Summer is the season for superheroes, with Star-Lords and crime-fighting turtles taking over the multiplexes, but fall is when the real stars are forged.
Hollywood put forth a slew of critically scorned titles these past few months, save for “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Boyhood,” but the coming season is filled with fresh faces, intriguing possibilities and Oscar contenders.
Also read:22 Fall Movies We’re Dying to See – From ‘Interstellar’ to ‘The Interview’
Talented actors like David Oyelowo, Jack O’Connell and Katherine Waterston — to name just three — aren’t yet household names, but TheWrap predicts they will be soon. They’re starring in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken” and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Inherent Vice,” respectively, which are three of the year’s most highly-anticipated films.
It can be tough trying to keep track of which stars are rising and which are falling, so TheWrap curated a list of seven actors poised to join the A-list this fall.
Also read:9 Burning Fall Movie Questions: Will ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ be Blessed? Who Will Grinch Flinch?
How he’ll spend his fall: Trying to survive the brutalities of being held as a prisoner of war by Japanese troops at the height of World War II.
Upcoming: He’s been cast as the James Bond-esque lead in spy thriller “Section Six,” which chronicles the formation of the British intelligence agency that would eventually become MI6.
Why he’s about to break through: O’Connell has already impressed critics in festival favorites “71” and “Starred Up,” and the Louis Zamperinin role in Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken” was among the most highly coveted. O’Connell beat out the likes of Dane DeHaan and Garrett Hedlund for the role, and is considered an instant Oscar contender.
See video: ‘Unbroken’ Star Jack O’Connell Goes to Prison in ‘Starred Up’ Trailer
How she’ll spend her fall: Weeping while Matthew McConaughey, her on-screen dad, gets blasted into outer space in “Interstellar” (Nov. 7).
Upcoming: She lent her voice to Paramount’s animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic French children’s novel, “The Little Prince,” which is due out in 2015.
Why she’s about to break through: The young actress is only 13, but already she’s starred in “The Conjuring,” alongside Ellen Burstyn in “Wish You Well,” and played Taylor Lautner’s quasi-soulmate in two “Twilight” films. Foy’s presence in Christopher Nolan‘s highly-anticipated space drama should be enough to put her over the top.
How she’ll spend her fall: Getting down and dirty as Ben Affleck‘s mistress in David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (Oct. 3).
Upcoming: She’s currently shooting a DJ drama with Wes Bentley and Zac Efron called “We Are Your Friends.”
Why she’s about to break through: The British-born actress and model first entered the zeitgeist by taking off her clothes in Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s racy music video for “Blurred Lines,” but starring alongside Affleck and Rosamund Pike in Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 thriller should make her a serious force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
Also read: ‘Blurred Lines’ Beauty Emily Ratajkowski Joins Zac Efron in ‘We Are Your Friends’
How he’ll spend his fall: Dodging North Korean assassins, likely, after lampooning their feckless dictator Kim Jong-Un in the upcoming Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy, “The Interview” (Dec. 25).
Upcoming: Park has a role in “Trainwreck,” a forthcoming Judd Apatow film, and stars in ABC’s “Fresh off the Boat,” which is a comedic look at celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s Orlando upbringing.
Why he’s about to break through: He’s already gathering steam as Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ foil in “Veep,” but once the world sees him starring in “The Interview” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” he’ll likely be well on his way to becoming a household name.
How she’ll spend her fall: Starring alongside Joaquin Phoenox and Reese Witherspoon in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ’70s drug-fueled crime drama “Inherent Vice” (Dec. 12).
Upcoming: Waterston is slated to star in Jeremiah Jones’ 2015 sci-fi feature “Fluidic.”
Why she’s about to break through: She’s made a handful of appearances in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” but her turn as Shasta Fay Hepworth in Anderson’s upcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s detective novel should help her break into the big leagues.
Also read: Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Gets Oscar-Friendly Release Date
20th Century Fox
How he’ll spend his fall: Navigating the world’s scariest maze in YA dystopian adaptation “The Maze Runner” (Sept. 19).
Upcoming: O’Brien is a regular on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” which is in the midst of its fourth season. He plays fan- favorite Stiles, best friend and sidekick to Tyler Posey’s titular werewolf.
Why he’s about to break through: O’Brien has charm and screen presence aplenty, as evidenced on “Teen Wolf,” and in underrated indie “The First Time,” but “The Maze Runner” will really introduce him to a wider moviegoing audience. YA adaptations, if successful, can make a young actor’s career. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley.
