A Fox Searchlight release and presentation of a Scott Free production, in association with Indian Paintbrush, Dayday Films, Ingenious Media. Produced by Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Costigan. Executive producers, Steven Rayles, Mark Roybal. Co-producers, Wentworth Miller, Bergen Swanson, Wonjo Jeong, Michael Ellenberg. Directed by Park Chan-wook. Screenplay, Wentworth Miller.
When South Korean genre iconoclast Park Chan-wook decided to bring his peculiar gifts to a Stateside production, anything could have happened – and anything pretty much does in “Stoker,” a splendidly demented gumbo of Hitchcock thriller, American Gothic fairy tale and a contemporary kink all Park’s own. Led by a brilliant Mia Wasikowska as an introverted teenager whose personal and sexual awakening arrives with the unraveling of a macabre family mystery, this exquisitely designed and scored pic will bewilder as many viewers as it bewitches, making ancillary immortality a safer bet than “Black Swan”-style crossover biz for Fox Searchlight’s marvelously mad March hare. (more…)
With Spike Lee’s remake of his “Oldboy” coming this fall, Park Chan-Wook makes his long-awaited English-language debut.
Park Chan-Wook leaves the expected streaks of blood across American screens in Stoker, his English-language debut about a young woman whose coming of age takes place among the corpses of family members and neighbors. Fans who have followed the Korean auteur since 2003′s Oldboy will not be disappointed, but a high creep-out factor and top-drawer cast should attract genre fans who’ve never heard of him as well.
Mia Wasikowska plays India, an unusually serious girl whose father dies on her eighteenth birthday. At the wake she meets an uncle she never knew about, Charlie (Matthew Goode), just returned from unspecified work in Europe; she spends the day dodging his unsettling stare while noting an unsavory familiarity between Charlie and her normally distant mother, Evie (Nicole Kidman).
That unseemliness does not go unnoticed when Charlie decides to stay a while — just the three of them (the longtime housekeeper having left abruptly) in a large house isolated from town by acres of woods. A rarely seen aunt (Jacki Weaver) comes for dinner, hoping to tactfully get Charlie out; she isn’t heard from again.
Park’s restless but exacting camera adds to the tension between these three characters, all of whom are so stiffly guarded with each other — clearly hiding some things but suspiciously open about others — that we spend the first half of the film waiting for something to crack, like the hard-boiled eggshell India slowly demolishes on the kitchen table. Sound cues like that eggshell are often exaggerated here, and much is made of parallel physical actions — the opening of a piano lid, say, whose keyboard will soon witness a disturbingly erotic duet, with that of a deep freeze that holds more than ice cream. (more…)
Who’s ready for 10 days of indie films, concerts, parties and swag bags?
As is usually the case, this year’s lineup for the Sundance Film Festival packs in a variety of highly anticipated premieres. From the American debut of Hogwarts’ most famous wizard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s first feature film as a writer/director to what looks like one badass rock doc, Sundance 2013 is sure to have us buzzing in the subfreezing temperatures.
Even if you can’t make it out to Park City, Utah, this year, these are the films you’ll need to keep an eye out for down the road when they make their way to a theater near you. These are our must-see movies of Sundance 2013:
Chan-wook Park has been a legend of the South Korean film scene for over a decade, and he will finally make his English-language debut with the trippy gothic thriller “Stoker.” Written by Wentworth Miller, this creepy story tells the tale of a teenage girl (Mia Wasikowska), her deranged mother (Nicole Kidman) and her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode).
Family? It’s complicated … but also bloody, at least when it comes to Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s thriller Stoker, which stars Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska.
Case in point, check out this exclusive one-sheet poster for the film that features an unusual holiday-esque portrait warning “DO NOT DISTURB THE FAMILY” with a blood splattered twist.
Kidman (as mother Evelyn) shoots eye daggers big enough to kill, Wasikowska (as daughter India) holds a sharply pointed pencil in her bloody hands, and Matthew Goode (as handsome uncle Charlie, who appears out of the blue after India’s father dies, and becomes the object of both Evelyn and India’s obsessive affections) stands to the side with an intense stare. Written by Wentworth Miller and co-produced by Ridley Scott, the late Tony Scott, and Michael Costigan, Stoker is the first English language film helmed by South Korean director Park, a master at emotional murder mystery with a stylized edge.
Stoker is out in theaters March 1.
Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment banner has acquired the infidelity thriller “Loft” from Anonymous Content and Belgian banner Woestijnvis. It has yet to be determined whether the film will be released through Warner Bros., where Dark Castle is currently based, or Universal, where Silver just inked a 12-picture distribution deal.
Silver will now be credited as an exec producer on “Loft” along with Andrew Rona and Steve Richards.
In addition, Dark Castle is in production on “Getaway,” a thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. Details on that project were not immediately available.
Dark Castle is currently working with Emmett/Furla Films on Albert Hughes’ actioner “Motor City,” which has Gerard Butler attached to star, though Gary Oldman and Amber Heard are no longer involved with the project.
As for “Loft,” the Erik Van Looy-directed pic is an English-language remake of his own 2008 Belgian film. Edgy indie follows five married friends who share a loft where each brings his mistress. When the dead body of an unknown woman is found there, they begin to suspect one another of murder.
Wentworth Miller, James Marsden, Karl Urban, Eric Stonestreet and Matthias Schoenaerts star alongside Rhona Mitra, Isabel Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Margarita Levieva and Kristin Lehman.
Wesley Strick (“Doom”) adapted Bart De Pauw’s original screenplay. Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Paul Green, Matt DeRoss and Adam Shulman produced along with original “Loft” producer Hilde DeLaere of Woestijnvis.
If you had told us back in 2005 that the star of “Prison Break” was going to become one of the promising screenwriting talents in Hollywood, we would have said you were crazy. But that’s just happened to Wentworth Miller. Under the pen name Ted Foulke (which he seems to have now abandoned), the actor wrote “Stoker” which quickly landed on the Black List, and then assembled a jaw dropping brace of talent with Park Chan-wook directing, and Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Alden Ehrenreich, Jacki Weaver and more starring. It’s one of the most anticipated movies of the year. And now, he’s got something else brewing.
Voltage Pictures and Killer Films have picked up his latest script, “The Disappointments Room,” and it’s another interesting thriller from Miller. The story centers on a woman who moves into a mysterious old house in the country with her husband and young son, only to discover their new home comes with a dark past. Yes, it seems like another old school style concept from Miller, but an intriguing one nonetheless.
Right now the project is out to directors, and give the heat “Stoker” brought, it should be attracting some serious attention. As for Wentworth Miller the actor, he’ll next be seen in the thriller “Loft.”