Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts’ ‘Demolition’ to Open 2015 Toronto Festival
Matt Damon starrer ‘The Martian,’ Cary Fukunaga’s Ghana-shot Netflix film ‘Beasts of No Nation’ and Eddie Redmayne’s transgender movie ‘The Danish Girl’ will also screen in September.
The Toronto Film Festival unveiled its first selections Tuesday, with Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee’s drama Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, set to open the event on Sept. 10.
The 2015 edition of the festival will also host world premieres for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall and Stephen Frears’ Lance Armstrong biopic The Program, starring Ben Foster as the disgraced cyclist. Those titles are among the first 13 features tapped to receive gala treatment at Roy Thomson Hall, with Matt Damon, Liam Hemsworth, Salma Hayek, Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Donald Sutherland and son Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher Plummer and Kate Winslet among those set to walk its red carpet.
Fox Searchlight’s Demolition gets the plum opening night slot, but its debut will come well ahead of Fox Searchlight’s U.S. release set for April 6, 2016, outside of the upcoming awards season. Canadian director Vallee also lensed Dallas Buyers Club.
Scott’s The Martian — a 20th Century Fox film starring Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig — will bow in Toronto ahead of its Oct. 2 U.S. theatrical release. Emmerich’s gay rights historical drama Stonewall, which stars Jeremy Irvine and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, gets a gala berth before Roadside Attractions opens the awards hopeful in U.S. theaters on Sept. 25.
Other noteworthy titles screening at Toronto include Tom McCarthy’s Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal film Spotlight starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci, which was shot in Toronto; Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe; Johnny Depp starrer Black Mass, which will bow in Venice; and Cary Fukunaga’s Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba.
Toronto will also host gala world premiere for Peter Sollett’s Freeheld, which Lionsgate acquired at the Berlin Film Festival and stars Moore and Page; Julie Delpy’s latest directorial turn, Lolo, a satirical comedy in which she stars opposite Danny Boon, Vincent Lacoste and Karin Viarde, will receive a North American premiere; and Wayne Blair’s Septembers of Shiraz, which stars Salma Hayek and Shohreh Aghdashloo, also will debut in Toronto.
Roy Thomson Hall will also serve as the site of three world premieres for Canadian films: Jon Cassar’s gunslinger drama Forsaken, which stars Donald and Kiefer Sutherland; Deepa Mehta’s Beeba Boys, a thriller set in Vancouver’s drug scene; and Paul Gross’ Hyena Road, a war movie set in Afghanistan that stars Gross and Rossif Sutherland. Atom Egoyan’s Remember, which stars Plummer, will receive a North American premiere.
There’s a gala first look for the Hemsworth-starring Aussie romantic drama The Dressmaker, from director Jocelyn Moorhouse and with Winslet and Judy Davis in lead roles. And Oscar winner Brian Helgeland will receive an international premiere for his cockney gangster pic Legend, starring Tom Hardy and Emily Browning.
Rounding out the first Roy Thomson Hall picks is Matt Brown’s period drama The Man Who Knew Infinity, in which Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons play math geniuses. With the prestigious festival set to kick off Sept. 10 and run through Sept. 20, festival CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey also unveiled a raft of Special Presentations titles.
Fox Searchlight has opted to keep Jake Gyllenhaal-Naomi Watts drama “Demolition” out of this year’s awards season, dating the film for an April 8, 2016, release.
The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee from a screenplay by Bryan Sipe. Producers are Lianne Halfon, Russ Smith, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Sidney Kimmel and Vallee.
Gyllenhaal portrays a successful investment banker who struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. He continues to unravel despite pressure from his father-in-law, portrayed by Chris Cooper. His character then forms an unlikely connection with a customer service rep and single mother, played by Watts, after writing a complaint letter to a vending machine company.
Newcomer Judah Lewis plays Watts’ son in the movie.
Vallee directed “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wild.” Fox Searchlight bought the U.S. rights to “Demolition” while it was still in production in New York last October.
