looks at what’s
ahead for the stars heating up summer
(“X-Men: The Last Stand”)
“Perfect Stranger(s),” directed by James Foley
(“Confidence,” “88 Minutes”) from
a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki (“Pathfinder”),
is a thriller about a woman who enters the world of online
dating to solve her friend’s murder. Berry’s
co-stars include Bruce Willis (“Lucky Number Slevin”),
Giovanni Ribisi (“The Flight of the Phoenix”),
Kathleen Chalfant (“Kinsey”), Clea Lewis (“Diabolique”)
and Patti D’Arbanville (“Personal Velocity,” “World
Trade Center”). Sony has not decided when to upload
it into cinemas.
(“X-Men: The Last Stand”)
“Blue State” is a romantic comedy about an
American who has to make good on a drunken vow that he
would move to Canada if George W. Bush was re-elected president.
Columbia University Film School grad Marshall Lewy makes
his feature directorial debut from his own screenplay.
Paquin’s co-stars include Breckin Meyer (“Garfield:
A Tale of Two Kitties”) and Joyce Krenz (“Nostradamus”).
The project has yet to vote for a distributor.
“Margaret” is a coming-of-age drama, written
and directed by Kenneth Lonergan (“You Can Count
On Me”), about a 17-year-old New Yorker who comes
to believe she inadvertently precipitated a deadly auto
accident. Paquin’s co-stars include Matt Damon (“Syriana,” “The
Departed”), Mark Ruffalo (“Rumor Has It”),
J. Smith-Cameron (“You Can Count on Me”), Matthew
Broderick (“The Producers: The Movie Musical”),
Jean Reno (“The Pink Panther”) and Jeannie
Berlin (“In the Spirit”). Fox Searchlight has
not decided when to drive it into the moviehouse.
“Tenacious D: The Pick Of Destiny,” the rock & roll
comedy discussed in the June edition of Next!, is due from
New Line Nov. 17.
“The Holiday,” written and directed by Nancy
Meyers (“The Parent Trap,” “Something’s
Gotta Give”), is a romantic comedy about a recently-dumped
woman who takes a vacation to London, where she befriends
a British woman in a similar state. Black’s co-stars
include Cameron Diaz (“In Her Shoes”), Kate
Winslet (“Finding Neverland,” “All the
King’s Men”), Jude Law (“The Aviator”),
Eli Wallach (“Inside Man”) and Shannyn Sossamon
(“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”). Sony is booking it
for Dec. 8.
“Untitled Noah Baumbach,” written and directed
by Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”), is
a comedy-drama about a city dweller who takes her 12-year-old
son to visit relatives in rural Upstate New York. Black’s
co-stars include Nicole Kidman (“Bewitched”),
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Jacket”), Flora
Cross (“Bee Season”), Halley Feiffer (“The
Squid and the Whale”) and John Turturro (“Secret
Window”). Paramount Vantage maps out a December release.
“Kung Fu Panda,” directed by
Mark Osborne and John Stevenson (TV’s “Father
of the Pride”)
from a screenplay by Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff (“Bulletproof
Monk”) is a computer-animated adventure about a lazy,
underachieving panda who must train to become a martial
arts warrior in order to save his bamboo jungle from invading
snow-leopard bandits. Black lends his voice to the project,
as do Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Ian McShane and Lucy
Liu. DreamWorks has not yet unleashed a release date.
“Empty City,” written and directed by Mike
Binder (“The Upside of Anger”), is a drama
about a man who reconnects with an old college roommate
after losing his family in the 9/11 attacks on New York
City. Sandler’s co-stars include Don Cheadle (“Ocean’s
Twelve”), Jada Pinkett Smith (“Collateral”),
Liv Tyler (“Jersey Girl”), Harvey Keitel (“Be
Cool”), Donald Sutherland (“An American Haunting”),
Robert Klein (“How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”)
Ted Raimi (“Kalamazoo?”), Saffron Burrows (“Troy”)and
Melinda Dillon (“Adam & Steve”). Sony has
not yet connected it to a release date.
(“The Devil Wears Prada”)
“Becoming Jane,” directed by Julian Jarrold
(“Kinky Boots”) from a screenplay by Kevin
Hood and Sarah Williams, is a period drama about not-yet-famous
author Jane Austen’s romance with a young Irishman.
