Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Did the Giants win yet?
While you’re all downing all of the beer, pigs in a blanket and football you can, I’m here to make sure you’ve got your weekly dose of movies news here waiting for you when you’re ready. Let’s face it, there’s just so long the Super Bowl will sustain a conversation at school or work this week. Well, unless the Giants really do win and you’re from New York like myself.
Anyway, on the table this week is the return of James Wan’s Insidious as well as some casting updates for the remake of Evil Dead. Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton all make the casting bulletin as well, Davis for picking up two new projects including Ender’s Game, and Chastain and Edgerton signing on for the two-feature package, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
We’ve also got a special trailers section for you this week, one brimming with Super Bowl movie spots. John Carter, The Avengers, The Hunger Games and more; which one do you think was worth the money it cost to snag the coveted airtime?
Check out all those spots and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Insidious Round Two: If you caught my top ten of 2011, it’s pretty clear that I’m a big proponent of Insidious, so I’m beyond thrilled to report that a sequel is in the works. According to THR, director James Wan, writer Leigh Whannell and producer Jason Blum are all coming back for more after Insidious went on to earn just under $100 million worldwide on a mere $1.5 million budget. Without spoiling anything, it’s hard to imagine the team could continue on with the characters from the first film, but, then again, who could argue with Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne coming back for more? As much as I love Insidious, I must admit that the third act of the film isn’t as tight as it could be, which, on the bright side, does leave a little more to be explored in a sequel. Perhaps we could delve deeper into The Further this time around.
2. Two for Evil Dead Remake: Writer-director Fede Alvarez lost one for his remake of the 1981 cult classic Evil Dead, but gained two. After Lily Collins bowed out due to scheduling conflicts, the project picked up Red Riding Hood and Skateland’s Shiloh Fernandez. According to Variety, Fernandez snagged the role that was “highly sought after by young actors” in the remake about a group of friends who come across a Book of the Dead while at a remote cabin in the woods. As reported by Deadline, Suburgatory’s Jane Levy will join Fernandez, filling the role left vacant by Collins. Her character is named Mia and is the one that comes closest to 1981’s Ash, minus the fact that she’s recovering from a recent overdose. Perhaps that’s an attempt at modernizing the original?
3. Viola Davis Boards Ender’s Game: Watch out world; Viola Davis is taking over! Hot off her Screen Actors Guild Award win for Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Leading Role, Davis signs on for not one, but two new projects. She’ll get in front of the lens for Richard LaGravenese in Beautiful Creatures, a piece about a pair of teens troubled by a curse that’s haunted the young girl’s family for years. Davis steps in as a friend of the teen boy’s mother who becomes somewhat of a second mother to him when his passes away. While Beautiful Creatures could certainly turn out to be a hit, the big one on Davis’ plate now is definitely Ender’s Game. According to Variety, Davis is set to play a military psychologist and the individual responsible for overseeing the wellbeing of the trainees at Battle School. No, there’s no military psychologist in Orson Scott Card’s book, but this new role could have quite the presence considering Variety also mentions she “helps design the games that test their skills and resilience.” Perhaps that fantasy game that plays such a pivotal role in Ender’s training, going incredibly deep into his mind and memories? Adding this kind of character can also be helpful in terms of making Ender’s Game a little more digestible. A kid only six years old doing what Ender does in this story? It can be a bit of a stretch. Adding a mom-like figure to the equation could soften the environment at Battle School quite a bit.
4. Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton Go for Eleanor Rigby x 2: Also taking on two projects at once is Davis’ The Help co-star, Jessica Chastain, and Joel Edgerton. According to THR, the duo signed on the dotted line to star in Myriad Pictures’ The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers. Ned Benson penned the double feature and will direct the films about a New York City restaurant owner and his wife who’s gone back to college, and their relationship troubles. The project first goes out to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin. Myriad CEO Kirk D’Amico explained, “We have to make both films work on their own, both for the buyers but also for the audiences. Together, these films will describe a fully, more complete look at these characters and their lives.”
