“It’s a Good Day” says New #MadMax: Fury Road Int’l Trailer. Yeah, But For What?!

Tom Hardy, Mad Max Rockatansky, Mad Max: Fury Road,  movie, photo, trailer, Charlize Theron, George Miller

From the looks of this 67 seconds of hot, angry, sweaty, flaming mayhem…the answer is “to blow some shit up!”.

Warner Bros. has just released a new (and completely insane) Japanese trailer for this summer’s sure-to-be-blockbuster, Mad Max: Fury Road. And we thank them for it. Given the long road from inception to release that this film has traveled and is still traveling, the WB deserves kudos for not just keeping this in the front of moviegoers’ minds, but chomping at the proverbial bit.

Despite the fact that this clip is only a tad more than one-minute long, it not only compacts and condenses what was in the previous full-length trailer, it does provide some bits of new footage. How do they do that, you might well ask? By moving at the speed of sound and not wasting a nano-second of screen time on anything that isn’t racing, burning, screaming or better yet, exploding. There’s no room for flab in this post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Take a look:

Mad Mad: Fury Road is the fourth film of George Miller‘s Road Warrior/Mad Max franchise co-written and directed by Miller. The post-apocalyptic action film is set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and most everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world of fire and blood exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order… There’s Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And… Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.”

Mad Max: Fury Road with Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, Nathan Jones, and Hugh Keays-Byrne, takes over the world on May 13-15, 2015, depending on where you are in it. (A May 13 premiere in France suggests an appearance on the Croisette, no? The Cannes Film Festival also begins that day.)

Watch the 1st Trailer for Tomorrowland, Today!

Tomorrowland, poster, Disney, George Clooney, Brad Bird, movie

Even if your teams weren’t playing, chances are you still tuned in to last night’s Super Bowl – either for the commercials or one of the fifteen new, and hotly anticipated, movie trailers.  Disney was one of the studios who paid big bucks to unveil one of those trailers in front of one of the largest (if not the largest) television audiences of the year.

Take a look at the first trailer for the sci-fi thriller, Tomorrowland:

“What if there was a place where nothing was impossible,”

After watching this little 30 second tease, that place still exists only in our imaginations, since we don’t know very much more than we did before we saw it. What we did get was the teensiest of peeks at the visuals,  which since they have to compete with the 3-D Tomorrowland  that many grew up actually walking around in, are sure to stunning.

from Walt Disney Studios:

“Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland”.”

I’m not generally a fan of films based on theme park rides or attractions, but I am intrigued by Tomorrowland.  One reason is that its director, BradThe IncrediblesBird,  was offered Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens as only his second live-action film (after IM5:Ghost Protocol), but turned it down for this one because, “when you get the rare chance to do an original film like Tomorrowland, you take the opportunity”. Since he co-wrote the screenplay with Damon Lindeloff, I’m not sure which came first, the film or the opportunity to direct.

Actually, the idea for the film has been kicking around almost as long as its Disneyland incarnation. Okay, that’s hyperbole. But in Hollywoodland terms,  2008, might as well be 1955.  It all started with a script from writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore,  who wanted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to star. Their screenplay was supposedly not based on the Disney Tomorrowland attractions, but was an original story which merely “borrowed” the title.

In 2013, Walt Disney Pictures announced that a film titled 1952 (a code name for the top-secret, very hush hush project) would be re-titled Tomorrowland.  It doesn’t appear that Bird and Lindelof are using Lucas and Moore’s script at all, since only they (along with Jeff Jenson) have story credit on the film.

In any case, Bird has assembled a cast top-lined by the world’s most famous newlywed,  George Clooney, as inventor Frank Walker, as well as Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, Judy Greer, Keegan-Michael Key, Lochlyn Munro, Tim McGraw and  Britt Robertson, best known for “Under the Dome”, as budding scientist Casey Newton.

More will follow…and soon. Tomorrowland opens the flood-gates on this summer’s blockbuster season, on May 22…everywhere.

Jane Got A Gun and (FINALLY) a Release Date

Jane Got A Gun, Natalie Portman, movie, photo, Gavin O'Connor, Joel Edgerton

A film whose troubled beginnings will almost certainly overshadow its box-office, Jane Got A Gun, has finally been taken off the shelf and is set to be dusted off and released to US audiences in September (which could mean a festival bow at TIFF or Telluride).

In case you’re unfamiliar with “the saga of the making of Jane Got A Gun”, I’ll recap:

The screenplay was plucked from The Blacklist* back in 2011 and when production began it was originally set to star Natalie Portman as Jane Hammond and Michael Fassbender as her ex-lover Dan Frost and Joel Edgerton as villain John Bishop, with Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) at the helm. By what was to have been the first day of filming, Fassbender had already left, supposedly because delays had resulted in “scheduling conflicts”, Edgerton had taken Fassbender’s role with Jude Law as the bad guy. Then came reports that Ramsay had walked on that first day. It was weeks before anyone had a clue why and to this day, all anyone will say is “difficulties with producers” (one of whom, it’s worth mentioning, is Natalie Portman).

