February 8, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
“This is Where I Leave You” is not dead. The ensemble family comedy had been in limbo since original director Adam Shankman left the project before finalizing deals with actors including Zac Efron, Malin Akerman, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis to join the cast, but now the project is getting back on track. Shawn Levy took over directing duties from now-producer Shankman, and Bateman has signed back on for the lead role of Judd Foxman.
It looks like Bateman may be the only original cast member to return to the delayed production, and casting is now underway for new actors to join him. On Monday, actresses including Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Isla Fisher, Ari Graynor, Zoe Saldana and Kathryn Hahn will be auditioning for Levy and Bateman. Bateman’s Judd is a man from a large family who has just discovered his wife’s infidelity with his boss and whose distant father has just died. His father’s dying wish was for the entire family to spend the full seven days after his death together, in the same house.
December 18, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Rising indie star Mackenzie Davis has joined the cast of ensemble romantic comedy “Are We Officially Dating?”, according to Variety.
Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan play a trio of friends who make a pact to stay single just as they each begin to fall in love. Imgoen Poots plays one of the young ladies on the receiving end of their affections, and Davis is replacing “True Blood” actress Deborah Ann Woll in playing the ex-wife of one of the boys. Tom Gormican wrote and will direct the film imminently in New York.
Davis was last seen in Jame Ponsoldt’s “Smashed” and returns to Sundance in 2013 with a more prominent role – which is already garnering buzz, per Variety – in Drake Doremus’ “Breathe In” opposite Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones. She recently wrapped up shooting on “The F Word” with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.
October 15, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
“Breaking Bad” is wrapping up, and Aaron Paul is wasting no time gearing up for a big screen career. EW reports today that the Emmy winner is the first to sign on for one of the lead roles in car racing video game adaptation “Need for Speed.” Meanwhile, presumably, a couple of younger actors like Aussies Luke Bracey and Brenton Thwaites are still vying for a different role.
Brothers George Gatins and John Gatins developed the original story which is based on the entire Electronic Arts video game franchise, rather than one specific game. According to the press release, it will be “a fast-paced, high-octane film rooted in the tradition of the great car culture films of the 70s while being extremely faithful to the spirit of the video game franchise.” Scott Waugh is attached to direct, with a tentative early 2013 shoot planned, for a projected 2014 release.
Outside of his Emmy-winning role as Jesse Pinkman on AMC series “Breaking Bad”, which is set to end after its 5th season next year, Paul can currently be seen opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Sundance hit “Smashed”, which generated positive buzz at the festival and again now, and he was also shortlisted for the role of John McClane, Jr. in “A Good Day to Die Hard”, ultimately losing out to Aussie newcomer Jai Courtney. He recently wrapped up indie “Decoding Annie Parker” opposite Helen Hunt and Samantha Morton and is currently filming Nick Hornby novel adaptation “A Long Way Down” opposite Imogen Poots, Pierce Brosnan and Toni Colette.
October 12, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
The search for the female lead of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is becoming one of those long-winded musical chair sessions. First it was Imogen Poots vs. Felicity Jones vs. Anna Kendrick, then it was Poots up against a few other names, including Alison Brie, Emilia Clarke, Teresa Palmer and Jessica Brown-Findlay. Now, the latest rumor suggests it may not be any of the above. Latino Review reports that Marvel actually “has the most traction” with a name that has not been on either list: Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The young lady chosen will likely be playing Sharon Carter, or S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 in the film opposite Chris Evans returning as Steve Rogers. Depending on the mythology, which varies even in the comics, Sharon is the niece or granddaughter or some other relative of Peggy Carter, Rogers’ love interest in “Captain America: The First Avenger” as played by Hayley Atwell. Latino Review further details that actresses auditioning for the role should be in their 20s and read their lines with “an accent.”
September 11, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
There has been buzz about this move since it premiered at Sundance in January, but today we finally have the trailer for James Ponsoldt’s relationship dramedy “Smashed”, which sees Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul as a couple of happily married kids whose bond is sustained by a mutual love for getting drunk.
Things get tense when Winstead’s character decides it’s time to stop and begins going to AA, where she is befriended by Octavia Spencer in her first role since winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “The Help.” Winstead herself is getting her fair share of Oscar buzz this time around, with critics calling her performance revelatory and a tour-de-force and the footage in the trailer certainly is very promising. The film’s also got that classic indie drama visual style, with swaying cameras and blurry closeups, which reminds me immediately of last year’s “Like Crazy”, which also charmed audiences and critics, as well as boasted a breakthrough performance from a young actress.
“Smashed” will be released on October 12th and the trailer can be viewed below.
August 2, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kyle Chandler have joined the cast of teen coming of age dramedy “The Spectacular Now”, which already stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Dayo Okeniyi and Brie Larson. Variety also reports that Bob Odenkirk, Andre Royo, Kaitlyn Dever and Masam Holden have also joined the cast in supporting roles.
In the James Ponsoldt-directed film based on Tim Tharp’s novel, Teller plays Sutter Keely, a party-hard high school student who stumbles across Woodley’s shy and introverted Aimee. Instead of good girl Aimee saving Sutter from his bad boy ways, he begins to change her in return as she starts to adopt some of his risky behavior. Larson will play Cassidy, the beautiful and popular girlfriend of Sutter who dumps him and prompts his meeting with Aimee. Chandler will play Sutter’s father, and Winstead his sister.