How he’ll spend his fall: Playing Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” (Dec. 12). No pressure!
Upcoming: Oyelowo is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. In addition to “Selma,” this fall will see him in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” and J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” as well. He also gave a solo performance in psychological drama “Nightingale,” and completed kidnap thriller “Captive,” opposite Kate Mara.
Why he’s about to break through: Oyelowo has been increasingly impressive in supporting roles the past few years, in films from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” His role as MLK should propel him to an even higher level — and maybe even his first Oscar nomination.
|Directed by||Walter Hill|
|Music by||Ry Cooder|
|Edited by||Phill Norden|
|Distributed by||Saban Films|
|Budget||under $3 million|
The Assignment (also known as Tomboy, and formerly known as (Re) Assignment and Tomboy: A Revenger's Tale) is an American crime thriller film directed by Walter Hill and co-written by Hill and Denis Hamill. The film stars Michelle Rodriguez, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony LaPaglia, Caitlin Gerard and Sigourney Weaver.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016, before being released through video on demand on March 3, 2017, prior to a limited release on April 7, 2017, by Saban Films.
Dr. Rachel Jane (Sigourney Weaver) is a rogue plastic surgeon with a twisted vision of a better world. After losing her medical license, she began an illegal practice and performed unwanted surgical experiments on impoverished homeless people. The film is split between a present-day timeline in which she has been institutionalized and her condition is being assessed by Dr. Ralph Galen (Tony Shalhoub), and a second timeline two years into the past.
Three years prior, Jane's brother Sebastian was murdered by professional killer Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez). After discovering Frank's identity, Dr. Jane hires Honest John Baconian (Anthony LaPaglia) to double-cross him. Seeking revenge, but also seeing an opportunity to assess how much physical identity matters, Jane performs gender reassignment surgery on Frank and turns him into a woman.
Horrified by his new appearance, Frank has a mental breakdown. Finding a box in the room with hormones and a tape recorder, Frank discovers a message left to him by Jane encouraging him to start over. Leaving the hotel, Frank contacts a girl he hooked up with named Johnnie (Caitlin Gerard) and asks to stay at her home while he recovers.
The police do not believe Frank exists, frustrating Jane. When Galen contradicts her, she attacks him in a fit of rage before being restrained. A short time later, she asks for a legal deposition so that she can confess. She recounts the events surrounding Frank's surgery and the murders at her clinic that led to her incarceration, but ultimately expresses no remorse for her actions.
Frank sets out to kill everyone involved in his operation, including the men on Honest John's payroll. After learning that the surgery cannot be reversed, he interrogates Honest John, demanding the identity of his surgeon. Honest John implies that Johnnie knows the doctor and is involved. When Frank confronts Johnnie, she admits that the doctor hired her to monitor Frank, but does not know her name. While tempted to kill her, Frank chooses to spare her and send her to Reno, Nevada. She agrees to help him lay a trap for the doctor. However, the doctor's bodyguards were expecting Frank, and they sedate him.
Frank awakens in a straitjacket and finally comes face to face with Dr. Jane. She announces her intention to perform another surgery on him to remove his right arm, so he can never kill again. Frank manages to overpower and kill all of Jane's bodyguards, and her surgical assistant. Jane reappears, threatening Frank with a large knife, noting that he has run out of bullets. Admitting she is a coward “when it comes to life and death situations”, Jane suggests that they go their separate ways amicably. Frank refuses, reloads his gun with a bullet he had taped to the sole of his boot and shoots Jane, non-fatally. After staging the scene to look as if Jane's assistant killed everyone, Frank is seen holding Jane's knife over her unconscious body.
After completing his revenge, Frank records a video in which he tells his side of the story, to be released after his death. He reveals that Johnnie decided to stay in Reno. At her final meeting with Galen, Dr. Jane reveals that she had hoped to convince him to help her be deemed mentally fit for trial, but realized that it was over when she attacked him. She instead decided to accept her fate, while using the deposition as a means to tell her side of the story for anyone interested. The film ends with Jane examining her mutilated hands; Frank had severed her fingers to ensure she would never practice again.
In 1978 Denis Hamil wrote the first draft of a script called Tom Boy. It was about a juvenile delinquent who rapes and murders a woman whose husband is a plastic surgeon. He's arrested and goes to prison, but the surgeon captures him and turns him into a woman. The character goes on to commit a series of murders. Walter Hill recalls, "I liked its audacity, and its potential to be … this always sounds patronizing, but a kind of really terrific B movie. You know, the kind of movie that doesn't get much love when it comes out, but you love watching it on TV years later, much more than you do the 'big' movies of the day." Hill optioned the script with his own money around ten years after he first read it. He tried to write a different version but could not get it to work. He put the project aside until he found a copy of the first draft fifteen years later. He believed he knew how to do it this time and re-optioned the script.
