While we all strive to honor the heroes of September 11th, 2001, even 10 years later, it’s rather tough to hold strong and not let the intense emotion get the better of you. We’d like to express our respect and gratitude for all the noble souls fighting for this country and condolences to all of those mourning loved ones. Of course, as of tomorrow, another anniversary will have come and gone, and we’d like to help you push forward with a little movie news to brighten your week and hopefully make the effort to overcome that much more enjoyable.
We’ve got some stellar casting news to share involving Academy Award winners and nominees including Denzel Washington and John Malkovich, as well as information on Michael J. Fox’s latest effort to support Parkinson’s research. This Cheat Sheet also features some big news for Charlie Sheen, some hot new poster designs and an update from the Toronto International Film Festival.
Want the juicy details? Get them all in this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Warm Bodies Gets Four: Things are really heating up for Warm Bodies. The book-to-film adaptation has had Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer on board since about March, Rob Corddry signed on a little over a week ago and now director Jonathan Levine adds four more to his cast, one of which is an Academy Award nominee. As reported by Variety, John Malkovich is in talks to play General Grigio, Palmer’s character’s father and the leader of a surviving group of humans holed up in a sports arena. Also according to Variety, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco and Cory Hardrict are joining up as well. Franco’s just about to seal the deal to appear as Palmer’s boyfriend, Perry Kelvin, Tipton is in final negotiations for the role of Nora, Palmer’s best friend, and Hardrict is confirmed to play Kevin, a “dorky” friend of Palmer’s who “serves as Malkovich’s right-hand man.” Good casting all around, but the most interesting is certainly Hardrict’s character as he’s not in Isaac Marion’s book. While reading Warm Bodies, General Rosso, a much older and militaristic right-hand man to Malkovich’s character, always seemed like the first to be cut for the sake of a tighter big screen adaptation. However, I never expected they’d cut him only to replace him with a different character. Of course I don’t know if that’s what’s happening here, but if it is, perhaps Levine is narrowing his focus to a younger viewership or just throwing in a bit more comedy.
2. Marty McFly’s Shoes Auctioned Off for a Good Cause: Who wants Marty McFly’s shoes from Back to the Future Part II? Of course you do, but, do you have a couple thousand dollars to shell out for them? As of September 8th, Nike kicked off a campaign via eBay where they auction off 150 pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAGs a day for ten days. Of the shoes currently available, some are going for as much as $4,000. On the bright side, shipping is free and all the proceeds go to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Check out all the details on the effort from Fox himself right here. Cool kicks and a good cause? I’d say that’s money well spent.
3. Tom Hooper Gets Russell Crowe for Les Miserables: Director Tom Hooper isn’t ready for his Oscar high to end just set. Not only is his next big production due to hit theaters on December 7th, 2012, in prime Academy Award positioning, but his adaptation of Les Miserables also stars Hollywood heavyweights Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. Cameron Mackintosh, producer of the stage musical and this feature explained, “I could never have imagined that we would end up with the dream director Tom Hooper, and the dream cast of Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe as the two great protagonists Jean Valjean and Javert. Not only were they born to play these roles vocally, but they thrillingly inhabit this great score.” Les Miserables is set to go into production later this year, giving Jackman more than enough time to get this one in the can before tackling Wolverine 2. (via Deadline)
4. Contagion’s Bacteria Billboard: Sure, this may be downright disgusting, but who can argue with some incredibly creative marketing? Warner Bros. joined forces with a team of scientists to design a living advertisement for this weekend’s big release, Contagion. These poster-like displays are actually two giant petri dishes treated with bacteria and fungi. The effort began on August 28th and now, just in time for the Toronto Film Festival and Contagion’s opening weekend, these billboards have grown to show off the film’s title in as bold a way as ever. (via Giant Freakin Robot)
5. Denzel Washington Takes Flight for Robert Zemeckis: After helping put performance capture technology in the spotlight, director Robert Zemeckis is heading back to live-action land and he’s taking Denzel Washington with him. The Academy Award winners will team for Flight, the story of a commercial airline pilot named Whip (Washington) who saves 98 people by manning a damaged plane. While the world praises his heroism, Whip struggles through an investigation that delves into his questionable actions pre-flight. Production is set to kick off next month in Atlanta. (via Paramount Pictures)
6. Charlie Sheen Goes Big Screen with Roman Coppola: Charlie Sheen may have lost his TV gig, but there’s still room for the troubled star on the big screen. As reported by Variety, Sheen’s first post-Two and a Half Men gig will be Roman Coppola’s (Francis Ford Coppola’s son) A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III. Sheen will star alongside Jason Schwartzman in the piece, which focuses on a graphic designer whose fame and earnings help him win over the ladies. But, when his girlfriend gives him the boot, his life takes a turn for the worst. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s a little odd that the film rocks his name and a hint of his life, but perhaps that’s why Coppola thought of Sheen for the part.
