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Willow Smith & Jay-Z's Annie Remake, Pattinson & Knightley for Cosmopolis, Cusack "Bad-Ass" Poe

- The question is, will Willow Smith in a remake of (Little Orphan) Annie turn out to be a box office hit that plays like an extended music video proving that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith turned out some cute money makers? Or will it be a gritty, creative and inspired re-telling of the outdated musical and 1982 John Huston film? Jay-Z signed Willow Smith (so thank him for "Whip My Hair") and is in talks to do the music on the remake. If Jay-Z's 1998 Annie-theme-song-inspired "It's The Hard Knock Life" is an indication of how the film would feel, we'll support it all the way. If the remake is heading for Whip My Hair Annie we'll pass. Videos of both Jay-Z and Annie's versions of "The Hard Knock Life" are below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 21, 2011 12:00 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Four Rising Stars of 2011: Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Tom Hardy

Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Rebecca Hall and Michael Fassbender are four hot-as-flapjacks actors who have given Hollywood reason to expect great things. They are, so far, actors known better for their roles than their celebrity, and while 2010 was a year packed with noteworthy performances--including theirs-- we expect that their best work is yet to come. Casting directors and filmmakers are throwing parts at these rising stars: here's a preview of their 2011 slates (from flailing indies to franchise prequels, we've got the available stats) and why we care:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 24, 2010 8:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments

In Development: Knightley and Wright for Anna Karenina, Moses to Rise Again And Again

News to inspire remake support: Keira Knightley could follow in Greta Garbo's footsteps and play the lead in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. The screenwriter is Tom Stoppard and the director is Joe Wright, who arguably gets the best from Knightley (see Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). It's Working Title's project; they expect the script by Christmas. They will then consider, according to London's Daily Mail: "several scripts destined for Wright, including one by Abi Morgan based on The Little Mermaid fairy tale, ‘and we’ll decide what looks like the most sensible thing to do.’" Let's see both!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 19, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Production News: Bourne Without Bourne, Mad Max Stalls, Eastern Promises 2

- Writer-director Tony Gilroy is trying to have it both ways. He confirms that The Bourne Legacy will be made without Matt Damon - but he contradicts himself. "This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one's replacing Matt Damon," Gilroy says. "There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…this is a stand-alone project" that happens to be using the title of Robert Ludlum's book, "but will not use the story":"The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal…Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy...the world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return [down the road]…Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into them will be rewarded for paying attention. We're going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see where we're going and see what we're doing it'll be pretty obvious."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 11, 2010 12:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

EXCLUSIVE CLIP: Vincent Cassel in Mesrine: Public Enemy #1

Jean-François Richet’s Mesrine: Killer Instinct opened strong on 28 screens this past weekend, which is a good sign for Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (part 2, which opens September 3). The films, both hits in France, have been waiting for a release since their 2008 Toronto premieres; now they and their riveting star Vincent Cassel (in his César winning performance as French gangster Jacques Mesrine) are able to impress a wider audience. Check out the exclusive clip below from Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 and our interview with Cassel here, in which he talks about his upcoming films; Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan and David Cronenberg's Dangerous Method:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2010 4:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Vincent Cassel Talks Mesrine, Black Swan, Soderbergh and Cronenberg's Next

Vincent Cassel Talks Mesrine, Black Swan, Soderbergh and Cronenberg's Next
The winner of three César Awards including best actor for Vincent Cassel in the title role, Jean-Francois Richet's gangster biopic Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Part One played the Toronto Film festival two years ago. At the time, doomed distrib Senator was set to release the film as well as Part Two, Public Enemy Number 1. Now Music Box is finally releasing the two French hits, adapted by Richet and A Prophet writer Abdel Raouf Dafri from Jacques Mesrine's autobiography, stateside on August 27 and September 3, respectively. (UPDATE: Anthony Lane writes a lovely review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2010 8:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Road

Viggo Mortensen Talks The Road
So many of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars seem like overgrown kids that the studios often turn to Brits and Aussies for their manly men. Viggo Mortensen, however, is that rare American actor who is both muscular and humane, tough and sensitive, fighter and lover. He seduces us with a threat of danger, his chiseled Nordic physique and stunning blue eyes. Never over the top, for Mortensen, less is more. His performances are slow reveals of hidden information and emotion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2009 7:08 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Top 25 Active Directors: Did EW Get it Right?

EW loves lists like this one, the top 25 active directors, designed to inspire healthy debate. Did they get it right? And what do they mean by active, exactly? "Most talented, in-demand directors behind the camera today?" They're trying to have it both ways--it's a power list measuring fame, heat, influence and at the same time, a qualitative measure of talent.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2009 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF: Audience vs. Critics

Three tracks of movies screen in Toronto: high-brow innovative cinema to intrigue critics and cinephiles, movies with news content for the hungry media, and pics that wow the film fans in theaters. The most fortunate--breakouts like Jason Reitman's Juno, Joe Wright's Atonement, Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl, and Sean Penn's Into the Wild--do it all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2007 8:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF: Flying into Toronto; Eastern Promises

It's nuts to take a 7 AM flight; it means nobody gets any sleep. But I was not the only industryite flying Air Canada early Saturday morning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2007 8:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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