This week in movie news:
10 amazing actors who died during a movie’s production (see above); first-person action thriller Hardcore Henry gets a new trailer; Midnight Special receives critical praise in new UK trailer; Christoph Waltz joins Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in Downsizing; Jake Gyllenhaal joins the cast of Life; A Hologram for the King gets a new trailer; Michael Keaton will headline a film adaptation of American Assassin; Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson joins Three Billboards; Nicolas Cage’s new film The Trust gets its first trailer; Amanda Seyfried joins director Andrew Niccol’s Anon; Tony Gonzalez joins the cast of xXx 3; and Barbie, Free State of Jones and more get new release dates.
First-person action thriller Hardcore Henry gets a new trailer
STX Entertainment has released a new trailer for Hardcore Henry, the upcoming first-person action thriller from writer/director Ilya Naishuller. The film — which centers on an amnesiac’s quest for revenge — marks Naishuller’s feature-length directorial debut and features a cast that includes Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett and Tim Roth.
Told entirely from the perspective of its lead character, Hardcore Henry earned positive reviews during its festival run last year. The film is only the fourth release from STX Entertainment, which made its debut with the Joel Edgerton/Jason Bateman film The Gift. Hardcore Henry hits theaters on April 8, 2016.
Source: STX Entertainment
Midnight Special receives critical praise in new UK trailer
Entertainment One has released a brief new UK trailer for upcoming sci-fi thriller Midnight Special. The film is the latest effort and first studio production from critically acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, whose previous releases include Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud. The latter film was a contributing factor in the career resurgence of Matthew McConaughey, which culminated with his Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club.
Michael Shannon — who previously appeared in all three of Nichols’ films — stars as the father of a gifted eight-year-old boy (Jaeden Lieberher) in a race against time to get the child to a secure location. Inspired by contemplative sci-fi films of the 1970s, Midnight Special also stars Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Sam Shepard.
Source: Entertainment One
Christoph Waltz joins Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in Downsizing
Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz has joined the cast of Downsizing, the next film from writer/director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants). In addition, actress Hong Chau has signed on for the film, which already has confirmed stars Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in the leads.
Waltz — best known for Quentin Tarantino films Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained — most recently appeared as the primary villain in James Bond film Spectre. Meanwhile, Chau made her film debut in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Inherent Vice in 2014. Set in the near future, the film centers on a man who decides to shrink himself.
Jake Gyllenhaal joins the cast of Life
Jake Gyllenhaal has joined the cast of Life, the latest film from director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Child 44). The Nightcrawler star replaces Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, as schedule conflicts involving the actor’s commitment to Hitman’s Bodyguard have led Reynolds to take on a supporting role instead.
The story centers on a space station crew that discovers dangerous life on Mars and is described as an ensemble piece. However, few other details regarding the remaining roles or cast members have yet been revealed, aside from the fact that Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation breakout star Rebecca Ferguson will appear.
A Hologram for the King gets a new trailer
Lionsgate has released a new trailer for A Hologram for the King, the upcoming film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ acclaimed novel. Tom Hanks stars in the film as a struggling businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia in the hopes of selling his idea to a monarch. The actor previously worked with writer/director Tom Tykwer on the 2012 release Cloud Atlas, which Tykwer co-directed.
Tykwer is perhaps best known for his standout 1998 thriller Run Lola Run, and the underrated 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. A Hologram for the King co-stars Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt, Alexander Black, Rolf Saxon and Sidse Babett Knudsen, and it is set to hit theaters on April 22, 2016.
Michael Keaton will headline a film adaptation of American Assassin
Michael Keaton will headline American Assassin, the upcoming film based on Vince Flynn’s best-seller. Keaton will star as Cold War veteran Stan Hurley who takes black ops recruit Mitch Rapp under his wing and engages on a mission to prevent an emerging threat in the Middle East. Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) directs based on a script by Stephen Schiff (The Americans).
American Assassin is based on one of fourteen novels centering on the character of Rapp. The film will mark only the latest intriguing project that Keaton has taken on in the past few years. The former Batman star earned an Oscar nomination for his work in Birdman and, most recently, appeared as part of the stellar ensemble in Best Picture Oscar-winner Spotlight. American Assassin begins production this summer.
Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson joins Three Billboards
Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson have joined the cast of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film is the latest release from acclaimed filmmaker Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) and stars Frances McDormand as a woman who goes to war with local police, as she engages in a quest to avenge her daughter’s murder.
Rockwell and Harrelson previously shared the screen in Seven Psychopaths, McDonagh’s 2012 dark comedy that also starred Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko. Production on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is set to begin in April in North Carolina.
Nicolas Cage’s new film The Trust gets its first trailer
Saban Films has released the first trailer for The Trust, the upcoming crime thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. The film — directed by Alex and Benjamin Brewer — centers on two cops who happen upon a mysterious bank vault during a drug investigation and decide to steal it, only to find themselves in over their heads.
The Trust features Sky Ferreira, Jerry Lewis, Kevin Weisman and Steven Williams in supporting roles and recently made its premiere at South by Southwest. The film will be available exclusively on DirecTV on April 14, 2016, prior to a simultaneous release theatrically and on video-on-demand services on May 13, 2016.
Amanda Seyfried joins director Andrew Niccol’s Anon
Amanda Seyfried has joined the cast of director Andrew Niccol’s (Gattaca) new film Anon opposite Clive Owen. The actress — who recently starred in ensemble comedy/drama Love the Coopers — previously appeared in Niccol’s 2011 dystopian thriller In Time, which also starred Justin Timberlake and Cillian Murphy.
Anon is set in a world with no privacy, ignorance or anonymity and centers on a detective (Owen) who meets a young woman (Seyfried) untraceable to the police. Before long, he begins to question whether or not the rules of crime are as clearcut as he once thought. The film is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2017.
Tony Gonzalez joins the cast of xXx 3
Former NFL player Tony Gonzalez will make his feature film debut in xXx 3, reportedly titled xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. Gonzalez was previously a Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons All-Pro tight end and currently serves as an analyst for CBS Sports. No details have been revealed regarding what role Gonzalez will play in the film.
Vin Diesel returns as Xander Cage for the first time since the 2002 original. Samuel L. Jackson is also set to reprise his role, and Ruby Rose, Nina Dobrev, Donnie Yen and Deepika Padukone will join the cast. The next installment in the xXx franchise — directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) is scheduled to hit theaters on January 20, 2017.
Barbie, Free State of Jones and more get new release dates
A number of high-profile films have received new release dates. Sony’s live-action Barbie film has been moved up from June 2, 2017, to May 12, 2017, while Lionsgate has shifted La La Land, the upcoming Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling musical directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) from July 15, 2016, to December 2, 2016, likely positioning it for awards consideration.
Meanwhile, STX Entertainment has moved its Civil War drama Free State of Jones — starring Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw — from May 13, 2016, to June 24, 2016. Amityville: The Awakening, the latest in the long-running horror franchise, has shifted from April 1, 2016, to January 6, 2017, and Mark Wahlberg drama Patriots Day has received an official release of December 21, 2016.
Source: Sony, Lionsgate, STX Entertainment, The Weinstein Company