April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: Ivan Reitman

Oscars®: Draft Day – What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Written by: Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman
Main Cast: Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, Denis Leary, Tom Welling, and many others
Past Oscar relations: Ivan Reitman was nominated for co-producing Up in the Air and Kevin Costner won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Dances with Wolves
Here now we have the next article in this series on 2014 contenders hoping to compete for Oscar attention at the 2015 ceremony. Next up is Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day, which hopes to essentially be the next Moneyball, just with the NFL Draft as its focus. That film was a bit of an aberration, but this one has a bit in common with it, so perhaps the Academy is more open to sports movies than they have been in the past? Reitman has sports film icon Kevin Costner in the lead role, so that’s certainly a plus, along with a strong ensemble that includes Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, and Denis Leary, to name a few. They’re in the service of a fine film, one of the better ones to come out this year so far, in my humble opinion. Being a quality bit of cinema is the first step towards becoming a contender.
What this flick has going in its favor is a crowd pleasing plot and a top notch script, not to mention a great role for Costner to sink his teeth into. Costner always is great in sports films, and this is no exception. Reitman also shows an able hand at drama, something he’s rarely attempted during his illustrious career. As for the screenplay, Black List winning scribes Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman have crafted something that both hardcore football fans like myself and newbies can enjoy equally. Moneyball was able to do this, and that screenplay damn near won an Oscar, so especially in the writing field, this movie should have a chance to contend for a nomination.
Working against Draft Day is that it is a sports movie without an awards centric pedigree. Yes, it has a Black List winning script, but that doesn’t always make a huge difference. Costner also has never been nominated for one of his sports outings, so it’s likely that he won’t break that trend here. That makes it Best Original Screenplay or nada in all likelihood, and having that narrow a focus makes it a dicey proposition. Draft Day [...]

Thinking Out Loud: Who Could/Should Direct Ghostbusters III?

For this weekend’s edition of Thinking Out Loud, I only really have one topic in mind, and it’s on the direction of the Ghostbusters franchise. With the recent passing of Harold Ramis and the even more recent announcement that Ivan Reitman won’t be directing the in development sequel/reboot, I’ve been thinking about who might be best suited for the job. Bill Murray already is almost assuredly not going to be involved and Dan Aykroyd mostly is helping shape the script and will be a supporting player at best, so this is an opportunity to take the concept in a potentially new direction…
If I were in charge of offering the job to whatever filmmakers I desired, these would be the six (or technically eight, but you’ll see what I mean in a moment) that I’d be wining and dining. The half dozen different choices represent some unique takes on the material, but I think they’d all be successful candidates:
-Judd Apatow – For a few years now I’ve secretly hoped that at the very least Apatow would help produce a Ghostbusters movie. His stable of friends/actors seem perfectly suited to become wisecracking paranormal exterminators. You could have any combination of Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera, James Franco (maybe), Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Martin Starr in the roles, and that’s a solid recipe for comedy in my eyes. Apatow probably isn’t too interested in this gig, but I really wish he would be.
-Joe Cornish – I may not have loved Attack the Block, but in some ways Cornish’s film is almost a calling card for this type of studio project. He could make a rather unique mark. I’d think that he’d be a less likely pick because of his relative lack of experience, but if Godzilla turns out to be a big success, I could see Cornish following in the footsteps of Gareth Edwards and getting a big franchise to play with.
-Duncan Jones – A darker choice to be sure, but anyone who follows Jones on Twitter knows that he has a sense of humor as well. He’s certainly elevate the franchise and make it a real legitimate “film” as opposed to a comedy tent pole, but isn’t everything supposed to be darker and grittier anyway? He’s another less than likely candidate, but I’d hope that his name is at least floated about.
-Phil Lord and [...]

