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Chiwetel Ejiofor top choice for next Bond villain

- April 4th, 2014

Unlike that “Dujardin guy” from 2012’s Oscar winning film The Artist, this year’s big nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor isn’t disappearing from Hollywood anytime soon.

On Friday, Variety reported the 12 Years a Slave star was the top pick to play the main villain in Sam Mendes’ next James Bond installment.

The studio neglected to comment on the potential casting news, but the magazine was able to confirm through sources that scheduling would have to be worked out before an offer could be made to Ejiofor.

If the speculation is true, Ejiofor would star opposite Daniel Craig, who confirmed last year that he would be stepping into the agent’s suits for the fourth time with his Skyfall director at the helms.

Although no plot details have been released, the film is expected to start shooting this summer in order to meet its current Nov. 6, 2015 release date slot.

While some may find it strange to picture Ejiofor as a deranged –and you just know it will be a deranged role -Bond villain after his remarkably uplifting portrayal of Solomon Northup, he’s also no stranger to the darker side of Hollywood.

Before taking on his Oscar nominated roll, Ejiofor played Luke in Children of Men and Victor Sweet in Four Brothers, two downright evil roles.

Whether or not Ejiofor is cast as the bad guy in the latest 007 flick, fans of his work can see him in Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah, which is due to release in 2015.

Rosamund Pike cast in David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ adaptation

- July 26th, 2013
rosamund pike

Rosamund Pike. QMI Agency

 

Rosamund Pike has landed the lead part in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller Gone Girl, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Pike was one of a number of actresses linked to the role since the film was announced earlier this year. The part of Amy – a woman who vanishes on her fifth wedding anniversary – was coveted by pretty much every actress in Hollywood. Some of the other stars who were rumoured to be in the running for the role included Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt and Olivia Wilde.

Pike, a veteran British actress, recently appeared in Jack Reacher opposite Tom Cruise.

Flynn wrote the screenplay and actress Reese Witherspoon is producing. Ben Affleck is set to play Amy’s husband Nick, who becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry are being considered for supporting roles.

As for Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Wrap has reported that Sony may move ahead without the director. Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) has been brought in to write the screenplay for the follow-up – The Girl Who Played with Fire – and they are keen to get cracking.

Fincher’s involvement with Gone Girl and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea may leave him too tied up to proceed with part two of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series.

Actor Daniel Craig, who played Mikael Blomkvist, is also busy readying his next James Bond movie.

Stay tuned for more on The Girl Who Played With Fire. And if you haven’t read it, Gone Girl is an unputdownable twisted thriller. I highly recommend it.

Penelope Cruz to play Bond girl in ‘Skyfall’ sequel

- June 3rd, 2013
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Penelope Cruz. Reuters File

After news broke this weekend that director Sam Mendes is in negotiations to helm the next two Bond films, we’re now getting word via Yahoo that Penelope Cruz is set to play a Bond girl in Bond 24.

Cruz, whose husband Javier Bardem was the villain in last year’s Skyfall, will reportedly shoot her scenes next summer, with the film possibly hitting theatres in 2015.

The 39-year-old Oscar-winner will become the oldest Bond girl ever following British actress Honor Blackman, who was 39 when she played Pussy Galore in 1962’s Goldfinger.

Apparently Cruz has been asked to play a Bond girl before, but the timing was never right. “The producers have tried to get Penelope before,” a source tells Yahoo, “but she has never been available because of other commitments.”

She and Bardem are expecting a child later this year, so the actress will have to get back into shape quickly. But producers aren’t worried.

“She got back into shape fast after the first baby and will no doubt regain her figure quickly this time,” a source tells Yahoo. “She’ll be a great Bond girl. Bond girls are always brainy as well as sexy, and that’s totally Penelope.”

And after saying that he was done with Bond for the foreseeable future, Showbiz 411 reports that Mendes is not only directing the unnamed 24th Bond film, he is also likely to helm Bond 25 as well.

This means he will oversee what is likely to be star Daniel Craig’s last two appearances as 007 before the franchise is turned over to another actor.

So, do you think Penelope Cruz will make a good Bond girl? And are you happy that the Bond creative team is staying intact for possibly the next two pictures? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Next Bond film to be released within three years

- March 20th, 2013

skyfall bond

With 2012′s Skyfall a box-office and critical hit, the producers behind the James Bond films have announced that the next 007 adventure will hit screens within the next three years.

MGM Chairman and CEO Gary Barber revealed that the studio is at work on the screenplay for the 24th movie, and narrowing down potential directors.

“We are very excited about the franchise, we look forward to announcing a director soon,” Barber said in a conference call Wednesday.

One thing is for certain, Skyfall director Sam Mendes will not be helming the next film. He told Empire magazine earlier this month that he plans on focusing on theatre projects.

“It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” said Mendes.

He did leave open the possibility of returning to the franchise at a later date.

There is no news of who the villain might be, but Daniel Craig has signed on to play Bond at least two more times.

While Skyfall was a big hit with critics and took home a hefty $1.1-billion at the global box office, the gang at Cinema Sins took aim at the film in a recent video.

In just over 4 minutes, they find 62 reasons to hate the film, with faults ranging from the continual use of product placement, to an inexplicable chain on a train in the film’s opening sequence. They also poke holes in bad guy Silva’s (Javier Bardem) plan.

“After the Joker and Loki this is the third stupidest get-yourself-captured-and-then-escape-with-no-real-other-objective plan I’ve ever heard of in my life,” the narrator says.

Don’t watch the clip, if you haven’t seen the film – it contains spoilers.

Daniel Craig axed from ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’?

- February 3rd, 2013

the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-2011

If Daniel Craig played any part in your decision to plunk down $12.99 to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo when it came out in 2011, you might not be too happy when the sequel hits screens.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Craig, bolstered by the box-office haul of his most recent Bond adventure, Skyfall, is looking for a pay hike if he’s to return for The Girl Who Played With Fire.

But apparently, producers at Sony are looking to keep costs down after the first film’s lukewarm box-office results, and are considering writing Craig’s character out of the sequel if he insists on a raise (Sources close to Craig say negotiations haven’t even started and that the actor wants to return to the role).

If you’ve read the books, you already know that Craig’s journalist character Mikael Blomkvist is not the focal point of The Girl Who Played With Fire or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The ensuing instalments of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series revolve around hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).

Steven Zaillian’s script has already been written (with Blomkvist present), and director David Fincher is eyeing the Dragon Tattoo sequel as his next film.

But Craig’s co-star, Rooney Mara, says reports that Blomkvist will not return for The Girl Who Played With Fire are without merit.

“I don’t know where that rumour was started — but it would never be a possibility,” Mara told MTV about talk of Craig’s exit. “He wouldn’t be written out.”

What do you think Millennium fans, does Lisbeth’s cinematic story really need Mikael? Let us know in the comments.