Captain America fans won’t have to wait long to see Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson reunite on the big screen. But, rather than in a superhero film, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie will actually appear together next in the romantic comedy, Playing It Cool.
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Tom Hiddleston has been making the rounds to prove he can take on the legendary career of musician Hank Williams in I Saw the Light, and today it was announced he’ll be getting a little help from an Avenger.
Elizabeth Olsen will play Williams’ wife, Audrey Mae, in the film, which is set to release in 2015. Williams’ real wife, Audrey Sheppard, was a manager for the musician before the couple’s divorce. Their split was not the only issue plaguing Williams’ life, as he died at 29 from heart failure after battling alcoholism, prescription drug abuse and back problems.
I Saw the Light, written and directed by Marc Abraham, is named for Williams’ 1948 song of the same name and based on the 1994 book Hank Williams: The Biography. Over his life, Williams recorded 12 albums and had 11 number one hits, and his tumultuous personal life and professional success should provide plenty of ground for Hiddleston and Olsen to pull from.
Chris Evans, like a handful of other actors at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, is here to promote his latest career turn: director. It’s a role he’s not taking lightly and one he hopes to focus on primarily once his duties as Captain America have finally been fulfilled… in 2017.
For his debut turn, the affable actor, who is currently sporting a post-Cap beard, has purposely chosen a simple project: the movie Before We Go, written originally back in 2007 and set to premiere on Friday. The film centers on two characters meeting not-so-cute during one very long night in New York City. Think Before Sunrise without the intellectual gymnastics.
Evans stars in the film, too, opposite Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness), and the simple narrative gave the 33-year old an opportunity to learn the language of directing in a contained environment.
“I needed something simple, manageable, and isolated. And I like those movies anyway,” he says, huddled beneath a bunch of couch pillows in a random interview space off Toronto’s main thoroughfare. “It almost feels like a play. I like things that have limited people, a finite amount of time. It almost reads like Neil LaBute.”
And like LeBute, Evans is already bracing himself for a divided reaction to the film, which will debut at the tail end of the confab. He and his producers have held early test screenings and are prepared for not all audience members to love the ambiguous conclusion to the story.
“Do you know how many discussions I had with my producers who wanted me to reshoot the ending?” he asks. “I’d rather have my audience go home and talk about why it’s unique and what love means as opposed to them going home and feeling warm and fuzzy.”
Evans’ willfulness will likely be an asset as he embarks on this new career path—one he intends to focus on solely once his next two Marvel movies, Captain America 3, and Avengers 3 are complete. (His work on Avengers 2 is complete.)
“The only thing I’m pursuing now are directing projects,” he said, adding that he intends for his sophomore effort to be a more ambitious effort. “Who knows, in five, 10 years I may miss acting and want to do that, but for now, I really, really like directing, and I’d love to keep doing it.”
Ladies and gentlemen, meet a couple of new Oscar contenders: Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy). The duo stars as Stephen Hawking and his deeply devoted wife Jane in Focus Features’ upcoming drama, The Theory of Everything. From the likes of the standing ovation given at the end of the film’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, it would be astonishing if both of their names didn’t land on Oscar’s short list. READ FULL STORY
It’s not clear if it was the pumping 80s music at the Weinstein Co. after-party or simply the glow from the rousing reception to his latest movie St. Vincent, but Bill Murray capped off his eponymous day with an epic dance party that saw him getting down with the likes of Kristen Wiig, Linda Cardellini and his co-stars Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and the young Jaeden Lieberher late Friday night in Toronto. The impromptu performance served as an excellent capper to the first annual Bill Murray day where the 39th annual Toronto Film Festival screened Stripes, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day for loyal fans. If enthusiasm is any indicator, it’s an event that should be repeated on an annual basis.
It helped that his new flick St. Vincent, the feature debut by writer/director Ted Melfi, was met with an extended standing ovation and a lively Q&A where Murray, having dispersed with his Bill Murray day crown and sash, alternated between entertaining and heckling audience members eager to learn more about this story that centers on the unlikely relationship between Murray’s drunken, gambling curmudgeon and the boy who moves in next door.
Still emotional from the film, Murray admitted to “slobbering while watching the damn movie.” He added that the goal of the movie was “to avoid being schmaltzy. We almost did. We almost did. We didn’t want to overcook everything.”
The film, set for an October 10th release, should enjoy some impressive box office numbers for its likability factor alone. Whether or not it can finagle a slot in the best picture race really depends on the how the rest of the competition pans out and whether or not there is room for an incredibly heartwarming, yet rather conventional storyline.
Murray seems to have a much better shot in the best actor category for his role as a lovable/disagreeable Vietnam vet grappling with a disappearing income and a wife suffering from Alzheimer’s. Naomi Watts’ outrageous turn as a pregnant Russian prostitute could also garner some attention, considering the part didn’t come, as she put it during the Q&A, “from a particularly natural place.”
The most compelling scenario to imagine this fall season is Murray engaging in an Oscar campaign—a game he hasn’t played since he earned a nod for 2003’s Lost In Translation—but it would be an entertaining one, should he decide to engage in the glad-handing required to nab a statuette.
Talk of a film based on the beloved PlayStation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus has existed since 2009, when the adaptation was first announced. Since then, the project has effectively stalled—but with Sony’s recent announcement of a new director, the film might finally become a reality.
Robert Downey Jr. certainly upped the star power of the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival Thursday with the world premiere of The Judge, the father-son relationship drama he stars in opposite Robert Duvall.
While the annual Canadian confab often draws major Hollywood talent looking for audience love, until recently the festival previously dedicated its opening night to Canadian films. That changed two years ago when Sony Pictures opened the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-starring Looper, followed in 2013 by the world premiere of the Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate.
The increased star power seems to align with Toronto’s new attitude as the scene-setter for the fall movie-going season. While in previous years the festival was willing to acquiesce when films screened at Venice or Telluride ahead of its premiere in its town, the organizers got tough in its 39th year: As an attempt to combat the encroachment of other festivals, it declared that any movie that debuts elsewhere before Toronto will not be given prime screening slots in the festival’s first four days.
It’s an issue that has been discussed wildly in the media and was brought up during the opening night remarks by The Judge director David Dobkin. “I think what you guys did was right,” he said. “When it’s a world premiere, it’s a world premiere.” READ FULL STORY
While Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée’s latest film Wild has yet to hit theaters, he has already found a pair of lead actors for his next project.
Paradise Lost looks to tell the classic story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl… boy discovers girl’s uncle is famed Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar?
In the first trailer for the film, Josh Hutcherson’s character, surfer Nick Brady, goes on a trip with his brother to Colombia, only to fall in love with Claudia Traisac’s Maria. As the two grow closer, however, Maria introduces Nick to her uncle, Escobar, played by Benicio del Toro. Nick becomes embroiled in the drug lord’s cartel after seeing how the poor view Escobar as their Robin Hood. But, as the trailer shows, the dangers of moving such large amounts of cocaine could cost Nick his life. READ FULL STORY
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