Movie News Cheat Sheet: Golden Globe Nods, Sundance Selections & More

ByPerri Nemiroff

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The holidays are right around the corner and that means the Sundance Film Festival and awards ceremonies are, too, so while we honor the best of 2013 with the Golden Globe Nominations, we also consider potential 2014 contenders with the lineup of wannabe Sundance darlings.

Per usual, things are quite busy in the superhero realm, too. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is back in the spotlight with news that Don Cheadle’s Rhodey/War Machine will make an appearance in the film while Sony is busy riling up Spider-Man fans with news that they will move forward with spin-offs, giving both Venom and the Sinister Six their own feature films.

Ready for that, “Terminator” reboot casting news, four hot new trailers and more? It’s all right here in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.

1. Golden Globe Nominations: The nominations for the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards have arrived. “12 Years a Slave,” “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Philomena,” and “Rush” will be vying for the Best Motion Picture – Drama honor while “American Hustle,” “Her,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Nebraska,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” will duke it out in the Comedy or Musical category. The three Best Animated Feature nods went to “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2,” and “Frozen,” making “Monsters University” the surprising odd man out. Chiwetel Ejiofor will go up against Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Redford for Best Performance By An Actor in a Drama while Best Performance By An Actor in a Comedy will come down to Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar Isaac or Joaquin Phoenix. Over on the Best Performance By An Actress side, it’ll be Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in the Drama category and then Amy Adams, Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Meryl Streep in the Comedy or Music category. Click here to check out the full list of nominees and then catch who snags a statue when the show airs on January 13, 2014 on NBC.

2. Sundance Lineup Unveiled: Who’s ready to brave the elements in Park City, Utah for the sake of cinema? The Sundance Film Festival program has arrived and it’s loaded with must-see entries like Gareth Evans’ highly anticipated sequel, “The Raid 2” as well as “Laggies,” Lynn Shelton’s coming of age story starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell and Chloë Grace Moretz. Shailene Woodley’s due to follow-up her Sundance 2013 entry with Gregg Araki’s new feature, “White Bird in a Blizzard,” in which she leads as Kat Connors, a young woman who’s rattled when her mother suddenly disappears. Michael Winterbottom is also set to unveil his sequel to “The Trip,” “The Trip to Italy,” while David Wain shows off his Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders-starrer, “They Came Together.” The Park City at Midnight section will feature the latest from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, “The Guest,” as well as the Elijah Wood-produced horror comedy, “Cooties.” The list is endless and brimming with potential, so check out the festival’s official website to sort through the full lineup.

3. War Machine is in “Avengers: Age of Ultron:” Even though the Avengers lineup is pretty full with the original gang and the addition of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, according to Bleeding Cool, Don Cheadle’s Rhodey will also be in the mix. HitFix confirmed Bleeding Cool’s report and wrote, “Col. Rhodes, aka War Machine, has a key role in the conflict with Ultron that is the main focus of the sequel.” On top of that, Bleeding Cool also reported that Simon McBurney is in negotiations to claim a role as well, a role their sources call “the new Jarvis.” Bleeding Cool further explained, “Not a computer voice Jarvis, mind you, but an actual Butler called Jarvis – or at least called Jarvis by Tony Stark.” However, none of this has been confirmed by Marvel just yet, so even after all the Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson talk turned out to be true, you’re better off waiting for the official word before locking the information in as fact.

4. Sinister Six & Venom Movies in the Works: As Sony Pictures teased just a few weeks ago, the studio will move forward with “Spider-Man” spin-off films, specifically for the Sinister Six and Venom. Sony has assembled a team of five writers including Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon and Drew Goddard as well as two producers, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, and Marc Webb to form a brain trust to “expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.” Kurtzman, Orci and Pinkner are penning the “Amazing Spider-Man 3” script, possibly for Webb to direct next fall for a June 10, 2016 release. Kurtzman, Orci and Solomon will take on the Venom screenplay for Kurtzman to direct while Goddard will write and possibly direct the Sinister Six film. Clearly the studio’s got big plans for the web-slinger’s world, but there’s a chance Spider-Man himself won’t be part of it. Andrew Garfield recently told Yahoo!, “I mean I’m under contract for another one after this … as far as a forth one? That’s not anything to do with me.” Now of course that doesn’t mean he can’t come back for more, but if Sony does push forward with “Amazing Spider-Man 4” and decides to include the hero in these spin-off films, they’re going to have to re-hire him and in those negotiations, Garfield will have a significant amount of leverage.

5. Emilia Clarke is Sarah Connor: Even though I was pulling for Brie Larson, there’s no denying that Emilia Clarke is a solid choice for the role of Sarah Connor. As reported by Deadline, the “Game of Thrones” breakout star is locked to lead Alan Taylor’s “Terminator” reboot, supposedly titled “Terminator: Genesis,” and could be joined by Jason Clarke who’s currently in negotiations for the role of John Connor. The film’s narrative is said to include a trip into the future, a rumor that seems like a storyline necessity considering E. Clarke (26) would be portraying J. Clarke’s (44) mother.

