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Entries in Daniel Craig (31)

Thursday
Jul072016

Steven Soderbergh's Comeback

Steven Soderbergh is retired no more. The director, who had previously announced Side Effects (2013) as his last feature film, is making two movies in the next year or so. It was just announced that he will be directing a feature film about The Panama Papers, the leaked documents which revealed how many of the super-rich employ legal, but dodgy accounting systems to avoid taxation. Even some luminaries in the film world (Emma Watson, Pedro Almodovar and the estate of Stanley Kubrick) were named in that scandal. The film will be based on Secrecy World, a to-be-published book by the Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Jake Bernstein. The adaptation will be written by frequent Soderbergh collaborator Scott Z Burns (Contagion, Side Effects, The Informant!).

Sounds like another Contagion, no? Taking a global incident and examining it from different points of view. Before that he will make Ocean’s Fourteen -- well not exactly, but Logan Lucky is a crime thriller with an all star cast set in one location. Sound familiar? This time there’s no Clooney or Pitt but we will get Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Katherine Heigl, Hilary Swank, Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane and Katherine Waterston and the NASCAR race in North Carolina as the heist location.

Soderbergh never really retired of course. He became prolific on TV, directing The Knick and gifting us with Behind the Candelabra. He recently produced The Girlfriend Experience which raised Riley Keough’s profile so it fits that she’ll be part of his new movie. And let's not forget that he was the cinematographer on Magic Mike XXL. But with these two projects announced he’s now a full time feature films director again. Are you excited for his return?

Monday
Jun132016

Who should join Angelina Jolie in the Murder Cast?

Murtada here. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is being remade by Kenneth Branagh. He will direct and play the lead part of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who’s investigating a murder that happens on the famous train as it is making its way across Europe. The novel has been adapted several times, most famously into an Oscar winning film in 1974 by Sidney Lumet and an all star cast, led by Albert Finney as Poirot. Angelina Jolie was announced as Mrs Hubbard, an American loquacious socialite, played in 1974 version by Lauren Bacall. It’s good casting as the part calls a star with lots of presence.

Even though I haven’t read the Christie novel, I have seen the movie version and a 2010 British TV version with Jessica Chastain right before she hit it big. The story lends itself to an all star cast as basically every character gets an intro, one big scene and gets to participate in the finale. And everyone has a secret of course so the parts are juicy and fun and not too taxing on the actors. Hopefully lots of entertaining actors will sign up.

Who would you cast? Our suggestions for some of the characters after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun032016

Todd Field Finally Returns

It's been a decade since director Todd Field's masterful Little Children followed up his equally potent In the Bedroom, and we have been clammoring for his next effort since. After many close calls and proposed projects, his next literary adaptation is finally coming to fruition. Showtime has announced a two season, 20 episode order for Purity, based on last year's Jonathan Franzen globehopping novel. With the cable network throwing its weight behind the series, this is exciting news for those over us who have watched his many projects never get beyond the announcement stage.

This one comes with a high pedigree: Daniel Craig has signed on to play the central pseudo-WikiLeaks activist Andreas Wolf (sealing the final nail in the coffin to any Bond speculation), with Franzen and Oscar nominee David Hare sharing the writing duties with Field. The female lead has yet to be cast, but it's a strong role ripe for any number of younger actresses. Provided those Captain Marvel rumors don't materialize, might we make a suggestion:

 

 

It's quite an ambitious project for both Field and Showtime, hopefully stepping up their game in the coming years with this and the Twin Peaks revival. The novel is as expansive as Franzen's other praised works (curiously the more celebrated The Corrections and Freedom almost happened at HBO), with enough complex material for the planned two seasons and the thinkpieces that inevitably will follow. If nothing else, it should be a perfect fit to Field's intelligent sensibilities. The series will shoot next year, with both seasons airing shortly after.

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?  

 

Tuesday
Nov102015

Review: Spectre

Tim here. Four films in, it feels like it's been enough time for the Daniel Craig era of James Bond films to stop doing the origin story thing, but nope, Spectre – the 24th film in the franchise, and the first in its second half-century of life – once again finds the rebooted series putting a whole movie's worth of energy into establishing something that was covered in, like, one scene back in 1963's From Russia with Love. That being the existence of the titular criminal organization, the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. It's not so much frustrating as it is baffling: "learn more about Spectre" is basically the whole of the film's plot, with no real threat that needs to be stopped. There's some weird and unsatisfying business with a multinational agreement to share espionage resources, I guess that's the thing driving the plot. A cache of stolen nukes or an attempt to start World War III, it ain't.

Does any of that really matter? If anything, Spectre reveals the core pleasures of the Bond franchise, by removing even the vestige of an actual narrative. It's an exercise in lifestyle porn globetrotting, with Craig handsomely filling out a whole bunch of Tom Ford suits as director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema take great pains to make a lot of extremely gorgeous locations in Europe and North Africa look, well, gorgeous. At frequent intervals there is an action setpiece, most of which are pretty terrific. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov092015

Beauty vs Beast: Take My Spouse, Please

Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of Beauty vs Beast, pitting cinema's good guys and bad guys against each other in a polling orgasm of gorgeous vicious oneupmanship! And you'll forgive me for getting a wee bit over-passioned there with my adjectives since this week I'm surrounding us with two of the most gorgeous creatures to ever grace the big screen, much less the marital bed -- this Friday the cinematic supernovas Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt are reuniting on-screen in Jolie's most recent directorial effort, the swooning-in-sunglasses drama By the Sea. (You can read what Nathaniel had to say about the film here.) It's been ten full years since the last time the stars combined their movie star wattage onto one fortunate screen, and that's where we look for this week's contest...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we bonded with James & Co. (bonded, get it, ha ha, sigh) in honor of the latest 007 flick (Did you see it this weekend? Thoughts?) -- looking back at Skyfall it was Daniel Craig himself who left us shaken and stirred over Bardem's baddie, taking about 63% of your vote. Said tom:

"In this case, I vote for Bond. the first half of the movie was just building up the character of Silva and when we finally meet him, disappointment. That isn't completely Bardem's fault, but no vote from me."

Monday
Nov022015

Beauty vs Beast: Spy Fall

Double-Oh Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- overseas the latest James Bond adventure (you know, the little thing called Spectre) is already doing bang-up business, breaking records left right and center; we'll see how it does here in the US this weekend but I think The Martian is probably about to end its month-long streak at the top of the box office.

So have you seen the film yet? I'm seeing it tonight and I have to admit I'm going into this one less enthuastically than I have previous ones (mind you I haven't read any reviews) and I don't think it's only the fact that there aren't any shots of Daniel Craig in a bathing suit in the promotional materials. Perhaps it's Craig own clear weariness with the character? Maybe it's the obvious Christoph Waltz casting? Maybe it only seems possible to come downward from the high heights of Skyfall? Well fingers crossed I'm off the mark, and speaking of Skyfall...

PREVIOUSLY I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! I had a lovely one this year and I'm still nursing the happy hum of a tummy-ache from all the leftover candy I scarfed. We celebrated here at TFE last week with a Frankenstein-Off, and y'all proved there's nothing stiffer, competition-wise, than a great big electric-fried beehive as the Bride stormed off with 72% of your vote. Said Tom:

"Voting for the Bride. The fact that Lancaster was able to create a lasting impression of movie goers with a fraction of the screentime that Korloff had, says it all."