July 16, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has joined “Kill the Messenger”, the biopic of journalist Gary Webb, according to Deadline. Jeremy Renner plays Webb in the Michael Cuesta-directed film, with Rosemarie DeWitt and Barry Pepper also part of the supporting cast.
Webb was a San Jose Mercury News reporter during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s, who published an expose detailing the link between the CIA and Contra rebels in Nicaragua in importing and selling cocaine on the streets of California. Rather than make his career, the expose elicited harsh criticisms which rendered Webb unable to find another job, sending him into a downward spiral that culminated in his suicide in 2004. The film seeks to validate Webb’s side of the story by proposing his findings were correct and he was the victim of a smear campaign in order to hide the CIA’s more morally ambiguous actions taken in the name of the greater good. Peter Landesman wrote the script, and Winstead will play Dawn Garcia, Webb’s editor at the San Jose Mercury News.
The ever-busy Winstead has been branching out from film as of late. She’s been cast as the female lead opposite Logan Marshall-Green in Cinemax series pilot “Quarry”, which could send her to TV if it gets picked up, and she’s recorded an album under the band name Got a Girl. On the film side, she’ll soon be seen opposite Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in James Ponsoldt’s follow-up to “Smashed” (which made her one of our Breakout Stars of 2012), “The Spectacular Now”, and she recently signed on to two more indies, Chris Messina’s untitled directorial debut and Riley Stearns’ “Faults.”
July 1, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has committed to starring in a new indie drama as her next project, according to Deadline. She’s currently shooting actor Chris Messina’s untitled directorial debut, and then will segue to “Faults”, the feature directorial debut of her husband Riley Stearns. The two have already collaborated on several short films.
In “Faults”, riding the wave of indie pics that revolve around cults, Winstead will play a cult member whose parents try to save by hiring an expert to deprogram her. But as the expert digs deeper, he begins to question whether the family she is now estranged from may be more of a danger to her than the cult they are trying to rescue her from. “Faults” is set to shoot later this year.
The ever-busy Winstead has been branching out from film as of late. She’s been cast as the female lead opposite Logan Marshall-Green in Cinemax series pilot “Quarry”, which could send her to TV if it gets picked up, and she’s recorded an album under the band name Got a Girl. On the film side, she’ll soon be seen opposite Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in James Ponsoldt’s follow-up to “Smashed” (which made her one of our Breakout Stars of 2012), “The Spectacular Now.”
June 12, 2013 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is joining “The Mindy Project” star Chris Messina‘s directorial debut, an untitled film from writers Jessica Strong, Katie Nehry and Justin Shilton.
Troy Garity, Derek Luke and Don Johnson will also star in the film which follows “workaholic attorney Alex [Winstead], who is forced to reinvent her life after her husband suddenly leaves. Now faced with the humdrum and sometimes catastrophic events that permeate the fabric of our lives, Alex discovers both a vulnerability and inner strength she had not yet tapped all while trying to hold together her broken family.”
Showbiz 411 broke the story and we have to agree this sounds like a classic Sundance Film Festival pick. However, Messina’s project doesn’t start filming until the summer, making it mighty tight for Sundance’s October deadline.
Winstead is a talented indie actress who is familar with the Sundance ropes, premiering two critically acclaimed films there in two years – “Smashed” in 2012, which also garnered her an Independent Spirit nomination, and the 2013 adaptation of “The Spectacular Now“. She’s one of our picks for the role of Hillary Rodham, which would put her back to work with director James Ponsoldt on the “Rodham” biopic. She was most recently in the mix for Shawn Levy’s “This Is Where I Leave You“, though the role went to Rose Byrne.
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.