Jason Reitman bringing Oscar-winning classic to TIFF 2012

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Canadian native Jason Reitman has become a staple of the Toronto International Film Festival, premiering his award-winning “Juno” and “Up In the Air” at the annual fest. Reitman’s returning for the 2012 festival, but he isn’t bringing a film. Well … he isn’t exactly bringing a film.
Reitman revealed on Sunday that he’ll accompany an all-star cast at the famed Ryerson for a live table read of Alan Ball’s “American Beauty” screenplay. With no rehearsal, the actors will come together for a one-take read-through and will revisit this Academy Award-winning script, with Reitman narrating stage direction.
Reitman announced on Twitter that he’d start revealing the names of his cast members on Monday.
“This is one surprise we couldn’t wait to share with Toronto,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “Jason Reitman is like family to us and the Ryerson Theatre is his Festival home.”
“We’re excited to offer Festival audiences the opportunity to watch the creative process unfold in front of their eyes,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “With actors of this calibre being guided by Jason Reitman through Alan Ball’s Oscar-winning screenplay, this will be a unique experience to remember.”
The table read will be held at the Ryerson Theatre on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. Tickets went on sale on Sunday, and cost $19.69 for adults and $15.04 for age 25 and under.
Purchase Festival tickets online at tiff.net/festival, by phone at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, and in person at the Festival Box Office located at 225 King St West. TIFF prefers Visa. The 37th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6 to 16, 2012.
Jason Reitman created the “Live Read” in October 2011, in collaboration with Elvis Mitchell for the film society of Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA). The six month hit series featured “Breakfast Club” (Jennifer Garner and Aaron Paul), “The Apartment” (Steve Carell and Natalie Portman), “The Princess Bride” (Paul Rudd), “Shampoo” (Bradley Cooper and Kate Hudson), “The Big Lebowski” (Seth Rogen), and “Reservoir Dogs,” featuring an all-African American cast with Laurence Fishburne and Terrence Howard.
The LACMA series will begin again this October 2012, with all movie titles and cast as a last-second surprise.
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2012 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENS WITH FUTURISTIC ACTION THRILLER LOOPER

HollywoodNews.com: The Toronto International Film Festival® opens September 6 with the world premiere Gala Presentation of Looper – filmmaker Rian Johnson’s time-bending and mind-bending action thriller. “Rian Johnson is a film auteur known for combining different genres to give his projects an original spin,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “We’re thrilled to have Looper open the Festival.” “I saw Rian’s debut feature Brick at the Sundance festival and was impressed by his ability to engage both the mind and the heart,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival. “We were fortunate enough to premiere his follow-up film The Brothers Bloom. Now, with Looper, Rian has taken his filmmaking to a new level, and we can’t wait to present it to the Toronto audience in the most prestigious platform we can offer. This is a new kind of Opening Night: an exciting, thinking-person’s action film from a director who really understands genre.”
In TriStar Pictures, FilmDistrict, and Endgame Entertainment’s Looper, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good… until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, and Jeff Daniels. Ram Bergman and James D. Stern produce. The executive producers are Douglas E. Hansen, Julie Goldstein, Peter Schlessel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dan Mintz. The film will be distributed in Canada by Alliance Films.
About TIFF TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel [...]

Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody film “Young Adult” gets first poster – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: I’m still surprised — make that shocked — that Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult,” with a script by “Juno” collaborator (and Oscar winner) Diablo Cody, is skipping the fall film festival circuit. Even if Reitman had decided to hold his film out of Telluride and Venice, a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival – practically the filmmaker’s backyard – seemed like a no-brainer.
But Paramount is keeping “Adult” under wraps until we get closer to its Dec. 9 opening. We’re hearing all sorts of explanations why, most centering around the fact that Cody’s story isn’t afraid to get very dark. Reitman’s film centers on a thirtysomething adolescent (Charlize Theron) sent into an tailspin when she returns home and fails to win back her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson). Emotionally battered, Theron’s character strikes up an unlikely friendship with Patton Oswalt, playing another ex-classmate who also has refused to let the high-school glory days fade.
The decision to bypass the fall festivals set off internal alarms. If “Young Adult” was as good as we’d hoped, Paramount would bring it to TIFF, where Reitman would be guaranteed solid reviews. Right?
Lest we think the studio’s not prepared to make an awards push, however, Paramount strategically released a one sheet exclusively to THR, helping to put the film on readers’ (and writers’) radars right as we head into the awards-season push. We have it below.

