Scarlett Johansson gets funny in rare comedy ‘Rough Night’

Superstar Scarlett Johansson takes a break from superhero duties as she plays the bride-to-be in Columbia Pictures’ new bachelorette-party comedy Rough Night (in Philippine cinemas August 9, 2017).

Also starring Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz, Rough Night is about five friends from college who reunite when they rent a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette weekend that goes completely off the rails. Just when all hope is lost, they realize there’s more to the story than they could’ve ever imagined.

Johansson plays Jess Thayer, who has dedicated her life to public service, and has set her sights on becoming a member of the state legislature. “She is definitely a socially conscious person,” explains Johansson. “She’s involved in the community and wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s why she’s running for state senate.”

Jess’ devotion to her constituents has come at the expense of her personal relationships. “Along the way, she’s neglected the people that are closest to her, as we do sometimes,” explains Johansson. “She’s career driven and focused on making a difference.”

“Jess is one of those people who has moved on from her crazy college days and is trying to forge a new life in a genuine, earnest way,” explains writer-director Lucia Aniello.

Johansson was excited by the idea of working in comedy. “I read the script and it was just so funny,” she says. “It made me laugh out loud, and I’m not a person that laughs out loud. I laugh a lot on the inside, but it made me belly laugh. I just loved how real the relationships were between these girls and how very earnest the characters were. I responded to these characters and how very real and raw they are.”

In Johansson’s portrayal of Jess, Aniello was in awe of her uncanny ability to strike the perfect balance between humor and vulnerability. “Scarlett not only is such an incredible actress, but, she also can be vulnerable, goofy, and silly,” says Aniello. “The ability to have that in a lead has grounded the movie exactly how I think we intended it to be. Scarlett can also destroy a punchline – she can just kill it. It’s just been incredible to have that flexibility with an actor.”

Tony and BAFTA winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson was most recently seen in the lead role of the Major in Ghost in the Shell, a live-action adaptation of the original Japanese manga.

In 2016, she voiced the python Kaa in Disney’s live action/CGI animation adaptation of The Jungle Book from Jon Favreau, and lent her voice to the computer-animated musical comedy film Sing, in which she played punk-rocking porcupine Ash. She also reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War, and is currently filming the two upcoming Avengers movies, including Avengers: Infinity War.

Her other recent roles include Luc Besson’s action-thriller Lucy, Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi art film Under the Skin, and Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed sci-fi romance Her, in which she played the role of operating system Samantha, which earned her a Best Actress award at the Rome Film Festival.

She is currently the highest-grossing actress of all time and highest grossing actor of 2016, with her films making over $1.2 billion that year and $9.3 billion overall worldwide.

Rough Night is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Advertisements

Scarlett Johansson voices prickly porcupine in ‘Sing’

Superstar Scarlett Johansson breathes life to Ash, a prickly teenage porcupine with a punk-rock attitude, in Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Sing, a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us.

In the film, Ash auditions for a singing competition with her egotistical, unsupportive jerk of a boyfriend, Lance (Beck Bennett), but only Ash makes it as a finalist. In rehearsals, her rebellious nature continually puts her at odds with contest producer Buster (Matthew McConaughey), who envisions her as a pop-star princess; meanwhile, she wants to write her own authentic rock songs that reflect her unique style. Ash will have to go through a painful breakup, but in the end she’ll prove her integrity and sing on her own terms.

While audiences know Johansson as an international superstar, not as many fans realize that she’s an accomplished singer/songwriter—who has released two albums and collaborated with Pete Yorn. As the voice of Ash, a disaffected porcupine who has been recently dumped by her no-good boyfriend, Lance, Tony Award-winner Johansson had to tap into her inner angst-ridden teen to deliver Ash’s powerhouse vocals.

While Buster initially sees Ash as a “Call Me Maybe” girl, Ash is determined to perform the type of music Lance tried to control when they were together. “Whenever Ash comes on the screen, I just melt,” sums producer Janet Healy. “Scarlett’s voice coming out of that adorable character is just wonderful. She’s riveting.”

Sing stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times. Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it. Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life. And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.

