Trailer or Spoiler: Watch the Chilling New Teaser for David Fincher’s Gone Girl

Gone Girl, movie, poster, David Fincher, Gillian Flynn, Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

Teaser poster for David Fincher’s Gone Girl

As promised, 20th Century Fox has delivered a brand new trailer for their upcoming mystery, Gone Girl, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Phew! The tension in this is nearly as taut as that final scene in Se7en as we wait for Brad Pitt to look in the box. Where’s Amy? What happened to her? Did Nick kill her? Is that enough to make America hate him? Why is Tyler Perry playing the lawyer? Hey, isn’t that the ‘crazy gun lady’ from The Leftovers?

So, trailer or spoiler?  You may have think that this trailer gives the game away, but as someone who’s read Gillian Flynn’s book who also knows that Flynn wrote the screenplay with a different ending to keep readers interested in the film version, and viewers from getting spoiled, I can tell you that it does not.

Sure, it looks and feels like a David Fincher film in style and tone, so if you have seen any of this films, you know that what you get before you buy your ticket and plant your butt in the seat, is not necessarily what you’re going to get when you do. And if you take away nothing else from this trailer, pay attention to those last two lines: “Ever hear the expression ‘simplest answer’s often the correct one?” “Actually I’ve never found that to be true.”

Directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn — Gone Girl unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

The film opens in the US and the UK on October 3. The supporting cast includes Scoot McNary, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, Missi Pyle, Sela Ward, Casey Wilson, Boyd Holbrook and David Clennon.

So, what did you think of the second full-length Gone Girl trailer? Are you in?

Things I Missed on My Summer Vacation: Part 1 – Brad Pitt’s Fury

Poster , Fury , movie, Brad Pitt

Poster for David Ayer’s Fury with Brad Pitt

We finally have a trailer for writer/director David Ayer’s Fury with Brad Pitt as a tank commander called Wardaddy, who, along with his motley band that includes Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman, and Ayer’s End of Watch star, Michael Pena, attempts to stave off Nazis during the waning days of WWII.

“Brad Pitt stars in this gritty, take-no-prisoners WWII tank action movie about a crew of American soldiers who embark on one last epic mission in the chaos of the war’s final days.”

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Here’s a clip with the first footage:

Int’l Trailer:

Official Trailer (Domestic – only difference is social media info at the end):

The film is described as a WWII movie, “the likes of which we haven’t seen before.” That may actually be true, as much of the action is set in and around one bad-ass tank called…Fury.

By the way, Jon Bernthal gets what may be one of the most colorful, bordering on offensive, character name I’ve heard in a long time. Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis is described as a “cunning, vicious and world-wise Arkansas native”. (Sounds like Grady Travis might be kin to Lt. Aldo Raine [Pitt – Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds] who was from an undisclosed location in the “goddamn” Smokey Mountains. “…we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’. “)  Fury is, of course, of a more serious bent but, doesn’t that tell you almost everything you need to know?

The rest of the cast includes Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood, and Xavier Samuel.

The UK will get the flick on 24 October and the US on November 14, just days after Veteran’s Day, but more importantly at the vanguard of the awards season assault. Boo Yah!

 

World War Z Enlists Steven Knight!

Steven Knight, director, writer, Locke, World War Z 2, sequel, movie

Now THIS is exciting!
The man who locked Tom Hardy in a car and picked a street fight with Jason Statham, Steven Knight, the writer/director of Locke and Redemption, will, according to Variety, write the script for the sequel to World War Z.
WWZ, as you’ll recall, was that wildly successful zombie flick from the summer of 2013 starring Brad Pitt. You know, the one plagued by rumors of trouble, reshoots, director Marc Forster’s incompetence, tension on the set, you name it…before it came out and shut everyone the hell up? Earning over $540 million worldwide, it is Brad Pitt’s top grossing film.
The original was based on the novel by Max Brooks with a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan (brother of director Joe) and Drew Goddard. The sequel will have none of those things, so this announcement that the script is in such good hands is a welcome one.
In addition to pulling double duty, both writing and directing both  Locke and  Redemption (aka Hummingbird – I liked it. Too few saw it),  Knight created the BBC’s answer to “Boardwalk Empire”, “Peaky Blinders” (whose 2nd season will feature his Locke star Tom Hardy), wrote the screenplay for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, and was nominated for an Academy Award for the script for Dirty Pretty Things (his first feature film and which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor).