Chandler graduated from playing the beloved Coach Taylor of NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”, which finally earned him an Emmy, to an increasingly impressive film career. He most recently completed filming on Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”, as well as political thrillers “Broken City” with Mark Wahlberg and Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” He’ll next film Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” opposite Leonardo Dicaprio. Winstead broke out as Michael Cera’s dream girl in Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and starred in one of this year’s best-received Sundance offerings, “Smashed”, as well as “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, in which she played Mary Todd-Lincoln.
May 1, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Emmy Rossum has herself a little brother in Kyle Gallner. Variety reports the “Nightmare on Elm Street” star is set to join the cast of Warner Bros adaptation of paranormal teen romance “Beautiful Creatures”, based on the best-selling series of books by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Newcomers Alden Ehrenreich (who replaced Jack O’Connell) and Alice Englert play the star-crossed lovers and are rounded out by a cast that also includes “Project X” star Thomas Mann, Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson.
In the Richard LaGravenese adapted and directed film, Ehrenreich’s Ethan is a popular high school student in a small southern town plagued by dreams of a mysterious girl – who then magically shows up in his town. Englert’s Lena, an outsider who’s also harboring a dangerous and… bewitching secret, is that girl. Rossum plays bad witch Ridley, while Gallner will be her little brother Larkin, who doesn’t show up until the second book, raising the possibility his role could be a small one that will be expanded if the film is successful enough to garner sequels in the vein of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.” Filming is set to begin soon in and around New Orleans.
Gallner, who played the male lead opposite Rooney Mara in 2010′s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” remake, will next be seen in last year’s Sundance premiere “Little Birds” which will finally see a release next month, and this year’s Sundance premiere “Smashed.” He was also in Kevin Smith’s “Red State” and will star in the director’s next, “Hit Somebody”, as well.
April 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Amidst the controversy surrounding the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin comes a timely dramatization of a similar incident that took place in Northern California in 2009. THR reports “Chronicle” star Michael B. Jordan is in talks to take on the role of Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale”, the indie drama that will seek to tell the story of how Grant was detained by police and then shot in the back and killed on New Years Day 2009. Recent Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is in talks to play his mother.
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. 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.
The film, marking the writing and directing debut of Ryan Coogler, will follow Grant throughout his last day. A July production in Northern California is scheduled.
Jordan, a veteran of two of TV’s most critically acclaimed dramas “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights”, was seen this year in “Red Tails” and surprise breakout sci-fi hit “Chronicle.” Spencer won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in February for her role as Minny Jackson in “The Help.” She was part of Sundance hit “Smashed” with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul and is currently filming Diablo Cody’s directorial debut opposite Julianne Hough and Russell Brand, previously titled “Lamb of God.” She’ll next film Bong Joon-ho’s English directorial debut “Snow Piercer” opposite Chris Evans and Jamie Bell.
March 1, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has joined Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and “Glee” star Jane Lynch in the cast of indie comedy “A.C.O.D.”, according to Deadline. Scott plays Carter, an A.C.O.D. (Adult Child of Divorce), who’s been caught in the middle of his parents’ nasty divorce for over 20 years. When his brother gets engaged, the feud between the exes intensifies and things spiral out of control. Jenkins plays the dad, Lynch plays Scott’s psychiatrist and Winstead will be Lauren, his longtime girlfriend and “the rock in his increasingly chaotic life.” Stuart Zicherman and and Ben Karlin wrote the script, and Zicherman will direct.
Comedy is a bit of a new direction for Winstead, who is quite a veteran of the horror genre, having starred in the likes of “Final Destination 3″, “Black Christmas”, “The Thing”, and this summer, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” But critics are calling her performance in dark Sundance comedy “Smashed” her best performance ever, and she also recently completed a role in Roman Coppola’s totally absurd sounding “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”, starring Charlie Sheen and loosely based on the volatile actor’s real life antics. She is also set to return to her favorite genre in horror flick “The Darkness.”
February 8, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
One of our favorite up and comers – and one of our Face to Watch in 2012 – will take on ghosts for her next project. Variety reports Mary Elizabeth Winstead has committed to starring in psychological thriller “The Darkness”, which sounds like a mix between “The Others” and “Take Shelter.” Winstead will play an American student who looks after her tutor’s two young children in a sprawling and probably really creepy English manor, who begins to believe they are being haunted as mysterious events begin to threaten. Megan Holley wrote the script and German director Daniel Stamm will be behind the camera.
Winstead is certainly no stranger to horror, ghosts and supernatural events, having starred in such scary, gory fare as “Final Destination 3″, “Black Christmas”, “The Thing”, and this summer, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” She took a turn for the more grounded and realistic in what some critics are calling her best performance in recent Sundance relationship drama “Smashed”, in which she plays one half of an alcoholic couple opposite “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul and recent Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer. She has also completed work on “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”, Roman Coppola’s film starring Charlie Sheen and loosely based on the volatile actor’s real life antics.