Hill had success releasing a graphic novel in France and was looking for a follow up. He wrote up the project as a graphic novel.
Hill's agent introduced him to a producer, Said Ben Said, who was willing to invest. "The only rules he laid down was that it'd have to be made for very cheap, and there had to be some name value in the cast," said Hill.
"This movie totally comes out of the same animus as my Tales From the Crypt shows," said Hill. "I mean, these are nasty people, caught in a nasty situation, that out of the experience are somewhat chastened and wiser for it. Assuming they survive—not all survive! Which was certainly out of the old EC Comics. So it’s a very small movie, but it’s a king-size Tales from the Crypt."
Principal photography on the film began on November 9, 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Walter Hill directed the revenge thriller based on a script he co-wrote with Denis Hamill, which Saïd Ben Saïd produced along with Michel Merkt through SBS Productions.
The end title theme is composed by Guns N' Roses keyboardist Melissa Reese.
In May 2016, Saban Films acquired distribution rights to the film. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016. It was released through video on demand on March 3, 2017, prior to opening in a limited release on April 7, 2017.
The Assignment received negative reviews from critics. It currently holds a rating of 31% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 54 reviews, with a weighted average of 3.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Assignment's premise is bizarrely intriguing; unfortunately, it's also just one of many ingredients fumbled in a disappointing misfire from director Walter Hill." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 34 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, writing: "Hill's most entertaining and…accomplished film in some time", and "an instant cult item". Dennis Harvey of Variety gave the film a negative review, writing: "Gracelessly mashes together hardboiled crime-melodrama cliches and an unintentionally funny 'Oh no! I'm a chick now!!' gender-change narrative hook." Wendy Ide of Screen International also gave the film a negative review, writing: "Despite liberally quoting Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe [sic], the screenplay is just not sharp enough to make the audience feel vindicated about dumbing down."Michelle Rodriguez won best actress from Verband der Deutschen Filmkritik.
The transgender community was largely disappointed by the image of forced gender reassignment surgery and a boycott was created in response. The director Walter Hill responded by stating, "I wouldn't make a movie that hurt transgender people. Some of them have had a tough time of it, and the last thing I want to do is make anyone's road harder. But look, I understand the concern. Is it lurid? Yes. Is it lowbrow? Well, maybe. Is it offensive? No. I'm just trying to honor the B movies that we grew up with."
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- ^ abKit, Borys (October 28, 2015). "Michelle Rodriguez to Star in Gender-Reassignment Thriller 'Tomboy'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
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- ^"Melissa Reese: On the Road with Guns N' Roses". ROLI. November 11, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
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- ^"(re)ASSIGNMENT". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^Nordine, Michael (January 23, 2017). "'The Assignment' Trailer: Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver Star in Controversial Revenge Thriller". Indiewire.com. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^Perez Jr, Ruben (January 14, 2017). "The Assignment, Starring Michelle Rodriguez & Sigourney Weaver, On Ultra VOD 3/3 and in Theaters 4/7". Entertainment Rocks. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^"The Assignment (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^"The Assignment". Metacritic. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^McCarthy, Todd (November 9, 2016). "'(Re)Assignment' Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- ^Harvey, Dennis (September 11, 2016). "Toronto Film Review: '(Re)Assignment'". Variety. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^Ide, Wendy (September 12, 2016). "'(re)ASSIGNMENT': Toronto Review". Screen International. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^"Verband der Deutschen Filmkritik e.V."www.vdfk.de. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
- ^O'Hara, Mary Emily (August 18, 2016). "Transgender community disappointed by bizarre new Michelle Rodriguez film '(Re)Assignment'". The Daily Dot. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- ^Ragan, Scott (October 7, 2016). "'(Re)Assignment' Comic Based on Michelle Rodriguez's Controversial Film Is Getting a U.S. Release". Out. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
- ^Tedder, Michael (April 4, 2017). "'The Assignment' Director, Writer Defend Sex Reassignment Storyline: 'Character Is Not Transgender'". Variety. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
- ^Abrams, Simon (April 5, 2017). "Walter Hill Defends The Assignment: 'This Is Entirely Consistent With Transgender Theory'". Vulture.com. Retrieved April 16, 2017.