It really is the most wonderful time of year. We kick off the month of December with a Movie News Cheat Sheet packed with only positive and happy news!
“Les Misérables” fans will be thrilled with the group of clips that just hit the net, showing off tunes sung by Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and more. The Hugh Jackman support continues with news that he could bring Wolverine to the “X-Men: First Class” sequel, “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
With awards season and the Sundance Film Festival on the horizon, it’s all love and praise for the best of the best independent filmmakers have to offer, “Silver Linings Playbook” with a total of five Spirit Award nominations and films like “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “The Lifeguard” and more all making their world premiere in Park City in January.
Read about the Spirit Award nominees, the Sundance films and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. “Les Misérables” Clips: “Les Misérables” is still a few weeks away, but the marketing campaign is in full swing, Universal unveiling five clips from the highly anticipated film. First up is Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne’s magical moment singing “A Heart Full of Love.” The second one gives us a new look at our main man, Hugh Jackman, singing “Who Am I” while the third introduces the film’s Éponine, newcomer Samantha Barks singing “On My Own.” In clip #4 Russell Crowe’s Javert does a number about Jean Valjean’s release and the strict restrictions of his parole. Last up is Anne Hathaway as Fantine singing “At the End of the Day” alongside her rather ruthless coworkers at Valjean’s factory.
2. Sundance Films Announced: The Sundance Film Festival is right around the corner and the Sundance Institute has unveiled quite the lineup for the event. Notable entries in the US Dramatic Competition include Jill Soloway’s “Afternoon Delight” featuring Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor and Jane Lynch. We’ve also got the Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster-starrer “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and Lake Bell’s feature directorial debut, “In a World …” The film detailing Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs’ time at Columbia University in the 1940s, “Kill Your Darlings,” is due to screen, as is James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now.” The festival’s Spotlight segment will feature Sarah Polley’s latest, the documentary “Stories We Tell” as well as “Mud” with Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Reese Witherspoon. “Hell Baby” starring Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb will screen in Park City at Midnight as will the “VHS” sequel, “S-VHS.” Head on over to the Sundance website for the full list of films.
3. Wolverine May Join “X-Men: Days of Future Past:” “X-Men: First Class” may have earned a sequel, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little more Wolverine to spice it up. According to THR, Hugh Jackman is currently in negotiations to join “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which is the “First Class” sequel, but will highlight actors for the original trilogy. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are due back as Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto as are their younger counterparts, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. The plot of “Days of Future Past” comes from two issues of “Uncanny X-Men,” some of which takes place in an alternate future where most mutants have been hunted and killed, and the remaining ones are forced to live in concentration camps. The present day material shows what the X-Men try to do to change that future.
4. “Guardians of the Galaxy” Cast Short List: Marvel has possibly zeroed in on James Gunn to direct so now it’s on to casting Peter Quill, the main man of the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” According to Deadline, the studio has a short list including Joel Edgerton, Jack Huston, Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace and Eddie Redmayne. While all are up for the role, Deadline notes that there might be additional actors in the running, as there have been rumblings about Garrett Hedlund, James Marsden and Sullivan Stapleton, too. I know little to nothing about “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but this is a pretty wide range of talent here. A Peter Quill played by Redmayne would likely be wildly different from one played by Edgerton.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Batman: HitFix dropped a big bomb this week, claiming Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Batman in “Justice League.” However, Gordon-Levitt’s reps shot back strong telling Hollywood.com that the claim isn’t true. HitFix responded by adding a little something to the original article, noting that reps do tend to deny things that aren’t ready to be made public, but “We remain confident in our sources and our reporting, and look forward to further developments.” I’m going with HitFix on this one. The post-credit “Dark Knight Rises” ending has to mean something’s coming.
6. Independent Spirit Award Nominees: The Independent Spirit Awards could wind up being the night of “Silver Linings Playbook.” The film snagged five nominations including Best Feature, Best Director for David O. Russell, Best Female Lead for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Male Lead for Bradley Cooper and Best Screenplay. As much as I’d like to see little Quvenzhane Wallis of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” walk off with Best Female Lead honor, Lawrence has got to be the frontrunner. “Fill the Void,” “Gimme the Loot,” “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Sound of My Voice” and “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” will all duke it out for the Best First Feature honor while it’s “Fill the Void,” “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Robot & Frank,” “Celeste & Jesse Forever” and “Gayby” going for Best First Screenplay. Click here to check out the full list of nominees.
7. Top Three for “Cinderella:” Disney is hard at work on a new “Cinderella” movie and is hoping to use it to turn one lucky young actress into a star. Should Alicia Vikander or Gabriella Wilde win the role, it could certainly give their careers quite the boost, but Saoirse Ronan is also in the running and it’s quite obvious that she’s sitting pretty, “Cinderella” or no “Cinderella.” Director Mark Romanek already has Cate Blanchett in negotiations for the role of the evil stepmother and, as Variety points out, she and Ronan were close to collaborating on Disney’s “Order of the Seven,” but Universal and Relativity got to Snow White first with “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Mirror Mirror,” respectively. Apparently Ronan’s attachment to “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Mary Queen of Scots” could keep her from fitting “Cinderella” into her schedule, but apparently both Vikander and Wilde are ones to watch, so they could be solid options as well.
8. “Pacific Rim” Viral Marketing Campaign Underway: The “Pacific Rim” viral campaign kicked off and kicked off strong, first unveiling a brand new website, Pan Pacific Defense, which led to the film’s first viral video, a test of the Kaiju Emergency Alert System. The Kaiju himself wasn’t far behind, this mock news report of a Kaiju devastating San Francisco turning up next. But have no fear, the Jaeger robot is here! Pan Pacific Defense also has several wildly detailed blueprints of the human-piloted Jaeger robots meant to defend people from the Kaiju.
9. Trailers: “Black Rock,” “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” “Warm Bodies:” It doesn’t matter how many times the ladies of “Black Rock” tell each other how awesome their weekend away will be; there will still be three ruthless guys on the island ready to ruin it. It also doesn’t matter that the film’s trailer is somewhat enthralling and intriguing; its lackluster Sundance buzz will still be there to ruin that. A new trailer offers a glimpse of “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” and proves that the inside of the mind of Charles Swan III is colorful, but a strange, strange place. Cowboys, Indians, a car with eggs and bacon on it, the Secret Society of Ball Busters – maybe it’ll all make more sense in context. We’ve also got a brand new 60-second trailer for “Warm Bodies” and not only is yours truly in it (or at least a teeny tiny speck of yours truly), but it proves this one might be much more than your average surface value supernatural romance, as it maintains the tone but offers a fresher perspective.
10. Box Office: Moviegoers spread the wealth at the box office this weekend. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” stayed on top with a $17.4 million weekend three haul, but the rest weren’t far behind, particularly “Skyfall,” which nearly caught “Breaking Dawn” with a $17 million total. “Lincoln” nestled in at #3 with $13.509 million while “Rise of the Guardians” came in just behind with $13 million flat. “Life of Pi” rounds out the top five with a 46.6% loss and $12 million for its second weekend out. Newcomers “Killing Them Softly” and “The Collection” didn’t make much of a dent, the former only accumulating $7 million on a mere $2,888 per theater average and the latter with just $3.4 million and $2,430 per theater. (via Box Office Mojo)