Downfall Helmer Returns to WWII

Director Oliver Hirschbiegel, best known for his Oscar nominated biopic Der Untergang (aka Downfall) chronicling the final days of Adolf Hitler, is returning to Germany after 10 years to helm another World War 2 flick, though this time centered on the other side.

The film, simply titled Elser, was co-penned by Oscar nominated screenwriter Fred Breinersdorfer (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days) and his daughter Léonie-Claire. It will follow German carpenter Johann Georg Elser’s November 1939 attempt to assassinate Hitler. Find out more after the jump. Continue reading

New movies for Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Vince Vaughn, Adrien Brody and…Tom Ford

Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War) will star in the biopic Daughter Of The Queen Of Sheba.

Script, penned by Karen Croner based on the bio of NPR correspondent Jacki Lyden, centers on how a woman uses her mother’s madness and delusions to empower herself.

Karen Croner previously wrote the Oscar-nominated One True Thing. Source.

Natalie Portman (The Other Boleyn Girl), Scott Cohen (Law & Order: Trial By Jury) and Charlie Tahan (Nights In Rodanthe) will star in Love And Other Impossible Pursuits, written and directed by Don Roos (Happy Endings) and based on a novel by Ayelet Waldman.

Story revolves around a young woman who finds the key to recovering her marriage in her relationship with her precocious stepson.

Natalie Portman, who also serves as an executive producer, replaces Jennifer Lopez (Bordertown) who abruptly dropped out of the role…Quite an upgrade if you ask me. Source.

Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!), Julianne Moore (Blindness) and Matthew Goode (Match Point) will star in the drama A Single Man for newcomer helmer and former Gucci creative director and fashion guru Tom Ford.

“A Single Man,” penned by Ford and David Scearce, centers on a British college professor who loses his partner of 16 years. The script’s adapted from Christopher Isherwood‘s 1964 novel, which follows a single day in a professor’s life in Los Angeles.

Christopher Isherwood’s writings also inspired the 1972 classic Cabaret. Source.

Vince Vaughn (Fred Claus) will produce and star in Sunny And 68, a drama with comedic elements from co-writer/director Gavin O’Connor (Pride And Glory).

Vaughn will play a superstar on the poker circuit whose alcoholism and recklessness cause him to flame out on national television. Wiped out and owing $500,000 to bookies, he heads home to upstate New York for the first time in 20 years, looking to take back cash he’d been sending his mother. Instead, he finds his mother dying of cancer and raising a 5-year-old girl who is actually his daughter. Mom has been positioning his former high school g.f. to become the girl’s eventual caretaker.

And eventually the three women teach the character to grow up. O’Connor wrote the script with newcomer Anthony Tambakis. Source.

Adrien Brody (The Darjeeling Limited) will play the lead in The Courier, a new action film from back-in-the-spotlight director Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction) and writers Michael Brandt & Derek Haas (Wanted). The film, which will start lensing this January in Louisiana and Las Vegas, has Brody portraying a Transporter-ish character who’s pursued by everyone while attempting to deliver a package to a mobster that just can’t be found. Source.

What project are you most interested in if any? Tell me below in the comments.

Movie Of The Day: Alexander (2004)

Back in 1964, the huge financial failure of The Fall Of The Roman Empire pretty much single-handedly buried the big-budget peplum genre, and it wasn’t until forty years later that new attempts at grand American sword and sandal epics were made. Indeed Gladiator‘s success back in 2000 slowly revived interest in the genre, which led to the release of no less than three such films in 2004: King Arthur, Troy and Alexander.

Existing in three (very) different cuts, the film is obviously based on the life of Alexander The Great and follows the Macedonian king through his childhood, youth and tenure as king, his loves, conquests and relationships with friends and family. Directed by Oliver Stone (W.), who co-wrote the film with Laeta Kalogridis (Pathfinder) and Christopher Kyle (K-19: The Widowmaker).

Alexander stars Colin Farrell (Pride And Glory), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Val Kilmer (Felon), Anthony Hopkins (Fracture), Jared Leto (Chapter 27), Rosario Dawson (Eagle Eye), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Children Of Huang Shi) and Christopher Plummer (Closing The Ring) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Cleopatra: The 3D Musical

Prolific director Steven Soderbergh (the Ocean’s movies) is setting up a 30 million dollar 3D musical on the life of Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen. For the role, the filmmaker is hoping to reunite with his Ocean’s Twelve actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, while Hugh Jackman (Deception) is in talks to play Marc Antony, Cleopatra’s lover.

The best-known film about the supposedly beautiful queen is undoubtedly the 1963 epic Cleopatra. Soderbergh’s next, the two-part Che Guevara biopic, will premiere in the US in December, and he will release several other films before the Cleopatra project, including The Informant, The Girlfriend Experience and his Liberace biopic.

Source

Various movie announcements: Book Of Shadows, Oranges and My Name Is Jody Williams

Rob Reiner (The Bucket List) will direct the action/adventure Book Of Shadows, written by newcomer Zoe Green

The story follows a young man who must embark on the perilous journey of first love and face many trials of maturity while on the dangerous quest to close a mythical tome called “Book of Shadows” in order to restore balance to the world.

Reiner was in a general meeting with Green and told her of an idea on which he had been working. Green picked up on that and ran with it, fleshing it out.

