January 31, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
After a string of big budget studio blockbusters, Jeremy Renner is set to return to the darker and more serious films that made him a two-time Oscar nominee. Deadline reports Renner will star in “Kill the Messener”, a true life thriller that will be directed by Michael Cuesta this summer.
Renner will play Gary Webb in the film written by Peter Landesman. 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.
After critical success and Oscar nominations following supporting performances in “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town”, Renner moved into the mainstream in rapid succession by starring in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, “The Avengers”, “The Bourne Legacy” and the currently playing “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” It’s become rather clear, however, he’s much better in more prestigious, intimate films that really showcase his acting. There are no more blockbusters on his plate for the foreseeable future (minus an “Avengers” sequel or two). Instead, he has dramas like James Gray’s “Lowlife” and David O. Russell’s untitled Abscam film (previously titled “American Bullshit”) coming down the pike.
August 6, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
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Kathryn Bigelow has been deep in development and production on her first film since winning the Best Picture Oscar for 2009′s “The Hurt Locker”, and today the teaser trailer for Osama Bin Laden thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” has been unveiled. The film, like the mission itself, has been shrouded in controversy and secrecy, with a cast led by Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain and Kyle Chandler. As for the mysterious and slightly confusing title, Bigelow tells EW, “It’s a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade long mission.”
From first impressions, the film seems much sleeker than “The Hurt Locker”, though surely the final product will see more of Bigelow’s signature grit and intensity. “Zero Dark Thirty” has been set for a post-Presidential election and Oscar-friendly December 19th release. The first trailer and a couple of images can be viewed below, be sure to head over to EW for much more in-depth coverage on the film.
July 23, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
It’s one of the hottest, most timely of topics, and now WikiLeaks may have met the face of its Hollywood immortalization. Deadline reports Dreamworks Studios is eyeing Jeremy Renner to star as controversial founder Julian Assange in a big screen retelling of the formation of the whistleblowing organization. Additionally, the studio is also said to be in negotiations with Oscar-winning director Bill Condon to step behind the camera.
The studio purchased the rights to two WikiLeaks related books in preparation for their film, “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks executive, 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.
Naturally, Dreamworks are not the only film company seeking to tell Assange’s story. The man himself has been contracted to write his own memoirs, with screen rights being handled by CAA, though that may be years down the line as he’s still embroiled in legal issues from several different angles. “The Hurt Locker” writer Mark Boal has also optioned “The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, which examines Assange’s dealings with The New York Times, and Universal Pictures will stick to just the facts, picking up a documentary on the subject. But it appears Dreamworks, perhaps with Condon and Renner in tow, will have the head start on the dramatization side.
If a deal comes together, the polarizing Assange will be right up Renner’s alley, who has proven himself capable of the kind of gravitas it takes to not only convincingly play complex characters but also have the charisma to headline high profile studio fare. Already having earned his indie cred with Oscar-nominated roles in “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town”, he’s moving into that blockbuster becoming-a-movie-star phase of his career with roles in “The Avengers” and soon to be released “The Bourne Legacy.” Something like this WikiLeaks film – and the upcoming David O. Russell directed (soon to be retitled) “American Bullshit” opposite Bradley Cooper – seems to hit the sweet spot between both extremes.
July 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Two of the busiest, most sought-after leading men are set to share the screen at last. Variety reports Jeremy Renner is in negotiations to join Bradley Cooper in director David O. Russell’s next untitled drama, formerly working under “American Bullshit.” Christian Bale had previously been slated to star opposite Cooper but fell out.
The film will follow the real life political drama Abscam, which was set up by the FBI in the 1970s and 80s. Cooper will play Mel Weinberg, a con artist who was forced into doing undercover work for the FBI to catch corrupt political officials. Renner will play the FBI agent who busts him and turns him into an ally. The Abscam investigation ultimately culminated in the conviction of a United States Senator and five members of the House of Representatives, all of whom were videotaped making illegal deals with the undercover Weinberg. A February 2013 start date is scheduled.
