Speaking of the Knicks: On the eve of Behind the Candelabra (this Sunday on HBO), Steven Soderbergh — still ostensibly retired from feature filmmaking — is set to direct 10-hours of a period hospital drama, The Knick, for Cinemax, with Clive Owen.
As a hobby, apparently, he’s also gotten into the film cognoscenti hipster t-shirt business. “While designing the shirts, Soderbergh told Reuters, ‘I would test them out by wearing them to the set to see if people knew the movie references.’” Citizen Kane aside, most of them are pretty esoteric. (Second link via The Late Adopter.)
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.