You know Judy Greer — the affable best friend/romantic rival/quirky shopkeeper from Elizabethtown, 27 Dresses, Lollilove, 13 Going on 30, Love and Other Drugs, Adaptation., American Dreamz... the list goes on. Though a comedy staple in film and television, Greer is unfairly stuck with the "supporting" brand time and time again. So what will it take for her to evolve to a lead role? To become a Hollywood blockbuster's center stage female — a heroine, an adventurer, a love interest for a brave knight? We've got it: she'll have to be a monkey!
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Apparently, all it takes to kick Greer up in billing is a few extra opposable phalanges and an extra coat of body hair. The actress tells Vulture that she has taken a role in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes... as a mo-capped primate, in the vein of Andy Serkis' hero Caesar. But Greer won't be just any ol' bonobo — the Arrested Development vet is adopting the character Cornelia, the love interest for the central chimp.
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The role was embodied in the first movie (in a much smaller capacity) by dancer Devyn Dalton; the addition of Greer could possibly suggest a dose of humor being injected into the Planet of the Apes follow-up. Hopefully, this isn't just a misdirect before Caesar realizes his one true love a the gibbon played by Jennifer Garner. We can hope that the Planet of the Apes-era Hollywood has a little more integrity than that.
So let us welcome Greer into the splendor that is Serkis' mo-cap world — here's a reminder of the trade's master, a video of Serkis talking his Rise of the Planet of the Apes performance back when the movie hit theaters.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
[Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP Photo]
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The blonde catwalk queen has spent several years boosting her acting resume, shooting small roles in Clash of the Titans and a remake of 1996's Pusher, as well as landing an acclaimed part in The Leisure Society in London's West End earlier this year (12).
She has now been chosen to play the lead, Chris Guthrie, in a big screen take of writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon's tale of social hardship in 1930s Scotland.
Filmmaker Terence Davies will direct the movie, while War Horse actor Peter Mullan will co-star.
Deyn tells Vogue, "When I read the script I fell completely in love with the character and the story, I'm so honoured and excited to be working with Terence, he's such an incredible director.
"I can't wait to get started and just hope that I can do Chris Guthrie justice!"
After sitting out most of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans the 2009 “prequel” to the Underworld saga Kate Beckinsale returns to her trademark role as the face of the blockbuster action-horror franchise in Underworld: Awakening. The film finds Beckinsale’s vampire heroine Selene waking up in a research facility after a dozen years in hibernation whereupon she discovers that both vampires and lycans the traditional adversaries of the Underworld universe are now nearly extinct – “cleansed ” as it were by us good-old humans – and that her 12-year-old daughter Eve (India Eisley) is imperiled. It seems that both the dreaded lycans and a mad scientist named Dr. Jacob Lane (poor Stephen Rea) are after the girl on account of her special DNA.
All of which is meant to provide a serviceable backdrop for a good 85 minutes or so of relentless carnage orchestrated with relish by the Swedish directing tandem of Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein and meted out dutifully by Beckinsale. Nine years after she first portrayed Selene the actress appears as comfortable as ever in her familiar black leather as she carves through waves of monstrous creatures and hapless henchmen performing the odd acrobatic feat to better position herself for the killing blow. The bloodlust occasionally pauses to allow Beckinsale a moment to emote over lost love or seek a fleeting bond with her offspring but soon more CGI beasts arrive on hand and the soulless slaughter hastily recommences. Gorehounds hungry for splatter will delight at the myriad ways Underworld: Awakening finds to depict an exploding skull (in fabulous brain-bursting IMAX 3D!) but in the end they’re likely the only ones who’ll leave the theater sated.
Richard Riddick (Vin Diesel) has a really bad rep and with good reason: Five years ago convicted killer Riddick escaped the galaxy's law enforcement during a botched interplanetary prison transfer and has been on the lam ever since. As The Chronicles of Riddick picks up our antagonist finds his relative freedom has been compromised when mercenaries out for the $1 million bounty on his head discover his location and hunt him down. Riddick escapes their clutches steals their ship and sets off for Planet Helion to find Imam (Keith David) the Muslim cleric he rescued in Pitch Black and the only person who could have squealed his location to authorities. But while Riddick's hunch about Imam are correct the cleric has a reason for luring the mammoth murderer out of hiding: Helion is falling to unholy armies of Necromongers--warriors who conquer by force in the vein of Star Trek's Borg. Of course Riddick doesn't give a damn about the Helions or their plight--until he gets wind that the Necromogers want to kill him because of an old prophecy that foresees their end at Riddick's hands. Like it or not Riddick is left with no other choice but to battle the Necromongers.
The character of Riddick is unquestionably what made Pitch Black one of the most sequel-worthy sci-fi films in years. And Riddick would not have been one of sci-fi's most intoxicating characters if it weren't for Diesel. Like his Dominic Toretto in the 2001 actioner The Fast and the Furious Riddick is a villain of few words but when he speaks his carefully chosen words have impact--even if the dialogue is at times overly theatrical. Riddick is the perfect antihero; a cold-blooded and indifferent being who somehow evokes more compassion than the film's so-called good guys. Joining Riddick are some recurring characters including David as Imam but Riddick benefits the most from the addition of some new characters particularly Colm Feore as Lord Marshal the Necromonger leader whose goal is to rid the universe of all human life. Feore channeling nuggets of Julius Caesar into his role makes for one of Riddick's most thrilling foes. Another prominent addition to the cast is Judi Dench who has a surprisingly small role as Aereon an Elemental captured by the Necromongers and used for her special powers including ESP.
Writer/director David Twohy took his horror pic Pitch Black which gained a cult following since it was released four years ago and managed to successfully turn it into an sci-fi actioner of epic proportions. Everything is grander here which is almost a given considering Twohy shot Pitch Black on a dime in Australia using colored filters. In Riddick the director distinguishes the film's different environments--the Necros' mothership Crematoria's cavernous prison and Helion--using warm to cool tones that are dazzling yet more subtle than its predecessor. The CGI effects get a little gamey at times but production designer Holger Gross' gargantuan sets are impressive and help craft Twohy's otherworldly vision into a plausible one. And although Twohy jumps genres from Pitch Black to its sequel his storyline evolves logically from the original premise. But while moviegoers unfamiliar with Pitch Black will be able to follow the story easily enough they may have a difficult time grasping what makes Riddick such a big deal; the film explains the legend but never fully captures its quintessence. This could hurt Riddick's chances to broaden its Pitch Black fan base.