March 6, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
It was one of our 14 Most Anticipated Films of Sundance 2014, and every new clip that comes from Lenny Abrahamson’s “Frank” only reiterates how good and fantastically weird this looks. The first trailer released for its UK premiere in May is no exception.
February 18, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
and Rebecca Lewis
As our Breakout Stars of 2013 are already off onto bigger and better things, it’s time once again to turn our attention to the new stars we will be meeting in 2014. From actors who’ve been steadily working for years still waiting for that breakout role, to others who may be hitting another level in an already impressive career, to those who will appear in their first Hollywood movies this year, these are 20 of the guys and girls we think people will be talking about in 2014.
Faces to Watch: The Guys | Faces to Watch: The Girls
February 16, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
Louis Zamperini is probably better known for the ordeals he went through as a soldier for the American army during World War II, but before that, he was an Olympic athlete in Track and Field and that is the early focus of the first footage released from Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” which chronicles Zamperini’s incredible feats. Narrated by Tom Brokaw and featuring interviews with the now 97 year old Zamperini, the 3-minute preview aired today features our first look at British actor Jack O’Connell as the young Zamperini, from troubled kid to Olympic athlete to soldier to POW detainee.
O’Connell beat out just about every other young actor for the role, and it’s nice to see he seems to have definitely earned it with a convincing and compelling performance in what little we can see so far. Joining him on his later life-or-death journeys are Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock, who play the two soldiers caught in the same plane crash with Zamperini, who end up stranded on a raft with him for 47 days before being rescued… by the Japanese army. Which begins yet another extraordinary chapter in Zamperini’s life as he comes face to face with Mutsushiro Watanabe (Takamasa Ishihara), known as The Bird, the head of the Japanese POW camp who will make it his personal mission to make Zamperini’s life a iving hell.
It’s certainly a story that deserves to be told by an all-star filmmaking crew, led by Jolie, with the Coens on the screenplay and Roger Deakins taking cinematography duties. “Unbroken” will be released on December 25th, and the first trailer can be viewed below.
February 13, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
Canadian actress Sarah Gadon leads an international cast in Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki’s 17th Century historical drama “The Girl King,” which began production this week in Finland, and we’ve got the first photo of Gadon and Swedish actress Malin Buska in the title role. Additionally, Gadon has joined the cast of 1950s set romantic drama “Brooklyn” starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen.
“The Girl King” follows Queen Kristina (Buska), who ruled Sweden from the age of 6 in the 17th Century. The powerful men around her try to manipulate her, but she refuses to marry and produce an heir for the throne, instead finding herself drawn into a passionate love affair with Ebba Sparre (Gadon), her beautiful lady in waiting. The men then turn their attention to using Sparre to get to Kristina, but “underestimate Kristina’s brilliant mind and her desire to be free.” The rest of the cast includes “The Borgias” star Francois Arnaud, “Haven”‘s Lucas Bryant, Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” star Michael Nyqvist and others.
January 16, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
The first clip from Sundance premiere “Frank” just totally confirms why it’s one of our 14 Most Anticipated Films of this year’s festival. The Playlist posted this clip today, featuring Domhnall Gleeson singing the praises of the titular eccentric musician (played by Michael Fassbender under that giant papier-mâché head), who has so many unconventional ways of putting his band through their paces on the path to greatness.
From aerobic exercise that involves beating each other up, to listening to the beauty of the music a bendy straw can make, Gleeson’s Jon (an avatar for screenwriter Jon Ronson, who spent three years as the keyboardist in the real Frank Sidebottom’s band) and his fellow band members are clearly taken in by their leader’s quirks and passion. This just looks so funny and like such a good time. It premieres tomorrow night, and we are eagerly awaiting reactions and – hopefully – distribution news. For now, the first clip, which also gives us our first look at the ubiquitous Scoot McNairy, is below.
January 15, 2014 | Posted by Linda Ge
Much-maligned “Smash” scapegoat no more! Thanks to “The Place Beyond the Pines,” actor Emory Cohen has officially cast off the legacy of the short-lived, vigorously hate-watched NBC drama and embraced his new status as a rising film star. THR reports he’s landed two intriguing new gigs, starring opposite Mark Wahlberg and Brie Larson in Rupert Wyatt’s remake of 1970s drama “The Gambler” as well as “Brooklyn,” the 1950s romantic drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson.
It seems that “Brooklyn” will come first, and will see Ronan as a young Irish woman who leaves her home country behind for a new job opportunity in the titular New York borough. She falls for a young American named Tony (likely Cohen), but is then called back home, where she meets Jim (Gleeson), leaving her to choose between two very different men and cities. John Crowley will direct.
In “The Gambler,” Wahlberg takes over the James Caan role as a literature professor who hides a serious and growing gambling addiction. Cohen will play one of his students, who is also a tennis star. It’s unclear if this is the same role that Travis Tope had been up for, but since that casting was tenuous at best, it may just well be.
Cohen played Leo, Debra Messing’s much derided son on NBC’s musical drama series “Smash,” which mercifully cut his role down to recurring for its second and final season, leaving audiences free to discover him as a fantastic actor in Derek Cianfrance’s multi-generational crime family saga “The Place Beyond the Pines.” He played Bradley Cooper’s arrogant and privileged son, in wonderful contrast to Dane DeHaan’s dark and bitter progeny of Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes. Since then he’s also wrapped indie drama “Stealing Cars” with William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman.
