Focus Features via Everett Collection
If a film called The Martian is looking for a director, it only makes sense to run to the man behind Alien. Ridley Scott is in talks to helm the Matt Damon film now that Drew Goddard has left the project to direct the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six. Based on the book by Andy Weir, the story follows an astronaut who is stranded on a Martian colony and must survive until NASA can mount a rescue mission. The Martian marks a significant turning point in Damon’s career: his first stranded-somewhere-all-by-himself movie.
A longtime staple of the thriller genre, almost every big star in Hollywood has made a film in which they must survive on their own in the wilderness, outer space or a confined space, often to great acclaim. In honor of Damon’s first foray into the genre – which, thanks to the involvement of two Oscar winners is already receiving some awards speculation, despite it still being in the early stages of production - we’ve rounded up some of the most famous stranded-alone films and how things worked out for their stars. Awards-wise, we mean. They're all relatively straightforward, plot-wise.
Movie: GravityStar: Sandra BullockWhere She Was Stranded: Outer SpaceWith: George Clooney, for a short whileHow It Worked Out: The film was nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress and won seven of them, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron
Movie: Cast Away Star: Tom HanksWhere He Was Stranded: A deserted islandWith: A volleyball named WilsonHow It Worked Out: Hanks was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar
Movie: BuriedStar: Ryan ReynoldsWhere He Was Stranded: Buried alive in a coffin that's slowly losing airWith: Close-upsHow It Worked Out: No Oscar nominations, although it did earn Reynolds some of the best reviews of his career
Movie: 127 HoursStar: James FrancoWhere He Was Stranded: In a narrow canyon, with his arm trapped by a boulderWith: A video cameraHow It Worked Out: It was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and was the basis for an endless stream of jokes about Franco's career
Movie: MoonStar: Sam RockwellWhere He Was Stranded: In a spacecraft orbiting the moonWith: An awkward teenaged water park visitor who just needs some confidence... oh, wait, that was a different movieHow It Worked Out: Was nominated for two BAFTA awards, and won for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for director Duncan Jones
Movie: Panic RoomStars: Jodie FosterWhere They Were Stranded: A panic room in their home as robbers attempt to force them outWith: Her diabetic daughter Kristen StewartHow It Worked Out: No major awards, but it did get very good reviews
Movie: Man on a LedgeStar: Sam WorthingtonWhere He Was Stranded: On the window ledge of a 21st floor hotel roomWith: A lot of press attentionHow It Worked Out: It got mostly negative reviews and everyone promptly forgot about it
Movie: Phone BoothStar: Colin FarrellWhere He Was Stranded: In a phone boothWith: A remarkably poor conversationalist on the other lineHow It Worked Out: No awards, but generally positive reviews
Movie: Life of PiStar: Suraj SharmaWhere He Was Stranded: On a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean With: A tiger named Richard ParkerHow It Worked Out: The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 4, including Best Director for Ang Lee
Movie: Snow DogsStar: Cuba Gooding Jr.Where He Was Stranded: In a cave out in the Arctic With: A pack of lovable huskiesHow It Worked Out: The less said about this one, the better
With Orphan Black back on BBC America for its sophomore season, it’s time to revive the Clone Club! Ever since Orphan Black premiered over a year ago, the sci-fi show has garnered a cult following and bewitched viewers all around the world — even members of Hollywood like Wil Wheaton, Patton Oswalt, and Orlando Jones (who all appeared on BBC America’s The Cloneversation to promo the new season). Now that the show is back — and better than ever — let’s talk about of favorite clones, all of whom are played by Tatiana Maslany. Beware spoilers, newbies!
7) Katja Obinger
We really didn’t have time to know Katja before her untimely departure from the world (which is our nice way of saying she was murdered), but from what little we saw, she could have been an interesting addition to the club.
6) Beth Childs
Even though Beth only appears in Orphan Black alive for all of maybe two minutes, her lone scene is what hooked many viewers into the show and deserves its due. So, here’s to you Beth Childs, your death scene is crazy and we love it.
5) Rachel Duncan
Unlike many of the other clones, we don’t know very much about Rachel except that she’s a total ice queen (and we get a bit of a sociopath vibe from her). However, we’re dying to see more of her perfectly cut bob and icy glare this season.
