Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Not into the obligatory big game celebration? No plans to talk about the event after the final whistle is blown? Your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet has your back, coming at you with movie industry highlights for after the grand finale of the football season comes and goes.
We’ve got the latest on the game-to-film adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s “Warcraft,” all the new additions to the SXSW lineup, the details of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” shooting schedule and casting process, and more. Scroll down for your must-know movie news of the past week.
1. Duncan Jones to Direct “Warcraft:” Sadly sure this video game-to-film adaptation would never make it to a green light, let alone production, it’s a pleasure to report that not only has the “Warcraft” movie found a director, but that director is Duncan Jones. According to THR, Jones has committed to make the jump from the minimalist indie, “Moon,” to the Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer, “Source Code,” to what should be a major tentpole for Legendary Pictures, something with a price tag well over $100 million. The studio is keeping Charles Leavitt’s script well concealed, but with filming expected to begin in the fall ahead of a 2015 release, plot or at least character details could wind up surfacing shortly.
2. SXSW Features Lineup: Sundance has come and gone and now we’re on to the next, SXSW. The festival fleshes out its lineup tease with the full slate including 109 feature films for 69 world premieres, 14 North American and five US premieres. The Brie Larson-starrer, “Short Term 12,” will play in the Narrative Feature Competition alongside Carlos Puga’s “Burma” featuring Christopher Abbott and Gaby Hoffmann. In the Narrative Spotlight we’ve got “The Bounceback,” a piece about love and revenge starring Marshall Allman, Sara Paxton and Ashley Bell, John Sayles’ “Go For Sisters” and Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” finds a place in the Festival Favorites category as does Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Don Jon’s Addiction” and David Gordon Green’s “Prince Avalanche.” Click here to check out the full features lineup.
3. Emily VanCamp is the “Captain America 2” Female Lead: With Hayley Atwell not reprising her role as Peggy Carter in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Chris Evans would need a new leading lady and, according to Deadline, Marvel Studios has locked Emily VanCamp for the gig. No word on her role, but there’s been rumblings that she could wind up portraying Sharon Carter, a character related to Peggy. Deadline also suggests that the Marvel movie overlap will continue and that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will make an appearance in the “Captain America” sequel.
4. “Entourage” Movie is Happening: After quite a bit of talk, the “Entourage” movie has earned a green light from Warner Bros. As reported by Deadline, series writer, director and executive producer Doug Ellin is set to direct the feature. Warner Bros is moving forward with making arrangements with the show’s stars, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven. The article also suggests that Rex Lee, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Scott Caan, Rhys Coiro, Beverly D’Angelo and even some real Hollywood talent could be in the mix as well.
5. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” Starts Filming This Month, Possibly with Paul Giamatti: With “The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s” May 2, 2014 release date just about a year and a half away, Marc Webb continues to load up his cast and prepare for production. According to On Location Vacations (via ComingSoon), principal photography is set to kick off in New York City on February 12th under the name “Untitled Columbia Pictures Project.” Webb and co. will continue working in Manhattan through the 26th, but no word on the plan for the shoot after that. Meanwhile, THR tracked down some major casting news. Apparently Jamie Foxx’s Electro isn’t the only villain in the sequel because Paul Giamatti is currently in talks to step in as The Rhino, a thug in a suit that makes him invulnerable and gives him super-strength and speed that’s adorned with a deadly horn. Felicity Jones is also in the midst of negotiations, but no word on the part she’s vying for.
6. Will Gluck to Direct “Annie” Without Willow Smith: The “broad-based re-imagining” of “Annie” is moving forward, but without Willow Smith. Overbrook Entertainment’s Miguel Melendez explained, “Willow was nine years old when we started developing this project, and has since grown out of the role.” However, both Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are still on board to produce through the shingle alongside Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. The team recruited “Fired Up” and “Easy A” director Will Gluck to helm the film. Emma Thompson penned the original screenplay, which was then rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna and will undergo additional revisions by Gluck. The story has roots in the musical stage play, Thomas Meehan’s book and “Little Orphan Annie,” but this version will take place in modern times. Sony Pictures Entertainment is eyeing a fall 2013 start date and a 2014 release. (via Deadline)
7. Julia Garner, Eva Green Join “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For:” The “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” cast continues to grow. We’ve already got Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Chung, Ray Liotta and Juno Temple, and now we can add Julia Garner and Eva Green to the list, too. Garner will join the production currently filming at Troublemaker Studios in Austin as a young stripper while Green takes the role of Ava Lord, “the film’s deadly muse.”
8. Ben Affleck Takes DGA Top Honors: Talk about sticking it to the Academy. After being snubbed a Best Director nod at the Academy Awards, “Argo” director Ben Affleck goes on to win the prize at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, the Golden Globes, and now from the Director’s Guild of America, too. So while Affleck make not even be in the running for the Best Director Oscar, all of his accolades could contribute to a Best Picture win. The DGA also honored Rian Johnson for his work on “Breaking Bad,” Jay Roach for “Game Change,” and Lena Dunham for “Girls.” Click here to check out the full list of DGA honorees.
9. Trailers: “Byzantium,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” Featurette, “World War Z” Super Bowl TV Spot: We’re a little light on trailers this week, but we’ve got one big one worth noting, the trailer for Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium.” The film features Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as a mother-daughter team of vampires. No sparkly, romantic cheesiness here. “Byzantium” looks to bring the vampire genre back to eerie, vicious, seductive territory. With room to spare in this week’s trailers section, we also bring you the new featurette for “Star Trek Into Darkness” and the Super Bowl ad for “World War Z.” While the TV spot doesn’t have much new footage to offer, it does make good use of the shorter running time, condensing the film’s trailer down to 30 seconds of swiftly paced, fast zombie mayhem. As for “Star Trek Into Darkness,” JJ Abrams uses the piece to convince you that “Into Darkness” is above and beyond the first film, using explosive footage and testimonials from his key cast joining to bring the point home.
10. Box Office: “Warm Bodies” gave the box office a nice jolt this weekend. The zombie romance ran away with the top spot, posting $19.5 million on a $6,482 per theater average its first weekend out. “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” trailed far behind, taking an expected 53.2% hit for a $9.2 million weekend two total. “Silver Linings Playbook,” on the other hand, continues to outpace its awards seasons contender, “Zero Dark Thirty.” While “Zero Dark Thirty” slipped 45.4% for $5.3 million and the 5th spot, “Silver Linings” held strong at #3, only dropping 14.1% for another $8.1 million haul. Nestling in in between the two is “Mama,” which took in another $6.7 million, bringing its domestic grand total to $58.3 million, more than enough to solidify the $15 million-budgeted film as a major financial success. (via Box Office Mojo)
By Perri Nemiroff
Ben Affleck at the DGA Awards