Actor Robert Pattinson has bowed out of the upcoming Saddam Hussein-related thriller Mission: Blacklist.
The Twilight star was slated to play the lead role in the film about the hunt for fallen Iraqi dictator Hussein, but he has dropped out of the project due to scheduling issues, according to TheWrap.com. P
attinson has been attached to the film as real-life military interrogator Eric Maddox since May, 2012. Maddox spearheaded the hunt for Hussein in 2003, and wrote the book that inspired the film project.
After Pattinson's role is recast, filmmakers hope to start production this autumn (14).
The British funnyman plays an Arabic despot inspired by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the hit comedy, but working on the film was a painstaking task as events around the world regularly conspired against him.
He had penned a hoard of gags about Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, al-Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il but was forced to adapt the script several times when all three men died last year (11).
Cohen tells British GQ magazine, "It was bizarre. All these characters in the film started getting killed. Like, 'There go all the Gaddafi jokes.' We had a lot about Osama bin Laden being alive. SEAL Team Six took out one of our major jokes. Then Kim Jong-il died... We thought, 'What is going on?'."
Gaddafi was shot by rebels in Libya in October, bin Laden was gunned down by U.S. Navy SEALs at his Pakistani bolthole in May, and Jong-il died from a heart attack in December.
"Obviously it's quite difficult to shoot there, but I think it's a fascinating country. And the director's been sending me pictures of just the original... palaces where the U.S. army was based and they're beautiful. They're stunning... They're all just empty, just sitting there." Actor Robert Pattinson is excited about shooting Mission: Blacklist, in which he plays a U.S. soldier searching for Saddam Hussein in war-torn Iraq in 2003. Director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire currently scouting locations in the country.
Twilight star Robert Pattinson is heading to Iraq to film scenes for his new movie Mission: Blacklist. The film chronicles the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and the British actor, who will play real-life military interrogator Eric Maddox, has confirmed he will be shooting the project in Iraq next summer (13).
Paramount is currently in development on an original adventure for the Tom Clancy hero Jack Ryan, simply dubbed Jack Ryan. Keeping true to the political-thriller-friendly CIA badass' twenty-year cinematic history, and a legacy of great talent, the studio has recruited a hot young star (Chris Pine) and a director who doubles as the film's villain (Kenneth Branagh, Shakespearean elite and the guy behind 2011's Thor). Now, the search begins for a leading lady.
Deadline is reporting that three actresses are in contention for the role: Keira Knightley (currently the top choice by producers), Lost's Evangeline Lilly, and Like Crazy's Felicty Jones. Knightley is no stranger to the world of blockbusters, a veteran from her time on the Pirates of the Caribbean films. But even when she donned swashbuckler garb, she never wowed with her action skills. A great actress, but not the type you picture kicking butt. Jones is untested in the big budget arena, but like Knightley, she is a terrific performer with potential making her the trio's biggest question mark. Lilly is known for physically demanding role on Lost and should see a serious career boost from her role in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. She plays a newly created character that does her fair share of troll-stomping. If Jack Ryan's female counterpart gets in on the action, Lilly could be the best bet.
It all comes down to how they play the character. Unlike James Bond and his ever-growing list of female counterparts, America's homegrown hero Jack Ryan has always been a committed man (albeit in fewer big screen adventures). Whether it's Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan in 1990's The Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in 1992's Patriot Games and 1994's Clear and Present Danger, or Ben Affleck skewing to younger audiences in 2002's Sum of All Fears, the Jack Ryan character has consistently been a dedicated significant other. Sum saw the character shacking up with Dr. Catherine Muller (Bridget Moynahan), but eventually in Ryan's timeline, he found himself a married man. Not too common in Hollywood blockbusters.
Caroline Ryan was featured prominently in the Ford films, portrayed by Oscar-nominated actress Anne Archer. She wasn't a female action hero, rather an emotional support for Jack Ryan as he attempted to save the world time and time again. Deadline suggests that Caroline is the character featured in Jack Ryan. If that's the case, the modernization of the franchise may evolve that role into a woman that can stand side by side with Jack, as opposed to waiting for him to return from an adventure. Physicality could be the deciding factor.
There's no set release date for Jack Ryan, but news on which starlet takes home the part is on the horizon.
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In the new movie, which chronicles the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Pattinson will play real-life military interrogator Eric Maddox, who wrote the book that inspired the film project.
