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The Playlist

Paul Bettany Upgrades His Role, Will Play The Vision In 'The Avengers: Age Of Ultron'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 6, 2014 8:06 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Well, well. Despite claiming that he'd never seen any of the "Iron Man" or "Avengers" movies in which he features as the voice of Tony Stark's helpful A.I. Jarvis, it looks like Paul Bettany is in it for the long-haul with the mega-franchise, because the reliable Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail is reporting that the actor is on board for "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron."

Review: British Urban Melodrama 'Broken Lines' With Paul Bettany Falters, Fails To Convince

  • By Sam Price
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  • September 26, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There’s a familiar, some would say endless, argument about the British film industry: that the films it produces are essentially afraid of tackling the present and pressing contemporary issues. British directors, or at least the companies that finance their films, have rarely tried to engage with the shock of the now, and instead remain happy to retreat into a comfortable, mindless and nostalgic past that probably never existed in the first place. The recent riots that rocked the capital, for instance, or the fall-out from the News International hacking scandal are subjects less likely to be turned into a feature film than, say, something like “Notting Hill 2,” or any another mythological and monocultural representation of London or -- God forbid -- one of the country's other major cities. Occasionally someone comes along with a stick and pokes the ruling classes in the eye (think “The Shooting Party” or “Gosford Park”) but screenplays penned by Julian Fellowes can hardly be considered the stuff of breath-taking dynamism. When the Brits aren’t churning out benign pictures about a benign royal dynasty (hello, “The Queen” and “The King’s Speech”) or enlisting scads of former theatre directors (Richard Eyre, Stephen Daldry, Nicolas Hytner, Sam Mendes) to blandly recreate their deferential attitude towards bland material, they make shockingly poor gangster pictures that would make even a hack like Guy Ritchie blush.

Paul Bettany, Brian Cox & Stephen Graham Draw 'Blood'

  • By Sam Price
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  • September 23, 2011 1:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Screen Daily reports that Paul Bettany, Brian Cox and Stephen Graham will lead a big screen adaptation of an acclaimed 2004 BBC mini-series originally called “Conviction,” now simply retitled “Blood,” set to shoot this January. Screenwriter Bill Gallagher will pen an adaptation of his own material, which centered on two policemen in the Criminal Investigation Department or CID being thrown into chaos by the murder of a twelve year-old girl and exploring, rather loftily, "the notion that everyone has the ability to kill and what it is that can trigger that reaction in any of us." By anyone’s standards the announced cast is a very decent line-up -- it's a hopeful sign in the case of Bettany, who’s slid into ludicrous supernatural fare directed by Scott Stewart with alarming ease of late, whilst Graham and Cox always offer reliable support. Bankrolled by BBC Films, the BFI and Neal Street Productions, its producer Pippa Harris only let slip that the project promises to be a “fast-moving, gripping thriller.” One expects it will also involve the red liquid that circulates in the arteries and veins of vertebrate animals spilling in some capacity.

Watch: Trailer For Star-Studded Financial Drama 'Margin Call' Arrives

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 26, 2011 1:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Given that it was as significant an event in the world as any in the last century, it's not surprising that Hollywood have finally turned their eye to the 2008 financial apocalypse; even if it's unlikely to bring in the teens, it's inherently dramatic subject matter, and this year has already seen Curtis Hanson's solid "Too Big To Fail," and people like George Clooney potentially eyeing the subject in the near future. Next up is "Margin Call," the starry drama that picked up solid reviews at Sundance this year.

Russell Crowe Confirmed For Tom Hooper's 'Les Miserables'; Film Now Set For December 7, 2012 Release

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 22, 2011 1:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Paul Bettany Out, Helena Bonham Carter Also Joins The CastUpdated: Looks like Crowe is now confirmed for this role. The film is now dated for a Dec. 7, 2012, release. Update 2: Helena Bonham Carter has also joined the cast.

Paul Bettany May Escape From Screen Gems Purgatory To Play Inspector Javert In 'Les Miserables'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 16, 2011 1:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
So, you might not be aware of this, but even with the awards buzz around his role in "A Single Man," Colin Firth wasn't the first choice to star in "The King's Speech," the film that became a phenomenon, and won the British veteran his first Oscar. In fact, the part was originally offered to Paul Bettany, star of, among others, "A Beautiful Mind," "Master and Commander" and "Dogville." Unfortunately, for Bettany, he was coming off a lengthy shoot for vampire actioner "Priest" (yes, it shot that long ago), and the actor turned the role down to spend time with his young family: an admirable decision, but one that the actor must view with some regret, considering his once-promising career has been stricken with bad action movies like the aforementioned "Priest" and "Legion," or sub-par dramas like "Creation" in recent years.

Review: ‘Priest’ Is A Spot-the-Cliché Mishmash of Well-Worn Sci-fi Staples

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 15, 2011 5:55 AM
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  • 4 Comments
In the stark, humorless world of “Priest,” directed by former visual effects dude Scott Stewart and based on a popular Korean comic book by Min-Woo Hyung, violent fights break out almost all the time. Stewart, who also helmed last year’s tedious “Terminator” rip-off “Legion,” films these fights with sub-“Matrix” flourishes of extreme slow-motion or exaggerated physical performances by the actors (chief among them Paul Bettany). But the most violent clash in “Priest” is probably the way in which a long litany of science fiction and horror clichés rattle and clang against one another; it’s not a movie, it’s a checklist.

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