Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy team up in ‘Victor Frankenstein’

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy star in Victor Frankenstein, a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

“Victor Frankenstein” is a “Frankenstein” movie unlike any other. While inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic novel and the countless interpretations of that story, screenwriter Max Landis’ “regeneration” focuses on the relationship between Victor and his best friend and assistant Igor. In fact, it’s the first story to be told largely from Igor’s perspective. “It’s a love story between these two mean, really,” notes director Paul McGuigan. “Victor and Igor need each other; in fact, Victor needs Igor probably more than Igor needs Victor in his life.”

Moreover, the film, though set in 1860, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, has a contemporary sensibility. “I don’t think of it as a period film,” says Daniel Radcliffe, “but as being completely modern. Victor and Igor have cutting-edge ideas; they’re the tip of the spear. They view science as being more than just observational. They believe it could be creative and re-shape the world.

“I like the film’s irreverent tone and how it avoids being Victorian and ‘buttoned-up,’” Radcliffe continues. “Victor and Igor are forward thinking.” Adds McGuigan: “These two young men are changing the world.”

“Victor Frankenstein” is also, notes James McAvoy, a love letter to the myriad films featuring those characters and themes. “This film has many of the familiar elements you expect to see in a Frankenstein movie, but adds unexpected dimensions of character, relationships and entertainment.”

“Max Landis has done nothing less than capture the zeitgeist of all the Frankenstein movies he’s watched,” says McGuigan. “He’s cherry-picked ideas and created his own ‘monster,’ so to speak.”

McGuigan was especially drawn to Landis’ decision to tell the story through Igor’s eyes. That notion points to a key misperception about the character and his role in Frankenstein lore. Igor was not a character in Mary Shelley’s book, nor did he appear in most of the subsequent film interpretations. Actor Dwight Frye’s hunchbacked lab assistant in James Whale’s “Frankenstein” (1931) is the main source for the “Igor” of public imagination, though the character he played was actually named Fritz. Most moviegoers know the character through Marty Feldman’s performance in Mel Brooks’ beloved comedy “Young Frankenstein,” though Feldman’s character insists on being called “Eye-gore.”

A different kind of moniker mix-up accompanies Victor himself. Many people attribute that name to the monster, instead of its creator – the good doctor. “So we give the name ‘Frankenstein’ back to the scientist – to Victor Frankenstein,” says McGuigan.

McAvoy relates that, “Whenever somebody asked me what I was doing at the moment (during production of Victor Frankenstein), I would say, I’m playing Frankenstein, and they’d reply, ‘You’re a little short to be playing the monster.’ And I’d correct them and say, ‘No, no, it’s the doctor.’ So, yeah, we’re giving the name back to Dr. Vic.”

Victor Frankenstein opens November 25, 2015 in cinemas nationwide as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX

Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Mackenzie Foy in ‘The Little Prince’

Thanks to the director’s emotionally engaging pitch and the global popularity of Saint­‐Exupéry’s book, The Little Prince, a perfectly matched group of A­‐list actors were able to be recruited to lend their voices to the film’s characters. As Mark Osborne director of Kung Fu Panda explains, “It began with Jeff Bridges. He was our first and only choice to play the Aviator, so after a great deal of time trying to get to him, I finally got the chance to go to his home in Santa Barbara to talk to him directly. He was blown away by the pitch, and it really put us on the road to assembling the perfect cast.”

As Bridges recalls, he was instantly drawn to the role of the Aviator. “Mark gave me this incredible pitch, brought this suitcase with him which showed me what the movie was going to be about,” recalls the actor. “We shared the same concern, which was if you simply just move around these iconic characters like the book, it might not do justice to the work. He had this great other story, which treated the book as almost another character in the movie. It’s a great way to pay tribute to this classic book, so I was excited and thrilled to be part of it.”

Bridges says the part of the Aviator was one that was very close to his heart. “I remember reading the book when I was growing up,” he says. “I can clearly remember the illustrations—especially the one of the hat or the elephant swallowed by the snake. I am not quite as old as the Aviator—I had to age up my voice a little bit, but I related to him very much. The Aviator and the Little Girl have some wonderful times together. I have three little girls myself, so it was easy for me to relate to him.”

In addition to the story and the strong visuals of the book, Bridges says both the original book and the movie have important messages about the importance of staying true to the child within and the powerful force of love and friendship. “There’s that one line from the book that stays with you,” he says. “The Fox says to the Prince, ‘It’s only with the heart that one can see rightly…what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ He’s talking about the heart there, and that is the message of the whole deal!”

The important part of the Little Girl who lives next door to the Aviator is played by the talented young actress, Mackenzie Foy (“Interstellar”, “Ernest and Celestine” “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”). “I had read the book in school a few years ago, and I loved it,” says Foy. “So when I heard about the movie, I immediately wanted to do it. The character I play is very smart, sweet, kind of quirky and incredibly nerdy. She has a lot of pressure from her mother because they just moved to this new neighbourhood, and she is expected to do really well in the new school. She is about nine years old, but she’s very mature for her age. Her friendship with the Aviator teaches her to be her childish self again. She goes looking for The Little Prince so that the Aviator doesn’t have to leave her.”

As young as she is, Foy understands the heart of the story and the values that the movie seeks to celebrate. “I think both the book and the movie really want to teach you that it’s important to enjoy the fun things about being a kid and not to grow up too fast. It also tells you that when you love someone, they will always live inside your heart. Just like the Fox told the Little Prince. The movie really has something great for everyone, whether you are grandparents, or parents or just kids. It has a great message and it also looks wonderful, so I think everyone will enjoy seeing it.”

Osborne says Foy really captures the unjaded quality that the Little Girl’s role demanded. “I knew that I wanted very innocent, sincere voices for the kids in the movie. I think child actors can sometimes try too hard. In the early stages of production, my daughter Maddie and son Riley helped doing the temporary scratch voices for the roles of the Little Girl and the Little Prince. My daughter got older and her voice began to change, so we were very fortunate to find Mackenzie to play the part, but we never found anyone who did a better job than my son Riley for the Prince. He was 11 at the time, and was very natural in the part so we kept him as the Prince!”

Riley Osborne is equally proud of the experience of working with his dad on the movie. “I had also read the book when I was nine, because my dad had mentioned it to me, so I already liked it,” he says. “To be able to work with my father and the rest of my family—my mother did the temporary voice for the Mother and my sister did the temporary tracks for the Girl—in Paris was a wonderful experience. We recorded those scratch voices in a small soundproof closet under the stairs in our place in Paris. Playing the Little Prince was a big treat, because he gets to go on these adventures and find out about all these worlds. One of my favorite scenes is the first time he meets the Aviator and asks him to draw him a sheep. That’s a classic scene from the book, and it’s animated in stop­‐motion in the movie. I think people are really going to enjoy it.”

To voice the complex role of the Little Girl’s Mother, the filmmakers approached popular actress, Rachel McAdams (“The Notebook”, “About Time”, “Sherlock Holmes”). McAdams says she recalls watching an animated TV series based on The Little Prince when she was a young girl growing up in Canada. “I read the book when I was in my 20s,” she notes. “A friend gave it to me as a present, and when I read the book it meant a lot to me. I think Saint­‐Exupéry’s book says different things to you at different stages of your life.”

The Little Prince marks the first time McAdams has lent her voice to an animated project. “I was so excited to be part of this movie, and I loved “Kung Fu Panda”, so I knew our director Mark (Osborne) was going to do a wonderful job with the adaptation. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to animation.”

McAdams says it was important for her to get out of her head and really connect with the material. “I play the Little Girl’s Mother, who is a working single mom. She has this massive, intricate life plan for her daughter and wants her to follow the rules to a tee. The Mother is a little high­‐strung, but she means well. She and her daughter are a real team until the Little Girl drifts away.”

McAdams believes that the film’s emotional intensity and the fact that it pays such close homage to the original book are two of its huge assets. “The Little Prince does a fantastic job of celebrating life’s mysteries. When we grow up, it’s easy to need an answer for every question. Just like the book, the movie pays attention to the importance of enjoying the journey and our relationships, and not necessarily understanding everything. It all circles back to the famous quote from the book, which is ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye’.”

The Little Prince opens December 2, 2015 in the Philippines as released and distributed by Captive Cinema.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM CAPTIVE CINEMA

WATCH: New trailer of ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’

The new trailer and teaser poster for director Michael Bay’s new action-thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi have just been released by Paramount Pictures. Watch the new gripping trailer below.

Based on the non-fiction book by Michtell Zuckoff, the film tells the story of the six members of the security team that fought to defend the Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi when it came under attack. John Krasinski leads a cast that includes James Badge Dale (“Iron Man 3”), Max Martini (“Pacific Rim”), Pablo Schreiber (“Orange Is the New Black”), and David Denman (“The Office”), and the screenplay was penned by The Strain author/writer Chuck Hogan.

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi opens across the Philippines on January 13, 2016 and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES

LOOK: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ character posters

Five cast members of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens get the star treatment as the studio releases their individual character posters. They are Harrison Ford (as Han Solo), Carrie Fischer (as Leia), John Boyega (as Finn), Adam Driver (as Kylo Ren) and Daisy Ridley (as Rey).

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.

The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Star Wars in the Philippines, namely, (FB) StarWarsPH, (Twitter) @starwarsph and (Instagram) iamstarwars_ph. #TheForceAwakensPH

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

‘By the Sea’ unravels new poster, images

Universal Pictures has just revealed new images, including a poster art, from the romantic drama By the Sea, Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie Pitt’s directorial follow-up to the studio’s epic “Unbroken.”

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To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide, “By the Sea” is written, directed and produced by Jolie Pitt, and stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt, who are supported by an international ensemble led by Mélanie Laurent, Niels Arestrup, Melvil Poupaud and Richard Bohringer.

“By the Sea” follows an American writer named Roland (Pitt) and his wife, Vanessa (Jolie Pitt), who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. As they spend time with fellow travelers, including young newlyweds Lea (Laurent) and François (Poupaud), and village locals Michel (Arestrup) and Patrice (Bohringer), the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives.
In its style, and its treatment of themes of the human experience, “By the Sea” is inspired by European cinema and theater of the ’60s and ’70s.

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By the Sea opens soon in Philippine cinemas as distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

— PRESS STATEMENT FROM UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES