While most directors prefer to keep the plot details of their summer blockbusters under lock and key, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has been surprisingly frank and forthcoming about his upcoming installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. After JoBlo caught wind of plot details surrounding the film, which had been up until now, cloaked in secrecy, Trevorrow decided to buck the usual trend of denying rumors and confirmed much of the leaked information in an interview with Slashfilm. In the interview, Trevorrow dished about many of the leaked plot details of the film, clarifying and correcting some of the more worrisome rumors, and expressing his desire to really surprise audiences with the film: "Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew — not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we’re working so hard to create something full of surprises." So how do we feel about the final announcements? We've broken down and assessed all the confirmed information from the interview.
CHRIS PRATT: DINOSAUR SCIENTIST
After launching into space in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt will spend Summer 2015 in Jurassic World as a scientist studying the behavior of raptors, but Trevorrow urges that these raptors won't be doing tricks. “He’s just trying to figure out the limits of the relationship between these highly intelligent creatures and human beings.” Pratt is quickly becoming quite the diverse performer, and he has the right amount of goofball charm to work as an over-eager researcher — the kind that had dinosaur posters splattered all over his childhood bedroom. We're on board with this one.
Rating: Four shirtless Jeff Goldblums
THE PARK IS BASICALLY SEAWORLD WITH DINOSAURS
If your first you don't succeed (and your dinosaurs eat a whole bunch of people), try, try again. Jurassic World will feature a fully-realized and functional theme park on Isla Nublar with all the creature comforts: luxury resorts, restaurants, raptors, a golf course, night life, more raptors, basically everything John Hammond ever wanted for his original park. And like every SeaWorld vacation, eventually things go south. Damn humanity and our hubris! The idea of yet another iteration of Jurassic Park collapsing into chaos does seem a little trite, there are some fun twists here to shake up the formula.
Rating: Three stubby T-Rex arms
...AND, LIKE SEAWORLD, PEOPLE ARE OVER IT
The kids in Jurassic World just aren't impressed by the towering prehistoric creatures, already way spoiled by a steady diet of SFX dinosaurs over the years. So what's the only way to impress their young, CGI-addled brains? well, bigger dinosaurs of course. This could definitely be a fun bit of meta commentary for a franchise that first delighted fans with pre-historic action, but lost steam once it started valuing spectacle over character. Definitely great news.
Rating: Five "clever girrrl"s
BIGGER, BADDER DINOS, BUT NO MUTANT FREAKS
The original rumors reported that the new film will include a new genetically modified dinosaur spliced with DNA from other animals, like snakes and cuttlefish. It turns out that the rumor was only partly true. Trevorrow says that in order to shake things up and jog some interest back into disinterested park patrons, the geneticists at Jurassic World get a corporate mandate to create a bigger, louder, and more ferocious dinosaur. While this dinosaur will likely dwarf the creatures of old, the director doesn't want you to think of them as "mutant freaks." Trevorrow assures us, "It doesn’t have a snake’s head or octopus tentacles. It’s a dinosaur, created in the same way the others were, but now the genetics have gone to the next level. For me, it’s a natural evolution of the technology introduced in the first film." Despite Trevorrow's assurances, a genetically modified dinosaur does sound like the film is drifting away from the spirit that made the original film great. We'll have to wait and see about this one.
Rating: Two doorknob-turning raptors
NO FRIENDLY DINOSAURS
An earlier rumor suggested that there would be a ton of dinosaur vs. dinosaur action, and that some of the dinosaurs would be fighting to protect humans thanks to some training via Pratt's character. However (and thankfully), Trevorrow amends that rumor. "There’s no such thing as good or bad dinosaurs. There are predators and prey. The T-Rex in Jurassic Park took human lives, and saved them. No one interpreted her as good or bad. This film is about our relationship with animals, how we react to the threat they pose to our dominance on earth as a species." We definitely think creating "hero" and "villain" dinosaurs would have been a terrible move. Cheers to morally ambiguous lizards.
