Exciting news updates for Coriolanus and Machine Gun Preacher!

I just want to share exciting news in regards to two of my highly-anticipated movies of the year: Coriolanus and Machine Gun Preacher, both of which will be released in time for Oscar season!

I’ve talked about both movies several times already, but here’s the quick summary on the plot and cast:


A modern retelling of a Shakespeare political play, Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in the title role as the banished hero of Rome who allies with a sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city. The rest of the cast includes Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, and Jessica Chastain from a script by John Logan (Gladiator, Last Samurai, The Aviator).

The Film Stage reported that The Weinstein Company will release the film on limited release on December 2, 2011. I sure hope it’ll make its way to Minneapolis on that time, too, as I definitely would make my way to any theater in town on opening night!

I love what my friend Sheri wrote on her blog JHMO about the story and the casting:

I’ve read the play (although it has been many years since I have done so.) It is a story filled with passion and violence and politics and themes like ambition and familial devotion, friendship, and betrayal. While some may instantly grimace at the idea of sitting through a filmed version of a Shakespearian tragedy (and I fear some of those people will never be able to open their minds to the possibility,) there are parallels to be found in current world politics and if done right, will resonate with a modern viewer.

It is my hope that this film will not only serve to prove that Ralph Fiennes has successfully joined the ranks of a mere handful of actors who have transitioned from in front of the camera to behind it and back again, but also to prove what a small but vociferous bunch of us have known for a long time, that Gerard Butler is a very talented actor.  More talented than his recent foray into romantic comedy and action adventure would have indicated; the talent that seemed evident in much of his earliest work and seemed to want to break out of the constraints of a caged serial killer.

I’ll post the trailer as soon as it’s available, but in the meantime, check out more details and on-set pictures of the project, as well as BERLINALE review.

Machine Gun Preacher

I don’t know if this happens very often as I don’t have much knowledge in Hollywood business dealings. Lionsgate apparently couldn’t accommodate director Marc Forster request to have the film released this year due to its full lineup, so Relativity Media stepped in to distribute the fact-based drama in the US this Fall (per Deadline) and possibly making an Oscar push for this flick! There is no official release date announced yet, but most likely it’ll be sometime this Fall.

I read some snooty remarks from some sites (one of which is a very pompous site in general) in regards to hearing Gerard Butler’s name and Oscar in the same sentence, but as you know, I’ve long believed the Scot is soooo much more than his 12-pack abs in 300 and or what you see in his recent rom-coms. I always think he’s a talented and versatile actor with varied roles in the past 10 years, as I’ve outlined in my post of top five Gerard Butler roles.

The film is inspired by the real-life preacher Sam Childers in his book Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader hundreds of Sudanese children who’ve been kidnapped and pressed into duty as soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A.). I recently read Childers’ interview in Vanity Fair, and he’s definitely got a story worth telling. The caption under the photo on that article reads, “I found God in 1992,” says Sam Childers. “I found Satan in 1998.” The reference is to Joseph Kony, leader of the outlaw L.R.A..

Childers & Butler at the Have A Heart For Children charity event

In addition to Butler, the rest of the cast is an impressive one as well: Kathy Baker, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon (the soon-to-be General Zod) and Souleymane Sy Savane, the Ivorian actor who received rave reviews for his performance in Goodbye Solo. I’m also a fan of Forster’s work, especially Stranger than Fiction and Finding Neverland (Not crazy about Quantum of Solace but it certainly wasn’t terrible). I share Sheri’s sentiment about Forster on her JMHO blog entry on this project:

I’ve had a really good feeling about this one from the moment I heard Marc Forster was directing. He’s a talented and versatile director who manages to pull the best out of his actors. Monster’s Ball was brilliant and he not only got an Oscar -worthy performance out of Berry, but he got amazing performances out of Heath Ledger and Billy Bob Thornton as well.A nomination for Johnny Depp was among the seven earned by  Finding Neverland. Hell, Will Ferrell was nominated for a Golden Globe for Stranger Than Fiction. I’m a fan of all three of these films. I’m also a fan of Forster’s much-maligned Quantum of Solace.

Filming locations took place in Michigan and South Africa. Check out these on-set photos of Butler last Summer with his biker getup, complete with the mullet 😀

Now if only the Weinsteins and Relativity Media would grant us trailers for these movies real soon, I’d be a happy camper!!

What do you think folks? Does either one of these movies interest you?

36 thoughts on “Exciting news updates for Coriolanus and Machine Gun Preacher!

  1. PrairieGirl

    Thanks for the update on these two films. I’m anticipating both, but MGP a little more, especially since I LOVE Stranger Than Fiction and really liked Neverland, and also because it’s based on a true story. I really believe GB is going to shine in both of these, and thus will have redeemed himself fully from his recent rom-com misadventures ;-D And Oscar and Gerard Butler in the same sentence sounds like music to my ears.

    1. Yay, Becky! I’d love for you to go with me to see both of them, though most likely they won’t open in MN right away as limited release generally only include NY and LA and a few other big cities 😦

      Well, early word from early screening I’ve read said that GB truly shines in MGP, but of course I have high hopes for both of these. Yes, Oscar and GB together sounds like music to my ears, too 😀

        1. Oh you bet! I think I’ll drag Ivan along this time as he might be interested to see these. I think Tony and Bob would love MGP as well.

  2. Certainly great news for any Gerard Butler fan!!! 🙂 Both movies sure look like potentially interesting stories, especially when compared to The Ugly Truth or Gamer.

    1. Indeed Castor! Funny you mentioned the exact two of his movies I didn’t like and don’t care to see. Even judging by the story and the people involved, these two certainly are VERY promising.

  3. I’m happy to see i am not the only one who actually liked Quantum of Solace.

    Neither of these movies were really on my radar, but maybe once i see some trailers that will change my mind

    1. I think Quantum got flak because Casino Royale was so tremendous so anything below par would be considered a disappointment. I don’t like the third act at all, it was just a bloody mess IMO, but everything leading up to it was good.

      I figure these two movies won’t be on people’s radar unless they’re big fans of Butler or Ralph. Yeah, I wish they’d release the trailers real soon!

    2. Make that three…i liked Q of S as well. Agree that Casino Royale set the bar so high, it was inevitable that people would be disappointed.

      As for Coriolanus & Machine Gun Preacher, I don’t know if either of these will ever show here…even though Preacher was partially filmed in Michigan (in the process, putting me within two degrees of Gerard Butler LOL).

      1. I don’t know if either of them will show here in MN either, Paula. Such a bummer!! There was another GB flick I was waiting forever to be released here and it went straight to DVD! 😦 I couldn’t figure it out why because it would’ve been out right after 300, at the height of his popularity!! At least these two are for sure to be released in the cinema.

        1. You would think they would want to capitalize on that, right? I think the movie biz is so unsettled right now, all bets are off. I mean, I was shocked that something like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy couldn’t get distribution until Firth won the Oscar. & even then it will probably play only at the art house here (yes, the one where everyone yammered on throughout Jane Eyre…that one).

          I am glad these will be shown in the cinema. Every film should have a shot at being seen the way the director intended. I recently saw The Graduate on a proper big screen and it was a totally different experience than when I’ve seen it on TV.

          1. I know!! It’s crazy how they didn’t jump at TTSS even if Colin hadn’t won, the cast is amazing, especially how popular Tom Hardy is these days. I guess maybe we think all British cast are great but Hollywood would rather put their $$$ on the A-listers like DiCaprio, Pitt, Clooney, etc. which don’t appeal to me.

            He..he… funny that we both have bad experiences in the indie theaters, but I have a feeling I’d have to brace myself to see these two!

            Oh yeah, I think seeing movies on the big screen are totally different than on our TV screen. Btw, your comment just gives me an idea… I’ll email you about it later and you can tell me what you think.

            1. I like though guys but i like having choices, lots & lots of movie choices.

              i brace myself no matter what these days…sometimes even the people i’m with will chatter incessantly LOL

              ooh awesome bwa ha ha

  4. Ted S.

    I’m curious about Coriolanus, I’ve never the play but the theme of the story interests quite a bit. Hopefully Fiennes and his editor(s) went back and fix the film before it opens here in States. Some early reviews from the people who’ve seen it weren’t too kind to it.

    As Machine Gun Preacher, I don’t know much about it but hopefully it’s good. I think Butler is a good actor, he just needs to pick better role for his future films. Maybe he needs to fire his agents so they don’t keep bringing him all those rom-coms and lame action scripts. The last film I saw of him was Law Abiding Citizen, I think you like that one but I thought it was one of the worst films of 2009. I don’t know if he’s still attached to do the Escape from NY remake, since New Line Cinema went belly up, the film is now stuck in limbo.

    1. Ted S.

      Wow I should read my sentence before I hit the POST button.

      I meant to say: I’m curious about Coriolanus, I’ve never read the play but the theme of the story interests me quite a bit.

    2. I’m not familiar with Coriolanus either, but I generally like this type of stories. The modernization aspect but keeping the Shakespeare language intrigues me, we’ll see how that turns out. I think the reviews have been mixed, which is to be expected.

      Yep, I’ve been saying that about his movie choices, but sounds like he’s picking better roles now. Yeah I do like LAC, but I guess I’m biased in regards to Butler 😀 The writing could be much tighter but I thought his performance was good, not so much Jamie Foxx though. I hope he won’t be doing Escape from NY!! I’d rather he choose to do a romantic drama instead, something like The Painted Veil would be nice! I think I heard that Kurt Russell isn’t too keen about having a Scottish guy play Snake Plissken.

