Goodbye, 2012. Hello, 2013! Now that we can officially dub 2012 the year of “Argo,” it’s time to look to the future and revel in what the film industry will have to offer down the line.
Odds are “Ender’s Game” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” won’t be winning any Oscars, but the new promotional material unveiled for both does hint at some major potential. And for folks bummed about the news that James Franco likely won’t be back for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” don’t you worry because director Matt Reeves just recruited a pair of equally talented stars.
Ready for an Oscar rundown and updates on some of the hottest upcoming features? It’s all coming your way in the weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. 85th Academy Awards Winners: Long, not particularly funny, and more Tonys than Oscars, but, in the end, still a wonderful night of celebrating movies. After sweeping the large majority of awards season, “Argo” completed its run with a Best Picture win. As expected, Daniel Day-Lewis took home Oscar #3 for his performance in “Lincoln” while Jennifer Lawrence went from Best Actress nod to Best Actress win for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Best Supporting Actress went to frontrunner Anne Hathaway for “Les Misérables” while Christoph Waltz came out on top in the Best Supporting Actor race for “Django Unchained.” With Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck out of the running for Best Director, Steven Spielberg emerged as the likely winner, however, Ang Lee wound up snagging the statue, making “Life of Pi” his second Academy Award win. Head on over to Oscar.com to check out the full list of winners.
2. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” Gets Jason Clarke and Kodi Smit-McPhee: The “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” sequel may have lost James Franco, but it just picked up a pair of big names with top-notch talent. As reported by THR, “Zero Dark Thirty” star, Jason Clarke, is on board to lead “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” No word on who he’ll play, but according to the article, the sequel will pick up 15 years after the events of film one and center on a group of scientists trying to survive the ape takeover in San Francisco while Andy Serkis’ Caesar tries to keep control of his kingdom. In addition to Clarke, Deadline is reporting that “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” will also mark a reunion for director Matt Reeves and his “Let Me In” star, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Filming is expected to begin in the spring with the production heading towards a May 23, 2014 release date.
3. “Hunger Games” Victory Tour Posters: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is still nine months away, but Lionsgate is keeping the franchise in the spotlight, bridging the gap between films one and two with a strong and seemingly endless marketing campaign. However, rather than promote “Catching Fire,” the latest promos for the film put you in “Catching Fire;” it’s a poster advertising the Victory Tour, the District-by-District tour Katniss and Peeta must make as the victors of the 74th Hunger Games. Check out the first poster of Katniss and Peeta in front of a large Capitol-esque structure over at HitFix and then get a closer look at the duo in the second poster on the Capitol PN Facebook page.
4. “Ender’s Game” Army Logos and New Image: Promos are also surfacing for another November 2013 YA-to-film adaptation, Gavin Hood’s “Ender’s Game.” First came the quartet of logos from four different “Ender’s Game” fan sites. You can check out the Asp logo over at Ender’s Game Fan Site, Rat at Ender’s Ansible, Dragon at Ender’s News and, finally, Salamander at EnderWiggin.net. And, also from EnderWiggin.net, comes a brand new official still from the movie. While it doesn’t let us into the Battle Room, the shot does give us our first look at Ender’s Salamander Army teammate, Hailee Steinfeld’s Petra Arkanian, as well as the Battle Room scoreboard.
5. Megan Fox Back with Michael Bay for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:” After all that “Transformers” drama, who would’ve ever thought we’d see the day when Michael Bay and Megan Fox reunite? Well, it looks like Bay is over the fact that Fox once likened him to Hitler because Bay himself announced, “TMNT: We Are Bringing Megan Fox Back Into The Family.” As reported by THR, Fox is joining the live-action CG production as April O’Neil, the Ninja Turtles’ favorite human friend. Apparently Fox and Bay were able to put the past behind them, but, more so than anything, it was Jonathan Liebesman that enticed Fox to sign on after he “wowed her with the storyboards.”
6. No “Jurassic Park 4” for Kathleen Kennedy: Sure, Kathleen Kennedy must have her hands full acting as President of Lucasfilms and all, but how could she give up on “Jurassic Park 4?” A fan recently Tweeted at producer Frank Marshall, asking if Kennedy will return to produce the franchise’s fourth installment and Marshall replied, “No, Ms. Kennedy has moved onto Star Wars and will not be producing JP4. She’s traded raptors for TIE fighters.” Okay, I guess committing to just one epic franchise makes sense, but as an avid “JP” fan, it’s disappointing and even a little bit concerning that Kennedy won’t have a hand on the next installment.
7. David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence for “The Ends of the Earth:” Just last week we got word that David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence would reunite for the Abscam movie, but the two make such a dream team, just that isn’t enough. According to THR, the “Silver Linings Playbook” duo officially committed to come together again for the Weinstein Co. production, “The Ends of the Earth.” Based on a true story, the film hones in on an oil tycoon who loses everything after his affair goes public. The script comes from the pen of “Argo” scribe, Chris Terrio, so this really could be one to watch.
8. Christian Bale Takes on “Everest:” It could be a battle between Tom Hardy and Christian Bale to tackle Mount Everest. Hardy is set to star as Sir George Mallory in “Everest,” a film about Mallory’s effort to become the first to reach the top of the mountain in the 1920s,and now Deadline is reporting Bale is in talks to lead an Everest movie of his own. Should the deal go through, Bale would headline the Baltasar Kormakur-directed film about a devastating storm that took the lives of eight climbers back in 1996. It’s the same mountain, but these are two very different stories, so there certainly could be room for both.
9. Trailers: “Peeples,” “Gimme the Loot,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist:” With Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington on the roster, “Peeples” had potential. Trouble is, no matter what big names the Tyler Perry empire attracts, every single movie still feels like a Tyler Perry movie. If that’s your thing, the first trailer for “Peeples” could be a winner, but for everyone else, steer clear. On the other hand, the new trailer for “Gimme the Loot” presents the film as one of those pieces that’ll be very difficult to not enjoy. In a mere two minutes, we get to meet, know and come to like Malcom and Sofia, suggesting spending a full feature with the duo could be a pleasure. Last up we’ve got the trailer for the IFC release, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” The film features Riz Ahmed as a college graduate capable of achieving the American Dream whose future is decimated by being branded an enemy after 9/11. Despite the awkward title, the trailer ups the appeal big time, presenting Ahmed as a powerful leading man, capable of delivering an exceptionally engaging performance.
10. Box Office: As expected, the box office took quite the post-Valentine’s day hit. “Identity Thief” managed to reclaim the top spot with a 40.6% loss and a $14.1 million weekend three total. Good for Melissa McCarthy, not so much for the weekend’s new wide releases. “Snitch” was able to secure the second position with $13 million, but “Dark Skies” didn’t even crack the top five, only taking in $8.9 million on a $3,826 per theater average. “Escape From Planet Earth” benefited from being the only kid-friendly film, dropping just 30.7% for another $11 million while, as expected, “Safe Haven” lost appeal after the holiday, dipping 50.5% for a $10.6 million second weekend out. Even though it lost nearly 60% of its opening weekend profits, “A Good Day to Die Hard” still managed to hold strong enough to snag the #5 spot with $10 million even. (via Box Office Mojo)