Brad Bird, who has two Oscars for his Pixar films, is on a mission to make his first live-action blockbuster but, on a recent morning, as he regaled some journalists with behind-the-scenes tales of Hollywood, there was really only one word to describe his raconteur style: animated.
Waving his arms, hunching over and making high-decibel sound effects, the writer-director was a one-man cartoon as he unspooled a story about working on the “Ratatouille” recording sessions with Peter O’Toole. It was a good story but one suspects Bird will walk away from his new project, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” with far more exotic memories.
The fourth film in the “Mission” franchise, with Tom Cruise back as super-spy Ethan Hunt, opens everywhere on Dec. 21 and, five days before that, it will get a special early run at IMAX and select prestige theaters. It was Bird who pushed hard for that early giant-screen plan — he is, quite literally, thinking big for this key career moment. But don’t think for a minute that he’s sour on his cartoon past.
“I’m not like some animation directors and like, ‘Thank God I’m out of animation and sitting at the adult’s table, I’m tired of sitting at the kid’s table,’” Bird said with a mock, raspy anger. “I have other ideas I’d love to do in animation. My ideal career from here would be to jump back and forth and let the project dictate what medium I work in. To me it’s all storytelling.”
The story this time starts in Russia where the Kremlin is bombed and the blame is put on Hunt and his three IMF teammates (portrayed by Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton), who must embark on a perilous globetrotting mission to get to the true villains. Shooting a Paramount Pictures tentpole in Dubai; Prague, Czech Republic; Moscow; Mumbai, India; and Vancouver, Canada, shows how much ground Bird has covered since his drawing-table days. The 54-year-old Montana native started his career as an animator with early credits like “Animalympics” in 1980 (produced, by the way, by “Tron” writer-director Steven Lisberger) and Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound” a year later.
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Tom Cruise risked life and limb filming action sequences at the top of the world’s tallest building for “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” but he said that wasn’t any scarier than the singing required for his first musical, the just-wrapped “Rock of Ages.”
“They all have their risks,” Cruise said with a laugh of playing rocker Stacee Jaxx in Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the Tony-winning 2006 musical, which featured songs by jukebox heroes such as Bon Jovi, Styx, Journey and Pat Benatar. Among the tunes Cruise belts out in the film: “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
Shankman is coming off the foot-tapping success of “Hairspray,” while Cruise, inspired by his dance-loving wife, Katie Holmes, is taking a true genre gamble even as he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his first screen appearances (“Endless Love” and “Taps” both came out in 1981). The action star said Holmes’ influence is also why he added some memorable dance-floor moves to his Hollywood agent performance in “Tropic Thunder.”
“I had started dancing because I was inspired by my wife. She kept saying, ‘You’ve got to do a musical sometime,’ ” Cruise said. “Kate’s a dancer, so she would say, ‘Let’s go to dance class,’ and she would take us and that’s how I kind of came up with the idea of Les Grossman doing hip-hop. And then to take it to this level with this? It was really fun.”
Shankman has said Cruise is a natural and has music in his genes thanks to an opera singer in his family tree. The filmmaker has shown a flair for the unexpected: Shankman pulled a signature performance from John Travolta in his gender-flipped role in “Hairspray.” So perhaps “Rock of Ages” will be one of Cruise’s acclaimed “experiment” roles, such as in “Magnolia,” “Collateral” or the aforementioned “Tropic Thunder” — even if the sight of the bare-chested, long-maned Cruise as Jaxx has already been jeered across the Internet.
The actor said he’s just pumped to be working with Shankman.
“He’s on fire,” Cruise said. “What he accomplished with ‘Hairspray’ was amazing. My daughter has seen it 15 times and our whole family has watched it over and over and it’s just enormously entertaining. To be able to hold that tone throughout is really something.”
The cast of “Rock of Ages” also includes Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and much of the heavy lifting for the shoot was done in South Florida. Cruise said his singing and dancing work there was a different challenge than his “Mission: Impossible” job swinging out windows atop the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but in some ways more stressful.
