Last week Andrew Garfield showed off his spidey skills — and hot, shirtless bod — as the superhero star of The Amazing Spider-Man. And what's better than one super-sexy superhero? A whole crop of them! This year is turning out to be superpowered hottie overload with The Avengers cast of steamy Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and a bulked-up Chris Hemsworth as Thor. And in a couple of weeks Christian Bale brings his suited-up good looks back to the big screen as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. I'm all for the superheroines, but when it comes to all these swoon-worthy superheroes, sign me up for the damsel in distress role! To get in the superhero spirit, let's look at the most smouldering caped crusaders to grace the big screen with their big guns.
Eric Bana may be an Aussie, but he's about to play an American icon. Bana will play Elvis Presley in Elvis & Nixon, alongside Danny Huston as President Nixon. The film marks the directorial debut of Cary Elwes (perhaps best known as Westley from The Princess Bride) and will focus on a meeting between Presley and Nixon that took place at the White House in December of 1970. The meeting was apparently Presley's idea and was proposed via a six-page letter that made note of the fact that Presley wanted to be Nixon's "federal agent-at-large" in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (Which is pretty depressing in light of what happened to Presley just seven years later.) The film sounds a bit like My Week With Marilyn in the sense that it's not a straight biopic but more of a cross-sectioned look at the life of a legend. Can you see Bana as the king of rock 'n' roll?
The 2011 Australian Open has come to an end, and what a way to finish the first grand slam tournament of the year. On Saturday night Kim Clijsters beat China’s Li Na to win the women’s title while last night saw Andy Murray take home the runner’s up plate for the second year a row. Novak Djokovic defeated the Scot in straight sets to claim his second grand slam victory (his first was at the Australian Open in 2008). There was no shortage of stars at both matches, with Eric Bana, pregnant Toni Collette and Melissa George (in town to film The Slap) making appearances, as well as expectant Rebecca Twigley (spotted eating an ice cream), Gracie Otto, Erin McNaught and MasterChef’s Matt Preston and father-to-be George Calombaris. Andy Lee seemed to make a young friend and spent the men’s final with Brendan Cowell. Check out all the celebrities who made their way courtside over the weekend, and congrats to Novak and Kim on their wins!
The trailer for Hanna has hit, and Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, a preteen raised by her ex-CIA father (Eric Bana) to be a deadly assassin. Life seems intense enough in the wintry woods, where Hanna is being trained to be a killing machine (ostensibly to "prepare her" for something, but what?). Then, when she gets transported into the real world and has no choice but to exact her skills on those in her way, things really get crazy. Cate Blanchett plays a CIA agent who's dead-set on keeping Hanna under control — no matter what. "Sometimes children are bad people, too," Blanchett's character opines. Indeed, with Ronan snapping necks and taking names, I'd certainly run from her. The movie actually looks pretty thrilling, but it also doesn't seem to be exploiting the young hitgirl just for shock value; Hanna appears to be conflicted and even vulnerable (even as she's killing). To watch the trailer, just read more.
Get ready to feed your fetish for gorgeous men with cheeky grins: Eric Bana and Colin Farrell are both in talks for the indie drama By Virtue Fall, a story of two men as their relationship goes from friendship to betrayal. The movie will be the directorial debut of Sheldon Turner, whose name you might recognise from this year's Oscars—he was nominated for best screenplay for Up in the Air with Jason Reitman. As for stars Bana and Farrell, they've continued to prove themselves as serious dramatic actors, but let's face it: this is going to be one very good-looking movie.
Count me in for this one: Keira Knightley, Eric Bana and Richard Gere have all signed on to star in The Emperor's Children, based on Claire Messud's novel. Taking place before and after 9/11, the dramedy centers on three Brown University grads as they approach their 30s and deal with the pressures of responsibility and expectations. Relatable, yes, but I often worry when films try to use 9/11 as a reference point, because sometimes it can feel like a manipulative way to conjure up tears. However, the good news here is that Noah Baumbach (most recently of Greenberg) is taking on the directing duties, which could make it a really poignant, introspective movie. He is also adapting the screenplay. Gere is reportedly playing a more supporting character role, and since Bana is 41, I'm guessing Knightley is the only one of the three portraying one of the Brown alumni. Hey, at least she'll get a break from those laced-up corsets she usually wears.
It’s been a busy week for Aussie actors—Sam Worthington has been lining up a boatload of projects and there is also casting news regarding Eric Bana, Guy Pearce and Joel Edgerton. Eric is heading back to action movie territory and is in talks to star opposite Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) in Hanna, a tale about a teenage assassin. (We knew she was trouble as soon as we saw her in Atonement). Eric will play her father, who teaches her to become a cold blooded killing machine.
Meanwhile, Guy Pearce and Mary-Louise Parker (our favourite pot-dealing mum from Weeds!) are set to star in a psychological thriller called The Well. The film is being developed by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s production company and the storyline is still under wraps, but involves “a well-to-do Manhattan couple whose obsessive pursuit of salvation ultimately leads to destruction.”
And last but not least, Joel Edgerton will star in a prequel to John Carpenter’s classic horror movie The Thing. Joel will play a blue-collar mercenary helicopter pilot who helps stop the rampage when a trapped organism in Antarctica is freed and begins a series of attacks. The movie starts shooting in Toronto on March 15th. It's great to see so many Aussies getting work. Which film are you most excited about?