Gyllenhaal has a pair of potential awards films opening soon with The Weinstein Company’s boxing drama “Southpaw” launching July 24 and Universal’s mountaineering drama “Everest” opening on Sept. 18. He plays expedition leader Scott Fischer in “Everest,” which recaps the disastrous 1996 climbing season on the world’s highest mountain.
Allegiant Part 1 co-star Daniel Dae Kim recently posted a photo of some of the films case – including Naomi – having dinner together:
Filming for Allegiant Part 1, the 3rd film in the Insurgent series, started last month, and Naomi’s hairstylist Ryan Trygstad recently shared a photo of her during the filming:
Elle Fanning-Naomi Watts Transgender Drama ‘Three Generations’ Gets Release Date
The Weinstein Co. has given an awards-season release date of September 18 for transgender drama “Three Generations,” starring Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon.
TWC won the bidding at the Cannes Film Festival last month after buyers were shown a promo reel of the project, directed by Gaby Dellal from Nikole Beckwith’s script. TWC paid $6 million for U.S. rights with a minimum 500-screen commitment.
Fanning plays a New York teenager seeking to transition from female to male. Watts portrays her mother and Sarandon is her lesbian grandmother.
Producers are Big Beach’s Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, along with Dorothy Berwin. Big Beach also financed “Three Generations.”
The actress is doubly adept at comedy and heavy drama. Just don’t ask her to dance.
Naomi Watts is pretty famous for funny footwork. She received a Screen Actors Guild nomination this year as Bill Murray’s girlfriend, a pregnant Russian stripper, in “St. Vincent.” When she won in a different category as a cast member of “Birdman,” she tripped on the massive train of Emma Stone’s dress and nearly fell walking up to the microphone.
But she’s never hoofed it on film like her campy hip-hop bumbling in Noah Baumbach’s “While We’re Young.” Playing a forty-something New Yorker trying to copy her young friend Amanda Seyfried at dance class, Watts takes off like a washing machine rattling through a spin cycle during a 7.0 earthquake.
“Everyone’s fascinated with that,” she laughed in a phone interview. “It was beautifully written, as everything by Noah is,” but it was one of the few times that the typically controlling director, who forbids improv, “wanted to see how things play out.”
To stay fresh (and frankly clumsy) as a fish out of water, Watts took one dance rehearsal, while Seyfried thoroughly learned the routine.
“There’s no way I could have picked up any of this in one hour. At first I was like, ‘Oh, God, this is awkward and embarrassing.’ But I think that’s the theme of the movie, that we do need to reopen ourselves and feel foolish to be alive. We can’t live with such control and measure.”
‘While We’re Young’ stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle aged couple who find their stagnant lives reinvigorated by their friendship with a couple of twentysomething hipsters.
Oscar-nominated director Noah Baumbach is known for his portrayals of dysfunctional relationships and this latest movie is no different.
“I had many ideas sort of floating around that I hadn’t found a place to put. One idea I was thinking a lot about was couples and wanting to make a movie about couples and how they interact with each other. How they project their own stuff onto each other, how they might romanticise how the other couple is doing versus them, or they get critical of the other couple, and somehow that found its way into this sort of generational comedy,” says Baumbach.
Forty-six year old Watts admits that part of the reason she joined the cast was because many of the film’s topics hit home for her:
“When you see a couple making out in front of you at a dinner table, on one hand you’re going, ‘Oh that’s a little awkward.’ But at the same time you go, ‘Wow! Why don’t we do that anymore?’ You feel like, ‘Are we giving up on ourselves here? Can we be more exciting?’ And they sort of reawaken that spirit in us which is great for a while. But then it sort of becomes… I don’t know if their interest in us is that authentic… Are we just of meal ticket for them?,” she says.
The film has mostly amused critics who have described it as Noah Baumbach’s most accessible and amusing work and a near-perfect portrait of two conflicting generations
‘While We’re Young’ is on global release from now.