Images In Production

First image of Henry Cavill as Superman

Warner Bros. have released the first image of Henry Cavill as Superman in the upcoming film version Man of Steel.

Here is a close-up version:

The film is directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, with a release date scheduled for June 2013.

> Man of Steel at the IMDb
> Henry Cavill at Wikipedia

In Production News

The Dark Knight Rises Starts Filming in Pittsburgh

The Dark Knight Rises began filming in Pittsburgh this week.

Director Christopher Nolan, star Christian Bale and producer Emma Thomas recently spoke at a press conference hosted by the Pittsburgh Film Office.

After words from the director of the film office and governor of Pennsylvania, Nolan mentioned that he was drawn to the “unique architecture” of the city and that it will be “somewhat disrupted” within the story of the film.

Bale also made a joke about wearing the rubber batsuit in the hot weather despite the fake snow being used for some scenes and that they’ll be “fighting on the streets”, which suggests large outdoor action scenes.

Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) used a mixture of British and US locations, with Chicago being transformed into a memorable Gotham City, especially in the second film.

I’m not sure whether the reason for switching to Pittsburgh was financial (better tax breaks), artistic (maybe the look of the city was more suited to this film) or a mixture of both.

In honour of the Batman crew arriving in town, the Batman logo was projected on to the city skyline a few nights ago.

This news report shows that filming is going on in a residential street of the city:

They show the fake snow and the IMAX cameras that the film is being shot on: after filming most of the action sequences in The Dark Knight on the IMAX format, DP Wally Pfister has said he wants to shoot as much as possible in the larger, highest resolution format.

By the way, this is what that house looks like on Google Street View:

It seems odd that they are filming a massive blockbuster on what seems to be a small residential street, but perhaps Nolan wanted the raw feel of an actual location, rather than just duplicate buildings on a large soundstage.

This CBS Pittsburgh report shows a bit more background, including how the production has paid for local residents to take their dogs away for a day (in case they bark during filming) and how a particular house has been completely taken over.

Footage has also surfaced of three Batmobiles, painted in the camoflage colours we saw in Batman Begins.

There are also reports that the film is going to shoot a sequence at Heinz Field, the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, which holds 65,000 people.

On the Steelers official website there is this announcement:

Steelers fans can see the filming of “The Dark Knight Rises,” in person as the movie will be shot in Pittsburgh and is looking for fans to be a part of a stadium crowd. The movie is looking for fans to fill a stadium in the Pittsburgh area on Saturday, August 6. The one-day filming runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to anyone 14-years old and up. Anyone under 18-years old must be accompanied by an adult. Fans will be asked to bring the same energy they do to Steelers games as they cheer on the Gotham Rogues in a football game against their rival the Rapid City Monuments.

In recent movies involving large stadium crowds, such as Invictus (2009), the trend was to use visual effects to fill out the ground, but it seems like Nolan and his team want to create the live action atmosphere of a real game.

One theory about the new film is that there is a strong connection with the first Nolan Batman film.

If you’ve seen the recent teaser trailer, the scene with Gordon (Gary Oldman) in a hospital bed suggests that Bruce Wayne reneged on the deal they struck at the end of The Dark Knight.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the evil that Gordon talks of is something to do with Bane (Tom Hardy) and my guess is that for the new film Batman has to begin all over again.

Not only does Gotham presuambly blame him for the death of Harvey Dent, but I suspect that Nolan wants to bring things full circle with the first film so that the franchise has a neat resolution (I think he has decided that this will definitely be his last).

We shall find out what happens when the film opens next July, but it is interesting to see that they are utilising the exterior locations of an American city.

Part of what has made the franchise work so well is the mixture of fantastical subject matter within a believable, urban world.

It seems that Pittsburgh is going to provide another side to Nolan’s Gotham.

> Official site for The Dark Knight Rises
> Find out more about Pittsburgh at Wikipedia
> Facebook page for The Dark Knight Rises
> Batman News

Behind The Scenes In Production Interesting

I Am I and Kickstarter

I Am I is one of many independent film projects that have used the website Kickstarter to raise funds.

Launched in April 2009, the New York based site allows people to fund creative projects from a wide range of areas, including independent films, music and technology.

Bypassing traditional models of investment (like movie studios or super-rich uncles looking for a tax write off) it allows a people to announce projects and then set a funding target by a certain deadline.

Amongst the movie-related projects that have successfully raised funds using Kickstarter include:

I Am I had a funding goal of $100,000 and managed to meet it on January 8th, raising $111,965.

But how do film projects like this stick out on a site like Kickstarter?

The filmmakers came up with quite an inventive video to pitch their film:

You can keep tabs on the production at their official site and via Jocelyn Towne on Twitter.

Other film projects currently raising funds via Kickstarter are:

> I Am I
> Kickstarter

In Production News

Peter Jackson’s First Video Diary for The Hobbit

Filming has got started on The Hobbit and director Peter Jackson has released the first video diary from the set.

The Lord of the Rings prequel follows the early adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and will be released in two parts, with some of the old characters returning.

Jackson introduces us to the set, some pre-production meetings (with key art-work blurred out) and the first day of filming which involves the blessing of the soundstage in Wellington.

With the original trilogy and King Kong Jackson bucked the tradition of secrecy that some studios have had over their productions by being quite open with the fans via video journals.

It was a smart move as increased excitement and expectation for the films.

He announced earlier this week on his Facebook page that he would should the film in 48fps (see here for a video explanation by SFX maestro Douglas Trumbull) and in 3D using Red Digital cameras.

We are indeed shooting at the higher frame rate. The key thing to understand is that this process requires both shooting and projecting at 48 fps, rather than the usual 24 fps (films have been shot at 24 frames per second since the late 1920′s). So the result looks like normal speed, but the image has hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok–and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years–but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.” Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D.

After all the pre-production difficulties, which involved various delays and Guillermo Del Toro leaving the project, Jackson must be relieved to finally start shooting.

The Hobbit Part 1 is scheduled for release in 2012 with Part 2 to follow in 2013

> More on The Hobbit films at Wikipedia
> Peter Jackson’s official Facebook page

Images In Production News

First images from Spielberg’s Tintin

Empire have posted the first images from the upcoming Tintin film directed by Steven Spielberg.