As the craziest clone (like, certifiably insane), Helena is certainly fun to watch on Orphan Black — and by “fun” we mean “actually stressful” because she might die and/or kill off one of the other clones, or Kira, or someone else we love like Felix, Paul, or Art.
3) Sarah Manning
She may be the main character of Orphan Black, but she’s not our favorite clone. She does, however, provide some of the craziest and most entertaining scenes in the show like when she ate soap in the series premiere or bashed her way through a wall in the Season 2 debut.
2) Allison Hendrix
Between her neurotic paranoia and her friendship with Felix, we love Allison’s character a lot. She’s funny, she’s sweet, she’s scary, and she puts a whole new twist on the idea of desperate housewives living in suburbia.
1) Cosima Niehaus
Whenever Maslany is asked which clone she relates to the most, she always answers Cosima (though, probably not simply because they both talk with their hands). Well, Cosima is our favorite too. We love her brains, her fashion sense, her snarky remarks, and her relationship with Delphine. So, basically, everything.
David Bowie's filmmaker son Duncan Jones has reportedly quit the much-anticipated Ian Fleming biopic. Reports suggest The Moon director has been forced to walk away from the film chronicling the James Bond creator's life due to scheduling problems.
Producers are on the hunt for his replacement.
Sources tell TheWrap.com that Jones could not commit to the biopic and new movie Warcraft at the same time.
Jones has yet to comment on the story.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson is set to go head to head with Dame Judi Dench for the Best Actress prize at the British Indie Film Awards. Johansson has been nominated for her role in sci-fi thriller Under The Skin, while Dench landed a nod for her film Philomena, and the two stars will go up against Lindsay Duncan (Le Week-end), Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman) and Saoirse Ronan (How I Live Now).
James McAvoy is up for the Best Actor prize for his role in crime comedy Filth and will compete against Tom Hardy (Locke), Jack O'Connell (Starred Up), Jim Broadbent (Le Week-end) and Steve Coogan (Philomena).
Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is in the running for Best International Film, along with Blue is the Warmest Color, Frances Ha, Italian movie The Great Beauty and Saudi Arabian/German picture Wadjda.
Nominations for Best British film include Metro Manila, Philomena, The Selfish Giant, Starred Up and Le Week-end.
The prizegiving will be hosted by Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt in London on 8 December (13).
Getty ImagesWhile the pick-and-choose nature of the digital market has almost rendered the Greatest Hits album obsolete, there are some career retrospectives which would have struggled to sell even if their respective record labels paid audiences to buy them. Here's a look at five compilations which would have been more suitably titled Greatest Hit.
Lou Bega – Beautiful World (A Little Collection Of Lou Bega’s Best)Borsalino hat-wearing Lou Bega joined the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias in the Latin pop explosion of 1999 with his irresistibly catchy cover of Perez Prado's "Mambo No. 5," reaching number one in nearly every country in continental Europe. But unlike his fellow hip-shakers, he miserably failed to sustain its success. Follow-up "Tricky, Tricky" peaked at a lowly No. 73 in the US while his last three albums even sank without trace in his native Germany, making 19 out of the 20 tracks on this 2013 compilation entirely surplus to requirements.
Crazy Frog – Best Of Crazy HitsIncredibly, the computer-animated amphibian who terrorized pop in the mid-'00s with his impossibly irritating moped engine impersonation scored five UK Top 20 hits and two US Top 40 albums before he was thankfully retired. But released four years after making the leap from ringtone adverts to the charts, surely no-one would have been in the mood to hear 40, that's 40, examples of his ring-ding-ding brand of pop.
Tag Team – The Best OfAtlanta hip-hop duo Tag Team didn't really make much effort to distance themselves from their one-hit wonder tag, re-recording 1993 US No. 2 hit "Whoomp! (There It Is)" twice a year later for Addams Family Values and the Houston Rockets, and then again in 1995 for an all-star Disney version. It also appears on this 2000 compilation three times, although how many people would sit through the other seventeen tracks to get to the House and Spanish mixes remains to be seen.
