January 28, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
They were youngsters in the original “X-Men” trilogy, but now Ellen Page (Shadowcat), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Anna Paquin (Rogue) are returning to the franchise as adults in time-travel themed “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, joining a new class of mutants including Jennifer Lawrence (young Mystique), Michael Fassbender (young Magneto), James McAvoy (young Xavier) and Nicholas Hoult (young Beast) who reside in the past. Bryan Singer, also returning to the franchise’s director’s chair for the first time since “X2″, made the trio’s return official on Twitter last week. Thus far, Ian McKellen (Magnento) and Patrick Stewart (Professor X) are also returning from the original cast, with presumably more to come.
Page’s return was probably crucial to this film, as comic fans are well aware that Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat is central to the storyline which takes place partly in an alternative dystopic future in which all mutants are trapped in internment camps. Shadowcat travels back in time (well, her consciousness does, but let’s not get into that convoluted mess) to meet the younger versions of the X-Men to prevent one fateful event from happening which triggers the gloomy alternate future. With the way the films have messed with comic canon, it’s unclear at this point how to-the-books Singer will stick with this new adaptation. The film is scheduled for release on July 18, 2014 and filming will begin soon.
Page has stayed away from superhero franchises since her last stint as Kitty Pryde in 2006, and is a much respected indie actress after landing an Oscar nomination for “Juno.” She’ll next be seen in Brit Marling’s Sundance premiere “The East.” Paquin has become a franchise queen of a different sort, playing the lead role of Sookie on HBO’s hit vampire series “True Blood”, now in its 6th season. Ashmore is a regular on new Fox series “The Following.”
November 28, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Though he had been in negotiations for Bill Condon’s Wikileaks origin tale, James McAvoy won’t be able to play Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange’s right hand man after all. He’s set to play Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” early next year, just as Condon’s film begins shooting. Instead, THR reports, German actor Daniel Bruhl is now finalizing a deal to play Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
The Dreamworks film is taking its source material from Domscheit-Berg’s “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding, British journalists who worked at The Guardian and helped Assanage publish his first findings. Production is being fast-tracked and aiming for a January start.
Bruhl caught the attention of Hollywood following a turn opposite Melanie Laurent in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar nominated “Inglourious Basterds” and recently wrapped up shooting Ron Howard’s Formula One racing biopic “Rush”, in which he played legendary racer Niki Lauda opposite Chris Hemsworth, who played James Hunt, as well as John Le Carre adaptation “A Most Wanted Man” opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams.
November 9, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play Julian Assange and James McAvoy is in talks to play his right hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg in Bill Condon’s untitled film about the founding of Wikileaks, reports Variety. “The Killing” star and new Robocop Joel Kinnaman had been rumored for the role of Domscheit-Berg earlier, but McAvoy is the one who’s getting the part.
Dreamworks is taking its source material from Domscheit-Berg’s “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding, British journalists who worked at The Guardian and helped Assanage publish his first findings. Meanwhile, other filmmakers and even Assange himself remain at work on their own retellings of the formation of the whistleblowing organization, but it looks like Dreamworks has the edge by being the first. Filming is slated for next year, and will work around McAvoy’s “X-Men” sequel schedule.
McAvoy will reprise his role as Professor Xavier in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, recently confirmed to be directed by original “X-Men” director Bryan Singer. He also recently wrapped up filming on a pair of films, “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her” opposite Jessica Chastain, as well as Danny Boyle’s heist thriller “Trance.”
July 12, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Nina Arianda is a name to keep your eyes on.
Two days after landing a big break playing legendary folk singer Janis Joplin in a biopic entitled “Janis” and to be directed by “Martha Marcy May Marlene” helmer Sean Durkin, the recent Tony award-winning actress has signed on to star alongside Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby“.
“The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” is a two part film, “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His“. The two films tells the same story but from differing points of view, chronicling the troubled relationship of a wife (Chastain) who has recently decided to go back to college, and her husband (McAvoy), a restauranteur. Showbiz411 reports that Arianda is set to play their therapist.