“I was working on it when I was finishing ‘Mission’ and I was singing five hours a day and I was dancing five hours a day,” Cruise said. “Adam said, ‘Look, we’re going to have a lot of fun,’ and we really did…. I did six months preparing for the movie, and all my stunt training and all of those years doing that, it helped me with the choreography.”
“Rock of Ages” hits theaters in June.
Source: LA Times
Hey guys, I’ve uploaded some Lions for Lambs imagery: HQ Stills, Caps, Set pictures and Posters. Enjoy!
Hey guys! The full trailer for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is out. Screen captures on the gallery
A new poster has been released!
The magazine will be available this thursday, if anyone can scan it, I’d be forever grateful! I don’t get the magazine here
There are casting calls so controversial that they look likely to reduce the internet to a smoking wasteland of charred avatars and ashen memes. Michael Keaton as Batman, Daniel Craig as Bond, The Last Airbender… that kind of thing. It’s fair to say that the choice of Tom Cruise to play Lee Child’s towering do-gooder Jack Reacher in One Shot has smoke pouring out of the web again.
With the movie currently filming in Pittsburgh, Empire tracked the man down to ask about the farrago. “Firstly, I’m very sensitive to it,” Cruise explained, revealing that Child came to watch his readings. “This is Lee’s book and Lee’s character. Him giving me his blessing is what made me do it. If he hadn’t then I wouldn’t have done it.”
And what of the discrepancy in height – Cruise giving away more than a few inches to the clock-brained legend? “Lee told me that the reason he wrote him that size (6′ 5″) is because that was just one element to his character, and that opened the door to me playing him.”
As Cruise himself is quick to point out, he’s no stranger to controversial casting. His pick to play Lestat in Neil Jordan’s Interview With The Vampire may have been pre-trolling, but it still caused a stink with fans of Anne Rice’s novel – and, briefly, with the writer herself.
No-one should doubt the actor’s commitment to the role, though. “Reacher is such a great character,” he enthused. “He doesn’t have a cell phone, he doesn’t have email. He’s off the grid. He pays for things in cash. People look at things through the prism of the colours of their life, but Jack Reacher does things the way we want to sometimes. In that sense he’s sort of a Dirty Harry, a James Bond, a Josey Wales.”
Screen captures from Collateral are up in the gallery. Enjoy!
Hey everyone! Here are some more screen captures, this time, my all-time favorite: Jerry Maguire. Again, I sorta of overdone with captures for this movie too. Can’t help it
Is Tom Cruise mortal?
It’s a legitimate question, given his wrinkle-free face and action star moves as he reaches 50 years of age. He’s featuring this winter in “Mission: Impossible 4,” will star in the violence-galore upcoming Jack Reacher adaptation “One Shot,” and will play a futuristic soldier repairman in “Cloud Atlas.”
The question of Cruise’s mortality will be addressed in a new, manga-inspired way, if all things go as planned, in yet another gun-toting badass role in “We Are Mortals.” Of course, that’s what we heard about Brad Pitt, too.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cruise is in talks to join the Doug Liman-directed “We Are Mortals,” an adaptation of the futuristic Japanese war manga, “All You Need Is Kill.” Cruise would play a soldier who dies in the first day of combat in an intergalactic war, but is brought back to life each day to fight and die once again (and Bill Murray thought he had it bad).
Previously, Vulture had reported that Pitt was in talks for the role, which made sense since Liman directed his 2005 film, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” which not only made a lot of money at the box office, but ended up making a lot of money for tabloids, too.
The Hollywood Reporter analyzes how the actor continues to score new roles, despite near-death career moves.
Tom Cruise would make a great Survivor contestant. Despite his peculiar public image and less-than-stellar domestic box office in recent years, the 49-year-old has four big studio movies hitting theaters in the next 18 months: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol in December, the now-filming One Shot for Paramount, June’s Rock of Ages for New Line and the untitled Joseph Kosinski sci-fi epic for Warner Bros. And THR has learned that Warners is again talking to the actor for the lead in its big-budget sci-fi war pic We Mortals Are (aka All You Need Is Kill), being directed by Doug Liman.
“The studios are interested in him again,” says one producer.
What a turnaround. When Mission: Impossible III opened in May 2006, the actor had been under siege for his over-excited Oprah appearance, his public stumping for Scientology and his anti- psychiatry rant on Today. MI-3′s $398 million worldwide gross was nearly 30 percent less than the previous film’s global take.