Rating: Five stolen dino embryos
Focus Features via Everett Collection
Notoriously creepy Ukrainian film "journalist" Vitalii Sediuk took a swing at Brad Pitt the red carpet premiere of Maleficent last night. If that name sounds familiar, it should: Sediuk has been playing a unsettling game of one-upsmanship with himself over the years, creating increasingly odd and unnerving run-ins with celebrities. Two years ago, the man attempted to kiss Will Smith at the Russian premiere of Men in Black 3, to which Smith reacted with a slap. Then, this month, Sediuk thought it was a good idea to actually crawl inside America Ferrera's dress at the Cannes Film Festival like he was subletting the place. Now this guy, who mysteriously evaded criminal charges after outright sexual assault, straight up punches none other than Brad Pitt in the face. Luckily, Pitt knows how to take a hit. From trading jabs with Edward Norton in Fight Club, to getting slogged by John Malkovich in Burn After Reading, there's a rich history of Brad Pitt getting clobbered on film. Here's a collection of Brad Pitt getting punched in the face... but these are movies, so it's okay:
Really, Norton? Who hits someone in the ear?
I guess everyone got tired of trying to figure out what the hell he was saying.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Just another date night in the Brangelina household.
Burn After Reading
Truth be told, Pitt's foul-mouthed character is so stupid in this movie, the whole audience was ready to punch him.
Pitt's character should have been punched a second time for thinking "El Trucko" was the correct translation for truck.
Pitt takes a break from galavanting with Robert Redford for some torture via fist.
Finally, Pitt gets "punched" by a spear in Troy. That definitely counts, right?
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection/Entertainment One via Everett Collection
Things are probably going to get a tad confusing on the set of Idol's Eye. Robert De Niro has joined the cast of Olivier Assayas' new film, starring opposite his fellow Robert, Twilight's own Robert Pattinson, via The Playlist. While much is still unknown about Assayas' follow-up to Clouds of Sils Maria, the film has been described as a sophisticated action-thriller.
The two Roberts make a curious pair of leads for a film, and while they share a first name, they couldn't be further apart on the Hollywood spectrum. One is an industry veteran that many would argue is the greatest living actor today, and the other made two Meet the Parents sequels. It's definitely an interesting match up.
Because arbitrarily comparing two things is the life blood of the Internet, there's only one thing left to do: it's time for a face-off. After all, there can only be one Robert. (Think about it. Do you know two Roberts? No, of course not!) We've decided to match up these two acting heavyweights in several categories from best reviewed film to best shirtless scene in a movie, in order to see which actor reigns supreme. The gauntlet has been thrown. Who is the best Robert in Hollywood?
HIGHEST GROSSING FILM
De NiroMeet the Fockers: $279,261,160
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: $896,911,078
WinnerPattinson. The numbers don't lie.
De NiroEvery second of Little Fockers
PattinsonSalvador Dali's mustache in Little Ashes
WinnerPattonson, whose career low is slightly less low. RPatz made a mockery of Dali in Little Ashes, but at least hardly anyone even remembers that one. A ton of people paid actual money to see Little Fockers. They were all very disappointed.
BEST REVIEWED FILM
De Niro The Godfather, Part II
PattinsonHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
WinnerDe Niro. The Godfather, Part II has an impeccable 99 percent on the Tomatometer while Robert Pattinson's best reviewed film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, only manages an 88 percent.
WORST REVIEWED FILM
WinnerPattinson. While Pattinson's Little Ashes sits at 24 percent on the Tomatometer, De Niro's horror-thriller Godsend has a dismal 4 percent of fresh reviews.
De NiroThe Creature from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
PattinsonEdward Cullen from Twilight
WinnerPattinson. Neither role would be considered a classic by any stretch, but Edward the sparkly vampire is definitely the more memorable of the two... for better or worse.
De NiroMax Caddy's grizzled, tatted up torso in Cape Fear
PattinsonEdward's shimmery vampire abs in Twilight
WinnterDe Niro. A shirtless Max Caddy manages to be way scarier than a bedazzled vampire, so this points go to Bobby D.
De NiroRaging Bull
WinnerDe Niro. Pattinson is surprisingly good in Cosmopolis, but Raging Bull is nothing short of an acting tour de force for De Niro.
But alas, Pattinson takes inherets the Robertian throne from the great Bobby D. But don't let that settle it for you; sound off with your thoughts below! Here's hoping Idol's Eye shows us something majestic from both of its stars.
With his latest, This Is Where I Leave You, director Shawn Levy has sure assembled a doozy of a cast. Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Adam Driver, Ben Schwartz, and Kathryn Hahn are present among this comedy powerhouse ensemble. Just hearing those names in conjunction should make most woozy with anticipation, but why does watching the trailer feel like such a cruel bait and switch? Where's that blissful dysfunctional family comedy that we had fabricated in our heads? There are so many questions rattling in our minds after watching the trailer: Why does this two minute preview feel like such a slog? How did they make Tina Fey seem so boring? Why does it feel like I'm watching a trailer for the third retelling of Death at a Funeral? Weren't two Death at a Funerals enough?
