Alicia Vikander is Your New Tomb Raider

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

It’s hard to believe that a couple years ago we didn’t know Alicia Vikander. In 2015 alone the Swedish bombshell has strung together a filmography that many more established actors would kill for. Vikander first popped up on my radar as a scene stealer in the forgettable Jeff Bridges sword and sorcery film Seventh Son followed soon after by a turn as the robot AVA in one of the best films of the year, Ex Machina. She even managed to be one of the best parts of the big budget flop Man From U.N.C.L.E. AND even won an Academy Award for The Danish Girl. (I was even excited to see her pop her head in for a cameo in Burnt)

That was all in one year.

This year certainly won’t be as busy, but we will see Vikander in Tulip Fever and The Light Between Oceans, a couple smaller films receiving some buzz, as well as co-starring with Matt Damon in this Summer’s Jason Bourne. She seems be balancing smaller, interesting projects with the big budget popcorn films, which is exactly what she should be doing at this point in her career.

Beyond 2016 Vikander has a Wim Wender’s film and now she’s been cast as Lara Croft in the rebooted Tomb Raider, taking over the character previously played by Angelina Jolie. I love the choice and there’s tons of room for improvement over the last cinematic incarnation of the character. With the right writer and director this series could be something special, a modern day female Indiana Jones. There had been a lot of chatter about Daisy Ridley being up for the role a month or so ago, but it’s been reported that Vikander was always the studio’s first choice.

Perhaps between Vikander and her current beau, Michael Fassbender (Starring in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed), we’ll have some videogame to film adaptations that rise above the dreck that typically occupy this genre.

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Get Your Juices Flowing With the Trailer for ‘Jason Bourne’!

Jason Bourne

Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in Jason Bourne. Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, once again joins Damon for the next chapter of Universal Pictures’ Bournefranchise, which finds the CIA’s most lethal former operative drawn out of the shadows.

For Jason Bourne, Damon is joined by Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel and Tommy Lee Jones, while Julia Stiles reprises her role in the series. Frank Marshall again produces alongside Jeffrey Weiner for Captivate Entertainment, and Greengrass, Damon, Gregory Goodman and Ben Smith also produce. Based on characters created by Robert Ludlum, the film is written by Greengrass and Christopher Rouse.

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel Moving Forward, But in a Weird Direction

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

The 2011 film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, an adaptation of Swedish author Steig Larsson’s first book in the Millennium Series and remake of the Swedish film, was a bit of an underwhelming performer at the box office. Which is why it’s a bit surprising that a sequel is still moving forward. But what’s even more surprising is the direction the sequel is taking.

First off, the big three components of the first film aren’t returning. Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and director David Fincher will not be making the return to series. Instead, The Wrap is reporting that new Hollywood ‘It Girl’ Alicia Vikander is up for the Lisbeth Salander role that Mara once occupied.

But that’s not the even the weirdest part. The next book to be adapted won’t be The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the series. The rumor is that the adaptation will be for the fourth book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which wasn’t even written by Larsson but by David Lagercrantz (who has been tapped to continue the series with at least two more books in the next couple years).

Steven Knight, the screenwriter behind films like Eastern Promises, Locke and the recent Burnt, has been tapped to do the big screen adaptation.

The new film is being looked at as a way to reboot the series, but whether it will be a full on reboot or just a recasting has yet to be discovered.

Sony hasn’t set any kind of start date yet, but with how badly the first film did I’m kind of hoping they just let this one dry up on the vine. Besides, the original trilogy of films will be a hard act to top if that’s what the studio is shooting for.

Trailer: Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in ‘The Danish Girl’

Danish Girl

Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Misérables”) directs the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Einar and Gerda Wegener (Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne [“The Theory of Everything,” “Les Misérables”] and Alicia Vikander [“Ex Machina,” “Anna Karenina”]), whose marriage and work are cast into the unknown when Einar begins a groundbreaking journey to become one of the world’s first transgender women, Lili Elbe.

Vincent Cassel Signs on to Hunt Matt Damon in ‘Bourne 5’

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Days after Matt Damon spilled the beans about possible details for the upcoming fifth Bourne film, we finally have conformation as to who will be giving the superspy grief.

Not to be outdone by his ex Mrs. who is playing a Bong girl in the upcoming SpectreVariety says that Vincent Cassel has signed on to menace Matt Damon in the espionage thriller.

Cassel will play a character simply called The Asset. In spy parlance, an asset is code for an assassin. The Asset seems to be a bad guy along the lines of previous Jason Bourne antagonists like Karl Urban and Clive Owen.

It was thought that Viggo Mortensen was the front runner for the role, but nothing had been confirmed. With filming starting within the week it was inevitable that an announcement was on its way. I just don’t think anyone thought this was the way the studio would go.

I’m not complaining. Cassel can play a cold and heartless menace like no one else. It should be a real treat to watch him go toe-to-toe with Damon in both a physical and cerebral sense.

The actor joins Damon, returning actress Julia Stiles and series newcomers Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander.

Bourne 5 is set to bow into theaters in the heart of next year’s Summer Blockbuster Season, on July 29, 2016.

Tommy Lee Jones Joins Matt Damon for Bourne 5

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Matt Damon needs to watch his back – he’s going to have a U.S. Marshal on his tail!

Tommy Lee Jones has signed on for the next Bourne Identity franchise film, according to Variety. Nothing official has been released about his character, but sources for Variety indicate that Jones will play a CIA Agent like Edward Norton, Brian Cox, Chris Copper and David Starthairn before him.

Beside Damon and Jones, Julia Stiles has also signed on for the next film, most likely to reprise her role as Nicky. Alicia Vikander has been signed for a mystery role and Viggo Mortenson is being pursued to be the main villain.

Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, returns to helm this film as well. As a matter of fact, Matt Damon said that the only way he’d return is if Greengrass did as well.

Nothing has been released story-wise, but we do know that the film will once again put superspy Jason Bourne back into the cinematic spotlight. This comes after the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, veered away from Damon’s character and followed Bourne-esque agent Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner.

Filming for the as-yet-titled Bourne film is expected to start later this summer so that the movie can make its July 29, 2016 theatrical release date.

Alicia Vikander Joins the Next Bourne Film

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

One of this year’s hottest actresses is Alicia Vikander, She started out the year a little shaky, having a role in the subpar Seventh Son. But things turned around when people noticed her movie stealing performance in Ex Machina. She still has a bunch of other films due out this year, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Danish Girl and it seems the offers keep rolling in.

One of the more major roles she was offered was a part in the upcoming fifth installment in the action spy thriller Bourne series. Deadline is reporting that the offer has now been officially accepted and Vikander will join the Paul Greengrass-directed film.

Vikander will now work alongside returning stars Matt Damon and Julia Stiles. Viggo Mortenson has been offered the role of the primary villain.

In order to take this role, Alicia had to drop out of contention for the video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, which would have had her filming alongside Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. She also had to give up a shot at working with Tom Hanks in the upcoming techno thriller The Circle.

Bourne 5 is set to smash its way into theaters July 29, 2016.

A New Trailer for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has Arrived

 

Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Illya Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series.

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E” also stars Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby”), with Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows”), and Hugh Grant as Waverly.

The screenplay was written by Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, who previously collaborated on re-imagining the classic detective Sherlock Holmes in two hit films. The story is by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, based on the television series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Ex Machina’s Alicia Vikander up for ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and the Next Bourne Film

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Alicia Vikander, the seductive and sentient AI Ava in Alex Garland’s groundbreaking sci-fi hit Ex Machina, seems to be the new go-to actress in Hollywood these days. It was recently announced that she was up for the lead female role in the adaptation of David Eggers’ 2013 novel The Circle opposite Tom Hanks. But it looks like those plans may be put on hold.

Deadline is reporting that news out of Cannes has Vikander landing offers from two major films, one an established franchise and one a hopeful franchise.

First up is the next Bourne film. Paul Greengrass is returning to direct this next installment which also features the return of Matt Damon as the titular spy. Now word yet on who Vikander would play, as details for the upcoming film were not forthcoming.

The next film being offered is Assassin’s Creed. With Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard already attached, this would be a great film for Alicia Vikander to show that she can hang with some accomplished actors in a film that looks to break the streak of bad movies based off of video games.

As for The Circle, her role should be in good hands. Rumors are swirling that Emma Watson may be offered the role if Vikander turns it down.

But nothing is written in stone yet. As of now these were simply offers. Any actual commitments would depend on filming schedules and Vikander’s availability.

The fifth Bourne movie is scheduled to drop June 29, 2016 and Assassin’s Creed will hit theaters December 21, 2016.

Alicia Vikander to Join Tom Hanks in ‘The Circle’

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Alicia Vikander just can’t seem to stay away from tech thrillers these days.

After playing manipulating and beautiful A.I. Ava in the recent hit Ex Machina, the actress has signed on for another cautionary tech tale in The Circle, from director James Ponsoldt. Also starring is veteran actor Tom Hanks.

The Circle is an adaptation of David Egger’s 2013 novel. The synopsis from Amazon had the following description for the book:

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

So where Ex Machina warned us about the dangers of artificial intelligence, it looks like The Circle will try and warn us about how dangerous it is to have so much information available at the stroke of a few keys on a keyboard.

Vikander will play Mae Holland, while Hanks will be the co-owner of the company.

I thought Vikander was incredible in Ex Machina. She had just the right mix of beauty and viciousness, like a wild animal that’s been caged and knows that soon it will get out. I’m hoping she brings some of that to this role, but shows maybe a little more vulnerability.

No release date has been hinted at as of yet, but with this type of story it will surely be relevant no matter when it emerges and hits the multiplexes.

IR FILM REVIEW: Supernerd Gears up for Alex Garland’s Trippy and Brilliant ‘Ex Machina’

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Science Fiction movies are a tough genre to pin down. Ask five different people and you could get five different answers as to what constitutes a Sci-Fi film. It could be a movie about a dystopian future society on Earth, an out-of-this-world space adventure or a superhero epic. But Ex Machina is none of these things. In his directorial debut, Alex Garland has created something that almost defies a label, crafting a brilliant and cerebral story that puts the focus on characters and science rather than spaceships and men in mechanical suits.

Ex Machina wastes no time getting started, introducing us to Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a  code writer for a tech company that’s one part Facebook, one part Google. Caleb is announced as the winner of an employee lottery and before we know it he’s being whisked away like Charlie Bucket to the secretive home of company CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac) for some kind of week-long retreat.

Once the introductions are made Caleb finds out that he’s been brought away from work to perform a version of the “Turing Test” (to see if computers can replicate human responses) on Nathan’s latest project, the extremely advanced humanoid A.I. known as Ava (Alicia Vikander). Over the course of the next seven days, Caleb’s testing will decide the fate of Ava and whether or not Nathan’s greatest experiment – the creation of true artificial intelligence – has succeeded or failed.

I don’t think I’ve seen a more ambitious movie done on such a low-key level, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The fact that this whole movie essentially takes place in one house – and on top of that just a few rooms in the house, really – is crazy. It’s very enclosed and guarded but never once did it feel small or claustrophobic.

The fact that only three actors carried this entire film is astounding. This trio managed to creat great tension and strife, keeping me guessing about everyone’s true motivations until the very end. I especially enjoyed Gleeson as the wide-eyed and innocent newcomer to the twisted household, becoming the rope in a mental game of tug-of-war waged between by this new-age Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Isaac’s smug and sometimes condescending attitude was a polar opposite to Vikander’s beguiling (yet somehow almost disingenuous) innocence.

Alex Garland has always been an innovative writer. He reinvented the zombie genre with 28 Days Later, gave us the breathtaking interstellar epic Sunshine and breathed new life into the 2000 A.D. comic book character Dredd. With Ex Machina though, Garland can finally show us that he can bring it visually as well as verbally. While he espouses that filmmaking is a collaborative effort between the entire crew, this is truly the director’s show where he proves that not only does he have a sharp mind for story and dialogue but an eye for visual storytelling as well.

Garland manages to balance the visuals of the film from the cold of Nathan’s fortress-like home/research facility with scenes of the lush grounds surrounding the home. It made the film feel less confined and also showed great contrast between the living and the mechanical (with the boys going out for the occasional jaunt into the wilderness to stretch their legs and relieve tension while Ava is imprisoned, like Hannibal Lector, in the same room). The film sets the audience as the fourth main character, a voyeur, starting with how we first see Caleb through his computer screen for the opening moments, to seeing how the human components of the film felt the need to endlessly watch the going-on of the house through a CCTV feed.

With Ex Machina, Alex Garland presents some very big ideas but always manages to make the film feel grounded. From top-notch performances by the cast to the beautiful cinematography, this is a movie that will make you think and stay with you for quite some time.

GRADE: A

Trailer: ‘Ex Machina’: Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac Star In Another Film with Robots

Written and Directed by Alex Garland

Starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander

Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac).

Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test—charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated––and more deceptive––than the two men could have imagined.

Rated R | 110 Minutes

***A24 WILL RELEASE EX MACHINA IN THEATERS APRIL 10, 2015***

For more information:

WEBSITE: meet-ava.com

FACEBOOK: fb.com/ExMachinaFilm

TWITTER: twitter.com/ExMachinaMovie

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/ExMachinaMovie

Trailer: Star Wars Co-Stars Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson In ‘Ex Machina’

Ex Machina is an upcoming science fiction thriller, written and directed by Alex Garland, marking Garland’s directorial debut, and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander. It tells the story of a computer coder who wins the chance to spend a week at the house in the mountains belonging to the CEO of the company he works for, only to find he has to participate in an experiment involving a new brand of artificial intelligence.

The film will be released in the UK on January 23rd 2015, and in the US on April 10th 2015 through A24 Films.

Ex Machina

Bradley Cooper’s ‘Chef’ Changes Title Adds Jamie Dornan, Emma Thompson and More To The Cast!

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Bradley Cooper’s ‘Chef’ has changed its title to ‘Adam Jones’. We knew this had to happen at some point so as not to confuse their film with Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’.

 On top of the title change, the John Wells directed film has added some great cast members as well. Emma Thompson, Daniel Bruhl, Jamie Dornan, Lily James and Alicia Vikander have all been brought on.

I love Bruhl. He was great in Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ but I was really blown away by his performance in Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’ playing real-life F1 racer Niki Lauda.

Dornan, of course, is being buzzed about for his role in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. I really like the work I’ve seen him do as a serial killer in ‘The Fall’ with Gillian Anderson. (The second season is coming very soon on BBC2) 

Lily James should be familiar to those who enjoy Downton Abbey. She also has Disney’s live action ‘Cinderella’ directed by Kenneth Branagh.

 

 

Will Rachel Weisz be Teaming up With Michael Fassbender?

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Rachel Weisz is in early talks to join Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander on ‘The Light Between Oceans’ directed by ‘Blue Valentine’s Derek Cianfrance.

Set on a remote Australian island in the years following World War I, story follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a two-month-old infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences of their choice are devastating.

Weisz has an offer and is in early discussions to play the mother of that child.

Source: The Wrap