Ned Benson is making his directorial debut on the two films, as well as penning the scripts.
Arianda made her big screen debut in 2011 in “Win Win” and “Higher Ground”, both of which premiered at Sundance. She also had a supporting performance as Michael Sheen’s wife in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” but “Janis” marks her first leading role.
May 22, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Looks like Joel Edgerton is getting to be the kind of busy that forces him to drop out of projects from time to time. The first victim: A reunion with “Zero Dark Thrity” co-star Jessica Chastain in double feature “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her.” Edgerton’s role will now be played by British actor James McAvoy. A disappointing turn of events as Edgerton and Chastain were an exciting pairing, but McAvoy is certainly a worthy replacement.
Ned Benson wrote both scripts and will direct both films, which follow the point of views of the husband, a restauranteur, in one and the wife, who recently decided to go back to college, in the other. Each fill will be a stand-alone feature, with filming set to begin in July.
McAvoy was last seen on the big screen as the telepathic Professor Xavier in “X-Men: First Class” and recently wrapped up on British films “Filth”, “Welcome to the Punch” and Danny Boyle’s “Trance.”
January 21, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
The 90s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting” is one of my favourites films of all time, so I’m excited to see how Jon S. Baird takes on an adaptation of another Welsh classic, “Filth”, with rising British stars Jamie Bell and Imogen Poots joining the cast.
James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a sex-obsessed, cocaine-addicted police officer, who, as he attempts to investigate a murder gets sidetracked by his own worries, manipulating “everyone in his path to secure a promotion and win back his wife and daughter.”
Filming is set to kick off very soon and Variety reports that Poots will be playing a colleague of Bruce’s, joining Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan and Joanne Froggatt in the film. Bell joined the cast late last summer, with Welsh telling The Playlist that “Jamie is going to be Lennox, [Bruce's] kind of sidekick”.
2012 looks set to be an interesting year for both British actors, with Poots taking on the lead role in “Greeting From Tim Buckley”, one of the three Jeff Buckley films currently in production. We’re also hoping to see the romantic heist film “Comes A Bright Day” sometime this year, also starring up and comer Craig Roberts. Bell remained slightly off-radar for a few years, but 2011 was a comeback for him, starring in the critically-acclaimed adaptation of “Jane Eyre”, attempting a diamond hesit in “Man On The Ledge” and taking on the titular role in the performance-capture 3D family film, “The Adventure of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”. Bell recently joined Chris Evans in the post-apocalyptic thriller “Snow Piercer”.
October 19, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
It’s been quite a roller coaster for Warner Bros’ ambitious big budget adaptation of iconic Japanese manga “Akira”, and it looks like the journey is not over, as perhaps many fans had hoped. The production began casting a net for young actors as potential leads in March, then the studio apparently got nervous with the lack of star power and offered it to Keanu Reeves… who promptly turned it down. Director Albert Hughes then vacated the chair, and in July “Unknown” helmer Jaume Collet-Serra stepped in, but whether the project would ever get off the ground was still very much in doubt, due in part to its high $100+ million budget. But now it appears the studio is keen to get the project going once and for all, as Variety reports it has been officially greenlit, with a trimmed down $90 million budget and a front-runner for the lead role in rising star Garrett Hedlund.
In Japan, “Akira” was set in a post-apocalypric Neo-Toyko, but this new Americanized adaptation will take place in New-Manhattan, “where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.” Hedlund, who was said to be in the running for the role of carefree gang-leader Kanedu back in March, does not have an offer on the table yet, but both studio and director are keen on him and something official should be imminent. There is no word on who might play his best friend Tetsuo. Could it also be someone from the March shortlist, which included Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy? Decisions should start happening soon as the pre-production process has been fast-tracked in preparation for a rapidly approaching March 2012 shoot.