Hilary Duff – Most WantedPredating Miley, Selena and Demi's transition from the Disney Channel to the US Hot 100, tween favourite Hilary Duff has probably now earned the right to release a retrospective. Less so in 2005 when she was only two albums and two US Top 40 hits into her career. Amazingly, despite the fact that most of her fans would have only bought the majority of its material during the previous two years, Most Wanted reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Chesney Hawkes - The Very Best Of Chesney HawkesRecently and unexpectedly heard in both of Duncan Jones' critically-acclaimed big-screen efforts, Moon and Source Code, Chesney Hawkes' "The One & Only" is one of the more cherished one-hit wonders of the early '90s. But having failed to bother the charts ever since, it still doesn't justify this 2005 20-track collection.
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AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
World of Warcraft is an MMORFG (for those non-nerds, that a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that's been raking in the cash for video game company Blizzard for years, and courting many a potential movie deal. So far, Blizzard has demonstrated some good judgment, refusing to sell their Warcraft rights to Uwe Boll in 2008, when he was keen on adding the title to his long list of terrible video game adaptations. But it's five years later, Boll has moved on to other, no doubt crazier things, and now Legendary Pictures has made a deal with Blizzard to go forward with a movie version of one of their most valued properties. Though director Duncan Jones has been connected for some time, actors Colin Farrell, Paula Patton, Paul Dano, Anton Yelchin, Anson Mount, and Travis Fimmel were just announced via Deadline to be potential cast members. If you saw these names in a list, there'd be no way your first guess would be "cast of the new World of Warcraft adaptation," yet, here we are. It's a mix of bona fide stars, electic indie standbys, TV hunks, and, at the head of it all, a director who made two great, small movies (Moon and Source Code) about moral dilemmas and the effects of technology — a far cry from the elf and goblin set. Is there any way to make sense of these people being connected to this project?
Let's play Six Degrees of the Cast of the New World of Warcraft Movie and try to find out.
So there's Colin Farrell, the biggest name and thus probably the biggest or best part on display here. He's European, which is all that's required for anyone in Hollywood fantasy films. He's got some great movies (In Bruges) and some terrible ones (S.W.A.T., Alexander) under his belt, so no indication of quality there.
Then there's his costar in the underrated but still pretty bad Fright Night, Anton Yelchin. Yelchin will probably play second fiddle to Farrell, as the Frodo to his Aragorn. Yelchin does have some nerd cred, playing the current iteration of Chekov in Star Trek, but seems to prefer indie films like the much smaller Like Crazy.
One of the current kings of the indie scene is Paul Dano, whose small turns in bigger films and big turns in smaller films have made him a reliable "weird guy" for Hollywood. Maybe he'll be playing a wizard of some kind.
We start to head into the wilderness with the addition of Anson Mount and Travis Fimmel, who are both hunky TV stars on History Channel shows. Not much more to say than that, other than they should hope that one has to dye his hair bright pink or put on green makeup so we can tell them apart.
Then you have Paula Patton, floundering around by herself in the land of unendearing romantic comedies and being married to the song of the summer guy. There's no rhyme or reason to why Patton was pursued for this, but we can think of one reason why she's be eagar to accept: Angelina Jolie, who once was the star of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one of the less horrible video game adapations, went on to become an Oscar winner and all-around A-Lister and good person. Maybe Patton believes she's destined to the same.
Does that clear things up at all?
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Irish actor Colin Farrell is in talks to team up with Paula Patton to star in a film based on the hugely popular World Of Warcraft computer games. The live-action fantasy has been in the works for the past few years, with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi initially attached to take charge of the movie.
Raimi subsequently dropped out and David Bowie's filmmaker son Duncan Jones signed up for the challenge earlier this year (13), and now he has set his sights on landing Farrell as his leading man.
Jones is hoping to start production on the project in January (14), ahead of a 2015 release.
Britain's leading comedy stars including Rowan Atkinson, Simon Pegg and Stephen Fry have paid tribute to British funnyman Mel Smith following his death on Friday (19Jul13). The 60-year-old comedian passed away at his home in north-west London after suffering a heart attack, according to his agent Michael Foster.
The news has sent a shockwave through the U.K. comedy scene and a number of Smith's friends and co-stars have expressed their grief in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Smith's longtime collaborator Griff Rhys Jones, who worked with him on Alas Smith and Jones and Not the Nine O'Clock News, says in a statement, "I still can't believe this has happened. To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force for life. He had a relish for it that seemed utterly inexhaustible. He inspired love and utter loyalty and he gave it in return. I will look back on the days working with him as some of the funniest times that I have ever spent."