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is based on three of the stories by Hergé: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.

The story involves Tintin’s (Jamie Bell) first encounter with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and a treasure hunt which involves an escaped prisoner, as well as Detectives Thompson and Thomson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost).

A longtime Tintin fan, Spielberg filmed using motion capture 3-D cameras and the film is currently scheduled for release in late 2011.

> Empire’s Tintin page
> IMDb entry

In Production News

Clint Eastwood filming Hereafter in London


Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon have recently been filming their latest movie Hereafter at the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

Scripted by Peter Morgan, the IMDb plot summary says it is:

A supernatural thriller centered on three people – a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy – who are touched by death in different ways.

Check out more photos here and some production info at Wikipedia.


Images In Production Interesting

The cast of the new A-Team movie

The new A-Team movie is currently filming in Vancouver and the main cast includes Quinton Jackson (as BA Baracus), Bradley Cooper (as Face), Liam Neeson (as Hannibal), Sharlto Copley (Murdock) and Jessica Biel (in a new role of an army general and former lover of Face).

The Daily Mail have been busy collecting all the paparazzi photos of the set (in addition to misspelling Sharlto Copley’s name).


The New A-Team cast

[Link via Buzzfeed and The Daily Mail]

In Production Trailers

Inception teaser trailer

The teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s new film Inception is here.

‘Inception’ Theatrical Trailer @ Yahoo! Video
> Official site
> More on Inception at Wikipedia
> /Film report on scenes shot at UCL in London
Images In Production Interesting News

Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood on the set of Invictus

Invictus is the title of the film based on Nelson Mandela‘s life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film stars Morgan Freeman as the then South African President Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the South African team captain.

Based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation, it is due for release in the US in December.

However images taken on the set have surfaced on a South African website.

Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar
Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar


Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela
Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela
Clint Eastwood on the set of Invictus
Clint Eastwood on the set of Invictus


> Invictus at the IMDb
> Find out more about Francois PienaarNelson Mandela and the 1995 Rugby World Cup at Wikipedia

In Production

Watchmen Feature

Assuming all the legal problems between WB and Fox get sorted Watchmen will be released on March 6th.

> Official site
> Find out more about the graphic novel at Wikipedia

Images In Production

Robert Downey Jnr as Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr is currently in London filming the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which is being directed by Guy Ritchie

Just Jared have posted some photos of Downey and Ritchie shooting some scenes outside of St Paul’s Cathedral.

 There will be three months of shooting in London, including locations such as Freemasons’ Hall before moving to Liverpool.

Check out some more photos at Just Jared and a black and white shot from Flickr user stryker66.

Sherlock Holmes at the IMDb
> Robert Downey Jnr and Guy Ritchie at Wikipedia
> Find out more about Arthur Conan Doyle and the character of Sherlock Holmes at Wikipedia

Cinema In Production Interesting

Jeff Bridges & Colin Farrell filming Crazy Heart

This is Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell sharing the mic in Alberquque, New Mexico last week during the filming of their new movie Crazy Heart.

It was caught on camera by Sheriff Greg Solano who writes:

Last night [Thurs 18th Sept] at the concert they were filming another movie “Crazy Heart”, starring Jeff Bridges, Colin Farrell, and Robert Duvall.

Those in attendance were treated to be a part of the film as they filmed concert footage for the film.

The film is about a down-on-his-luck alcoholic country music singer who, through his relationship and experiences with a female reporter, is able to get his life and career back on track.

During the filming at the Toby Keith Concert Colin Farrell and Jeff Bridges got on stage and sang to the audience while scenes were shot. I must say they were not half bad as country singers.

I was allowed to bring in a small digital camera and I took pictures and some small videos of the filming.

Check out more photos and information on his blog.

> Crazy Heart at the IMDb
> Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell at Wikipedia

In Production News Posters

W. teaser posters and on set footage

When it was announced that Oliver Stone was to make a feature film about George W. Bush simply called W. my first reaction was that it was too soon.

Surely some distance and perspective was needed on a film about one of the most divisive Presidents in US history?

Plus, the schedule for the film seemed rather ambitious – it started shooting in May for a November release, which by current Hollywood standards seemed rather quick.

However, I have to admit that the cast he has assembled is impressive:

Plus, the early leaked trailer that surfaced recently looked much more promising than I had expected.

Now, two more teaser posters have been released which seem to hint at a savvy marketing campaign from Lionsgate and their agency Crew Creative.

Plus, Access Hollywood has just released some footage of Josh Brolin as the 43rd President – it appears to be B-roll footage shot on the set which is why the green screen backdrop is visible.

After the critical mauling of Alexander and the restrained sorrow of World Trade Centre, I imagine Oliver Stone is hungry to return to the fire and energy of his earlier films.

Could this be the film to return him to former glories?

We shall find out on November 7th, when it opens in the US and UK.

> W. at the IMDb
> First images from the movie
> More information on the film at Wikipedia

In Production News

Alicia Keys and Jack White to duet for James Bond theme song

Alicia Keys and the Jack White have recorded a duet called ‘Another Way to Die’ which will be the theme song to the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

Columbia Pictures said in a statement released earlier today that it was the first duet in the history of the long running spy franchise:

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the highly anticipated 22nd James Bond adventure “Quantum of Solace,” announced today that multi-Grammy Award-winning and platinum selling recording artists Jack White of the rock band The White Stripes, and Alicia Keys, have recorded the theme song for the film, which will be released worldwide this November.

Their song, written and produced by Jack White, and titled “Another Way to Die,” will be the first duet in Bond soundtrack history.

In addition to writing the song, Jack White is also featured as the drummer on this track.

The soundtrack to “Quantum of Solace” will be released by J Records on October 28, 2008.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in “Quantum of Solace,” the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures release of EON Productions’ 22nd adventure in the longest-running film franchise in motion picture history.

The film is directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay is by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade as well as Paul Haggis and the film’s score will be composed by David Arnold.

Wilson and Broccoli said: “We are delighted and pleased to have two such exciting artists as Jack and Alicia, who were inspired by our film to join together their extraordinary talents in creating a unique sound for Quantum of Solace.”

Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis had previously been rumored as the vocalists for the latest Bond theme.

