“It takes a minnow to catch a barracuda, a barracuda to catch a shark,” German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann says. He’s using a young lawyer for a human rights group who is harboring a mysterious client as bait to trap an Islamist terrorist with Chechen connections who has made his way into Germany. So goes A Most Wanted Man, an international thriller based on spy-meister John le Carré’s 2008 novel. It’s the final starring role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February. Director Anton Corbijn’s cast also includes Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright. Andrew Bovell wrote the pic, which debuted at Sundance. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions opens the film July 25. Here’s a look:
EXCLUSIVE: Keanu Reeves has a new friend and an enemy in John Wick. Two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe is set play a hitman in the Thunder Road pic. The thriller sees Dafoe’s Marcus character hired to take out the Reeves-portrayed title character, who is a former contract killer himself. Oh yeah, and Marcus also happens to be a close friend of the Wick character. He was the one who encouraged Wick to leave the life after his wife dies. Only later do things turn sour when Marcus gets the job to kill his friend. In the film, Reeves stars as the retired hitman who goes after the guy who stole his car and in the process killed Wick’s beloved dog — a present from his late wife. Turns out the thief’s dad is a crime boss in New York, who puts a contract out on Wick. Derek Kolstad wrote the script for John Wick. Dafoe recently joined The Fault In Our Stars and also will appear in Scott Cooper’s Out Of The Furnace, Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Kolstad is repped by APA and New Wave Entertainment. Willem Dafoe is repped by ICM Partners and Circle of Confusion.
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon and Willem Dafoe are set to star in Whiskey Bay, an independent drama directed by Chris Brinker. The Jonny Hirschbein-scripted film stars Dafoe as a veteran cop who busts estranged white supremacist and ex-con, Jesse Wheeler. Dillon plays Wheeler, a notorious former member of the Aryan Brotherhood who’s trying to start his life over but gets enlisted to go undercover to expose illegal activities in the organization.
Scott Einbinder, Matt Rhodes, Jim Crabbe, Nancy Green-Keyes and Kevin Chapman are producing and the film will shoot in Louisiana.
Dillon stars with Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in Imogene, which premieres at Toronto, and completed Sunlight Jr with Naomi Watts and Pawn Shop Chronicles with Elijah Wood, Paul Walker and Brendan Fraser. He’s repped by CAA and Untitled while Dafoe is repped by ICM Partners and D/F Management.
Among the upcoming Easter weekend’s new specialty releases is a feature about a fictional election of a reluctant pope, a fan’s view of a uber popular summer festival, a Willem Dafoe starrer set in one of earth’s most remote corners and a long awaited return of Metropolitan director Whit Stillman. Morgan Spurlock explains why he firmly remained behind the camera in Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. IFC Films is playing up the humor factor in its latest Cannes release We Have A Pope. A producer from The Hunter explains how the harsh elements in one of Australia’s most remote areas posed both a challenge and a reward for their production and Damsels In Distress producer Martin Shafer offers insight on the slow but evolving process to bring Stillman’s latest to the screen.
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope
Director Morgan Spurlock
Writers: Joss Whedon, Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick
Subjects: Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, San Lee and more
Distributor: Wrekin Hill
A veteran both in front of the camera and behind for his previous documentaries including Super Size Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Morgan Spurlock pitched the idea for Comic-Con Episode IV to potential investors as one in which he would firmly stay behind the limelight. “As much as I’m a fan of Comic-Con, I didn’t want it to be about me going in,” Spurlock told Deadline. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Colin Farrell, Willem Dafoe, John Waters, Anna Kendrick and Olivia Wilde are on tap as presenters at this weekend’s Film Independent Spirit Awards. Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale unveiled the nominees for this year’s awards in November. Seth Rogen will host the annual awards show taking place on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday. Now in its 27th year, Film Independent’s Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: ICM has signed Willem Dafoe, the veteran actor who just wrapped the Andrew Stanton-directed Disney film John Carter, with Taylor Kitsch playing the title character. Dafoe had been repped by WME. Dafoe has been working up a storm. He starred in The Hunter, a film that premiered at Toronto and has been acquired by Magnolia for release next year. He also completed production on Odd Thomas, the adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel that stars Anton Yelchin; the Abel Ferrara-directed 444 Last Day On Earth; and Boot Tracks with Michelle Monaghan. Dafoe continues to be managed by D/F Management.
Between The Mummy franchise, Van Helsing and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, director Stephen Sommers hasn’t made a movie outside the studio blockbuster system in about 13 years. He doing just that right now, getting underway this week on an adaptation of the Dean Koontz bestseller Odd Thomas, a series that’s expected to spark three more novels and perhaps a film franchise. The film stars Anton Yelchin as a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities who encounters a mysterious man surrounded by dark, threatening forces. The cook’s unique abilities, which include an ability to speak with the dead, help him protect his town and family. The pic also stars Addison Timlin, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Curtis Jackson, Nico Tortorella and Patton Oswalt. Sommers is producing with Fusion Films’ Howard Kaplan and John Baldecchi.
Sommers said the movie is unlike any he’s ever made, down to his decision to write the script without having the rights from Koontz, who has been burned enough by the movies to be wary. Read More »
Maya Entertainment and Open Window Films have acquired The Jesuit, an action drama written and to be directed by Paul Schrader. Production is set to begin in early March 2011. Michelle Rodriguez, Willem Dafoe and Paz Vega star in the film, about a man who exits prison in south Texas and returns to a violent life. The Jesuit will be produced by John Morrissey, Santiago Garcia Galvan and Alex Garcia.