Paramount soon cut ties with Cruise/Wagner Prods., then Lions for Lambs bombed in 2007 for MGM, where Cruise had taken over as head of its United Artists label, a gig that also led nowhere. Meanwhile, his November 2006 marriage to Katie Holmes seemed only to provoke mass eye-rolling.
An apology-laden PR offensive erased some of the damage to Cruise’s reputation. But while his funny cameo in Tropic Thunder drew praise, Valkyrie and Knight and Day were considered under- performers, at least in the U.S. War of the Worlds was his last unqualified success, with $591 million in worldwide grosses dur- ing summer 2005 — a lifetime ago in Hollywood terms. So what’s behind his sudden resurgence?
One: Need. Movie stars are an increasingly rare breed, and new ones aren’t solidifying. Cruise still delivers internationally, as evidenced by the $186 million foreign gross for Knight and Day, and he has the added benefit of looking (and playing) younger than his years. He’s also hardworking, reliable and invested. “When you have somebody with that good a track record, there’s always the potential for the audience to support that person they’ve had a long relationship with,” says Paramount’s Rob Moore, who sees the new Jack Reacher character in One Shot as another Cruise franchise.
Two: Goodwill. “He’s good at wooing people,” says one studio exec. “He makes it a priority to meet the next generation of execs and is one of the few actors who goes out of his way to shake people’s hands to get back in their good books.” According to insiders, one person Cruise has gotten close to is Skydance Productions president David Ellison, who is co-financing both Protocol and One Shot and shares Cruise’s love of airplanes and flying.
Three: Adaptability. Cruise and his CAA agents have proved to be flexible on dealmaking, meaning he’s working cheaper at times — sources say he’s getting just $5 million for Ages — and structuring deals to lower upfront fees in exchange for backend participation that has greater upside in success.
Four: Commitment. Cruise has always understood what a movie star is and how he’s supposed to behave, and he’s been tireless in playing that role. Excepting the chaotic missteps of 2005-06, he’s always been a smart public figure “willing to do the job of being a movie star,” as one producer puts it. Unlike Russell Crowe or Jim Carrey, who rarely attempt to mend breaks with their fans, Cruise, like friend Will Smith, is a constant, enthusiastic campaigner for his own stardom. That accessibility to the wider world translates to tens of millions in ticket sales.
Cruise is not as big a star as he once was. But his approval ratings among filmgoers seem to have turned a corner, even if he has softer- than-desired traction with the under- 25 demo and some portion of the female audience. “Anecdotally, the polarization you once heard isn’t here anymore,” says a Hollywood marketing consultant. And his overseas prowess remains strong — the rest of the world still loves Maverick.
TOM CRUISE’S UPS AND DOWNS
Oprah’s Couch (May 2005): His public image takes a hit when, professing his love for Katie Holmes, he jumps the couch. War of the Worlds (June 2005) Rebounds with the help of Steven Spielberg as alien invasion movie grosses $592 million worldwide. South Park Parody (Nov. 2005): The “Trapped in the Closet” episode mocks him, and Comedy Central cancels a rerun. Mission: Impossible III (May 2006) His third outing as agent Ethan Hunt disappoints, stalling at $398 worldwide. Exit Paramount (Aug. 2006): Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone sours on him, ending his 14-year relationship with the studio. Enter United Artists (Nov. 2006): He and producing partner Paula Wagner find a new mission ressurecting UA. Knight and Day (2010): American audiences aren’t impressed, but the movie more than doubles its domestic gross of $76 million overseas.
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Character: Ethan Hunt
Status: In Theatres
Released: December 21st, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray: April 17 (Pre-order)
Official Site | Pictures | News
Rock of Ages
Character: Stacee Jaxx
Release: June 1st, 2012
Official Site | Pictures | News
Character: Jack Reacher
Release: December 21st, 2012 (More release dates
Official Site | Pictures | News
Release: April 12th, 2013 (More release dates
All You Need Is Kill
Character: Lt. Col. Bill Cage
Release: March 14th, 2014 More release dates
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