Renner, who recently appeared in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and “The Avengers”, has one more blockbuster actioner to go this year, “The Bourne Legacy”, in which he takes the mantle from Matt Damon as an amnesiac government operative gone rogue. He has also wrapped up filming on fairy tale revision “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and an untitled drama opposite Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix.
July 16, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
More “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” news? Bring. It. On. Especially when it’s casting news as awesome as one of our favorite rising stars, Anthony Mackie, in talks to join the cast as Marvel superhero Falcon. THR reports Mackie is in negotiations for the role of Sam Wilson opposite returning Cap Chris Evans (and most likely Sebastian Stan as well).
The title of the film definitely seems to indicate Stan’s deceased Bucky Barnes will be revived and brought back to battle Evans’ Steve Rogers in modern times, following his fate in the comics. Mackie’s character Wilson is credited as being the first African-American superhero in mainstream comics, who is endowed with the ability to fly and communicate with birds by Cap’s nemesis, Red Skull. Rogers befriends Wilson and successfully turns him against the villain who “created” him, and the two go on to have many crime-fighting adventures together. Of course, this is the Marvel movie universe, so a whole new history could be created for this version of the Falcon. Anthony and Joseph Russo will direct “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, with a release already set for April 4, 2014.
After breaking out in Kathryn Bigelow’s Best Picture Oscar winner “The Hurt Locker” opposite Jeremy Renner, Mackie has been increasingly in demand, appearing in four movies in 2011 and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” already out this year, with “Gangster Squad” set for release in September. He recently wrapped up Michael Bay’s dark indie comedy “Pain and Gain” opposite Mark Wahlberg and is currently filming gambling thriller “Runner Runner” with Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck.
May 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Anthony Mackie has joined the cast of online gambling thriller “Runner Runner”, according to Deadline.
Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck and “Project X” breakout star Oliver Cooper have already been cast in the Brad Furman film about a couple of Ivy League college students (Timberlake and Cooper) who get drawn into the world of online gambling and find themselves in over their heads when they’re hired to work for Affleck’s shady billionaire online gambling business owner. Filming begins next month in Puerto Rico, with Mackie in the role of an FBI agent who’s been trying to take down Affleck for years.
After breaking out in Kathryn Bigelow’s Best Picture Oscar winner “The Hurt Locker” opposite Jeremy Renner, Mackie has been increasingly in demand, appearing in four movies in 2011 and set to have an even bigger 2012, with “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” set for release next month and Ruben Fleischer’s “Gangster Squad” recently bumped up to a September 7th release. He’s currently filming bodybuilder heist actioner “Pain and Gain” opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson.
April 27, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Brian Geraghty is going from the hot sands of Iraq to the frozen wilderness of one of the world’s highest mountains. THR reports the “Hurt Locker” star is set to take the lead in indie “Kilimanjaro”, which, like the name suggests, follows a man as he attempts to make the treacherous trek that has taken many lives.
However, filming will take place in New York next month under the direction of Walter Strafford, and the man is described as setting his sights on the nearly impossible goal following a recent breakup, so it’s unclear if he will actually make it to the mountain of if Kilimanjaro is more of a metaphoric obstacle in a more intimate character study.
Geraghty, who played specialist Owen Eldridge opposite Jeremy Renner’s rebellious William James and Anthony Mackie’s by-the-books JT Sanborn in Kathryn Bigelow’s 2009 Best Picture Oscar Winner “The Hurt Locker”, was recently seen in Channing Tatum’s TIFF-premiered high school reunion drama “Ten Year” and thriller “ATM” opposite Alice Eve and Josh Peck. He has completed filming on “Flight” opposite Denzel Washington, as well as indie flicks including Lionsgate’s comedy “Gay Dude” opposite Nicholas Braun and family drama “Refuge” with Krysten Ritter.
February 23, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
One of our favorite rising stars – and one of our Faces to Watch in 2012 – Anthony Mackie continues to build an impressive and varied upcoming slate, with Variety reporting the “Hurt Locker” star has signed on to star opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in bodybuilding heist thriller “Pain and Gain.”
