Another week, another load of big casting updates to report!
We’ve got major moves happening on the villain front for both “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Tomorrowland.” “Guardians of the Galaxy” is also near to securing another cast member while news surfaced that the new “Star Wars” trilogy might have locked Harrison Ford to return as Han Solo.
Think those are big? Wait until you what else we’ve got coming your way in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Jennifer Lawrence Reteams with David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper: Looks like David O. Russell is eager to stick with a good thing, and who could blame him? As reported by Deadline, Russell just added “Silver Linings Playbook” star Jennifer Lawrence to the cast of his next feature, a piece formerly titled “American Bullshit.” The film also stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, so that marks reunions with Russell for Cooper, Bale and Adams, too. The Eric Singer-penned script is based on the true story of the Abscam FBI sting operation, an investigation that originally targeted the trafficking of stolen property, but lead to the conviction of a Untied States Senator and a number of other government officials.
2. “The Canyons,” Actually Coming to a Theater Near You: Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons” didn’t make it into Sundance or SXSW, but that’s not stopping it from hitting theaters. IFC Films has officially claimed the North American distribution rights to the very publically tumultuous production and aims to have it available on the big screen and on VOD this summer. They’re also planning a Special Presentation at the Film Society of Lincoln Center where the film will screen and be followed by a Q&A session with Schrader and the New York Film Festival’s Director of Programming, Kent Jones. “The Canyons” features porn star James Deen as a rich movie producer while Lindsay Lohan steps in as his unfaithful girlfriend. Clearly there’s some commercial appeal here, but from a content standpoint, the film’s promotional campaign has yet to put the piece in a desirable light.
3. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” Might Actually Happen: It’s taken years, but it looks as though “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” might finally go into production. As reported by THR, Disney and director David Fincher are preparing to film in Australia thanks to a generous tax incentive. The 30% location rebate isn’t set in stone just yet, but once it is, “20,000 Leagues” will finally get the green light. Trouble is, Fincher is still without a main man. Earlier reports claim the gig was going to Brad Pitt, but, according to The Playlist, that’s not the case. Apparently Channing Tatum is in the mix, but he wouldn’t be available to shoot until next year, which would pose a problem. Fincher is a busy guy, too, so, tax incentives or not, it still seems like scheduling could take the project back down. Then again, this update certainly brings it closer to go-time than ever.
4. Harrison Ford to Return as Han Solo: And so the “Star Wars” rumor mill continues to churn. Latino Review throws a big one our way this week, claiming that Harrison Ford is locked to return as Han Solo. It’s tough to accept anything as fact until it’s confirmed by a studio, but the news did drop in the midst of an interview Latino Reviews’ El Mayimbe did at FoxNewsLatino during which he talks at length about the integrity of his work, so I’m inclined to believe the guy, especially if he’s willing to risking such a big stain on his reputation.
5. Peter Dinklage is the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” Villain: We’ve got more big casting news brewing over at the X-Men franchise. According to Variety, Peter Dinklage is set to play the villain in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Director Bryan Singer also tweeted, “Officially like to welcome #PeterDinklage from #GameOfThrones to #XMEN #DaysofFuturePast Very very excited!” Of course there’s the chance the film will involve more than one bad guy, but Variety’s source is claiming that Dinklage is the primary villain.
6. Hugh Laurie is the “Tomorrowland” Villain: The villain talk continues with “Tomorrowland.” THR dropped the scoop on this one, claiming that Hugh Laurie signed on to play the film’s antagonist opposite leading man, George Clooney. The Brad Bird-directed film is being described as something along the lines of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” but Disney is being super tight-lipped about plot details, so that’s all we’ve got for now.
7. Best Picture Poster: Got some time to kill? Olly Moss unleashed a commemorative poster in honor of the 85th Academy Awards and it’s loaded with details worth ogling. The design is comprised of 85 Oscar statuettes, each one representing a different Best Picture winner. Oscar.com’s feature even puts the statues in slideshow format, showing you each design without the corresponding film title so you can try to figure it out for yourself before scrolling over to the reveal.
8. Jason Momoa for “Guardians of the Galaxy:” Back to big casting news for a “Guardians of the Galaxy” update. This one also comes from Latino Review, the outlet reporting that Jason Momoa recently flew out to London to screen test for the role of Drax the Destroyer. Apparently Isaiah Mustafa, Dave Bautista and Brian Patrick did the same, but Momoa’s session went so well that Marvel opted to offer him the role, putting him in the negotiation stage of the casting process.
9. Trailers: “The Internship,” “1D3D,” “Monsters University:” Looks like we’ve got another painfully lame commercial comedy coming our way this summer. The idea of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson going to work for Google sounded like it had potential, but, based on the film’s first trailer, “The Internship” will drown in unfunny and dated jokes. One Direction fans will likely be thrilled to death with the trailer for the band’s 3D movie, “1D3D,” but for those outside the group’s massive following, there might not be enough meat to the piece to entice you to give the boys a shot. More surprisingly, the first trailer for “Monsters University” is also a bit on the lackluster side. It’s exciting to get a glimpse of Mike and Sulley pre-Monster’s Inc., but this promo piece is too heavy on college gimmicks and light on stirring story details.
10. Box Office: Valentine’s Day managed to give the box office the spark it needed, leading to three $20 million+ performances. “A Good Day to Die Hard” topped the chart with a strong $25 million start while “Identity Thief” followed just behind with $23.4 million courtesy of a mere %32.2 weekend one to two drop. Newcomer “Safe Haven” came in just behind that, kicking off its run with $21.4 million and a $6,649 per theater average. “Escape From Planet Earth” shocked with a surprisingly strong opening performance, snagging $16.1 million and the 4th spot on the top ten while “Warm Bodies” banked on the romantic weekend, falling just 20.7% for another $9 million. Unfortunately for Warner Bros, “Beautiful Creatures” probably won’t become the next big young adult book-to-film franchise, the $60 million-budget movie only posting $7.5 million its first weekend out. (via Box Office Mojo)