired by Shakespeare’s classic work, so why not just keep on keeping on with said formula? Sound a little played out? What if Park Chan-wookwas steering it? Oh, you’re interested now, are you? The Oldboy and Thirst director finally brings his talents to an English-language feature with the Wentworth Miller- and Erin Cressida Wilson-penned Stoker, starring Mia Wasikwoska, Matthew Goode, and a deliciously evil Nicole Kidman. The film’s first trailer makes its Hamlet bones clear early on, introducing us to India (Wasikowska), her nutball mother (Kidman), her recently departed dad (Dermot Mulroney), and the uncle she never knew she had (Goode), who comes to, ahem, attend to some things after ol’ Daddy Stoker’s death. And then, well, then things take a turn. Take a look:

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It’s Hamlet with dogs. No, no, stay with me here. David Wroblewski‘s Oprah Book Club novel, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” centers on young Edgar, born mute but able to communicate to both his parents and their specially bred dogs by way of their own unique sign language. Despite his disability, Edgar has a very special place in the Sawtelles’ business of dog breeding (the dogs that are at the heart of the book are a fictional breed that are marked by both their born-in intelligence and their Sawtelle-issued training). Yet, all of that is thrown into utter turmoil when his beloved father, Gar, dies mysteriously (on the heels of his bad-news brother, Claude, returning to the farm) – and Claude soon takes up with Edgar’s mother, despite Edgar’s suspicions that he somehow caused his father’s death. A series of even more wrenching events force Edgar and three dogs (including his beloved Almondine) to flee into the desolate Wisconsin woods around their farm, before Edgar finally realizes that he must return and uncover the truth about Gar and Claude. The book weaves together narratives from different people and timeframes, while also detailing the creation of the specialty breed, along with plenty of flashbacks involving the precise training of the dogs. Boring? Nope. “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” is an incredibly beautiful piece of literature that’s also intelligent and satisfying. It might also be impossible to film, but that doesn’t appear to be tripping up Wentworth Miller, who is in negotiations […]

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It was only a matter of time after Jacki Weaver’s Oscar nominated turn as the grandmother from hell in the Australian thriller Animal Kingdom that she would start popping up in American films. First up will be a role in Nicholas Stoller’s Five Year Engagement due out next April, but a second US-based film has just been added to her schedule and it’s exciting news to say the least. Deadline Sydney is reporting that Weaver has joined the already strong cast of Park Chan-wook’s English language debut, Stoker. The film, written by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller, tells the story of a teenager (Mia Wasikowska) dealing with her father’s recent death and the arrival of her odd and eccentric uncle (Matthew Goode) whose return home coincides with a rash of disappearances around town. Nicole Kidman is set to play Mia’s mother, and it’s presumed that Weaver will take on the grandmother role again. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’ll try to have poor little Mia killed.

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We reported back in November about Chan-wook Park setting up his first English-language gig with Fox Searchlight, but at the time, the synopsis for Stoker merely alluded to foul play by the hands of a young girl’s uncle who comes to town when her father dies. According to the usually questionable Daily Mail (via Screen Rant), the uncle is definitely a vampire. What’s more, the rag claims that Oscar winner Colin Firth is set to star as the bloodsucker alongside Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. All of those names are various replacements for Carey Mulligan, Jodie Foster and Johnny Depp (that guy is everywhere) who were all name-dropped last Fall. Park handled vampires with his trademarked insanity in Thirst, so seeing him return to that is bittersweet. The most fascinating prospect is seeing him handle someone else’s material (sense the script for Stoker was written by Wentworth Miller). Park has written for others, but he’s never directed a screenplay that wasn’t his own. That could be a challenge, especially in the face of the curse of brilliant directors making the jump to American cinema. At the very least, it will be interesting to see the auteur try on someone else’s writing for size. Firth in the mean time will be seen in the forthcoming Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and at some point we’ll get to see Park’s iPhone movie in all its glory.

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We don’t usually like to report “maybe” stories because more often than not they never come true. But there are exceptions to our strict editorial standards… I’ll wait for the laughter to die down… and those exceptions usually involve rumors regarding people or projects that actually interest us. People like Korean director Park Chan-wook, director of Old Boy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, and Thirst. The LA Times’ movie blog, 24 Frames, is reporting that Park is in negotiations to direct Stoker for Fox Searchlight and ScottFree (Ridley and Tony Scott’s production company). The movie would be Park’s English-language debut, and is based on a script by Wentworth Miller (Prison Break). Carey Mulligan and Jodie Foster are already attached to the project, and the fine folks over at Twitch have a plot synopsis. “After India’s father mysteriously dies and her estranged uncle comes to live with her and her mother, people start to go missing in her hometown and India discovers that her uncle may be the cause.” Sounds like perfect material for Park, and the names associated with the project are promising. Although we’d be perfectly happy if he avoided a Hollywood debut all together…

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr announces that he is quitting his career as a film critic and plans to start a new career crooning to the tunes of Zamphir and his pan flute. Frank Stallone, the less-famous brother of an A-list actor, will be shooting a documentary of the entire thing. However, as one last hurrah, Kevin cracks some knuckles with his ruler and grades the new films this week, Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D and I’m Still Here. (Yes, he is aware that it’s Bella Swan’s birthday this weekend, but haven’t we had enough Twilight for a while?)

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resident-evil-header

Screen Gems has just sent out word this evening that they’ve finalized the cast and the story for Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth movie in the series based on the insanely popular Resident Evil video games.

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