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'Steve Jobs' (finally) finalizes its cast

The long stalled biopic Steve Jobs has begun principal photography after locking down its cast, Universal announced Tuesday. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Leonardo DiCaprio wanted for Steve Jobs biopic; Plus, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg reunion?

• Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) is being eyed to play Steve Jobs in the Sony Pictures biopic of the late Apple co-founder, which will now be directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionnaire). The script by Aaron Sorkin was originally intended to be directed by David Fincher, Sorkin’s collaborator from The Social Network, with Christian Bale in talks to star. Scott Rudin will produce. [THR] READ FULL STORY

Danny Boyle says no to James Bond: 'I'm not the right guy' to direct

Sam Mendes was a contrarian choice in many ways to direct Skyfall, but the result was the biggest box-office hit in the 50-year history of the James Bond franchise. Certainly, he was welcome to return for a follow-up, but when he begged-off to spend more time in the theater, speculating who will direct the next 007 installment became one of Hollywood’s best parlor games.

Well, cross Danny Boyle off the list. The Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire who oversaw a Bond production of sorts — the London Olympics opening ceremonies, which featured a Bond sendup with Daniel Craig and the Queen — told the Hollywood Reporter he’s not really interested. “I’m not really the guy for those movies,” he said, during promotion of his new thriller, Trance. “What we do, right, is we use genre — you take a genre, like [Trance] has got a few genres running in it, you use a genre to try and get you in the mainstream. It’s a vehicle to boost you into the mainstream. And then you f— with the genre. You twist it and change it and move it around. You can’t do it on those big movies. You genuflect in front of them. Too much money, too expectation. It’s the faith of the fans, it’s all that. You’ve got to be very careful. It’s very tempting of course — I love the movies, I love the books, but I’m not the right guy for those.” READ FULL STORY

Catching up with James McAvoy on his big year, 'X-Men' and the possibility of a 'Wanted 2'

He earned our respect in The Last King of Scotland, he stole our hearts in Atonement, and he made us fans for life in X-Men: First Class. So what is James McAvoy, the blue-eyed Scotsman, up to now?

Other than starring in Welcome to the Punch, a British cat-and-mouse thriller that’s currently in theaters, McAvoy also stars in April 5th’s Trance. Danny Boyle’s latest directorial project, Trance follows McAvoy’s Simon, a less-than-trustworthy art auctioneer who suffers amnesia and then undergoes hypnotherapy to try and remember the whereabouts of a painting he helped to steal. The result is a mental thriller that will have you questioning just about everything within the world of the film. READ FULL STORY

'Trance' trailer: Rosario Dawson wants to help

Close your eyes, sit back, and let Rosario Dawson’s soothing voice guide you through the recesses of your memory.

The third trailer for Danny Boyle’s (127 Days) upcoming art-heist thriller Trance (in theaters April 5) might be the shortest and the vaguest of the bunch, but that’s just because this one is more concerned with teasing the action than the set up. In the film, Simon (James McAvoy), an art auctioneer, gets mixed up with the wrong people in an attempt to recover a missing painting, including hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson), and Franck (Vincent Cassel), an art criminal. But this is no Ocean’s Thirteen François Toulour-style dandy thief. Franck is pure evil, and clearly not afraid to get his hands dirty.

We’re feeling a little spoiled with two James McAvoy trailers in one day, even though he looks ever so slightly more distressed in this one. The trailer, which first premiered on Apple, is below.


James McAvoy's eyelids are getting heavy in new 'Trance' clip -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson star as hypnotized and hypnotist in Danny Boyle’s mind-bending new film, Trance, due out in April. McAvoy plays an art auctioneer embroiled in an intense art theft scandal and is forced to dig deep into his memories to find the missing masterpiece.

The Oscar-winning director (Slumdog Millionaire) famously cast Ewan McGregor in several of his films, including discovering him for Shallow Grave and continuing to work with him in Trainspotting. So is the Scottish McAvoy the new McGregor? Boyle stressed to EW when we caught up with him at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, that he didn’t think of McAvoy as “another Scottish actor” until others pointed it out to him.

The film shot in Britain while Boyle was working on the London Olympics opening ceremony, and he cast Dawson in the female lead role. Boyle stressed that Trance is one of the first films where he’s created a female lead with as important a role as the men in the film.

In the clip below, Dawson is in a session with McAvoy while Vincent Cassell and his band of assailants listen in. It may seem that this clip gives away quite a bit, but Boyle isn’t worried about audiences learning too much about his film before entering the theater — speaking for himself, at least, he says he gets “movie amnesia” — forgetting major plot points once the movie begins, spoilers be damned.

SXSW: Danny Boyle shows new footage from 'Trance,' talks about his 'first time'

On the surface, Danny Boyle’s movies could not be more different — from the heroin-infused Trainspotting, to the aesthetically entrancing Slumdog Millionaire, to the solo character study 127 Hours. But the Oscar-winning director told the crowd gathered at his SXSW Q&A with New York Times media reporter David Carr that he doesn’t quite see it that way.

“You try to make a different film every time, and often you end up making the same film again and again,” Boyle said. The through line, he said, is that all of his characters have huge odds to overcome.

