As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon,’ Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his crosshairs.
With help from a new cast of humans (led by Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz), Optimus Prime and the Autobots rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. Set for a June 27th release in the US and a July 10th bow in the UK, Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ also stars Li Bingbing, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller, Han Geng and Titus Welliver, while the voice cast includes John Goodman as Hound, Ken Watanabe as Drift, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, Frank Welker as Galvatron, John DiMaggio as Crosshairs, Mark Ryan as Lockdown, Robert Foxworth as Ratchet and Reno Wilson as Brains.
Can you recall how you joined ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ and what was it about what Michael Bay told you or the script that really excited you?
Jack Reynor: For me, I was working on a film in New York when I got a call to say Michael Bay is going to do a new Transformers movie, and Mark Wahlberg is going to be a part of it. So I flew out to LA to meet Michael and have a conversation with him. I found him to be a really amicable guy and we got on great together. And then I met Denise Chamian, the casting director, and I did a couple takes with her. I eventually then tested with Nicola and then flew back to New York. Two weeks later Michael calls me and says, “Hey Jack, what’s going on?” And then after a bit of chit-chat he says, “You didn’t get the part.” So I probably paused (laughs), but then he says, “No, I’m just messing with you. Of course you did.” So that’s Michael and his way (laughs). That was the moment where it was like, “Wow, this is the big payoff now – to make one of these films and be a part of this big event movie and series.”
‘The Rover,’ David Michod’s highly anticipated follow-up to ‘Animal Kingdom,’ is set in a world ten years following the collapse of the western economic system, where Australia’s mineral resources have drawn the desperados and dangerous to its shores. With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. The film follows hardened loner Eric (Guy Pearce), who travels the desolate towns and roads of the Australian outback. When a gang of thieves steals his car they leave behind the wounded Rey (Robert Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him. ’The Rover’ opens in the US on June 20th and in the UK on August 15th.
You really get a sense of the heat in the film, and the exhaustion that the characters are likely feeling. How was it immersing yourself in in the true environment of ‘The Rover’? I imagine that allowed you to slip into character more efficiently?
Guy Pearce: It was great being out on location, and the heat obviously was a big part of what it was we were experiencing in the story anyway. So it was grueling and it was hot, but it was mixed with those incredible locations we were in. So it was all a part of the experience we were in. It’s kind of amazing being out there. It always helps to be in real locations. That extreme heat, those flies, and that vast expanse of desert – it just adds to it, like you’re putting on a costume. It takes you there.
Robert Pattinson: I genuinely couldn’t have answered that better (laughs). But I’d never shot like this anywhere before, there’s nothing for miles and miles. It’s fun to work with a crew in a tiny little town where everybody’s hanging out with each other all the time. You develop a great bond, and I haven’t had that for a while. You don’t get that with big studio movies.
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on an athletic team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them. Out now, ’22 Jump Street’ also stars Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell and Craig Roberts. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller direct.
The relationship between you and Jonah’s characters in the original film took center stage. Schmidt and Jenko are an odd couple, and they work well together because they bring different things to the table. What is it like bringing that relationship to the big screen, and working with Jonah on that?
Channing Tatum: I’d never been in a comedy before. I learned to trust the process – I mean, Jonah is so good, he can throw out four or five different ways of saying a line, one right after another. I trust him, and I trust Chris and Phil – I’m among friends. If they’re laughing, you know it’s funny. When I watch an action-comedy – like ’48 Hours’ or ‘Bad Boys’ – I want to believe that those guys hang out after the movie, chilling at the bar. That’s how Jonah and I are for the most part. It’s definitely a lot of fun working with Jonah, and even more so on this one because I know him even better now.
‘Belle’ is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son (Sam Reid) bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. ‘Belle’ is directed by BAFTA Award winner Amma Asante, written by Misan Sagay, and also stars Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton and James Norton. Out now in the US, ‘Belle’ opens on June 13th in the UK and Ireland.
While ‘Belle’ is very much a sumptuous period piece and a historical document of sorts, the struggles faced by woman of colour like Belle didn’t end with the abolition of slavery. Hers is a journey from being the woman she is expected to be to becoming the woman she wants to be, while accepting that she doesn’t fit into any one convenient preconception. We follow a huge arc in this young woman’s life…
Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Yeah, I truly loved that. Dido goes on a massive journey, from a protected young girl to a woman who really takes control of her own destiny. Just the idea that there was this girl who was part of our cultural legacy in England – a mixed race woman in the 1780s – hooked me. Speaking as a mixed-race woman now, there aren’t many historical stories, and so I thought, “This is a part of our cultural heritage, and hardly anyone knows about it!” I think when people think of “dual heritage”, many people think it’s a modern concept, but really it’s not. So the fact that Dido was a pioneer of her time is amazing to me and so I wanted to do justice to her. Her story needs to be known. And it’s about family, falling in love for the first time and finding your identity in the world. These are very resonant, contemporary issues.
Five years have passed since the heroic young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) befriended an injured dragon and forever changed the way the residents of Berk interact with the fire-breathers. Now, Vikings and dragons live side-by-side in peace on the fantastical isle that has been transformed into a dragon’s paradise. But when grown-up responsibilities loom on the horizon, Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless take to the skies in search of answers. It’s much more than he bargained for, though, when Hiccup discovers that a mysterious dragon rider is really his long-lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) and that the peace between dragons and Vikings is threatened by the power-hungry Drago (Djimon Hounsou) with help from the dragon trapper Eret, son of Eret (‘Game of Thrones’ actor Kit Harington).
As Astrid (America Ferrera), Gobber (Craig Ferguson) and Viking friends Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and twins Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (T.J. Miller), lend their support, Hiccup, his mother and tribal chief father Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), must work together to protect the dragons they have grown to love. In the process, Hiccup finds the answers he has been looking for in ways he could never have imagined. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′ is loosely based on the book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell. The film opens on February 13th in the US and February 27th in the UK and Ireland.
In the original ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ Hiccup’s world is flipped upside down when he encounters and befriends an injured dragon he names Toothless – and he gains the admiration of his father, the respect of the town, Berk, and even the affection of Astrid, the girl that he was pining for. And now this second film really maps Hiccup’s coming-of-age, and with him being groomed to become a Chief, he’s uncertain about the future...
Jay Baruchel: Yeah. Hiccup’s a bit of a square peg. I wouldn’t say he’s ahead of his time, but he doesn’t make a tonne of sense in the world he’s born into, but he’s found a way to make it his own. And we’ve seen some of the promise of the first movie realized a bit, and the obligations of adulthood are starting to mount and pile up and he knows that, as the son of the Chief, it doesn’t take a Math whiz to know that he’s next in line – and he struggles with that. And Berk is amazing now. If you live in Berk now and you don’t have a Dragon now you’re in the minority. There’s Dragon racing and it’s all this beautiful testament to what Hiccup was a part of in the first one in bridging the gap and bring them together. The emotional content, the action sequences, this second film is everything it’s supposed to be and then some. It’s really a pretty incredible, beautiful flick.
Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them – and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. The film – also starring Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia and Emily Peachey – explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love. Josh Boone directs from a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer).
Based on John Green’s acclaimed best-seller of the same name, ‘The Fault in our Stars’ opened this weekend in North America to a hefty $48.2 million at the Box Office. Opening on June 19th in the UK and Ireland, the romantic comedy-drama was made for roughly $12 million, so its already made a bucket load of money – drinks are on 20th Century Fox! Check out what Shailene Woodley had to say about the film below.
I understand this book and this script for ‘The Fault in our Stars’ grabbed you immediately — you even sent John Green a long email about how much you loved the book and how you had to play Hazel. But what in particular was it about the story that gave you that passion and made you want to play Hazel?
Shailene Woodley: I did (laughs). I read the book and I pretty much decided that I would do anything I could to be a part of this movie. It was truly one of the biggest honors of my life to be a part of this movie. I just thought the universal messages were so important and so integral for humanity to hear these days. And if we’re able to take such a beautiful lesson and deliver it to the world in an artistic form such as through visual media… very rarely do you go to movies and feel like your world has been completely rocked for the better. I was so profoundly moved reading the script and the book, and I felt like that myself.