The latest in movie and TV news


First Trailer for Focus Features’ ‘The Boxtrolls’

the boxtrolls

Following previous releases Coraline and ParaNorman, Focus Features have released the first trailer to their latest animated movie, The Boxtrolls, inspired by Alan Snow’s bestselling children’s book “Here Be Monsters!”

The film follows a band of underground dwelling trolls who, along with the help of an orphan they raised called Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Write), find themselves fighting against an evil townsperson (Ben Kingsley) who wants to eradicate each and every one of them.

Whilst just over a minute long, the trailer clearly comes packed with messages to make, touting not only family diversity but briefly featuring same-sex parents – a hot topic of late given the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Both Coraline and ParaNorman were dazzling examples of the animation team working behind the films and the latest trailer shows we are in for the same kind of visual stunnery we have come to expect. Audiences will also be treated to quite the ensemble voice cast with the likes of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley and Tracy Morgan.

The Boxtrolls is scheduled for a September 26 release date in the US and we’ll leave you with the trailer.

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Trevorrow Confirms Dedication to Jurassic Park IV

Jurassic park IV Trevorrow

To be or not to be? This has been the question plaguing the upcoming dino-sequel Jurassic Park IV. Some fans were happy when said sequel was announced whilst others rejoiced when the project was put on hiatus.

A recent interview with the film’s director/writer, Colin Trevorrow should put the doubters to bed as he confesses his absolute determination to create a film worthy of standing alongside the original. Although Trevorrow doesn’t delve into any plot details, as such, he does state ““we definitely want to honor what came before us” which would indicate that we are most likely looking at a direct sequel rather than a reboot. We certainly hope this is the case as the origins story has been handled so well before there really is no need for a rehash.

The interview was conducted with Schmoes Know, via Coming Soon which you can watch in full below.

If all goes to plan, we should be able to catch Jurassic Park IV at cinemas some time in the summer of 2015.

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Marvel Confirms Panels for Comic-Con

Comic Con Avengers

Marvel has revealed the films which will be highlighted at this year’s studio panel at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, July 20th.  Officially, Marvel will be presenting Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but the panel will also include “an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe.”  Could this be details of the forthcoming ‘Phase Three’ line-up?

Here is the full list of Marvel release dates post-The Avengers 2 that we know of so far:

Ant-Man – November 6, 2015

Untitled Marvel Film – July 8, 2016

Untitled Marvel Film – May 5, 2017

Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige revealed recently that Doctor Strange would be next after Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, although sequels to Captain America and Thor are also possibilities, and The Avengers 3 will almost definitely act as the culmination of ‘Phase Three.’  Stay tuned to Cinema Chords for further updates. Excelsior!

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Steven Spielberg Attached to ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

Poster – Grapes of Wrath, The_02

As the 75th anniversary of the late and great John Steinbeck’s book ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ arrives next year, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks are in negotiations to produce a remake of John Ford’s 1940 classic.

Set around the Great Depression, the 1940 Ford original is number 21 in AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Movies’ list, having won two Oscars (including best director), and goes down in history as one of the greatest adaptations ever made.

Spielberg is not on board to direct, having already filled up his schedule with the adaptation of American Sniper, staring Bradley Cooper, and is instead due to produce the remake.

The Steinbeck family estate has also spoken to Robert Redford, who wanted to turn the Pulitzer Prize novel into a mini-series, but instead the family have chosen Spielberg and the cinematic approach.

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Exclusive New Images For Bong Joon-Ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’


With just one more month before Bong Joon-Ho’s post-apocalyptic thriller Snowpiercer releasing in South Korea some new images have arrived, hot on the trail of the recently released first trailer.

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast with names of the calibre of Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and John Hurt, Snowpiercer boards a train load of survivors in teh aftermath of an ice age that has destroyed virtually every living thing on the planet. As a class system takes over the train, tensions surge to boiling point.

Snowpiercer is slated for an August 1st release date in South Korea and whilst US and UK release dates are still to be announced the film was picked up by The Weinstein Company late last year.

In case you missed the trailer you can catch it below, along with the aforementioned new images.


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‘The Crow’ Comic Creator Brought Into the Movie Mix


News of a new version of The Crow has fans uncertain as to how exactly the news should be taken. In what could be a move to keep audiences happy with the new version of the cult movie Relativity Media has signed on the creator of the original ’90s comic series, James O’Barr as the film’s creative consultant to overlook the screenplay.