Apparently, they were not. This meeting of comedy giants should have been cosmic, the beginnings of a new comedy classic, but this first trailer for This Is Where I Leave You looks like a completely bloodless and generic week of family bonding that we've all sat through before. Big personalities like Fey and Driver seem stuck in the same generic sibling archetypes that have been rehashed in every family dramedy since the fall of Rome.
YouTube/Warner Bros. Pictures
The story follows the predictably fierce matriarch of the Altman family, who calls her children home after the death of their father, and after an predictably awkward reunion, predictably forces her adult children to hang about the old family home and predictably learn about life/love/themselves/each other/their parents/their town/whatever else, and confront their demons while having heartfelt confessionals under classroom fire sprinklers. Uggh. We bet at least one person comes out before the third act rolls around.
Now, it's pure lunacy to judge an entire film based off of one two-minute trailer, but just from this preview, the film might not be the comedy revelation we were all hoping for, and it doesn't help that Levy doesn't have the best directoral track record. It's just a shame to see such a great ensemble potentially go to waste, and it's especially a shame that most of the jokes in the trailer boil down to "Uh oh, Mom's being wildly inappropriate with her new boobs." Levy may have crafted a better movie than the trailer lets on, but things aren't looking so great from this short preview.
After Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart gobsmacked critics and audiences alike with its unflinching look at the affect of AIDS on the gay community, HBO has picked up yet another period piece detailing the struggles of gays in New York.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has picked up the script for Open City, a period piece that profiles New York in the late 60's. The drama, from writer David Kajganich and director Adam Shankman, will reportedly follow a diverse set of characters from all corners of Manhattan, as they navigate a city going through a cultural metamorphosis. The project will also examine the gay community's unlikely partnership with New York's mafia with the opening of a West Village night club.
Ever since the critical success of AMC's Mad Men, the television landscape has been littered with period dramas claiming to "explore" a place and time in the past, but all those imitators stumbled when they found that they had nothing of substance to really say about their given era. While Mad Men was having a deep discussion about the cultural mores of the sixties, all of those other pretenders (The Playboy Club, Magic City, Pan AM... the list goes on) were just playing dress up. Open City, on the other hand, looks to have some very important things to say about the time period and the city it depicts, and this project may fill a very big hole once Mad Men wraps up its seventh season.
With the success of projects like Looking and The Normal Heart, HBO is quietly becoming the destination for gay-themed television. There was a time where TV would sideline gay characters, only featuring them as broad stereotypes, but HBO has begun crafting interesting, and unpatronizing glimpses at the characters and stories that have been sorely missing from our television sets.
Rogue Pictures via Everett Collection
While most of America spent Memorial Day weekend embracing the coming summer, Marvel had a falling out with one of its directors, and sending what was once their most promising project into creative jeopardy. On Friday, Edgar Wright stepped down as director of Marvel's Ant-Man, citing creative differences with Marvel on his vision for the project. Suddenly, the Ant-Man project looks a lot less interesting.
Our excitement about the upcoming Ant-Man film wasn't so much focused on the hero finally making the leap to the big screen, but for the creative force bringing him there. Wright is a genre film wonder who has spent his career crafting excellent spoofs on everything from horror to cop movies to alien invasions. It was exciting to think what the writer/director could have done with the superhero film. Edgar Wright seemed ordained to direct Ant-Man. It was the perfect meeting of concept and creator. Who else could handle a character as outwardly ridiculous as Ant-Man: a scientist who fights crime by shrinking to the size of a pea or growing to the size of a skyscraper? Ant-Man had been a labor of love for Wright, whose connection to the superhero film had been going on eight years. This clearly wasn't a simple direct-for-pay gig for Wright. It was something that would likely retain the same careful attention to detail and heart that flowed through every one of his previous works. In tribute to a director that has given us so many great moments over the years, we've rounded up the moments that exemplify Edgar Wright's talents for different aspects of filmmaking.
Each film in Wright's Cornetto trilogy is a love letter to a different subset of genre filmmaking. The zombie flick, the buddy cop movie, and the alien invasion film all get the piss taken out of them through subsequent films. Wright had a special way of handling genre spoofs, not only unraveling the conventions and cliches of a given genre, but also embracing them too. In this scene from Hot Fuzz, Wright takes the foot chase, a standard cop film trope, and turns it into comedic gold. It takes all of the cliches of the ubiquitous foot chase (sudden obstacles, every police officer's sudden and expert knowledge of parkour) and turns them all on their heads. It's like he's saying, "Hey, action movies are really stupid, but they're also a ton of fun."
