Will Smith‘s next big screen outing, a drama by the name of Concussion, will be opening in theaters this Christmas Day. This time around the Independence Day and Pursuit of Happiness star takes on the role of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist who first discovered CTE, a brain injury related to playing football, and sought to expose the truth behind the condition, despite the efforts of the multi-million dollar corporation that is the NFL trying to keep him silent. Director Peter Landesman (Parkland, Kill the Messenger) worked with author Jean Marie-Laskas to adapt the screenplay from her GQ article Game Brain, which is based on Dr. Omalu’s life and work. Starring in the film are actors Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights, Jupiter Ascending), Bitsie Tulloch (The Artist, Parkland), Stephen Moyer (Priest, True Blood), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, The Departed), Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde, Old School), and Albert Brooks (Drive, A Most Violent Year). Check out the trailer here on MADE. We’ll be bringing further news and reminders as we get closer to the Holidays. Enjoy!
A new “dramedy” titled Burnt from director John Wells (August: Osage County, Shameless) is opening for audiences in New York City and Los Angeles today, with a nationwide expansion expected in the next few weeks. The film comes from a film adaptation of a story by Michael Kalesniko (Private Parts, Iron Sky) by screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Locke), centering around a chef who, after ruining his career with drugs and eccentric behavior, returns to London in an attempt to make a comeback by opening a restaurant capable of receiving three Michelin stars. Actor Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) stars as chef Adam Jones, with actors Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher), Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds, Rush), Ricardo Scamarcio (My Brother is an Only Child, Loose Cannons), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jurassic World), Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Saving Mr. Banks), Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Vol. 1), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man From UNCLE). The film is expected to be a semi-biographical story based around the life of Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Knightmares). The trailer is available here on MADE. Look for the nationwide expansion to your area in the next couple of weeks. Enjoy the weekend!
Every year the Toronto International Film Festival serves as one of the major international film festivals that close out the fiscal year, and this year’s festival is sure to feature an excellent celebration of Oscar-worthy filmmaking. Toronto’s film festival is usually filled with entries seen earlier in the year at festivals like Sundance and Cannes, but it also brings its own special line-up to its audience. This year several highly anticipated films will have the honor of being shown during the festivities, most notably the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon‘s next space adventure following Interstellar titled The Martian, and one I personally am really excited to see, another biopic called Trumbo with Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) in the title role of McCarthy-era screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose film credits were published under various pseudonyms over the years after he was blacklisted during Senator McCarthy’s famous Communist-trials in the 1950s. The festival will play host to several other biographically oriented films as well, especially centering on figures in the music industry, including a Janis Joplin documentary titled Janis: Little Girl Blue, another documentary chronicling Aretha Franklin‘s famous 1972 album Amazing Grace, and Miss Sharon Jones, which follows the soul-singer during a time in her life when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer just before the release of a new album and pending tour. I Saw The Light is another music-biopic following the life of Hank Williams (Sr.) which also looks to be pretty promising. Some other notable names that caught our eye include Spotlight (which we’ve been following for some time now), following the Boston Globe reporters that uncovered the sex-scandal in the Catholic Church involving priests and young male students in 2004, and Beasts of No Nation, which will actually see only a temporary theatrical run as it will be available on Netflix shortly thereafter. Some other big highlights that I would recommend include The Lobster with Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly, Legend, starring Tom Hardy as gangster identical-twin brothers in 1950s England, and Kill Your Friends starring Nicholas Hoult as a London A&R executive trying to rise to the top of the 1990s British pop-music scene. All of these are sure to be great entries, but there are, of course, many more that I have not had time to mention here. A full list of this year’s entries can be found at the link below, and if you find yourself in Toronto anytime this September 10th-20th, be sure to check out a couple of these entries…you won’t regret it!!!
Yesterday writer/director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained) released the first trailer for his upcoming western The Hateful Eight. The film is credited as Tarantino’s eighth film and as many of you know has already undergone its fair share of controversy. The initial screenplay was leaked to the public on Gawker earlier this year and Tarantino’s filing a lawsuit against them was highly publicized in the press (to his own dismay). But since then the director has completed his final written script and with filming complete, he appeared at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego to showcase the movie with a whole 7-minute clip and a discussion about shooting on 70mm film instead of conforming to the film industry’s shift to digital filmmaking, which he has stated may drive him to leave filmmaking altogether (but nothing is yet set in stone). As for the new movie, it will stand as Tarantino’s second venture into the Western genre and this time will even feature a score (the first of his films to do so) by composer Ennio Morricone, who first achieved fame as a composer for westerns on legendary director Sergio Leone‘s A Fistful of Dollars and The Good The Bad and The Ugly. Making up the cast for Hateful Eight include Tarantino regulars Samuel L. Jackson (Jackie Brown, Django Unchained), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), and Michael Madsen (Kill Bill Vol. 1-2), plus actors Kurt Russell (Escape From New York, Death Proof), Walton Goggins (Miracle at St. Anna’s, Sons of Anarchy), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition, The Machinist), Zoe Bell (Grindhouse, Inglorious Basterds), and Oscar-nominee Bruce Dern (Monster, Nebraska). You can see the new trailer here on MADE. The Hateful Eight will be opening on big screens nationwide January 8, 2016, with a limited release happening this Christmas Day. Stay tuned!
