How about some pretty pictures to take back to the office for this short and sweet work week? Bane and Batman make an official showing on the cover of the upcoming edition of Empire magazine while Marvel gives its Avengers the spotlight in two massive character banners.
Over in the casting department, The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal is going big screen for Ric Roman Waugh’s Snitch and there’s a good shot that Hugo‘s Asa Butterfield could lead the adaptation of Ender’s Game. There’s also some casting drama surrounding Tyler Perry’s latest, courtesy of the recently married and recently discovered Kim Kardashian’s role in The Marriage Counselor.
Lionsgate gives Hunger Games fans something to be thankful for come Thursday via the spectacular new theatrical trailer and news of Simon Beaufoy potentially penning the sequel, Catching Fire.
Thanksgiving vacation can’t come soon enough? Check out this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet for the details on all of these stories and much more to keep you entertained as you sail through the work week to turkey day.
1. Bane and Batman on the Cover of Empire: Enough of all of this amateur unofficial photography; it’s time to get a real look at both Bane and Batman. The upcoming issue of Empire magazine will rock two covers, one featuring The Dark Knight himself and another showing off his archenemy in the third installment, Bane. We’ve already seen the Christopher Nolan-style Batman (Christian Bale) two times over so, of the two covers, Tom Hardy’s is far more striking. Then again, that excitement most certainly doesn’t revolve around Hardy as it could be just about anyone under that getup at this point. We’ve still got a ways to go until we really see Hardy in action when The Dark Knight Rises arrives on July 20th, 2012, but Empire has plans to release more material later this week before the new magazine hits stands on Thursday.
2. No More U.N.C.L.E. for Steven Soderbergh: After an extensive casting process, it looks as though Steven Soderbergh is exiting The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Soderbergh had been hard at work on the project with writer Scott Z. Burns since early 2010, but, according to The Playlist, Soderbergh is stepping down as director due to casting and budget disagreements with Warner Bros. The studio was willing to shell out $60 million for what should be the first of a three-film series, but Soderbergh didn’t think the cash would cover the cost of putting together a 1960s spy film that takes place on four continents. With filming set to begin in March, it looks as though Warner Bros. will have no choice but to push back the start date as the studio is basically back to square one on this one all over again.
3. Ender’s Game Might Get Asa Butterfield: To be entirely honest, I couldn’t care less whether we get an Ender’s Game adaptation or not as I’ve yet to check out the books, but now that Hugo’s Asa Butterfield has been offered the lead role in the Odd Lot Entertainment production, I might have to start reading. The story takes place after an alien attack. Butterfield’s character is part of a group of gifted children recruited by the government to train to fight the invaders. Turns out, he’s a genius strategist and might have the answer to defeating the Formic race. Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman are producing this one with Summit Entertainment set to release the film on March 15th, 2013. Should Butterfield accept the role, and Deadline suspects he will, he’ll get behind the lens for X-Men Origins: Wolverine director Gavin Hood.
4. Tyler Perry Defends his Casting of Kim Kardashian: Perhaps Kim Kardashian’s short-lived marriage says something about her ability to maintain a relationship and/or her respect for her massive following, but that doesn’t mean she can’t act. Then again, Disaster Movie kind of does. Regardless, Tyler Perry is here to ensure that giving the reality star a role in his upcoming film The Marriage Counselor was the right decision. On his official website, Perry’s lengthy message purports he’d decided to cast Kardashian long before the marriage debacle, insisting she was the right choice because she was a role model for young girls. Well, I can’t say I agree with that, but Perry went on to say, “I thought and still do think, that it would be very responsible of her to be a part of this film. To have the young people that look up to her, see her in a film that is about, what happens in life when you make the wrong choices.” Click here to read Perry’s post in its entirety and be sure to check out the slew of passionate and sometimes rather harsh comments from his fans and followers.
5. Avengers Character Posters: Sure, the arrival of the Avengers trailer was quite exciting, but that doesn’t mean we’ve completely forgotten about the film’s lackluster poster collection. Really, the only official design we have arrived way back in July and merely showed off The Avengers’ logo. But now, courtesy of both Yahoo! and Moviefone, we’ve got not one, but two new designs to ogle and, odds are, those two designs will be chopped into five separate images, making ten character posters in total. We’ve got Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) all rocking out their weaponry. Well, all accept Banner who’s in human form, but quite appropriately has a bit of a green hue on his face.
6. Simon Beaufoy Might Pen Catching Fire: The Hunger Games still hasn’t hit theaters, but, come on, look at the madness that ensued when the film’s trailer debuted; we’re getting a sequel. Should Catching Fire go into production, it could be with a script from the pen of an Academy Award winner. As reported by Deadline, Lionsgate wants Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy to write Catching Fire, which is based on the second book of Suzanne Collins’ three-book series. The report also claims that Hunger Games director Gary Ross is likely to get back behind the lens for round two. Catching Fire still doesn’t have a start date, but with the franchise being Lionsgate’s hottest commodity, the studio is most certainly making it a top priority.
7. The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal to Crossover to the Big Screen: While the fate of The Walking Dead’s Shane Walsh is rather up the air, actor Jon Bernthal is busy making moves in Hollywood. Deadline reports that Bernthal will join Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in the Ric Roman Waugh-directed action drama Snitch. The Summit Entertainment production focuses on a construction company owner (Johnson) who resorts to becoming a DEA snitch in an effort to cut his son’s prison sentence short. Johnson’s character uses an ex-con employee (Bernthal) to get an in with an underground drug dealer. Shooting is set to kick off in Louisiana next month.
8. Fifteen for Best Documentary: We’ve got another category rundown from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, this time for Documentary Feature. Battle for Brooklyn, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Jane’s Journey, The Loving Story, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Pina, Project Nim, Semper Fi: Always Faithful, Sing Your Song, Undefeated, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat and We Were Here have all entered the next phase of voting after being selected by The Documentary Branch Screening Committee in the preliminary round from a selection of 124 films. As I haven’t seen the majority of the bunch, it’s tough to pass judgment, but, based on the ones I have caught, Project Nim is most certainly leading the pack. The 84th Academy Awards nominees will be announced on Tuesday, January 24th and the Oscars will be dolled out on February 26th at the Kodak Theatre. (via Oscars.org)
9. Trailers: The Hunger Games, Gone, The Vow, Brave: Really, The Hunger Games could have carried this week’s Trailers section all on its own. It looks like Lionsgate and Gary Ross are doing the incredible amount of hype surrounding this book-to-film adaptation some justice, as the film’s full trailer is receiving praise across the board. Not only is it thrilling for fans to see their favorite characters come to life exactly as they imaged, but, even for those unfamiliar with Suzanne Collins’ work, this trailer suggests The Hunger Games will be oozing with eye candy, action and, most importantly, heart. Hot on the heels of In Time, Amanda Seyfried is back on the big screen in the trailer for her psychological thriller, Gone. The video is a bit on the melodramatic side, but with Wes Bentley and Jennifer Carpenter by her side, Seyfried should be able to deliver. On the more romantic side, the second trailer for the Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams-starrer The Vow has arrived and it’s just as heartbreaking as the last. Last up we’ve got the latest from Pixar, the first full trailer for Brave. Sure, it’s tough to imagine the studio delivering a dud, but so far, Brave is without Pixar’s signature spark.
10. Box Office: Twilight, Twilight, Twilight and more Twilight. The franchise has done it again, amassing a monumental amount of cash its first weekend out. No, it didn’t manage to dethrone New Moon’s $142.7 million weekend one haul, but Breaking Dawn’s $139.5 million total is still quite exceptional. Naturally, that left a pretty big gap between the top two earners, Happy Feet Two coming in at a distant second with $22 million, just half of the opening weekend earnings of the original. Taking a tough 62% hit, Immortals falls to #3 with another $12.3 million while Jack and Jill tumbles 52% for $12 million its second weekend out. Rounding out the top five is Puss in Boots, which took its hardest hit yet, 56.6%, leaving it with just $10.7 million for weekend four. (via Box Office Mojo)