A new drama called Genius, which is based on the life of editor Max Perkins, is opening in select theaters across the country this weekend. Based on the best-selling biographical novel by A. Scott Berg, the film follows Perkins’ extraordinary career working for Scribner Publishing, where he oversaw famous works by authors like Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), and Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward Angel), and simultaneously dealt with these authors’ personal dramas and often crippling addictions. Screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, Spectre) adapted the script for director Michael Grandage (The Madness of King George, Bugs), who is making his directorial debut with this movie. Continue reading →
Director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) is best known for his work on documentaries like Touching the Void and One Day In September, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2000, but his next project will be a return to the motion picture genre with a new suspense-thriller called Black Sea. The film stars Academy Award nomineeJude Law (Enemy at the Gates, Cold Mountain) as a submarine captain who, let go by his former employers, sets out for a voyage amid the depths of the Black Sea in search of a lost Nazi U-boat rumored to have been carrying loads of gold. Also starring in the film are actors Scoot McNairy (Argo, 12 Years A Slave), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Killing Them Softly), and Jodie Whittaker (St. Trinian’s, One Day). Screenwriter Denis Kelly (Utopia, Pulling) wrote the script, and it actually looks like a pretty cool thriller, so keep it in mind when you go to the movies this weekend. You can watch the trailer above.
Variety recently reported that actor Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) is set to join the cast of the upcoming King Arthur movie Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur. The film is expected to be the first in a series of six films that depict the story of Arthur, with a cast that will be lead by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim), Astrid Burges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I Origins) as Guinevere, and Jude Law (Enemy at the Gates, Sherlock Holmes) as the primary antagonist. Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla) will direct the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold (Awake, Edge of Tomorrow). Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures will distribute the movie, which is expected to hit theaters in 2016.
Warner Bros. is currently trying to get a new King Arthur project off the ground, and now may have Guy Ritchie behind the camera. The director’s last big screen project was Sherlock Holmes and its sequel, A Game of Shadows, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. He is currently wrapping up production on The Man From “U.N.C.L.E.” with actors Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger). The movie follows a CIA agent who teams up with a KGB operative to stop a mysterious organization from mass developing nuclear weapons in the 1960s Cold War era. Ritchie had an Arthur project in the works with Warner Bros. back in 2010, but the project never made it into full production. The studio also decided to drop a remake of Excalibur, a film by director John Boorman which was released in 1981, as well as another project by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). The new project with Ritchie may be the first in a series of six films, although there are no reports confirming this information. The last Arthur project that hit Hollywood was King Arthur (2004) with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley which was distributed by Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer. The new film is being produced by Akiva Goldsman and Lionel Wigram and will be written by Joby Harold. We’ll look for news of a first draft, if the project does ever make it off the ground.
Along with the second installation of The Hobbit and a reprisal of his role as Magneto in next summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, Ian McKellen is no stranger to modern cinema or popular culture. Like his co-star Hugh Jackman, who has played the Wolverine a total of 5 times, McKellen will have played the role of Gandalf in a total of six films by the time the third Hobbit film is released. It may be around that time that he will also be appearing as none other than a retired Sherlock Holmes in a new film by director Bill Condon. Condon directed McKellen in 1998’s Gods and Monsters, which earned the actor an Oscar nomination, and is currently at the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of his new movie The Fifth Estate. The new Holmes movie is titled A Slight Trick of the Mind and will be based on the novel by Mitch Cullin in which Holmes is living with his maid, coping with dementia and dealing with old age. While another Sherlock Holmes movie may seem like overkill, it might just be really redeeming to see a veteran actor take on the role with some sincerity that credits the original characteristics of Sherlock Holmes, and not a modern day Beavis and Butthead duo like Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law who are picked just to draw a crowd. With shooting about to get underway for X-Men it may still be a while before we see the movie in theaters, but McKellen knows how to deliver a performance worth waiting for, so we’ll just have to be patient.