+ “12 Years a Slave”
+ “All Is Lost”
+ “Frances Ha”
+ “Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Short Term 12″ breakout actress Brie Larson has landed and is in early negotiations for the female lead role in Rupert Wyatt’s remake of “The Gambler,” starring Mark Wahlberg, according to Deadline.
Based on the 1974 James Caan film, which was in turn inspired by Dostoyevsky’s short novel of the same name, Wahlberg is taking over the Caan role as a professor who seemingly has a great life but is secretly hiding a serious and growing gambling problem. It’s unclear what role Larson would play, but if it’s like the original, she’ll play Wahlberg’s character’s girlfriend, who suffers the consequences of his addiction. Deadline also reports Wyatt and filmmakers are hoping to bring Jessica Lange on board as well, though that’s on shakier ground than Larson’s deal.
Larson is one of our Faces to Watch in 2013 and she’s having a hell of a year indeed. In addition to supporting roles in such festival hits as “The Spectacular Now” with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Don Jon,” she starred in SXSW’s Grand Jury Prize-winning “Short Term 12,” the intimate and complex character study from Destin Cretton. She’s also wrapped up a full blown Bollywood musical, “Basmati Blues,” and has booked a return to NBC sitcom “Community.”
A pre-“Short Term 12″ breakout Brie Larson guest-starred in one memorable episode of “Community” last year, and it looks like she’s re-enrolling in the NBC community college sitcom for at least one more episode when the show returns for season 5 this winter.
Larson appeared as a coat-check girl who’s just mysterious and geeky enough to be Abed’s (Danny Pudi) perfect match and now TV Line reports she will reprise her role in the episode following the exit of Donald Glover’s Troy. As fans knows, Troy and Abed (In the Morning!) are sort of a package deal and one of the highlights of the show, so perhaps Larson’s return will make the unwelcome transition to a solo Abed a bit smoother. Larson’s episode will also be chock full of guest stars you may recognize, including Nathan Fillion, Katie Leclerc, Paget Brewster and Robert Patrick.
Pudi tells TVLine about Larson’s return: “There’s a nice reason for her comeback. It’s a nice wrap-up to the storyline for Abed in this episode. And it’s a really great way to see another side of this character — especially this year with Troy leaving… Things have been introduced with Abed [in past seasons] that we’ve never really revisited, so it’s nice to see something that we go back to — especially with Brie, because she’s great. She’s an incredible actor.”
Well, duh. Anyone who’s seen “Short Term 12″ knows the depths of Larson’s talent and it’s nice that Hollywood may finally be starting to take notice. Even smaller supporting roles like in “The Spectacular Now” and “Don Jon” have been standouts, so we just have one request: Please cast her as Hillary Clinton in James Ponsoldt’s “Rodham”!
One project we’ve been keeping a very close eye on is “Rodham,” James Ponsoldt’s take on a young lawyer named Hillary Clinton. We have our favorites for the role, and since Carey Mulligan won’t be playing her, when we got the chance to chat with one of our fantasy casting choices, we couldn’t help but raise the possibility.
Turns out, Brie Larson is more than aware of the project. She told our own Heather Lashaway at yesterday’s junket for her upcoming film “Short Term 12″ that she “would definitely be interested in the role,” adding, “They’ve sent me the script. I just haven’t been able to read anything lately. I have a stack of scripts and I’m just…maybe, I have a long flight coming up, maybe I can read it then… But yeah, I’m interested.”
So it sounds like a lot could come down to whether she connects with the script, but Young Il Kim’s script didn’t land on the Black List and then draw the interest of a rising director like Ponsoldt for nothing. Whoever lands the role will play the future First Lady, Secretary of State (and maybe President one day) as a young Yale Law graduate working her way up the Washington, DC ladder, juggling the demands of a career on the hill and life as the girlfriend of an aspiring Arkansan politician whose presence was exceeded only by his ambitions.
After seeing the gravitas she brings to “Short Term 12″, it’s obvious that Larson would bring a special grounded complexity to the role. It’s also worth noting that Ponsoldt and Larson have already worked together, on “The Spectacular Now”, and both have described her audition for the role of Cassidy as one of the best moments of their professional lives, so a good working relationship is already established. Larson’s obvious interest in the role (and if we may infer that the interest is reciprocal since she’s been sent the script) has us hopeful that she’s in contention.
“Short Term 12″ will be released on August 23rd and you can check back for our full interview with Larson closer to that date.
Miles Teller has spent much of the promotional tour for “The Spectacular Now” speaking of his desire to do a musical, and it looks like he may get just a tiny bit closer to that goal with his next project. Deadline reports Teller has signed on to star in “Whiplash”, which co-stars J. K. Simmons and which began its life as a Sundance Short Film Jury Award winner.
Damien Chazelle, who also wrote the short, will direct the film set in the world of an elite music conservatory. Teller will play a young, ambitious drummer who hopes to become the drummer of the top jazz orchestra in the country. Enter Simmons as the school’s brutal jazz teacher, who begins to beat down and break down Teller’s naive but increasingly cynical character. Watch a bit of the short film to get a sense of that toxic relationship. Filming on the feature is set to begin in September.
Teller is one of our Faces to Watch in 2013 and obviously for very good reason as the world begins to pay attention to the charismatic and talented star of “The Spectacular Now”, which came out this past weekend. He’s also completed filming on his first rom coms, “Two Night Stand”, opposite Analeigh Tipton and “Are We Officially Dating?” opposite Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan. and he’s dipping his toes into the franchise pool, completing a villainous turn in “Divergent” opposite “Spectacular Now” co-star Shailene Woodley and recently rumored to be in contention for the “Fantastic Four” reboot.
Adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel and out in select theaters today, “The Spectacular Now” is continuing to garner glowing reviews for both director James Ponsoldt’s deft elevation of the standard coming-of-age film into one that is unapologetic in its honesty and beautifully sincere in its quest to eschew convention, as well as the standout performances by its stars, up and comers Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. The film is one of our favorites of the year so far and the performances given by Teller and Woodley in particular leave no doubt in our minds that these are two of the best actors of this generation. Dare we say the words “Oscar contenders”?
Wrapping up our “Spectacular Now” interview coverage, we sat down with the young actors recently as they discussed their natural chemistry, how they prepare for those deep emotional scenes, and their favorite coming-of-age films.
One of our favorite films of the year opens today in New York and Los Angeles and we’re celebrating by bringing you a series of interviews with the filmmakers and cast (and then probably going and watching it again). Adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel, “The Spectacular Now” has garnered exemplary reviews since its Sundance premiere, not only for its standout performances by up and comers Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, but for director James Ponsoldt’s deft elevation of the standard coming-of-age film into one that is unapologetic in its honesty and beautifully sincere in its quest to eschew convention and embrace the spectacularly real. (We called it “even better, more natural and more heartbreaking” than Ponsoldt”s last feature, “Smashed.”)
We sat down with Ponsoldt recently as he discussed the casting of the film, the importance of truth and responsibility versus sensationalism in storytelling, and learning to embrace happy accidents.
Miles Teller is having a killer weekend. Not only is his critically acclaimed “The Spectacular Now” opening today, now comes word via The Wrap that the rising star is one of the frontrunners for the Mr. Fantastic role in Josh Trank’s reboot of “Fantastic Four.” The trade also adds that Elizabeth Olsen is in the mix as well, presumably for the role of Sue Storm, aka Invisible Woman.
While no decision has been made, Teller is rumored to be Trank’s top choice for the role of Reed Richards, the team’s leader, a genius scientist who gains the superpowered ability to contort his body into any shape he wants after the group is blasted with cosmic rays. Sue Storm, his eventual wife, a role that also has the interest of “Girls” star Allison Williams, gains the power to go invisible, while her younger brother Johnny, long rumored to be eyeing Michael B. Jordan, gains the ability to generate fire. Their friend Ben Grimm is transformed into a giant rocky creature known as The Thing. Filming is set to begin in September in Louisiana so hopefully we can start turning some of these rumors into reality soon.
Teller’s performance in “The Spectacular Now” (which we loved) won him and co-star Shailene Woodley a Special Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and the two have since wrapped YA hopeful “Divergent” together. Teller has also wrapped another film with Jordan, the ensemble rom com “Are We Officially Dating?” with Zac Efron.
Olsen just wrapped her first go at a big blockbuster franchise hopeful, Gareth Edwards’ reboot of “Godzilla.” She too is more known for smaller indie films, stunning Sundance with “Martha Marcy May Marlene” two years ago. She’ll next be seen opposite Josh Brolin in Spike Lee’s remake of “Oldboy.”
Following its warm reception at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – winning the Special Jury Award for Acting – “The Spectacular Now” has garnered exemplary reviews not only for its standout performances by up and comers Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, but for director James Ponsoldt’s deft elevation of the standard coming-of-age film into one that is unapologetic in its honesty and beautifully sincere in its quest to eschew convention and embrace the spectacularly real. (We called it “even better, more natural and more heartbreaking” than Ponsoldt’s last feature, “Smashed.”)
The film is adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel about high school student Sutter Keely (Teller), charming life of the party, intent on living in the ‘now’ at the cost of any future, who after being dumped by his beautiful girlfriend Cassidy (in a strong turn by up and comer Brie Larson), finds classmate Aimee Finicky (Woodley) standing over him on a stranger’s lawn and decides to help the markedly less popular Aimee break out of the “shell” he sees her in.
Responsible for adapting the novel to screen were writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (“(500) Days of Summer”, the upcoming “The Fault in Our Stars”), who we were fortunate to sit down with recently as they discussed adapting the film, the nuances of young love, and their focus on answering the question “what would really happen?”
We are just a little over a week away from the release of one of the best movies of the year so far and today, the first clip from “The Spectacular Now” has been released via Vulture. It’s the tail end of a nearly seven minute long single-take scene that sees Miles Teller’s popular kid Sutter Keely and Shailene Woodley’s outsider Aimee Finnicky getting to know each other, ending, of course, in their first kiss.
Director James Ponsoldt talked to Vulture about why this scene is one of his favorites in the film: “I always knew I wanted to film in it one long, continuous, unedited take, walking and talking with Aimee and Sutter, feeling like we — the audience — are part of a natural conversation that ebbs and flows from goofy and awkward to serious to emotional to flirtatious and nervous to … a first kiss. I wanted the scene to feel as natural as life.”
Teller and Woodley’s chemistry is probably the brightest highlight of the film, and you get to see just a fraction of it here. To see the whole thing, which is quite spectacular in context, “The Spectacular Now” opens on August 2nd. For now, the first clip from the film is below.