That statement holds true in Trance, Boyle’s upcoming film about hypnosis, art theft, and memory, starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, and Rosario Dawson. The audience was treated to an extended clip from the film, which seemed to include some pivotal scenes.

In particular, Carr seemed surprised that Boyle chose to show a long, integral sequence. “I don’t think you should say anymore. You just opened the kimono a little bit there,” he joked.

But Boyle disagreed, addressing the current industry obsession with spoiler alerts. “There is an amnesia effect when a movie starts,” Boyle said. “Hopefully that will happen when you see it.”

Trance premieres in Europe next week, and will be released in the U.S. on April 5. The clip we saw — no spoilers here! — featured a gruesome showdown between the main characters. Carr, who said he had seen the entire film, noted its similarity in tone to Christopher Nolan’s Memento, in that it plays with time and reality. “What happens in the film is ethically dubious,” Boyle said, “but possible.”

The presentation also took a look back at Boyle’s early films, including Shallow Grave and Trainspotting, both starring Ewan McGregor.

Carr asked Boyle if it was true that a director’s first film is always his (or her) best. It’s hard to imagine that being true, looking at Boyle’s body of work, but the director said the innocence of any first film is unique.

“I think there is something wonderful about your first time, as in all walks of life, which hopefully you know, or if you don’t, will know soon,” he joked. “There is a danger of losing that innocence after your first time.” Boyle stressed the importance of continuing to learn as you go along. “Try and change genre, do something different each time,” he advised first time filmmakers. “You should be discovering.”

Peaking too soon, however, is not something Boyle is familiar with. He said he was 37 or 38 when his first film, Shallow Grave, came out, after many years of working in the British theater. He talked the audience through one of the iconic scenes in the film, where McGregor, Kerry Fox, and Christopher Eccleston are sitting at their kitchen table, deciding what to do about the suitcase of money.

“What you shouldn’t do with a scene like that is keep cutting,” Boyle said. “I remember not really planning that.” He added that risk-taking at those moments should be encouraged, but “you should probably cover your back in case it turns out to be crap.”

Carr asked about discovering McGregor and how Boyle seems to have a sixth sense at picking good actors. Boyle was modest about his talents as director, and said he is well aware that it can be hard to describe what directors actually do. “In that [Shallow Grave] scene, the actors didn’t quite know how to play it, and I said, ‘Do it as though you’re desperate to go to the toilet.”

Of course, as we now know, two of the stars of that film went on to play Obi-Wan Kenobi and Doctor Who, or as Boyle joked “masters of the universe.”

Boyle later brought out Rick Smith, a member of the techno band Underworld and frequent collaborator of the director’s, to speak about creating the music for Trance. They first worked together on Trainspotting, which came out just after rave culture had taken off in Britain, and Boyle said while the film is about heroin, “the spirit is about dance culture.” Smith remembered that, at the time, Underworld had been turning down offers to have their music featured in drug and violence-themed films, but after seeing 15 minutes of Trainspotting, he was sold. “We were like, ‘You can use anything,'” Smith said.

And continuing the music focus, Boyle will also be DJ’ing a party in Austin tonight.

Fox Searchlight to release Danny Boyle's 'Trance' in April


Those of us who love Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s movies, filled with the type of eye-zinging visuals that flood your brain, will be happy to hear Fox Searchlight is releasing Boyle’s newest film Trance in theaters on April 5, 2013.

Starring James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) as an art auctioneer who teams with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting, then after a blow to the head has no idea where he hid it, the movie also stars Rosario Dawson as his hypnotherapist and handsomely rogue-ish Black Swan star Vincent Cassel as the gang’s bad-guy leader.

Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours director Boyle helmed the movie from a script by longtime collaborator John Hodge. And if the film’s colorful, fragmented poster and trailer are any indication, the movie has some Freud-worthy, consciousness-shattering twists up its sleeve.

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Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’ trailer: James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel face off over missing art

Danny Boyle's 'Trance' trailer: James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel face off over missing art

Danny Boyle’s first project since vanquishing Lord Voldemort at the London Olympics involves an art heist and hypnotherapy. Naturally.

In the Slumdog Millionaire director’s new feature, Trance, James McAvoy plays an art auctioneer who teams up with a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) to recover the location of a painting that goes missing during an attempted robbery. French actor Vincent Cassel plays the baddie in charge of the heist. Romance, intrigue, and thick foreign accents abound.

Watch the trailer below:


U.K. production of 'Frankenstein,' with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, to screen in U.S. theaters

It’s alive! On screen! Again! Fathom Events announced today that on June 6 and 7, it will rebroadcast into select movie theaters the 2011 filmed U.K. stage production of Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, written by Nick Dear, and directed by Danny Boyle.

When the production played last spring at the Royal National Theatre in London, it won wide acclaim for Cumberbatch and Miller, who alternated playing Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature. (They shared an Olivier Award for Best Actor.)

The National Theatre already broadcast the play into U.S. movie theaters on two separate nights last March. But with the second season of Cumberbatch’s Sherlock pulling in great ratings on PBS — not to mention the actor’s villainous role in the upcoming sequel to 2009’s Star Trek — the fabulously monikered Brit’s star is very much on the rise. You can check out the creepy trailer for last year’s screening of Frankenstein below: READ FULL STORY

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