Quantum of Solace is out in the UK on October 31st and in the US on November 7th.

> Official site for Quantum of Solace
> Check out the trailer
> IMDb entry
> Check out more photos from the launch press conference at Pinewood and a synopsis of the film
> Full press release announcing the new song

In Production Trailers

Trailer: W.

This is the leaked trailer for W. the new Oliver Stone film about George W. Bush.

(It is possible that this may get taken down from YouTube at some point)

UPDATE 01/08/08: The UK release date is now confirmed as November 7th 2008.

The key cast and characters are:

> W. at the IMDb
> First images from the movie
> More information on the film at Wikipedia

Animation In Production Interesting

First video from Pixar’s next film ‘Up’

Here is the first footage of Pixar’s next film Up.

Original Video– More videos at TinyPic

The story is about an older man (voiced by Edward Asner) who finally fulfils his lifelong dream of exploring the world.

Up is released in the US in May 2009.

> Up at the IMDb
> Official site for the film
> More on the film at Pixar’s blog

[Link via The Animation Blog]

In Production Trailers

Trailer: Watchmen

This is the first trailer for Watchmen, the adapatation of the Alan Moore graphic novel.

(You can also watch a bigger version over at Empire Magazine)

Directed by Zack Snyder it stars Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode, Stephen McHattie and Carla Gugino.

Set in 1985, the film follows a group of former vigilantes as war begins to break out between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The film will be released in March 2009.

> Official site
> Check out some photos and the official blog
> Find out more about the original graphic novel at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting News

Frank Miller’s blog on The Spirit

Frank Miller has a new blog where he is writing about his upcoming film The Spirit.

Based on the newspaper strip created by Will Eisner, Miller is writer and director of the film, which stars Gabriel Macht as The Spirit and Samuel L. Jackson as his nemesis, The Octopus.

It also stars Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Stana Katic, Dan Lauria, Jaime King, Paz Vega and Louis Lombardi.

Miller says of the movie:

Much has been the fuss in the comics’ blogosphere about my SPIRIT movie—much justified, much hoped for, and much to my delight, that there has been a fuss at all.

Some comics readers are terrified that THE SPIRIT will be a retread of my SIN CITY. Others quarrel over the change of the SPIRIT’S traditional blue hat, mask, and jacket, to black.

These are understandable concerns for any lover of Will Eisner’s masterpiece. I take this opportunity to address these concerns. With glee, I take this opportunity.

THE SPIRIT is, with every effort I give it, not a rusty, dusty old monument to the work of my beloved Mentor, so much as it is an extension of what I know to have been Eisner’s central intent: to create something new, witty, and exploratory. That’s what he did. That’s what I’m doing.

It only resembles SIN CITY in that I am its director, and, well, yes, I have my ways and my proclivities. Luckily, I was able to discern three important proclivities I share with the Master. We both love good stories. We both love New York City. And we both love beautiful women.

He also addresses the blue suit issue:

Now, about that blue suit. Comic books have long traditions based on the limitations of pre-digital printing.

Among these are traditions from the old newsprint-run-through-letterpress approach (yes, comics have been—and still do–follow tradition that dates all the way back to Gutenberg!).

Bad printing on pulp paper is why it was necessary for every superhero to have his emblem printed on his chest, and that everything that’s black be printed in blue.

Hence Superman’s preposterous blue hair. And the Spirit’s blue hat, mask, and suit. In tests—and we did several—the blue made the Spirit look like an unfortunate guest at a Halloween party.

Going to black brings back his essential mystery, his Zorro-like sexiness. It also makes that red tie of his look very, very cool.

So I made the call, with all respect to Eisner’s creation, and most importantly, to what I perceived as his underlying intention. It was an easy call for me to make. The Spirit dresses in black, and looks much the better for it.

As I said, my desire was never to slavishly follow the rules of ‘40s printing into campy oblivion, but to reintroduce Eisner’s creation, via modern technology, to our brave new world.

Check out more at his blog.

The Spirit is set for release in December.

> IMDb entry for the film
> Find out more about the original comic book character

In Production Interesting

Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro answer Hobbit Questions

A couple of weeks ago Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro asked fans to submit questions about the upcoming film version of The Hobbit which they would answer via a live webchat.

Nearly 6,000 fans asked almost 4,000 questions before the chat began and during the session they came in at nearly a question per second.

In the end Peter (in New Zealand) and Guillermo (in London) sifted through all the questions and answered about 60 of the most popular ones.

Here are some selected highlights:


Guillermo del Toro: Obviously, at this stage, the second film is still being figured out- so the actors that have been approached may or not have appeared in the HOBBIT as a literary work but still may appear in the second film as it “blends” into the Trilogy and expands.

Therefore what can be said is: Unequivocally, every single actor that originated a role in the Trilogy will be asked to participate and reprise it. If Health, availability or willigness become obstacles – and only in that case recasting would be considered.

Peter Jackson: Like Guillermo says, apart from extreme circumstances, we would never recast a character who appeared in the LOTR trilogy. You can read The Hobbit and pretty much see which characters play a part. The unknown facter is Film Two, which we are still developing. If we wished to write one of the LOTR characters into the narrative of Film Two, we would only do that with that actors blessing, and willingess to take part. Otherwise we’d take the writing in another direction.


Guillermo del Toro: Okay- If by “Sword and Sandal” you mean “Sword and Sorcery” I stand by the general lines of my statement in 2006.

When that statement was made- at different times during PANS LABYRINTH’s promotion, many a time I made the distinctive call to say that althought I had not read Tolkien outside THE HOBBIT I had been fascinated by the Trilogy films. A statement that I already had the chance to make in 2005 when PJ, Fran and I met about HALO.

So, no, generally I am NOT a “Sword and Sorcery” guy or a “Fantasy” guy- By the same token, I’m not a sci-fi guy but I would make a film based on Ellison in a second- or on Sturgeon or Bradbury or Matheson.

I’m not into Barbarians with swords but i would kill to tackle Fafhrd and Grey Mouse… and so on and so forth… I’m a believer but not a Dogmatic.

Allow me to put a final, finer point to our discussion. The aesthetics of HELLBOY II are completely Pop and color-saturated, much more comic book / modern than I would ever use in THE HOBBIT but- I spend two years creating a world of Fairies, Elves, Trolls, etc

Two Years. A career / creative decision that precedes any inkling of THE HOBBIT. I wrote the script years before I met with PJ or Fran. In other words I dedicated the last 6 years of my career (between PL and HBII) to create Fantastical world inhabited by Fairies, Fauns, Ogres, Trolls, Elves, etc

In that respect- I guess I am a Fantasy guy when the particular world appeals to me. Back in the Jurassic Period (1992 / 1993) when CRONOS won the Critic’s Week at Cannes I was referred to as an “art house guy”- I followed that with a giant cockroach movie that proved successful enough to spawn two sequels and allow me to co-finance THE DEVILS BACKBONE which send me back to being an “art house guy”.

Then I did BLADE II and people thought of me as an “Action guy”- PJ went through a similar mercurial career with HEAVENLY CREATURES, BAD TASTE, DEAD ALIVE, etc I squirm away from a tag and I hope I can avoid being just a “Fantasy guy” after PL, HBII and H…

I do the tales I love (regardless of what shelf Barnes & Noble classifies the book under) and I love the HOBBIT.

I love it enough to give it half a decade of my life and move half a world away to do it.

Peter Jackson: Having directed the LOTR Trilogy, I really felt that I put my heart and soul into dramatising this world and story, only a few years ago. The idea of going back in and essentially competing against my own movies, seemed to be an unsatsifying way to spend the next 5 years.

However, I love Tolkien and care deeply about the movies we made. I couldn’t bear the idea of somebody else making them without our involvement. Being a writer and producer is the perfect way for me to work here.

Guillermo has the ultimate responsibility of directing, and for him it’s easier to make these movies feel different, simply because he’s not me, and he therefore has an original vision, with new ideas to offer.

Believe me, I thought long and hard about this, and what we’re doing here will result in better movies, I promise you. And that’s all that counts!


Guillermo del Toro: The basic designs, the preestablished designs will be only “updated” insofar as the epoch difference.

Half a century more or less which in Middle Earth terms is not that much but- think about how much our world has changed from – say 2001 to now…

The new settings and designs should blend in enough not to feel like a completely different world but yes, the movies are bound to have some distinctive stylistic imprint.


Guillermo del Toro: Yes! As all of you know, Gollum has a rather fascinating arch to go through and his alliance to Shelob or his period of imprisonment in Thranduil’s, etc but it is early still- so early in fact that to reveal more would tie our hands and be counterproductive.


Peter Jackson: Truth is “Executive Producers” do a range of things on movies from a lot to virtually nothing! I see myself being one of a production team.

My interest is helping Guillermo make the very best films he can. I love writing and I’m looking forward to that. Guillermo will be writing, along with Fran, Philippa and myself.

As a director, I could never direct something I didn’t have a hand in writing, and we’re not expecting Guillermo to do that either.

If the director is part of the writing, it means he was there when the discussions took place, story decisions were made … he knows why things are the way they are, and what they need to achieve.

Everything is in a script for a reason, and only by being part of a writing team (or writing it yourself), do you really understand the intention of every beat.

I see my role as being part of that writing team, which will create the blueprint, and then helping Guillermo construct the movie.

I want Guillermo to make his movies, and I want to make sure we end up with a 5 movie series that’s as good as it can possibly be.


Guillermo del Toro: Many of them will be back. I will supplement the FX departments, the design departments (with very interesting names), but the crew will utilize as many of the original elements as possible.


Peter Jackson: I’ll talk more about this in a later question, but watching his films, he has respect for fantasy. He understands it, he’s not frightened by it.

Guillermo also understands character, and how the power of any movie is almost always linked to how closely we empathize with characters within the story.

His work shows great care and love for the main characters he creates. He also has supreme confidence with design, and visual effects.

So many film makers are scared of visual effects – which is no crime, but tough if you’re doing one of these movies!

If we disagree, the director has to win, because you should never force a director to shoot something they don’t believe in.

But we’re both reasonably practical and ego-free, and I believe that if we disagree, we both have the ability to express our differing theorys – state our case, like lawyers – and between us, work out what’s best for the movie.


Peter Jackson: At this point in time the plan is to write for the rest of this year and start early conceptual designs.

2009 will be dedicated to pre-production on both movies and 2010 will be the year we shoot both films back to back.

Post production follows one film at a time with The Hobbit being released Dec 2011, and F2 release Dec 2012.

That is the schedule in about as much detail as we have ourselves at the moment.

Check out the full transcript of the webchat at WETA’s official site.

> Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro and The Hobbit at the IMDb
> Find out more about The Hobbit at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting News

Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro want 20 questions about The Hobbit

Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro are inviting fans to ask them 20 questions about the upcoming film version of The Hobbit which they will answer via a live webchat.

Click here to register at Weta’s official site.

> The Hobbit at the IMDb
> Weta’s official site

In Production News

Michael Moore set for Fahrenheit 9/11 sequel

Michael Moore is set to make a follow up film to his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

indieWire report:

Paramount Vantage and Overture Films have announced that they will team to co-finance and distribute Michael Moore’s next film, an as-yet-untitled follow-up to “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Vantage will handle international distribution in all media and Overture will handle domestic distribution in all media.

It will get an official launch at the international marketplace this week in Cannes.

Moore released a statement that said:

It’s great to be working again with [Overture CEO] Chris McGurk and [Paramount Film Group President] John Lesher.

Both of them have been exceptional to work with in the past and I look forward to their assistance in this new project.

John Lesher used to be Moore’s agent when he was at Endeavor back when Fahrenheit 9/11 was released in 2004.

Chris McGurk was at MGM when they released Bowling For Columbine in 2002.

Paramount Vantage and Overture made an international distribution deal at Cannes last year which allows Overture to tap in to Vantage’s international sales division as well as the international distribution of Paramount Pictures.

Variety report why it won’t be released by The Weinstein Company:

Fahrenheit is the highest grossing docu ever domestically, earning $119.1 million. It grossed another $100 million at the international box office.

Moore’s decision not to make his next film with the Weinstein Co. comes after “Sicko” failed to ignite the box office.

Film, which took on the U.S. health care system, grossed $24.5 million domestically and $11.2 million internationally. Topically, the film didn’t resonate with overseas auds.

The new Moore film should be released sometime in 2009.

UPDATE 17/05/08: Anne Thompson of Variety speaks here with Moore about the film:

> IndieWire report in full
> Michael Moore at the IMDb

Images In Production News

Josh Brolin as George W Bush

Shooting is about to begin on W., Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic of George W. Bush, with Josh Brolin playing the 43rd president of the United States.

EW has a cover story on the film, with the first photos of Brolin as Bush and an interview with Stone.

Stone promises it will be a ‘fair’ portrait of the president:

I think history is going to be very tough on him. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a great story.

It’s almost Capra-esque, the story of a guy who had very limited talents in life, except for the ability to sell himself.

The fact that he had to overcome the shadow of his father and the weight of his family name — you have to admire his tenacity. There’s almost an Andy Griffith quality to him, from A Face in the Crowd.

If Fitzgerald were alive today, he might be writing about him. He’s sort of a reverse Gatsby.

He also recalls meeting Bush at a Republican breakfast in 1998 when he was Governor of Texas:

I don’t usually go to breakfast with anybody, but I wanted to prove that even though people thought I was a leftist I wanted to hear what they had to say.

It was funny, though — the minute I walked in the room the sound of the silverware kind of died. People were like, ‘What’s he doing here? Satan has walked in.

But I met George Bush and I remember thinking that this man was going to be president. There was just a confidence and enthusiasm I’d never seen in a candidate before, especially in a Republican.

Here is a comparison of the real Bush and the Brolin version:

What do you think?

UPDATE 12/05/08: Lionsgate have acquired US and UK distribution rights for W.

Here is the official press release:

SANTA MONICA, CA (May 8, 2008)LIONSGATE®(NYSE: LGF), the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, announced today that in a deal with Omnilab Media it has acquired North American distribution rights from QED International to W, a biopic about President George W. Bush directed by Academy Award® winner Oliver Stone (WORLD TRADE CENTER, PLATOON, WALL STREET) from a screenplay by Stanley Weiser (WALL STREET). Lionsgate will also distribute W in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.  The announcement was made today by Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg.

W stars Josh Brolin (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) as George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks (SEABISCUIT) as Laura Bush, James Cromwell (THE QUEEN) as George Herbert Walker Bush, Academy Award® winner Ellen Burstyn (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) as Barbara Bush, Thandie Newton (CRASH) as Condoleezza Rice, Jeffrey Wright (SYRIANA) as Colin Powell, Scott Glenn (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) as Donald Rumsfeld, and Ioan Gruffud (FANTASTIC FOUR) as Tony Blair.  The film’s producers are Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik and Bill Block.

W begins production on May 12th in Louisiana.  Lionsgate is releasing the film in the US on October 17, 2008.

“It’s an honor to be in business with Oliver Stone, a brilliant and consistently adventurous filmmaker,” said Ortenberg.  “With W, he again demonstrates his creative vitality and genius for speaking to our times.”

Commented Block, “W is in the most innovative hands with Lionsgate and Omnilab Media. With the backdrop of the election this fall, W will be an event picture that will be eagerly anticipated.  Oliver Stone, Moritz Borman and myself could not be more excited about Lionsgate leading the charge this October.”

Christopher Mapp said, “We had a great experience with Lionsgate on THE BANK JOB, and we are delighted to reunite with them as we continue our strategy in investing in quality films that are made by innovative and unique storytellers.”

Said Stone, “The impact of George W. Bush’s presidency will be felt for many years to come.  Despite a meteoric, almost illogical rise to power, and a tremendous influence on the world, we don’t really know much about Mr. Bush beyond the controlled images we’ve been allowed to see on TV.  This movie’s taking a bold stab at looking behind that curtain.  I’m real pleased that Liongate has the independence necessary to bring this provocative story to an American audience.”

Financing the film alongside QED are Omnilab Media, led by Christopher Mapp, David Whealy and Matthew Street; China-based Emperor Group, led by Albert Yeung and Feron Lau; Condor Films, led by Thomas Sterchi; and Global Entertainment Group, led by Johnny Hon, Adam Palin and Teresa Cheung.

The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Ortenberg, Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Legal & Business Affairs, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, and Zygi Kamsa, Chief Executive Officer Lionsgate UK; for Omnilab Media by Managing Director Christopher Mapp, Executive Director Matthew Street and Executive Producer David Whealy; and for QED International by Bill Block, Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Hanson, Chief Operating Officer.

Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory.  In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone is bringing the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can.  W takes viewers through Bush’s eventful life — his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq.

QED is a Beverly Hills based independent film company that represents theatrical motion picture projects for sales and distribution in the worldwide marketplace. The company also acquires, develops, finances and produces its own motion pictures, either independently or in partnership with major studios, talent, and key foreign distributors.

QED Managing Partners include CEO, Bill Block; Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Distribution, Kimberly Fox; Chief Operating Officer, Paul Hanson; and Vice President of Production, Elliot Ferwerda.

Omnilab Media is an Australian and New Zealand based globally focused vertically integrated entertainment company involved in the production, visual effects, post production and financing of a diverse range of film and television properties.  Amongst the funding deals recently concluded by Omnilab Media are THE BANK JOB (Charles Roven, Roger Donaldson, Jason Statham), and THE MESSENGER (Mark Gordon, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster).  Omnilab Media has also created a new digital film company with Kennedy Miller Mitchell to use groundbreaking digital storytelling, animation and visual effects. This will include HAPPY FEET 2, BABE 3 & MAD MAX  4 and a range of other blue-chip properties in development.

Christopher Mapp is Managing Director, Matthew Street Executive Director and David Whealy Executive Producer.

Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) is the visual entertainment division of Emperor Group, a long-established Hong Kong corporation.   The company produces feature films, TV series and other programming aimed at three distinct markets: local, Asian and international.  It works within a broad range of genres, languages and budgets, with the sole connecting factor being its demand for quality.  EMP is also developing its own videogame division to take advantage of the latest advances in home entertainment technology.  The company also operates its own management company, which creates and executes career strategies for some of Asia’s hottest talents.

Lionsgate is the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, winning the 2005 Best Picture Academy Award® for CRASH, and the Company is a premier producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library of nearly 12,000 motion picture titles and television episodes is a valuable source of recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

W is set to open in the US on October 17th.

> Read the full story at EW
> Entries for W. and Oliver Stone at the IMDb
> Find out more about George W. Bush at Wikipedia

Images In Production Interesting News

New Woody Allen film plugs The Visitor

Photos of Woody Allen’s latest film (as yet untitled) surfaced over at Just Jared recently.

They show Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood walking around Manhattan’s Lower East Side, in what would appear to be a riff on the familiar Allen theme of a young woman dating an older guy.

However, check out the poster to the left of them in this picture:

It is for Tom McCarthy‘s new film The Visitor – which we wrote about on Tuesday.

As Jeffrey Wells has pointed out, this is the second time in recent years that Allen has plugged another film in the background of one of his – there was a shot of The Motorcyle Diaries showing at the Curzon Mayfair in a scene in Match Point.

[Link via Hollywood Elsewhere]

> IMDb page for the Unitled Woody Allen Project
> Our first thoughts on The Visitor

In Production Interesting Technology

James Cameron discusses 3-D with Variety

David S. Cohen of Variety has conducted a lengthy interview with James Cameron.

The director of The Terminator, Aliens, Titanic and the forthcoming Avatar talks about a number of different things related to making films in 3-D, including the power of scenes shot in the medium:

When you see a scene in 3-D, that sense of reality is supercharged. The visual cortex is being cued, at a subliminal but pervasive level, that what is being seen is real.

All the films I’ve done previously could absolutely have benefited from 3-D. So creatively, I see 3-D as a natural extension of my cinematic craft.

The renaissance of the new wave of 3-D films:

The new 3-D, this stereo renaissance, not only solves all the old problems of bad projection, eyestrain, etc., but it is being used on first-class movies that are on people’s must-see lists.

These are fundamental changes from what happened with the flash-in-the-pan 3-D craze of the ’50s. 3-D is also a chance to rewrite the rules, to raise ticket prices for a tangible reason, for demonstrable value-added.

The state of 3-D in the home video market:

The only limitation to having stereo viewing in the home is the number of titles currently available. When there is more product, the consumer electronics companies will make monitors and players.

The technology exists and is straightforward. Samsung has already shipped 2 million plasma widescreens which can decode an excellent stereo image. There’s just no player to hook up to it right now.

Filming his latest project in 3-D:

On “Avatar,” I have not consciously composed my shots differently for 3-D. I am just using the same style I always do.

In fact, after the first couple of weeks, I stopped looking at the shots in 3-D while I was working, even though the digital cameras allow real-time stereo viewing.

Check out the full interview here.

> James Cameron at the IMDb
> Find out more about 3-D filmmaking at Wikipedia
> Cameron fansite

Images In Production News

First photos of Green Zone

The first photos of Green Zone have surfaced over at The Bad and Ugly.

Matt Damon was pictured on set in Central London.

Matt Damon in Green Zone

Directed by Paul Greengrass, it is based on the 2006 book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Matt Damon in Green Zone 3

Here is a breakdown of the cast, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Matt Damon in Green Zone 2

Apparently Paul Greengrass was at the Emirates Stadium last night to see Arsenal draw 1-1 with Liverpool in the Champions League.

He’s a Crystal Palace fan so I wonder who he wanted to win?

UPDATE 04/03/08: Some more photos have surfaced on Flickr. It looks like they are filming at Freemasons’ Hall in London. I guess it is doubling for a building inside the Green Zone?

Green Zone at the Freemasons Hall 1

Green Zone at the Freemasons Hall 2

(Photos via Matt Dell)

Someone has also posted a video on YouTube:

> Green Zone at the IMDb
> Original post at The Bad and Ugly
> Guardian interview with Paul Greengrass last year

In Production News

Ian McKellen to return for The Hobbit

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Two TowersIt looks like Ian McKellen will return as Gandalf in the upcoming film version of The Hobbit.

In the E-Post section of his official website, he indicates that he’ll be back as the wizard:


Q: So has it come to pass, good Sir McKellen?

Shall the dreaming masses with their musty books and  their blackened pipes at long last hear those immortal words issue from under that famous nose?

“Yes, yes, my dear sir-and I know your name, Mr. Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, though  you don’t remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think I should  have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took’s son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!”

Looking about, I find I share the same hopes as  millions of others, so I ask, a single query in a  chorus… Will you again be our Gandalf in “The Hobbit” now that the deal is settled?

A: Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor.  I’ve just read your quote out loud – fabulous speech.

The Hobbit is scheduled for release in 2011 and will be produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Guillermo del Toro.

> Ian McKellen’s official site
> The Hobbit at the IMDb
> The announcement in December about The Hobbit (finally) getting greenlit
> Find out more about Gandalf at Wikipedia

[Link via First Showing]

Images In Production

Snake Eyes picture from the new G.I. Joe movie

Here is a picture of Ray Park as the character of Snake Eyes in the new G.I. Joe movie:

Ray Park as Snake Eyes

On other casting, USA Today report:

Channing Tatum (Step Up) plays all-American team leader Duke.

Rachel Nichols (Alias) plays the crossbow-wielding Scarlett, Marlon Wayans is paratrooper Ripcord and Dennis Quaid is the commander, Hawk.

On the evil-doer side, Sienna Miller plays the raven-haired Baroness, Christopher Eccleston is Destro, the arms dealer who hides behind a silver mask, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From the Sun, Brick) plays multiple roles, including the Cobra Commander.

Directed by Stephen Sommers (who made The Mummy) it is set for release in the US on 7th August 2009 and here in the UK a week later.

> IMDb entry for GI Joe
> Find out more about Snake Eyes at Wikipedia

In Production News

The A-Team movie finally in the works

The A-Team logoThe movie version of 80s TV show The A-Team is finally in the works.

Variety are reporting that John Singleton will direct:

Twentieth Century Fox has skedded John Singleton‘s film version of 1980s TV series “The A-Team” for release on June 12, 2009.

Singleton will direct the action-adventure from a script by writing partners Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (“Wanted,” “3:10 to Yuma”).

Film will bring to the bigscreen the exploits of Hannibal Smith and his team of former special forces soldiers, who have been set up for a crime they didn’t commit.

No cast members have been announced yet but the June release date would seem to indicate to me that some decent names are likely.

