The Mule Begins Principal Photography, SFF/Mystery Road Coming Soon, Cloud Atlas Tops DVD Charts

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.

I know it’s been a long time between entries; Hugo Weaving has been busy preparing for his next role in The Mule (and for Sydney Film Festival jury duty), so there’s been little in the way of breaking news of late, but that should change very soon.

In the past 24 hours, several Australian websites (Time Out Melbourne, Moviehole.net and Picha.com.au) carried a press release announcing the beginning of principal photography on The Mule is officially underway and will continue on locations in Melbourne and Bangkok, Thailand for the next several weeks. None of the articles specifically confirms that Hugo Weaving is playing Ray Jenkins, the title role. Picha and IMDb list only Weaving and John Noble in the cast… but a careful look at Angus Sampson’s rather florid (heh heh) statement about working with both actors implies that he and Leigh Whannell are acting in addition to writing the project:

” [Hugo Weaving] is one of the world’s finest actors; every syllable he utters quenches one’s aural thirst and to have the compelling John Noble alongside him is truly humbling. Tony Mahony’s taste and visual design is resonant and remarkable. Leigh and I are thrilled to be collaborating with such esteemed filmmakers both in front of and behind the lens.”

Yes, it’s frustratingly ambiguous. We know John Noble plays a businessman with a secret line in drug sales, so it’s his first unambiguous villain role, and he’ll probably relish it the way Hugh Grant did his Cloud Atlas villains. Hugo, on the other hand, keeps being cast in such roles (see also The Tender Hook, The Key Man, possibly Mystery Road, in addition to the obvious ones) so it’d be refreshing to see him play a complicated, if flawed, protagonist rather than the villain/obstacle in a  supporting role who gets the best lines but little character development. 😉

In addition to Whannell and Sampson, the project involves several past collaborators with Hugo Weaving or his favorite directors: co-producer Jane Liscombe has worked extensively with Glendyn Ivin (Last Ride), costume designer Cappi Ireland won an AFI for The Tender Hook and also worked on Oranges and Sunshine, director of photography Stefan Duscio worked on The Turning, and production designer Paddy Reardon worked on Hugo Weaving’s breakthrough film Proof. This is director Mahony’s first feature film, and I usually cringe when I hear a director is best known for music videos (Spike Jonze aside)… but Mahony has made videos for Nick Cave and Paul Kelly. So he automatically becomes the most interesting member of the crew. 😉

The film already has a Twitter/Instagram account and promises photos and videos from the set soon… nothing yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

A few Hugo-themed print articles narrowly missed by previous post, so I’ll add them here… the first originally appeared in the Hobart Mercury on 11 May and features Hugo Weaving’s SFF press conference comments on what he knows so far about Mystery Road and why he’s looking forward to the SFF. The second piece is the Sunday Telegraph’s great April 21 interview with Harry Greenwood on the occasion of his STC debut in Fury. He also discusses his famous (middle) name and is refreshingly honest about the influence of his parents on his career.

Hobart Mercury, 11 May

Sunday Telegraph 21 April 2013

Note: I’ve recently begun posting my snapshots of classic Hugo Weaving digital articles to my personal LJ as I back them up at Flickr. Since I post links/content from the originals here when they’re new, I’m not reposting that material here to avoid redundancy… but if you missed anything the first time around or just want to revisit old favorites feel free to check it out. You don’t need to “friend” or “like” me or anything. 😉 I’ll post links to new content at Twitter whenever I add anything.

Cloud Atlas Home Release

Cloud Atlas was released on DVD/Blu-Ray on May 14 in the US, and quickly ascended to the top of the sales chart (more detail at The Hollywood Reporter and Contact Music). You can read well-written new reviews of the film and its home release features at I Am Rogue, PopMatters, Daily Motion, The Nerdist, Aisle Seat, Cinema Blend, Yahoo Movies, Movie Fanatic, Rotten Tomatoes, Gazettes.com, Rev. Ron’s Movie Blog, HamptonRoads.com, My San Antonio, Daily News, Scorecard Review, White Buffalo, Flick Filosopher, Forrest Hartman, JoBlo.com, WorldNews.me, Movie City News, The Video Station, Depressed Press, Foster on Film, Age of Uncertainty, Subtle Water, Boston Bibliophile and I’ve Seen Films. Great to see this film finally earning some respect, though I wish more US viewers had come to see it in theaters. If anything deserves big-screen study, it’s this film.

You can also hear some exclusive soundtrack excerpts not included on the official release (and read an interview with co-scorer Reinhold Heil) at Tracksounds.

The Hobbit

Peter Jackson announced that “pick ups” for the third Hobbit film (and possibly reshoots for Smaug) were about to commence on . Though he promised an update “soon” (and shared a cheeky pic of himself and Gandalf/Sir Ian) there are no details or specifics on which actors/scenes will be filmed… yet. But watch this space and TheOneRing.net… and of course PJ’s Facebook page. I Am Rogue and Nuke the Fridge, among others, speculate on what might be filmed in the next few weeks, with the Battle of 5 Armies topping everyone’s Wish List. But nothing is yet confirmed, nor do we know if Hugo will be required on set, or if he’ll appear in all three films. Hugo repeatedly confirmed involvement in the first two films before a third was announced, but since then hasn’t been able to tell us more. He has so far spent only “about three weeks” filming scenes for the first two films (in April 2011), plus visits to NZ for some ADR … he hasn’t been reported on set recently, and is obviously busy on at least two other projects at the moment. But if I know Peter Jackson, these “few weeks of pick-ups” might well carry on through the summer. So we’ll have to wait and see.  In the meantime, you can peruse some elegant fanart featuring Elrond and other characters (Thorin, Smaug, etc) at Flicks and Bits.

SFF/Mystery Road

As previously announced, Hugo Weaving will serve as president of the Jury at next month’s Sydney Film Festival, which will also see the world premiere of his film Mystery Road, directed by Ivan Sen. While we await a trailer and more details about Mystery Road, you can catch a few glimpses of the film (though not Hugo– you can see Ryan Kwanten and Aaron Pedersen) in the new SFF Trailer. The SFF website has been updated to include Hugo’s bio and those of his fellow jurors Paolo Bertolin, Pia Marais, Anand Ghandi, and Kath Shelper. More news about the SFF jury and the festival in general at FilmInk and The Australian. There are brief previews of Mystery Road at Vibe Australia and ArtsHub. There’s an interview with festival director Nasheen Moodley at Trespass. As of May 28, tickets remain available to the Mystery Road premiere. (My coverage of the first round of SFF/Mystery Road press, including new Hugo Weaving interviews,  can be read here.)

Mystery Road’s Facebook page has been down in recent days, and the film doesn’t yet have an official website, but several Australian film industry Facebook pages, including Screen Australia, posted this publicity pic featuring Hugo Weaving and Aaron Pederen… and possibly director Ivan Sen, but there’s no caption. 😉

Very atmospheric, innit? 😉

FASHION ALERT! Brigalow Country has posted a nice new still from Mystery Road featuring Hugo and Aaron Pedersen. Apparently they supplied the belts. I’m not usually one to go in for product tie-ins, but until official stills are released, I’ll add whatever images from the film I can find. They also have a pic of Ryan Kwanen with Pedersen.

That’s all for now, but news on The Mule (or The Hobbit… or Mystery Road) might appear at any moment, so stay tuned.

Some amusing introductory tweets on The Mule:

Rehearsals for The Mule going well. You know its going to be a great production when the quality of biscuits is this good.

It’s what’s inside that counts.

That second one…ouch. 😉 But it confirms we’re dealing with a black comedy. And who knows what’s in those biscuits….

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