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Entries in casting (84)

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 ...

Tuesday
Dec232014

some say the blog will end in fire, some say in ice

GeekRex on great sounding movies of 2014. So glad they included Wild but I don't understand the defense of Interstellar's sound mix given how difficult it sometimes was to hear the dialogue
Gurus of Gold I believe there's an update today but look at where things stand now in the big Oscar categories
AV Club Sarah Jessica Parker may be returning to HBO sitcom glory via Divorce (no, not from Matthew Broderick. On the show!)
In Contention Antonio Sanchez is not happy about his disqualification from Best Original Score for Birdman and why shouldn't he be. Their rules are so arbitratily enforced. Remember when Gustavo Santaolla won his second consecutive Oscar for a film FILLED with pre-existing music (Babel) and his score only being a small percentage of it.

The Dissolve Robert Rodriguez to helm a live action remake of Ralph Bakshi's Fire & Ice. I used to love that rotoscoped sword & sorcery movie so much but Rodriguez seems like he'll amplify what was already turned up to 11
MNPP I love this review of Mommy by Jason
Newsweek Maggie Gyllenhaal working all the actor mediums
VF Selfie hijinx with Ellen DeGeneres, Meryl Streep, The Baker's Wife and Cinderella
The Atlantic on the year's best trailers
Carpet Bagger looks at the costumes of The Homesman
Playboy Matt Patches goes looking for Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run, Scent of a Woman) in this cinematic true life detective story 
Comics Alliance Mike Coulter will play Luke Cage (Power Man) for Netflix's Marvel Series. No word yet on Iron Fist but now would be the perfect time to do that reverse white washing and cast an Asian man in a lead role, since he's white in the comics but his origin story involves growing up in an Asian mystical city in the Himalayas, you know? Please money and Marvel people -- Come correct!  It's a whole new world than it was was in 1974.

Happy (?) Christmas

Yikes.

Sorry about that.

Binge Watch Worthy?
I enjoy being an Opinion-Maker but I'll admit I am usually happy to cede that responsibility to others when it comes to TV. There's just too much product to keep up with.  So whoever is binge-watching Mozart in the Jungle let me know, will you? The cast includes two of my all time favorites (Gael García Bernal and Bernadette Peters) but this is my single busiest two-month stretch of the year so I need someone else to do such scouting. Report back!

Top Ten Film Critic Frenzy
If you love reading top ten lists, pick an article any article... 'tis the season!

Richard Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel to Butter on a Latch) | Justin Chang (Boyhood to Interstellar) | Manohla Dargis (Beyond the Lights to well mostly Beyond the Lights) | Peter Debruge (Calvary to Class Enemy) |  David Denby (Ida...well, mostly Ida) | Scott Foundas (Goodbye to Language to American Sniper) | Stephen Holden (Boyhood to Only Lovers Left Alive) | Lou Lumenick (Boyhood to Into the Woods) | Omar PL Moore (The Grand Budapest Hotel to The LEGO Movie) | Wesley Morris (Norte the End of History to Stranger by the Lake) |  A.O. Scott (Boyhood to The Babadook) | Dana Stevens (The Babadook to We Are the Best) | Stephanie Zacharek (Under the Skin to Top Five)

Thursday
Dec182014

Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo to Star in Romantic Drama 'Americanah'

Earlier this year Lupita Nyong'o acquired the rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning 2012 novel Americanah, signing on to star as Nigerian émigré Ifemelu, as well as produce along with Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment. David Oyelowo has also signed on to star as romantic lead Obinze. The book is divine: beautifully written, emotionally complex, swooningly romantic and often bitingly funny. It's also full of razor-sharp insight on immigration and cultural identity, the shifting concept of home, and blackness in America, Nigeria, and Britain.

The project is guaranteed to be a meaty opportunity for Nyong'o and Oyelowo, but is still several steps away from production. Some questions:

1. Should we worry that the project doesn't yet have a script? I'd say no, in part because of my love for the source material, but largely due to the strength of Plan B producing. They've got a respectable filmography, and the last couple years have been a serious hot streak (Moneyball, 12 Years a Slave, Selma). They shouldn't have trouble attracting top-drawer talent. With the right team in place, this could be someone's shot at a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.

2. Who should direct? It's only natural that Ava DuVernay's name should come to mind, given her skill with romantic drama and epic political context. It would make hers a 3-for-3 David Oyelowo filmography, and she certainly already has the in with Plan B Entertainment. But since the story is so indivisible from the non-American experience, and so specifically Nigerian in perspective, perhaps a Nollywood director might be a better choice. Perhaps Biyi Bandele, whose adaptation of Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun came out earlier this year to mixed reviews, would be interested in another shot at the author's work?

3. Will Beyoncé help with the movie's PR? When Beyoncé dropped her secret album last year, she gave Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a major profile boost by sampling her TED talk "Everyone Should Be a Feminist on the song "***Flawless", which sent Americanah rocketing up the Amazon sales charts. (To be honest, that's also how I first heard of the book.) Maybe the movie release can be preceded by a tie-in Beyoncé single that samples dialogue from the movie? Harness the power of Bey and you have the makings of a serious box office hit on your hands.

It's impossible not to admire Lupita Nyong'o's initiative and savvy in carving out her career, snapping up the rights to an interesting project herself and then backing that up by attracting major talent and industry clout. No production date is set; join me in hoping that this moves forward smoothly.

Have you read Americanah? Who else do you think should be brought on to the production?