Michael Bay directs the low budget crime thriller based on a true story about a group of bodybuilders in Florida who “engaged in a campaign of kidnapping, extortion and murder.” Mackie will play Adrian Doorbal, a nice guy who’s fed up with bodybuilding getting him nowhere in life and gets roped into the schemes of friend and fellow athlete Daniel Lugo, played by Wahlberg. Rounding out the real life portrayals are Ed Harris as Ed Du Bois, the detective on the case and comedian Rob Corddry as John Mese, the owner of the gym where the guys work out. Production is slated for a spring start.
Mackie, along with Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty, led Kathryn Bigelow’s indie Iraq war thriller “The Hurt Locker” all the way to a Best Picture Oscar win, and has been a steadily rising star ever since. After appearing in four movies in 2011 – rom com “What’s Your Number?”, Toronto Film Fest entry “Ten Year”, robot boxing actioner “Real Steel” and sci-fi romance “The Adjustment Bureau”, Mackie is looking to have an even bigger 2012. He’s already appeared opposite Sam Worthington in “Man on a Ledge” and has completed filming on “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Gangster Squad.”
February 22, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
We’ve been hearing about Joel increasingly over the past few months, and now it looks like big brother Nash Edgerton is getting some time in the spotlight as well. Entertainment Weekly reports the Australian actor will be joining little brother Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Edgar Ramirez, Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt and more in Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled thriller which had been working under the title “Kill Bin Laden.” British actress Jennifer Ehle – who has long been rumored – has now been confirmed as well. EW also lists formerly rumored named including Idris Elba and Tom Hardy, but those are still on shakier ground, especially given how large the cast already is.
Edgerton will play a Navy SEAL in the Mark Boal-scripted film about the elimination of the most wanted terrorist in the world, while Ehle’s part is unknown. Perhaps she will be taking over for Rooney Mara, who passed on the role of a female journalist embedded with the soldiers. Chastain will play a military analyst while the younger Edgerton, Pratt and Jason Clarke are also SEALs. Filming is imminent with a release date of December 19 already in place.
Best known thus far for his stunt work on films like “The Matrix” and the “Star Wars” sequels, Edgerton also runs Blue Tongue Films with his brother and other Australian filmmakers, which produced 2010′s starmaker “Animal Kingdom” and this year’s Sundance entry “Wish You Were Here.”
January 5, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
UPDATE: Deadline reports Jessica Chastain, Edgar Ramirez and Mark Strong are now all negotiating to join the cast as well. Chastain could very well play the female reporter embedded with the team. Meanwhile, it looks like her commitment to Tom Cruise sci-fi epic “Oblivion” is now in question as these two projects will film around the same time.
Here’s a story that’s come completely full circle. We first heard about Aussie rising star Joel Edgerton starring in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Kill Bin Laden” back in May, but nothing was finalized and by the time Novemeber rolled around, it appeared his increasingly busy schedule would prevent his involvement and he had been replaced by fellow Aussie Jason Clarke in the lead role. Well, not exactly. Today Variety reveals that indeed, Edgerton will star in the film, with a finalized deal to boot, and Clarke is still on board as well.
One person who Variety says is definitely out is “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” star Rooney Mara, who had been circling the role of a female reporter embedded with the Navy SEAL team eventually tasked with killing Osama Bin Laden. Her “Dragon Tattoo” promotional schedule has prevented her involvement. Meanwhile, there is no word on which of the other names mentioned to be circling the project in recent months – Tom Hardy, Chris Pratt, Idris Elba, Nina Arianda and Jennifer Ehle – have signed on or dropped out. Filming is set to begin next month and is aiming for an Oscar-friendly Dec. 19, 2012 release.
Edgerton caught Hollywood’s attention when he starred in 2010 Australian crime drama “Animal Kingdom”, and his career has been on an exponentially upward swinging trajectory since, with 2012 looking like his biggest breakout moment yet. He’ll head to Sundance for Australian thriller “Wish You Were Here” opposite Teresa Palmer and with this new casting, will seemingly be a big part of next year’s Oscar season, as he will also be seen as Tom Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby”, also releasing in December.