Posted on 19 August 2009.
I thought I told you that we won’t stop. Or something like that. Tony Scott’s Unstoppable has Chris Pine and Denzel Washington in starring roles to this point, but now Variety is reporting that actress Rosario Dawson (25thHour) has joined the cast as well. We have been following this film’s bumpy track to the big screen for a while here at The Film Nest. We previously reported on Washington leaving the cast, only to return a few weeks later after ironing out some salary and budgetary issue with 20th Century Fox.
Dawson has made quite a career lately out of playing the lead’s girlfriend in her last few screen appearances, most recently playing Will Smith’s love interest in last year’s, Seven Pounds. There is no word on what role she will be playing in Unstoppable, but I’m going to take a guess and say she will play either Pine’s girlfriend or Washington’s daughter. I, for one, will gladly see Ms. Dawson in anything, her scenes in Oliver Stone’s Alexander were the only tolerable parts in the overly long biopic. What do you think about this news?
Posted on 26 July 2009.
In news circulating around this weekend, it is being reported by various news outlets that Denzel Washington will play President Barack Obama in a film biopic. This is our second news bit on Denzel in the last week. No details on the film have been leaked, and there really is little other information available on the matter at this time. From Hollyscoop:
Denzel has expressed his desire to play Obama for months now, but he was scared the movie would take so long to launch, he would be too old to portray him.
Luckily for Denzel, and us, the movie has gotten the green light and Denzel will play our new President…on the big screen.
When asked about his new role, Denzel joked, “It was at the President’s suggestion. The only problem is he has bigger ears than me.”
While it has been a bit difficult confirming the information as solid without any other news on the biopic at this time, it again, has been reported by numerous outlets. So where does that leave us? With a lot of questions. Back when Barack was initially inaugurated at the 44th President of the United States, there was talk that Obama himself had signed off on wanting Will Smith to play him, if a movie was to be produced. That made sense to me, as even though I love Denzel, as he is one of my favorite actors, I take umbrance to some extent with him in this role. This feels like a cliche. “Let’s take the best black actor going and let him play President.” Among my issues: A, he is a bit too old. B, he isn’t really a physical match. C, he already played Malcolm X in Spike Lee’s X, which he was stellar in. I don’t like it when people try to be more than one person in a biopic of this caliber, it doesn’t work. In the same way, I am not a fan of Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool and The Green Lantern. To me, that is counterintuitive.
Now, while Obama once demonstrated that he is a film fan, giving his 5 best movies ever, it wasn’t too long ago that I dreamed up casting for an Obama biopic, naming players that made sense to me physically and from an acting ability standpoint. What do you think of this news? Do you like DW as Obama or would you prefer some of the people from my original list? Any other suggestions? Please share.
Posted on 23 July 2009.
In April, we mentioned that Denzel Washington would re-team with The Taking of Pelham 123 director Tony Scott for Unstoppable. A little over a month ago, we reported that Chris Pine was added to the cast. A few weeks ago, Denzel announced that he was leaving the runaway train project. It now seems that Washington is indeed back on the film after working out contract disputes with 20th Century Fox reports IGN. The movie has Washington, as an engineer who teams with a conductor played by Pine (Star Trek) to rein in an unmanned train that’s carrying a load of toxic material. Washington left the project after the studio wanted to cut the budget on the film to $90 million. The studio also wanted the Oscar-winning actor to shave $4 million from his paycheck, but it seems he has worked out a deal to stay with the film. Unstoppable has resumed pre-production and is on schedule to begin filming in the Fall.
I think 20th Century Fox were just tightening their belts because of the economy. No studio right now wants to spend millions on anything but a sure fire hit. Another reason is most likely the box office performance of their last collaboration Pelham 123, which is winding down at $63mm in domestic gross versus a $100 million budget since its release in June. What do you guys think? Are you ready for another Scott-Washington flick so soon? Denzel Washington can currently be seen in the brand new Book of Eli trailer.
Posted on 19 June 2009.
