Note: This is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.
No major breaking Hugo Weaving news lately, but two of his biggest projects in years– Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit– continue rolling out promotional material. Cloud Atlas in particular is picking up steam as its October 26 opening approaches, though that’s far from the first time people will be able to see the film. The official premiere will be held October 24 in Los Angeles. Before then, there will be screenings at:
The New Yorker Festival, 6 October (sold out, but some extra tix will be made available at the box office on October 5 at noon), at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8 (tickets now on sale) at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 17 (no doubt special to the Wachowskis, as that’s their home turf; more info here), and The Philadelphia Film Festival (more info here) between October 18 and 28 (specific dates announced September 28). The directors ARE scheduled to appear in New York and Chicago, and I’d guess they’ll be at the other two as well, as they’ve gone all out in promoting this project. The actors probably will not reconvene until the premiere… I could be wrong about that, but many of them are currently working on other projects at the moment; Hugo Weaving is in Sydney and presumably taking a break. Coincidentally, Oranges and Sunshine had its modest but well-received American premiere at the Hamptons Fest last year… I was fortunate enough to go. The film’s director and author Margaret Humphries were on hand. This time I’ll be going to the New Yorker Festival screening, though I’m still working out travel logistics… I’ll add in other preview dates as they become available. I hope some of you are able to go! 😉 It’s frustrating for European fans that the film won’t open overseas until early next year… all the more so because it’s based on a British novel. When will studios outgrow these tiresome delaying tactics and give fans worldwide equal opportunities to see films at similar times? Don’t they know a lot of us talk globally on the internet? 😉 Usually American Hugo Weaving fans have to wait months or years to see his Aussie films too; none of it is fair to the artists or their fans.
But if you’re among the fans who have to wait for its formal opening date, you’ll have the consolation of being able to see it in IMAX in some locations. For a film of this scale and visual beauty, it’s a natural choice, and I’m glad Warner Bros has gambled in its favor. More details at The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Rave, Screen Rant and (for the full press release) Boston.com. The only info about the premiere thusfar is via this sweepstakes entry on Fandango.com — they’re offering a grand prize of airfare, luxury hotel lodgings and tix to the event (go fill it out. I’ll wait.) 😉 Again, there’s no official word on whether or not the full cast will be at the premiere, or at any of the festival screenings, but I’m inclined to think yes to the former (at least some of the cast will definitely be available) and probably not to the latter. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Now to those TV spots– I haven’t actually seen any of these on TV yet, but that should change soon:
The first emphasizes the romance plots and a sampling of rave reviews:
The second highlights the villains, mostly played by Hugo Weaving (we see Rev. Horrox, and Bill Smoke) and Hugh Grant:
The third one goes back to the Larger Themes angle of the theatrical trailer and extended first look:
More response to the trailers, marketing, et al at First Showing, Cinema Blend, Movie Carpet, IGN, and The Film Stage. There’s an in-depth interview with actor Jim Sturgess at Bullett (via Jim Sturgess Online) . Susan Sarandon discussed the film (and her dogs’ Twitter accounts) on Jimmy Fallon about a week ago. The Movie Carpet article featured a slew of new banners, posters and other promotion, including a look at two of Hugo’s characters here:
I do believe that’s Nurse Noakes glaring out at poor Timothy Cavendish on the left, and of course Bill Smoke is in the one on the right. The Adam Ewing and Frobisher plots get short shrift in a lot of these, unfortunately… I guess it’s harder to sell period pieces. By the way, the balding Korean character on the far right is Hugh Grant… he’s also seen briefly in the Papa Song section of the earliest trailer. As far as Hugo’s characters go, we’ve now seen Rev Horrox twice (he’s the officious man with muttonchops), Bill Smoke quite a lot (because Hugo will never be permitted to live down Agent Smith), Old Georgie a few times (purely visual so far) and glimpses of Noakes and the Korean official known as “Control” according to some sources– there’s no such character in the novel, so I assume he’s a composite of several government or authority figures. He’s heart briefly in the first, extended trailer saying “The problem you present is a political one”. No one has yet identified Hugo’s character in the second (Frobisher) story, so it’s probably a cameo. If I were to guess based on the novel, I’d go with Bicycle Policeman. 😉
I’ve heard some of the banners are being used on bus adverts already. As always, if you know where higher res versions can be found, do let us know.
Speaking of which, the James D’Arcy fans have come through with these larger, lovelier WireImage pics of Hugo with Hugh Grant. (Taken by Jeff Vespa 9 September at TIFF):
Hugo should work with James D’Arcy more often. These guys have astonishing resources and are wonderful help in tracking down material. When fans of character actors network, beautiful things happen. 😉 (There are lots of Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham, etc fans I still keep in touch with… because they’re as great as the actors they celebrate. And I just know Hugo is going to work with mosty of those actors again.) 😉
Breaking news: new, LARGE Icelandic promo banner:
[Has been taken down at site of origin. Does anyone have a copy?)