Shaun of the Dead, the first taste of Wright's Cornetto trilogy, is perhaps his funniest film to date. Wright's deft handling of comedy is most perfectly illustrated in the "Don't Stop Me Now" scene towards the end of the film. The sequence is a hilarious frenzy of zombie action. Lines like "Kill the Queen" and the music synching to the beating of pool cues against zombie flesh are absurdly funny.
With Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wright took Brian Lee O'Malley's series of graphic novels, work drawn and written deeply in the language of manga and video games, and transposed it into the world of film. It's an adaptation that shouldn't have worked, but does so beautifully. The hyper-stylized version of Canada feels coherent, despite all the madness, and the action scenes are fast, fluid, and nicely choreographed, with pixelated point counters blazing the screen and enemy foes collapsing into loose change after being vanquished. Just like that, a comic that should have been un-filmable is brought to life like it was drafted for the big screen in the first place.
One of the reasons that Edgar Wright's films are so enjoyable is because the worlds he creates often barely conform to any rules, often bending reality to suit a gag. Absurdity is a well-used device in Wright's toolbox, and his willingness to let things get weird has given us so many terrific scenes like this one from his television show Spaced. Here, a back-alley confrontation inexplicably turns into a bloody finger-gun shootout with enough pretend viscera to rival Saving Private Ryan's D-Day scene.
SPOILER WARNING: The following clip gives away the ending of The World's End.
Perhaps his most mature film to date, dealing with themes like depression, PTSD, addiction, and the terrifying thought of growing older, The World's End exemplifies better than any of Wright's other films just how in touch with his characters' emotionalities he really is. With the fertile grounds of superhero allegories in his hands, Wright might well have worked cathartic wonder.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
While 2002's Spider-Man gets the lion's share of the credit, Bryan Singer's X-Men, released two years earlier, was the film that really revived the comic book film genre after its near-death at the hands of George Clooney and his Bat-nipples. Through the franchise's 14 years of sequels, spin-offs, soft reboots, and now, timeline colliding mashups, loads of mutants have sprung to life on film. And while some have endured through the franchises ups and downs like Hugh Jackman's ever-present Wolverine, others have slipped through the cracks after only appearing in one film. In tribute to our lost mutant brothers, we've decided to comb through the list of our favorite one and done mutants and determine which ones deserve a second chance in the film series.
DeathstrikeReal Name: Yuriko OyamaTeam Affiliation: One of Stryker's henchmanLast Seen: X2: X-Men UnitedBest Moment: Her fight with WolverineShould She Return?: Yes. Her face off with Wolverine during the tail end of X2 was thrilling. Having a dark foil of Wolverine with similar abilities would be grea asset for the series going forward.
JuggernautReal Name: Cain MarkoTeam Affiliation: The Brotherhood of Evil MutantsLast Seen: X-Men: The Last StandBest Moment: "I'm the Juggernaut, b**ch!"Should He Return? Yes. The Juggernaut is a fan-favorite mutant, and the character's inclusion in X-Men 3 was one of that film's few highlights. The character crashing through walls with reckless abandon, and especially his fight with Kitty Pride was a ton of fun.
NightcrawlerReal Name: Kurt WagnerTeam Affiliation: X-MenLast Seen: X2: X-Men UnitedBest Moment: Nightcrawler vs. the White HouseShould He Return?: Hell yes, Nightcrawler's dizzying fight scene at the start of X-2 is still the franchise's best moment, even ten years later. Alan Cumming brought a real, earnest humanity to Kurt Wagner, and it's a pity that the franchise hasn't found room for the mutant in subsequent films. Sure, we got some teleporting action via Azazel in First Class, but that brooding bad guy doesn't have an ounce of the charm as Nightcrawler.
BansheeReal Name: Sean CassidyTeam Affiliation: X-MenLast Seen: X-Men: First Class Best Moment: Banshee taking flight for the first timeShould He Return?: No. Banshee was perfectly likeable in X-Men: First Class, but the series rightfully jettisoned the character since things were getting too crowded on the mutant front, especially with Days of Future Past's multiple timelines.
AngelReal Name: Warren Worthington IIITeam Affiliation: N/ALast Seen: X-Men: The Last StandBest Moment: A young Warren trying to file down his wings as a childShould He Return?: Yes. There's something really majestic about Angel. Sure, a ton of other mutants can fly, but who else does so with giant, feathery wings.
