Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti will be "Surfin' USA" alongside John Cusack and Paul Dano in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy. The Hunger Games actress and Amazing Spider-Man 2 stars are set to star in Love & Mercy, which will document Wilson, played by Cusack and Dano, as he grapples with mental illness throughout the decades of his acclaimed music career as the rockin' Beach Boys front-man.
On top of showcasing Wilson's superb raw talent as a musician, the Bill Pohlad-directed and -produced film emphasizes the people in his life that helped guide him along the way. Banks is slated to take on the role of Wilson's wife, Melinda, and Giamatti will portray Dr. Eugene Landy, Wilson's therapist.
Wilson first met his wife when he and his band performed at Hollywood nightclub Pandora's Box in October 1962. After clumsily spilling a drink all over Marilyn, the couple started dating despite their apparent age gap– she was 14 and a high school student, while he was a 20-year-old performer. scandalous!
Marilyn hired Dr. Eugene Landy to treat her husband in 1975. Dr. Landy's unorthodox 24-hour therapy regime was and is considered highly controversial. Although Landy triumphed in limiting Wilson's abusive drug habits and successfully rejuvenated the musician's look and health, the doc (who earned the brand "Doctor Feelgood") was fired by The Beach Boys for allegedly brainwashing, isolating, and drugging his patient.
Biopics documenting legendary and impactful men are all the trend right now: first Ashton Kutcher will tackle the role of Apple Inc. genius Steve Jobs in the film Jobs, and next up Paul Dano and John Cusack will star as Wilson when production for Love & Mercy written by Oren Moverman begins in August.
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It's funny to think that the world's love for Paul Dano sprouted from a role that involved about three lines of dialogue and a good amount of hostile grimaces. Following career kickoff roles like his gawky best pal character in The Girl Next Door and the aforementioned angsty teen in Little Miss Sunshine, Dano's surprise casting in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood helped him to expanded territories quite impressively. Following a particularly busy 2012, Dano is now the primary name attached to Love & Mercy, a developing biopic about music icon Brian Wilson.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Dano will headline the long-in-the-works River Road project, which looks to explore the psychological struggles of the time honored artist, whose mental health issues have long been a spotlit component of his celebrity character. Hollywood.com has reached out to reps for Dano and River Road for confirmation on the casting.
But Dano will not be the only actor to tackle the Beach Boys frontman in Love & Mercy: as the film spans several decades, jumping from point to point in Wilson's creative plight and personal turmoils, River Road is looking to cast two actors to play Wilson: a young (Dano) and an old (TBD). Although this concept may sound strikingly familiar, at least this time around we won't have to see Dano struggle with the obligation to murder his older self.
Love & Mercy has also reportedly attracted the likes of producer Bill Pohlad to direct and composer Atticus Ross to create the score for the doubtlessly musically-inclined film.
[Photo Credit: WENN (2)]
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Brokeback Mountain producer Bill Pohlad is preparing to shoot the movie, which will focus on Sir Jackie's friendship with his Formula 1 protege Francois Cevert, who was killed in a track accident in the U.S. in 1973.
Triple world champion Sir Jackie has read a draft of the untitled film's script and has given the greenlight for the project - and he's recommending Pohlad signs up fellow Scot McGregor to play him in the movie.
The retired racer tells The Sun, "The relationship that Francois and I had was probably unique in that we were such good friends while, at the same time, racing against each other even though we were in the same team. This has been picked up by a very good filmmaker in Bill. He has worked with some very big stars and he is a friend of mine. I've known him since about 1971. He wants to do it and we have agreed.
"Clearly we won't be in it, it has to be actors. I don't know who will be playing me - but Ewan McGregor would be an awfully good choice."
The new drama, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, premiered at the event in France last week (ends22May11) and went on to win the festival's top award on Sunday (22May11).
Malick didn't promote the film with its stars and he was not present when the Palme d'Or was handed out, but producer Bill Pohlad has now explained why the notoriously publicity-shy moviemaker did not turn up.
He tells reporters at Cannes, "Why isn't he here? I'm not saying it's an easy question to answer, he is personally a very humble guy and a very shy guy. A lot of people... (see) this kind (of) behaviour as a bit of an act, but it's not that way with Terry. He sincerely wants the work to speak for itself."
As if it didn't already have enough star power to demand the attention of critics and filmgoers alike, The Wrap reports that Terrence Malick's next movie - an untitled romance film described as a "powerful and moving love story" - has cast Ben Affleck and Rachel Weisz today.
The pair of Academy Award winners join Christian Bale, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko in the film that is schedule to shoot in Oklahoma this October. The source claims that Affleck may in fact be replacing Bale, but as his publicists have yet to even confirm his involvement I'm going to assume that he'll be adding to the stellar roster rather than replacing one of the original players.
Since it was first announced at the Berlin Film Festival, I've been interested to know more about the mysterious romantic drama. It is not unlike Malick to keep details about his work guarded from the public - the filmmaker is one of the most enigmatic to ever work in or outside of Hollywood - but given the star-studded cast and the unknown state of his current project - the family drama Tree of Life - I figured that more information would've been revealed by now. Perhaps this new development will drum up enough interest in the movie that producer Bill Pohlad will be forced to divulge some details about it.
Source: The Wrap
Sean Penn is in talks to star in Genius, the story of famed literary editor Max Perkins, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although the project has had several false starts over the years - including one incarnation that had Michael London producing and Lawrence Kasdan (Wyatt Earp) directing - the current involvement of director Bill Pohlad and friend Sean Penn puts the project on surer ground.
While Penn has not yet officially signed on for Genius, he and Pohlad have a long history of working together. Pohlad produced and helped finance Penn's Into the Wild in 2007, and is set to executive produce on Fair Game and Tree of Life - two upcoming movies that star the actor.
John Logan's script is an adaptation of National Book Award-winning author A. Scott Berg's 2008 biography "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius," which centers around the career of the titular eccentric editor-in-chief of New York publishing house Scribner, who published the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, and other literary luminaries. The film adaptation would focus on the relationship between the fedora-clad Perkins and a young Thomas Wolfe.
Although Pohlad himself hasn't directed a feature film since 1990, sticking to corporate gigs and documentaries of late, his company River Road has been instrumental in producing movies like Brokeback Mountain and The Runaways.
Director Steven Soderbergh creates a $60 million dollar art film aimed to be an epic look at the life of famed Argentinean rebel Che Guevara (Benicio Del Toro). Split into two parts that may be shown either together or in separate engagements the director seems intent on rewriting the book on biopics and in doing so has completely muted a potentially interesting study of the man who became a revered figure in Fidel Castro’s rise to power in Cuba. Part I aka The Argentine charts Che’s beginning career as a charismatic young doctor who meets Castro and sails to Cuba with the common goal of overthrowing corrupt dictator Fulgenico Batista. Proving himself to be a crafty and smart fighter particularly when it comes to guerilla warfare Che becomes a heroic figure among his colleagues and the Cubans. In Part II aka Guerrilla Che is portrayed after his peak power days when he mysteriously disappears only to re-emerge in Bolivia where he organizes the Latin American Revolution. Largely focusing on the grunt work of the battles this section details his dedication to a cause that ultimately will also become his tragic downfall. When an even LONGER version of Che premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival international reaction to the film was decidedly mixed at best -- even though Benicio Del Toro’s performance was universally praised. Although he’s physically perfect for the role his approach is to basically mumble through the proceedings like a faux Marlon Brando in his Viva Zapata period. If Del Toro was indeed born to play this part it doesn’t really show as he fails to connect with the audience. In the livelier first section -- in which the material is more political and intriguing -- Del Toro almost comes alive especially when visiting New York and the U.N. but frustratingly he mainly chooses to underplay to the point of tedium. The shootouts in the last part of the film come across as amateurish something out of a ‘50s TV Western. The rest of the mostly Spanish cast does what they can with the hackneyed script with standouts Rodrigo Santoro as Raul Castro Catalina Sandino Moreno as Che’s second wife and Demian Bichir who manages to be quite convincing as Fidel Castro. Unlike the lively portrait director Walter Salles achieved in the far more engaging and pertinent The Motorcycle Diaries the usually talented Steven Soderbergh (Traffic Ocean's Eleven) paints a dry profile of Che Guevera diminishing whatever excitement may have existed in his life. By concentrating on these two narrow portions of Che’s life the director fails to deliver even the tiniest proof or argument as to why this man was so revered and remains so iconic to this day. The film completely skips over major points and fails to find the character’s flaws. And the reported $60 million dollar budget is nowhere to be seen -- Che even looks dull and unexciting. It’s clear Soderbergh simply got too close to the subject after seven years of research and somehow viewed this wannabe bio-epic as his own Lawrence of Arabia. Far from it. See it only if you need a good nap.
