Movie-goers will have no shortage of great movies to see this weekend. Friday will not only have the chance to see The Peanuts Movie and the new James Bond installment, Spectre, but fans of festival-circuit films will also be able to see two major picks from this years’ Toronto International Film Festival. The first is the biographical drama from director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) with Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) titled Trumbo. The film follows the famous screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who along with 300 other writers and filmmakers in Hollywood was blacklisted by the federal government during the Red Scare era of the American 1950s. Trumbo is, perhaps, one of the more interesting cases; he continued to write scripts under anonymous surnames while he was blacklisted and even won Oscars for his work on Roman Holiday (1953) and The Brave One (1956). Making up the supporting cast are actors Diane Lane (Unfaithful, Man of Steel), Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey), Louis C.K. (Louie, American Hustle), Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Maleficent), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, Argo), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Pawn Sacrifice, Steve Jobs), in a script adpated by John McNamara (Jericho, Aquarius) from the book Dalton Trumbo by author Bruce Cook. The second Toronto International Film Festival contender opening in theaters this week is also a biographical drama titled Spotlight. This film comes from Oscar-nominated writer/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Million Dollar Arm) and chronicles the investigative journalist team at the Boston Globe that uncovered the scandal in the Catholic Church revolving around child molestation and cover-up deals within the Archdiocese. Co-written by screenwriter Josh Singer (Fringe, The Fifth Estate), the film stars Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, The Avengers), Michael Keaton (Batman, Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris), Liev Schreiber (Defiance, Salt), John Slattery (Mad Men, Flags of our Fathers), and Stanley Tucci (Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Hunger Games), and also received high marks at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Either of these will make great picks to see on the big screen, so be sure to get to the movie theaters in the next week or so to see them while they are still available! The trailer for Trumbo is available here on MADE.
Leonard Nimoy as Spock in the original Star Trek television series.
Actor Leonard Nimoy, who portrayed Spock in the original Star Trek television series in the 1960s, died this week at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. Nimoy began his career as a regular guest on popular TV shows in the 1950s and early 60s, including The Untouchables, Get Smart, and The Twilight Zone. His breakthrough role came when he was noticed on an episode of The Lieutenant, which earned him the role of Spock in Star Trek, which he would be bound to for the rest of his life. Nimoy portrayed the character of Spock virtually for the rest of his career; he starred in the original TV series and the motion-picture series, even directing the third and fourth films, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The actor was also an avid photographer and studied at UCLA, later publishing several controversial photography collections titled The Shekhina Project and another called The Full Body Project. His final acting role was as scientist William Bell on the Fox-network drama Fringe, but he also made a special appearance in director J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 re-boot film Star Trek, and again in Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013). Nimoy leaves behind his wife Susan and his son and daughter Adam and Julie; may he rest in peace.
A new biographical film based on the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is in the works from Universal studios, and it looks like they’re interested in having writer/director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, Grand Piano) head up the project. The film will be titled First Man and based on the book First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong by author James Hansen (The Pepsi Signs, A Difficult Par: Robert Trent Jones Sr. and the Making of Modern Golf). Hansen’s book obviously covers much more material than what can fit into a feature-length film, so it is not exactly clear if the movie will go as far back as the astronaut’s time in the Navy and go up to the Apollo 11 mission that saw him reach the moon, or go from that point and extend further into his later years, but whatever the case it should turn out to be a good watch. Screenwriter Josh Singer (Fringe, The Fifth Estate) will be adapting the book for film, but director Chazelle may not be immediately available to helm this project owing to his already busy schedule, but we’ll see how this one turns out. We’ll keep you posted.