BlobReal Name: Frederick J. DukesTeam Affiliation: Team XLast Seen: X-Men Origins: WolverineBest Moment: His boxing match with WolverineShould He Return?: It's a shame that this blubbery villain's only adventure was in the worst film of the franchise, but there are much cooler mutants that deserve more screen time.
Deadpool/WeaponXIReal Name: Wade WilsonTeam Affiliation: Team XLast Seen: X-Men Origins: WolverineBest Moment: Pre-Weapon XI Wade Wilson cutting down bad guys with swords and verbal jabsShould He Return?: No. Perhaps the biggest sin made by the entire franchise was the handling of Deadpool. It still baffles us how the powers that be at 20th Century Fox thought the best way to handle "the merc with a mouth" was to sew said mouth shut and use him like a cheap, final act pinata for Wolverine and Sabertooth to claw down to size. Fool me once...
Kestrel Real Name: John Wraith Team Affiliation: Team X Last Seen: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Best Moment: Sabertooth grabbing the teleporting mutant's spine was nightmarishly cool. Should He Return?: No. Will.i.am is better off as far away from the X-Men franchise as possible, and if the series were to introduce any teleporting mutant back into the fray, it damn well better be Nightcrawler.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Gareth Edwards' rise from micro-budget indie filmmaker to blockbuster helmer has been nothing short of meteoric. The director jumped from guerilla-filming his border-crossing flick Monsters to being trusted with helming his own take on the fiercely protected Godzilla franchise in just a few short years. Now, Edwards is moving on up yet again. The director is set to helm the first Star Wars spin-off film. While we don't solidly know what this upcoming film will ultimately be about, rumors suggest that the spin-off could focus on anyone from Boba Fett, Han Solo, Yoda, or the Red Squadron (the X-wing pilots that helped Luke destroy the Death Star).
Edwards has proven to be a deftly skilled director, especially with large scale, globe spanning events, and it's easy to see how he could translate his vision to a galactic level. One of Edward's best skills is his ability to modulate tone. His Godzilla film is a masterclass in mood. The director is able to put the viewer right into the perspective of the humans on the ground. You feel their fear and helplessness almost immediately, and at some points, it really does seem like Godzilla and his monster foes might really be the harbingers of the apocalypse. Godzilla is able to transcend his surface appearance as just a big, angry lizard, and really feels like a genuine force of nature. Because of Edward's ability to give characters and ideas so much meaning, we think the director is perfectly suited to direct the Boba Fett film.
Why Boba Fett? Well Fett is more similar to Godzilla then you might think. Stay with us here. Godzilla isn't really a character as much as he is a big scaly metaphor. He has no lines or internal struggle, just a primal desire to either protect humanity or destroy it (depending on which Godzilla film we're talking about). Similarly, Boba Fett is less of a character and more of an enigma. Through his scant appearances in the original Star Wars trilogy, he barely speaks and is used as a tool for the Empire to track down the crew of the Millennium Falcon. Even while barely uttering a word, he becomes a symbol of fear for Han Solo and the crew. Like Godzilla, he has a singular desire to get the job done. Since he's such a thinly developed character, so much of Boba Fett's appeal lies in mood and the way he comes across to the viewer, and Edwards has shown how well he can humanize a relatively silent character. In different points throughout Godzilla, the monster feels powerful, angry, and even vulnerable and sympathetic, all without a single line of dialogue. For a possible Boba Fett film to be successful, the character would need to be treated similarly. Boba Fett needs to feel deadly and fiercely capable while still maintaining his mysterious aura. The film would need to depend heavily on mood and atmosphere to correctly bring to life such an important character.
It's not an easy task recreating a character beloved by so many fans across the world, but we do feel that Edwards is up for the task. If the stars align, and Edwards is helming a Boba Fett film, then the character will be left in good hands.
Workaholic Woody Allen just can't stop making movies. The trailer for his latest effort, Magic in the Moonlight hit the web today, and the proceedings definitely feel like vintage Allen. It's charming, quick-witted, and effusive like you'd expect from a Woody Allen romance, but it also features another hallmark of the great director's filmography: the age discrepancy between the two leads is huge. In Magic, Colin Firth plays Stanley, the jazz age's answer to the Mythbusters, who travels to the French countryside to debunk a talented young spiritualist named Sophie, played by Emma Stone. As time passes, Stanley finds it hard to refute her powers, and even harder to resist her wiles.... her late teenage/early 20's wiles.
