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Rarely has a film transitioned from "promising indie" to "trainwreck" in a quicker span of time than Jane Got a Gun, the western that was to be directed by We Need to Talk About Kevin helmer Lynne Ramsay before she bailed on the production by not showing up to work on the first day of filming. Warrior director Gavin O'Connor was quickly called upon to replace her very quickly, with shooting rescheduled to start this Thursday, but now the film has received another blow as Deadline reports Jude Law has bailed too after he was slated to play the villainous gang leader who comes after Natalie Portman's injured husband. Read on!
After making her film debut alongside George Clooney in 2011's The Descendants and stealing our hearts as the female lead in the excellent teen romance The Spectacular Now at Sundance, actress Shailene Woodley is well on her way to becoming the next big thing. She secured two major roles recently as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the female lead in her own sci-fi movie Divergent, and now EW confirms that Woodley has won the coveted lead role in The Fault in Our Stars, a new drama written by (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber.
Whoa. Everything appeared to be on track for Jane Got a Gun, the upcoming western which Natalie Portman is headlining and producing. But Deadline is now reporting that director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) has abandoned the project on its first day of production and let everyone know by simply not showing up to the set. Prometheus star Michael Fassbender also left the project just last week, with Joel Edgerton taking his spot and Jude Law stepping into Edgerton's vacated role as the film's villain. Producer Scott Steindorff says the "a replacement is imminent," but they have not found a new director.
When George Clooney exited an early version of the film adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. back in 2011, many thought it was the beginning of the end for the long-gestating project. Steven Soderbergh was once attached to direct, but Clooney's departure and ensuing disagreements about budget and re-casting caused him to vacate a few months later and direct Side Effects instead. Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie took over soon after, but progress has been slow since then. Now Deadline is reporting that Tom Cruise is in early talks for a lead role. A move like that should speed up development on this considerably.
Ang Lee may have won the Best Director Oscar for last year's Life of Pi, but it was Ben Affleck that was the golden boy of this year's awards season. The Boston native's Argo racked up tons of accolades on the way to its Best Picture prize, leaving many wondering how long it would be before Affleck himself takes home the Best Director statue. Now he could have his sights set on that very goal, as Deadline reports Affleck and Matt Damon's production company Pearl Street Films has secured the screen rights to author Nathaniel Philbrick's upcoming book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution for Affleck to potentially direct.
It's been a few years since a truly memorable Christmas movie hit theaters. (I'd argue 2003's Elf was the last great one.) There have been a few comedies mixed in recently - Harold & Kumar's third adventure comes to mind - but it's tough to make a modern Christmas film that works. That's not stopping more filmmakers from trying though, and there's a new project on the horizon that sounds pretty promising. It's called A Friggin' Christmas Miracle, and it stars Robin Williams and Joel McHale as father and son. Plus, The Wrap reports Tim Heidecker (of Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie) and others have also signed on.
Bursting onto the mainstream acting landscape in Across the Universe, actor Jim Sturgess has since succeeded in balancing blockbusters with smaller independent movies. His latest film, Upside Down, is a science fiction romance that fits both of those categories, wrapping a love story in a ton of often-impressive visual effects. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Sturgess recently about his experience working on the movie, his take on the cold reception and poor box office of Cloud Atlas (which was my favorite movie of last year), working with visionary directors, and much more. Watch the interview and let us know your thoughts.
In an effort to control speculation about his upcoming blockbuster and better connect with fans, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has dubbed his own personal Twitter account the final authority on the casting process. It's actually a cool tactic more directors should adopt: if we don't hear the news directly from him, consider it a rumor. In a recent post playfully bragging about the accolades of his film's actors, Singer tweeted a photo of a bulletin board of headshots, which indirectly answered a question that fans have had since the beginning: yes, the metallic mutant Colossus is returning. And there's more!
Anchorman: The Legend Continues is without a doubt one of our most anticipated movies of the year. Seeing Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Paul Rudd, and Christina Applegate reprise their iconic roles as the Channel 4 news team sounds great, but director Adam McKay has also promised a larger scope for the sequel, including more musical numbers. Another thing that seems to be continually growing is this film's cast, which counts Harrison Ford, James Marsden, Kristen Wiig, and more as new members. Now, Deadline reports Greg Kinnear and "House of Lies" actor Josh Lawson are the latest to come on board.
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need your help to become a reality. We'd like to turn your attention to a short film project called Paisley, a horror project that features a ton of practical puppet effects and draws inspiration from films like Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal & Labyrinth, and Joe Dante's classic Gremlins. And if you don't dig straight horror movies, fear not: there will be a lot of comedic elements in this, too. Take a look at the pitch video below, comment, and don't forget to donate if you can. Check it out!
Since The Avengers decimated the box office last summer, Marvel Studios has been busy putting together plans for Phase II of their film adaptations. By far the most intriguing title on their upcoming slate is Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by Super and Slither helmer James Gunn, and though that movie is already set for an August 1st, 2014 release date, we haven't heard too many details about it yet. Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty) landed the lead role of Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord), and now THR confirms former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista has made a deal to play Drax the Destroyer. More below!
Swedish director Daniel Espinosa made his Hollywood directing debut with Safe House last year, but it was his earlier gangster film Snabba Cash (aka Easy Money) that served as his calling card into the industry. Espinosa has been eyed for a lot of projects in the wake of Safe House's success, and first up is Child 44, a period piece thriller set in Soviet Russia starring Tom Hardy and Prometheus star Noomi Rapace. THR is now reporting that Joel Kinnaman, the future Robocop leading man who rose to fame by starring in Espinosa's Snabba Cash, is in talks to reunite with the director on this new film a the villain.