• Oscar winner Ben Kingsley will provide the voice of panther Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The movie, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), will be a combination of live-action and animation with a script by Justin Marks. Kingsley joins previously announced stars Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Scarlett Johansson (Her), and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) as the voices of Shere Khan, Kaa, and Rakcha, respectively, for a scheduled Oct. 9, 2015, release. [THR] READ FULL STORY
Tag: Rooney Mara (1-10 of 32)
Casting Net: Rooney Mara and David Fincher circle 'sexpionage' thriller; Plus, 'Insurgent' finds its Uriah, more
• Rooney Mara and David Fincher are reportedly circling the espionage thriller Red Sparrow. The two haven’t worked together since 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The film will be set in present-day Russia, centered on an intelligence officer who is forced to become a “Sparrow” — someone who basically seduces people for information. She falls for the CIA officer she’s assigned to operate against. Fox is also in talks with Eric Warren Singer, who scripted American Hustle, to adapt the Jason Matthews book. Darren Aronofsky was previously considering the project. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY
Does Scarlett Johansson deserve awards recognition for 'Her'? Co-stars Rooney Mara, Amy Adams weigh in
Scarlett Johansson was nowhere to be found at the Directors Guild of America premiere of Her Thursday night in Los Angeles.
It was almost too poignant an absence, considering Johansson plays the disembodied operating system of our dreams in Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story. As Samantha, Johansson could only rely on her voice — silences and subtle inflections and all — to make us believe that Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore could possibly fall in love with a computer program. She doesn’t even have the benefit of an animated avatar.
Though she’s getting raves for her unconventional but affecting performance, the question of the season is whether or not that counts as an awards-eligible performance. The Golden Globes already said no, even though they gave Her a Best Picture nod. The Screen Actors Guild could have included Johansson in their Best Supporting Actress roundup, but, ultimately, she didn’t make the cut. Same with the Independent Spirit Awards. Now, her only chance to be recognized for the part is the Oscars.
Johansson’s co-stars weighed in on the lingering question at Thursday’s premiere.
The New York Film Festival screened Spike Jonze’s Her — his first solo writing feature — on its closing night, Oct. 12. Jonze, along with cast members Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde, arrived on the red carpet at Alice Tully Hall to celebrate the film’s world premiere.
The movie centers on Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly, a lonely, big-hearted man who falls in love with his Siri-like operating system “Samantha” (smokily voiced by Scarlett Johansson) while coping with his recent divorce. Set in a futuristic version of Los Angeles, Theodore works as a ghost writer for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, dictating heartfelt missives from loved ones who can’t string the words together themselves. Sensitive and reclusive, he finds fulfillment through his complicated relationship with “Samantha.”
For director Jonze, the premiere was a special homecoming. “The New York Film Festival means a lot to me,” Jonze said before the screening. “This is where I got to premiere my first film, Being John Malkovich.” Accompanied by his family and most of his cast — except Johansson, who “is in the ether with us as she is in the movie,” he said — Jonze presented his highly anticipated film to a full house.
Though Phoenix showed up to the premiere with Jonze, the elusive actor didn’t stop for comments on the red carpet, instead racing inside early. But Mara, who plays a pivotal, albeit small, role as Theodore’s ex-wife, gamely talked about her part and how Theodore’s lengthy, but failed relationship with her character drives his need. “You see our relationship unfold,” Mara told EW. “We’ve been together many, many years, and you see all the stages of it.”
In fact, Jonze was reluctant to cast Mara as Theodore’s heartbreak because she seemed too young for Phoenix. “Joaquin is older than me, but he feels kind of young, he has a young spirit,” Mara said. “When I read the script, it was just so powerful, I loved it so much, so even though Spike thought I was too young, I went after it and convinced him to hire me.”
Kent Jones, the festival’s director of programming, echoed Mara while introducing Her: “[Spike] made a film that, when we saw it, we instantly fell in love with,” he said. Jones added that the selection committee wanted the film to close the festival because it mixed lighthearted humor with deeply haunting themes of human emotion, loneliness, and melancholy.
And with the diverse subject matter covered in Her, Mara said, it’s tough to pinpoint just one lesson from Theodore’s relationships.
“There’s so many thought-provoking ideas, and I don’t think there’s one thing to take away from it,” the actress said, shaking her head. “Every day while shooting it, I would drive home and have a million things running through my head about relationships, about everything; I think that’s kind of what happens when you see the film as well.”
Her opens in select theaters Dec. 18 and nationwide Jan. 10, 2014.
• Rooney Mara (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) just signed on to work with another modern auteur, Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven), for Carol, and adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt. She’ll star alongside the venerable Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) in the film about two women in 1950s New York. Mara will play the part of Therese, a young shopgirl with dreams of the future, and Blanchett, an elegant thirtysomething woman in an unhappy marriage. Their relationship escalates when the two decide to take a road trip west. Mia Wasikowska was previously attached to the role. [Deadline]
On Saturday, New York’s IFC Center screened Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and held a Q&A session with director David Lowery afterward. The 2013 Sundance selection, now in theaters, follows escaped convict Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) desperately trying to reunite with his wife and partner-in-crime Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara).
Here are some interesting things we learned about the indie-Western film:
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints began with an image. “The first thing that ever came to mind was that I wanted to make an action movie,” Lowery said. “And my idea of how to start an action movie was a guy breaking out of prison. But that didn’t work out. So I kind of put that idea away for a while. This image of a guy that I put in that script walking around in the woods just surrounded by nature, and that is in the movie, and that quickly corresponded to this other image of the same character carrying a little girl away from the scene of something terrible. And that image wound up in the movie too.”
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It’s Texas sometime in the 1970s and Ruth Guthrie and Bob Muldoon are in love. But in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, the passionate, earnest couple cannot stay together. There’s a confrontation with the police, and Bob (Casey Affleck) ends up in prison, while Ruth (Rooney Mara) raises their daughter alone. But Ruth’s quiet life is upended when she gets word that Bob has escaped from prison.
With Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theaters on Aug. 16 (and VOD on Aug. 23), director David Lowery crafts a tightly constructed, lyrical portrait of people tied together by love, tragic circumstance, and obligation. And even though there are guns, wounds, threats, and betrayals, Lowery has somehow managed to make nearly every character empathetic. EW spoke with Lowery about the film, his love of Robert Altman, his use of violence in the film, and the state of independent movies. Take a look after the break. WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS.
• 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]
In Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Casey Affleck stars as an escaped convict who sets out for home to reunite with his wife (Rooney Mara) — who is also his former partner in crime — and meet their daughter, who was born while he was in prison. Promising writer/director David Lowery won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival, where his movie received winning comparisons to the early work of Terrence Malick.
Saints is getting a special critics screening this week at the Cannes Film Festival, and will open in U.S. theaters on Aug. 16.
In an exclusive video from the movie, Affleck’s Bob chases down Mara’s stubborn — and apparently insecure — Ruth. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY
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