THIS JUST IN! ‘Coriolanus’ Trailer starring Ralph Fiennes & Gerard Butler

WAHOO!! What have we got here! I’ve been waiting for this movie from Fall of 2009 when Gerard Butler was first cast, and finally today we’ve got a trailer! I’ve blogged about it many times before, and even posted some behind-the-scenes pics from Serbia, as well as a guest review from BERLINALE earlier this year.

CORIOLANUS is 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, James Nesbitt and Jessica Chastain from a script by John Logan (Gladiator, Last Samurai, The Aviator).

So I won’t keep you waiting any longer, take a look:

WOW, that was intense!! I guess from some of the movie stills I saw months ago, I knew it’s going to be pretty bloody, and it’s quite eerie to watch given what’s been going on in England. I am so stoked to see this, and I expect great performances from everyone involved. “Coriolanus is grown from man… to dragon.” Yikes, that’s about sums up just the extend of Coriolanus’ lunacy that even his mother has no choice but disowns him.

Just a bit of trivia, though it’s one of the least known work from Shakespeare, both Fiennes and Butler have played Coriolanus on stage before, though this time Butler will be playing the nemesis. Fiennes’ decision to set it in contemporary setting but use the classic dialog is going to be interesting to see. It’s perhaps not the most ‘accessible’ films but given the stellar cast and the relevant subject matter, this is definitely one to watch for the big screen!  I hope this will be playing near me come December 2nd, 2011.

Well, what do you think, folks? Intrigued?

Photo Updates to Coriolanus & The Expendables

Woot, woot! What have we got here? Back in early May, I posted some photos of the Ralph Fiennes’ modern-day Coriolanus adaptation with the cast on the set in Serbia. Well, thanks to, we’ve got some new stills from the movie.

Photos courtesy of

More stills available at the site

In the second pic, we have a glimpse of Brian Cox as Menenius, a slick politician (well, is there any other kind?) and Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia (Coriolanus’ mother). Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd is back to familiar territory after winning some kudos for The Hurt Locker, that last photo is definitely reminiscent of that movie.

In early May, a writer of The Guardian was on the set to observe the shoot and interview the actor/director Fiennes. The article states that Coriolanus has been described as Shakespeare’s least sympathetic tragic hero. Banished from Rome, he turns renegade and joins with Aufidius to march on the city, and that fact is actually what draws him in. “I kind of like his unlikability,” Fiennes says. On Butler’s casting, Fiennes said he wanted an actor with physical charisma. Someone the audience would believe as a contender. “People need to think he can win. Is Aufidius going to beat the s*** out of Coriolanus?”

Judging from this on-set knife fight still below, looks like this is going to be one gritty and bloody adaptation… not to mention explosive!

Writer Andreas Wiseman also posted his on-set experience and experience in the 30Ninjas blog. Looks like they’re going to use the Shakesperean words/dialog a la Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Sweeeet!

Coriolanus: “I’ll fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee.”

Aufidius responds with equal disdain: “We hate alike.”

Speaking of gritty and bloody, not much else conjures up such thought than The Expendables. Most of you probably have seen the poster I posted here, and now we’ve got the one featuring the full main cast. Funny how they start with a bald dude and ends with a bald dude 🙂

In case you’re at all interested about the plot:

THE EXPENDABLES is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator.  Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal.  With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge – one that threatens to destroy this band of brothers. (per IMDb)

Looks like Sly pulls all the stops in the action stuff and the level of brute force one can jam into one movie. And if this photo of Jason Statham below is any indication, preposterous action sequences should be the order of the day!

How does one even get up ther … oh, never mind, just BRING. IT. ON!

The Expendables is out August 13.

Upcoming Flix Spotlight: On the set of Coriolanus in Serbia

Thanks to GBGals via Twitter, we’ve got some cool on-set pics of the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus in Serbia.

GB and Minister Sutanovac

Here’s an excerpt from this online forum (translated from a Serbian news outlet) on the on-set visit of Serbia’s Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac on April 28:

“I am very pleased that we have helped take this movie, which promotes Serbia,” said Minister Sutanovac, and he expressed hope that Coriolanus achieved notable success in film festivals around the world. He noted that the Ministry of Defense in recent years helped in the implementation of a number of film projects in Serbia and will do so in the future. “This is the promotion of the whole country, and all that is good for Serbia, it is good for the Army. We believe that such activities, inter alia, contribute to the promotion of military call and we are extremely pleased that participate in them.”