For those who don’t remember the show here is the old TV opening sequence:

> Report at Variety
> The A-Team movie at the IMDb
> Find out more about the show at Wikipedia

In Production News

Quantum of Solace – New release date and synopsis

Quantum of SolaceThe new Bond film Quantum of Solace will now get released in the UK on Friday 31st October.

Here is the official press release with a synopsis of the film:

LONDON,  Wednesday 19 March 2008 – Sony Pictures Releasing (UK) are pleased to  confirm that the UK release date for the eagerly anticipated 22nd James Bond adventure QUANTUM OF SOLACE will be Friday, 31st October 2008, opening at the Odeon Leicester Square and all over the country.

QUANTUM  OF  SOLACE  continues  the  high  octane  adventures of James Bond (DANIEL CRAIG) in CASINO ROYALE.

Betrayed  by  Vesper,  the  woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. 

Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond  and  M  (JUDI  DENCH)  interrogate Mr White (JESPER CHRISTENSEN) who reveals  the  organisation which blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.

Forensic intelligence links an Mi6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a  case  of  mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille (OLGA KURYLENKO), a woman who has her own vendetta. 

Camille leads Bond  straight to Dominic Greene (MATHIEU AMALRIC), a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organisation.

On  a  mission  that  leads  him  to Austria, Italy and South America, Bond discovers  that  Greene,  conspiring  to  take  total control of one of the world’s most important natural resources, is forging a deal with the exiled General Medrano (JOAQUIN COSIO). 

Using his associates in the organisation, and  manipulating  his  powerful  contacts  within  the CIA and the British government, Greene  promises  to  overthrow the existing regime in a Latin American country, giving the General control of the country in exchange for a seemingly barren piece of land.

In  a  minefield  of  treachery,  murder  and  deceit, Bond allies with old friends in a battle to uncover the truth. 

As he gets closer to finding the man responsible for the betrayal of Vesper, 007 must keep one step ahead of the CIA,  the terrorists and even M, to unravel Greene’s sinister plan and stop his organisation.

It will be the 22nd Bond film.

> Official site for Quantum of Solace
> Check out the photos from the launch press conference
> Get all the latest info about the film at Wikipedia

In Production News

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to be split into two films

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsIt has been announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the final Harry Potter book) is going to be split in two, with both films being shot back-to-back.

Variety report:

Warner Bros. will split the last “Harry Potter” tome into a two-part film, with the installments unspooling six months apart.

David Yates will direct and Steve Kloves will write both parts, which will be filmed concurrently.

Part one of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will bow in November 2010, with the second to debut the following May.

The unusual “Kill Bill” strategy solves a thorny problem for the studio, which had been wrestling with a way to adapt J.K. Rowling‘s hefty tome and successfully conclude its lucrative franchise, which has generated $4.5 billion at the worldwide B.O. It’s not yet clear exactly how studio will split the 784-page book, however.

Given the sheer size of the book, it will be interesting to see how they trim it down.

Why not shoot it as one and then release it as three films?

> Original story at Variety
> The Leaky Cauldron – Harry Potter fan site
> Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Wikipedia and the IMDb

Cinema Images In Production

Watchmen photos and blog

Director Zack Snyder has posted some hi-res photos of characters from the new Watchmen film on the official production blog.

Watchmen photos and blog

The film is due for release in the US and UK on March 6th 2009

> The official blog for Watchmen
> Find out more about the comic book at Wikipedia

In Production Trailers

Trailer: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

This is the first teaser trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie, which opens on May 22nd:

In Production Posters

Quantum of Solace – Teaser poster

This is the first teaser poster for the new Bond film Quantum of Solace.

Quantum of Solace teaser poster

Notice how the image shows 007 just after the climax of Casino Royale – which is where the new film begins.

> Official site for James Bond
> IMDb entry for Quantum of Solace
> Check out more photos from the launch press conference at Pinewood

(All photos © 2008 Danjaq LLC, United Artists and Columbia Pictures)

In Production News

New Nightmare on Elm Street film in the works

Freddy KrugerFreddy Krueger is back as New Line has decided to revive their favourite horror franchise.

The Hollywood Reporter say:

New Line is in talks with horror production company Platinum Dunes to re-launch the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie series, the franchise that helped establish the studio.

Partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form will produce the redo.

The first “Nightmare” movie was made by Wes Craven and released in 1984. The runaway success of the film spawned a slew of films and created one of the most popular villains in screen history, Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund.

The films’ premise centered on Krueger, a serial child killer murdered by angry parents, who returns with a burnt face and a razor glove to terrorize teens in their dreams.

Given the terrible remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and The Hitcher (not to mention the farce that was Freddy vs Jason) is this such a good idea?

> Variety report on the news
> Find out more about Nightmare on Elm St at Wikipedia

In Production News

New Bond film is called Quantum of Solace

Quantum of SolaceThe new Bond film is called Quantum of Solace.

BBC News report:

The next James Bond film is to be called Quantum of Solace, producers have confirmed. The title is taken from one of a collection of short stories published by 007 creator Ian Fleming in 1960.

Producer Michael Wilson said the film would have “twice as much action” as 2006’s Casino Royale, which saw Daniel Craig debut as the iconic secret agent. The next outing, previously known as Bond 22, is partly being shot at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

At a press conference at the facility, reporters were shown a minute of footage from the new film, including Bond swinging on a rope after an explosion at an art gallery in Siena, Italy. Another scene showed him meeting M – played by Dame Judi Dench – outside in the snow. Filming on the movie has been taking place at Pinewood since November.

Daniel Craig said the cryptic title referenced how Bond’s heart had been broken at the end of Casino Royale: “Ian Fleming had written about relationships,” he explained. “When they go wrong, when there’s nothing left, when the spark has gone, when the fire’s gone out, there’s no quantum of solace.And at the end of the last movie, Bond has the love of his life taken away from him and he never got that quantum of solace.”

Craig said the new film would follow 007 as he goes out “to find the guy who’s responsible. So he’s looking for revenge, you know, to make himself happy with the world again. But the title also alludes to something else in the film.”

