New Trailer and Poster: Valkyrie

This second, probably final trailer for Valkyrie, the new movie from director Bryan Singer (Superman Returns) and writers Christopher McQuarrie (The Way Of The Gun) and newcomer Nathan Alexander based on the true story of several German officers who plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944 looks like it was made specifically to please all those who were unenthusiastic about the first one, by adding a more cliché kind of tension and showcasing more action.

I thought the first trailer was more engaging, since this one really is a lot more stereotypical, but if it gets more people to go see it, then fine. Reaction to this movie so far has baffled me. That whole argument about already knowing the ending, isn’t that true about every movie based on a true story? And since when do people pay so much attention to accents when English-speaking people play characters of other nationalities? Anyway, star Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder) had this to say in a recent interview:

You know, we spent a lot of time going back and forth over that. All of a sudden you’re listening to people trying to put on accents and Bryan finally said, ‘No, no, no.’ Just tell the story. We don’t want to do an accent movie, just try and find something neutral that won’t distract from the story and the characters.

Also the talent contained in this film is amazing. In addition to Cruise, Valkyrie stars Kenneth Branagh (Five Children And It), Terence Stamp (Get Smart), Tom Wilkinson (RocknRolla), Stephen Fry (St. Trinian’s), Eddie Izzard (Across The Universe), Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted), Bill Nighy (Hot Fuzz) and WW2 regular Carice Van Houten (Black Book) among others. It will be released in the US and Austria on December 26th, and most other countries in January or February 2009.

You can watch a well-made behind the scenes featurette after the jump. As for the poster, I think it looks pretty cool, but yet somehow feel it doesn’t really suit the film. What do you think of the new trailer and poster?

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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.

Maggie Grace takes role from Mischa Barton

Maggie Grace (The Jane Austen Book Club) has replaced Mischa Barton (FOX’s The O.C.) in the lead of Malice In Wonderland, a British re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s famous book. Since both girls are very pretty, this probably means that the American Maggie is more convincing in an English accent than the British Mischa… Anyway, the movie will probably be the better for it, since even though Maggie Grace hasn’t really proven herself as an actress yet, she’s miles ahead of the incredibly wooden Mischa Barton, who couldn’t emote if her life depended on it.

Described as an action movie, Malice In Wonderland co-stars  Nathaniel Parker (St. Trinian’s, amovie ironically starring Mischa Barton). It is directed by Simon Fellows and written by Jayson Rothwell (who already worked together on Second In Command). The film is now currently shooting.

In the meantime, you can catch (sooner or later, depending of where you live) Maggie Grace is the amazingly badass actioner Taken, co-starring Liam Neeson (Seraphim Falls) kicking ass and Famke Janssen (the X-Men films) moping around. I caught the flick at the beginning of the year, and if you hadn’t guessed, I strongly recommend it. Taken is directed by Pierre Morel (District B13) and written by the Luc Besson/Robert Mark Kamen team (the Transporter films).

Meanwhile Mischa Barton, whose career is fading faster than you can say “hey!”, is resorting to staged paparazzi outings to keep her name in the papers (true story) and is seeing all her post-O.C. efforts go straight-to-DVD in the States. In fact, her latest turd, Virgin Territory, was released last week. The film co-stars Hayden Christensen (Jumper) and Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk) and was written and directed by David Leland (The Land Girls). Also, don’t buy it (more about that here).

Other Alice In Wonderland movies to be released in the next few years include the adaptation of American McGee’s Alice video game (which has been gestating forever it seems) and a new Disney film by Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). Both of these movies will give a darker spin to the tale.

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