Opening across the Philippines on January 4, 2017, Sing is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #SingMovie

Scarlett Johansson tempts as Python, Kaa in ‘The Jungle Book’

With only her voice, Scarlett Johansson made people madly fall in love with their computer’s operating system in the futuristic drama “Her.” Now, Johansson once again uses her voice to capture hearts in Disney’s new family adventure “The Jungle Book,” based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film.

Johansson provides the voice of Kaa sets her sights on Mowgli when she discovers him all alone in the jungle. The massive python uses her seductive voice and hypnotic gaze to entrance the man-cub, and Mowgli finds himself unable to resist her captivating embrace.

Says director Jon Favreau, “Mowgli is exploring different regions of the jungle—mistier, darker, more mysterious parts of the jungle. That’s where Kaa lives. That’s where she gets ahold of him—till Baloo rescues him and brings him back to his cave.”

The director says one of his most prominent memories of the 1967 animated movie was the snake. “I always remembered Kaa’s hypnotic eyes with the spinning pinwheels,” he says.

Though Favreau wanted to maintain the spirit of the character, he decided to change its gender. “All the roles were male in the 1967 version, so I thought that there was an opportunity with Kaa to mix things up a little bit,” says Favreau, who called on Johansson to help bring the seductive snake to life.

“The Jungle Book” marks Johansson’s third collaboration with Favreau. She originated the role of Black Widow in “Iron Man 2,” and co-starred in Favreau’s indie hit “Chef.” “I remember seeing the movie ‘Her,’ and what an impact Scarlett made by just using her voice,” says the director. “She has such a presence to her voice.”

Says Johansson, “Ever since I was really young, I’ve loved doing voice work. Actors have different tools—our physical selves, our voices. When you take one of those away you become hyperaware of all kinds of tendencies. It’s an interesting process and sometimes you get these happy accidents and ornaments that decorate the performance. It’s an exciting way to work and dig deeper.

“For me,” continues Johansson, “the opportunity to play Kaa as envisioned by Jon [Favreau] was so exciting. The snake from the animated film is a boy. He’s a friendlier, goofier version of the character. In this film, Kaa seduces and entraps Mowgli with her storytelling—her voice. She’s the mirror into Mowgli’s past. It was thrilling to reinvent this character in this rendering of the story.”

The character is designed to be intimidating, yet believable. “I saw a bit of Kaa early on during the production,” says Johansson. “It was important for me to see how she looks in proportion to Mowgli to help inform the presence and intensity of my voice. I had one tool—my voice—so it would’ve been very difficult without some sort of pre-visual reference.

“Kaa is magnificent,” continues Johansson. “The way that she moves is very alluring, almost coquettish. The audience will see this creature through the innocent eyes of this small boy Mowgli—they’ll become part of his world.”

Johansson has vivid memories of the 1967 version of “The Jungle Book.” “I remember that soundtrack well—it was so popular when I was a kid. ‘Bare Necessities’ was on constant repeat for every kid my age. And the idea of this jungle kid being raised by animals was just fantastic.

“I think little kids can relate to the theme of finding your family—of discovering what it means to be a family,” continues the actress. “The definition of family is such a personal one and families come in all shapes and sizes. But ultimately, family is made up of the people around you who love you unconditionally.”

“The Jungle Book” is an all-new, live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The wild adventure swings into Philippine theaters in 3D on Thursday, April 7, 2016. “The Jungle Book” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #JungleBookPH.

Triptych poster revealed for Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’

Walt Disney Pictures has unveiled the triptych poster of its new, imaginative take on the classic children’s adventure “The Jungle Book.” The triptych features lead star Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli together with talking animal characters on either side, in a sprawling and extended horizontal shot.

Directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves.

But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray).

Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johannsson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong’o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela.

The wild adventure swings into Philippine theaters in 3D on April 2016. “The Jungle Book” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph and use the hashtag #JungleBookPH.

Heroes collide in new concept art from ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Heroes square off against hero in new art for Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Check out the artwork and see “Captain America: Civil War” in Philippine cinemas on April 27, 2016.

Tensions rise as the world governments demand accountability for our heroes’ actions in “Captain America: Civil War,” pitting friend against friend.

Captain America Civil War_Conceptual_FINAL_r

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.

Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens across the Philippines on April 27, 2016.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Marvel, namely, (FB) MarvelPhilippines, (Twitter) @marvelstudiosph and (Instagram) @marvelphilippines.