Wikipedia says the the premise involves:

Michael G. Wilson has confirmed that the film will pick up “literally an hour after” Casino Royale’s conclusion, when a wounded Mr. White is shot and captured by Bond. The official synopsis shows that White reveals to Bond and M that his organization has agents in Her Majesty’s Government and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Forensic evidence of an MI6 traitor leads Bond to Haiti, where he meets Camille, who then helps him find Dominic Greene. A ruthless businessman and a member of the organisation, Greene intends to use his government contacts to help overthrow the current regime in a Latin American country, and place the exiled General Medrano as the head of state.

Medrano will in exchange give the organization a barren piece of land, which actually will give them total control of “one of the world’s most important natural resources”. Bond travels to Austria, Italy and South America to unravel Greene’s plan, staying one step ahead of the CIA, terrorists and M whilst trying to keep his desire for retribution over Vesper Lynd‘s death in check.

It is scheduled for release on November 7th.

UPDATE: Here are some photos from the press conference.

Daniel Craig( James Bond), Judi Dench (M) and Marc Forster (director)

Craig, Dench and Forster

Olga Kurylenko (Camille) and Gemma Arterton (Agent Fields)
Arterton and Kurylenko

Mathieu Almaric (Greene), Olga Kurylenko, Daniel Craig and and Gemma Arterton
Almaric, Craig, Arterton and Kurylenko

> Official site for James Bond
> IMDb entry for Quatum of Solace

(All photos © 2008 Danjaq LLC, United Artists and Columbia Pictures)

In Production News

Filming starts on Bond 22

Olga Kurylenko cast in Bond 22Filming started at Pinewood Studios today on the new Bond film – still known only by its working title Bond 22 – and it has been confirmed that Olga Kurylenko (pictured on the right) has been cast as the lead Bond girl.

Her character is called Camille and according to the producers is someone “who challenges Bond and helps him come to terms with the emotional consequences of Vesper’s betrayal”.

Gemma Arterton – who’s casting was made official on Friday – will play the other Bond girl, an MI5 agent known as Fields.

French actor Mathieu Amalric – who will be seen next month in Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – will play the villain and returning from Casino Royale are Judi Dench as M, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis.

Here is the official press release:

LONDON, Tuesday 08 January 2008 – Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions Ltd, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios announced yesterday the start of principal photography on the eagerly anticipated 22nd James Bond adventure.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 in the film which is directed by Marc Forster and follows the success of CASINO ROYALE, the latest and highest grossing film in the series. Starring alongside Craig is an impressive international cast led by the critically acclaimed French actor Mathieu Amalric as the sinister villain, and the Ukranian actress Olga Kurylenko who plays 007’s leading lady.

Returning to Bond 22 (working title) from CASINO ROYALE are Judi Dench in her role as M, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter and Giancarlo Giannini as Mathis. Newcomer to the Bond franchise, Gemma Arterton, will play the role of MI6 Agent Fields.

Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said “We are fortunate to continue in the Bond tradition of attracting the finest international actors for our starring roles. Mathieu in the role of Dominic Greene, a leading member of the villainous organization introduced in CASINO ROYALE, will be a powerful counterpart to Daniel’s portrayal of Bond. Olga Kurylenko will play the dangerously alluring Camille, who challenges Bond and helps him come to terms with the emotional consequences of Vesper’s betrayal.”

MGM and Sony Pictures will share distribution rights worldwide with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Releasing International distributing the film to theaters worldwide on November 7th, 2008. Marc Forster directs the screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Paul Haggis. The unit includes Production Designer Dennis Gassner, Director of Photography Roberto Schaefer, Editors Matt Chesse and Rick Pearson, and  2nd Unit Director Dan Bradley.

MATHIEU AMALRIC, one of France’s leading screen stars, is best known for his roles as Jean-Dominique Bauby in Julian Schnabel’s award-winning film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and as the French information broker, Louis, in Steven Spielberg’s Munich.  Last year, he was awarded Best Actor at France’s César Awards for his role in the internationally acclaimed comedy Kings and Queen, directed by Arnaud Desplechin.  Previously, Amalric won the César for Most Promising Actor for his role in Desplechin’s My Sex Life.

Amalric began his career as an actor in 1984, appearing in Otar Losseliani’s Les favoris de la lune, and went on to serve as an assistant director to Louis Malle on Au Revoir Les Enfants.  As an actor, he has since worked with many leading directors including André Téchiné, Olivier Assayas, Jean-Claude Biette and the Larrieu Brothers.  His latest films include Desplechin’s Un conte de Noel, Claude Miller’s Un Secret, Nicolas Klotz’s Heart Beat Detector, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Actrices and Vincent Dieutre’s Fragments sur le grace.  He also appeared in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Amalric has written and directed a number of films including Wimbledon Stage and, most recently, the documentary short Let Them Grow Up Here.  This year, he directs Tournée, about American burlesque girls on tour in France.

OLGA KURYLENKO recently co-starred opposite Timothy Olyphant in Hitman and opposite Elijah Wood in Paris, je t’aime.  She also appeared in starring roles in Eric Barbier’s thriller The Serpent and Diane Bertrand’s The Ring Finger, for which she received the Best Actress award at The Brooklyn International Film Festival in 2006.  She recently had a role in Tyranny, directed by John Beck Hofman.

On French television, multi-lingual Kurylenko appeared in the mini-series “Suspectes” and the drama “The Good Luck Charm.” In her career as a top European model, Kurylenko has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, including Kenzo, Helena Rubenstein and Just Cavalli.  Her magazine covers include US Glamour, French Elle, Madame Figaro and Marie Claire.

The film is scheduled for release on November 7th later this year.

> Reuters report on the new Bond film
> Find out more about Bond 22 at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting

Indy 4 feature in Vanity Fair

Jim Windolf has written a feature for Vanity Fair on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which has  interviews with all the main players and some new photos of Shia LeBeouf and Cate Blanchett.

Indy 4 feature

Check it out here and there are also some web only Q&As with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

> Official site for for the Indiana Jones
> A surprisingly polished fan made trailer (even if it has a different name)

In Production Trailers

Trailer: Hellboy II

In Production Trailers

Trailer: Hancock

Check out this trailer for Will Smith’s upcoming summer movie Hancock:

Is it the first summer blockbuster to mention YouTube by name?

In Production Trailers

Trailer: The Dark Knight