 

Knight’s been busy lately, too. Already in the can is Seventh Son, due out next February starring Ben Barnes, Kit Harington and Julianne Moore, Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey with Helen Mirren, which is in post-production and finally, there’s Edward Zwick’s chess movie, the currently filming Pawn Sacrifice with Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as his arch-nemesis Boris Spassky.

 

Still more promising news: the announcement that Knight will tackle the sequel to World War Z follows word that Pitt is in talks to star in an as-yet-untitled Knight-penned romantic thriller set during World War II.
Plot details, casting and release dates for WWZ2 are thus far unknown. We’ll keep you posted. I’m already in. “What are your thoughts, Hobson?”*

Steven Knight, director, writer, Hummingbird, Redemption, World War Z 2, sequel, movie

 

*Sir John Gielgud in Arthur.

My Thoughts on the Beauty and Brutality of 12 Years a Slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

poster via imdb

The first time I saw Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave was during a press screening that was also attended by students from local colleges, as well as hoi polloi like me who got passes through a screening service. At the end of the film was a Q & A with the director of the Boston Museum of African American History, Beverly Morgan-Welch, and the presenter of “City Line”, a local television show that focuses on urban issues, Karen Holmes Ward. Even as my popcorn was forgotten, as my heart was in my mouth, my hands trying to stifle the sobs, I was still very aware of the audience around me, wondering what they were thinking and feeling. That viewing was all about the historical context, despite the fact that I was an emotional wreck afterward.

The movie is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Unlike James Franco, however, who seems to want to set himself up as a learned and worldly carbuncle on the butt of 21st century popular culture, I was not, am not, “beguiled” by this movie. I certainly don’t understand how anyone could see it two nights in a row. I needed a large span of time between viewings in order to thoroughly and properly process what I’d seen.

The second time, I wasn’t watching the film in anticipation of seeing one of the most talked about movies of the year, one I had been waiting for since filming began. I went back again to find out if I’d have the same visceral reaction to the brutality or whether the fact that I knew when and how it would be meted out had in any way inured my senses to it.

No, it did not. In some ways, I was even more affected by it.

There are not words to adequately describe how utterly despicable the practice of human beings purchasing, possessing, owning other human beings as if they were ‘things’, truly is. We haven’t coined the words because our minds won’t let us consciously descend far enough into darkness to fully comprehend it. In much the same way that mere words cannot convey the true horror of the Holocaust, or the genocides still being perpetrated in various parts of the world as I type this, because man’s inhumanity to man is, ultimately, incomprehensible.

It is for this reason that watching 12 Years a Slave, only Steve McQueen’s third feature film,  is an  emotional experience akin to watching Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, made all the more authentic and terrible because it is told not from the perspective of the benevolent white savior, but from that of the enslaved.

It is fact that McQueen has never made a film that was easy to sit through. You’ll probably never see his name on the poster of a film with the tag line “The Feel Good Movie of the Year!”, but unlike Shame, or even Hunger (which was also based on a true story, but one with a very different outcome), 12 Years a Slave manages to rise above the unrelenting misery it depicts to become a testimonial to the ability of a single unyielding man, not only to “survive”, but to “live”.

12 Years a Slave is the second film in two years about that American abomination that was slavery, a subject that has been largely ignored by cinema. Like Quentin Tarantino’s nearly as brilliant Django Unchained, it is agonizing and heart­breaking; a gut-twisting experience to watch. But unlike Django, the brutality is realistic, not exaggerated to, at times, comic levels. There is no intentional humor in 12 Years…. If there is any laughter at all, it is the scattered, nervous, incredulous tittering of those who don’t yet know how to believe, let alone process, what they’re seeing in front of them.

The story certainly sounds like something that sprang from a writer’s fevered imagination. Despite what we know about American History, how can it be true that a free man was kidnapped, forced into slavery and kept in captivity for twelve years without anyone believing his tale or doing all that they could to help?  This is not the time, nor place, for a political discussion of the state of race relations in this country, but your experience of this film is no doubt tinted by your experience of the world as you know it now. (Isn’t what happened to Solomon Northup really only a few steps removed from what happened to Oscar Grant III in 2008, as depicted in  Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station?)

