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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in casting (87)

Sunday
Mar222015

Link Slippers. They're Surprisingly Comfortable

Defamer Jessica Lange throwing shade Lady Gaga's way in an American Horror Story press event
White Noise wonders why Hollywood can't get hackers (and computers in general) right?
Salon Excellent interview with Daniel Franseze (Mean Girls) about his breakout Looking character, a complete rarity for TV, and HIV prevention 
Playbill has an updates on the musical version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey is working on
CHUD Bobby Cannavale says that there's a lot of comic improv in the Ant-Man film this summer 
Pajiba looks at "Jonathan" (aka Danny Strong) and how the Buffy super villain surprisingly became such a success story after the series. 

Comics Alliance Captain America: Civil War wants to start shooting in a couple of while while the various Avengers actors are still deep in promotion duties for Age of Ultron. (Marvel has definitely moved into "rush everything!" mode. It wouldn't seem to impossible if all the Avengers weren't in it but they seem to be.)
PressPlay has a video essay on what it means to be an auteur 
Playbill Liza Minnelli has reentered rehab after a recent back surgery
Black Maria has some recommendations on Warner Archive. I keep wondering if I should join this but I already spend so much $$$ on movies. Have any of you tried them out?
The Dissolve is horrified by forthcoming Robin Hood adaptations from Hollywood. Yes, there are five of them in development and they all sound quite dumb!
Pajiba omg you guys, did you see the Miley Cyrus wax figure? Yikes.
The Film Doctor looks back at Nightcrawler's "atrocity montage"
Women and Hollywood check on these horrifyingly sexist casting ads. Like this one... ugh:

There's something unnerving about her. Maybe she's read too many books?

Oscars are so far away but Oscar talk never is
Gold Standard Glenn Whipp on why the Academy shouldn't go back to 5 Best Picture nominees. Did I share this already? I might have shared this already.
Awards Daily One of our most high profile documentarians, Alex Gibney, has a possible contender this year in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which hits HBO at the end of the month. (Seems like wishful thinking, Oscar-wise, to me since Hollywood has a lot of Scientologists that will undoubtedly be offended by it.

Cinderella is still spinning
i09 in our Cinderella retrospective we forgot about this oddity. Fairie Tale Theater's version with Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming!
Guardian attacks the new Cinderella for not being more like Frozen and selling feisty girlpower and for its "pinkification"... whatever that word means in this context. Sigh. This article and line of thought make me angry. Listen, I'm all for feisty girlpower but you know what's even better for men and women alike? diversity in representation. It's not good for boys to only have heroes that are physically intimidating and it's not good for girls to only have heroes that are anachronistic 'you go girl!' athletic types. There's more than one way to be an admirable film character that kids can look up to. I think this adaptation does wonders keeping the princess-to-be true to the material while also transforming her into a better role model. A protagonist that emphasizes fine-tuning your inner moral compass and positively affecting change through compassion and forgiveness is a protagonist that's still mighty heroic and worth emulating if you ask me. Not every "hero" needs to be able to kick ass.

Thursday
Mar052015

Downton Abbey is The New Gateway to Disney Stardom!

Have you been following the casting announcements for Disney's live-action adaptation of their Best Picture nominated classic Beauty & The Beast (1991)? First came the collective girlfriend of millennials Emma Watson as Belle. But she's not the only Beauty in the cast. Former Downton Abbey star "Cousin Matthew" himself Dan Stevens, who slimmed down and muscled up since that show and immediately shifted perceptions with an about face turn in The Guest, signed on as the cursed romantic Beast. 

Given that Lady Rose (Lily James) and Daisy from the Downton kitchen (Sophie McShera) are playing Cinderella and her stepsister this coming weekend at the movies one has to wonder which Downton Abbey star is next for which big Disney property? Maggie Smith's schedule just opened up Mouse House. Jump on that before someone else grabs her!

But in all seriousness... Downton Abbey has a deep bench of valuable players some of whom made their names in the movies (Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern chief among them), some of whom will probably be content to stay well employed in British television, and a few of which are already trying their hand at transferring to film. But how much longer can that series keep telling its repetitive story? (Don't misunderstand: I love Downton -- even when its at its weakest -- but the writers room is definitely on loop)

If I were a casting director I'd have the whole cast (so many rich character talents) under surveillance for restlessness and would definitely be trying to lure the ice cold beauty Michelle Dockery away. She's hitting movie screens this summer in Tarsem Singh's next movie Self/less. which happens to co-star her new love interest on Downton film/tv regular and handsomest man on earth Matthew Goode.

But back to BEAUTY & THE BEAST for a wrap-up
It looks like Luke Evans will be Gaston to Emma Watson's Beauty in the forthcoming live action adaptation of the musical. No word yet on whether he'll put on more muscle or if 'ev'ry last inch of him's covered in hair' but he can definitely sing!  