Although photography is unlikely to move forward until next year, both O’Barr and the already assigned director, F. Javier Gutierrez (Before the Fall), will be revealing a few hints of their plans for the movie at this year’s San Diego Comic Con in a couple of week’s time.

In a report published by Variety O’Barr commented:

“It is important for ‘Crow’ fans to understand that Relativity, Javier, Luke and the entire team are working on a new adaptation of the book itself. I believe that this movie will stand alongside Brandon and his film as a valid work of art, and I look forward to collaborating on the project.”

As soon as we hear word from Comic Con, or something earlier, we’ll let you know.

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Exclusive Japanese Footage of Disney’s ‘Frozen’


A couple of weeks ago Disney posted a first look trailer of the upcoming animated movie Frozen. Despite the film relating the tale of the protagonist, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), the trailer focused entirely on Sven the reindeer and Olaf, a talking snowman (voice by Josh Gad).

A Japanese entertainment show has since provided actual footage taken from the the film which you won’t be able to make heads or tails of from the voice over but it does at least give us a glimpse at the kind of glistening animation we can expect.

Frozen is released in UK cinemas on 6 December 2013.

Plot synopsis:

A prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, on the grandest of journeys to find the Snow Queen and put an end to the icy spell. Encountering Everest-like extremes, mystical creatures and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.

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‘The World’s End’ Featurette Celebrates Edgar Wright


Yahoo Movies has kindly released a rather special featurette boasting some behind the scenes footage to confirm just how good a director Edgar Wright really is. Even though the previous Cornetto Trilogy films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz demonstrated his talents it’s always good to hear talent saying how good he is in interviews just to get us even more revved up as we are on the verge of The World’s End.

The World’s End opens in UK cinemas on the 9th of July before reaching US shores on the 23rd of August.

Plot Synopsis:

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.

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Jacob’s Ladder Clambers Back for a Remake


There must be something in the water “a la Cabin Fever” as there’s another remake in the works and this time it’s of the 1990 pschological chiller Jacob’s Ladder which starred Tim Robbins.

Announcements confirm a screenplay is already on the table, in some form or another, and that financiers are already on board to back the project although a director is yet to be attached. Said financiers are LD Entertainment, responsible for stunning indies like Killer Joe and Black Rock whilst the script comes from the hand of Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train). Buhler is said to be revising an early draft written by Jake Wade Wall (When a Stranger Calls, The Hitcher).

For those who have yet to catch the original, the plot followed Vietnam vet Jacob Singer (Robbins) whose life experiences lead to some more than bizarre flashbacks and hallucinations that haunt his every waking and sleeping hour.

In relation to the remake, The Hollywood Reporter has stated that: “The producers are looking to make something more akin to an homage and not mimic the original. The plan is to contemporize the story with new situations and characters but still maintain a story that examines issues and poses existential questions.”

As soon as any more news is revealed, such as the attachment of a director, we will keep you in the loop.

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Bale Bails Out as Justice League’s Batman

The Dark Knight Rises 9

It was pretty much taken for granted that Christian Bale wouldn’t be donning his Batsuit again for a Warner Bros. DC Comics Justice League movie. To add doubt to doubt Bale has now announced that he will definitely not be appearing in said movie. Not only that but both the director, Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer have both confirmed that a rebooted Batman will be appearing in Justice League.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly he commented:

”I have no information, no knowledge about anything. I’ve literally not had a conversation with a living soul. I understand that they may be making a Justice League movie, that’s it. It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”

So this brings us back to the question that has been on fans’ minds for a while. Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt be tapped to play the new Batman joining the Justice League. Bale is more than eager to find out all about who to take on the role commenting: “It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”

Although Bale has made the odd mention of being open to another Batman film, when questioned if we would ever see Nolan and Bale heading back to Gotham City for a fourth film the actor said, “We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy.”

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Interview: Anthony Wilcox Talks ‘Hello Carter’


Anthony Wilcox has had a career in the film industry for over a decade now working on things like Terence Davies‘s The Deep Blue Sea to Hot Fuzz to Layer Cake, Pearl Harbour, W.E. and many others. Now he’s gotten his chance to lose the “assistant” tag and become a director. His first feature, Hello Carter, stars Jodie Whittaker, Paul Schneider and Charlie Cox with a great supporting cast of up-and-coming British actors. It’s too broad to define and wants to bring a unique voice to British storytelling. Anthony spoke to us while working on post-production for Hello Carter to tell us a little bit more about the film, himself and its influences.

Your first feature is an extension of a short you did a year or two ago with Dominic Cooper. Was it a short extended into a feature or a feature condensed into a short?

