Open Road Films via Everett Collection
Josh Hutcherson may be best known for his role as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games trilogy, but he's branching out in some pretty big ways. The actor is starring alongside Benicio Del Toro in Paradise Lost. Del Toro plays the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar (AKA the scariest thing in the movie Blow), and Hutcherson plays the young man insane enough to date Escobar's niece. Get your first look at the upcoming film from Andrea Di Stefano below.
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A note to those who were enthralled by the prospects of Bradley Cooper's once-developing Paradise Lost film adaptation: don't get too excited over this new announcement. Yes, Josh Hutcherson is in talks to star in a movie titled Paradise Lost, but it is not at all related to John Milton's classic epic poem. In fact, Deadline reports that Hutcherson is looking to take on a leading role in a biopic about drug kingpin Pablo Escobar... which still sounds pretty interesting, especially considering the fact that Benicio del Toro has been named as the potential star to take on the role of Escobar. Hollywood.com has reached out to Hutcherson's reps to confirm his involvement, but they were not immediately available for comment.
Interestingly, instead of centering the attention on the infamous criminal himself, the story looks to follow Hutcherson's potential surfer character Nick, who takes up a romance with a young woman who turns out to be Escobar's daughter. This seems to suggest a stray from your usual biopic formula; instead, what we might see will more closely resemble the structure of narrative romantic drama. The sort of relationship shared between Escobar and Nick is as of yet unknown, but more often than not, when you date a known drug lord and murderer's daughter, you're in for something a bit more volatile than Meet the Parents. Although, this could very well work its way into a pretty good comedy premise...
The film will be the directorial debut of actor Andrea Di Stefano, who is also handling the script.
[Photo Credit: ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images]
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Variety reports Paradise Lost is inspired by true events and follows the story of a surfer who falls for Escobar's niece during a vacation in Colombia.
Italian actor Andrea di Stefano will make his directorial debut behind the lens for the project, which will be shot in Panama.
The Tourist is about as difficult to get through as spotting the vowels in the name of its director. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark was last seen receiving a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2007 for The Lives of Others which was about a couple living in East Berlin who were being monitored by the police of the German Democratic Republic. Its positive reception made way for the assumption that Donnersmark would continue to populate the USA with films of seemingly otherworldly and underrepresented themes. But his current project is saddening in its superficiality and total implausibility.
The film’s only real upside is its stars: two of our most prized Americans. Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo a math teacher from Wisconsin who travels to Europe after his wife leaves him presumably because of his weakness and simplicity. While en route to Venice he meets Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who situates herself in his company after she receives a letter from her criminal lover Alexander Pearce (who stole some billions from a very wealthy Russian and the British government) with instructions to find someone on a train who looks like him and make the police believe that he is the real Alexander Pearce to throw the authorities and the Russians off his track. Elise picks Frank and after they are photographed kissing each other on the balcony of Elise’s hotel everyone begins to believe Frank is the real Pearce and so begins the chase.
While Donnersmark could not have picked two better looking people to film roaming around Venice his lack of faith in the audience is obvious. Every aspect of the characters is hammed up again and again as if Donnersmark felt burdened with the task of making us see his vision. Doubtful that we’re capable of getting to where he wants us he has crafted a movie completely devoid of subtlety. Elise’s strength and superiority over Frank are portrayed by close-ups and repeated instances of men burping up their lungs upon seeing her (as if her beauty is in any way subjective?). And in case we forgot that Frank is the victim in this story -- even though he’s been tricked chased and shot at - Donnersmark still felt the need to pin him with a lame electronic cigarette to puff on. Frank and Elise somehow manage to lack mystery even though we get very few factual details about each of them.
Nothing extraordinary comes to us in the way of the film’s structural elements either. There is very little of the action that The Tourist’s marketing led us to believe and the dialog is often painful. The plot itself is almost shockingly unbelievable especially when we’re asked to believe that Elise falls in love with Frank after a combination of kissing him once and her disclosed habit of swooning over men she only spent an hour with (yes that was on her CV).
The Tourist is rather empty and cosmetic. It’s worth seeing if you’re a superfan of Jolie or Depp but don’t expect to walk out of the theater with anything more than the stub you came in with.