The poster’s clever. It looks like the cover of a young adult novel, which Theron’s character reportedly pens in the movie. But the photo also captures Theron’s arrested development.
I still can’t figure out why Paramount skipped Toronto, where Reitman collected accolades for all three of his films, including eventual Oscar nominees “Up In the Air” and “Juno.” TIFF seems like a slam dunk for a movie like this that needs to build buzz. But Paramount has a plan. Let’s see how it unfolds.
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Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman, Ivan Reitman and Liz Meriwether Untangle ‘No Strings Attached’

hollywoodnews.com: As unexpected as the combination of Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman may be, their new film “No Strings Attached” offers a fun, breezy balance between Kutcher’s mainstream sensibilities and Portman’s actorly integrity: the two play lifelong acquaintances who fall into a “friends with benefits” situation that tests their mutual resistance to something a little deeper. Ivan Reitman directed the film from a script from newcomer Liz Meriwether; Hollywood News spoke to Meriwether, Reitman, Portman and Kutcher at the recent Los Angeles press day for “No Strings Attached,” where the foursome offered some insights into how the cast and filmmakers came together to create this irreverent and funny new romantic comedy.
Hollywood News: Natalie, you had over a year of intense physical prep for ‘Black Swan’. Did that preparation affect you at all on this movie?

Natalie Portman: You’re like, ‘How did you get fat so quickly?’ It was pretty great. It was like a palate cleanser after all of that really discipline and focus, a very serious kind of set to a really playful, fun – obviously everyone is still very professional on this movie, but there’s an improvisational feel all the time and everyone is there to play. It was a really great atmosphere and I didn’t have to workout because I was like, ‘She’s a doctor. They don’t have time.’
Hollywood News: Ashton, what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for someone?

Ashton Kutcher: Oh, man. Why do I always get these? It’s really hard to say. The most romantic thing for someone. I think that romance sort of coincides with effort. So you can fall flat on your face, but as long as you’re making a great effort I think it comes off as romantic. So it can be something as simple as, like, if you’re someone who doesn’t cook you can make a meal. It’s anything that has a little bit of vulnerability in it and requires great effort. So I think for me I’m a little bit of a workaholic and I was in another country and I had one day off. I flew from that different country just to see someone for an hour and turned around and went back. So it was probably that.
Hollywood News: Natalie, you were also an executive producer on this film. How do you balance that with being in the movie?

Portman: Well, it was a really exciting process [...]

Ivan Reitman on Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman and the sexy, funny “No Strings Attached” – EXCLUSIVE

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Judd Apatow and Kevin Smith may be carrying the baton for coarse, observational, sex-soaked comedy these days, but it was passed to them by Ivan Reitman.
And he wants it back.
Seriously, go back and watch Reitman’s early work, from “Cannibal Girls,” “Stripes” and “Meatballs,” and you’ll see the blueprint that Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill and many more follow to this day. From there, Reitman moved on (and moved up) to “Ghostbusters,” “Legal Eagles,” “Kindergarten Cop” and “Dave.” A generation of classic comedies were born.
Now Reitman’s tackling a new generation, one that’s more frank with their sex talk (and more plugged in to the virtual community, where so much of that sex talk takes place).
“I don’t know if it’s kind of an evolving cynicism, that seems to be part of the world in general, or if it’s just the fact that so much of contemporary courtship takes place on small, electronic instruments,” Reitman told me when we sat down to discuss “No Strings Attached,” his new comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman as friends with benefits.
“What once was a full commentary is now abbreviated. It tends to make everything a little quick and casual and non-intimate,” Reitman continued. “Texting and e-mailing … so much of what we do is writing short messages instead of talking.”
Reitman has watched the comedic audience evolve, as well, over the years, and he thinks honest and open sex talk is the norm, where years ago that might not have been the case.
“With each passing generation, I think … you know, parts of our vocabulary have become very broad. Let’s put it that way. And I think if you are going to do an honest contemporary movie without the language that is part of this film, I don’t think it would be honest or accurate,” Reitman said.
Or funny. And to ensure that “Strings” gets the laughs, Reitman surrounds his already amusing leads with hilarious support. Lake Bell plays a producer on the “Glee” rip off Kutcher writes for. Mindy Kalling of “The Office” steals scenes as Portman’s roommate. And in a particularly inspired bit of casting, Kevin Kline plays Kutcher’s father, a vainglorious, sex-crazed former TV star still living off his fame … and making his son’s life a living hell.
“I hadn’t worked with him since ‘Dave’ and I loved that experience. I think he [...]

Ashton Kutcher on casual sex, Natalie Portman for “No Strings Attached”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Can lifelong friends engage in a purely physical relationship without allowing emotions to gum up the works?
To reveal the answer would be to spoil the plot of Ivan Reitman’s latest comedy “No Strings Attached,” which stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as attractive friends who share a mutual attraction but want only sex – and not love – out of their relationship.
The calling card of “No Strings” is its cavalier attitude toward casual sex, and how members of the opposite sex have precious few boundaries talking about or engaging in the practice of making love. This isn’t “The Philadelphia Story,” where subtle references to sex were lightly bandied about by the likes of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Instead, screenwriter Elizabeth Meriweather talks frankly about physicality in the 21st century. But that doesn’t necessarily mean chivalry is dead.
“I think holding the door for the girl that you are having casual sex with is very romantic,” Kutcher told me during a recent one-on-one interview we had in Los Angeles.
“My youngest daughter just went on a date with a kid,” Kutcher continued. “I made him come in. He said hello. He walked her to the door at the end of the night and did all the right things. So that gives me hope.
“I think this movie does point out, though, that we have to stop acting like casual sex isn’t happening, and start to be realistic about what a modern courting relationship is like,” Kutcher went on to say.
Not only is Meriweather’s script realistic, it’s instantly quotable.
“I think my favorite line has to be the one where I say to Natalie that she looks like a female Rick Moranis,” Kutcher said with a laugh. “There was another one that was something to the effect of, ‘You’re so short, when people see me standing next to you, they think you are my child.’ But I don’t think that it made it in. There was also this whole riff about having sex with Shelly Long. But again, I think that all got left out.”
To see what made it in to the final cut, check out Reitman’s “No Strings Attached,” which opens in theaters on Friday, Jan. 21, and check back on the site during the week for continued coverage of the film.

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Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman: Premiere of “No Strings Attached”

hollywoodnews.com: “No Strings Attached” is the story of a guy and girl trying to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.
“No Strings Attached” was directed by Ivan Reitman

Photo Courtesy Paramount and (Alex J. Berliner/abimages

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Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher release edgier “No Strings” trailer

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Though it’s only four days old, we’re going ahead and declaring 2011 “The Year of Natalie Portman.”
The actress has four films reaching theaters this year, including the anticipated stoner comedy “Your Highness” and the summer blockbuster “Thor.” Off screen, she announced that she’s engaged to be married … and expecting her first child. Oh yeah, and she’s more than likely about to nominated for an Oscar thanks to her mesmerizing performance in Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”
Something tells me we’ll be writing a lot about Portman as the year progresses, starting today. We’re getting a good look at Portman’s next film, “No Strings Attached,” a romantic comedy co-starring Ashton Kutcher that hits theaters on Jan. 21. Initially, I feared that a sappy rom-com released right before the Academy cast its votes could hurt Portman’s chances (the way “Norbit” allegedly hurt Eddie Murphy’s Oscar prospects for “Dreamgirls”).
But a new restricted trailer over on WorstPreviews suggests something else: a bawdy, edgy comedy that shows different sides of Portman’s humor that we knew were there (thanks to films like “Garden State” and “Closer”) but often are kept in check.
The new clip, which features plenty of vulgar sex humor, also shows Ivan Reitman’s influence. Of course, the “No Strings” director helmed such comedy classics as “Ghostbusters,” “Meatballs,” “Stripes” and “Twins.” Then again, he also directed “Junior” and “Six Days, Seven Nights.”
This could be either. But the new, rowdy “No Strings” trailer at least gives me hope that this won’t be another run-of-the-mill romantic comedy that panders to date-night couples.
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