Happy Sunday! Or should I say, happy Harry Potter week? After seven days of madness courtesy of the grand finale of the eight-film franchise, the web world is drenched in Potter news, discussion pieces, lists, photos and more. It’s a wonder there was room for any non-HP news.
However, we did get quite a bit of information on some other highly anticipated upcoming projects, particularly in the image department. Not only did we get a look at The Amazing Spider-Man and Underworld: Awakenings, but Total Recall and The Hobbit, too. It was also a busy week for trailers as far too many debuted to even squeeze into this Cheat Sheet.
Luckily, that’s what this feature is for, to help you narrow down the mass of movie news that comes our way on a weekly basis, so you’re raring to go for the week, fully informed on the most vital information. Find out which production stills and trailers are must-sees and much more in this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Ryan Kwanten is Griff the Invisible: Ryan Kwanten is a busy guy. Not only does he continue to make girls swoon with his stupidity as Jason Stackhouse on True Blood, but the he’s got a slew of feature films under his belt now, too. The crime thriller Red Hill hit last year, he voiced a character in Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians and has Knights of Badassdom on the way, not to mention a bunch of rumored projects, too. Then, there’s Griff the Invisible, a low budget Australian dramatic comedy in which Kwanten suits up as a superhero. Awkward by day, Griff the Invisible by night, Griff hits the streets after work in attempt to keep the peace. The film doesn’t hit theaters until August 19th, but Kwanten fans attending San Diego Comic Con can catch it early as its screening at 7pm on July 23rd at the Pacific Gaslamp Theater followed by a Q&A with Kwanten himself. While you’re waiting, check out Movieline’s gallery of photos from the film, featuring our leading man all suited up.
2. Will Forte Sneaks Into The Rock of Ages Cast: Sure filming is underway and the cast already includes Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones, but there’s always room for Will Forte, right? As reported by THR, Forte joins the gang as Mitch Miley, an anchor of a network news show, a role that was not part of the Broadway edition. I’d like to bet Mitch Miley is more along the lines of a cameo than a sustainable member of the roster. While Rock of Ages does center on an ensemble cast, each member of that ensemble is still going to need some room to breathe and at this point, the joint seems rather crowded.
3. Spike Lee Confirmed for Oldboy: While I may lack enthusiasm for an Oldboy remake, apparently most people care, as the web is abuzz over Spike Lee locking down the directing gig for the new version of the Park Chan-wook South Korean thriller. We knew the deal was on the horizon and now that it’s official, sure enough, casting rumors have arrived. Well, just one – for now. According to Twitch Film, Josh Brolin is up for the lead role of Dae-su Oh who’ll most certainly be renamed as Lee plans to move the action to New York. Nothing is set in stone and Lee’s likely got a solid list of back-ups, but casting Brolin could be the best thing to happen to this production, for me at least. With zero interest in the film as of Lee’s hiring (nothing personal), should Brolin be cast, I might be compelled to keep a keener eye on the project, as the actor seems absolutely ideal for the role. Then again, the Twitch article is also packed with tons of equally appropriate suggestions including Viggo Mortensen and Sam Rockwell. Damn, I do care, don’t I?
4. Alexandra Daddario Gets a Friend: No, you don’t want to be the friend of a female lead in a horror film as your bound to die, but should someone get hacked up in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, I’m glad it’s Tania Raymonde. Most know the actress from her stint on Lost as Alex Rousseau, but I like to remember her as the sassy Ethyl from The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle. Sure, it’s a crazy title (and premise, too), but it’s worth checking out as it proves Raymonde could make for the perfect sparky sidekick in the midst of a bloodbath. As reported by Deadline, Raymonde’s character is named Nikki and is “a small-town girl with an attitude.” See? Told you; feisty! Nikki hits the road with her best friend, Heather (Daddario), when Heather must collect her inheritance, her cousin – Leatherface. Another major plus for the new Chainsaw movie? The original film’s director, Tobe Hooper, and Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, will reportedly return for cameos. (via Bloody-Disgusting & Dread Central)
5. The Hobbit Dwarves Have Arrived: Ever since July 7th, The Hobbit’s been showering us with character images. First we got Dori, Nori and Ori (Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy and Adam Brown), the trio of brothers who have absolutely nothing in common except their mother. The next day John Callen and Peter Hambleton arrived in full costume as Oin and Gloin, respectively. Fili and Kili (Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner) showed off their long locks on the 12th followed by the debut of Bombur, Bofur and Bifur (Stephen Hunter, James Nesbitt and William Kircher) on the 14th. Ken Stott as Balin and Graham McTavish as Dwalin arrived on the 15th and just today, the collection was topped off with a shot of Richard Armitage who plays the gang’s leader, Thorin Oakenshield. As someone who’s unfamiliar with the source material, all I’ve really got to go on here is the costume design, which is really more than enough as all of the looks are visually stimulating and incredibly detailed. There’s no doubt we very well could have another series of Lord of the Rings quality on the way.
