This holiday season will see another Star Wars film dominating the release schedule. Unlike last year’s Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, whose fan anticipation was the highest since Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Rogue One has already been plagued by script rewrites and unscheduled reshoots. This was in part owing to the lack of direct relevance to any of the original series characters, but also to fan polls that suggested disappointment with earlier plot lines. Nevertheless, production has pushed on and the second trailer for the new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released this week. Rogue One is based on a story by John Knoll (Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, Avatar) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), which was adapted to a script by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, House of Cards) about the Rebel Alliance’s plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, laying the grounds for the epic trilogy that follows with Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope (1977). Director Gareth Edwards (In the Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) helmed the project with actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), Alan Tudyk (I Robot, Dodgeball), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler). Oscar nominee James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King) is also returning to provide the voice of Darth Vader, whose presence in the film will likely hold the biggest intrigue for fans of the series. Check out the new trailer right here on MADE, and enjoy the weekend!
A new trailer is available for Disney’s first installment in their Star Wars spoof series Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is expected in theaters December 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards (In The Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) and written by Chris Weitz (About A Boy, The Golden Compass), John Knoll (Avatar, Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi), and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), the film follows members of the Rebel Alliance in an isolated attempt to steal the plans to the Death Star. Starring in the film are actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, The Hunt), Alan Tudyk (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Donnie Yen (Blade 2, Ip Man), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels’ The Butler). Also in theaters this weekend is the new first-person action-flick Hardcore Henry. Enjoy your weekend!
Golden Globe winning actor Alan Rickman has died after a fight with cancer at the age of 69. The British actor was famous around the globe for his roles as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise, and as villain Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard, opposite Bruce Willis. Having worked as an actor, writer, and director, Rickman was a veteran of both the stage and screen, appearing in such Broadway productions as Private Lives in the West End and in films including Galaxy Quest, Love Actually, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Dogma, Sense and Sensibility, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His absence from the world of acting and filmmaking will sorely be missed in the years to come.
This July, fans of director Antione Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) will be able to see his latest film on the big screen. The film is called Southpaw and comes from a script by The Shield and Sons of Anarchy writer/creator Kurt Sutter about a boxer who makes his way to the height of his fame and career, while his personal life slowly collapses right before his eyes. Starring in the leading role is Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (October Sky, Nightcrawler), as well as Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Skyfall), Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (Platoon, Lee Daniel’s The Butler), and Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris). The trailer is available here on MADE. We’ll keep you posted as we get closer to the release date. Stay tuned!
Writer/director Rick Ramuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) will see his latest dramatic comedy Dope open on the big screen this June 19th. Narrated by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler), the film follows Malcolm, a young high school senior living in Inglewood, CA who struggles with gang-bangers and drug-dealers in his neighborhood while attempting to finish high school and complete his SATs, all while applying for and going on college interviews with the goal of going to Harvard. Ramuyiwa directed from his own script, which first showed at the Sundance Film Festival back in January and which will also be shown at the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival this June. Starring in the film are actors Shameik Moore (The Watsons Go To Birmingham, Joyful Noise), Tony Revolori (The Perfect Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kiersey Clemons (Shake It Up, Transparent), Kimberly Elise (John Q, For Colored Girls), Blake Anderson (Workaholics, Neighbors), and Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class, Divergent). Keep an eye out for an upcoming trailer!
Comedians Eddie Murphy (left) and Richard Pryor (right).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is currently working on getting a biographical drama focusing on Richard Pryor underway, and some news regarding the supporting cast has now surfaced from THR. Comedy-veteran Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America) is now set to portray Pryor’s abusive, alcoholic father, a period that proved incredibly influential on the comedian’s work and only added to his comedic-legacy. Also included on the cast list is comedic-actor Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) and Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Something Borrowed). Thus far there is no scheduled release date and Daniels has yet to develop a script or find a screenwriter, but with the cast filling out we should see that get underway relatively quickly. Stay tuned for more news.
Director Erik Van Looy‘s new suspenseful thriller The Loft is now playing in theaters this weekend. Starring Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers, The Bourne Supremacy), James Marsden (X-Men, Lee Daniel’s The Butler), Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, Underworld), Eric Stonestreet (Almost Famous, Bad Teacher), and Mattias Schoenaerts (Blackbook, Bullhead), the film comes from a script by Bart De Pauw and Wesley Strick about five friends who buy a loft to carry out their illustrious affairs away from their wives, but when a woman turns up dead in the loft, all hell breaks out and no one knows who to trust. You can see the trailer here on MADE. The Loft opens Friday, January 30th.
We’ve been following the production on director Ava DuVernay‘s upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma for some time now, and the release date is finally right around the corner. The movie follows the freedom marches lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 that ended with President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. Leading the cast is David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Interstellar) as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., plus Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Pearl Harbor, American Gangster), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The Departed), Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple, The Butler), and Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Batman Begins). Writer Paul Webb wrote the script for DuVernay, who has directed such projects as I Will Follow (2010) and Middle of Nowhere (2012). Selma will open in theaters on January 9th, so mark your calendars now. The trailer is available here on MADE, Enjoy!
We were all pretty surprised to see that Liam Neeson would be appearing in a sequel to his 2008 action thriller Taken, but seeing as they made a 2nd I guess they may as well go ahead and make a 3rd. Yes, a 3rd. Liam Neeson will grace the screen one more time this January as ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills, who has a wife and daughter that, for some reason, always seem to be the target of a kidnapping plot. This time out Mills finds himself framed for the murder of his ex-wife, and must ensue on a new mission to clear his name by finding the true killer before the authorities track him down. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (Phone Booth, Lee Daniel’s The Butler) will be joining the supporting cast along with Maggie Grace (Taken, The Fog) and Famke Janssen (GoldenEye, X-Men) returning as daughter Kim and ex-wife Lenore. Screenwriting/directing duo Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element), who wrote both Taken and Taken 2, penned the new script for director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3, Taken 2). Check out the new trailer here on MADE; the new movie comes out January 9th. Also opening on January 9th is director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s upcoming LA-noir drama Inherent Vice with Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin, as well as Ava DuVernay’s Civil Rights drama Selma with David Oyelowo and Tim Roth, so be sure to mark your calendar for January 9!
With pretty much all of the original cast returning from the blockbuster hit Olympus Has Fallen, including Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, there is a chance that the upcoming sequel London Has Fallen will be at least as action-packed as the original, but any kind of a story the writers try to produce already seems automatically cliche. Olympus Has Fallen was released in 2013 and was praised for it’s action sequences and visual effects, but the story wasn’t necessarily anything you haven’t heard before. The new movie will also bring back original actors Melissa Leo, Angela Bassett, and Radha Mitchell, who will also be joined by Oscar-nominated actor Jackie Earle Haley. Haley is most widely known by younger audiences for portraying the masked hero Rorschach in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009), but his Academy Award-nomination came from his supporting role in director Todd Field’s Little Children (2006). The actor has also appeared in All The King’s Men (2006), Semi-Pro (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Lincoln (2012), and the recent remake of RoboCop earlier this year from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The plot will apparently involve an assassination plot that will take place at the funeral of Prime Minister, but it reads to me like this series is turning into a modern-day Escape From New York/Escape From LA sequel series: just a similar story taking place in a new location, but I guess we’ll see when it hits theaters in 2015. The film will be directed by Babak Nanafi from a script by Olympus Has Fallen writers Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt and new team member Christian Gudegast.