7. Toronto International Film Festival: We’re just about halfway through the Toronto International Film Festival and we’ve already got a pretty big sale, Fox Searchlight snatching up the Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan-starrer Shame and setting it for a 2011 release. As reported by THR, both Summit and CBS Films are eyeing Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Meanwhile, Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt got slammed by The Playlist, which gave it a D+ and stated, “There are a few striking shots and the muted color palette during the dream sequences can work nicely, but some of the scenes that look like they belong in a DTV film.” Woody Harrelson took a beating as well, THR saying this about his new film Rampart: “The sheer repetitiveness of his evil dissipates whatever fascination this dirty cop provokes.” Even with a massive all-star cast including Leighton Meester, Allison Janney, Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt and more, The Oranges still got a harsh thumbs down from Variety, their review calling the film “an unpalatable confection whose sophomoric approach to its very adult subject is likely to leave some auds bewildered and others actively offended.” The festival doesn’t wrap until September 18th, so let’s hope there’s some better material to come.
8. Poster Round Up: With a few noteworthy posters hitting the web, a poster section was a must for this week’s countdown. First off, the new design for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is worth a look, highlighting our hero with some added numeric texture. We’ve also got the first poster for Jonah Hill’s The Sitter, which prompts viewers to actually call Hill to hire a sitter. Apparently the star is really taking calls, too. Here’s one for the Twilight fans – actually, two; we’ve got two brand new posters for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 one of which features Edward and Bella (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) doing their thing and the other shows off Jacob (Taylor Lautner) looking appropriately jealous. Lastly, we’ve got four brand new designs for A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, three of which are character posters for Harold (John Cho), Kumar (Kal Penn) and Neil Patrick Harris and one other that brings the whole gang together.
9. Trailers: Breaking Dawn Part 1, The Raid, The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence: Everyone freak out! There’s a new trailer out for Breaking Dawn Part 1. For some, this is meaningless, especially because this teaser is a mere 17 seconds long, but for the hardcore fans every little bit counts. At least it delves the slightest bit further into Bella’s baby drama. Speaking of freaking out, everyone seems to be going nuts over the Toronto contender The Raid and based on the film’s new trailer, it’s quite understandable. Packed with firepower and some wild kills, The Raid looks to be one heck of a tense and bloody ride. On the other hand, the new trailer for The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence is a good example of how not to exploit a film’s shock factor. While the first film blew audiences away – in good and bad ways – it still showed off quality filmmakers. However, it looks like the rash of attention might have gone to director Tom Six’s head here.
10. Box Office: Yes, it’s great that Contagion topped the box office, but with a cast that big and little to no competition, you’d expect the film to make more that $23.1 million. Let’s hope the film’s got some legs so it can creep closer to that $60 million budget without even needing its international intake. The Help took its first hard hit, still managing to hold onto the #2 spot, but dropping 40.5% and only taking in another $8.7 million. Warrior had a rough weekend, too, only posting about $5.6 million on a rather weak $3,000 per theater average. The Debt lost half of its week one profits, coming in with another $4.9 million this time around, which was just enough for it to stay on top of Columbiana, which wrapped its third weekend with another $4 million. (via Box Office Mojo)