Julia Roberts will be starring in and producing in Batkid, a feature film based off the documentary “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard around the World.” The original documentary—which was directed by Dana Nachman and debuts at Slamdance Film Festival on Jan. 24—tells the story of five-year-old Miles Scott, a boy diagnosed with leukemia who wanted to be Batman for a day. The ensuing Make-A-Wish event turned into a worldwide phenomenon with nearly 2 billion participants on social media. [Variety] READ FULL STORY
Tag: Julia Roberts (1-10 of 28)
Bruce Willis has signed on to star in Wake. In the action-thriller, Willis will play a sociopath who returns to his hometown on a remote island for his brother’s wake. Willis must save the family he is estranged from when the island comes under attack. Shooting is to begin in Cleveland in February. [Variety]
Steve Carell is in talks to join Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling in The Big Short. The film (adapted from Michael Lewis’ book) centers around the housing and credit bubbles of the 2000s and the following financial crisis. Carell would play Steve Eisman, “a money manager who shorted subprime mortgages for FrontPoint Partners.” [The Hollywood Reporter]
John Krasinski is in talks to star in the next Michael Bay project, 13 Hours. The film will recount “the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya, on the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11.” Krasinski would play one of the lead roles as a Navy SEAL.The film is based off the book “Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” written by Mitchell Zuckoff. [Variety]
John Lithgow will star opposite Ben Affleck in upcoming action-thriller The Accountant. Lithgow will be playing Lamar Black, a “tech magnate in the robotics field” who hires Affleck to look in to his company’s finances after some recent irregularities are found. [Deadline]
Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) will be joining the cast of The Secret In Their Eyes. Norris will be opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts in this crime-thriller remake of a 2009 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. In the film, Norris will play a District Attorney investigator on an unsolved murder case. [Deadline]
George Clooney may be reunited with his on-again, off-again Ocean’s Eleven love in Jodie Foster’s upcoming thriller, Monster Money.
• Julia Roberts has joined fellow Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow and 12 Years A Slave nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in the remake of the 2009 Argentinian film The Secret in Their Eyes. The original feature won the Best Foreign Language film Oscar in 2010. Billy Ray, who wrote the screenplay for The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips, will write and direct the story about a former MI-5 agent (Ejiofor) on a joint task force with the FBI, who thinks he’s finally found the man who murdered the daughter of his former partner and friend (Roberts). [Deadline]
• Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette will star in the relationship drama Miss You Already. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) is directing the cast that also includes Dominic Cooper (Need for Speed), Paddy Considine (The World’s End) and Jacqueline Bisset from a screenplay by British writer and actor Morwenna Banks (Damned). Barrymore and Collette play long time best friends whose relationship begins to struggle when their characters deal with infertility and breast cancer, respectively. Cooper and Considine will play their husbands with Bisset portraying the mother of Collette’s character. [Variety]
• Zac Efron and Robert De Niro are teaming up for the adult comedy Driving Dick Kelly, formerly titled Dirty Grandpa. De Niro plays a widowed Army veteran who tricks his grandson (Efron) into taking him to spring break in Florida. Borat scribe Dan Mazer will helm the film as director with the script written by John Phillips, who also wrote the upcoming DreamWorks comedy Who Invited Her? [The Wrap]
• Shia LaBeouf and Jesse Eisenberg may star together as a pair of potheads in Arms and the Dudes. The comedy from The Hangover director Todd Phillips and writer Jason Smilovic (Lucky Number Slevin) is based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson and follows the duo after they win a $300 million contract from the government and become unlikely arms dealers supplying weapons to American allies in Afghanistan. [The Wrap]
• William Hurt and Alice Braga (Elysium) have joined Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson in the revenge thriller By Way of Helena. Hemsworth stars as a Texas Ranger sent to investigate the murders and disappearances of the people in an isolated town, pseudo led by a charismatic preacher (Harrelson) with a history with the Ranger. Australian director Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here) and writer Matt Cook (upcoming Triple Nine) are both on board for the feature with filming expected to begin this month. [Variety]
• Actress and model Yaya DaCosta has joined the cast of the biopic Bolden! about famed New Orleans cornet player Buddy Bolden. DaCosta, who landed the role of Whitney Houston in the upcoming Lifetime TV movie I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story directed by Angela Bassett, will star alongside Downton Abbey‘s Gary Carr in the title role as well as Nelsan Ellis (Get On Up), Ian McShane (Deadwood) and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy). Dan Pritzker is directing from his own script. [Variety]
• Get On Up and 42 star Chadwick Boseman has sold an untitled pitch to Universal to write and star in a thriller in the vein of The Fugitive. Marc Platt will produce the project, with Boseman collaborating with his writing partner Logan Coles. The two previously worked together on the 2008 short Blood Over a Broken Pawn. [Deadline]
• Mexican star Eugenio Derbez has signed a multipicture deal with Pantelion Films and has already lined up his first project. Derbez is developing a remake of the French comedy The Valet to attract the coveted Hispanic moviegoing audience. Derbez’s last film Instructions Not Included, which was also produced by Pantelion, went on to gross $44 million in the U.S., making it the highest-grossing Spanish-language film released in America ever. The original 2006 version of the film from French writer/director Francis Veber followed a goofy parking attendant and a top model who must pretend to be a couple to save a CEO’s marriage. [Variety]
• Friday Night Lights‘ Aimee Teegarden will star in the Bollywood meets Hollywood dance feature Heart Beats 3D from Duane Adler, the writer behind the Step Up franchise. Teegarden has been cast as an American hip-hop dancer who travels to India for a family wedding and falls in love with both the new style of dance she learns and the young man who introduces it to her. Tiger Shroff is in talks to play her Indian love interest. [THR]
• Sean Harris (The Borgias) has reportedly been offered the villain role in Mission: Impossible 5 which will once again star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. Christopher McQuarrie, who just directed Cruise in Jack Reacher and was part of the writing team that adapted his latest summer flick Edge of Tomorrow, is directing the sequel with Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton reprising their roles from the last 2011 film as well in addition to Alec Baldwin. [Deadline]
• German actress Veronica Ferres (Hector and the Search for Happiness) joins Nicolas Cage in the supernatural thriller Pay the Ghost. Ferres will play a professor and mentor to Cage, a fellow professor who tries to track down the vengeful ghost that took his son years ago during a Halloween parade. German filmmaker Uli Edel is directing the feature with a script by Dan Kay, based on the short story by novelist Tim Lebbon. [Deadline]
• Awkward‘s Brett Davern has been cast as an affable young participant in The Stanford Prison Experiment. He’ll play Hubbie Whitlow, a student in the infamous 1971 psychological experiment who plans a failed escape attempt. Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G) is directing South Park writer Tim Talbott‘s script. [Deadline]
• Karim Saleh (The Attack), Mona Hala (Cairo Time), and Waleed Zuaiter (Omar) will star in Namour, the feature debut of writer-director Heidi Saman about a young valet driver (Saleh) in Los Angeles worried he will never get out of his post-college rut. [Deadline]
Family drama — just in time for the holidays.
