Morgan Freeman Joins Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur Remake

morgan-freemanMorgan Freeman is a busy man, as just a day after it was revealed he’s going to appear in Ted 2, it’s been announced that he’s joined the cast of the planned remake of Ben-Hur, according to Deadline.

Keith R. Clarke wrote the spec script for the film with Timur Bekmambetov directing, which is said to be more faithful to Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel than the multi-Oscar winning 1959 movie, which starred Charlton Heston.

The 50s version focussed on the section of the story that details the feud between the Jewish Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) and his Roman former friend Messalla (Stephen Boyd). The new film is said to further explore these characters’ formative years, when they grew up together as best friends before the Roman Empire conquered Jerusalem.

The film will also include the story of Jesus Christ, whose story is told in parallel to Ben-Hur’s. Although this was touched on in the Charlton Heston film, it’s said to be more central to the remake.

Morgan Freeman is set to play Ildarin, the man who teaches Ben-Hur to become a champion charioteer.

It’s also reported that MGM and Paramount are close to officially signing the actors who will play Ben-Hur and Mesalla. Tom Hiddleston was recently reported to be top choice for the title role, but it’s not clear if he’s still in contention.

Ted 2 Adds Morgan Freeman To The Mix

morgan-freemanmorgan-freemanIf you need to add an extra bit of class to your movie, casting Morgan Freeman is always a good idea. Seth MacFarlane obviously agrees as Variety reports the Family Guy creator has cast the actor in a pivotal role in Ted 2.

There’s no news on the exact plot, but Freeman is being brought in to play an iconic civil rights lawyer who helps talking soft toy Ted with his legal problems.

Mark Wahlberg is also set to return John Bennett, with Amanda Seyfried playing the new female lead. Mila Kunis will also be in the movie, but she’ll apparently have a much smaller role than she did in the first film.

Production is already underway in Boston, with MacFarlane directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. It’s due out summer 2015.

Transcendence (Blu-ray Review)

It’s always a shame when a movie that wants to be a genuinely intelligent slice of a-list entertainment fails. If one succeeds, Hollywood always treats it like a fluke, but if it bombs they point at it as proof that all that audiences want are big, dumb fireworks. What’s a particular pity with Transcendence is that it would probably have been better as a slightly smaller film.

Johnny Depp plays Will Caster, a scientist working on artificial intelligence who believes he’s close to creating a machine that will vastly outstrip any human intellect there’s ever been. However as there always is in this type of film, a group of terrorist-type people don’t believe in this type of machine and launch a series of attacks on facilities working on AI systems. That includes shooting Will with a bullet that doesn’t initially kill him, but is poisoned with a radioactive isotope that will cause him to die over the course of a few weeks. [Read more...]

The Lego Movie (Blu-ray Review)

When it was first announced that they were gonna make a Lego film there was a collective groan around the world – although that largely came from those who knew Lego years ago and weren’t aware of how its grown. Now there are all sorts of popular ranges, TV shows and incredibly successful computer games – it’s certainly not just a load of blocks in box anymore.

When the movie arrived in cinemas, all those who’d pre-judged it to be a desperate cash-grab had to eat their words, as the movie is very good and very funny, which helped it to a worldwide gross of over $465 million. Now it’s come to home ent. and if you missed it in theatres, you need to check it out now. [Read more...]

New Dolphin Tale 2 Trailer – The tail-less sea mammal is back

dolphin-tale-2-posterAfter 2011′s Dolphin Tale made nearly $100 million at the worldwide box office and proved a big success on DVD, it was enough to ensure a sequel in now on its way. Now we’ve got a full trailer for the movie, which you can watch below.

All the main players are returning, including Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and director Charles Martin Smith.

Here’s the synopsis: ‘It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson (Gamble) and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick, Jr.), rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Freeman), who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life.

‘Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only poolmate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have even greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.’

Once again it’s loosely based on a true story, with dolphin Winter playing herself. Expect it in cinemas this October. [Read more...]

Dolphin Tale 2 Trailer – Morgan Freeman and the tail-less dolphin return


2011′s Dolphin Tale made nearly $100 million at the worldwide box office and proved a big success on DVD, which was enough to ensure a sequel in now on its way, with all the main players returning, including Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and director Charles Martin Smith.

Here’s the synopsis: ‘It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson (Gamble) and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick, Jr.), rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Freeman), who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life.

‘Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only poolmate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have even greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.’

Once again it’s loosely based on a true story, with dolphin Winter playing herself. [Read more...]

Lucy Trailer – Scarlett Johansson is a pumped up action hero in Luc Besson’s film


Scarlett Johansson is doing a great job of becoming an true action hero – something few women in Hollywood are allowed to do beyond the occasional role. Now she’s teamed up with Luc Besson for Lucy, where accidental exposure to drugs turns her into as ass-kicking machine.

Here’s the synopsis: ‘From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history.

‘Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

‘Lucy also stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp.’

It’ll be in UK cinemas in August. [Read more...]

New Transcendence Trailer – Fresh look at the Johnny Depp sci-fi


In a couple of months we’ll get to see the very intriguing looking Transcendence. After a poster yesterday comes a fresh trailer with plenty of new footage from the Johnny Depp sci-fi.

And if it also brings to mind Inception, it’s probably little coincidence this is the directorial debut of that movie’s cinematographer, Wally Pfister.

Here the synopsis: ‘Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.’

Transcendence co-stars Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Kate Mara. The film is due out in April. [Read more...]

Transcendence Trailer – Johnny Depp gets shot and goes inside a computer


Transcendence always sounded pretty intriguing, but this trailer suggests we could be dealing with something very cool, even if there is a slight whiff of the 1980s around a film about a computer that gets too smart for its own good.

And if it also brings to mind Inception, it’s probably little coincidence this is the directorial debut of that movie’s cinematographer, Wally Pfister.

Here the synopsis: ‘Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.’

Transcendence co-stars Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Paul Bettany. The film is due out next April. [Read more...]

Transcendence Teaser Trailers – Johnny Depp gets into computers (literally)


Wally Pfister has learned a lot about keeping things mysterious having worked with Christopher Nolan on most of his movies, so he’s keeping things close to his chest for his directorial debut, Transcendence. Now we have a couple of teaser trailers, and they really are teasers. You can take a look at them below.

Here the synopsis: ‘Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.’

Transcendence co-stars Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara and Paul Bettany. The film is due out next April.

[Read more...]