Hathaway’s co-stars include James McAvoy (“The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”),
James Cromwell (“The Longest Yard”), Ian Richardson
(“Joyeux Noël”), Maggie Smith (“Harry
Potter and the Goblet of Fire”), Julie Walters (“Wah-Wah”),
Joe Anderson, Lucy Cohu (“Gosford Park”), Laurence
Fox (“Gosford Park”) and Anna Maxwell Martin
(the BBC’s “Bleak House”). The Sony/Miramax
production is not yet married to a release date.
Before Heder hits the ice with Will
Ferrell in “Blades
of Glory” he enrolls in Weinstein’s “School
for Scoundrels,” a Sept. 29 release one can read
more about in this issue’s September/October preview.
“Mama’s Boy,” directed by Tim Hamilton
(TV’s “The Downer Channel”) from a screenplay
by Hank Nelken, is about a thirtysomething man who has
to contemplate moving out of his mother’s house after
she falls for a handsome self-help guru. Heder’s
co-stars include Diane Keaton (“The Family Stone”),
Jeff Daniels (“RV”), Rue McClanahan (“The
Fighting Temptations”) and Anna Faris (“My
Super Ex-Girlfriend”). Warner Independent Pictures
has not yet decided which release date to nurture.
“Surf’s Up,” directed by veteran animators
Ash Brannon (“Toy Story 2”) and Chris Buck
(“Tarzan”) from a screenplay by Lisa Addario & Joe
Syracuse, is an animated comedy about the annual Penguin
World Surfing Championship. The busy Heder lends his voice
to the project, as do Zooey Deschanel, Jeff Bridges, James
Woods, Shia LeBeouf, Jane Krakowski, Mario Cantone, Michael
McKean and Dana Belben. Sony is waxing up for a June 8
“Pride and Glory,” directed by Gavin O’Connor
(“Miracle”) from a screenplay by O’Connor
and Joe Carnahan (“Narc”), is a New York crime
drama centering on three generations of law enforcement
officials. Farrell’s co-stars include Edward Norton
(“Down in the Valley”), Noah Emmerich (“Cellular”),
Samantha Morton (“The Libertine”) and Jon Voight
(“Glory Road”). New Line has not yet cuffed
it to a specific release date.
“Shoot ‘em Up,” written and directed
by screenwriter Michael Davis (“Double Dragon”),
is an actioner about a man entrusted with the care and
protection of a baby born during a shoot-out. Giamatti’s
co-stars include Clive Owen (“Inside Man”),
Monica Belucci (“The Brothers Grimm”), Greg
Bryk (“A History of Violence”), Daniel Pilon
and Stephen McHattie (“A History of Violence”).
New Line expects to deliver it in 2007.
“The Nanny Diaries,” in which Giamatti plays
the head of a wealthy New York family, was profiled in
last month’s Next! Weinstein is not yet nursing a
Bryce Dallas Howard
(“Lady in the Water”)
“As You Like It,” directed and adapted by
Kenneth Branagh (“Henry V,” “Much Ado
About Nothing,” “Hamlet,” “Love’s
Labour’s Lost”) from the 1599 William Shakespeare
play, is a comedy about a lovelorn young man who seeks
counsel from a stranger, unaware that the stranger is actually
the girl he loves disguised as a man. Howard’s co-stars
include Kevin Kline (“A Prairie Home Companion”),
Alfred Molina (“The Da Vinci Code”), Brian
Blessed (“Alexander”), Adrian Lester (“The
Day After Tomorrow”), David Oyelowo (“Derailed”),
Romola Garai (“Vanity Fair”) and Paul Chan.
Picturehouse hasn’t announced what it likes for a
“Spider-man 3,” in which
Howard plays Gwen Stacy, was most recently discussed
in the May edition of
Next! and opens May 4.
“Stranger Than Fiction,” in which Ferrell
plays a man who suddenly starts hearing his life being
narrated, was covered in last February’s Next! and
hits cinemas Nov. 10.
Glory,” directed by Josh Gordon & Will
Speck from a screenplay by Craig & Jeff Cox and John
Altschuler & David Krinsky (TV’s “King
of the Hill”), is a comedy about two rival men’s
figure skaters, stripped of their Olympic medals and banned
from future games, who exploit a loophole and return to
the sport as a pairs team. Ferrell’s co-stars include
Jon Heder (“Monster House”), Will Arnett (“R.V.”),
Jenna Fischer (“Slither”), Nick Swardson (“Art
School Confidential”) and Amy Poehler (“Envy”).
Paramount is firing up the Zamboni for a March 30 debut.