Hedlund is no stranger to long-gestating, controversial films and iconic characters. Not only did he play son of Jeff Bridges’ ultimate nerd icon Kevin Flynn in 2010′s years-in-the-making “Tron: Legacy”, a sequel to the 1982 classic, he also has Walter Salles’ decades-in-the-making adaptation of “On the Road” coming up. That, of course, is based on the Jack Kerouac classic that many people believe simply can’t be adapted for the screen, and he’ll play Dean Moriarity, based on legendary Beat generation icon Neal Cassady. Sounds like “Akira” could be right up Hedlund’s alley.
July 27, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Rosario Dawson – not Scarlett Johanson, Melanie Thierry or Zoe Saldana, as previously rumored – has landed the female lead in Danny Boyle’s heist thriller “Trance”, reports Deadline. Dawson will join James McAvoy in the lead role of Simon, and Vincent Cassel is now also on board for the role of Aiden, a role previously held by Michael Fassbender, who had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
A remake of the 2001 British TV movie originally directed by Joe Ahearne, “Trance” tells the story of an art heist that goes wrong when the mastermind behind the mission is injured and suffers from amnesia. Among the gang of thieves, he is the only one who knows the location of the stolen art and after the team begins to suspect that he might be faking the loss of his memory, a hypnotist is brought in to search his mind. McAvoy’s Simon is the amnesiac theif and while Deadline reports Dawson will play a character who “develops an unusual relationship with both men”, previous reports seemed to confirm she will be the hypnotist.
Boyle will direct the moderately budgeted thriller this fall in London, then shelve the footage until August 2012, after Boyle is finished directing the Summer Olympics. “Trance” is expected to be ready for a March 2013 release.
Dawson can currently be seen opposite Kevin James in “Zookeeper” and will be part of the large ensemble cast of “Ten Year”, announced yesterday to be premiering at September’s Toronto International Film Festival.
July 4, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
More reports surrounding the rotating door cast of Danny Boyle’s heist thriller “Trance” (formerly “Trances”). Michael Fassbender had been the first to sign on, but the news was then followed with reports that “X-Men: First Class” co-star James McAvoy would be replacing him. That too was debunked by the studio, saying the two are actually up for different roles. Twitch now reports their sources insist that while Fox was truthful regarding McAvoy and Fassbender up for different roles – McAvoy is up for the role of Simon and Fassbender for Aiden – Fassbender is now most definitely out due to scheduling conflicts, and that Boyle now has his eyes on Colin Firth to replace him. Twitch also reports Scarlett Johansson is the director’s top choice for the role of Elizabeth, the female lead, although he is still seeing other actresses, including “Avatar” star Zoe Saldana and French newcomer Mélanie Thierry.
A remake of the 2001 British TV movie originally directed by Joe Ahearne, “Trance” tells the story of an art heist that goes wrong when the mastermind behind the mission is injured and suffers from amnesia. Among the gang of thieves, he is the only one who knows the location of the stolen art and after the team begins to suspect that he might be faking the loss of his memory, a hypnotist is brought in to search his mind. McAvoy’s Simon is the amnesiac theif and Johansson, Saldana and Thierry are up for the role of the hypnotist.
Twitch points out that going by the casting process thus far, Boyle is likely to emerge with his first choices for the roles, so don’t be surprised to see Firth and Johansson in the cast. Production is set to get underway this fall, but after that Boyle will shelve the project to concentrate on directing the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. “Trance” will be edited in time for a 2013 release.
May 18, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Jennifer Lawrence shows a bit of Mystique’s femme fatale tendencies emerge in this new clip from “X-Men: First Class”, as she teases and flatters shy scientist Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy, the mutant who will come to be known as Beast. James McAvoy as Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert and Oliver Platt as The Man in Black are all there, peering curiously at their new mutant friend and encourage him to show off his powers for them. There, of course, being the 1960s, back when everyone got along and there was still hope for mutants and humans (and mutants and mutants) to get along peacefully. As we know from history, at least two of this new group of friends won’t be so friendly in the end.
“X-Men: First Class” chronicles the beginning of the X-Men, and hits theaters on June 3, 2011.