That these things described above did happen, is the singular experience at the heart of McQueen’s film. What makes the film particularly impressive is not that it provides historical parameters for a dimension of slavery that most of us were unaware of, but that it does so by the weaving together of the smallest of details that made up Northup’s life in captivity. Each scene feels frighteningly immediate, as though it weren’t filtered through time, but exists in the present moment. This film is not only one of the best of the year, certainly, in my humble opinion, the most important, but it is  probably one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. For all of the harshness, the brutality, and the violence, it is also beautifully made.

McQueen comes from the art world and has a painter’s eye for staging and the framing of images, without resorting to flashy visual tricks. Thinking about the opening scene, we are thrust into the lush cane fields of Louisiana. We can see the thick, humid air as a group of black men, slaves, labor in the stifling heat. We don’t know any of them but we get an immediate feel for time, place and circumstance. We next see Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) attempting to use crushed berries for ink. It’s out of context and yet gives context to things we’ve only read about in history books.  McQueen then moves back in time to Northup’s nearly idyllic life pre-ordeal. How can this be the same man?

What follows is two hours chronicling nearly unimaginable suffering. Along the way, Solomon Northup, now called by the slave name, Platt, encounters nearly every facet of the experience of slaves in the pre-Civil War South. We learned from our history classes that families were torn apart, sold separately with no regard for mothers and their children. McQueen shows us what that would have felt like. I learned that it was possible for a former slave to live as the wife of her former owner. Alfre Woodard is brilliant as one such woman, existing in her own delusional bubble, blissfully ignoring the plight of those still in bondage.

Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) represents the extreme in his sadistic cruelty, nearly matched by his equally cruel wife, played by a truly scary Sarah Paulson. But there are degrees of racism. Benedict Cumberbatch as Platt’s first owner, the benevolent William Ford, gives him a violin and allows him to keep the money he earns from playing it. Does his relative kindness alleviate complicity? Ford knows and Platt knows he knows, that Platt is not just any slave, yet he does nothing to help him, for fear of losing his financial investment.

The philosophical depiction of slavery aside, what really sets McQueen’s film apart is that he refuses to flinch when it comes to depicting the violence. We cannot be kept at arms length when he pulls us in so close, whether it’s the sight of flesh and blood literally flying off of a back during an excrutiating and protracted whipping scene or watching Platt struggle to stay on his toes for hours trying to relieve some of the tension of the noose around his neck as plantation life carries on all around him.

When Solomon finally does return to his family, every day of those twelve years is worn into his face. The pain haunts his eyes. All he can think to say to them is to apologize for his long absence.   (What is amazing to me is that he is somehow able to articulate not only to them but to the rest of the world, with his book, what happened during those years.)

I have not yet seen All is Lost or even The Wolf of Wall Street, but I am, of course aware that Robert Redford has given another singular performance and of course there is talk that Leonardo DiCaprio will inevitably be nominated for yet another role in a Martin Scorsese film. I have seen Captain Phillips and I have given my opinion on Tom Hanks’ performance. I have seen the magnificent Dallas Buyers Club and oh, how I wish it had been released in another year so that Matthew McConaughey could be recognized for his towering performance.  (My thoughts on McConaughey’s talents are known to readers of this blog, but that is for another discussion.)  I adore Idris Elba and his Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is mesmerizing, but the movie itself is not entirely worthy of his efforts (nor Madiba’s legacy). I have seen Fruitvale Station and as good as I think Michael B. Jordan is, as deserving I believe him to be of a nomination, no performance has or could possibly come close to the one given by Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave.

When was the last time an actor reduced you to near-wracking sobs by doing nothing? There is a scene with no sound but the wind rustling lightly through the trees and the tall grass. Ejiofor stands still, his eyes barely moving, the camera close on his face, as the last shreds of any hopefulness seep away, replaced by the despair he’d fought for so long to keep at bay. My heart breaks again thinking about it weeks later.

Lupita Nyong’o, who played Patsey, has described 12 Years A Slave as an “emotionally taxing” acting experience. If I can say that I imagine it would be, I would also say that hers is an understatement.