Samuel L. Jackson
(“Snakes on a Plane”)
“Black Snake Moan” was just moved by Paramount
Vantage from Sept. 15 (less than a month from the release
date for “Snakes on a Plane”) to February.
Jackson’s “other” snake movie is a drama
about a sex-addicted small-town girl who develops a relationship
with an older, God-fearing blues musician. It was written
and directed by Craig Brewer (“Hustle & Flow”).
Jackson’s co-stars include Christina Ricci (“Cursed”),
Justin Timberlake (“On the Line”), Jeff Pope
(“Hustle & Flow”), Clare Grant (“Walk
the Line”), Adriane Lenox (“Preaching to the
Choir”), John Cothran, Jr. (“The Cell”)
and S. Epatha Merkerson (“Jersey Girl”).
“Home of the Brave,” directed
by Irwin Winkler (“Life as a House,” “De-Lovely”)
from a screenplay by Mark Friedman, is a drama about three
war vets returning home after a long tour in Iraq. Jackson’s
co-stars include Christina Ricci (“Black Snake Moan”),
Jessica Biel (“London,” “The Illusionist”),
Chad Michael Murray (“House of Wax”), Sam Jones
III (“Glory Road”), 50 Cent (“Get Rich
or Die Tryin’”), Jon Bernthal (“World
Trade Center”), Jhon Goodwin (“Mozart and the
Whale”), Suzanne Niles (“Mozart and the Whale”),
Brian Presley (TV’s “Port Charles”) and
Jack Serino. MGM has not found it a home on the release
“Freedom Writers,” written and directed by
Richard LaGravenese (“Living Out Loud”) and
based on a true story, is about a 23-year-old Long Beach,
Calif., English teacher who inspired her “at-risk” students
to participate in a journal project designed to facilitate
tolerance and a desire to continue their educations beyond
high school. Swank’s co-stars include Patrick Dempsey
(“Sweet Home Alabama”), Scott Glenn (“The
Shipping News”), Imelda Staunton (“Nanny McPhee”),
April Hernandez (TV’s “ER”), recording
artist artist Mario and Robert Wisdom (“Duplex”).
Paramount has inked it for a Jan. 12 release.
“The Departed,” Warner’s Wahlberg crime
drama, is due Oct. 6; details on the project can be found
in this issue’s September/October preview.
“We Own the Night,” written and directed by
James Gray (“Little Odessa,” “The Yards”),
is about a 1980s New York nightclub manager out to save
his cop brother from deadly Russian mobsters. Wahlberg’s
co-stars include Eva Mendez (“Trust the Man”),
Robert Duvall (“Thank You for Smoking,” “Lucky
You”), Dominic Colon (“Freedomland”),
Antoni Corone (“Find Me Guilty”) and Maggie
Kiley. Universal has not yet owned up to its release date.
“Miss Potter,” directed by Chris Noonan (“Babe”)
from a screenplay by Richard Maltby and Richard Maltby
Jr., looks at the life of children’s book author
Beatrix Potter (“The Tale of Peter Rabbit”).
McGregor’s co-stars include Renee Zellweger (“Cinderella
Man”) as Potter, as well as Emily Watson (“Separate
Lies”), Matyelok Gibbs (“Just Visiting”),
Jane How (“A Good Woman”), Anton Lesser (“Charlotte
Gray”), Richard Mulholland (“Pirates of the
Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”), Lloyd Owen (British
TV’s “Monarch of the Glen”), Bill Paterson
(“Bright Young Things”), Perdita Weeks (“Spice
World”) and Barbara Flynn. Weinstein has yet to hop
upon a release date.
“Rogue,” directed by Phillip G. Atwell (TV’s “The
Shield”) from a screenplay by Gregory J. Bradley
and Lee Anthony Smith, is an action-thriller about an FBI
man in pursuit of his partner’s killer. Statham’s
co-stars include Jet Li (“Unleashed,” “Fearless”),
Devon Aoki (“Sin City,” “DOA: Dead or
Alive”), Nicholas Elia (“White Noise”),
Luis Guzman (“Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story,” “School
for Scoundrels”), John Lone (“Rush Hour 2”),
Andrea Roth (TV’s “Rescue Me”), Aaron
Pearl (“X-Men: The Last Stand”), Ryo Ishibashi
(“The Grudge”) and Nadine Valazquez (“Biker
Boyz”). Lionsgate hasn’t yet tracked down its