IGN Movies: What drew you to this movie, especially knowing how tough a role you would be playing?
Naomi Watts: Michael Haneke was the initial draw for me. I knew and loved his work, I’d seen three of his films, and I love what he does. I saw the original and it really got under my skin; it freaked me out and I reacted in many different ways. I felt angry, I felt played with, I felt violated, but overall at the end I thought all of my reactions were so visceral and it provoked a huge amount of thought and discussion and it stayed with me. I never stopped feeling engaged in this movie, despite the adverse reactions, and to me that’s a success. It wasn’t an easy, quick decision – I didn’t go right away, “Yeah, I’ve got to do this.” All of those reasons that I said made it interesting to me also kind of repelled me and brought up a lot of fear for me. And often when I feel afraid of something, it’s usually a good sign I know I’ll end up having fun. And then I bounced the idea off of a lot of people that I respect and unanimously they all said, “Go work with Michael Haneke.” Two or three of the directors I went to were familiar with this film and they all said this is worthy.
IGN: Because Funny Games is a critique or commentary on the filmmaking medium itself, did that affect the way you performed or the way you approached the material?
Watts: No, I think we just always played it for the truth of it, and you don’t think about that until you’re here [doing interviews], really. At the time we were just in the moment, and Michael Haneke and the way he works… he won’t ever let you get out of the moment, in fact so much so that I was bound and gagged for pretty much the whole day because it was too hard to get in and out of that setup. And the way he shoots, he’s not making fancy shots or quick cuts; it’s almost like an ongoing play, you know – endless, long takes, so you just have to be completely connected and truthful. It’s really exhausting, the way he works.
Disney will be shelving the Narnia series after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
According to JimHillMedia.com, “studio suits seem to be cooling to the idea of producing movie versions of all seven of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books. And unless The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian does truly huge box office once it’s released to theaters in May of this year … Disney & Walden Media (i.e. Mickey’s partner on the Narnia film series) will probably still go forward with production of the already-in-development The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But after that … The Mouse would then mostly likely pull the plug on the rest of the proposed Narnia film series.”
If that happens then the studio will be left with a hole in its release schedules for 2011 and beyond; Disney and Pixar are said to be looking at bringing the Edgar Rice Burroughs literary series John Carter of Cars to the big screen to fill that franchise void.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released in two parts.
It was announced yesterday that Warner Bros. would release the screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in two parts. David Yates, who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is currently in production on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, will direct from a screenplay adaptation penned by Steve Kloves.
“I’ve had great pleasure working with a tremendous cast and crew thus far, on both The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince,” Yates said in a statement issued today by the studio. Deathly Hallows marks the first time any one director will helm more than two releases in the Harry Potter film franchise.
Yates continued, “It’s a wonderful world to work in and be part of and to create within, and I consider it a great privilege to continue to bring Jo’s extraordinary world to the screen, and to be the director to complete this epic and exhilarating journey.”
Release date: Friday March 7, 2008 Genre: Comedy Running time: 92 min. Director: Bharat Nalluri Studio: Focus Films Producer(s): Nellie Bellflower, Stephen Garrett Screenplay: David Magee, Simon Beaufoy Cast: Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Lee Pace, Ciarán Hinds, Shirley Henderson, Mark Strong Official Site:filminfocus.com Rating:PG-13 for some partial nudity and innuendo Available Poster Art:Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day Movie posters
Synopsis: Can you get a life and discover love, all in one day? Two women are about to find out. In the sophisticated and heartfelt comedy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Academy Award winner Frances McDormand plays the film’s title role opposite Academy Award nominee Amy Adams (star of the blockbuster “Enchanted”).The cast also includes Golden Globe Award nominee Lee Pace (of the hit series “Pushing Daisies”), Ciarán Hinds (“There Will Be Blood”), Shirley Henderson (the “Harry Potter” films), Mark Strong (“Stardust”), and screen newcomer Tom Payne.
The first ever Spotlight Tribute features 72 trading cards of the world’s biggest stars including Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce Knowles, Carrie Underwood, and Oprah Winfrey, just to name a few. It is a complete Movie Star and Entertainment Collectible.