Since the real-life Colin Firth is 53 while Emma Stone is only 25, we can assume that the age difference between their two characters will be pretty significant as well. Significant enough that it's bordering on creepy. This wouldn't be the first time Hollywood has used such a large age gap between romantic leads in a film, but it is the first one in a while that gives us this much pause. We've decide to examine age gaps in different films to see exactly when things start to get a little creepy.
5 to 10 years: That's perfectly cool.Examples: Too numerous to count.
In this day and age, five to ten years is a drop in the bucket. So you like your wine a little aged? It's really no big deal and Hollywood knows it.
10 to 15 years: If it makes you happy… Examples: Silver Linings Playbook, Annie Hall, Her (Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix), Star Wars: Episodes I-III, just to name a few.
Now we're starting to get a teensy bit weird. It's still perfectly acceptable, but don't be surprised if you start getting sideways glances from people on the street. Your mom will also bring it up over dinner, but your mom brings everything up over dinner so it's really not that scandalous.
15 to 25 years: Dude, he/she might be your son/daughter.Examples: An Education, The Reader, Fish Tank, Taxi Driver, The Graduate, Don Jon, basically every James Bond film.Okay, now were venturing in full-fledged creep zone. Once you reach a level of age disparity where you could have biologically given birth to the person you're romantically involved with, you really need to think about the relationship.
25+years: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.Examples: Harold and Maude, Big (sorta), Manhattan, Lolita, Oldboy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (again, sorta).
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
HBO's True Detective shocked the world this past winter with its depiction of a seedy Louisiana that was low on morals and high in corpses. It was all the things a detective drama should be: moody, atmospheric, gripping, darkly funny, sometimes all in the same scene. It's inaugural eight-episode season was really something special, mostly due to the stellar creative team running its engine. Being that it's an anthology series, True Detective wasn't a show that had the luxury of easing through a freshman slump, waiting to work out the kinks and really delivering something special, maybe next season. The show had to hit hard out of the gate, and it did. Creators Nic Pizzolatto and his director Cary Joji Fukunaga delivered a wunderkind of a show: a contained singular vision that felt immaculately crafted. Every shot, scene, and line of dialogue obsessed over and placed into action with the upmost care. Its a marvel of television engineering.
But even beyond Pizzolatto's scripts and Fukunaga's direction, it's the actors that really kept True Detective running at such a high level. Hearing Rust Cole wax poetic with misanthropic asides wouldn't be nearly as interesting if the words weren't coming out of Matthew McConaughey. And similarly, would we even care all that much about conflicted family man Marty Hart if his internal struggles weren't externalized by Woody Harrelson? This is a production that deserves great actors to bring it to life. This is a production that deserves the talents of someone like Jessica Chastain.
Following The Nerdist's reporting that Chastain had been offered a leading role in Season 2 of the series, we got the downer report from E! that she has turned down the gig. We're not surprised that she was offered the part; Chastain is easily in the same caliber of actors as the two leads from last season. She has a resume full of strong female characters, and easily has the magnetism needed to headline the next bizarre mystery the series will send us on. Her strong-willed character in Zero Dark Thirty would feel right at home on Pizzolatto's next crime beat. Her casting would also fix True Detective's biggest issue: its treatment of women. For all of its merits, True Detective is a deeply male-centric program, and the women in that show's version of Louisiana were often relegated to mistresses, strippers, prostitutes, and corpses, all in various states of undress. It's certainly a large blight on the first season, but Chastain headlining a second season more cognizant of its depiction of women is definitely the right move for the series.
The one and done nature of True Detective's anthology structure would also mean that appearing in the second season of the series wouldn't be a huge commitment for the actress. She wouldn't be stuck languishing in a series that went on too long past its time. She could do the season, and then leave to focus on film again. Taking part in the series could also be a huge boon to her career. Starring as a lead in the first season of the series was a huge step in Matthew McConaughey's "McConnaissance." It's only been a few months since we first met the character, and Rust Cohle has already become one of McConaughey's most recognizable roles. While the actress is already well known in the film world, a high profile role on television could change her into the household name. Just look at Bryan Cranston.
It's questionable gender issues aside, True Detective is fantastic. Without dragons, zombies, or whatever else, HBO managed to create event television — the kind you still crowd around the television set for every week — by virtue of simply being great. Now that the A-list of Hollywood is flocking to limited series on television, it only makes sense for Chastain to be a part of one of HBO's best efforts. So please, Ms. Chastain, will you be our next True Detective?