After hearing about this project months ago and getting no more than an image of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in costume as a military recruit, we finally have an official trailer for the upcoming drama Snowden from writer/director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Any Given Sunday). The film is based on two books, one called The Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena and the other simply titled The Snowden Files by author Luke Harding (who also wrote the book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy that inspired the similarly themed 2013 flick The Fifth Estate). Snowden tells the story of infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, from his time as an armed forces recruit all the way to his efforts to bring the National Security Administration’s practice of tracking individual cell phones for the sake of security into question. Screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald (The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, The Homesman) co-adapted the script with Stone (although I can’t speak as to how accurate the material is). Continue reading →
William Monahan (The Departed, Body of Lies) is taking his second jab at directing his own script with a new thriller called Mojave. Starring Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Garret Hedlund (Four Brothers, Tron: Legacy), the film follows a rich, suicidal artist as he ventures into the Mojave Desert, only to encounter his doppelganger: a homicidal drifter. Appearing in the supporting cast are actors Walton Goggins (Shield, Sons of Anarchy), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, Lone Survivor), Dania Ramirez (X-Men: The Last Stand, American Reunion), and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad, Red State). Monahan’s last writing/directing project was a film called London Boulevard in 2010, but since The Departed opened in theaters in 2004 the writer has really failed to attain a solid following in terms of highly popular projects, like Edge of Darkness (2010) and the remake of The Gambler in 2014. The trailer does look pretty wild, though, making the film read more like a modern Western thriller with a plot of cat and mouse cowboys. Hopefully it will be enough to get Monahan back on the Oscar-worthy list, but we’ll see. The trailer is here on MADE. Enjoy!
We wanted to give it a little time so that nothing would be spoiled for anybody, but if anyone is reading this that hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I suggest you either stop reading or be prepared for plot spoilers! To begin with, this was easily the best Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi was released in 1983. Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek: Into Darkness) brought legitimate filmmaking back to the series with this film, which looks more like old-fashioned Star Wars than anything we saw come from George Lucas in the early 2000s. His stylistic approach to filmmaking was the perfect merging of special effects and on-set principle photography, made better with the appearance of props and effects that appeared in the original film, such as the targeting view attached to the gun in the Millennium Falcon. The screenplay, written by Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Bodyguard), was also much better in terms of actual dialogue on the part of the actors, but the overall story imitated that of Jurassic World earlier this year, in the sense that it read almost as a mirror image of the original Star Wars in 1977, with the updated story-line in play, of course. Abrams also did a great job of resurrecting the original Star Wars universe by bringing back a lot of the old designs and symbols representing the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial Star Fleet. I also have no complaints regarding the new lineup of actors. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega had a perfect chemistry between them, and Oscar Isaac did great as the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Adam Driver, however, as both the bad guy AND Han Solo and Leia’s son, was not necessarily bad, he was simply miscast, and Abrams didn’t do him any favors by taking off his helmet and showing his face. And if you are wondering about Luke Skywalker, he was pretty much absent the entire movie. He literally showed up for a few seconds at the very end, having evidently pulled a “Yoda” and gone into hiding after Han’s son decided to pull an “Anakin” and join the Dark Side. Needless to say we won’t really know what Luke’s deal is until the next movie in 2017, which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original release in 1977. All in all, it was a great movie and gave us some glimpses into the upcoming films and how the characters will continue to develop. Some stories were closed, but many more were opened, and now we have to wait another two years to find out what happens next. Stay tuned.
Opening in theaters today is a new post-apocalyptic drama from director Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound, Compliance) titled Z For Zachariah. The film comes from an adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien‘s 1975 novel of the same name by screenwriter Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge) about a trio of survivors living in a post World War III environment who find themselves entwined in an intense love-triangle as the only known survivors of the nuclear fallout. Making up the three-member cast line-up is Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster, 12 Years A Slave), and actors Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Star Trek: Into Darkness), and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus). The film was seen earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received an Official Selection nod, and critics have praised it both for Tim Orr’s work on the cinematography (Pineapple Express, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World) and for the music score by composer Heather McIntosh (The Rambler, Honeymoon). Also opening today is a new music-oriented drama with Zac Efron titled We Are Your Friends, which follows Efron as a DJ attempting to climb to a position of fame in the Electric Dance Music scene, while also juggling with a forbidden romance. This one comes from writer/director Max Joseph, who is best known for his documentary series Good. I’m not expecting this one to be focused so much on the forbidden love factor as it is to the world of professional DJs, but I’m also not a huge Zac Efron fan, so I’ll leave this one up to you to decide. Enjoy the weekend!