Mr. Bean star Atkinson also worked with the late funnyman on Not the Nine O'Clock News, and Smith directed his 1997 movie Bean.
He says in a statement, "Mel Smith - a lovely man of whom I saw too little in his later years. I loved the sketches that we did together on Not the Nine O'Clock News. He was the cast member with whom I felt the most natural performing empathy. He had a wonderfully generous and sympathetic presence both on and off screen... I never thought he was given enough credit for this success. I feel truly sad at his parting."
Stephen Fry adds, "Terrible news about my old friend Mel Smith, dead from a heart attack. Mel lived a full life but was kind, funny and wonderful to know."
Simon Pegg hails Smith as his inspiration, adding in a post on Twitter.com, "Sad to hear about Mel Smith. His influence on contemporary British comedy both as a performer and producer is impossible to calculate."
Pegg's longtime collaborator Nick Frost also mourned Smith's loss in a post on Twitter.com, while tributes have come in from Hollywood actor Jamie Bell, who called his death a great loss to British comedy, along with Richard E. Grant, James Corden, Matt Lucas, director Duncan Jones, and Peter Serafinowicz.
Smith was one of the leading lights of British comedy throughout the 1980s and he also teamed with Griff Rhys Jones to found TalkBack Productions, a TV company which produced popular comedies including Smack the Pony, Da Ali G Show and I'm Alan Partridge.
He also worked as a writer and director, helming movies including Bean and 2001's High Heels and Low Lifes.
His movie appearances as an actor included roles in The Princess Bride and National Lampoon's European Vacation.
Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell and Nia Vardalos are among the stars who have applauded Angelina Jolie for going public with her double mastectomy. The Salt actress underwent the preventative surgery earlier this year (13) after doctors informed her she had an 87 per cent risk of contracting breast cancer because she carried the "faulty" gene BRCA1.
Jolie opened up about her decision in Tuesday's (14May13) edition of the New York Times, and several of her acting peers took to their Twitter.com page to heap praise on the star for speaking publicly about the surgery.
Banks writes, "Much respect & for sharing in classy way", Bell declares, "An admirable op ed (opinion/editorial) by Angelina Jolie", and Vardalos tells her followers, "A moment of quiet respect for Angelina Jolie's candor (sic) and all women's bravery in facing this choice".
Marlee Matlin adds, "Brave, honest, strong. Angelina Jolie gets a double mastectomy. Agree with nia vardalos - quiet respect for her", while director Adam Shankman applauds, "Beautiful and brave article by angelina jolie".
Moviemaker Duncan Jones, whose wife Rodene Ronquillo was diagnosed with breast cancer in November (12), offers, "Huge gentle, loose-armed hugs from me and Rodene Ronquillo to Angelina Jolie for making her double mastectomy surgery public."
British pop star Michelle Heaton, who underwent a double mastectomy last year (12) in a bid to prevent her developing breast cancer, phoned in to U.K. morning show Daybreak to applaud Jolie's courage in going public with her surgery.
She says, "How she managed to keep it quiet is amazing and I'm totally in admiration for that but I'm also over the moon actually that she decided to come out and tell everybody what she's gone through. Over the last six months, with myself and then Sharon Osbourne (who underwent a preventive double mastectomy in 2012) and now Angelina it can only be a positive thing that the BRCA gene is being raised in the media. It's allowing women to be educated on the BRCA gene."
Born in Bromley, London, to David and Angela Bowie.
London Film School
His dislike of being photographed stems from the constant media presence that followed his parents throughout his childhood.
Jones was introduced to film making by his father, who purchased for and taught him to use an 8mm camera.
"I greatly regret [not learning to play an instrument]. I'd love to be able to play the guitar or something else, but I just don't have the time to learn." - Duncan Jones, interviewed by the Daily Mail, August 15, 2011.
"Zowie" was derived from the Greek word "zoe," or life.
Despite widespread press reports to the contrary, Duncan Jones was never named "Zowie Bowie": His father only adopted "Bowie" as a stage name, and has remained legally known as David Jones throughout his life.
Supporter/Fundraiser, Breast Cancer Research Foundation