Nyong’o, who made her feature debut with this film (!) has been earning across the board accolades and making the chat show rounds. (At this point she’s considered one of the few virtual locks for an Academy Award nomination.)  She told “The View”, that going to “that emotional place was so hard it was really important for me to continually remind myself that I was not Patsey after all”.

Patsey suffers abuse of every possible kind at the hands of Michael Fassbender’s plantation owner Edwin Epps.  Fassbender’s character embodies such bred-in-the-bone evil, so institutional, so palatine, as to let Epps be sanguine about his monstrosity. He treats Patsey as he does not only because she is his property, but because he loves her. And yet his other slaves might as well be furniture. Witness the casual way he leans on their heads, as if they were not living, breathing human beings.

Fassbender does something that very few actors can— he makes us believe at all times while he is on screen that anything could happen (the first time and yes, even the second time I saw the film). Every scene in which Epps appears is fraught with so much tension that we do not trust that Patsey or Northup will live through it; this despite the fact that we know that this is a true story, with a known conclusion. Fassbender has said that Epps took a physical toll on him. He even reportedly passed out after a particularly brutal scene. We may assume that an actor leaves it all on screen, but I don’t see how any thinking, feeling individual could not be affected by what was required of them, at least in this case.

That it has taken me this long to get this post finished is the reason I will never be able to do this for a living, although if the ability to crank these things out was all that stood between me and sleeping on the sidewalk, I suppose I could learn. This post was started, with thoughts rambling around my head after the first viewing, continued after the second, and has been ruminated upon ever since.   It has taken me so long that while it was widely assumed that this movie would be a major player come awards season, now that that special time of year is actually upon us, we’re beginning to get confirmation.

The entire film is packed with so much talent in even the smallest of roles, it’s obvious that they just wanted to be a part of this movie. They certainly didn’t do it for the money. I’d go so far as to say anyone could have played Bass, the role played by Brad Pitt (looking like he escaped from Amish Country), but Pitt’s name helped to get the movie made, both as a producer and on the marquee. All of that aside, the three actors mentioned here, are by far the soul of the movie and deserving of the attention they are getting.

If no one involved made the movie for the money, they didn’t do it for awards either. That said, awards speculation has been so rampant, since the film’s first festival screenings, that if I were Steve McQueen or any actor, producer or even an executive in any way associated with this film, I’d have been waiting for the other shoe to drop and the inevitable backlash to begin.  It was recently announced that 12 Years a Slave led all films with seven nominations for the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature, director and actors Ejiofor (lead), Nyong’o (supporting) and Fassbender (supporting). As I said, when I first starting working on this post I would have assumed that there could be no doubt that these nominations would be only the beginning. After the odd choices made by the crazy quilt of critics association awards that were announced this past weekend, some of which seemed to be going out of their way to praise anything other than this film, I’m no longer sure of anything.

While we have yet to hear from The Producers, Directors and Writers Guilds, the Screen Actor’s Guild (noms for Actor, Supporting Actor & Actress and Best Ensemble Cast – their equivalent of Best Picture) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the same 3 actor nominations as well as director, adapted screenplay, score and Best Picture – Drama – basically everything it was eligible for) have restored a bit of my faith that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will do the right thing..

Trailer or Spoiler: The Counselor with Michael Fassbender – UK Edition

MichaelFassbender, movie, The Counselor

courtesy 20th Century Fox via imdb

The latest and greatest – the international – trailer for Sir Ridley Scott’s The Counselor has just hit. We looked at the domestic version a couple of weeks ago.  This one packs about 30 seconds more footage, as well as recutting what we’ve already seen. We get a lot of information here, not to mention a better idea of why Fassbender is already being touted as a probable Oscar nominee.

As thrilled as I am to see more of this, I have to ask yet again, “How much is too much?” Has the entire game been given away? Who are the producers aiming for with this trailer? Who could they possibly be trying to reel in, that isn’t already impressed with the combination of Fassbender, Bardem, Cruz, Diaz, and Pitt all directed by Sir Ridley Scott from an original script by Cormac McCarthy?