In August: Osage Country, the star-studded adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play about an Oklahoma family “marinating in its own miserablism,” as EW’s Owen Gleiberman referred to the plot in his review at the Toronto Film Festival, Meryl Streep portrays an aging matriarch presiding over her husband’s funeral. When her grown daughters — Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson — return home, verbal sparks fly as long-brewing conflicts and resentments come to a head.
In an exclusive trailer, below, check out press conference highlights from Streep, Roberts, and director John Wells about how the film came together. “You don’t get a vote in who’s in your family,” Streep explains in the clip. “And that is the story.”
READ FULL STORY
Home is where the heart is.
That sounds so much better than “Home is where the bile ducts are,” but the latter anatomical metaphor seems better suited to August: Osage County, the star-studded adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play about an Oklahoma family “marinating in its own miserablism,” as EW’s Owen Gleiberman so aptly phrased it.
In the film, which arrives on Christmas Day, Meryl Streep plays the harpyish matriarch who presides over her husband’s funeral — he committed suicide — and drives her three daughters up the wall. Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson play the daughters, who all drag their own adult baggage back into their childhood house.
Norman Rockwell would spit-take on his canvas when he sees the “family photo” that serves as the film’s poster.
Click below for the film’s trailer, which showcases the amazing supporting cast of Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, and Misty Upham. READ FULL STORY
When a movie is based on a celebrated Broadway play, the first question you want to ask is pretty basic: Does it play? In the case of August: Osage County, an adaptation of Tracy Letts’ 2007 Pulitizer Prize-winning stage drama about a feisty Oklahoma family marinating in its own miserablism, the answer is a resounding yes. The fights and insults and sadistic parent-child mind games, the disease and addiction, the decades’ worth of gnarled domestic resentments, the powerhouse acting that sometimes shades into overacting (though in this case I’ll be damned if you could the draw the line)…the movie is red meat for anyone who thrives on confrontation and a certain brand of punchy, in-your-face emotional shock value. Yet the pull of what was happening on screen came, for me, with a major qualification: I went with it, I often enjoyed it, but I didn’t entirely buy it. As a play, August: Osage County might have been designed to make every last person who sees it think: “Thank God for my family! Looking at these raging Middle American crazies, I never realized how much I had to be grateful for!” Which is to say: The film, directed with head-on prosaic craft by John Wells (who made the very sharp downsizing drama The Company Men), is an extremely canny theatrical contraption that spreads its darkness like whipped butter on a roll. Is it a good movie? Let’s call it the feel-good feel-bad domestic snake-pit melodrama of the year. READ FULL STORY
An exuberant Julia Roberts calls working on her latest film, August: Osage County, “the best acting experience of my life.”
The actress was bubbling with enthusiasm the day after the highly anticipated adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, Roberts plays the eldest daughter of a brutally honest matriarch, played by Meryl Streep.
“I’ve never worked so hard in my life – and I’ve given birth to three children,” Roberts told reporters Tuesday.
The large cast lived near the on-location set in Oklahoma, devoting themselves to capturing Letts’ dialogue. The film, to be released Dec. 25, drew mixed reviews at the festival but praise for its performances.
August: Osage County (out Nov. 8) may well become the year’s fanciest movie about a trashy family. It’s based on Tracy Letts’ hours-long, Pulitizer prize-winning play (which we said was “horrifyingly, deliciously mesmerizing”) and is directed by John Wells from Letts’ adaptation. The cast is stuffed from every angle with talent: Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia Roberts (as the favorite daughter), and Meryl Streep (as the hated mother).
As the film’s first trailer makes clear, Osage County is a Jenga-like drama of family dysfunction, with funerals and divorces piling atop dinner-table conflicts. Roberts is weary. Streep, with a frizz of black hair, has the juiciest role in the play. Edward Sharpe plays in the background.
Is it foolish to admit I’m most excited for Juliette Lewis?
Since the two fairy tale projects were announced in 2010, Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror have been expected to battle for the title of fairest Grimm adaptation of them all. Would this be like 1998’s dueling global destruction flicks, Armageddon and Deep Impact, or 1995’s Scottish standoff between Rob Roy and Braveheart? Could there be enough Snow White to go around? As the two movies race to the big screen, it turns out — aside from the name of our heroine — they actually don’t have much in common at all. READ FULL STORY
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