And in related movie news, Anne Hathaway has joined the cast of Chris Nolan’s next, Interstellar, also with Matthew McConaughey. “Interstellar will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding. The movie hits theaters on November 7, 2014.” Between this and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity this October, I’m liking the embrace of ambitious films about space travel of late.
“Tom Hanks’s ideal age was about 36 — when he made Philadelphia and Forrest Gump…Clooney’s ideal age seems to have been about 45 — the Syriana-Michael Clayton period. He needed the gray hair and extra years because his whole ‘I’ve done things with women you only dream of’ vibe required some visible baggage—creases, texture, a little sag…Tom Cruise is about Clooney’s age; unfortunately, Cruise’s ideal age was about 25 — the Top Gun-Color of Money moment of maximum cocksureness.”
In GQ, Mark Harris surveys the state of the Hollywood Leading Man in 2013. “The dust clears. We survey the landscape. Channing Tatum is now a movie star. And Taylor Kitsch is not. How did this transition, not particularly predictable a year ago, happen for one of them? Why did it fail to happen for the other?”
I get the feeling X:DFP is either going to be amazing or an overstuffed Last Stand-like disaster. Still, it’s yet another testament to just how decisively fanboys have won the culture war when they’re making a movie of one of the most iconic X-Men tales with both casts from the previous films — the McAvoy/Fassbender/Lawrence team of First Class and the Stewart/McKellen/Jackman team of the first three films. An ensemble movie and no mistake.
Update: Even more X-Men: Now Singer is teasing the return of Cyclops and Jean Grey.
Jeffrey Wright signs up for Francis Lawrence’s Catching Fire as Beetee, a.k.a. the computer guru from District 3, joining Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, Sam Claflin as Finnick, and Amanda Plummer as Wiress.
(FWIW, among the men left behind in The Thin Red Line were Viggo Mortensen, Mickey Rourke, Lukas Haas, Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Pullman, Jason Patric, Martin Sheen, Donal Logue, and Randall Duk Kim.)
For now, I’m keeping with my plan to not read ahead of the show, so the only characters I’m even a little familiar with are Stannis and Margaery, and that’s only via foreshadowing in the first book. But I’m willing to bet Dillane is a great fit, just because, as far as I’ve seen, Dillane is a great fit in just about anything.
Finally setting off on his long-rumored Lincoln biopic — with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field as Abe and Mary Todd respectively — Steven Spielberg fleshes out his cast in impressive fashion. Joining Mr. Lincoln, among others, are Tommy Lee Jones (Thaddeus Stevens), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Robert Todd Lincoln), James Spader, John Hawkes, Bruce McGill, Joseph Cross, Hal Holbrook, and Tim Blake Nelson. A team of rivals, and no mistake.
In the land of Detective Comics, Zack Snyder’s Superman (a.k.a. Henry Cavill) gets a foster mom in Diane Lane — word is she joins Kevin Costner as Pa Kent. David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman (a.k.a. Adrienne Palicki) gets a nemesis in Elizabeth Hurley. And Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises gets a possible plot revealed by Devin Faraci. Major story spoilers if true. (It sounds very plausible to me.)
Gotham in Limbo? Take it for what it’s worth, but rumors abound that Inception alums Joseph Gordon-Levitt (long rumored as Joker 2.0) and Marion Cotillard have both joined Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (which already includes Tom Hardy and Michael Caine), as Alberto Falcone and Talia Al-Ghul respectively. In movie terms, that would mean the son of Tom Wilkinson and the daughter of Liam Neeson from the first film, but I’m only familiar with the latter character.
Meanwhile, over on the DC side of things, Sorry Brandon Routh (and the Legion of Jon Hamm Fans): Zack Snyder’s Superman has found its Man of Steel in Henry Cavill, formerly of The Tudors. (The photoshopped Cavill-El above was found here.) I don’t really know the guy, but I hear good things.
