Today’s Memorable Movie Moment takes us back to 1978, for the excellent cinematography in a film called Days of Heaven. Written and directed by 3x Oscar nominee Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life), Days of Heaven is an American epic that follows a young couple, Bill and Abby, during the Expansionist era in 1916. Moving from Chicago to Texas in search of work, the two become involved in a scheme to have Abby marry a wealthy farmer who is close to death in order to gain his fortune. This, of course doesn’t go according to plan and so a dramatic conflict of jealousy and deceit ensues, loosely based on a backstory that first appeared in Alexander Dumas‘ The Three Musketeers.
Starring Richard Gere (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Pretty Woman), Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Dead Zone), and Sam Shepard (Swordfish, Black Hawk Down), the film received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Music – Original Score. Although it failed to win any of these awards, Days of Heaven did receive the Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros. Continue reading →
With all the news about upcoming comic-book movie releases that Warner Bros. and Universal have been putting out lately, a lot of attention seems to have diverted away from a sequel that is actually coming out this summer! Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to open in theaters on May 1, 2015 and will see the cast of the original Avengers reunited on screen. Included from the original cast are Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson, with Cobie Smulders returning as Maria Hill and newcomers Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen joining the cast as well. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon, who also wrote and directed the original Avengers, and who is also behind the ongoing television show Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. on ABC. Check out the new trailer here on MADE!
Director Cary Funkunaga, having just wrapped up the first season of HBO’s True Detective, will be moving on to his next project, an adaptation of Tom Reiss’ novel The Black Count. The story follows that of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the esteemed black general who fought under Napoleon Bonaparte in the French military, and whose son (Alexandre Dumas) would go on to write the world famous novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Stepping into the producer’s role will be none other than iconic musician John Legend and his production company Get Lifted Film Co., as well as Sony Pictures. The role of Dumas has yet to be determined, and Fukunaga will first be adapting another novel for the big screen before this one really gets rolling. Stay tuned for more updates.
Universal Studios has recently acquired a script from up-and-coming screenwriter Gary Spinelli. The studio beat out Sony Pictures for the script at auction for $1 million and now the studio execs are looking to Ron Howard to direct the project. The title comes from Mena, Arkansas, the small town used by pilot Barry Seal to traffic drugs and weapons for both the CIA and the Medeillin drug cartels during the Reagan and H. W. Bush administrations in the 1980s. Howard, who is behind such films as The DaVinci Code, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Backdraft, and Cocoon, will be taking on a bit of a challenge for this film. The director is known for his real-life dramas, earning the Best Directing Oscar in 2002 for A Beautiful Mind and a nomination in the same category in 2009 for Frost/Nixon, but unlike the his other historic projects like Frost/Nixon and Apollo 13, Mena follows a darker, more violent character study than Howard’s previous films, which should make seeing how he approaches the new project all the more interesting. The project is still very early in the pre-production stages, but we’ll keep an eye out for more details.
Deadline Hollywood reported today that Raius-TWC acquired the North American rights for the Pablo Escobar film Paradise Lost for $2 million. The film is directed by Andrea Di Stefano and costars Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Brady Corbet, and Claudia Traisac, with Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro in the role of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The story follows a young man who visits Columbia and falls for and marries a local girl, only to discover he has married the kingpin’s niece, whose uncle then begins to lure him into the family business. The film is produced by Dimitri Rassam and Romain Le Grand, with Pathe and Frederique Dumas of Orange Studio, as Miquel Angel Faura from Roxbury and uMedia. The film is expected to be released later this year. As you may know, Hollywood studios have been attempting to get a film chronicling the life of Pablo Escobar for several years now, with titles including The Ballad of Pablo Escobar. Beneicio Del Toro was once involved with a similar project, and actors like John Lequizamo and directors like Brad Furman have at different points been attached to various projects regarding the cartel leader, but until now, nothing had gained enough speed to get from the production stage to the big screen. A fun spin on the situation was taken in the HBO series Entourage, where fictional actor Vince Chase took on the role of Escobar in an independent picture called Medellin, which was accepted for showing at the Cannes Film Festival only to receive terrible reviews and being released straight to DVD. Paradise Lost takes the name from the famous 12-book poem by John Milton, which was published in 1667 and covers such matters as the War in Heaven, and the temptations of Lucifer on Adam and Eve. I’m not sure whether the filmmakers meant to make this connection or not, intentionally using the character of Satan in the original poem as an analogy for Escobar himself, but I guess we’ll see sometime soon. Hopefully this movie is worth the wait; if it stays true to the depths of Escobar’s character and the violence-fueled world that he was a part of and doesn’t focus too heavily on the supporting love story, it should be a pretty good movie, especially with Benicio Del Toro appearing as Escobar.
After a long period of debates between the cast members and the producers regarding their contracts to make the film, the movie adaptation for the HBO hit series Entourage is finally on the up and up. Production has been underway and shooting has been scheduled to start on the 16th of this month. If all goes well with the rest of production, and there are no problems with the filming, the movie may be ready to hit theaters by the fall. Executive producer Mark Wahlberg seems optimistic that this could be a real possibility, so we’ll keep an eye out for news on this one.