The shooting that day took place at the Military Museum in Belgrade.

Click to view larger versions

As I’ve mentioned in my previous postCoriolanus is Ralph Fiennes’ directing debut in which he’d play the title role and Butler is playing his arch enemy Tullus Aufidius. You can see GB in his military uniform, looks like he’s got his Leonidas’ buff physique back! 🙂

So, why Serbia? Well, just last month, Fiennes has this to say (via 30Ninjas blog): “Serbia and Belgrade work for us creatively and financially. It’s been a challenging film to raise money for and there were obviously business interests to consider as we wanted to make a film of some scale. The shooting costs in Serbia are comparatively low and we’ve had considerable assistance and support from the Belgrade authorities. A key location, for example, is the Serbian parliament and its main Senate chamber.

But more importantly than that is Serbia’s grittiness – the bruised battered quality of some of the locations. There are great contrasts in Belgrade between weary Austro-Hungarian architecture, the old communist style and early 20th century neo-classicism.”

Last month, the action flicks-focused blog also posted these two pics of Ralph in full military gear directing the movie.

Fiennes' dual roles as actor & director

The shot below involved tracking the angry crowd as they marched toward the vast grain depositories, carrying protest banners, anti-Coriolanus flags, pots pans and improvised weapons. On arriving at the heavily policed entry gates they beat their weapons on the rusted steel and started chanting: BREAD, BREAD, BREAD! The cry surged through the crowd.

These definitely conjures up images of The Hurt Locker (which Fiennes had a cameo role), though I think the only similarity is that it shares the same cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd.

This modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean play is shaping up real nice. With a cast that also include Brian Cox and Vanessa Redgrave and a script by John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator), it’s poised to be a powerful indie flick to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to see the trailer soon!

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: Letters to Juliet

TGIF, everybody! Wow, what a drastic weather change we have in the last week, going from a relatively balmy November (to us in the upper Midwest at least) to an arctic December with wind chills well below zero. But it sure feels like Christmas with all the snow-covered trees and that to me, is always a good thing.

Anyhoo, I don’t know if the Christmas season is making me a tad sentimental, but when I caught this trailer last night and I actually teared up a little. But then again, stories of long-lost love always gets me.

When a young American named Sophia (Amanda Seyfried) travels to the city of Verona, home of the star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame, she joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters to Juliet seeking advice about love. After answering one letter dated from 1957, she inspires its author (Vanessa Redgrave) to travel to Italy in search of her long-lost love, which sets off a chain of events that will bring a love into both their lives unlike anything they have ever imagined.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. It’s sappy, yes, even predictable (the trailer kind of gives away the entire movie, what’s up with that?!), but for whatever reason, I really dig it. I have the exact opposite reaction when I saw Amy Adams’ pathetic Leap Year trailer, which also gives away the entire plot. I don’t even mind the Taylor Swift song, which given its name — Romeo & Juliet in case some of you don’t know — is quite fitting here.

I find it a bit of an amusing coincidence that just a few days ago I wrote a post about Timothy Dalton, who was Vanessa Redgrave’s lover for fourteen years before she married Franco Nero (who plays Lorenzo in the movie). It’s an inspired casting indeed  to reunite the two since Camelot (as Lancelot and Guinevere) back in 1967. Nero’s also still dashing at 68 — boy, Redgrave has great taste in men, doesn’t she? 🙂

Is Amanda Seyfried the new queen of young love? She also has another romantic drama coming up called Dear John with Channing Tatum. Her star is definitely on the rise. She seems to be a pretty versatile actress and pretty but in non-threatening kind of way (unlike Megan Fox, her co-star in Jennifer’s Body). She looks decent here, she makes me like her character and care about her journey. Aussie actor Christopher Egan also makes for a sympathetic potential ‘Romeo’ to Seyfried’s ‘Juliet.’ I first noticed Egan in NBC’s Kings (wonder what happens with that show, it was quite good) alongside Ian McShane and was impressed by his performance. The only peculiar casting here is Gael Garcial Bernal — who usually prefers indie fares — as the obligatory oblivious boyfriend. He is a great actor that’s under-utilized for this type of role. Hugh Dancy, who passed on the role, would’ve been a much better fit.

In any case, the scenery is breathtakingly gorgeous. I’d watch this flick just to indulge in all that lush views of Italian countryside. I wish I could transport myself there and get me out of this chilly rut we’d be stuck with for the next five months!