Saturday, 9 January 2010

Film News (09/01/2010)

It's been an incredibly busy week, with rumour and counter-rumour flowing about many of the studio tent-poles of this year and next, as well as some delicious indie features. I won't bore you with US release date changes - but May 2011 was all a flurry on Wednesday - but we've still got loads to get through.

Bond 23

At the beginning of the week the news was not good - the sale of MGM meant that some high profile projects, such as the Bond franchise, were on hold until completion. Of course MGM denied it and surprisingly a day later the story leaked that Sam Mendes (Away we Go, Road to Perdition) was in negotiations to direct the next episode.

There's been no official confirmation yet, but equally none of the major players have denied it. It's an odd choice for both parties, especially coming after the last off-the-wall director choice (Marc Forster) made the underwhelming Quantom of Solace. Saying that we know that Mendes can build tension in a scene, and he's probably got enough clout to force the film to delay if he's not liking the script.

Oh, and I'm using this post as an excuse to remind everyone what Daniel Craig looks like in his Casino Royale swimming trunks... Here you go:

Read on for child killers, nuclear bombs and Soderbergh doubles.


Killer teenage girls have been dominating the press this week with the release of the Kick Ass trailer and the casting of Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, reuniting her with her Atonement director Joe Wright. It's a story about a girl bred as pat of a secret CIA assassin experiment, sounds half Bourne, half Leon. Maybe half good.

Ron Howard/Vince Vaughn collaboration

Vaughn, who is probably desperate for a hit, has pitched a comedy about infidelity to his mate Ron Howard, probably aware that Ron says yes to everything. The concept is simple, and instantly recognisable, revolving around a guy who finds his best mates girls has been cheating but can't tell his friend. It probably sounds more like a soap opera twist than a mvie, but if it's handled correctly there could be the basis for a likeable farce of co-incidences.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Even though variety reported that Chris Robots Wedge was directing this childrens fantasy back in May the rumours of Martin Scorsese holding the megaphone have not died down. I guess Marty has nothing to prove at this stage of his career so there is no longer a need to make biopics or gangster dramas - see his pulpy Shutter Island for proof.

Invention concerns a small boy living in the rafters of a Paris train station and fixing the clocks, as well as a small curious device left to him by his father. I don't know what that device does so I guess that's the invention of the title.


Steven Soderbergh's martial arts movie has been gaining some fantastic actors to support MMA fighter and cinema newcomer Gina Carano, including Ewan MacGregor, Michael Douglas, Dennis Quaid and Michael Fassbender. It's that sort of delightful mix of ators that gets so interested in Soderbergh's work, even the likely popcorn efforts such as this female Bourne rip-off. (Carano plays a Black Ops soldier who's been cut off by shadowy governement figures - yawn!)

Talking about Steven Soderbergh it's emerged in the Sydney Herald that whilst he was over in Australia directing for the stage he may have shot a quickie using the same, unknown cast. Nothing official or plot-based yet, but I'm thnking that if this is the same sort of quality as The Girlfriend Experience then we could be in for another great year of Soderbergh output.

Last Train to Hiroshima

We were all saddened to hear of the death of Tsutomo Yamaguchi, the last survivor of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs, this monday. It's easy to forget just how awful and indiscriminate a nuclear device is and only by talking to the survivors can we understand why we must never let them be used again.

Curiously, following his death, it emerged that James Cameron had visited him to talk about his experiences in December. It look likely that Cameron was researching in order to adapt The Last Train to Hiroshima, the heavyweight non-fiction account of the afteraffects of the blasts, based on interviews with survivors. Whether Cameron has ideas of making a documentary or a fiction piece based on the transcripts remains to be seen, but we should support whatever his efforts are as this is a shameful chapter in 20th century history that has yet to be fully explored in film.


Adriana Barazza has become the latest cast member to sign onto the Norse epic due to start filming next week, as a yet to be disclosed human character. It's good to hear there will be some human characters among all the gods, it will make the drama of the story a little more interesting. Oh, and going full circle Thor is one of the films shifting it's release date in response to the Spider-man delay rumours.

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