As we know, Michael Fassbender stars as a lawyer who gets in over his head when he enters the drug trade. While this new trailer, the longest one yet,  does go deeper into the plot with a decided emphasis on character, and definitely amping up the drama, is it possible that the producers are hoping to entice fans attracted to less high-brow fare than films with this pedigree, say Jason Statham flicks like Parker or The Transporter, or perhaps The Fast and Furious franchise? I’m not suggesting that there is anything inherently wrong with those movies and certainly not with liking them, but I’m always curious about what motivates some of the marketing decisions behind a film, and this trailer looks to have been cut with an eye toward the fans of those films.

Have a look:

trailer courtesy 20th Century Fox UK via YouTube

So this time around we get more sexy times with Fassbender and Penelope Cruz. “Life is being in bed with you,” Fassbender whispers. “Everything else is just waiting.”   (The female demographic is a lock.)

Speaking of sexy, we have what appears to be a deliciously sinister Cameron Diaz,  (in what may be her best role ever in years as “Malkina”) whose character seems to enjoy playing mind games (among other things). Love the tatts.

Cut to Bardem and his wacky hair and we’re back in the action.

“You are the world you have created, and when you cease to exist, this world that you have created, will also cease to exist,”  drug kingpin Reiner warns The Counselor.

Whoa…philosophy. Not for long though.

Enter Westray, played by Brad Pitt (and his bad hair). Is he aiding and abetting or is he scamming our good Counselor? (The Counselor, by the way, is both the film’s title and Fassbender’s only moniker).

Even if we hadn’t been told, it’s obvious from the quick cut of him breaking down and the shots of an obviously freaked Cruz, that Fassbender is indeed “in way over his head” and things are going to get really ugly.

But the question still remains, does this give too much away? Almost all of the questions I asked in my last post, have been answered. Now, as indicated above, I’m extremely eager to see what Sir Ridley has in store for us, but I am a guaranteed butt in the seat.  I’m one of those they had with the cast, director and script. Period.  And although each new bit revealed is a tantalizing treat, I don’t want to see the whole thing BEFORE I buy my ticket. No matter how much I think I know, I want to watch it all unfold, in the dark, with my vat o’popcorn.

It is a shame that it appears, in order to lure those ticket buyers that they’re still working on, that producers feel that they will have to spell it all out with placards and hand puppets.  But that’s JMHO and I can always just refuse to watch the next trailer. (Yeah, right.)

The Counselor also stars Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer, and Goran Visnjic.  It opens on October 25th in the US and 15th November in the UK.

***********

OH! And in other Fassy news: how cool is it that Marion Cotillard will be playing Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender?  I wonder if James McAvoy (an actual Scot) is pissed. He did just end a run in the play in London’s West End, after all.  So we have The Scottish play starring a German/Irishman and a French woman, directed by Aussie  Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) from a screenplay cowritten by actor/director Todd Louiso (of Jerry Maguire fame), an American.  And yet, I’m ever hopeful.

Oh Yeah, He’s Been Bad All Right: New Trailer & Clips from The Counselor

Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, The Counselor, movie

20th Century Fox via Scott Free

There’s a brand new trailer for Sir Ridley Scott’s neo-noir thriller due out this fall. (I had intended to post it yesterday, but George Clooney, apparently still upset by the fact that Fassy can play golf without out his hands, had to steal his thunder.)  As I mentioned last week, The Counselor is based on a script by the author of No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy, and stars Michael Fassbender as a lawyer who gets involved with the high stakes world of drug smuggling.

This two minute bit of white-hot celluloid (an antiquated expression to be sure, since it’s probably only pixels) is an example of a trailer done right. It’s packed with glimpses of all of the major players including Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt, and yet it hasn’t spelled out anything.

What do we really learn? We can figure out that Fassbender is about to get in over his head, but how do Pitt and Bardem feel about it? What are their roles? What’s up with Bardem’s hair? Or Pitt’s?  We see Cruz and Diaz (and her leopard print tats) enjoying a spa day. Diaz covets Cruz’s engagement ring. Are they friends? I don’t think so. How do they know each other? And what is the significance of the caress that Scott (or whomever cut the trailer) makes sure that we see? (Again I must mention Diaz’s character is called Malkina. She is definitely up to no good.)