All of the featured stars are captured during special moments at the world’s biggest celebrity events such as The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, Concerts, and World Movie Premieres. The collection also includes 288 very interesting trivia questions.
Release date: Friday March 14, 2008 Genre: Action Running time: 113 min. Director: Jeff Wadlow Studio: Summit Entertainment Producer(s): Craig Baumgarten, David A. Zelon Screenplay: Chris Hauty Cast: Sean Faris, Amber Heard, Cam Gigandet, Evan Peters, Leslie Hope, Djimon Hounsou, Wyatt Henry Smith Official Site: neverbackdownthgemovie.com Rating:PG-13 for mature thematic material involving intense sequences of fighting/violence, some sexuality, partying and language – all involving teens) Available Poster Art:Never Back Down movie posters
Synopsis: Set against the action-packed world of Mixed Martial Arts, Never Back Down is the story of Jake Tyler, a tough kid who leads with his fists, and, often, with his heart. Jake Tyler, played by Sean Faris, is the new kid in town with a troubled past. He has recently moved to Orlando,Florida with his family who has relocated to support his younger brother’s shot at a professional tennis career. Jake was a star athlete on the football team at home, but in this new city he is an outsider with a reputation for being a quick tempered brawler.
Making an attempt to fit in, at the invitation of a flirtatious classmate, Baja (Amber Heard), Jake goes to a party where he is unwittingly pulled into a fight with a bully named Ryan McCarthy (Cam Gigandet). While he is defeated and humiliated in the fight, a classmate introduces himself to Jake and tells him about the sport known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He sees a star in Jake and asks that he meet with his mentor, Jean Roqua, played by Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, In America).
It is immediately apparent to Jake that MMA is not street fighting, but rather an art form he wants to master. Roqua will take Jake under his wing, but it is up to Jake to find the patience, discipline, willingness and reason within him to succeed. For Jake, there is much more at stake than mere victory. His decision will not just settle a score; it will define who he is.
Apparently, Djimon Hounsou has joined the cast of Conan.
IGN has investigated a rumor that claims Oscar-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Gladiator) is in talks to join the new Conan the Barbarian movie.
The African-born actor told IESB.net over the weekend that he was poised for a role in an undisclosed trilogy of comic book movies. Early speculation suggested that project might be the Fantastic Four spin-off Black Panther or perhaps the Steven Spielberg-Peter Jackson effort Tintin.
But then Hounsou informed CHUD.com, “I kind of wanted to be quiet about it until I completely finished the project. It’s obviously a comic book that used to be part of the Conan comic book.”
IGN checked with its trusty Conan insider who advised us that Hounsou is indeed someone the filmmakers are thinking of “in general terms” for an unspecified role in the movie. We were told that Conan will be played by a younger actor, but that official casting has not yet begun.
Release date: Friday March 21, 2008 Genre: Drama Director: Tyler Perry Studio: Lionsgate Producer(s): Reuben Cannon Screenplay: Tyler Perry Cast: Tyler Perry, David Mann, Tamela Mann, Angela Bassett, Lance Gross, Chloe Bailey, Mariana Tolbert, Rick Fox, Sofia Vergara, Irma P. Hall Official Site:meetthebrownsfilm.com Rating: PG-13 for drug content, language including sexual references, thematic elements and brief violence Available poster art:Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns movie posters
Synopsis: In this story about love and family, Bassett will play Brenda, a single mother living in inner-city Chicago who takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of her father, whom she never met. There, she is introduced to the Browns, her father’s fun-loving, crass Southern clan. Brenda also finds romance along the way. The story is adapted by Perry from his stage play “Meet the Browns.” Perry will portray Madea and Uncle Joe in the film.
Release date: Friday March 21, 2008 Genre: Horror/Thriller Director: Masayuki Ochiai Studio: 20th Century Fox Producer(s): Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Taka Ichise Screenplay: Luke Dawson Cast: Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor, David Denman, James Kyson Lee, John Hensley Official Site: Not Available Rating:PG-13 for terror, disturbing images, sexual content and language Available poster art: Shutter movie posters
Synopsis: A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected, they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved.