The literary works of Cormac McCarthy represent an extremely high degree of difficulty for Hollywood filmmakers. For sure, the Coen brothers passed the test with the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men, but All the Pretty Horses nearly killed director Billy Bob Thornton and The Road delves deeper into the post-apocalyptic grime than the heart and mind of Viggo Mortensen’s physically decaying father. But such creative challenges were made for James Franco, who adapted and directs McCarthy’s Child of God, which premieres at the Venice Film Festival this weekend before screening in Toronto.
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The End was just the beginning.
This is the End, the apocalyptic comedy starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, and their friends as versions of their real selves, arrives on Blu-ray and other home-viewing formats on Oct. 1. The movie, which has grossed $96.2 million since it opened in June, was the rare summer comedy that the critics loved. Now, you can finally enjoy the movie in the spirit that the end-of-the-world tale engenders: at home in the dark, behind locked doors and bolted windows, with only your closest frenemies and one Milky Way bar.
Fans won’t be disappointed by the extras, which include commentary from co-directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg, a featurette with the cast and crew discussing the delicate feat of playing heightened versions of their Hollywood personas, and the original short that Rogen and Jay Baruchal made that inspired the making of the movie. (Click on Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse below after the jump to see its foul-mouthed trailer.) READ FULL STORY
Terry Gilliam, James Franco, and Errol Morris are among the filmmakers who will premiere their new movies in competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival in late August, it was announced today. Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (pictured above), which stars Christolph Waltz as a computer hacker close to cracking the code that explains humanity, is his first film since The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009. Franco directs himself in Child of God, an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, and The Unknown Known, Morris’ study of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, is the first documentary to ever compete in the main category at Venice.
Overall, there is a strong contingent of American filmmakers showcasing their movies, including David Gordon Green’s Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Mud‘s Tye Sheridan, and Peter Landesman’s Parkland, the story of the colliding lives at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital in the days around the Kennedy assassination in 1963. Seven of the 20 films in competition are American or co-American productions. “The richness of American cinema at the moment is really extraordinary,” said Alberto Barbera, artistic director of the Venice Film Festival, “both from the indies and from Hollywood.”
Also in the main competition are Stephen Frears’ Philomena, starring Judi Dench, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, with Scarlett Johansson, and Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard. Click here for the entire list. READ FULL STORY
• Hopefully Rooney Mara (Side Effects) and Martin Sheen (The Departed) will get a chance to trade Terrence Malick stories when they begin filming Trash in Rio De Janeiro next month. The two actors have signed on to star in the adaptation of Andy Mulligan’s 2010 young adult novel about three homeless boys living in an intentionally ambiguous “third world” country in the near future who discover something in a trash heap worth protecting. Mara will play an NGO worker and Sheen is set for the part of Father Julliard. Rickson Teves, Eduardo Luis, and Gabriel Weinstein will make their film debuts as the three boys. Stephen Daldry (The Hours) is set to direct the project, which was adapted for the screen by Richard Curtis (War Horse). [Deadline]
'This Is the End' is more than just hilarious. It marks the potentially revolutionary moment when the movies met reality TV
For years, Hollywood producers have been cannibalizing television shows to come up with concepts for movies. The trend might have looked like it was on its way out after the low-rent megaplex versions of Starsky & Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard (the latter of which I actually liked), but no, it’s still very much with us, from The A-Team to Dark Shadows to 21 Jump Street (can Doctor Who be far behind?). Reality TV, on the other hand, is a different animal, resistant by nature to being translated to the big screen. It’s not that you can’t do it. As far back as the late ’60s, when Candid Camera was a seminal early example of reality programming, that show spawned a smuttier-than-the-small-screen movie version, the boob-tube-plus-boobs What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? (1970). And given that a great many reality shows exploit our attraction to salacious subject matter, it would have seemed far from totally absurd if they’d come up with, say, a movie version of Jersey Shore, where the hot-tub cavorting didn’t need to be fuzzed out and The Situation could have gotten into some situations too risqué for TV. READ FULL STORY
What comes after the apocalypse? For Seth Rogen — co-director, co-writer, and co-star of This Is the End — it’s another comedy featuring his old Freaks and Geeks buddy James Franco.
The film is called The Interview, Rogen said on SiriusXM’s EW Morning Live today. It stars Franco as an entertainment journalist — specifically, “a much dumber, more of a joke version of Ryan Seacrest” — who’s tasked with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Wait — what? Listen to Rogen explain it all in this clip from today’s show, which also features Morning Live hosts Dalton Ross and Jenna Morasca. You can hear the interview on SiriusXM as well: A recap of this week’s best Morning Live moments will run Saturday and Sunday at 2 a.m., 3 p.m., and 8 p.m. ET. Find the EW channel’s full schedule here.
'This is the End' premiere: Seth Rogen & Co. debate whether they have what it takes to survive the apocalypse
In This is the End, James Franco and Seth Rogen try to get through the apocalypse with a little help from their famous friends. The world is literally imploding, which really puts a damper on the killer shindig Franco was hosting. Rihanna is there, Mindy Kaling is horny, and Michael Cera is totally out of control. The cast — which also includes Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, and Emma Watson — plays caricatures of their own public personas, an experience Rogen, who co-wrote and co-directed with Evan Goldberg, found cathartic. “The studio was a little freaked out by the notion of it, but we like referential meta humor like Seinfeld or the Garry Shandling Show,” Rogen said. “I think it is a risk, but it is always something I thought was really funny. The actors were psyched so we just kind of went for it.”
Watching warped versions of these Hollywood stars go all Lord of the Flies on each other begs the question: Which of them have the skills to survive the end of times, when pure Darwinistic instincts take over? At last night’s premiere in Westwood, Calif., the cast was brutally honest about their chances should hell open up, the sky start to fall, and a demon-penis (Yes, demon-penis) attack humanity.
Bottom line: It doesn’t look like the post-apocalyptic world will have any jesters. Read below for the cast’s thoughts on what survival skills might keep them alive when the fit finally hits the shan:
Casting Net: Andrew Garfield teams up with Scorsese; Plus James Franco joins 3-D Wim Wenders drama, more
• Martin Scorsese has found a new leading man in Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) for his feature Silence, based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 Japanese-language novel. The fictional story follows a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Japan. Ken Watanabe (Inception) also stars in the film, which will be largely shot in Japanese. At one point, Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were going to star in the film. [Variety]
• James Franco is set to join Paris, Texas director Wim Wenders’ upcoming drama Everything Will Be Fine, about a writer who kills a child accidentally. The story will follow Thomas (Franco) for 12 years after the accident as he attempts to live a normal life. Sarah Polley (Splice) also stars. Wenders plans to make the film in 3-D — his second using the format. His first was the 2011 Oscar-nominated documentary Pina. [THR]
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