MORE FALL FILM NEWS
FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Of all the old acquaintances coming to movie screens for the holidays — Rooster Cogburn, Gulliver, the Focker family, the Narnia crew — one kid with glasses stands above them all.
HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 is the beginning of the end for one of Hollywood’s most remarkable undertakings, a decade long dash to adapt J.K. ROWLING’S seven novels about the young wizard before DANIEL RADCLIFFE and his costars outgrow their roles.
Told in two parts, with November’s first installment followed by next July’s finale, the adaptation of Ms. Rowling’s final book sends DANIEL RADCLIFFE’S HARRY and pals HERMIONE (EMMA WATSON) and RON (RUPERT GRINT) outside the safety of Hogwarts wizardry school on a quest to bring down their nemesis, evil VOLDEMORT (RALPH FIENNES) – once and for all.
DANIEL RADCLIFFE campaigned from the start to break the story into two movies. Unlike the earlier books, which had secondary plot lines that could be omitted, DEATHLY HALLOWS had few details to drop.
“It’s just the three of them on the road and that’s what you’re focusing on. That’s where everything happens. So there’s very little you can actually cut without changing the story,” DANIEL commented.
“There was no way you could do justice to the book and really capture the story in one film unless you made that film six hours.”
“And while I know there are some fans that would be quite happy to have a six hour Harry Potter film, we do want to make films not just for the huge fans of the books, but also for the other people, regular cinemagoers, who perhaps haven’t read them.”
“So it was essential to make it palatable for everyone, while also remaining true to the book – and to do that, you have to make it into two films.”
Here’s a look at highlights among other films debuting for the holidays this November and December.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER resumes C.S. LEWIS’ fantasy adventure, with the Pevensie youths reteaming with King Caspian on a perilous sea journey.
Father in law ROBERT DE NIRO and son in law BEN STILLER are at odds again in LITTLE FOCKERS, the third chapter in the MEET THE PARENTS franchise, with fresh mayhem erupting at a family gathering.
Also on the comedy front…
DIANE KEATON, HARRISON FORD and RACHEL McADAMS star in MORNING GLORY, about bickering hosts of a morning TV news show.
JOHNNY DEPP and ANGELINA JOLIE star in THE TOURIST, a romantic thriller about a heartbroken man swept up in intrigue in Italy after a mystery woman thrusts her way into his life.
BLUE VALENTINE casts RYAN GOSLING and MICHELLE WILLIAMS in a drama that cuts back and forth between two people’s hopeful beginnings and the agonizing disintegration of their marriage.
HELEN MIRREN does Shakespearean sorcery and hard boiled espionage with a pair of December releases.
JULIE TAYMOR’S gender bending THE TEMPEST casts Ms. Mirren in a traditionally male role as a woman who conjures a storm to shipwreck enemies on her island home, where she aims to settle old scores.
THE DEBT, from SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE director JOHN MADDEN, features HELEN and AVATAR headliner SAM WORTHINGTON in a thriller about Mossad agents chasing a Nazi butcher.
Among other holiday dramas…
COLIN FIRTH plays Britain’s monarch George VI, father of the current queen, as a therapist (GEOFFREY RUSH) tries to help him overcome a speech impediment in THE KING’S SPEECH.
NATALIE PORTMAN’S a ballet dancer whose dark side emerges as she competes with a rival in BLACK SWAN.
CHRISTIAN BALE and MARK WAHLBERG are sibling boxers who team for triumph in the ring in THE FIGHTER.
SOFIA COPPOLA (LOST IN TRANSLATION) directs SOMEWHERE, the story of a party boy actor (STEPHEN DORFF) reassessing his life during a visit from his daughter (ELLE FANNING).
NAOMI WATTS and SEAN PENN star in FAIR GAME, a drama about CIA operative VALERIE PLAME, whose cover was blown by a Bush administration leak.
To prepare, NAOMI went to spy boot camp, where she was handcuffed, hooded, confined in a box, struck with canes and put through other ordeals to familiarize herself with Ms. Plame’s world.
“The first day, I said, ‘Ow,’ when somebody kicked me on the shins, and the trainer said — he always would sound so fierce and angry, like these beady eyes and tight lips — great trainer, ‘Don’t be making any complaints unless you want to go to hospital. And we can go to hospital, but I don’t want to humiliate you,‘” NAOMI remarked.
“So it was like, ‘Oh my God. I better really toughen up here.‘”
The animated musical TANGLED features MANDY MOORE providing the voice of long haired Rapunzel, the fairy tale princess trapped in a tower.
GWYNETH PALTROW and TIM McGRAW star in COUNTRY STRONG, the story of a fallen country star hoping to revive her career on a tour with a rising songwriter (GARRETT HEDLUND).
DENZEL WASHINGTON and director TONY SCOTT’S latest collaboration is UNSTOPPABLE. DENZEL’S a railroad engineer who teams with a conductor (STAR TREK star CHRIS PINE) to put the brakes on a runaway train carrying deadly toxins.
Also in the action lineup…
RUSSELL CROWE stars in THE NEXT THREE DAYS as a man plotting a prison break after his wife (ELIZABETH BANKS) is jailed for murder.
JEFF BRIDGES resurrects two Hollywood heroes with TRON: LEGACY, a follow up to his 1982 sci fi adventure TRON and JOEL and ETHAN COEN’S TRUE GRIT, a remake of the JOHN WAYNE western.
TRON: LEGACY casts JEFF’S video game genius back into a dazzling cyber realm, where his son (GARRETT HEDLUND) follows to find his missing father.
In TRUE GRIT, which costars MATT DAMON, JEFF plays Rooster Cogburn, a boozy, take no prisoners law enforcer hired by a girl to track down her father’s murderer.
The two films, which open barely a week apart in December, sent JEFF back and forth between a visual effects extravaganza and 19th century sets.
“It was really crazy. The big swing was, after True Grit, we shot some work on Tron: Legacy and it was maybe a one day difference. Just right to it,” commented JEFF, who had the same makeup artist on both shoots.
“One minute, he was putting all this dust on me, combing my beard…and the next he’s putting dots on my face to do some special effects.”