And as the movie creates a buzz at the Cannes Film Festival in France, Maddox has gone public with his thoughts about the casting - and he approves.
He says, "For me, it was a no-brainer. I said absolutely! Whatever you did to get that guy to be a part of this movie, I think it's wonderful and I fully support it. We're talking about a guy who is super famous and really popular.
"We met for 14 hours and he focused exclusively on the project and wanted to get down to the nitty gritty of the project. His entire focus was on the project. It wasn't about him or his needs, and from that, I realised that this is a guy who is dedicated to his work and wanted to put in the hours. That's what made me certain that they have built the right team for this."
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Twilight made him a household name, but since his explosion in popularity, vampiric heartthrob Robert Pattinson hasn't been content in letting fame shoehorn his career. His next role is proof: Pattinson is reportedly attached to star in Mission: Black List, a psychological thriller that puts him in the shoes of real life Army interrogator Eric Maddox. Maddox was influential in the capture of Saddam Hussein, his tell-all book (on which the film is based) revealing in detail how he used non-violent, mind-bending methods to draw out the information he needed.
Perceptions of Pattinson's range are often shortsighted thanks to the demands of his breakout role (Edward Cullen ain't doing him any favors), but Mission: Black List could be a defining part for the young actor. Here's why:
First thing's first: Pattinson may come off as disaffected as his Twilight counterpart when he's strolling red carpets, but it's only because he's a serious actor looking to leave the celebrity status out of his work. Between the installments of the much-loved franchise, he's tackled biopics (the Salvador Dali film Little Ashes), realistic dramas (Remember Me) and period spectacles (Water for Elephants). We've only seen a sliver of what Pattinson is really capable of, but his willingness to explore a range of stories, themes and characters is proof that he's more than capable of getting down and dirty in a thriller.
He's Not the First Pretty Boy to Make the Jump to Thrillers
The road to legitimacy can be a tough one for actors who exploded on to the scene at an early age, but Pattinson is following the right course. Like Matt Damon, who dabbled in high drama with The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Legend of Bagger Vance and All the Pretty Horses before tackling the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, Pattinson has established himself as someone with the chops to take on movies that seem "out of his range." The masses underestimated Damon when he made the jump because he was scrawny and brainy — not a typical action hunk. Pattinson's in the same boat, but that's why Hollywood's finest have personal trainers!
He's Ready for a Transformation
Speaking of physical makeovers, a role in an military-centric movie provides Pattinson with a much needed motivation to lose his recognizable look. If he's going to become Eric Maddox, he's going to have to look the part — and that means dropping his head of hair. And he'll do it — Pattinson may be reserved in real life, but he's never strayed away from adapting to a part. Diamond skin may be insane, but he did it because he had to. A shaved head and a few pounds of muscle may be a small detail, but it goes a long way for an actor looking to dispel preconceived notions. Pattinson should have no problem kicking his image into high gear.
He Can Come Alive
Judging from the previous work of director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (who is set to helm the project), Mission: Black List should be a highly-kinetic, often-frightening dissection of the American occupation and the hunt for Saddam. The movie will require an energized performance from Pattinson, the other end of the spectrum from most of his films. But never forget his time spent in the world of Harry Potter, where the actor was dropped into action as the star player in the Goblet of Fire competition. Heck, he even smiled in that movie! If Black List segues into moments of action, Pattinson seems fit for the task.
Here's a trailer for Sauvaire's last film Johnny Mad Dog. Can you see Pattinson in this style?
He's Pushing Himself
With Breaking Dawn - Part 2 in the can and ready to be unleashed into the world, Pattinson is planning carefully for the next stage of his career. He could easily play it safe — see Zac Efron in The Lucky One as evidence. But instead, he's capitalizing on his own draw to collaborate with visionary directors in wild projects. The weirder than weird Cosmopolis, directed by the legendary David Cronenberg, will redefine Pattinson when it hits at Cannes this May and theaters at the end of the year. Mission: Black List should complicate him further. Even if the film is a disaster, if he ends up being entirely miscast, the risk factor is reason enough that Pattinson belongs in the movie. Like his Twilight costar Kristen Stewart, who is also mixing it up in 2012, Pattinson is laying the tracks for a diverse career that will allow him to do whatever he wants in the future. He needs this movie, which means he'll push himself to make it great.
Find Matt Patches directly on Twitter @misterpatches and remember to follow @Hollywood_com!
