New ‘San Andreas’ Trailer Brings the Destruction 0 34

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On the back of the incredibly successful seventh instalment of The Fast and Furious franchise, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in the new trailer for San Andreas. The film reunites him with director Brad Peyton following their collaboration on Journey 2: The Mysterious Journey and it’s safe to say the pair will be hoping for a better result this time around.

The film boasts six (!) screenwriters including Carlton Cuse (Lost and Bates Motel) and Allan Loeb (The Dilemma and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), and follows a rescue chopper pilot (Johnson) who embarks on a journey across the state of California in order to save his daughter (played by True Detective’s Alexandra Daddario) in the aftermath of a massive earthquake.

Watch the new trailer below:

Joining Johnson and Daddario are Carla Gugino (Night at the Museum), Ioan Gruffud (Fantastic Four), Hugo Johnstone-Burt (Home and Away) and Oscar-nominated Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man) – we can’t be the only ones hoping that Giamatti has a more substantial role than he had in The Amazing Spiderman 2.

We didn’t report on it before but the film has recently hit headlines because of the timing with the devastating disaster in Nepal as of late. As a result, the studio has changed its marketing somewhat, including incorporating donate and help out messages in trailers/TV spots. The classy move in a difficult marketing situation, I think it’s safe to say.

What are your thoughts on the new trailer?

San Andreas is released on May 29th this year.

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I’m an award winning filmmaker and videographer with a passion for cinema. Alongside writing for Thoughts on Film, I host and produce The Guilty Pleasures Podcast with Stuart Thompson, write for Scottish Fiction and write and direct music videos and short films. My favourite films include: Mary and Max, Cheap Thrills, Her, I Love You, Man and anything else from the Freaks and Geeks alumni.

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Kenneth Branagh To Direct Disney’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ Movie 0 60

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An adaptation of the mega successful 2001 book Artemis Fowl, and its subsequent series, has been in the works for quite a while now, with mega producer Harvey Weinstein having acquired the rights and tried to get it made for almost 15 years.

After some flipping and flopping on who exactly owns the rights (Disney acquiring Weinstein’s Miramax a decade ago put the brakes on the project), it now appears that things are finally moving forward with the long-awaited big-screen version and it’s being reported that Sir Kenneth Brannagh has been locked down to direct.

Tracking-Boarding has the exclusive on the news on the project, which has intriguingly been described as “Harry Potter meets Die Hard.” That’s just a gift to the people who will end up marketing this thing to the masses. Brannagh appears like the perfect director for it, having just come off a huge success with the $542 million-grossing Cinderella. He will also produce alongside Weinstein.

If you don’t know already, here’s the story of Artemis Fowl as reported on TR:

It follows the brilliant and cunning 12-year-old eponymous criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II, whose cunning plot to extort gold from the secret Fairy People puts him directly in the cross-hairs of some of the most dangerous creatures on earth. Over the series, Fowl becomes a sort of anti-hero rather than a full-fledged villain, often having to work together with the fairies to stop a slew of treacherous megalomaniacs.

The original draft of the Artemis Fowl script was written by Michael Goldenberg, who wrote 2003’s version of Peter Pan as well as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, one of the most action-packed installments in the wizarding franchise (in which Brannagh, of course, starred himself). Variety has extra info on this announcement stating that Irish playwright Conor McPherson is in talks to write a new draft. As for the lead character himself, is it just me or does the above artwork make him look spookily like the kid who play Bruce Wayne on Gotham?

The recent successful pate of YA fantasy stories like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner – not to mention the sure-to-be-successful upcoming Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – is probably a major contributing factor in Artemis Fowl finally getting the kickstart in needed. I have to admit I haven’t read the source books but after Harry Potter came to an end, it seems time for another all-encompassing cinematic fantasy phenomenon to come along.

Before he gets to Artemis Fowl, however, Branagh will be working on the recently announced remake of Murder on the Orient Express. He also has a drama called Italian Shoes, with Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench.

Sources: Tracking-Board and Variety

Josh Gad to Play Roger Ebert Opposite Will Ferrell in ‘Russ & Roger’ 0 44

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Ever since his scene-stealing voice performance as Olaf the Snowman in Disney’s Frozen, Josh Gad has been in-demand, appearing in everything from a Steve Jobs biopic (playing Steve Wozniak) to this year’s (terrible) video game-themed blockbuster Pixels. Now we’ve got word that the actor is set to play one of the most loved and fondly remembered figures in the film journalism industry; the late-great Roger Ebert.

Variety reports that Gad will be playing him in the STX Entertainment “crazier than fiction” comedy Russ & Roger, which will focus on the time the critic turned screenwriter for director Russ Meyer’s controversial 1970 film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Gad was reportedly up for the role for some time but scheduling has finally permitted him signing on the dotted line.

Will Ferrell is already on-board to play opposite Gad as sexploitation maestro Meyer, as is Michael Winterbottom (The Killer Inside Me, The Look of Love) as director. The script is written by Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons writer Christopher Cluess, with Winterbottom and producers polishing it up. Here’s the outline as reported:

A debauched comedy in which truth is crazier than fiction, the film is an outrageous look at two no-holds-barred outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment to make one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio (“Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”) — having the party of a lifetime in the process.

That’s certainly not the type of biopic I’d expect about Ebert. The wonderful documentary Life Itself (seriously, if you haven’t seen that then seek it out ASAP) skillfully and emotionally fulfilled the need for a more dramatic and real look at the man’s life. But still, “debauched comedy” is not the phrase that comes to mind when I hear that they’re making a movie about Roger Ebert.

As for Gad playing him, I think it’s a fine piece of casting, especially since it’s not going the ultra serious route; Gad can certainly hold his own as a dramatic actor (he’s great in Zach Braff’s underrated dramedy Wish I Was Here, for example) but his talents lie in being outlandish. It also doesn’t hurt that he looks quite a bit like Ebert when he was younger.

What do you think of the casting?

Gad will next be seen/heard in the Angry Birds movie, as well as playing Le Fou in Disney’s new version of Beauty and the Beast.

Source: Variety