May 10, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Here we have our first look at Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut “Fruitvale Station”, and already we can see why Sundance was so taken with this gripping true story. The trailer starts in chaos, with the tragic events of New Year’s Eve 2009 unfolding, then rewinding back to Michael B. Jordan’s Oscar Grant in more peaceful times, making plans with his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) to see the fireworks in San Francisco.
But soon we are back at the scene of the events that made Oscar’s story a worthy retelling on the big screen, which took place on the titular Fruitvale Station on California bay area’s BART Network. Police officers, perhaps a little too aggressively, try to contain the situation, and the whole thing is captured on cell phone cameras and widely disseminated over social media. The Weinstein Company snapped this one, which also features a reportedly tremendous performance from Octavia Spencer, up fast, and it’s considered one of the earliest contenders for this year’s Oscar season.
“Fruitvale Station” will be released on July 26th and you can watch the first trailer below.
May 7, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
It was the big winner of out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival and remains one of our most anticipated of the year, and today we have the first poster for Ryan Coogler’s true life crime drama “Fruitvale Station” starring Michael B. Jordan.
“Fruitvale Station” (formerly just “Fruitvale”) swept the US Dramatic Competition category at Sundance, winning both the Audience Award and the top prize of the night: The Grand Jury Prize. The film, which co-stars Octavia Spencer, Ahna O’Reilly and Melonie Diaz, won rave reviews with its gritty retelling of the true story of Oscar Grant (Jordan), who was tragically fatally shot by police in a scuffle in the Bay Area on New Year’s Eve 2009. It’s next headed to the Cannes Film Festival, where it will play in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.
The film will be released on July 26th and the first poster can be viewed below.
January 31, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Tony Award winner Nina Arianda is continuing her big screen takeover, with Deadline reporting the budding movie star has joined the cast of “Lucky Them”, the final film legendary actor Paul Newman had been working on at the time of his death in 2008. Toni Colette leads the cast that also includes Thomas Haden Church, Oliver Platt, Ryan Eggold and Ahna O’Reilly.
Emily Wachtel and Huck Botko wrote the script and Botko is directing the film about a female rock journalist (Colette) who, on assignment, goes on a journey to track down her musician ex-boyfriend (Church). The semi-autobiographical story is described as a “late bloomers coming-of-age quirky romantic comedy” and will see Colette’s character living in New York and finding herself while most of her friends have already settled down. Arianda will play Colette’s best friend. Filming began last weekend in Seattle.
Arianda, a recent Tony winner for “Venus in Fur” on Broadway, recently landed a string of big screen projects, the most high profile of which being the role of Janis Joplin in Sean Durkin’s biopic of the late singer. Screen credits thus far include Sundance premieres “Higher Ground” and “Win Win”, and Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning “Midnight in Paris.”
January 29, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Paul Newman had been working on “un-romantic comedy” “Lucky Them” when he passed away in 2008, and his wife Joanne Woodward signed on to executive produce the film last year in order to see it get made. Now, it looks like it finally will, with a cast that includes Thomas Haden Church, Toni Colette, “The Help” star Ahna O’Reilly and “90210″ star Ryan Eggold and Oliver Platt. Deadline reports the film began filming in Seattle last weekend.
Emily Wachtel and Huck Botko wrote the script and Botko is directing the film about a female rock journalist (Colette) who, on assignment, goes on a journey to track down on musician ex-boyfriend (Church). The semi-autobiographical story is described as a “late bloomers coming-of-age quirky romantic comedy” and will see Colette’s character living in New York and finding herself while most of her friends have already settled down. Eggold, O’Reilly and Platt play unspecified supporting roles.
O’Reilly is fresh off her first trip to the Sundance Film Festival, where she was part of Ashton Kutcher-led Apple origin tale “jOBS” and the Grand Jury Prize-winning film “Fruitvale”, which stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. O’Reilly and Spencer previously worked together in last year’s Oscar-winning “The Help.” She has wrapped up filming in James Franco’s adaptation of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” and rock club drama “CBGB.”
