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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New skating drama coming soon

Filming will begin this month in Shreveport, Louisiana on the coming-of-age drama Skateland. The cast includes a bunch of fresh and veteran faces, including Ashley Greene (King Of California), Haley Ramm (Into The Wild), James LeGros (Vantage Point), Taylor Handley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), and probably Shiloh Fernandez (CBS’ Jericho).

Shiloh Fernandez is in final negotiations to play Ritchie Wheeler, a teen forced out of a job when his small-town roller rink shuts down. He faces tough decisions about his future, his parents’ divorce and complicated relationships with friends Brent (co-screenwriter Heath Freeman) and Kenny (Taylor Handley), his sister Mary (Ramm) and Brent’s sister Michelle (Greene). LeGros plays Brent and Michelle’s father.

Set in the eighties, the independent film’s creative team is composed of several newcomers including director Anthony Burns and screenwriting brothers Brandon, Heath and Burns Freeman.

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WTF? Japanese classic Rashomon goes American in 2010

Run for the hills! The 1950 samurai crime flick Rashōmon, one of writer/director Akira Kurosawa’s (Seven Samurai aka the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven) many masterpieces is being remade into a contemporary American trial film for the 100th anniversary of the man’s death. That’s your gift, making him roll over in his grave?

Held by many as one of the best films of all time, Rashōmon tells of a woman’s rape and her husband’s murder through the contradictory accounts of four witnesses through flashbacks. Its influence has been felt in such a wide variety of films as the 2005 animated laughfest Hoodwinked! and this year’s Vantage Point.

From the sounds of the remake’s “improvement”, it will be a hundred times more conventional and less interesting. In more positive Kurosawa news, the company producing the remake, Harbor Light, will also produce one of the master’s never-filmed scripts, The Masque Of Black Death, which Kurosawa had written for animation legend Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) before his death in 1998.

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