Written by special “The Film Nest” guest contributor, Rob R. (Raging Rob in the Comments section).
This summer movie season thus far has been filled with mutants, star ships, angels and demons, and some really hungover guys. What we need now is another remake, right? Well, maybe not, but this movie, The Taking of Pelham 123, is the first action thriller of the summer. Its directed by Tony Scott and stars two acting powerhouses in John Travolta and Denzel Washington. Every director has one actor that they love to work with and for Tony Scott, that must be Denzel Washington. Pelham marks their fourth collaboration together after Crimson Tide, Man on Fire and Déjà Vu.
The Taking of Pelham 123, is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. The original starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw in the roles now played by Travolta and Washington. The plot of this new version has Travolta as Ryder, the leader of a group of thugs who take over the New York City “Pelham 123″ subway car. Once they have successfully done so, they threaten to kill the hostages within an hour unless a ransom in the amount of $10 million cash is paid. Every minute over the hour that their money is not received, a passenger will be executed. The man unlucky enough to have the only line of communication with Travolta’s hijacker is Walter Garber, played by Denzel Washington. Garber, a veteran of the transportation system, is just sitting in as a train dispatcher after having been involved in a scandal of sorts. The two men develop a rapport with one another over the notion that Ryder feels both of them have been screwed by New York City. As the minutes count down, it’s a race against the clock to meet the hijackers demands and deliver the money.
The two leads are portrayed expertly by Washington and Travolta, as both actors are accustomed to the type of roles they are playing here. Washington is a likable guy, as he is in most of his other films, and Travolta gets to go for broke as the crazy hijacker, not unlike his characters in Broken Arrow, or even Face/Off. I even wondered as I watched this, how it would’ve played out if they had switched roles? Travolta (without the silly toupee he normally sports) definitely got the flashier part, as he sports a handlebar mustache and neck tattoo. He also punctuates the end of every line with a resounding “mother fucker!”
Director Tony Scott, (Ridley’s Gladiator brother) has a very unique style of shooting movies; if you’ve seen any of his recent work, you know what I mean. He uses a lot of flash cuts, slow motion, desaturated colors, and grain. Pelham is no different, however his style does seem a little more toned down compared to his other efforts. It’s a very intense movie, with a ticker coming up every so often to inform us of the deadline for the hijackers money. The movie kept the frantic pace up almost to the very end. Unfortunately, I think that it goes on a little too long as after the film moves from out of the subway car it just feels padded for extra time. I would’ve liked to see a more concise ending that matched what the rest of the film was building up to. If you’ve seen most of the bigger movies released this summer and are looking to see something that’s not filled with CGI yet has some meat to it, I would certainly recommend going for a ride with the boys on subway car “Pelham 123.”
Posted on 24 April 2009.
Denzel Washinton is in talks to star in yet ANOTHER Tony Scott film. This one is Unstoppable, in which he’d play a train engineer trying to catch-up to and stop a runaway train carrying toxic chemicals. Although Crank is essentially Speed in a human body, this sounds like Crank on a train. [Screening Log]
In some more casting news, Matthew Macfayden will play The Sheriff of Nottingham in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. Although I said I liked the first pic, I think I liked the original idea of the film better, when The Sheriff was the good guy. [Filmonic]
Yesterday, we mentioned Robert Rodriguez will direct a reboot of the Predator franchise in the form of Predators. He had a chat with [Aint It Cool News] and answered a bunch of questions about the project. Turns out, he wrote a treatment for the film back in the 90′s.
Okay, I swear this is the last time I’m mentioning yesterday‘s post. We told you about the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen trailer debuting April 29th in front of some screenings of the original Transformers. Well, now you can get tickets.
Gore Verbinski opted to direct BioShock instead of Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Haw-haw. Now BioShock in on hold due to budget concerns and may go the way of the Halo movie. I said, “Haw-haw.” [Kotaku]
That damn “Empire” is at it again, this time with multiple behind-the-scenes pics from James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar. I look forward to not being suprised at all when I get to pick up the magazine for myself next week. [Market Saw]
Finally, stay after the credits when you see X-Men Origins: Wolverine next week, as it apparently has mutiple endings afterward. [Sci Fi Scoop]
Have a great weekend, everybody. I hope your NFL team drafts the guy you want.
Posted on 03 April 2009.
Wrapping up the week, we have found some more interesting tidbits to share with you in our Film News Daily.
The biggest deal of the week is that we added the Bruno trailer yesterday. It looks every bit as funny as Borat. Fooking hilarious!
Also, see our The Hangover trailer with Mike Tyson. We have seen the movie, our review is dropping soon.
Rabbit Hole has had Nicole Kidman attached for some time but now [Production Weekly] reports that Aaron Eckhart will join her. This is supposed to be a major tear-jerker (the movie, not the news – and not because Two-Face is not Eckhart’s character).
Little Fockers appears to be the next project on the horizon for Paul Weitz. This should be the final installment in the comedic series where Meet The Parents was good and Meet The Fockers was not. [Rope of Silicon]
Stringer Bell, bka Idris Elba, and Star Trek‘s Queen Uhura, Zoe Saldana, become part of DC Comics’ The Losers, along with Jeffrey Dean Morgan of Watchmen infamy. [Screenrant] has more goods on the prospects.
[MTV] has more goods on David Cronenberg’s The Matarese Circle which is supposed to star both Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise. That is one of the biggest star pairings in years as far as I can tell, but Cronenberg has more quirky tastes than most blockbusters would allow. This one is interesting.
Vin Diesel and Chris Pine are officially in for Green Lantern. [Moviehole] actually says check that. Pine is close to signing for the lead in “Lantern” and Diesel is looking to play “Sub-Mariner” in another comic property film.
Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) has added Ben Stiller to his untitled film that is underway in LA. Stiller is doing drama this time (a welcome departure, I think) says [Film School Rejects] and Rhys Ifans is also on board.
Sex And The City 2 gets an official release date of May 28, 2010. Mark your calenders. Or don’t. I’m still hopeful it will be re-cast and re-titled, “More Sex, Less City.”
[ShockTilYouDrop] has info on Scott Nicholson’s “The Home” book adaptation turned film. It’s a horror novel in which experimental treatment on chidlren brings back the spirits of the titular house”s former residents.
Posted on 11 February 2009.
A new Robert Ludlum adaptation is upon is. No longer limited to the character of Jason Bourne, Hollywood has come knocking at the door of the author’s 1979 novel, “The Matarese Circle.”
Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) will be undertaking the epic, possible franchise. He’s brought Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise along with him.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the plot as such: “The ‘Matarese’ storyline follows two decades-long arch-enemies who are forced into a distrustful collaboration against a wide-reaching political conspiracy orchestrated by a mysterious organization called the Matarese.
Ludlum drew inspiration from David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission in the 1970s. But the screenwriters have updated the timeframe from the Cold War to a contemporary setting.”
The film has been scripted by Wanted writers, Derek Haas & Michael Brandt, along with Cronenberg.
It’s extremely interesting to me to witness Cronenberg’s complete career about-face over the past few years. He used to relegate himself strictly to the task of visceral horror maestro, but has branched out seemingly out of nowhere with A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. I find those latter two films stale and lacking, but it’s cool to see a director try something different. He had a way of haunting with disturbing images in things like Videodrome and eXistenZ. Without question, this will be his most commercial film to-date. I’m sure his past two deviations were the only way he could possibly have won the gig. Without them, it would’ve been akin to giving David Lynch the reigns to Jurassic Park, as Laura Dern once suggested.
The star-power of Cruise and Washington is monumental and it has a chance to bring Cruise closer to the top he’s slowly been climbing back to. I’m curious to see how Cronenberg handles an action-oriented film in what could prove to be another step toward reinvention.
To show you just how bizarre this leap is, here’s the trailer for eXistenZ: