Upcoming Flix Spotlight: The Tourist

Jolie & Depp in The Tourist

It’s too early to start my Top Ten Anticipated 2011 Flicks, but this one will surely be on that list. I’m certainly psyched more for the supporting cast than the leads. When I first heard about it as far back as last November, it was still a ‘revolving-door’ sort of project with directors and cast coming and going. But it looks like as soon as Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are on board, the project seems to be moving right along and looks like the two are surrounded by a talented British cast.

Dalton & Berkoff

About a month ago or so, Rufus Sewell and Paul Bettany were cast. I’m a big fan of Rufus so that was definitely awesome news, but then last week, yet another fave actor of mine Timothy Dalton is joining the cast, along with another British thespian Steven Berkoff. Just a bit of trivia: Berkoff is the director who took a chance on young Gerard Butler when he cast him in his theater play Coriolanus. Interesting that both actors have acting roots in theater, as well as a James Bond connection (I guess a Bond geek like me would find that amusing 🙂 ) Dalton obviously played the role twice (The Living Daylight & License to Kill), and Berkoff played Bond’s nemesis General Orlov in Octopussy.

German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) is at the helm of the spy thriller. The plot revolves around Frank Taylor, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Cara Mason is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path and throws him into a whirlwind of intrigue and danger.

It hasn’t been revealed what roles the added cast members will play in the movie. News in Film writer recently reviewed a draft script by Julian Fellowes — who won Best Original Screenplay for Gosford Park, and recently penned The Young Victoria — and let’s just say he wasn’t impressed: “Without a strong third act, the script reads like a spy romance novel and a cheap Jason Bourne knock-off.  There are sultry exchanges, multiple chase scenes, and a shootout or two, but the action seems familiar and the mystery leads no where.”

Well, I guess it’s to early to tell how the final film will turns out to be, but based on the characters mentioned in the draft, I’m going to take a stab at speculating who’ll play which role:

  • Alexander Pearce: an international thief and cunning numbers man, personal friend (or lover) of Cara (Dalton?)
  • Ivan Demidov: a particularly angry Russian mobster (Berkoff?)
  • Ackerman: a “Tommy Lee Jones [type] from The Fugitive” (Bettany?)
  • One of the government agents who’s after Pearce (Sewell?)

Well, we’ll see how far off I am once they reveal the info.

Depp & Jolie filming in Venice & Paris – Photos courtesy of Movieweb.com

It’s interesting that in my blog stats several days ago, there’s a particular search term someone used to get to my blog: ‘Why British always villains?‘ Ha! Good question, why are they always playing the bad guys?? In the case of this movie, the Brits are very likely to be playing villains again as Jolie and Depp are the only two American main players.

Anyhoo, judging from the on-set photos in Paris and Venice, this is shaping up to be a good looking film (gorgeous people in gorgeous scenery!) If anything, it’ll make us want to be a tourist at those exotic locations!!

The Time Traveler’s Wife – coming in August

timetravelerswifeI noticed this movie quite a while ago when I read it in EMPIRE magazine, but sort of forgot about it. Based on a book by Audrey Niffenegger,  it’s about an adverturesome librarian, Henry (Eric Bana) and his relationship with beautiful art student Clare (Rachel McAdams). Henry has a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to involuntarily time travel, which creates complications for their marriage. Cinemablend dubbed it as the Notebook meets Ghost (minus that annoying Whoppi character), and from the trailer, this looks quite promising!

 

One look in this trailer and you’ll forget Bana was the Romulan Nero in Star Trek. I’m a huge fan of his (ya know I have a penchant for Brit & Aussie actors!) from the moment I saw him in TROY. He proved himself as leading-man worthy in Munich & Hulk (it wasn’t his fault that the film got trashed). I kept thinking Bana should’ve had the overhyped Brad Pitt’s career, most of the people I talked to agree that his Hector was far more watchable than Pitt’s bronzed drag queen Achilles. And if Bana had been Benjamin Button, I wouldn’t mind enduring the nearly 3 hours running time!

As for Rachel McAdams, she’s quickly becoming one of my fave actress (right up there with Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt). I saw the Notebook on a plane recently and clearly she’s got the acting chops for deeply affecting love stories.

I like the gorgeous poster. Now let’s hope this one is as good as the trailer!