“[W]orking with Peter Jackson is like working with a family. So they’ll have a great time. Saoirse’s family will go too, everyone is very close and very loving on those sorts of jobs.” Saoirse Ronan, late of Adaptation and The Lovely Bones and soon of Hanna, is apparently heading to Middle Earth as part of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. (Get well soon, PJ.) Hmm…an elf, perhaps? She has the look.
So, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (still a bad name) has announced its villains: Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. (Not Hugo Strange, as it turns out — wires must’ve gotten crossed somewhere with Arkham City.)
Hathaway and Hardy…that’s not bad. I still might’ve preferred Marion Cotillard or Olivia Wilde for Selina Kyle, but I’ll give Hathaway the benefit of the doubt. And, while I’m not much excited about Bane as a villain, I’ll concede that I haven’t read the definitive take on the character (which is, apparently, Knightfall), and that he might actually be less of a one-note, musclebound oaf than he’s seemed in Batman and Robin and other venues.
Five armies, seventh Doctor? The cast for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit fills out further with Sylvester McCoy (Radagast the Brown), Ken Stott (Balin), Mikael Persbrandt (Beorn), Ryan Gage (Drogo Baggins), Jed Brophy (Nori), William Kircher (Bifur), and, back for more, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. [Earlier casting here.] Very glad to see this moving along.
“Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future. I am grateful and inspired that our paths will finally cross with ‘Lincoln.’“
On the seven score and seventh anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Steven Spielberg announces he has acquired a new Lincoln in Daniel Day-Lewis, replacing the long-attached Liam Neeson. My, that’s good casting.
“James’s charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast.” Peter Jackson fills out his Dwarf Company with James Nesbitt and Adam Brown as Bofur and Ori respectively. “Adam is a wonderfully expressive actor and has a unique screen presence. I look forward to seeing him bring Ori to life.“
And, elsewhere in fanboy casting news, Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker (and Marc Webb’s Spiderman) may soon have some caretakers in Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben and Sally Field as Aunt Mary. Compared to Rhys Ifans as The Lizard, that casting seems pretty by-the-book. Still not bad…but do we really have to sit through the origin story again?
With the fate of a Kiwi Middle Earth still up in the air (due to the aforementioned labor issues), Peter Jackson gets a greenlight — yes, he’s directing now — and announces the cast of The Hobbit. As Bilbo, and as rumored since the very beginning, Martin Freeman of The Office UK and Hitchhiker’s Guide. I like it.
Rounding out the cast (besides Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis, of course): Richard Armitage (no, not that one) as Thorin Oakinshield, Rob Kazinsky as Fili, Aidan Turner as Kili, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mark Hadlow as Dori, and Peter Hambleton as Gloin. AICN has already thrown together a handy visual guide, and these guys all already have that dwarven je-ne-sais-quoi. (Hopefully, that means less Gimli make-up.) Pending a location, shooting is set to start in February.
“He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.“
Sounds like am organizational genius, a master of efficiency…a bit like Lane Pryce, no? Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes gets his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, in veteran character actor Jared Harris. I like it. (FWIW, I still haven’t caught the the Moff’s contemporary Holmes reboot for BBC, but I hear good things.)
“Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter’s screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success.” Sacha Baron Cohen signs up to play Freddie Mercury for Peter Morgan, scribe of The Queen, Frost/Nixon, and The Damned United, in a forthcoming Queen biopic. He’s a bit tall, I guess, but otherwise that’s really solid casting.
“I’m not actually playing Lincoln now. I was attached to it for a while, but it’s now I’m past my sell-by date.” Along the lines of Guillermo del Toro leaving The Hobbit, Liam Neeson announces he’s now off Stephen Spielberg’s long-rumored Lincoln biopic, mainly because it’s taken too long to get off the ground. (Neeson was first rumored for the role in 2005.) Well, that’s too bad. But, if it takes another decade or so to move, Adrien Brody should fit in nicely.