By the time cameras did eventually roll, the production had lost Law, because he only signed on to work with Ramsay,  who was replaced by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior). Law was replaced by Ewan McGregor.

Got it?

Anyway, to celebrate the fact that this potential cluster-fuck will finally see the light of day, Relativity (oh dear) has dropped these first-look images, which you can see below.

Young and pretty with a soul of pure steel, Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) is a good girl married to one of the worst baddies in town. When her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) turns against his own gang, the vicious Bishop Boys, and returns home barely alive with eight bullets in his back, Jane knows it’s time to ditch the dress for a pair of pants and strap on her own gun. As the relentless leader John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) gears up for revenge, Jane’s best hope for her family’s survival rests with her old love Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) – a gunslinger whose hatred for Bill is only slightly overshadowed by his love for Jane. Together Jane and Dan spring clever traps, luring Bishop’s men to certain death just as their old feelings for each other resurface amidst the flying bullets.

So, what do you think? Will you see it? Does the back story make you any more or less curious about the end result?  For my part, I’m a fan of Gavin O’Connor’s work and he did have a talented cast to work with, regardless of how it was cobbled together. And at least he got to start at the beginning. It’s not like he had to step in mid-stream and finish another director’s work (regardless of how seamlessly he might have accomplished it because he’d probably be lambasted or it anyway *coughMichael Apted**cough*) It’s entirely possible that more films than we know go through similar machinations before they reach the finish line, just less publicly. I suppose I should wait for a trailer, but I’m in.

*The Blacklist is a database of the year’s best unproduced scripts. The list that included Jane Got A Gun also included The Imitation Game, Grace of Monaco, Django Unchained, St. Vincent de Van Nuys, Saving Mr. Banks and Sex Tape.  A lot can happen between the page and the screen.

 

**Chasing Mavericks

Watch This: Will Mad Max: Fury Road Be Worth the Wait?

Mad Max: Fury Road, movie, poster, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, George Miller, trailer

All signs point to… HELL YES!

I won’t rehash yet again what a long, strange trip this film has taken from inception to completion. It’s been well-documented by myself and many, many others. What I will say, after finally seeing the first full-length trailer for “Mastermind” George Miller‘s Mad Max reboot, is that it is my belief that this is Max Rockatansky as Miller had always envisioned. Technology (and his budget) has finally caught up to that vision.

Take a look:

There does not appear to be anything, at least in this first 2 1/2 min. bit of Fury Road, that would be out of place in the Mad Max canon, but it all still manages to push the boundaries. Everyone is still filthy; gasoline is still worth more than a life; boys still like to play with motorized toys; rebels still wear makeup like refugees from a Mexican Day-of-the-Dead fiesta and lots of stuff still gets blowed up. But for all of this throw-back appeal, it still manages to look fresh. It’s gritty and yet vibrant.

I CAN’T FREAKIN’ WAIT!

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

Mad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy as Max, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult as Nux, Zoë Kravitz as Toast, Rosie Huntington-Whitely as Splendid, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe, Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus, and Riley Keough as Capable opens in the US and the UK on May 15, 2015.

Jason Momoa Smelled Trouble As Soon As Lucas Till Walked In – New Clip from Wolves

Wolves, movie, poster, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

There’s a new clip from David Hayter’s directorial debut, Wolves, which is finally opening tomorrow, November 14. While I’m still baffled by the missed opportunity of a Halloween release, at least we’ll have something to go see if Interstellar or that Jim Carrey/Jeff Daniels flick-that-shall-not-be-named is sold out.

The clip, which is exclusive to MovieWeb (and can be found at the link), features Lucas Till (whom you’ll remember as from the two latest X-Men films) as main character Cayden Richards (Cayden? Who wrote this, Christine Feehan? No, actually it was David Hayter. He also wrote X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Scorpion King, and Watchmen), as he is attempting to enjoy a beer in solitude and failing badly. So we get Cayden, bartender Angelina, and their “meet-cute”. It’s worth noting that the teensiest glimpse of Jason Momoa as Connor, the bad-ass alpha of the local wolfpack, is so much more interesting and hints at some major lycan shenanigans still to come. (You know I’ll be buying a ticket looking for the fulfillment of that promise.)

Wolves, movie, photo, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

See?

Speaking of which, check out this clip.:

Uh yeah…”boy” vs “animal”…

Wolves, movie, photo, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

I’d know that drop-shouldered strut anywhere

Once a popular high school student, Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it. He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild. Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is. He finds the answers he seeks in the mountain town of Lupine Ridge, where he discovers others just like him, including the beautiful Angelina (Merritt Patterson), a young woman caught between two ancient clans of wolves.

Just for kicks, here’s the official trailer #2:

Wolves with Lucas Till, Merritt Patterson, Jason Momoa, John Pyper-Ferguson and Stephen McHattie opens in the US on November 14.

