Roland Emmerich may be preparing for the worst with two versions of “Independence Day 2” (one with Will Smith and one without) but at least one thing remains clear: the “After Earth” star hasn’t grown sick yet of the sci-fi genre with a newly announced project on his plate, while elsewhere Tim Roth and Gérard Depardieu plan to delve into soccer’s behind-the-scenes dealings and Michael K. Williams switches sides of the law.
Notoriously picky in his choice of starring roles and tending toward material with more commercial prospects, Will Smith has decided to firmly stay the course with his latest project, “Selling Time.” Scripted by Dan McDermott (“Eagle Eye”), the familiar-sounding film centers around a man who cuts seven years off his life so that he can relive the worst day of his life over and over again. So “Groundhog Day” meets “Source Code?” No word on exactly how or why the Smith character enacts this process, but prepare to shut your time-travel logic switch off for its duration, unless Shane Carruth suddenly decides to make his studio filmmaking debut. At the very least it’s nice to know the failure of “After Earth” didn’t slow down Smith’s love of sci-fi. [Coming Soon]
There’s surely a gripping cinematic account of the political upheavals and mercurial decisions made behind closed doors of FIFA, the international governing body of soccer. But what happens when a film is being made seemingly with its full approval, as well as that of its two main real-life subjects? Specificity and realism might be more present than actual drama. Nonetheless, actors Tim Roth and Gérard Depardieu are locked to play Sepp Blatter and Jules Rimet, two notable FIFA presidents, in the film tentatively titled “F2014.” It’s release will coincide with the 110th anniversary of FIFA and the World Cup in Brazil, and will film on-location in Azerbaijan, France and Brazil. A director has yet to be announced, but in the right hands it could be a enthralling if sanitized effort. [The Guardian]
Actor Jai Courtney has had a stunning run of success since breaking onto the scene in the Starz original series “Spartacus: War of the Damned”, and now he’ll see that red-hot streak continue with parts in two films by actors-turned-directors. Angelina Jolie has cast Courtney as a pilot in “Unbroken,” her upcoming biopic of Olympic runner, soldier, and POW Louis “Louie” Zamperini; meanwhile, Russell Crowe‘s directorial effort “The Water Diviner” has picked up the actor in a similar role, playing a Lieutenant-Colonel in the bloody 1919 aftermath of Gallipoli. The film also stars Crowe and “Oblivion” actress Olga Kurylenko. [Coming Soon]