What we did, myself and Julian Bird [producer], was talk about working for a while. We’d done short films before but we were at a point where we thought we were ready and wanted to make a feature film. We thought we’d work out the best way of doing that and I had an idea for Hello Carter. What we decided to do was to make a ten minute version of it to show what kind of film we wanted to create, the people we could attract to it and how it would serve as a tool for raising money. The short film was made with the intention of making a feature film rather than in a traditional sense, trying to tout it around festivals and see what happens. The actual script for the feature didn’t exist until after the short film was made which seemed to go down well. We sort of went from there, really.

When you were writing it, did you have your cast in your mind?

hello-carter-shotNo. I think it’s a bit of a dangerous thing to do. [laughs] I’ve written short films and this – you kind of have ideas but they can sort of change. In this instance, specifically for Hello Carter, there’s one part which was an American in London and I did write that specifically with Paul Schneider in mind. He was someone that I knew and had worked with when I was an assistant director on Bright Star. Again, we talked about working together, I wrote this part very much hoping that he would do it because it was an American role. It would’ve been tricky if he’d said no. I think you have people that you want to work with rather than necessarily writing with them in mind. Jodie Whittaker was someone I worked with on the short film and someone that I very much wanted to work with again but the part she plays in the feature film is completely different to the one she plays in the short film. Everyone else was cast in a more traditional way. People like Charlie [Cox] were people that I’d admired for a long time and was delighted to get the opportunity to work with.

I was going to ask about Paul Schneider because he seems like such an odd choice as he’s been on Parks and Recreation and had a part in Away We Go so it seemed like an odd choice for him to go into a small British film.

I was the second assistant director on Bright Star and he was the only American actor in that so he was staying in London for that and we hung out a bit. Paul is a filmmaker himself – he directed a film, he went to film school – he fell into acting really. Filmmaking is his love, I think. He was always going to be supportive for my first film. I sent him drafts of scripts as it went along and honed the script for him. He’s playing an American actor visiting London. I engineered that part to accommodate him really because he’s someone I know and like and get on with and one of the most talented actors of his kind. He’s an extraordinary talent, really funny and an all round amazing presence on screen.

Dominic Cooper was in the original short. How come he didn’t come back for the feature film?

We made the short film at a certain time, when people were available, when they wanted to be a part of it. By the time the feature film came around – again, it’s like DPs, cameramen, editors – we had a strict timeline of when we wanted to make the film by. The casting for the rest of it was done in quite a traditional way. We met people who were interested and potentially available, as soon as Charlie was – who fitted in that bracket – it was an easy choice to make.

The film features quite a lot of up-and-coming actors like Antonia Thomas, Christian Cooke, Annabelle Wallis and Henry Lloyd-Hughes.  Did they get involved in the standard casting way as well?

I didn’t know any of them personally. One of our producers, Fiona Neilson, had worked with Antonia before. We had an exceptional  casting director, Shaheen Baig – who is someone I have worked with previously -, and was very supportive. We’ve got quite eye-catching executive producers in Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton. When you’re going to cast, it helps to have those names around if you’re a first time feature director to make it an attractive prospect. Then you get the opportunity to meet people and it all carries on well from there and they do it. All those other parts were cast in a traditional way but I think the package of the whole project was helped on by Shaheen and everybody else who was attached to it.

You filmed in January and February for 5 weeks but the story has you moving all over London. Was it a tight schedule?

Yeah, it’s a strange thing with films [laughs]; no matter how much time or money you get you always feel like you could do with more. For a film as small a budget as ours, I think 5 weeks is quite a decent amount of time. I think we were able to push everything and work everyone quite hard but we managed to achieve everything we wanted to. It was a nice balance between having a very full schedule, keeping everyone busy and working, but we luckily weren’t tipped into that horrible area being strangled for time every day. We didn’t have that. It was the right sort of balance for the type of film we were making.

It seems to be quite a British comedy with hints of Richard Curtis when it comes to the plot outline. Who were your influences for it?

hellocarterAbout 10 years ago I watched After Hours, a really early Scorsese film. It’s about a guy who’s looking for a girl and gets trapped in this crazy sequence of events. All told in one night in downtown Manhattan. I remember watching that film, not really attached to the idea of Hello Carter yet, and I was thinking that you don’t often see that spirit of film made in London. I think there’s something – in terms of influence – I watch quite a lot of American independent films. The type of films that walk quite a fine line between comedy, drama, real life and heightened situations and are quite hard to pigeonhole into what they are. Call them a romantic-comedy or a quirky-comedy – I think there’s lots of examples of those kind of films. Whereas, here – as you pointed out – it has to be either ‘are you a Working Title thing, or a Ken Loach doing this thing?’ We were able to put something together which I hope emulates that spirit of those smaller American independent films and, dare I say it, quite a unique voice really. Not necessarily be too pigeonholed as a certain type of thing. What I was ultimately interested in doing was telling a story about real people in a real place – a city I know well – but doing that within a heightened set of situations and circumstances.