“I’m glad they took their time, and are trying to make the best zombie movie they can,” said Brooks. ‘I’m so glad they stayed with the project and so glad they found the right team.‘” In Comic-Con news, Brad Pitt will star in Marc Forster’s adaptation of World War Z, the zombie-apocalypse-by-way-of-Studs-Terkel novel by Max Brooks. Move over, True Blood and Team Edward: Between this and AMC’s version of The Walking Dead, zombie apocalypses are the new sparkly vampires.
“‘We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls,’ del Toro said, making a surprise appearance onstage, ‘…and we are not making it a comedy… We are making it scary and fun, but the scary will be scary.’” Also at Comic-Con, Guillermo del Toro announces he’s rebooting The Haunted Mansion for Disney. Uh, you dropped The Hobbit for this? I would’ve preferred Cthulhu.
A publicity still from Kenneth Branagh’s Thor featuring Odin, Thor, and Loki, a.k.a. Anthony Hopkins, Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston respectively, materializes on the tubes. Well, I’ll defer my full assessment until I’ve seen the characters move around under cinema lighting, but, to my mind, these outfits don’t look so hot. I guess they were going for Kirbyesque, but they look too plastic-y and space-age to me. (Also, Loki needs horns badly, but they’re too iconic not to show up in the final movie, I’d think.)
Elsewhere in comic-to-film-news, EW gets a look at Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern (again, too early to tell, but this CGI-approach could work), and, in lieu of Eric Bana and Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo may well be Hulking out for Joss Whedon’s Avengers. (Eh, fine.)
Update: Forgot to mention the recent goings-on with Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. Joining McAvoy, Fassbender, and Eve as Xavier, Magneto, and Emma Frost are Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Lawrence (of Winter’s Bone) as the Big Bad (Mr. Sinister?) and Mystique respectively. Also along for the ride: A Single Man‘s Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Friday Night Lights‘ Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Hannah Montana‘s Lucas Till as Havok, and purportedly Kick-Ass‘s Aaron Johnson as Cyclops, altho’ that last one is still up in the air.
“On selecting Garfield, director Marc Webb said, ‘Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.‘”
I’m inclined to agree — this is really great casting. Better than Tobey Maguire, in fact. Sony’s Spiderman reboot finds its friendly neighborhood webslinger in Andrew Garfield of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus and Red Riding ’74 (and soon of Never Let Me Go and The Social Network.) And given the Peter Parkerish sensiblity at work in Webb’s (500) Days of Summer, this project actually seems to be coming together quite nicely.
In the Jonah Hex review below, I mentioned the intriguing casting of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto respectively. Now, Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class circles ’round its White Queen in Alice Eve of She’s Out of My League and Sex and the City 2. Haven’t seen either of those, but she looks the part…although I still might’ve gone with Rosamund Pike myself.
“‘No’, says Nolan emphatically and unhesitatingly. He resists elaborating simply because, quite understandably, he says, ‘I just don’t feel comfortable talking about it.’” Christopher Nolan nips talk of recasting the Joker for Batman 3. (There was much fanboy speculation that the Ledger-esque Joseph Gordon-Levitt, now on Team Nolan as of Inception, might take up the war paint for some kind of Silence of the Lambs-y type nod to the character from the depths of Arkham Asylum. No can do, apparently.)
Elsewhere in the comic movie department, Jeremy Renner of The Hurt Locker, 28 Weeks Later, and The Asssassination of Jesse James looks set to join Joss Whedon’s The Avengers as Hawkeye. Which makes you wonder — how deep into Avengers canon are we going here? Ant-Man and Wasp seem likely…what of Vision and Scarlet Witch?