In the summer of 1990 after graduating from Emory University with grades good enough to get into Harvard Law upper-middle-class 22-year-old Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) gave his $24 000 life savings to Oxfam and hit the open road. Christening himself Alexander Supertramp the idealistic McCandless proceeded to wander the country's highways and byways for two years before striking out alone into the wilds of Alaska. Anyone who's read the Jon Krakauer book knows what happened then but those who are new to McCandless' story will be holding their breath as his journey progresses toward its sadly inevitable end. The beauty of director Sean Penn's film is the route it takes to get there introducing viewers to the people Chris touched during his travels and making it clear what he learned about love and forgiveness along the way. The success of a movie like Into the Wild depends disproportionately on the talents of its star. Luckily Hirsch doesn't disappoint. Simultaneously charismatic and aloof he makes Chris both an enigma and an Everyman. Whether he's exulting in a panoramic view of the Alaskan wilderness shooting roiling river rapids (impressively no stunt doubles were used) or learning how to operate a combine machine Chris/Alex is completely aware--and appreciative--of every new experience life brings him. His quest for truth and authenticity affects everyone he meets from hippie couple Jan (Catherine Keener) and Rainey (Brian Dierker) to fast-talking entrepreneur Wayne (Vince Vaughn) and lonely leather worker Ron Frazer (Hal Holbrook). Meanwhile representing Chris' abandoned conflict-ridden homefront Jena Malone provides heartfelt nuanced voice-over narration as Chris' sister Carine. Filming Into the Wild was a labor of love for Penn and his affection for the material shows in every frame. Like Chris Penn and cinematographer Eric Gautier rhapsodize over sweeping vistas and pristine countryside lingering on the way sunlight glints on water droplets and the beauty of a freshly harvested field. Penn is in no hurry to tell Chris' tale; he lets it unfold naturally its rhythm matching the ebbs and flows of Chris' journey. Aiding him every step of the way is the film's powerful soundtrack which features original music by Eddie Vedder. Whether building momentum or accompanying Chris in moments of quiet contemplation the film's music is the traveling companion Chris doesn't realize he needs until it's too late. Blending sympathy for Chris' motives with regret for his tragic end; Into the Wild is a thoughtful biopic that's both inspiring and chastening.
"Diane Arbus" isn't Diane Arbus the 20th century American icon; she's an imaginary composite Arbus. That's part of Fur 's self-important problem. The film is like a magic-house maze of mirrors--pretty but confusing unsatisfying and never-ending. It's also a Cliff Notes' version of Arbus as an artist. Kidman's Arbus who is transitioning into a solo artist's career is torn between split lives: A forbidden artistic affair with a full-body-haired Lionel (Downey) and her doting domestic husband Allan (Ty Burrell). Earlier in her life Arbus' father a furrier influenced his daughter's idea. In fact Fur's whole through-line is about hair of some sorts as Arbus sees herself as part of the imperfect obscured unshaven world she photographs. The real Arbus committed suicide in 1971 and this is her 122-minute tortured journey to understand herself amid the naturalistic damaged beauty of armless smallish characters. Sounds like a fun night out at the movies doesn't it? Kidman won't get any nominations for her Diane Arbus. But when the book is closed on her career playing Arbus will be regarded as one of her more fascinating performance. After her Oscar-winning turn in The Hours and then the very strange Birth amid broad comedies like Bewitched and Stepford Wives Kidman has shown her moody gazes before. She's sold all of us on understanding an artist's psychotic limits. Her performance as Arbus--nuanced and complex probably in need of more than one viewing (though the movie may prevent that)--is limited by unoriginality. In a Beauty and the Beast-inspired turn Downey Jr. plays the hairy Lionel not as a reclusive but instead conveys emotion through his warm eyes and controlled confident voice. Arbus finds his sensitivity and Casanova-esque flirting irresistible. Director Steven Shainberg best known for his kinky little indie Secretary chooses Fur as his follow up four years later. That’s a good--and bad--thing. His TV commercials background imbues his work with slick production sheen. Shainberg's hand-crafted meticulousness is evident from start to finish--from the 57-day shoot in New York to the subtle Alice in Wonderland visual allusions in Lionel's apartment to the 30-second shots of Kidman's porcelain face contemplating internal conflict. This is a special movie as was Secretary which won the Sundance Film Festival 2002's Grand Jury prize. Shainberg collaborating once again with Secretary screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson blurs the boundary lines of the three acts and mirrors the story’s messiness. Problem is it's confusing unappealing discomforting and sprawling in its artistic conceit. What's left is tedium guarded respect (maybe mild admiration) but certainly not affection. Fur is selfish in its perspective assuming that we care anything at all about the real—or imagined—Diane Arbus.