Today the comic world will get the chance to redeem a classic comic film adaptation that was all but ruined with the original attempts 10 years ago with Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis. The all new Fantastic Four film from director Josh Trank (The Kill Point, Chronicle) is now playing in theaters, and fans everywhere are in high hopes that the new film will redeem the popularity of the series after a sequel to 2007’s Rise of the Silver Surfer never made it to the big screen. Making up the new group of heros are actors Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Divergent), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, That Awkward Moment), Kate Mara (Iron Man 2, Transcendence), and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong), with Reg E. Cathey (American Psycho, House of Cards), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Tim Blake Nelson (Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, Lincoln) joining the supporting cast. Director Trank wrote the screenplay for the new film with writers Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect), which sees the group of youngsters transported to an alternate dimension, strangely altering their physical compositions and providing them with abilities they will need to save the world from a former friend-turned-enemy after he followed them through the dimensional shift. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
Author Harper Lee pictured on-set with actress Mary Badham, who portrayed Scout in the film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck.
Celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Harper Lee, has remained quite dormant over the last 50 years of her life, ever since she gave her last interview in 1964 regarding her American literary classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The novel became one of the most powerful and important literary reflections of racism in our modern society, taking place in Depression-era Alabama amidst hard economic times and astronomical segregation laws and practices that would remain in place until the Civil Rights Movement nearly 30 years later. And now, during a time when racial tensions are once again dominating news headlines in this country, Lee will be publishing a long, lost manuscript that she wrote prior to the publication of Mockingbird, titled Go Set A Watchmen. The novel, whose pages ended up being the earliest draft for Mockingbird, follows Jean-Louise Finch (Scout) as a 26-year-old woman living in New York City who returns to her home in the South to confront her father, Atticus, about the issues and lifestyles that people deemed as appropriate and necessary during her childhood. Lee’s writings of the character’s childhood in the form of flashbacks in Watchman became her inspiration to tell the story of Mockingbird from the perspective of Scout as a child instead of an adult, and thus To Kill A Mockingbird was written and published. Much controversy has already been stirred at the news of Go Set A Watchman‘s publication, including concerns about how readers will react to Lee’s writing about the issues, questions as to whether or not Lee is coherent enough to give her permission for the novel’s publication (which reporters and friends and Lee, herself, says she is) and what the reaction will be to Lee’s further development/portrayal of such beloved characters, especially Atticus Finch. Nevertheless the novel will be available on bookshelves this July 14th, and pre-sales have already made the book a Bestseller. So if you are a fan of Harper Lee or of To Kill A Mockingbird, I would definitely put this on your ‘To-Read’ list.
Warner Bros. studios recently announced that director Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, J. Edgar) will be leading a new drama about Captain Chelsey Sullenberger and his miraculous and heroic landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River in 2009. Eastwood will be working with producers Frank Marshall (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future) and Allyn Stewart (Man of the House, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) from an adaptation of Sullenberger’s memoir Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters by screenwriter Todd Komarnicki (Elf, Meet Dave). Details as to who will be appearing in the film are still unavailable (likely seeing as the film was just announced) but we will be keeping an ear out for upcoming news. Stay tuned!
The first poster for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight.
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino went through a pretty big hassle some months back when the script to his upcoming Western, The Hateful Eight, was leaked online, but production seems to be going on without any disturbances and excitement is now buzzing around Hollywood about the new footage Tarantino displayed at the Cine Gear Expo last week using 70mm camera lenses. Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson (Inglorious Basterds, Shutter Island) wanted to present Hateful Eight in 2.78:1 ratio, and so have been working with older Panavision lenses to update the equipment to use on the film, and a total of 50 cinemas across the country are set to be fitted with the special lenses to display the film upon its release. The hope from Tarantino’s view is that the display will bring movie-goers back to the cinema for the visual experience that can’t be duplicated in a home theater system or any other setting. Principle photography is currently underway in Colorado, the story centered on a group of bounty hunters who become isolated in a winter-storm in post-Civil War Wyoming and must survive the weather, and each other. Appearing in the film are Tarantino veterans Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk), and Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill: Volume 2), plus Kurt Russell (The Thing, Grindhouse), Walton Goggins (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Road to Perdition, The Machinist), and Oscar-winner Bruce Dern (Monster, Nebraska). No official US release date has yet been scheduled, but we should see a trailer out relatively soon. Stay tuned!
Javier Bardem seems to be gaining a reputation in Hollywood as the go-to movie villain. His portrayal of bounty hunter Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008, and he also brought the most originality to a James Bond villain in Skyfall (2012) than audiences have seen since perhaps Robert Davi portrayed drug-lord Franz Sanchez in License To Kill (1989) opposite Timothy Dalton. But now there is word from The Wrap that Bardem may be taking the villain role in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will once again star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Keith Richards as Jack’s father Captain Teague. Actors Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom are also rumored to be returning to the franchise as Captain Barbosa and Will Turner, although this has not been officially confirmed. Bardem would be playing the ghost pirate Captain Brand, who is seeking a supernatural object that will aid him in his quest to get revenge on Sparrow for killing his brother. The new movie will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and is expected to begin filming this coming February in Australia (apparently after some reported incentives from the Australian government) and has received a new release date from Disney for July 7, 2017. That is still a very long way away, and even now Pirates of the Caribbean seems like a distant memory of the early 2000s, but maybe Disney will actually pull something decent out of their ever-growing well. I guess we’ll find out in a few years’ time.
We have been talking about this one for quite a long time, and now it’s finally here! The long awaited sequel to Frank Miller’s Sin City hits theaters this week, and the producers are eager to see the final numbers for the opening weekend that starts today (Friday, August 28)! Reviews for the film have not been overly satisfying; many have stated that the film is an entertaining watch that revives the stylized violence and cinematography of the original but lacks in a compelling overall story-line. Whatever the case, fans of the original or of Miller’s graphic novel will be flocking to the theaters this weekend, so if you are looking for something to fill in your schedule, I would definitely recommend going to see this one! Here again is the trailer if you need any further convincing. Enjoy!