 

Do you think he harmonizes with Jon Kartajarena at home

 

Monday
Mar022015

The Witches of Huntsman?

Manuel here with some casting news. I had this fabulous idea of celebrating Leo DiCaprio’s casting in that 24 multiple personality film with a list of the 24 various personalities he’s already played. But once I started listing them alongside one another I realized Leo definitely needs to spice it up; lately, when he’s not playing a grieving wifeless man he’s playing a wealthy soulless man. Why not embrace another full-on comedic role? His turn in Catch me if You Can is still one of his best. Why so dour lately Leo?

They do make quite the beautiful trio, don't they?

Instead, let’s focus on a film that’s become more of an actressexual dream than any of us ever hoped for. Did you hear that The Huntsman film now boasts Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain?

I’m secretly hoping the trio of actresses will make The Huntsman more of a Witches of Eastwick type film, or maybe they can all band together against the eponymous protagonist in a 9 to 5 style workplace comedy? I mean, none of us would complain about a tied-up Hemsworth, now would we? Or perhaps they can work in a fun musical number a la The First Wives Club? The mind boggles imagining this trio of ladies making the film crackle with wit and chemistry; perhaps this is much too optimistic for what is presumably another tentpole blockbuster. I mean, are they even bringing back Colleen Atwood?

What other actress trio would you love these gals to channel in this sure to be pretty (and pretty drab?) spinoff? 

Thursday
Jan292015

Yes, No, Maybe So: 'Spy'

Margaret here with an update on upcoming projects from Paul Feig, the bannerman for blockbuster female-driven comedy. He's following up the roaring success of Bridesmaids and The Heat with two more big-budget Melissa McCarthy projects due over the next couple summers. 

The buzzier of the projects is a female-led Ghostbusters reboot, whose main cast has just been announced. It's a wonderful lineup: Feig muse Melissa McCarthy, post-Bridesmaids movie star Kristen Wiig, the hilarious rubber-faced Saturday Night Live MVP Kate McKinnon, and comedy vet Leslie Jones, a recent addition to SNL as both a writer and a featured player. These choices, exciting on their own, are all the more gratifying when one considers all those rumors circa the Sony leak that they were looking at gamine young A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone.

 While we bask in the casting news (and speculate wildly on the movie's plot), let's take a look at the Feig/McCarthy project coming to us mere months from now: the espionage thriller parody Spy...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan162015

David Fincher and Gillian Flynn Team Up for 'Strangers On a Train' Remake

Margaret here, recovering from yesterday's Oscars nominations and trying to process some upcoming movie news: David Fincher and Gillian Flynn are remaking Strangers On a Train. David Fincher and Gillian Flynn are remaking Strangers On a Train. 

 

 

There are so many feelings, and I am feeling ALL of them, all at once, right now. Help.
  1. Excitement: David Fincher and Gillian Flynn together again, and so soon!!
  2. Indifference: Ben Affleck is also involved, which, sure.
  3. Anger: A remake of Strangers On a Train? How dare they?? Hitchcock at his best is untouchable and the movie is perfect; no sane human could think it needs updating!
  4. Cautious Optimism: But. Buuuuut. If they're going to do to it, and you can't stop them.. The Flynn and Fincher team is such a great choice. Think of the cold, agonizing tension! Think of the pitch-black comedy! We deserve this.
  5. Confusion: But Strangers on a Train is perfect and I am mad?
  6. Curiosity: Although-- who could play Bruno, the most charming psychopath in movie history? That's going to be really tough to cast....
  7. Anger 2.0:....because, dangit, Robert Walker's performance is unimprovable and it's a fool who walks into that trap. Who's idea was this again?
  8. Begrudging interest: It's been reported that the remake will have a new context: instead of a tennis player and a psychopath who meet on a train and discuss the idea of swapping murders, this one (tentatively called "Strangers") will follow an actor (Affleck) campaigning for an Oscar who ends up on a flight with a wealthy stranger when his private plane breaks down. A fun, meta premise, no?
  9. Amusement: Affleck has been cast in the Farley Granger role which, if you think about it, is sort of a Nick Dunne 2.0; Ben may have found his perfect niche playing morally ambiguous murder-adjacent leading men. 
  10. Incredulity: Wait, when exactly will any of the people involved even have time to make this? Flynn and Fincher are already working on a series together for HBO, and Affleck has the whole Batman enterprise and several directing projects in development. It might be quite a while before we can see this.

How do you feel about this news-- more excited, or disappointed? Who would you cast as Bruno, the murderous charmer?

 

 

Sunday
Jan112015

Awards, Recent Miscellania

It's Golden Globes Night.  Until then let's try in vain to catch up a little.