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The Twilight star will appear in new thriller Mission: Blacklist, which has been adapted from a novel by real-life military interrogator Eric Maddox, who helped in the search for Hussein, who was captured in 2003 and executed in 2006.
The film will be directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire and is to be touted at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in France this month (May12).
Something that always interests me as a cinephile is the evolution of film criticism and how the prevailing opinions of films can be shaped and changed by time; much in the same fashion that time tends to alter entire landscapes and shake sturdy mountains. Films that, upon their initial release, are touted as violent, trashy exploitation by the established film literati can grow and evolve into widely heralded classics. Such is the case with 1983’s Scarface. We hope you’ll consider revisiting this bloody triumph via Netflix Watch Instantly service over the weekend.
Who Made It: Scarface was written by Oliver Stone, who himself directed classic films like Platoon, Wall Street, and JFK. Brian De Palma, of Carrie and Dressed to Kill fame, directed the film. Scarface, at the time of its release, was a major departure for De Palma in terms of both his usual subject material and his usual style. Scarface is actually a remake of a 1932 film directed by Howard Hawks.
Who’s In It: The film stars Al Pacino in one of his most iconic roles. The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
What’s It About: Scarface is the story of a Cuban immigrant who, upon arriving in America, turns almost immediately to a life of crime. He slowly rises from errand boy for a local drug pusher to becoming the narcotics kingpin of Miami. But his greed, his ambition, and his growing propensity to get high on his own supply lead him to inch closer and closer to a downfall of Biblical proportions.
Why You Should Watch It:
The biggest and simplest reason to watch Scarface is its star Al Pacino. Pacino was less than a decade removed from The Godfather Part II when he crafted yet another progenitor gangster role. His Tony Montana is however a vastly different criminal than Michael Corleone. Where Michael is a quiet, calculating mastermind who hardly ever seems rattled, Tony is a roaring hurricane of thundering expletives and savage violence. He doesn’t maneuver his way to the top as much as he does claw with razor-sharp talons, which he’s more than happy to unsheathe should anyone cross him or stand in his way. He’s flashy, loud, and unrepentantly evil. So why do we love him so much?
Plenty of film critics and historians have already observed that Tony Montana is, for all his innumerable faults, a champion of the American dream. Tony comes to this country with absolutely nothing and dreams of wealth, power, and prominence. His methods of achieving those goals are obviously repellant, and yet we can empathize with his ambition and his refusal to accept the position life has handed him. This is really the core of any great gangster story going back to the days of Al Capone. In fact, the 1930s gangster movie of which Scarface is a remake was based on a book by Armitage Trail which was itself based on the life of Capone. Merely replace bootleg liquor with cocaine and it isn’t hard to see how easily these themes correspond.
Scarface is a landmark film in a number of ways. First and foremost, it produced one of cinema’s all time great villains, and his quips and speeches are etched into our collective consciousness. It seems we can’t go a year without at least one film referencing “say hello to my little friend.” But apart from inspiring and informing subsequent celluloid bad guys, Scarface has certainly earned its reputation as a cultural phenomenon.
Rap culture in particular was quick to embrace the mythos of Tony Montana; many artists citing it as their favorite film and even a major influence on their work and their lifestyle. Lines from the movie frequently turn up in hip-hop lyrics and there is even a rapper who calls himself Scarface. But the influential reach of Brian De Palma’s extends yet further, and ventures to some very strange places. For example, Saddam Hussein apparently named his money laundering front Montana Management after the film’s antagonistic protagonist; not a ringing endorsement of course, but a further testament to the worldwide influence of Scarface.
The British comic reportedly made it clear to Oscar bosses that he wanted to walk the red carpet in the guise of the wacky alter-ego from his latest film, which is loosely based on late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The star is due to appear at the prizegiving to support Martin Scorsese's Hugo, in which he co-starred, as the film competes for the coveted Best Picture trophy, and rumours suggested Academy chiefs didn't want his antics to overshadow the glitzy night.
However, a spokesperson for the organisation insists Cohen has not been told to stay away from the ceremony, but admits they are still waiting to find out what he has planned.
The rep says, "We have not banned him. We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do."
Cohen has courted controversy at previous industry events by turning up in character.
He caused a stir in 2006 by arriving at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada as Borat on a cart pulled by peasant women, and at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, he dropped from the ceiling as flamboyant fashion reporter Bruno, with his bare behind landing inches from rapper Eminem's face.