6. Nick Frost Completes Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs: In other British dwarf news, we’ve got Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones and now Nick Frost is stepping in to fill the last spot in Snow White’s band of dwarfs. Frost confirmed the casting news himself via Twitter, writing, “Just to clear it up, I’m NOT in the hobbit. Thankings,” followed by “I can however confirm I’ll be dwarfing it up in Snow White and the Huntsman! Nasty hobbits. #wrongfilm.” In addition to his fellow dwarfs, Frost joins Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron in the Rupert Sanders production, due out on June 1st, 2012. This gives you more than enough time to see what Frost is capable of in his next release, Attack the Block, which is quite awesome and set to hit theaters on July 29th.
7. Images from The Amazing Spider-Man: Sure, we’ve seen a boy suited up as Spider-Man time and time again, in the original comics, in the film franchise and on Broadway, yet there’s something surprisingly refreshing about the very first stills from Spidey’s latest go on the big screen in The Amazing Spider-Man. Courtesy of EW, we’ve got a great look at the uniquely textured suit Andrew Garfield dons in the film as well as a shot of him as Peter Parker alongside Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy who already proves to be a more compelling love interest in a single still photo than Kirsten Dunst’s lifeless Mary Jane Watson from the original trilogy. The gallery also shows off Spider-Man’s web shooters as opposed to the organic ones Tobey Maguire came armed with in addition to a shot of Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, and ultimately The Lizard. Check out the entire collection of images over at EW by clicking here.
8. Preview of Total Recall and Underworld: Also from Entertainment Weekly come images from Total Recall and Underworld Awakening. Len Wiseman’s Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 film, which is based on Philip K. Dick’s We Can Remember it for You Wholesale. The new version stars Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who starts to believe he’s a spy and, as seen in this image, that gets him into a bit of trouble. As for Underworld, Awakening is the fourth film of the series and features the return of Selene (Kate Beckinsale) who’s armed to the tee in this EW shot. This time around the battle isn’t between the Lycans and Vampires as humans have discovered their existence and look to eradicate both clans. (via Coming Soon)
9. Trailers: John Carter, The Thing, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Contagion, Hugo: This is a big week for trailers. In fact, it’s so big, I’ve packed five different pieces into this section of the Cheat Sheet and still didn’t account for a handful of the new promo material. Taylor Kitsch shows off his physique in the teaser for Disney’s John Carter. However, unlike most swords and six pack action films with trailers powered by the beat of some cheesy rock song, this one comes with a rousing cover from Arcade Fire of Peter Gabriel’s “My Body Is A Cage.” Mary Elizabeth Winstead is front and center in the first trailer for The Thing, which claims to be a prequel, but, based on this trailer, looks more like a remake. John Carpenter’s The Thing was a horrifically fantastic ride; I’ve got no problem going on it again. Speaking of sticking with a good thing, the trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows presents the sequel as though it’ll be the first film all over again, but with a new leading lady, Noomi Rapace, and a fresh adventure. Considering Sherlock Holmes rocked the box office with $524 million worldwide in 2009, rehashing the good old days might not be such a bad idea. The trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion shows off its all-star cast, but also a bit too much of the film’s plot. Regardless of the overdose of information, the trailer’s still more than enough of a draw. Last up is Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, simply titled Hugo. Yet again, another star-studded cast, but this time around in a far more juvenile setting in which Sacha Baron Cohen is seemingly the butt of most of the jokes.
10. Box Office: I’d like to bet the folks at Warner Bros. are absolutely glowing right about now, and anyone and everyone connected to the Harry Potter franchise, for that matter. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’s $168 million start not only makes it the biggest opener of the franchise, but the highest grossing week one earner ever, topping The Dark Knight’s $158.4 million start. That $168 million is more than enough to dwarf the rest of the standings as the #2 spot went to Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which came in with $21.3 million, barely more than an eighth of Harry’s intake. But, of course, Transformers is in week three, so adding another $21.3 million to its bank account isn’t half bad and puts the film’s domestic total at just over $300 million. Coming in at #3 is Horrible Bosses, which held rather strong in week two, losing just 37.7% of its week one profits, giving it another $17.6 million. Zookeeper actually enjoyed a strong sophomore week, too, only losing 38.7% for a $12.3 million intake. Thanks to a lackluster start, Cars 2 was able to steal the fifth position from newcomer Winnie the Pooh, topping Winnie’s $8 million opening with $8.3 million in its fourth week. (via Box Office Mojo).