Disney Drops Teensiest Musical Breadcrumbs Hoping to Lure Us Into the Woods

Into the Woods, movie, musical, poster, Meryl Streep, Disney, Sondheim

Back at the beginning of August, when I shared the first trailer for director Rob Marshall’s big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, I wondered where the music was for this lavish movie musical, and why the producers were keeping it from us.

Well, now there’s a new featurette that lets us know that there will be music, but they’re still not ready to give us the “full Monty”, as it were. (Or the full Meryl for that matter). Streep has a lovely singing voice, but I’m still not convinced she possesses the power and range needed for the role – unless her best songs have been cut. Why the hell aren’t they leading with “Children Will Listen”? (They are, however, using a snippet of “Stay with Me”, another showstopper, but we only get the intro.)

We also get a better look at Johnny Depp as “the Wolf”.

Featurette:

Oh dear. Captain Jack has a brand new bag.

The brilliant minds at HitFix have said all there is to say about our first look at Depp’s latest paycheck grab role. Their ten best reactions are…priceless:

1. “Into the Woods” is going to feel like an Evanescence video directed by Tim Burton.
2. I’m guessing the Wolf’s parents are a Steven Tyler mic stand and a Stevie Nicks yard sale.
3. Can Russell Brand or Keith Richards sue Johnny Depp? Do they have to sue each other first?
4. When did Johnny Depp become an airbrushed Mickey Rourke?
5. I think he’s about to cry.
6. Little Red Riding Hood is looking at us like, “Can you believe I’m supposed to be scared of this freakish art dealer?”
7. Furry sleeves? He looks like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer dyed turquoise.
8. You know Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter sit around dreading the day they’ll have to play each other.
9. It’s so easy to picture Meryl Streep laughing at this.
10. “Wolf” is code for “Willy Wonka’s sassy aunt.”

What are your thoughts? Do you agree?

INTO THE WOODS is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

You can find clips of the original Broadway cast of the show, here.

Into the Woods opens in the US on December 25, and 9th January in the UK. The cast includes Streep, Emily Blunt, James “The new Craig Ferguson” Corden, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Mackenzie Mauzy, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford, Tracy Ullman, Annette Crosbie, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Simon Russell Beale, Billy Magnussen and Christine Baranski.

#TomHardy “Keeping It Real” For #DennisLehane, #MichaëlRoskam in #TheDrop BTS Featurette

 

The Drop, Tom Hardy, movie, photo, puppy, Dennis Lehane, Michael Roskam

Is there anything cuter than Tom Hardy and a puppy? The answer is no…no, there is not.

Belgian director Michaël Roskam‘s first English-language feature, The Drop, with Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and featuring the late James Gandolfini‘s final screen performance, “drops” in less than two weeks.

The film, in which a man called Bob Saginowski (Hardy) finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost, and one I’ve been talking about for some time (if you’re not a fan of any of the above, sorry, but there’s more to come) was made from the first ever screenplay by writer Dennis Lehane, who adapted is own short story.  He has subsequently turned the screenplay into a novel, out next Tuesday, September 2.

The screenplay itself was based on an earlier Lehane short story called “Animal Rescue,” (the original title for the film- “what was wrong with that?”, I have to ask), which originally appeared in a short story collection called “Boston Noir”, about a killing that results from a lost pit bull.

The Drop, Tom Hardy, movie, photo, puppy, Dennis Lehane, Michael Roskam

See? Told ya.

As the writer explains in the featurette below, that story was based on a book he started more than a decade ago, but shelved.   After the movie was made, he was asked to do a “novelization” of the script, an idea he hated, but found that there were things from from the original novel that didn’t make it to the story or the script plus things original to the script that were cut either from that screenplay or from the finished film, that he still wanted to explore. Add all of that together and the result was a new book, now also called, “The Drop”.

In the interest of full disclosure, I an ardent Lehane fan. He’s one of the few contemporary writers that I feel will always merit the purchase of an actual book, as opposed to the digital version.

Lehane’s work, whatever form it takes, seems to lend itself particularly well to the screen. There have already been memorable adaptations of the novels Mystic River (dir. by Clint Eastwood), Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese) and Gone Baby Gone (which put Ben Affleck on the directorial map). Once Batfleck finally finishes work for Zack Snyder‘s Superman sequel, he’ll be back behind the camera for Live By Night, another Lehane adaptation.

For his part, Lehane is also writing episodes of the final season of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” (JMHO, but that’s reason enough to keep watching)  as well as developing “Ness”, a prospective television project about famed bootleg-buster Eliot Ness.

(Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts, here in his third film for Roskam   is apparently a method actor. Did you catch the Brooklyn accent used throughout?)

The Drop, directed by Michaël Roskam, with Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Orange is the New Black”), James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom) and Matthias Schoenaerts will screen at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on Septemer 5. It has also just been announced that the film will screen in competition at the 62nd San Sebastián Film Festival on September 26. It opens in the US on September 12 and in the UK on 14th November.

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