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Entries in casting (127)

Saturday
May282016

Who should direct / star in the next Bond? 

In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.

Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, the two with the most success outside the franchise are Oscar winner Sam Mendes and Oscar nominee Lewis Gilbert. Once the franchise even handed the reigns to a Bond editor who graduated to the director's chair (John Glen) for his directorial debut.

Directed the Most Bond Films

  1. John Glen - 5 Bonds: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill (and he edited a few more before those); Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Not really
  2. Guy Hamilton -4 Bonds: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Force 10 From Navarone
  3. [TIE] Terence Young - 3 Bonds: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Wait Until Dark AND Lewis Gilbert - 3 Bonds: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker: Key Picture(s) Outside the Franchise: Alfie (Oscar Nomination), and Educating Rita
  4. [TIE] Sam Mendes - 2 Bonds: Skyfall, Spectre; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: American Beauty (Oscar win), and Road to Perdition AND Martin Campbell - 2 Bonds: GoldenEye, Casino Royale; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: The Mask of Zorro

 If you could bend producer Barbara Broccoli's ear...
What would you whisper to the woman behind the franchise who makes those final hiring decisions?  

 

Thursday
May262016

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem Join The Asghar Farhadi Avengers

After scooping up Best Screenplay and Best Actor honors for The Salesman at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi has swiftly landed two more international prizes for his next film: Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The Oscar-winning couple reuniting onsceen is only the half of it; as previously announced last year, they join producers Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar for Farhadi’s first Spanish-language project. If you place the emphasis on the first word in “cinematic universe,” this is the sort of continent-crossing collaboration of which one dreams. As the superheroes behind A Separation, Volver, No Country for Old MenAll About My Mother, and Wild Tales coalesce and move towards production, we can’t wait to see what kind of direction they take the project.

While Cruz, Bardem, and the brothers Almodóvar have all collaborated with one another in some form before – recently, Broken EmbracesVicky Cristina Barcelona; not so recently, Live Flesh – it should be fascinating to see how these very outwardly expressive films gel against Farhadi’s track record of inwardly simmering yet subtly explosive dramas. It’s no surprise that Cruz and Bardem already contend with some of cinema’s sexiest movie star marriages – contemporarily, I’d give them the gold – and it will be fascinating to see how or if Farhadi bends that image against them. His films tend to combust entrenched socio-cultural strictures rather than manipulate flashy celeb fodder but, then again, Kubrick was never much of an Us Weekly guy and he still warped Cruise and Kidman with fascinatingly transgressive results.

What are some of your favorite movies with IRL married couples thrust into diegesis? Or, on a more directorly note, what do you think of Almodóvar and Farhadi teaming up behind the scenes?

Thursday
May122016

Misty Copeland Gets the Biopic Treatment

Kieran, here. It was announced today that a biopic of ballerina Misty Copeland is currently in the works at New Line Cinema. Based on Copeland's own memoir "Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina," the film will chart Copeland's rise to fame as the first black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, despite a delayed beginning--she didn't start taking ballet until age 13, which is extremely late compared to other dancers. The project will be penned by Gregory Allen Howard, who scripted Remember the Titans and the upcoming theatrical Harriet Tubman biopic (not the Viola Davis project, though Nathaniel was correct in wishing that those projects would merge). No director is attached to the project as of yet.

News of this project means an opportunity for a black actress to take center stage (no pun intended) in a major motion picture, which shouldn't be a rare occasion but feels like it in the current cinematic landscape. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
May092016

Two Must Reads: Asian Actors Speak Out, and Method Acting's History

After two hit TV shows Daniel Dae Kim is Broadway's new King of SiamTwo Must Reads today that are a pleasure to highlight

The Hollywood Reporter published a piece called "Where are the Asian-American Movie Stars?" that's definitely worth a look. Kudos to fine actors like Maggie Q, Daniel Wu, Daniel Dae Kim, Ming-Na Wen and others for forging and holding down careers (it can't have been easy) and speaking out about the white-washing. The problem is not just that Hollywood doesn't get it but that they also don't make use of what they already have. There is plentiful camera-ready talent out there, but Hollywood mostly ignores Asian Actors.

The white washing is so egregious lately that even an upcoming animated film from China called The Guardian Brothers has an all non-Asian voice cast for its US release! What the holy f***? That cast includes Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and quite frankly that pisses me off. They should know better. Neither of those perpetually working  Oscar winning goddesses need the exposure, the work, or the money that that job will offer.  

[More after the jump on this topic and Method Acting, too...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May072016

The Mother of all Feuds

a must readAs you've surely heard by now, since it's one of the most striking actressy announcements in some time, Ryan Murphy's next anthology series will be called "Feud" and for its first season the subject is the über showbiz catfight: Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford. Bette & Joan's famous loathing for each other was not confined to just the horror classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) but the series will be confined there since that set is the natural place to dramatize. It was the only film the two combative actresses made together. After the success of Baby JaneHush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) was intended as a reunion but ultimately Olivia de Havilland (who had her own legendary feud with sister Joan Fontaine) took Crawford's place.

Since Ryan Murphy can't live without Jessica Lange he's cast her as Joan Crawford. It's a terrible call because their screen personas are antithetical...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr282016

A Deluge of Kennedys

Murtada here. Within the next two years, there will be three movies about The Kennedys. They seem to be as fascinating to filmmakers as the British Royal family. Even less famous members of the family are now subjects of movies.

Diana (2013) was both a car crash and framed its story by a notorious car crash. Now it's time for the Kennedys' own notorious car crash. Announced this week is Chappaquiddick with Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy. The film tell the story of 1969 tragic car accident that involved Ted and took the life of teacher and political campaigner Mary Jo Kopechne. How Ted handled the aftermath - leaving the scene, waiting hours to report it - led of course to the end of any presidential aspirations he might have had. The film will be directed by John Curran, who previously directed The Painted Veil (2006) and Tracks (2013).

The very busy Emma Stone - currently being Billie Jean King - is set to play another JFK sibling, the lesser-known eldest sister Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy in Letters from Rosemary. Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s first born was lobotomised at the age of 23 after developing violent mood swings that embarrassed her famous family. The film is reportedly about the events leading up to the lobotomy and its aftermath. We assume this might be a project that will not be popular within the family. Not that they would ever comment about any of the many projects about them. Royals don’t do that!

The first project we will likely see though is Pablo Larrain’s Jackie about the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination. Once earmarked for Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz, it now stars Natalie Portman as Jackie and Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby. Aronofsky remains a producer. Production pictures have been released months ago, so we assume it’s in post production and might appear on the fall festival circuit. Sarsgaard’s hair seems wrong, although Portman’s costumes are spot on. Jackie tackles much covered territory, what more could be added to those often discussed few days? The other two projects are about more obscure chapters in the family history, which could mean they might be more interesting.

Still that’s just way too many projects about one rich and powerful family. There’s even an upcoming sequel to the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys, with Matthew Perry as Ted and Katie Holmes reprising her Jackie. I’m already exhausted, are you?

Friday
Apr152016

Pfeiffer + Aronofsky = !!!!!!!!!!!

Pfeiffer in Beat-Up Little SeagullJust so everyone knows, I am indeed still alive. After briefly passing out. I was on a flight when news broke that Michelle Pfeiffer had signed on to the cast of the new untitled Darren Aronofsky film due in 2017 with filming to start this June.

La Pfeiffer has been MIA from the movies in a significant way since White Oleander (2002) her last Oscar worthy performance (she has famously never won despite multiple breathtaking star turns)  and the last onscreen appearance without significant breaks thereafter. She flirted with a comeback in a brief flurry of activity around 2007-2008 (Stardust & Cheri being the highlights) but it's been relatively quiet since then. But no more?...

Click to read more ...