“‘Robert Duvall is one of the greats, no question – and he can ride a horse!’ laughed Gilliam. ‘And Ewan has gotten better over the years. He was wonderful in The Ghost. There’s a lot of colours to Ewan that he’s not been showing recently and it’s time for him to show them again. He’s got a great sense of humour and he’s a wonderful actor. He’s wonderfully boyish and can be charming – when he flashes a smile, everybody melts. He wields it like a nuclear bomb!“
While currently busy with The Damnation of Faust for the English National Opera, Terry Gilliam reveals he has a cast ready for his second attempt at The Man Who Killed Don Quixote: Robert Duvall and Ewan MacGregor, in the Jean Rochefort (Quixote) and Johnny Depp roles respectively. Shooting begins this September.
“It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.“
Risin’ up and back on the street, Brad Pitt will apparently delve into the tiger woods for Darren Aronofsky and writer Guillermo Arriaga (Babel) in a film adaptation of John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. Well, ok then…but Aronofsky is getting notorious for signing aboard more projects than actually happen. Along with the ballet-thriller Black Swan, which may be in the can by now, he’s also meant to be making a Robocop reboot, a Jackie Kennedy in November 1963 story with wife Rachel Weisz, and a movie about UFC fighter Lightning Lee Murray. Sounds like a full plate.
And, elsewhere on the neighborly vampire re-make front, Anton Yelchin’s Charlie Brewster now has his Jerry Dandridge: Apparently, Colin Farrell is taking Chris Sarandon’s role in the remake of Fright Night. (Toni Collette also joins as Charlie’s mom.) Well, I would’ve preferred Mark Strong, but that works too. Now, on to casting the crucial part of Peter Vincent, nee Roddy McDowell. (And perhaps Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Evil Ed?)
I haven’t been keeping up on this lately, but casting has been filling out for Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s zombie-epic The Walking Dead, starting this October on AMC. Joining the shamble are Andrew Lincoln (as Rick Grimes), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori), Jon Bernthal (Shane), Jeffrey DeMunn (likely Dale), Steven Yuen (Glenn) and, the most recognizable face, Laurie Holden — nee X-Files‘ Maria Covarrubias — as Andrea.
In very related news, please do keep in mind that May is Zombie Awareness Month. “Supporters of Zombie Awareness Month wear a gray ribbon to signify the undead shadows that lurk behind our modern light of day. From May 1 through May 31, Zombie Research Society Members and friends take this small step to acknowledge the coming danger.” Awareness!
Update: It looks like the character of Howard Stark — Tony’s dad — is also involved, although he probably won’t be as Roger Sterling-ish.
Update 2: The Cap’n's rogues gallery expands as Toby Jones signs to play Arnim Zola, “a Nazi scientist who used his horrific experiments to allow himself to unnaturally extend his life, ultimately leading to his consciousness being permanently stuck in a robotic body. Type-casting!”
Breaking while in the BVI: Anton Yelchin of Star Trek and the McG Terminator is cast in the William Ragsdale role for a reboot of Fright Night. “The updated version, written by Marti Noxon (‘Mad Men‘), is expected to keep the comedy-horror tone while modernizing the effects.“
True, there are a lot of unnecessary remakes being made right now, but this is pretty great casting, and Fright Night was one of my Halloween staples growing up. Now, as an AICN’er pointed out, how ’bout Mark Strong as Jerry Dandridge (the Chris Sarandon role)?
I’ve been watching the casting fly-by on this without commenting, and I still kinda wish they’d gone with Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm for Hal Jordan over the getting-overexposed Ryan Reynolds (who already has two other comic properties to his name in Deadpool and Blade III.) Nonetheless, Mark Strong has joined the cast of Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern as Sinestro, the Lantern’s arch-nemesis. He joins Reynolds, Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond), and Tim Robbins (Sen. Hammond, Hector’s pa.)
Well, that’s a pretty solid cast on the villain side. But I fear this is just going to feel like an attempt to cash in on DC’s second-tier (a la Iron Man on the Marvel side)…unless they go really big and space-age with it. Like Green Lantern Corps, Oans, etc.