Chris Pratt is on a roll (and not into another pit a la his character Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation). According to The Wrap, Universal is eyeing Pratt for the leading male role in Jurassic World.
Assuming the actor does end up taking the role (and is able to figure out a filming schedule that would work with Parks and Recreation), he'll appear on screen alongside Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, and possibly the Life of Pi star Irrfan Khan who is also being sought after for the film. Josh Brolin had originally been in talks for the lead role, but a deal was never made.
If Pratt signs on for the Jurassic Park sequel, then the up-and-coming big-name star could add yet another film to his growing list. Pratt, who has already proved his worth on the NBC comedy alongside Amy Poehler, has been quickly building up his "serious" acting credentials in films like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. Additionally, he is set to star as Peter Quill in Marvel's 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy, voice the lead role in The LEGO Movie, and appear in The Delivery Man and Spike Jonze's Her. From the looks of it, Pratt doesn't plan on being pinned as the loveably dopey Andy forever. (But we still want a Parks and Recreation and Jurassic Park mash-up, because that just seems like it would be magical.)
Jurassic World, which will be directed by Colin Trevorrow from the script he co-wrote with Derek Connolly, will hit theaters June 12, 2015.
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While the Avengers heroes will maintain a stronghold on the public's attention in the realm of upcoming Marvel movies — with Captain America, Thor, and possibly even the Hulk gearing for followup films in the foreseeable future — there is a separate property from the comic book enterprise that is building up a whole lot of appeal: Guardians of the Galaxy, the out-of-whack sci-fi adventure property slated for its feature film in 2014, which has just cast rising star Chris Pratt as its headlining hero, as reported by Deadline.
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Leading the assortment of crazy characters that make up the titular Guardians is Star-Lord, a human man affected by the mystical touch of an astronomical phenomenon upon birth. While the bulk of Pratt's fame comes attached to his beloved Parks and Recreation doofus Andy Dwyer (self-professed musical genius and Skittles aficionado), Pratt has bolstered his notability with dramatic turns in 2011's Moneyball and, even more impressively, Best Picture nod Zero Dark Thirty, wherein he played the spotlit member of SEAL Team 6.
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In fact, it is Pratt's get-the-job-done sensibility in Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden picture, teamed with his obvious knack for humorous delivery, that cements the actor as the perfect Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill). Pratt's casting, especially in the wake of mentioned names like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler for the film, opens hope for a lighthearted, fun-filled, ostensibly comical adventure movie.
[Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures]
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Chronicling nearly a decade's worth of investigations and an endless amount of headaches on the part of CIA operatives Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty burns slowly through America's turbulent search for Osama bin Laden. Where Hurt Locker brewed tension from red-or-blue-wire bomb scenarios and military action the Oscar winner's follow-up finds it in a maelstrom of intel the temperamental conditions of the Middle East and the bureaucracy of back home.
Jessica Chastain's Maya goes from bright newcomer to the obsessed soldier of justice giving Javert a run for his money in pursuit of a criminal in one's crosshairs. When Seal Team Six finally receives their infamous assignment Bigelow and writer Mark Boal continue to ask questions — imperative in a film that speaks to one of U.S.'s murkiest zeitgeists.
Maya is first introduced dressed up in a clean well-fitting suit preparing to witness her very first interrogation. The scene escalates quickly with her coworker Dan (Jason Clarke) employing the waterboarding technique against the close-lipped detainee Ammar (Reda Kateb A Prophet).
Zero Dark Thirty has come under fire for its portrayal of torture but nothing in Bigelow's film comes close to condoning the process. Instead the film focuses in on the ramifications. Months of pressure eventually breaks Ammar — and his interrogator. A distraught Dan heads back to Washington leaving Maya even more committed to chasing leads and finding bin Laden on her own.
The careful orchestration of details — names locations dates and any other shred of evidence that could lead Maya and her team to bin Laden — turns Zero Dark Thirty into a thriller by way of a New Yorker essay. Boal finds emotion in cut and dry information; Chastain's determination ferocity and at times exhaustion speak volumes — even when the dialogue is laying down facts.