Newcomers Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer are writing a comedic drama titled Oranges.

The project, which a number of directors are circling, focuses on a man who has a romantic relationship with the daughter of a family friend, turning the lives of the man and the family upside down. [Anthony] Bregman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) will produce via his A Likely Story banner.

One person familiar with the project called it ” ‘American Beauty’ if ‘American Beauty’ had more comedy.”

Naomi Watts (Funny Games) is in final talks for the lead in My Name Is Jody Williams, from writer/director Audrey Wells (Under The Tuscan Sun).

The screenplay by Wells tells the true story of Jody Williams, a strong-willed teacher working for a temporary employment agency who left her life in Washington to pursue an unlikely career in global activism. Almost a decade and a half later, Williams was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for leading an international campaign to eradicate land mines.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

It’s a McInferno for Rose

Following the success of her latest comedy The House Bunny, Anna Faris recently decided to drop out of the more serious-minded Inferno, a biopic of porn star Linda Lovelace, and apparently Rose McGowan (Grindhouse) is now set to take her place. Wikipedia says:

Linda Susan Boreman (January 10, 1949 – April 22, 2002), better known by her stage name, “Linda Lovelace,” was a porn actress who was famous for her performance of deep throat fellatio in the enormously successful 1972 hardcore porn film Deep Throat. She later denounced her pornography career, claimed that she had been forced into it by her sadistic first husband and for a while became a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement.

The movie will mark the second feature for writer/director Matthew Wilder after this year’s William J. Frick biopic Your Name Here, and is set for release sometime in 2009. Who’s the better potential porn star, Faris or McGowan? I don’t like McGowan but she seems a better fit to me.

Source

What A Wonderful Whitaker

Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker (Street Kings) will direct his fourth big-screen movie, a Louis Armstrong biopic titled What A Wonderful World, in which he’ll play the lead role, making this the first time he’ll act in one of his directing efforts.

Louis Armstrong was of course an incredibly famous jazz trumpetist and singer, active throughout most of the 20th century and probably best-known for the song which gave the movie its title. The film will start shooting next summer and Louisiana, and you can bet they’ll release it in 2011 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Armstrong’s birth.

The strange thing here is that while Whitaker is well-respected as an actor, he isn’t considered to be good director at all, with his last effort being the widely reviled First Daughter. Another strange thing is that the film is being produced by a Frenchman, Alain Goldman, to his credit no stranger to musical biopics after last year’s hit La Vie En Rose.

Source

New Trailer: W. (also YouTube contest)

The third trailer for director Oliver Stone’s (World Trade Center) presidential biopic W. has popped up and it looks to be a mash-up between the first and the second one. To me this looks like it could be a very entertaining, if incredibly biased, motion picture.

The film stars Josh Brolin (American Gangster) as George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks (Meet Dave) as his wife Laura, Ellen Burstyn (The Fountain) as his mom Barbara, James Cromwell (Spider-Man 3) as his dad George H.W. and Jason Ritter (CBS’ The Class) as his younger brother Jeb.

Other cast members include Rob Corddry (Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay) as press secretary Ari Fleischer, Richard Dreyfuss (Poseidon) as Vice President Dick Cheney, Scott Glenn (Nights In Rodanthe) as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Toby Jones (St. Trinian’s) as Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, Thandie Newton (RocknRolla) as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Jeffrey Wright (The Invasion) as Secretary of State Colin Powell, Noah Wyle (NBC’s ER) as Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and Ioan Gruffudd (the Fantastic Four films) as British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Written by Stanley Weiser (Stone’s Wall Street), W. will premiere in the US on October 17th. Additionally, Oliver Stone has partenered with YouTube for a video-making contest. Go here for more info.

Blackbeard biopic to be made with a shaky cam

British director Paul Greengrass (the Bourne movies) has added a new film to his list of projects: a movie about the notorious pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, who operated in the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean during the early 18th century.

Written by the Oscar-winning David Franzoni (King Arthur), Blackbeard will be told from the point of view of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, an ex-follower of Blackbeard’s who was later put in charge of his capture. The makers intend this to be the anti-Pirates Of The Caribbean and are aiming for an R rating in the US.

Source

Movie Of The Day: Invincible (2006)

In 1993, Walt Disney Pictures released Cool Runnings, a film chronicling the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team competing at the 1988 Winter Olympics. The film was huge hit, and even though nothing came out of it immediately, it was a foreshadowing of things to come. Indeed, when the studio’s Remember The Titans, an american football film also based on a true story came out seven years later and made more box-office gold, Disney understood they had a foolproof formula in their hands, releasing no less than five inspirational sports movies based on true stories in five years, Invincible being the last so far.

Set in 1976 as new coach Dick Vermeil takes over the crappy Philadelphia Eagles football team, Invicible relates the tale of Vince Papale, a 30 year old bartender/part-time teacher who went on to play for the Eagles through three NFL seasons after his wife left him, despite having no college football experience.

Invincible marks the first feature directing effort for cinematographer Ericson Core (Daredevil) and the first produced script by Brad Gann (Black Irish). The film stars Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), Greg Kinnear (Baby Mama), Elizabeth Banks (Meet Dave) and Michael Nouri (The O.C.) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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