November 6, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Looks like things are suddenly moving right along for “Brooklyn,” the long-gestating adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel that Nick Hornby adapted and which will now star Saoirse Ronan, who replaced Rooney Mara. Today Deadline reports “Anna Karenina” breakout star Domhnall Gleeson has joined the cast as well, along with Jim Broadbent.
Ronan will star as Ellis Lacey, a 1950s Irish girl who reluctantly leaves her small village to take a job offer in New York City. There, she begins to adjust and enjoy her new freedom, falling in love along the way. When she’s called back to Ireland suddenly, she meets another man on home soil, and must choose between the two men and the two cities they represent. Since Gleeson is Irish as well, we can probably safely assume he’ll play Jim Farrell, the suitor she encounters on her visit home. Director John Crowley recently revealed they’re gearing up to shoot in 2014.
Gleeson is currently filming Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” with Jack O’Connell, and he’s attached to Alex Garland’s directorial debut “Ex Machina,” which will reunite him with “Anna Karenina” love interest Alicia Vikander. He can currently be seen in time travel love story “About Time” with (who else?) Rachel McAdams.
October 31, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Angelina Jolie has begun filming on her highly anticipated adaptation of WWII true life survival tale “Unbroken,” and Hey U Guys have the first official behind-the-scenes images from the set featuring Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock filming one of the most harrowing sequences in the film.
“Unbroken,” adapted from the bestseller by Laura Hillenbrand, follows O’Connell’s Louis Zamperini, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who finds purpose in track and field, eventually becoming an Olympian. But his story only gets more interesting from there as he enlists in the army, fights in WWII and survives a plane crash, being stranded at sea with two fellow soldiers (Gleeson and Wittrock) and then being sent to a Japanese Prisoner of War camp, where he was tortured and abused, and lived to tell the tale.
The first photos released from the set feature the trio looking sunburnt and malnourished (months of dieting got them to this point) floating on their rafts, while Jolie looks on, first on location and then in an edit bay. Filming began on October 16th in Australia, with a Christmas Day 2014 release date set. See the first photos, as well as an official press release about the shoot, below.
August 22, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Up and coming actors Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock have joined Jack O’Connell in Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of “Unbroken”, based on the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, according to The Wrap.
O’Connell beat out stiff competition to land the role of the Olympian turned POW. Born in 1917 to Italian immigrant parents, Zamperini was picked on in school for his lack of English skills, but a troubled youth was turned around when he got involved in his high school’s track team. He went on to qualify for the 1936 Olympics in the 5000 metres race. He finished 8th in the race at the Olympics, but a fast finish time garnered him a personal meeting with Adolf Hiter. And that’s just the beginning of Zamperini’s epic journey as he then enlisted in the army in 1941 and was caught in a plane crash, landing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with two other soldiers (Wittrock and Gleeson), managing to survive for 47 days, before they were found and then immediately captured by the Japanese Navy. As a POW, Zamperini and pilot and fellow survivor Russel Allen “Phil” Phillips (Gleeson) were beaten and starved for over three years before being discovered alive. The Coen Brothers recently polished up the script and Roger Deakins is rumored to be the DP. Filming begins in October in Australia and Deakins was recently spotted location scouting with Jolie.
Gleeson played Bill Weasley in the final two-parter “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and recently earned raves for his role as Levin opposite Alicia Vikander’s Kitty in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina.” The two will reunite for Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina.” Most recently he wrapped up shooting on musical comedy “Frank” opposite Michael Fassbender and will soon be seen in time travel rom com “About Time” opposite Rachel McAdams.
Wittrock had been set to play Romeo opposite Elizabeth Olsen’s Juliet in an off-Broadway production of the Shakespearean classic, but dropped out evidently to do this film. He’s wrapped supporting roles in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” and fantasy epic “Winter’s Tale” and is currently filming HBO movie “The Normal Heart.”
May 3, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Alicia Vikander has landed and is now in negotiations for the female lead role in screenwriter Alex Garland’s directorial debut “Ex-Machina”, according to The Wrap. Vikander had been up for the role against British actress Felicity Jones, but emerged victorious and will reunite with “Anna Karenina” co-star Domhnall Gleeson, who stars opposite Oscar Isaac.
Isaac stars in the futuristic thriller as a billionaire who hires a young employee (Gleeson) to “spend a week at his remote estate and participate in a test involving his latest invention – an artificially intelligent female robot.” With a lovely young lady like Ms. Vikander playing the robot, we’re betting human-like feelings start forming here. At least we know Vikander and Gleeson have plenty of romantic chemistry.
The two played would-be lovers Kitty and Levin in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina”, which helped make Vikander one of our Breakout Stars of 2012. The one-two punch of “Anna” and Danish Oscar entry “A Royal Affair” provided Vikander with quite the introduction to Hollywood, and she’s booked more and more intriguing projects ever since. She’s already wrapped on Bill Condon’s Wikileaks film “The Fifth Estate” with Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl as well as Australian thriller “Son of a Gun” opposite Ewan McGregor.