You named After Hours, there as an influence but were there any other American independents that you either took influence from or liked the style of and felt like emulating?

I watched a lot of Wes Anderson films, stuff like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and then less comedic stuff like Cassavettes films, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie which I love. I think there are lots of films like that and there’s a Polanski film which I’ve now forgotten the name of which is set in Paris. Frantic it’s called! About men quite isolated in a city. Of course there are British ones like Wonderland and Naked. It was trying to draw on different types of films in terms of an aesthetic and spirit in a way. It’s pretty wide-ranging, Lost in Translation is another one. As everyone does, you watch a bunch of stuff and draw little bits of moments out of each one that you like and maybe want to try and capture.

You’ve been involved in the business for over a decade now. Were you originally wanting to be a director or did you enjoy your time as an assistant director?

I enjoyed it for a while. I had no filmmaking background or family or anything. I knew I was interested in filmmaking and I didn’t necessarily know what all the roles were until I started working within it. I started at 19 doing bits of work experience, working as a runner. Before you know it you’ve done a couple of jobs as a runner then someone offers you a third AD job. Before you know that, you’re suddenly a first AD. I was very fortunate to work with some brilliant directors – the directors that I’d love to go and watch their films if I wasn’t working with them. That was constantly invigoratingly inspiring. If I’d have gotten trapped in 4 years of Midsomer Murders I might’ve leapt slightly quicker than I did. [laughs] Being able to work with the people I got to work with allowed me to get very inspired and make contacts and get me in a place that I was confident I could start making my own films.

As an assistant director, you worked on an eclectic amount of films – Pearl Harbour, Hot Fuzz, Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj – so did you learn a lot from the directors while being around them? Did you take influence from their directing style or try and do things in your own way?

I’d never say I wanted to make a film like so-and-so. I think I’ve managed to work on 2 films as an AD that have made front page news as “The Worst Films Ever Made” [laughs] but then I’ve worked with Lynne Ramsey and loads of other brilliant people. What you can always do – and what I always do because I was constantly fascinated in this world I worked in – is learn things. You learn things with every job, every day almost. On set, every actor that comes in, every location, you keep your ears and eyes open and have this vision what to do each day. You soak all that up. I don’t think necessarily you make conscious decisions of doing that-like-that. If you’ve absorbed all that experience, all that first-hand knowledge in the right way, then it undoubtedly comes out in your own work. I’m sure it does. I couldn’t necessarily tell you now in what way it has but maybe in a couple of years I’ll be able to look back and make that judgement.

You worked with Terence Davies, that must’ve been quite amazing because he’s like a British legend.

I think that was my last ADing job. That was an incredible experience. It was a really fascinating job for lots of reasons. Terence hadn’t made a film in so long himself. The high regard that everyone held him in, the whole crew and the cast, it was quite extraordinary to see someone that has that aura and status about them. You can see why all these talented people get drawn into a project like that, not to make lots of money but to be in that atmosphere and watch someone like that work.

Have you got anything else that you’re working on after Hello Carter?

I’ve got a couple of things which we’re developing. I’m still deep on post-production of Hello Carter and probably still will be until August. We’ve got – I’m not sure I can say too much about it at the moment. There’s a film which we’re hoping to make next summer which is not in England. Trying to write something for somewhere sunnier and better weather. [laughs] Telling a story about some British people abroad really. That’s the next plan but that’s all early stages.

Could you at least tell us what genre or style it will have? Comedic, dramatic etc.

Again, umm, a comedy-drama let’s call it.

So another amalgamation of everything?

Yeah, exactly. Archipelago meets Kevin and Perry, let’s call it that. [laughs] Maybe don’t call it that! [laughs]

I won’t haha. When is Hello Carter due for release?

We have a sales agent and basically the next stages of the film are to put it into festivals and pick up distribution from festivals. We made the film without a UK distributor but with a sales agent. We’ll hopefully know that in the next 2-3 months. Once it’s ready we’ll be showing it in festivals and see where it goes from there…

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