Oscar-nominee Johnny Depp (Blow, Public Enemies) has recently been working on new installments for the Pirates of the Caribbean and Alice in Wonderland franchises, plus dealing with his girlfriend being locked up in Australia for smuggling canine’s into the country. But his next big project with director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) is currently gearing up for the big screen this September. Black Mass, which we’ve been following for some time now, stars Depp as Whitey Bulger, perhaps the most violent and notorious gangster in the history of South Boston. The film comes from the book Black Mass: The Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill and chronicles Bulger’s partnership with FBI agent John Connolly, who long delayed the bureau’s capture of Bulger by focusing his attention on Bulger’s competitors. The movie has undergone several changes over the last year, including director Barry Levinson and actor Tom Hardy being attached at various points in the production. Making up the final supporting cast include actors Dakota Johnson (21 Jump Street, Fifty Shades of Grey), Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Imitation Game), Kevin Bacon (Apollo 13, Mystic River), Adam Scott (Step Brothers, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), and Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead, Flightplan). The book by Lehr and O’Neill was adapted for the big screen by Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Get On Up) and Mark Mallouk (Rush, A Walk Among The Tombstones). Watch the full-length trailer here on MADE, and be sure to mark your calendars for September 18th!
Here we have a new teaser trailer for the upcoming Oliver Stone (The Doors, Born on the Fourth of July) biopic on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film is appropriately (and simply) titled Snowden and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in the title role. While production has been underway for on the project for sometime, one would expect to see at least a 10-second clip of actual footage, but with this teaser all you really get are some words outlining highlights of Snowden’s life and a clever phrase to top-off the 86-second clip (even though “One Nation, Under Surveillance” is pretty clever considering the subject matter). Also starring in the film are actors Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent), Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Prisoners), Zachary Quinto (24, Star Trek: Into Darkness), Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Rush Hour), Rhys Ifans (Anonymous, The Amazing Spider Man), and Nicholas Cage (Con-Air, National Treasure). The movie is scheduled to open in theaters on Christmas Day, right alongside Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. We’ll keep an eye out for additional trailers as they come out. Stay tuned!
This May will see George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March) return to the big screen in a more family oriented drama from Walt Disney Pictures. Titled Tomorrowland, the film follows Frank Walker (Clooney), who sets out with fugitive Casey to find a futuristic city that exists only in their memories, where anything and everything imaginable is possible. The film comes from writer/director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) working from a script by himself and screenwriters Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, Star Trek: Into Darkness) and Jeff Jensen. Starring in the film are actors Britt Robertson (Scream 4, The Longest Ride), Kathryn Hahn (We’re The Millers, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Judy Greer (Love & Other Drugs, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Hugh Laurie (House M.D., Street Kings), and Keegan-Michael Key (Due Date, Let’s Be Cops). Check out the trailer here on MADE, and if you’re a fan of Clooney’s or of Walt Disney movies, go out and see it May 29th!
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden in upcoming Oliver Stone biopic Snowden (2015).
Director Oliver Stone has presented some pretty controversial biographical films in his career, JFK, Nixon, and W. just to name a few. His latest project, again simply titled Snowden, about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is now filming with actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in the lead role. More specifically, the plot follows Snowden from his time in the US Army in 2004 to his groundbreaking interview in Hong Kong with documentarian Laura Poitras (whose documentary film, Citizenfour, about that very interview, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary), during which he exposed top-secret NSA documents before fleeing to Russia for asylum. The script comes from two primary sources: author Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus (Kucherena is Snowden’s Russian attorney), which were adapted for the film by Stone and screenwriter Kieran Fitzgerald. Included in the supporting cast are actors Shailene Woodley (Divergent, The Fault in our Stars), Scott Eastwood (Texas Chainsaw 3D, Fury), Nicholas Cage (Face-Off, Matchstick Men), Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Justified), Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story, Star Trek Into Darkness), and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The film is scheduled for release Christmas Day 2015. Stay tuned for more news.
Filming has just wrapped up on the upcoming Star Wars sequel from director J.J. Abrams, and the director will now be moving the project into the post-production period as he spends his days working with editors Maryann Brandon (Star Trek: Into Darkness, Super 8) and Mary Jo Markey (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Star Trek: Into Darkness) as well as the visual effects department before the film is ready for theatrical release. Disney has already confirmed a release date of December 18, 2015, so the director still has time to get the film all wrapped up, but fans are definitely getting anxious, and talk of a trailer being released before the year is out is already getting around twitter, but for now everybody needs to be patient. Filming did just wrap up, but I guess Abrams could throw together a short teaser for audiences to see in the Christmas releases. We’ll keep an eye out for it if it happens!
Following the successful reboot of the Star Trek franchise from director J.J. Abrams with 2009’s Star Trek and last year’s Star Trek: Into Darkness, many fans of the series were extremely concerned when Abrams took up the opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode 7 with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, fearing that he would not be able to return for a third Star Trek movie. Well their worst fears have officially been confirmed, as Paramount recently announced that Roberto Orci would be taking over directing duties for Star Trek 3. Although Orci is no stranger to the Star Trek series (he co-wrote the first two movies with Alex Kurtzman), Star Trek 3 will be his first major picture as a director, so the fans, and especially Paramount, may be a bit anxious to see how the third installment turns out. Orci is currently working on the script with screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Here’s wishing him the best of luck in his new endeavor!