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Watch the first trailer for Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater'

Last summer, Jon Stewart left his post on The Daily Show to shoot his debut film, Rosewater. Now, Stewart and Open World Films are giving viewers a look at his take on journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir Then They Came for Me with the film’s first trailer.

In the trailer, the London-based Bahari, played by Gael García Bernal, leaves his pregnant fiancée to cover the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Bahari is then captured and tortured for 118 days, believed to be a spy by his interrogator. The film’s name comes from Bahari’s statement that the only distinctive feature of his captor, who kept him blindfolded, was that he smelled of rosewater. In an ironic twist, Bahari’s real-life interview on Stewart’s show was used as evidence by his captors of Bahari’s guilt, though the film looks to be too serious in tone to play up that plot point.

From the trailer, it seems Stewart’s directorial debut will use real-life news footage to ground the scenes Stewart shot, which were filmed in Jordan. Much of the trailer showcases snippets of Bahari’s introduction into the country and the torture he suffered.

Rosewater opens on Nov. 7, but will first be screened at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.

Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' movie lands U.S. distribution deal

Open Road Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater, with plans to release the film this fall. The movie tells the true story of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, who was detained in Iran and accused of spying. For 118 days in 2009, he was interrogated and tortured by Iranian authorities, who released him after overwhelming protests and pleas from the West, including repeated updates on The Daily Show.

Stewart, who took a leave of absence from his Comedy Central show to write and direct the film last summer, based the screenplay on Bahari’s best-selling memoir, Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival. Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) portrays Bahari in the film, and Shohreh Aghdashloo (24) plays his mother.

Click below to see Bahari’s 2009 appearance on the Daily Show, after he had been released by Iran. READ FULL STORY

Cannes Film Festival adds six movies

Six films were added to the Cannes Film Festival, including premieres starring Catherine Deneuve and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Deneuve stars in director André Téchiné’s L’Homme qu’on aimait trop (In The Name of my Daughter), which will be screening out of competition. Pablo Fendrik’s El Ardor, starring Bernal, is one of four special screenings added to the Cannes slate.

The other three special screenings are Of Men and War (Des Hommes et de la guerre) by Laurent Bécue-Renard, The Owners by Adilkhan Yerzhanov, and Géronimo by Tony Gatlif.

Kornél Mundruczó’s Fehér Isten (White God) will play in the Un Certain Regard section.

Cannes runs this year May 14-25.

Casting Net: '42' star Chadwick Boseman to play James Brown; Plus, Gael Garcia Bernal, more

• Chadwick Boseman broke out this past year with his turn as Jackie Robinson in the baseball pic 42, and looks set to take on another iconic role: James Brown. Tate Taylor, who directed The Help, will helm the project for Universal, with Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger producing.  According to the report, the movie will be a fairly comprehensive look at Brown’s early life and rise to stardom. [Variety]

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Casting Net: Amanda Seyfried in talks to join Noah Baumbach film; Plus, Gael Garcia Bernal to star in Jon Stewart film

• Amanda Seyfried may have started out playing teenage bombshells, but she’s defied the trap of typecasting and translated those beginnings into an interesting and diverse career including the high-profile Les Miserables and the upcoming porn-star biopic Lovelace. Now, she’s in talk to join director Noah Baumbach’s (Frances Ha) next project While We’re Young,  alongside Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts (The Impossible), and Adam Driver (Girls). Seyfried would play Driver’s partner in the film, about an older couple who befriends a younger, more free-spirited duo.  [The Wrap]

• Jon Stewart has cast Gael Garcia Bernal (No) as the lead in Rosewater, the comedian’s directorial debut, based on Maziar Bahari’s memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Capacity, and Survival. The film will tell the story of a journalist (Bernal) assigned to cover the Iranian Presidential elections who ends up in captivity for 118 days. Stewart co-wrote the script with author Aimee Molloy, who co-authored the book with Bahari. [The Wrap]
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Chile's Oscar foreign film entry 'No' director on politics, freedom, and working with Gael Garcia Bernal

NO-GARCIA

As part of an early look at next year’s Oscars, Prize Fighter — in an ongoing series — is highlighting several of the directors and official entries submitted by a whopping 71 countries competing for the Academy Award for best foreign language film.

No. No. NO!

For such a small word, it packs incredible, immediate power shouted in the name of freedom, as in Chile’s official Oscar foreign film entry No, directed by Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero, Post Mortem) and starring Gael García Bernal.

Based on a pivotal moment in Chile’s history, the movie delves into the dueling “YES” and “NO” ad campaigns that aired on TV when dictator Augusto Pinochet scheduled a referendum in 1988, after 15 years in power, for citizens to vote “yes” or “no” to keep him as president another eight years. The movie, adapted from the play El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta, has a gritty, realistic feel, shot on videotape and weaving in actual footage from the campaigns. Bernal plays the fictional commercials ad man René Saavedra, who heads up the creatively astute, humorous, and hopeful coalition NO campaign, which beat out the Pinochet-driven YES campaign. Each campaign had 15 minutes of TV airtime a night for 27 days, with the NO campaign’s ad relegated to late night.

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Watch Gael Garcia Bernal in the trailer for 'No'

Get ready to hustle to the nearest art-house cinema, because No is headed to the states.

Directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Prófugos, Post Mortem), the movie details the landmark 1988 marketing campaign that helped unseat Chile’s notorious military dictator, Augusto Pinochet. Indie flick staple Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle DiariesY Tu Mamá También) stars as René Saavedra, an ad man who develops the campaign’s signature aesthetic and its slogan, “Chile, la alegría ya viene” (“Chile, joy is coming”). It is based on the play El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta and was shot using period-appropriate videotape, allowing for seamless blending of new material and footage from the original 1988 event.

No won Art Cinema Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and is Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. Watch the trailer after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: 'The Avengers' star Clark Gregg assembling killer cast for 'Trust Me.' Plus: Gael Garcia Bernal to play AIDS patient

• Gael Garcia Bernal is negotiating to star opposite Matthew McConaughey in The Dallas Buyer’s Club, about a Texas man with AIDS who starts smuggling drugs into the country to help fellow patients combat the disease. Bernal would play one of those patients. Jean-Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) is directing from a script by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack (Meet Bill), based on the real-life story of a man named Ron Woodroof. [THR]

• The cast for the big screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County is complete. Julianne Nicholson (Law and Order: Criminal Intent) will play Ivy Weston, the mousy middle daughter of Weston family matriarch Violet (Meryl Streep), who still lives in the same town as her parents and bears the brunt of her mother’s abuse. Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis will play the eldest and youngest daughters, respectively, meaning either the Hollywood gods or director John Wells (The Company Men) have a real sly sense of humor. Benedict CumberbatchEwan McGregorAbigail BreslinDermot Mulroney, Chris CooperMargo MartindaleSam Shepard, and Misty Upham (Frozen River) will costar. Playwright Tracy Letts also wrote the screenplay. [Deadline]

Read more:
Casting Net: Seth Green to rock out in ‘The Identical.’ Plus: Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Costner
Casting Net: Elijah Wood to be ‘The Late Bloomer.’ Plus: Miles Teller, Richard Madden
Casting Net: Wes Bentley, Brit Marling join Lincoln biopic ‘The Green Blade Rises.’ Plus: Martin Freeman, Judi Dench, Steve Coogan

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