Bigelow surrounds her with an inspired cast: Kyle Chandler as the dapper politico chief Jennifer Ehle as a intelligence officer who draws out Maya's last few drops of friendship and Mark Strong as a ball-buster who loses his stance above the team as Maya pours herself entirely into the operation and asserts dominance.
Bigelow has an eye for action and the Seal Team Six infiltration that caps the film is expertly crafted thanks to tactical movements lit dimly and paced with Alexandre Desplat's rumbling score. But Bigelow also respects the personalities of soldiers.
They speak like people act like people and in moments of bloodshed (decisions made in morally grey zones) they respond and react like people.
Zero Dark Thirty is awe-inspiring for its ability to chronicle a long-gestating investigation but it's one of 2012's best because it digs deeper and examines both sides of the coin. No decision is made without consequences even the ones that feel so right in the moment.
The death of Osama bin Laden was a momentous occasion in the United States. As Chastain reveals with unflinching elegance pulling it off cost more than anyone could ever know.
On Thursday morning, the pulled-from-the-headlines thriller Zero Dark Thirty took a solid four Golden Globe nominations, for writing, acting, directing, and Best Picture. The Globes are just the beginning: when the competition opens up to the technical categories come Oscar time, ZDT could walk away with even more. And Kathryn Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker could win them too, as evidenced by the latest trailer for the film.
Here are five reasons visible in the above spot that make me confident Zero Dark Thirty could go all the way this awards season:
1. Jessica Chastain's Fervent, Understated Performance
The keystone of Zero Dark Thirty, Chastain's Maya ends up as one of the best characters of the year, an opinionated but respectful newcomer who evolves over the ten year hunt for bin Laden into a obsessive seeker of truth. In 2011, Chastain proved herself to be one of the most well-rounded performers in Hollywood. In 2012, she proves herself as one of the fiercest. You see her real claws come out late in the trailer, insisting that she has 100% confidence in her knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts.
2. Dialogue That's as Tense as the Action
ZDT relies heavily on dialogue and the dissection of information, but Mark Boal's script — which is on the top of many voters' minds — layers every bit of exposition with distinct voice. Around the 40 second mark, Mark Strong chimes in with a few words of aggressive wisdom, a wake-up call for an intelligence department that's uncovered nothing. It's a brutal scene in the movie, but simply rattling off facts wouldn't amount to the weight displayed in the moment. It's through Boal's raises the stakes through capturing the sound of human fear.
3. Bigelow's Action Style in Non-action Scenes
Bigelow showed a real prowess for modern action filmmaking in The Hurt Locker, a heart-pounding inside look at the life of bomb defuser. But Zero Dark Thirty isn't an action movie (even while featuring a few explosions, shootouts, and military operations). Think The Social Network or All the President's Men, stories of larger-than-life journeys conducted in small scale rooms. Luckily, like those films, Bigelow understands how to invigorate close quarters conversations or silent moments. Whether Maya is sifting through paperwork or taking a silent moment in the bathroom, scenes in Zero Dark Thirty always feel like the world is on the line.
4. The Cinematography of the Raid
Expect Zero Dark Thirty to impress on the technical side thanks to an amazing score by Alexandre Desplat, spine-tingling sound design by Paul N. J. Ottosson, and cinematography by Greig Fraser that creates the atmosphere more mystery. The finale's infiltration of the bin Laden compound is now a well-known incident, but only when you see it portrayed in dim twilight do you realize how terrifying the work of Seal Team Six really is.
5. A Cast of Actors People Love
When it comes to Zero Dark Thirty's Oscar chances, don't expect too many other nods outside of Chastain in the acting department. With a sprawling ensemble, it's hard to pick just one actor or actress who stands out — but the excellence of every performer is the foundation for what makes the movie work. Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, James Gandolfini all pop in the new spot above and all make a huge impact as part of the clockwork that helped pay off ten years of work. Highly compelling and never over the top, it's the entire cast who will carry Zero Dark Thirty to the Best Picture race.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
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Kathryn Bigelow is one of the premiere action directors working today, but while her 2008, Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker is a lesson in tension, it's not about the action. As her lead character, a bomb diffuser, inches towards life or death with every wire snipped, we the audience are clenching our seats and breaking a sweat. A thriller of the muted kind.
Bigelow's has a similar aesthetic thanks to its Middle East location while being a whole other beast. Following the mission to hunt and kill Osama bin Laden — which only occurred in May of 2011 — Zero Dark Thirty collects an all-star cast of Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, and Mark Duplass (just to name a few), and drops them in the middle of the momentous and seemingly impossible covert mission. Based on the first trailer, which you can check out below, Bigelow is playing in much more familiar action territory, with the true story elements adding an extra layer of awe and terror. Even a truncated glimpse looks exhilarating.Zero Dark Thirty arrives in theaters December 19.
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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I've always been on the fence about sports movies. Too often they teeter just a little too far over to the overly-inspirational-to-the-point-of-cheesiness side of the scale, and that's something I just can't stomach. With Moneyball, from what we can tell, it looks to be a different case. The film stars Brad Pitt as the general manager of the Oakland Athletics as he tries to revolutionize the way the business of baseball is done. Alongside Pitt are Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Stephen Bishop, Kathryn Morris and Chris Pratt. If that helluva cast isn't enough to convince you, consider this: Capote's director, Bennett Miller, helmed the flick and Aaron Sorkin penned the script with Steven Zaillian. As someone who's recently gotten back into Sorkin's short-lived comedy, Sports Night, seeing the scribe delve back into that world is a promising thought.
Of course, you could listen to all my ideas about why this looks pretty fantastic, or you could take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself.
The tragic opera tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Gerald Butler) who haunts the catacombs beneath the Paris Opera waging a reign of terror over its occupants [cue the organ music]. Think The Elephant Man meets The Hunchback of Notre Dame--except this particular "monster" has some serious sex appeal. I mean honestly his only "disfigurement" is some scarring on one side of his face which he covers with a rather classy mask. No big whoop. But I digress. When he falls desperately in love with the lovely ingénue Christine (Emmy Rossum) who has lived in the opera house for most of her life the Phantom devotes himself to molding the young soprano into a star exerting a strange sense of control over her as he nurtures her extraordinary talents. But when Christine falls for the dashing Raoul (Patrick Wilson) all hell breaks loose as the Phantom's growing jealousies threatens to tear everyone apart [OK now it's really time to cue the organ music].
Fans will no doubt be happy their favorite musical has finally made it to the big screen but the musical's original stars Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman have been replaced in the movie version by hot young actors. This is a very wise decision considering the film's rather longwinded nature. In other words even though the Phantom performers keep singing and singing and then sing some more at least they are appealing to watch (and they did do all their own singing). Butler (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life) is particularly effective as the Phantom all brooding mysterious and far more intriguing a suitor than pretty boy Raoul played blandly by Wilson (HBO's Angels in America). With her alabaster skin and long luscious locks Rossum (The Day After Tomorrow) also does a nice job as Christine. But she is unfortunately limited to only a few range of emotions--either all doe-eyed and somber over her Phantom doe-eyed and gushy over Raoul or just plain doe-eyed. As for the supporting players Minnie Driver nearly steals the show as the Italian soprano diva La Carlotta. As the only breath of fresh air in the musty opera house you definitely crave more of her.
It's taken about 15 years to bring Webber's smash hit to the big screen. Apparently after winning every known theater award for Phantom the legendary producer-composer approached director Joel Schumacher in 1988 to do the movie after being impressed by Schumacher's work on The Lost Boys. Hmmm The Lost Boys to Phantom of the Opera--I'm still trying to tie that one together. Anyway Webber had to postpone production for personal reasons and then Schumacher was busy doing such films as Tigerland and Phone Booth. Finally the time was ripe to make Phantom coming on the heels of the musical movie boom started by Moulin Rouge and Chicago. Schumacher certainly incorporates all the right elements from the young and talented cast to the opulent sets and magnificent costumes. The problem is the material: Phantom really isn't all that compelling of a story. Sure the stage production was and still is a theatrical event especially as the Phantom moves on catwalks all over the theater and the impressive chandelier comes crashing down on the stage. But for the film adaptation there needs to be something more than just grand posturing set pieces and operatic music. Maybe a little more dialogue? A sex scene? Anything?