One of our favorite film festivals here at MADE, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is kicking off its 2017 festivities this week. Known for its wide range of genres, independent films, and documentaries, TIFF is the unofficial audition for the annual film-awards season that wraps with the Academy Awards celebrations every February. This years entries are no exception. Some of the more anticipated showings are documentaries surrounding Grace Jones (Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami), Barack Obama (The Final Year), and Lady Gaga (Gaga: Five Foot Two), as well as an under-the-radar entry from comedian Louis CK (I Love You, Daddy) that will appear in black and white. As always there is a plethora of noteworthy entries, so many, in fact, that it seems impossible to filter out a ‘most anticipated’ list.
Stepping away from all of the crazy comic-movie news we’ve been following lately, we now have more news about another upcoming sequel from the longest-running franchise in film history. Wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista raised a few impressed eyebrows with his role in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, so much so that Eon Productions Ltd. has approached him about playing the villain in the upcoming James Bond film with Daniel Craig. Bautista will be up for the role of the henchman Hinx, who will reportedly be a combination of past Bond villains Jaws (portrayed by Richard Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me opposite Roger Moore) and Oddjob (portrayed by Harold Sakata opposite Sean Connery in Goldfinger). There is also news that the actress joining the film will be Lea Seydoux (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Inglorious Bastards), who joins the ever growing list of “Bond Girls” that includes Ursula Andress, Jane Seymour, Maud Adams, Tanya Roberts, Carey Lowell, Famke Janssen, Teri Hatcher, Denise Richards, Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike, and Eva Green. She and Bautista join the cast that also includes Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw. The film is set to be released in theaters in November 2015, so filming with returning Skyfall director Sam Mendes will be getting underway very soon. Stay tuned for more news.
This year the Chicago International Film Festival will celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary. Founded in 1964 by Michael Kutza, and recognized as the first international film festival in North America, the organization has gained worldwide recognition for bringing independent and international films and their creators to Chicago audiences. Over the years a number of big names in the film industry have been highlighted or attended, including Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Morgan Freeman, Halle Barry, and Edward Norton. This year the festival will open tomorrow, October 9th with Miss Julie from Scandinavian director Liv Ullmann, starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton at the Harris Theater at 205 E. Randolph Street in Chicago. The festival will run from October 9th to the October 23rd. For tickets and ordering information and for the full schedule and theater locations you can check out http://www.chicagofilmfestival.com/festival/festival-guide/tickets/. Enjoy!!
Even though word of X-Men: Apocalypse was released well before we saw the latest X-Men installation, Days of Future Past, hit theaters this summer, word on whether or not director Bryan Singer would stay on to do Apocalypse was still not clear. Singer directed Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart in the original X-Men blockbuster in 1999, and stayed on to direct X2: X-Men United in 2002, but his involvement with the franchise had since then been nonexistent until he finally returned with the original cast to direct Days of Future Past this year, and according to recent news reports, he has also agreed to stay on and direct Apocalypse as well. Days of Future Past not only included Singer’s original cast, but also the cast of X-Men: First Class, which explored the origins or the relationship between Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr as they formed the group of original X-Men and included such big names as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Although the plot details are not set in stone at this point, judging by the preliminary cast listings, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see as much of the original cast this time, with the exception of Hugh Jackman, who will appear on film as the Wolverine for the seventh time. Singer is currently working on the script for Apocalypse with X2 writers Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty, as well as writer Simon Kinberg, and the movie is already set for release on May 27, 2016, so we should be getting more news coming out soon. Stay tuned.
On top of the great weather in the forecast for this weekend, and SoundSet happening on Sunday in Minneapolis, what else could make this Memorial Day weekend even more memorable? How about the return of the X-Men to the big screen! Today (Friday) will see Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, and Halle Berry returning to theaters for their long-awaited return to the X-Men universe in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer, who directed the original X-Men film, along with X2: X-Men United, has brought back his original cast, as well as the cast of X-Men: First Class, which includes Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence, into one big X-Men bash that revolves around a time-traveling plot for the purposes of preventing the war of mutants against humanity. While it is the return for Singer, the plot does include details of the characters that we have seen in previous X-Men installments, including the most recent The Wolverine and X-Men: First Class, so you may want to catch up on some of the details before you go and see this one. Either way, it should make for a great movie-going experience. Happy Memorial Day, and as always….Enjoy!
Bryan Singer is returning to the X-Men franchise this month with the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film reunites Singer’s original X-Men cast, including Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Halle Berry with the cast of X-Men: First Class, which includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Nothing much to say about the plot with the movie only two weeks from release, so just watch the trailer and then go watch the movie, and as always…enjoy!
Hugh Jackman will be making his 5th feature-length appearance as Wolverine in this summer’s The Wolverine, but that doesn’t mean this will be his last. X-Men: Days of Future Past is set to come out next year, and stars the cast of the original series, including Jackman, Halle Barry, and Ian McKellen, as well as the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, is also returning to the franchise. Future Past won’t be coming out until next May, but The Wolverine will be coming out July 26.