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The Playlist

Willem Dafoe Talks Wearing Stilts & Working With Taylor Kitsch In Disney's Blockbuster 'John Carter'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • March 7, 2012 12:04 PM
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At this point in his career, Willem Dafoe has the luxury of doing the films he wants to do. The actor’s tastes generally stray towards indie, but he’s unafraid of the mega-blockbuster when he does venture from his comfort zone. It’s hard to imagine Dafoe wasn’t offered other “big” films after his acclaimed turn as the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man,” but for the most part, following the superhero franchise, the actor reverted back to his roots of smaller scale filmmaking. But this spring finds him back at the multiplex in Disney’s “John Carter.” “I’m always happy to make a movie no matter what the size of it that looks like it’s got a pedigree and has a chance of being beautiful,” Dafoe tells The Playlist during a recent interview in Carefree, Arizona.

Willem Dafoe Says He's Signed On For 'John Carter' Sequels, But Still Unsure About Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • February 21, 2012 12:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Over the course of his three decade career, Willem Dafoe has been a difficult actor to pinpoint, both as an indie darling, and equally at home in big budget fair like “Spider-Man” and this year’s Disney tentpole, “John Carter.” Dafoe portrays Martian Tars Tarkas in the latter, a long-awaited adaptation of the influential Edgar Rice Burroughs tales first penned in the late 1800s.

Watch: Brief New 'John Carter' Featurette Continues Us Down The Road Of Cautious Optimism

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 3, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 5 Comments
"John Carter" is now about a month away from hitting screens and it remains, largely, a mystery. The first live-action feature directed by Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (who previously helmed "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E") has been plagued by bad buzz and rumors of massive budgetary overruns. While there's still a lot riding on "John Carter," we do have to remember that the script was co-written by Michael Chabon, that the film was largely developed at Pixar, and that Stanton could very easily make just as seamless a transition from animation to live action as his Pixar cohort Brad Bird did on "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." While the trailers haven't inspired much awe, a new micro-featurette (via Bleeding Cool) does lift our spirits, showing new footage and an actual sense of the tone and scale of the project.

Review: Starpower Like Julia Roberts & Ryan Reynolds Can't Save Flaccid 'Fireflies In The Garden'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • October 12, 2011 12:59 PM
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“Fireflies in the Garden” is the cinematic equivalent of going out to dinner with your friend’s family and then having to watch them all fight like cats and dogs the whole time: it’s got to be worse for the people going through it, but you sure as hell have no interest in watching it. Writer-director Dennis Lee, who I can only imagine drew from a deep well of personal experiences – or if he didn’t, clearly suffers from dysfunction envy – created this vivid tale of an embittered writer returning to his childhood home to confront a troubled past. But he failed to realize that personal catharsis isn’t the same as popular entertainment, especially if the characters barely qualify as real people, which is why the only thing more false in “Fireflies in the Garden” than its flaccid melodrama is its clichéd emotional redemption.

Will Willem Dafoe Take A Role In Lars Von Trier's 'The Nymphomaniac'?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 6, 2011 10:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Lars Von Trier is racking up the phone bills these days. Over the weekend it was revealed that the troublemaking filmmaker offered Stellan Skarsgard a role in his upcoming arthouse porno thingy "The Nymphomaniac." Sorry ladies, should he take the role, Stellan won't be banging anybody in the film, of which details are scarce other than the fact that it will center on “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to the age of 50.” But it appears the director has put in another call to another recent collaborator.

Keira Knightley's 'London Boulevard' & Julia Roberts' 'Fireflies In The Garden' Get Fall Dates

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 26, 2011 5:10 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Update: Yahoo have the new trailer for the film which seems to pretend Hayden Panettiere isn't in the movie anymore.

Ex-'The Hobbit' Actor Rob Kazinsky Joins Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim,' Willem Dafoe In Talks

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 29, 2011 1:40 AM
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  • 4 Comments
If you're cast in a major blockbuster, only to be replaced publicly, it can be hard to get your career back on track again. Stuart Townsend, for instance, shot scenes as Aragorn in "Lord of the Rings," before Peter Jackson decided he was too young, and replaced him with Viggo Mortensen. Townsend's heat remained for a little while -- he was the lead in "Queen of the Damned," and one of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," but, well, we know what happened to those, and Townsend hasn't had much luck in recent years. Dougray Scott, meanwhile, was meant to play Wolverine in Bryan Singer's "X-Men," but had to bow out when "Mission Impossible 2" ran over, and was last seen starring in British rom-com "Love's Kitchen," which took a whopping £121 on its opening weekend in the U.K (although, in fairness, he's playing Arthur Miller in "My Week With Marilyn," which could start a comeback).

Exclusive: First Look At Willem Dafoe In Abel Ferrara's Latest "4:44 Last Day On Earth"

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The idea of the end of the world is an endless mine for filmmakers. Principally, of course, they're big-budget action fests, whether showing the disaster in progress, like the many, many examples in Roland Emmerich's career, or showing the aftermath, like "Mad Max" and his plentiful rip-offs. But sometimes, you get lower-key takes on the same subject matter, which are inevitably infinitely more insightful about an idea that, let's be honest, hangs around the back of most of our minds. From Don McKellar's "Last Night" to the upcoming Steve Carell/Keira Knightley drama "Seeking A Friend At The End of the World," it's surprisingly easy to make the apocalypse happen on a low-budget, and the latest director to turn his eye to this genre is maverick veteran Abel Ferrara.

Willem Dafoe In Talks For Stephen Sommers' 'Odd Thomas'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2011 4:02 AM
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Willem Dafoe is a man of eclectic taste, vacillating between decidedly arthouse fare like "Antichrist" and "The Dust Of Time," low rent fare like "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" and straight up tentpole movies such as "Spiderman" and the upcoming "John Carter Of Mars." He follows his muse wherever it goes really, and it looks like it has a taste for the supernatural.

Watch: Willem Dafoe Stars In ‘Being John Malkovich’-Style Ad For Jim Beam

  • By Cory Everett
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  • February 13, 2011 2:32 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Wow, where was this during the Super Bowl? In this new 90 second spot for Jim Beam, character actor Willem Dafoe stars as a dozen or so different versions of himself in this “Being John Malkovich”-style clip. The campaign, about making “bold choices,” illustrates the different types of lives one might lead depending on those decisions and Dafoe stars as each of these versions. Appearing as a circus acrobat, fashion designer, skinhead, and sumo wrestler, it has to be seen to be believed. It sounds silly (and it is), but it’s also surprisingly affecting. We’re not sure what this has to do with liquor but it’s really an impressive spot.

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