6. Frank Grillo to Lead “The Purge 2:” Blumhouse Productions is moving forward with the sequel to their micro-budget hit, “The Purge,” and has officially locked in Frank Grillo to star. No word on plot details just yet, but, odds are, the narrative will take place in the near future and focus on that one 12-hour stretch of time each year when all crime is legal. It could be interesting if “The Purge 2” took place on the very same night the Sandin family was attacked, letting us see how other citizens faired during The Purge 2022. James DeMonaco is returning to write and direct with plans to have the film ready for release on June 20, 2014. (via Deadline)

7. “Fast and Furious 7” May Go Back into Production in January: Since Paul Walker’s passing, plans for “Fast and Furious 7” have been up in the air. Director James Wan and co. had already shot a significant amount of material prior to the tragedy, but still needed to complete a good deal with Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner. There was talk of tossing all the work and starting fresh but now, according to THR, Universal Pictures is aiming to have the film back in production at the beginning of the year. Apparently Chris Morgan is currently making revisions to the script that would allow the film to “retire” Walker’s character using the material already shot. However, the outlet also notes that none of this is confirmed and plans could change. Should Universal revert back to the option of starting anew, Universal’s insurance firm, Fireman’s Fund, could wind up paying the $150 million the studio already spent making the film. Either way, the original July 11, 2014 release date is out, but THR’s source notes that Universal is confident film seven will get finished and then spawn an eighth.

8. RIP Peter O’Toole: After a long illness, acting legend Peter O’Toole has passed away at the age of 81. O’Toole racked up eight Academy Award nominations, his first for the 1962 release, “Lawrence of Arabia,” and his most recent for Roger Michell’s “Venus” in 2006. Even though O’Toole never won an Oscar, the Academy did try to honor him with one via a Lifetime Achievement Award. O’Toole made an attempt to turn it down, insisting that he’s “still in the game and might win the bugger outright,” but did wind up accepting that award in addition to four Golden Globes, a Primetime Emmy and a BAFTA Award. His daughter, Kate O’Toole, delivered this statement in regards to her father’s passing: “His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts.” sends our condolences to his friends, family and fans.

9. Trailers: “Interstellar,” “Jupiter Ascending,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Godzilla:” When new trailers for films like “Interstellar,” “Jupiter Ascending,” “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Godzilla” all arrive in the same week, there’s no way to narrow it down to three so welcome to a supersized version of the Movie News Cheat Sheet trailer section. First up is the teaser for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming release, “Interstellar.” Rather than go straight for the plot, Paramount kicks off the promotional campaign with a historical retrospective, highlight the string of achievements that led to spaceflight. Next is the Wachowski’s “Cloud Atlas” follow-up, “Jupiter Ascending.” The promo shows off the film’s top-notch talent and a string of stunning visuals, but falls just sort of making the narrative details coalesce to the point that you believe and care. The new trailer for “Edge of Tomorrow” has a similar issue. Between Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and the sci-fi appeal, this one’s an easy sell, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s got the potential to be a standout. In fact, one of the trailer’s most devastating flaws is that it features quite a few familiar components, namely a particular song choice and the similarities between the armor featured here and the rig in “Elysium.” We saved the best for last, so now it’s time to indulge in the best movie trailer of the week, the one for Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla.” Edwards and co. get major points for opening their marketing effort with a well-constructed, thoughtful and highly absorbing piece that suggests this really could be a strikingly fresh spin on the beast while still honoring Godzilla’s iconic standing.

10. Box Office: It didn’t open as big as “An Unexpected Journey,” but “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” did still secure the top spot with a solid $18,877 per theater average, kicking off its domestic theatrical run with a total of $73.7 million, just under $11 million behind the first installment. “Frozen” held on exceptionally well making the move from weekend three to four, dropping just 29.8% and making off with a $22.2 million haul. Unfortunately for Tyler Perry, “A Madea Christmas” marks his weakest Madea movie opening yet. The film didn’t get as wide a release as “Desolation of Smaug,” but almost all of the Madea movies opened in roughly 2,200 theaters, making this installment’s $7,293 per theater average and $16 million debut a disappointing start. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” lost 600 theaters, but held on well considering. It lost 49.8% of its weekend three earnings, letting it post $13.2 million for its fourth weekend in theaters. “Thor: The Dark World” rounds out the top five courtesy of its 43.9% drop, which gave it just enough to keep on top of “Out of the Furnace’s” $2.3 million weekend two intake with $2.7 million of its own. (via Box Office Mojo)

By Perri Nemiroff

Peter O'Toole
RIP Peter O’Toole (1932 – 2013)

By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as,, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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