New Trailer & Poster: Angels & Demons

Sony Pictures has just released the first trailer for Angels & Demons, the second film in the franchise following author Dan Brown’s hero, Harvard symbologist Robert Langon, after 2006’s The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks returns in the lead, as do most of Da Vinci‘s crew, including director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who co-penned the adaptation with David Koepp (Ghost Town). Joining the cast are Ewan McGregor (Deception), Ayelet Zurer (Vantage Point) and Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!). My one question is why did they make such a big deal of hiring a French actress to play Sophie Neveu in the first film only to have an Israeli portray Vittoria here?

This trailer is certainly riveting, and a much better one than that first look of The Da Vinci Code, which simply showed cracks in the Mona Lisa. I agree with the general feeling that Angels & Demons (which came before Da Vinci) is a much better novel than its more famous little brother, and interestingly enough, I found it also quite pro-christianity. Then again, I also felt that The Da Vinci Code wasn’t that anti-christianity. In any case, I wonder if Angels & Demons will be set as a prequel, or if it was reworked as a sequel. Angels & Demons will be released worldwide mid-May 2009. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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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.

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New Trailer and Poster: Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York is the directorial debut for Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind). It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War), Samantha Morton (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Michelle Williams (Deception), Catherine Keener (Hamlet 2), Emily Watson (The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep), Dianne Wiest (Dan In Real Life), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Jacket) and Hope Davis (The Nines) among others. So basically this could’ve been called Dr. Hoff And The Women.

The movie is about a theatre director who discovers that his bodily functions are shutting down one by one and attempts to deal with it. So basically, like other Kaufman creations it’s incredibly weird and original, but utterly fascinating. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will open in the US on October 24th.

Actors set to Stare At Goats

Kevin Spacey (21), Ewan McGregor (Deception) and Jeff Bridges (Iron Man) have joined George Clooney (Leatherheads) among the cast of Men Who Stare At Goats, the feature length directing debut for Clooney’s buddy Grant Heslov (screenwriter of Good Night, And Good Luck).

Contrarily to some reports, Men Who Stare At Goats is NOT based on a true story, rather it is inspired by a non-fiction book by Welsh journalist/documentarian Jon Ronson (Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes) exploring paranormal military programs and psychological techniques used for interrogation. The title is a reference to attempts to kill goats by simply staring at them.

McGregor will play Bob Wilton, a journalist who meets Clooney’s character Lyn Cassady, a soldier with supernatural powers. Together they go to Iraq and meet up with Cassady’s boss Bill Django, played by Bridges, and Larry Hooper, a supernatural prison warden portrayed by Spacey. Men Who Stare At Goats will be released in 2010.

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The Hollywood shuffle game continues

Release dates just won’t stop changing ever since Warner Bros moved Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince to next July. The latest “victim”? Australian war drama Australia (actually an American co-production), which was pushed back from November 14th to November 21st in the US.

The epic, which is set to be one of the big events of 2008’s last quarter, will mark the return of acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) and stars Nicole Kidman (The Golden Compass) and Hugh Jackman (Deception). The movie, which Luhrmann co-wrote with Stuart Beattie (30 Days Of Night), tells the story of an English aristocrat, played by Kidman, who inherits a ranch in northern Australia at the dawn of World War II, and hires Jackman’s character to protect it from a takeover. Then, the Japanese start bombing.

The American change shouldn’t affect other release dates, and as far as I know, Australia will still premiere in Australia on November 13th.

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