Oscar Nomination Morning (this Thursday) has some news. For the first time they'll be announcing ALL CATEGORIES at that early morning ceremony we so love. Not just the headliners which is all they used to do followed by the press release list of all nominees. The Film Experience heartily approves! 

Palm Springs International Film Festival wraps up tomorrow but the jury prizes are in and four of this season's Oscar submissions won something: Russia's Leviathan won the FIPRESCI for Best Film and Georgia's Corn Island took an award called "Bridging the Borders". Both are still in the running to become America's Next Top Foreign Language Film. The acting prizes went to films that have already been cut from Oscar's Foreign Film Party. Mommy's Anne Dorval took Best Actress and Winter Sleep's Haluk Bilginer won Best Actor. You can see the rest of the prizes here. Audience Awards have yet to be announced.

That bitch to the right does NOT like Glenn Close's hairstyle. Do you?

Makeup And Hair Stylists Guild will hold their awards ceremony on Valentine's Day on the Paramount lot where Rick Baker, of werewolf fame, and Kathryn Blondell (of Leo DiCaprio and Goldie & Kate hairstyling fame) will receieve lifetime achievement awards. They have 5 categories for film as well as 14 other categories which cover tv, commercials, and live theater. Thus they're far more generous than the Academy's corresponding branch which already eliminated several of their nominees. Curiously their website does not contain the nominees just into about attending their awards show (unless I'm just missing it) but you can see a complete list at Deadline. Guardians of the Galaxy and Into the Woods led their nominations with 3 each including a prize specifically for the Witch which I'm sure will delight many of you given what you've been saying in the comments. The most curious category in terms of a collection of nominees is surely Best Contemporary Hairstyling. They went with: Birdman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar , St. Vincent, and Winter's Tale. Super strange, right? I'd only heard people mocking Winter's Tale... even for the hair! I can't excuse the lack of Tilda's vampire dreadlocks, or Lucy's dye jobs, but I guess there aren't a lot of contemporary films with noticeable hair work this year?

The Casting Guild used to hold the annual Artios Awards in November and their eligibility period was not based on the calendar year. They've shifted it now -- presumably to be more in line with everyone else -- so their eligibility period is fairly long this year which resulted in a curious mix of last year's beloved movies and this year's contenders so you have categories where, say, 12 Years a Slave is going up against Selma (Feature Film Big Budget Drama) and Short Term 12 is going up again Boyhood (Feature Film Low Budget Drama). You can see a complete list at their website. My happiest takeaway from this list is that Short Term 12 was remembered (its casting was effortful and brilliant, if you think about it) and that Pride was honored in the oddly and very broadly titled Feature Film Studio or Independent Comedy category. Pride will be competing with Big Eyes, Chef, The Grand Budapest Hotel, St. Vincent and Top Five. Chef seems like a really weird choice since there was a whole lot of Jon Favreau calling up all his celebrity friends to do him a favor.

Mommy won several prizes from Vancouver critics. But Anne Dorval lost Best Actress!Critics Prizes continue in cities all over the place. We decided we just couldn't cover it all so made firm decisions about how we'd proceed next year -- if you missed that post it's basically that we'll only be covering groups formed before 2000 since there's been an absolute explosion ever since with multiple rounds of press releases  -- some groups have as few as 8 people so they might all be friends in someone's basement, who knows! But since we don't cover them all we'll be just linking up to their awards at other places (though not their nominations) and pointing out areas where they went out on a true limb if there are any. Recent groups that have announced include Iowa which went with all the usual suspects but for Reese for Best Actress,  Vancouver which went for all the usual suspects but for Tilda Swinton for Best Actress for Only Lovers Left Alive and The Overnighters for Documentary (they also have Canadian film awards so it's worth looking at and they were fans of Mommy & Tu dors Nicole) , Oklahoma went with the usual suspects but for Edward Norton in Birdman the world's Official Runner Up for supporting (bad timing for his Oscar dreams I suppose), and they have a fun prize called "not so obviously worst movie" which went to Monuments Men and a prize I don't agree with called "Guilty Pleasure" which went to Edge of Tomorrow but honestly there's nothing to feel guilty about when a movie is really good, which that one is, and you like watching it). Finally, though I probably missed some cities,  Georgia went with the usual suspects but for Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer and the getting less and less unusual Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. They also have a breakthrough award which went to David Oyelowo which is an interesting choice but he's been working too long for me to view him thusly. Still, I get the impulse. He had a big year and he's lesser known.

How prepared are you for the Globes tonight? Make sure to listen to our predictions today if you haven't yet!

Tuesday
Dec302014

Interview: Oscar Isaac on "A Most Violent Year" And His Alien Future

Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success. He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew, slowly but surely. Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time. There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star though Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is to date "the signature role". In contrast, his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady. It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C. Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set drama A Most Violent Year

I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman, working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain, what casting directors think of him, and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Our conversation is after the jump...

Click to read more ...