We’re currently knee-deep in the New York Film Festival and while a number of entries there are bound to have a lucrative award season, there’s three high profile projects that could be out of the running entirely.
Meanwhile, Neill Blomkamp continues to load up the cast of his next sci-fi endeavor, “Chappie,” while both Roland Emmerich and Colin Trevorrow are making early moves to lock in big names for the “Independence Day” sequel and “Jurassic World,” respectively.
Want to know who’s in, who’s out, and who still has a fighting chance? It’s all right here in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Neill Blomkamp Gets Hugh Jackman for “Chappie:” While at a press conference at the Zurich Film Festival, Hugh Jackman revealed that he’s locked a role in Neill Blomkamp’s “Elysium” follow-up, “Chappie.” Via Screen Daily, Jackman explained, “… we shoot in Johannesburg. I’m there for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next year.” The film focuses on a robot (voiced by Sharlto Copley) who’s stolen by a pair of criminals (Ninja and Yolandi Visser of Die Antwood) that attempt to reprogram him to perform illegal activities. Bleeding Cool claims that Jackman will step in as “a CEO who ends up on the wrong side of the gangsters. He’s apparently quite a resourceful character, though.”
2. First Look at Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods:” Our first official look at Meryl Streep as the Witch in Rob Marshall’s adaptation of “Into the Woods” has arrived. Penned by the scribe behind the “Into the Woods” musical, James Lapine, the film version hones in on a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt) and chronicles their journey through the woods during which they encounter a number of classic fairy tale characters including Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel and more. If you do a little Googling, it shouldn’t be too difficult to track down candid shots of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella and Chris Pine as her prince. (via Walt Disney Pictures)
3. Bryce Dallas Howard in Talks for “Jurassic World:” Now that the new release date and title hype has died down, director Colin Trevorrow is jumping into the casting process for “Jurassic World.” As reported by The Wrap, the first potential star to receive an offer is Bryce Dallas Howard. The actress is currently in early negotiations for a part in the franchise’s fourth installment, which is due in theaters on June 12, 2015. According to Variety, there’s one more key role to be cast before “Jurassic World” can officially enter pre-production.
4. Michael B. Jordan in Consideration for “Independence Day” Sequel: It looks as though Roland Emmerich could be inching closer to locking down some cast members for his “Independence Day” sequel as well. As reported by The Wrap, Emmerich has his eye on “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan for a major role in the film. While the two apparently did have a meeting, no offer has been made and the outlet claims official casting news is unlikely until closer to the holidays. No word on whether or not Will Smith is in or out, but both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are expected to return. At the moment, “ID Forever Part I” is heading towards a July 3, 2015 release, but there has been talk of it being pushed to 2016.
5. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels on the Set of “Dumb and Dumber To:” Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are back! If you need any more reassurance that the new “Dumb and Dumber” film is really happening here it is – photos of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in full costume (and character) on the set of “Dumb and Dumber To.” It’s 20 years later, but Harry and Lloyd haven’t matured a bit. The new narrative will involve one of the two finding out that he may have a child and trying to find that child in hopes the kid will donate an organ to fix his kidney problem. As reported by THR, Rob Riggle will also be in the mix playing twins, a handyman named Travis and his unstable brother called Captain Lippencott. The film is currently shooting in Atlanta and is expected to arrive in theaters in the summer of 2014.
6. “Paranormal Activity 5” Finally Moving Forward: It’s disappointing that we’re heading towards a Halloween without a “Paranormal Activity” film, but the fifth installment did take some major steps forward this week. First word got out via THR that Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman are on board to pen the scriptments (a hybrid of a script and treatment) and then Deadline revealed that those scriptments will wind up in the hands of first time director Gregory Plotkin. Despite the fact that this will mark Plotkin’s first time behind the lens, he has served as editor and co-producer on past “Paranormal Activity” installments, so he’s well entrenched in the franchise.
7. “Foxcatcher,” “Grace of Monaco,” & “Wolf of Wall Street” Out of the Oscar Race: We’re nowhere near locking in the crop of awards season heavy hitters, but we do know that “Foxcatcher,” “Grace of Monaco,” and possibly “The Wolf of Wall Street” won’t be part of them. After snagging 11 Academy Award nominations between “Capote” and “Moneyball,” Bennett Miller was poised to deliver another strong contender with “Foxcatcher” in December, but now Sony Pictures is holding the film for a 2014 release. The Nicole Kidman-starrer “Grace of Monaco” won’t make it into theaters in time to be Oscar eligible either. The Weinstein Co. originally had the film locked for a November 27 limited release, but now THR is reporting that TWC decided that it needs more time to complete and will move it to the spring of 2014 instead. Also via THR, it looks as though Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” won’t be ready for its planned November 15th release. The outlet’s sources claim that the current cut is 180 minutes long and Scorsese and the producers are trying to figure out how to trim it down. The team is now aiming for a Christmas debut and if it’s ready, they’ll move back “Jack Ryan” to make some room.
8. New York Film Festival, So Far: We’re only two days into the New York Film Festival, but ShockYa.com has had the privilege to catch three films thus far. The event’s opener, “Captain Phillips,” doesn’t just do its profound source material justice; it functions as a wildly enthralling and moving experience in and of itself. Considering the vastly positive response, Tom Hanks could be heading towards his sixth Academy Award nomination. Another big winner is Richard Curtis’ final film, “About Time.” The movie’s promotional campaign has been pushing it as a charming romantic comedy and while it is, there’s also an incredible amount of emotion and depth to the piece. And then we’ve got the Coen brother’s “Inside Llewyn Davis.” The music, the visuals, and the performances are all top-notch, but the film’s abrasive main character and bleak atmosphere can be a bit off putting. Check out our full review of “Captain Phillips” right here and keep an eye out for the “About Time” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” reviews coming soon.
9. Trailer: “Frozen,” “A Madea Christmas,” “Need for Speed:” The first full trailer for Disney’s “Frozen” isn’t quiet as charming as that teaser with Olaf and the reindeer, but it still looks as though there’s enough fun to be had to make this a highly enjoyable holiday romp. “A Madea Christmas,” on the other hand, looks like a tired mess. The teaser is supposed to feel like a candid encounter between Madea and some present-hungry kids, but the effort feels staged and the jokes are all unfunny and familiar. Arriving just in time for the “Breaking Bad” blowout is the first trailer for the Aaron Paul-starrer, “Need for Speed.” The promo rocks stunning visuals, hot cars, an operatic score, and a whole lot of Paul, but without story details, we can’t know what makes “Need for Speed” special so it just winds up feeling like a “Fast and Furious” spinoff.
10. Box Office: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is officially a worthy sequel. The new installment trumped the original’s opening total by about $5 million with $35 million of its own. However, “Cloudy 2” did get a bigger release, so its per theater average is slightly less than the first film’s $9,716 per location start. But, then again, “Cloudy 1” ran a $100 million production tab whereas “Cloudy 2” cost just $78 million to make. No matter how you look at it, “Cloudy 2” is in good shape. Thanks to a 45.9% dip, “Prisoners” managed to keep on top of “Rush” and snag the #2 spot with $11.3 million. Regardless, “Rush” still performed well, using that 2,929-theater boost to up its intake 5,407%, giving it another $10.3 million and the #3 position. Newcomer “Baggage Claim” barely edged out “Don Jon” for the #4 spot. “Baggage Claim” snagged $9.3 million with a $4,588 per theater average in 2,027 theaters whereas “Don Jon” only managed to take $3,716 at each of its 2,422 locations, putting it at #5 with $9 million even. (via Box Office Mojo)