Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
After nine years away, Jason Bourne is returning to the big screen in the fifth installment in the Bourne series. The new film is simply titled Jason Bourne and reunites original lead Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) with Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips). Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, Silver Linings Playbook) is also rejoining the cast as CIA operative Nicky Parsons. She and Damon will be joined on screen by an all-star cast, including Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) and Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, No Country For Old Men). Actors Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Nightcrawler), Ato Essandoh (Blood Diamond, Django Unchained), and Scott Sheperd (Side Effects, Bridge of Spies) are also starring in the new adventure that seeks to uncover the true history behind Bourne’s (aka David Webb) mysterious past. Continue reading →
With the summer movie calendar quickly drawing near, new trailers are starting to fill up television spots and the pre-feature trailers at the movie theaters in abundance. One such trailer is the second for the highly-anticipated Captain America: Civil War, which will open on big screens on May 6th, 2016. The new movie follows the story-line established with Avengers 2, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time finding the Avengers split between leading members Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), who disagree over new sanctions that the government wishes to install in order to monitor the team of heros and “prevent any further widespread damage or casualties” as a result of their efforts. As expected, the movie is loaded with the all-star cast of familiar faces, including Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Hail! Caesar) and Jeremy Renner (American Hustle, The Bourne Legacy). Continue reading →
Tom Cruise (Top Gun, War of the Worlds) is back on the big screen this week in yet another outing as Impossible Mission Force leader Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. This is the fifth installment in the MI series that started back in 1996 with director Brian De Palma (Scarface, The Untouchables) and screenwriter David Koepp‘s (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man) big screen adaptation of the popular TV series. Since then directors like John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and Brad Bird have stepped in to helm additional sequels, and now Rogue Nation is playing in theaters nationwide from Oscar-winning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Jack Reacher). Joining Cruise in the supporting cast are actors Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen, Hercules), and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Con Air). This time out Hunt and company must take on the Syndicate, a rogue international group of special agents that are out to kill all the members of IMF. Reviews have been pretty positive thus far; fans of the series report lots of action, but you don’t need to have seen the previous films necessarily to enjoy it. Anyway, check it out on the big screen today!
Director Paul Greengrass (left) collaborating with Matt Damon (right).
Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, The Departed) stole the screen as Jason Bourne in the fast-paced spy series from author Robert Ludlum that began with The Bourne Identity in 2002 and ended (for Damon) with The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. After that Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, American Hustle) stepped in to portray a new character in the Bourne-universe for director Tony Gilroy in The Bourne Legacy, which received mixed reviews from both critics and fans. But now Damon and Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) are both returning to the series for a fifth installment, thus far only known as Bourne 5. Julia Stiles (The Omen, Silver Linings Playbook) will also be returning for the new movie, joining new-comers Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate, Ex Machina) and Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, A History of Violence) as the new villain. Details for the new story are not yet available, and further casting news is likely still forthcoming, so we’ll keep you posted with further updates.
At last we have the first big blockbuster release for 2015. Avengers: Age of Ultron is now playing in theaters nationwide, and with the huge success the film saw during its European release two weeks ago, it should be an even bigger hit here in the US. Robert Downey Jr (Good Night and Good Luck, The Judge), Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger, Unstoppable), Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, The Spirit), Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World, Rush), Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island, Now You See Me), Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, American Hustle), and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Django: Unchained) are all back to reprise their roles as the Avengers, with Golden Globe nominee James Spader (The Blacklist, Lincoln) providing the voice of Ultron. Oscar-nominated writer/director Joss Whedon (Toy Story, The Avengers) also returned to lead the project. Here’s the trailer one more time, now go see it on the big screen!!
The follow-up to 2012’s Avengers (excluding solo projects we’ve seen released in-between like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man 3) is coming to theaters this May 1st. Reuniting for the film are actors Robert Downey Jr. (The Soloist, The Judge), Scarlett Johansson (We Bought A Zoo, Lucy), Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World, Rush), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Snowpiercer), Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shutter Island), and Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, American Hustle) as the Avengers, who this time out must join forces against the evil Ultron, who emerges with the intent of carrying out his destructive plans over planet Earth. Also back to write the script and direct the film is Oscar-nominee Joss Whedon (Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods), as well as supporting cast members Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane), Cobie Smulders (Delivery Man, The Lego Movie), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Thor: The Dark World), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2, Godzilla). You can see the trailer here on MADE; the original Avengers movie grossed more than $200 million in the opening weekend, so we’ll be sure to watch if this sequel can break that record.
Twentieth Century Fox recently moved their upcoming sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from July 2016 to the next July in 2017. With this move, the vacated release-spot has been filled by Universal Pictures, moving their upcoming Jason Bourne sequel that will reunite Matt Damon (The Departed, Interstellar) with director Paul Greengrass (Green Zone, Captain Phillips) into this date instead. This will push the Bourne release back by a couple of weeks, but also provide virtually no competition for that opening weekend, so it could turn out to be a really profitable switch. Damon and Greengrass are currently writing the screenplay for the film with producer Christopher Rouse, but there is no word yet as to whether or not the movie will follow the previous installment, The Bourne Legacy, with series newcomer Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, American Hustle). The Bourne Legacy was directed by series screenwriter Tony Gilroy, taking over for Greengrass who directed Damon in both the preceding movies The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), but now Greengrass is back on board to direct and Gilroy has, as of now, fallen away from the series. Stay tuned for more news.
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!
Although Jeremy Renner did a pretty good job expanding our insight into the Jason Bourne universe as fellow Treadstone agent Aaron Cross, The Bourne Legacy was still lacking in the excitement and suspense that Paul Greengrass brought to The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum films with veteran actor Matt Damon. But now news from Deadline reports that Greengrass and Damon will be reuniting for a fourth installment in the original Jason Bourne storyline from Universal Pictures, and the release date for the film will now take the place of the planned sequel to Renner’s Bourne Legacy (July 2016). There is no official news release on the new plotline, but the rumors about what it could be are already starting to hit the web, with a lot of speculation as to whether Renner’s Aaron Cross and Damon’s Bourne will cross paths or if the film will only focus on Bourne. In The Bourne Legacy we saw how Renner’s story was running parallel to Jason Bourne’s expeditions in The Bourne Ultimatum, but whether or not Greengrass will want to cross the two plots is, again, still uncertain. Since Ultimatum was released (and Damon refused to make another Bourne unless Greengrass was signed on to direct), the two filmmakers have worked on a number of projects, with Greengrass releasing Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks last year, and Damon appearing in films like Contagion, Elysium, and The Monuments Men, the two did work together on Green Zone in 2010, so it only seems appropriate that they should be reunited under the Bourne banner once again. Damon is scheduled to begin filming The Martian with director Ridley Scott by the end of this year for a November 2015 release, and will also make an uncredited cameo in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar at the end of this year. We’ll keep an eye out for more updates.