Lana and Andy Wachowski gave an in-depth, over-40-minute interview (their first radio interview) to WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift a few days ago… very much worth a listen if you’ve loved any of their work. They discuss the film at length, and aren’t afraid of personal questions, though none are too intrusive:
The latest review excerpts:
Andrew Robinson, Film School Rejects: “It’s easy when watching Cloud Atlas to become too involved with the details to recognize the overall point. Each of the individual stories are all so enthralling that by the time we cutaway to another that we’re pining for more with the story we just left. Seeing each of the main actors, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Keith David, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving and Doona Bae all appear as different roles throughout time gives this cyclical feel to the film which aids its thematic core. That being, regardless of what impediments stand in the way of righteousness, human nature will always strive towards love, happiness and togetherness….With all of its philosophical goals, the movie still delivers from an entertainment stand point. It blends the deep thoughts with piercing action and brilliant climactic points to each story within the story. Although two-and-a-half house seems daunting, the film holds interest easily throughout. A+”
Lucy O’Brien, IGN: ” And while Cloud Atlas may not be a perfect movie, it is a unique one. And in today’s mainstream Hollywood, that is a rare commodity. Just pay a visit to your local multiplex, where sequels, prequels and remakes dominate its screens, where the only ‘original’ films showing are those based on massive cross-platform media franchises…. With all this considered, it’s unsurprising the Cloud Atlas trio faced a lack of enthusiasm as they began to shop their screenplay around. Even after they had a cast of considerable clout signed on (the film stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and Hugo Weaving, amongst others), there was resistance. It suffered a damning combination – not only was the story an unknown entity outside of those who’d read the book (and we’re not talking a Harry Potter or a Hunger Games readership here), it was massively ambitious. As Lana Wachowski understated very early on, it was a hard sell…. Cloud Atlas is a rarity then, amongst the cycle of sequels, remakes and reboots, and this rarity makes it important. With its interconnecting stories, universal themes, multiple role casting, ethnicity/gender switch ups, and epic, overarching narrative spanning half a millennium, it is truly, audaciously new (regardless of the fact that it is an adaptation.) And without new ideas, where is there to go? How is cinema to be pushed forward? Without new ideas, we’d have no 2001: A Space Odyssey, which means we’d have no Star Wars, which means we’d have no Matrix, which means we’d have no Inception. The knock-on effect will cease if Hollywood endlessly appeals to built-in audiences. ‘New’ is an endangered species, and it has never been more important.”
Kyle Malcharek, Kyle’s Cinematic Inclination: “One of the major conceits of the film is the reuse of actors in multiple different roles (up to 6 each). The meaning of this in the context of the film has been widely discussed and opinions vary. Personally, I think that the primary reason Tom Tykwer and Lana & Andy Wachowski did this because it’s a cool thing to do. However, my interpretation with regard to the film is that every character portrayed by each actor epitomizes a particular aspect of humanity. The idea of reincarnation of souls is also implied in the film (and book), but in a completely different way (using a common birthmark), so the recurring actors must be explainable in another way…. Despite its huge budget and shiny effects, Cloud Atlas is a very deep film and one I look forward to rewatching more than once. I can honestly say that I haven’t given more thought to any other film I’ve seen this year. Due to this depth, it will (and does already) have its critics. That is the joy of movies like this; they make people feel strongly one way or the other.”
David Baldwin, We Got This Covered: “Broadbent is great in all of his roles, as are Hugo Weaving and James D’Arcy who appear as bit players in many of the stories…. Taking into account all elements at play, Cloud Atlas is a frustrating film without easy answers. Indecision and imperfection abound throughout the film, but its wild ambition and astoundingly large scope is simply marvelous to behold…. There has not been this huge a gamble in filmmaking since Avatar and I genuinely fear for it because I know not all audiences will be as kind to it as I was. But I can only hope that most will give it a chance if only to be left completely breathless by what they witness and experience.”
Finally (on the Cloud Atlas front) the film’s Facebook page recently posted a larger version of the Bill Smoke image originally seen in the promotional slideshow back in July. Some film sites hadn’t noticed it before and proclaimed it “a new image“… it isn’t, but good to see, nonetheless.
There are a few new tidbits on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as well, though nothing as momentous as the debut of the second, multiple-ending trailer recently. (If you missed it, see the previous Hugonuts entry or the Official Hobbit Website.) For analysis of the trailer, screencaps and new images (including a new, Bilbo-centric poster), see The Hobbit Films, We Are Movie Geeks, TIME online, Comic Book Resources, Flickering Myth and (of course) TheOneRing.net. The BBC has news of the film’s Official Royal Premiere in London on December 12, two days in advance of the official opening, and a couple weeks after the Wellington Premiere. (The news report lists the cast but doesn’t specify if they’ll be in attendance.) Finally, if you want to be read bedtime stories by Gollum (and who doesn’t?) 😉 go here. And if you really want advance tickets far in advance for An Unexpected Journet, TORn reports that you should be ready at noon on November 7 (….in the US).