  5. Happy Monday Flixers.

    I have little time so I will have to read this later. I just wanted to send some FRC loving your way. I will have a good read later on!!

  6. Indeed these two do interest me quite a lot, and not only because of Monsieur Butler (I’m joking with the Monsieur .. he might just be the biggest dog out there, but who’s complaining really?). Really really interested to see if Fiennes can tone down his über-intellectual strides and not make it a ponce-fest.

    1. Glad to hear Anna. Ahah, Monsieur Butler, I like the sound of that. He’s a playa as they say, but like you said, who’s complaining? 😀

      I’m really curious to see Fiennes’s directing effort, this is quite an ambitious one but it sounds like it’s right up his alley as he’s played the character on stage before.

      1. Yeah at least he’s really passionate about it, I heard he’d been trying to get Coriolanus to be a movie for years and years before it all worked out.

        1. That’s what I heard, too. Btw, did you know that Butler also played Coriolanus on stage back in London? I believe that’s his first ever professional acting role. So it’s come full circle for both of them in regards to this story.

  7. that pompous site must be PLAYLIST, they are the biggest haters on the Net, have absolutely no taste and like trashing things using the most horrible language, and they seem rather uneducated. Not to mention that their usage of the word thespian is rather strange.

    1. You got it, Dezzy. I removed their link from my sidebar as I just don’t care for such snobbery. Yep, I don’t care for their crude language either. I mean, you can disagree with people’s opinion but no need to be insulting them as if their taste is the most intelligent/sophisticated, whatever. Glad you agree with me about them, Dezzy.

      1. yep, and the interesting thing is that they usually hate and trash things even before they see the actual film and those are usually sf and historical epics which they just like to attack as soon as they hear of them. And sometimes they are very hypocritical in that way, for example they’ve already started trashing JOHN CARTER just because it’s a sf epic even though it has the most kind and heartwarming director Andrew Stanton from WALL E and FINDING NEMO and the most thespian of casts including Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy, John Hurt, Willem Dafoe, Polly Walker, Samantha Morton, Lynn Collins, Thomas Hayden Church ….
        I applaud you for taking them of your sidebar!

        1. Yeah, I notice that too. Oh well, we have a choice not to read their site, right? Now I’d rather cite my sources from other sites that are more positive but still have the info I want to read.

          Btw, I didn’t know Andrew Stanton are doing John Carter. Wow, that is quite a cast!

    1. Yay Nov, glad to hear!! The cast for Coriolanus is tremendous, I’m sooo glad to see Butler in such good company, especially his fellow Scot Brian Cox!

  8. Fiennes & Butler! That’s a pretty nice one two punch right there. I’m looking forward to seeing Butler do something a little more substantial than his romantic comedies and finally live up to his 300 hype. I admit to not seeing much from him prior to 300…..does he have better material worth checking out?

    1. Hi there Markus!! Yep, a great combo indeed 😀 I totally understand where you’re coming from as most people only know him from 300 and after but I’ve been a fan of his since his Phantom of the Opera days in 2004. He’s absolutely phenomenal as the disfigured anti-hero as he had to act as well as sing Andrew Llyod Webber’s songs which are not easy, especially for someone who’s not a trained singer.

      Please check out this post if you’re interested:
      https://flixchatter.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/my-top-5-favorite-gerard-butler-roles/ My favorite of the bunch has to be Dear Frankie, a tiny Scottish indie where he plays a father figure to a wee boy. He’s also great in Richard Donner’s Timeline (took the spotlight from the lead Paul Walker IMO) and fun to watch in Guy Ritchie’s Rocknrolla. What I love about Butler is he always mix things up… I think people see him in two rom-coms back to back and immediately think that’s all he could do. Well, they’re so wrong!

    1. No, THANK YOU for the info and excellent write-up you did on both projects. Now we have to let each other know when the trailers come out, right, then we can party! 😀

  9. benthom

    I saw an advanced screening of MGP and it was amazing! I couldn’t stop thinking about
    the film after it ended. I think Gerard and the whole casts did a wonderful job. As for Souleymane Sy Savane, I gained so much more respect for him as an actor because I really believed that he was playing himself in Goodbye Solo. After seeing MGP and the contrast between this character and Solo, I know that he was indeed acting and I’m positive hi career is going to take off after this. I’m looking forward to this film and kudos to Marc Forster!

    1. Hi Benthom, welcome to FC!! THANK YOU for sharing your review of MGP, wow how fortunate you are to have seen it already. How violent is this movie? I heard from a couple of them that the brutality of the scenes in Africa are quite intense, is that true?

      Glad to hear the cast did a wonderful job. I saw Mr. Savane’s name keep getting mentioned in several reviews on IMDb, good for him. I’m looking forward to this even more now, thank you!

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