It’s clear that Fassbender loves Cruz from the opening seconds (“I intend to love you until I die.”), and that she adores him as well (“Me first”). It also becomes clear that he wants to keep her in the dark about what he’s doing, indicated by his expression when she asks “Have you been bad?”, which gives her response a darker, more ominous meaning. (It’s even more clear from the short clip below that Cruz is the “good girl”, naïve in at least one crucial aspect of their relationship and I think we can take it that it carries over into all aspects.)

In fact the overall tone of the trailer is sinister and dangerous, the tension so thick you could cut it with that wire strung across a highway. We aren’t given any specifics, but this trailer has achieved the desired effect, which is to make us crave more, and to find out just exactly how bad Fassbender has been.  (Dare I hope that the answer is very wicked indeed?)

The Counselor also stars  Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer, Rubén Blades, Bruno Ganz, and Goran Visnjic. It opens October 25 in the US and 15th November in the UK.

Ridley Scott and author Cormac McCarthy join forces in the motion picture thriller THE COUNSELOR, starring Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt. McCarthy, making his screenwriting debut and Scott interweave the author’s characteristic wit and dark humor with a nightmarish scenario, in which a respected lawyer’s one-time dalliance with an illegal business deal spirals out of control.

Fassbender & Cruz:

Fassbender & Pitt:

Fassbender & Bardem:

It Seems Michael Fassbender Has Been Bad…

Michael Fassbender, The Counsellor

…and I’ve a feeling that’s very, very good for the rest of us.

I’ve been talking about and extolling the talents of Michael Fassbender for quite some time now. Six years after 300, I can say that  the days  of “Michael who?” and “What’s a Fassbender?” may be over. Though still not exactly a household name, nor is he, thankfully, a staple of the tabloids (at least not in the US) and despite high profile roles in high profile films like X-Men: First Class and Prometheus, it is a shame (no pun intended) that instead of being recognized for his talent, he’s most widely known for having the guts to display a certain sacred part of the male anatomy (and not the first time either, by the way).

Ever hopeful, I think that’s about to change.

I’ve already mentioned one of the two of Fassbender’s  “Oscar bait” films due out this year and discussed my opinion of his awards chances when I posted the trailer for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.  The second is Sir Ridley Scott’s The Counselor.

From an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men, The Road and All The Pretty Horses), we may need a Venn diagram for The Counselor’s pedigree. Re-teaming with his Prometheus director, Sir Ridley, the film also puts Fassbender back together with Brad Pitt, who has a small role in 12 Years a Slave.  Cameron Diaz (as Malkina. Think she’s a ‘bad girl’?) took a role originally intended for Pitt’s paramour Angelina Jolie, as well as Penelope Cruz and her husband Javier Bardem (would you believe Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner were rumored for his role?), but they don’t share any scenes together. Bardem, who won an Oscar for No Country for Old Men, seems to be trying to out-weird Anton Chigurh’s infamous bowl haircut with the coke-addled Troll doll look seen in the stills below.

Fassbender plays “the Counselor”, a successful lawyer who gets himself tangled up and in over his head with unscrupulous (are there any other kind?) drug dealers.

Sir Ridley told Empire Magazine that the story  has “classic Cormac McCarthy darkness which makes you sick to the pit of your stomach… It’s saying: ‘Don’t play with the devil, don’t step across the line, don’t think you can do it and get away with it. You can’t.'”

Take a look at this first trailer:

The rest of the cast includes Natalie Dormer, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Goran Visnjic, Bruno Ganz, and Ruben Blades. 20th Century Fox will release The Counselor in the US on October 25 and in the UK on 15th November.

Oh and if the high brow likes of The Counselor and 12 Years a Slave weren’t enough of a Fassy fix for 2013, there’s also the upcoming comedy (that’s right folks, comedy…okay it’s a dramedy), Frank , costarring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domnhall Gleeson, loosely based on the life of paper mache-head wearing Frank Sidebottom, the alter-ego of British comedian and musician Chris Sievey, who died of cancer in 2010. While that part certainly isn’t funny, the fact that Frank Sidebottom always performed with a hand puppet called “Little Frank” (especially being played by Michael Fassbender) is.

More on Frank when the trailer is released. I can’t wait!