5. SXSW Lineup: Been considering a trip to Austin for SXSW Film 2012? This lineup might be the nudge you need to get moving on solidifying those plans. SXSW’s got a total of 130 features, which includes 65 world premieres. 21 Jump Street has been named the event’s Centerpiece Film and Emmett Malloy’s Big Easy Express will have the honor of closing SXSW on March 17th. Some lineup highlights include Headliners The Cabin in the Woods and the Willem Dafoe-starrer The Hunter while the Narrative Spotlight category’s got Matthew Lillard’s Fat Kid Rules The World and Jay and Mark Duplass’ The Do-Deca-Pentathalon. Electrick Children with Rory Culkin and Francine with Melissa Leo both find themselves in the Emerging Visions section while God Bless America and The Raid both landed in the Festival Favorites category. And this is only scratching the surface of SXSW 2012. Click right here to check out the full list of films.
6. Katy Perry’s Up Next for a 3D Concert Movie: After Glee The 3D Concert Movie barely made $6 million opening weekend, it seemed like the whole 3D concert movie shtick would fizzle out. However, according to Deadline, Paramount is set to give Katy Perry her very own 3D feature. In fact, it’s already been shot by director Nanette Burstein. Apparently Imagine Entertainment and AEG filmed with 3D cameras during Perry’s performances last year. They’ve got tons of concert footage, but the movie is designed to be more of biopic, focusing on her childhood and transition into stardom. The piece is due to hit theaters this summer, in June or July.
7. Nick Cannon to Direct: I used to think Nick Cannon was cool, but ever since he started hosting America’s Got Talent, it’s been a little tough to be happy for the guy when he makes career advancements. Then again, there is certainly no guarantee this one will be an advancement. According to the New York Post, Cannon is joining forces with Lionsgate to make something he called, ‘today’s version of House Party.’ Cannon goes on to explain, ‘[I’m] taking a lot of the young hip-hop acts of today and putting them in a movie with a bunch of comedians, make something happen there.’ While I’ve never seen any of the titles Cannon’s got directing credits on and, as mentioned, the guy irks me a bit, I’d still like to bet he could pull this off. On top of his successful hosting career, he can act and certainly knows his way around a set with quite a few producing credits to his name. Nick Cannon the next big director? Probably not, but I could see a $20 million first quarter opening weekend in his future.
8. New Images: How about some fresh looks at a bunch of upcoming potential hits? EW just posted their “25 Movies We Can’t Wait to See” list and the slideshow comes packed with new stills. We’ve got a bruised and battered, but still quite fit John Carter and a shot of Alexander Skarsgard representing Battleship’s slot. Will Smith and Josh Brolin are riding some sort of futuristic motorcycle in Men in Black 3 and Benjamin Walker is checking out his axe in a still from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Colin Farrell finds himself in some trouble in an image from the new Total Recall, but Daniel Craig is looking calm and quite suave in Skyfall. Want to take a look for yourself? Click here to check out EW’s entire slideshow.
9. Trailers: Super Bowl Special: Sure, the Super Bowl is still underway, but just about all of the commercials from the film industry hit the web way before the big game, or at least commercial teasers. The Dictator is definitely one of the more amusing of the bunch thanks to a simple line of dialogue, “Hey, America. I just bought NBC. I know the final score.” As for The Avengers, Battleship, John Carter and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, they’re all duking it out in the action department, trying to one up each other with the hottest fight sequences and visual effects. The only one we can really judge thus far is G.I. Joe Retaliation because it’s the only one of the bunch that’s crossed over from commercial teaser to full fledge TV spot. So, the judgment? Looks like a blast, but that’s coming from someone who thoroughly enjoyed the first G.I. Joe film. Last up is something that’s straddling the line between Super Bowl spot and trailer, The Hunger Games. What’s being called the film’s second theatrical trailer actually just aired on NBC and, sure enough, it looks even better on a bigger screen than on my laptop. Lionsgate is clearly handling this one with care and it shows; not only does the material we’ve seen thus far look fantastic, but the promotional campaign itself has been particularly fulfilling and well-structured.
10. Box Office: There was quite the battle at the box office this weekend. Chronicle barely edged out The Woman in Black for the top spot, posting a total of $22 million compared to The Woman in Black’s $21 million weekend one haul. The Grey lost about half of its week one profits, taking another $9.5 million to the bank. Big Miracle saw a lackluster debut, only taking $8.5 million with a per theater average of just under $4,000. Rounding out the top ten is Underworld: Awakening, which took another tough hit, losing 54.7% of its weekend two profits after having lost 51.2% of its weekend one earnings. Still, another $5.6 million brings its worldwide total to $108.3 million, putting it well over its $70 million budget. (via Box Office Mojo)