January 20, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Looks like it’s a strong year at the Sundance Film Festival, as Ryan Coogler’s feature directorial debut “Fruitvale” (one of our most anticipated of the fest) has emerged as another offering earning strong reactions and major praise for its gripping true story and breakout performance by “Friday Night Lights” and “Chronicle” star Michael B. Jordan. It gave Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum her “first wow at #sundance2013.” She singles out co-star Octavia Spencer, but this is clearly Jordan’s movie. “Jordan is always great, but FRUITVALE proves he’s a true movie star,” tweets producer Keith Calder.
November 29, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
More Sundance 2013 film images coming atcha. Today we have our first look at “Chronicle” and “Friday Night Lights” star Michael B. Jordan playing Oscar Grant in true life crime story “Fruitvale.” Joining him in the cast are “The Help” stars Octavia Spencer and Ahna O’Reilly, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray.
Grant was one of several passengers of the Oakland, CA sunway system detained by police at the Fruitvale BART station after reports of fighting in the early hours of New Years Day 2009, who was fatally wounded by a police officer’s gunshot. The incident was captured by various recording devices and cell phones and widely seen after being disseminated to the media. Officer Mehserle was charged with murder but pleaded not guilty, insisting he meant to shoot Grant with his taser and not his pistol. When he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter but not premeditated murder, demonstrations and eventually violent riots broke out in protest.
The film, marking the writing and directing debut of Ryan Coogler, follows Grant throughout his last day, as he “crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.” The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27. The full photo can be viewed below, thanks to Collider.
July 26, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Ahna O’Reilly has joined the cast of true life drama “Fruitvale”, according to Variety. It’ll be a reunion for O’Reilly and “The Help” co-star Octavia Spencer, who signed on for the film back in April alongside “Chronicle” star Michael B. Jordan. Melonie Diaz, Tristan Wilds, Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray are also part of the cast.
Jordan will play Oscar Grant, who was one of several passengers of the Oakland, CA sunway system detained by police at the Fruitvale BART station after reports of fighting in the early hours of New Years Day 2009. With Grant prostrate and bound on the ground, police officer Johannes Mehserle stood back and shot him in the back, fatally wounding him. The incident was captured by various recording devices and cell phones and widely seen after being disseminated to the media. Mehserle was charged with murder but pleaded not guilty, insisting he meant to shoot Grant with his taser and not his pistol. When he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter but not premeditated murder, demonstrations and eventually violent riots broke out in protest. Ryan Coogler wrote the script and will direct the film on location partly on the very platform where Grant was killed.
Since the whirlwind of “The Help” (in which she played Elizabeth Leefolt) and Oscar season, O’Reilly has completed filming on a quartet of indies, including the female lead in Steve Jobs biopic “Jobs” opposite Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple creator.
May 29, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
With “The Help” making stars – and Oscar nominees/winners – out of its supporting cast including Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, it was only a matter of time before it spread to the rest of the gang. Variety reports Ahna O’Reilly has landed the female lead in “Jobs”, the first biopic on the late Apple founder out of the gate, with Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Broadway star Josh Gad as co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Michael Stern directs the indie flick from a script by Matt Whiteley, which is already filming and which will tell the origin of Steve Jobs, from “wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple, where he became one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time.” Gad’s Wozniak invented the Apple I computer and then co-invented Apple II in the 1970s with Jobs, while O’Reilly has been tapped for the role of Chris-Ann Brennan, a painter and Jobs’ first girlfriend, who eventually gave birth to his first daughter.
Before her breakout role as Elizabeth Leefolt in “The Help”, O’Reilly had bit roles in movies including “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Nancy Drew.” Since the whirlwind of “The Help” and Oscar season, O’Reilly has completed filming on a quartet of indies: “I Am Ben”, “Miss Dial”, “The Time Being” and “Teddy Bears.”