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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekly Wrap: Hunger Games, SXSW Interviews, Actresses Directing & Producing, Japan, Taxi Driver

Weekly Wrap: Hunger Games, SXSW Interviews, Actresses Directing & Producing, Japan, Taxi Driver
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 18, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks Paul's Pegg, Frost and Spielberg; Early Reviews
Here's what you need to know about Paul (March 18): It's a Working Title movie, which means that it's smart, tailored to intelligent audiences, and has a British sensibility. Co-writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead) dreamed up this light fan boy comedy, went on an American research road trip, and lacking their director of choice, Edgar Wright, they turned to Greg Mottola (Superbad and Adventureland), who has been earning mainstream cred as a director of sharp and funny comedies that do not suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2011 8:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW: Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander Talk The Dish & The Spoon

SXSW: Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander Talk The Dish & The Spoon
SXSW is known for introducing Mumblecore to the indie film world, which defines a group of filmmakers and a minimal improvisational aesthetic derived from micro-budget necessity. SXSW-fave director Joe Swanberg discovered Greta Gerwig, who has moved from Hannah Takes the Stairs and the intense The House of the Devil (which severed her working relationship with Swanberg) to Greenberg and Hollywood's Arthur remake.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 16, 2011 3:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments

SXSW Video: Duncan Jones and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Source Code

SXSW Video: Duncan Jones and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Source Code
Jake Gyllenhaal was attached to sci-fi script Source Code when he saw Duncan Jones' $5 million space drama Moon, starring Sam Rockwell in a multi-layered performance. He thought Jones was perfectly suited to direct Source Code, which played well as the SXSW Film Fest opener Friday night. Summit will release it April 1.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 15, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Errol Morris Talks Tabloid and Other Strange Topics

Errol Morris's Tabloid was one of my fave films at the Toronto Film Festival, from which Sundance Selects eventually acquired the truth-is-stranger than-fiction doc. It's screening at SXSW. Morris discovered the nugget of this story, about Joyce McKinney and her obsessive love with a man she tries to save from a cult, buried in the jump of a Boston Globe article. Only Morris would see the potential in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 14, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SXSW Video: Catherine Hardwicke Talks Red Riding Hood, Twilight, Women in Hollywood

SXSW Video: Catherine Hardwicke Talks Red Riding Hood, Twilight, Women in Hollywood
Women directors really do have a tough time. So many factors work against them, no matter how successful they are, in terms of what the powers that be will let them do. Big-budget action films? Mimi Leder and Kathryn Bigelow are among the few who have been allowed into that club. Back in the day when Renny Harlin and Rachel Talalay both directed hit horror sequels, he got a career and she didn't. Even after Twilight, Hardwicke couldn't land the gig directing The Fighter, which went to a director, David O. Russell, who had been in movie jail. It's a boys' club, one in which failure for women is not tolerated. After she turned down the Twilight sequel because it was on a fast track and she wanted more time, Hardwicke tried to make Hamlet with Emile Hirsch, but has yet to raise the money.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2011 12:31 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Director Update: Joe Wright on Hanna and Ronin, The Little Mermaid and Anna Karenina Casting

Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, The Soloist) has a lot coming up, including coming-of-age thriller Hanna (April 8, pictured, trailer below), starring Atonement's Saoirse Ronan as an assassin; Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett co-star. In the works is a live-action version of The Little Mermaid and an adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, which may star Wright favorite Keira Knightley. See these excerpts from his interview at About.com.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 10, 2011 6:34 AM
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Interview Watch: Michael Fassbender & Mia Wasikowska Talk Jane Eyre Gender Roles

Michael Fassbender, 32, is Irish-German, distractingly good looking, and with his role in as Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester, his star is continuing to rise. We've been saying it for a while now, but he's only going to get bigger. So far Jane Eyre has earned a stellar 93% at Rotten Tomatoes. Rochester could have a similar effect on Fassbender's career as playing Mr. Darcy (in both Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary) did for Oscar-winner Colin Firth. (See clip and trailer below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 10, 2011 6:33 AM
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Rango's Verbinski and ILM VFX Master John Knoll Talk Fresh Take on Animation

Rango's Verbinski and ILM VFX Master John Knoll Talk Fresh Take on Animation
Defying every convention of the animated genre, Gore Verbinski's PG-rated $135-million Rango opened well, at $38 million. Why? As Verbinski (who jumped ship on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after three installments) has been saying to anyone who will listen, audiences want originality. They want to be surprised. And animation offers the last refuge for the creative, free from many of the imitative constraints imposed by Hollywood. While Paramount agreed to fund the project off a rough story reel of the entire film--which Verbinski describes as "an animated Sergio Leone movie"-- clearly the filmmaker was left to his own devices on this one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 9:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Video Interview: Wasikowska and Fukunaga Talk Jane Eyre

Check out the Film Independent interview (below, with trailer) with Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and star Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right, Alice in Wonderland). He explains why he wanted to adapt the Charlotte Bronte public domain classic, and how he came to cast Wasikowska as the lonely governess who comes to work for and love the tragic Mr. Rochester, played by rising star Michael Fassbender (here's my old flip cam interview). Focus Features opens the film March 11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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