Cillian Murphy Likely to Join Justin Timberlake in “Im.mortal”

Cillian Murphy Likely to Join Justin Timberlake in “Im.mortal” (photo)

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Whatever you think of his music, Justin Timberlake is becoming a real triple threat. He sings, he dances, he acts. He even directs now, so make that quadruple.

Soon, we’ll see Timberlake in the “The Social Network,” which he’ll follow by trying out sci-fi in “Im.mortal,” helmed by “Gattaca” director Andrew Niccol. Reportedly, he’ll be joined by the excellent Cillian Murphy, who is in “final negotiations” to co-star.

Murphy has a diversity of roles under his belt, from an Irish Republican Army fighter in “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” to a lovable transgendered lad named Kitten in “Breakfast on Pluto,” but he’s best known for his sci-fi/action roles in “28 Days Later,” “Batman Begins” and now “Inception.”

“Im.mortal” takes place somewhere in the near future where the aging gene has been found and switched off. Time becomes the world’s currency — the rich can live forever, while everyone else has to fight for their immortality. Timberlake plays a poor bastard who comes into a fortune of time, but is accused of killing a rich man to get it. He goes on the lam, kidnaps a rich girl, and an agent (known as a Timekeeper) played by Murphy, has to track him down.

Murphy’s character is described as being “precise as the time he keeps,” a quality I can see him delivering on. I asked Murphy once about the kinds of roles he plays and the innate calm that his characters tend to have. He said, “I’ve always been attracted to… people under pressure, and people in situations of pressure. And they may be normal people or they may be extraordinary people, but it’s an interesting study of what happens to a person in that situation.” He laughed, “In regards to the calm thing, I don’t know. I’d say that people close to me wouldn’t use that to describe me.”

He and Timberlake would seem to make a strange pair, but I’ll go along with it.

Extra photo: Cillian Murphy, “Inception” Warner Bros., 2010.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

Justin Timberlake’s Ridiculous Tequila Ad

Justin Timberlake’s Ridiculous Tequila Ad (photo)

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Justin Timberlake’s going to nail his role in “The Social Network” as Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president who was pushed out of the company after a cocaine debacle. And after watching his directorial debut for this 901 Tequila ad, I think he should stay in front of the cameras for a while longer.

Preying on the male inclination to liken a woman’s privates with remote provinces to quell is a bit 18th century if you ask me, but not a bad stab. Unfortunately, none of this makes any sense. Why are stockings going on at the beginning if she’s getting undressed? Normally, you don’t “get rid of” rebellious provinces when you’re creating an empire (you tame them) oh but they were reaching for that clothing metaphor weren’t they! Cake? Why are we just standing there watching that guy do gown on that woman?

Those are some fine ice cubes though, just look at them.


The overdeveloped titles of Andrew Niccol’s films.

The overdeveloped titles of Andrew Niccol’s films. (photo)

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Andrew Niccol’s first film in five years is a sci-fi love story set in a future in which, according to Variety, “time has become the currency. Once you turn 25 and your aging gene turns off, you must buy and bank time. If you are rich enough, you can live forever. But if you run out of time, you are engineered to die automatically.” Amanda Seyfried has just been cast.

There was a time when the news that Niccol was going to make another insanely ambitious-sounding movie full of sweeping concepts and sweaty paranoia would have been cause for much excitement. Unfortunately, that time was 1998, a year after Niccol’s “Gattaca” had been released and as “The Truman Show” — which he wrote, thought director Peter Weir reportedly removed a lot of the more over hysterical elements — was hitting theaters. Niccol seemed poised for Christopher Nolan-esque things. He could package high-concept notions in the guise of more exciting populist fare.

But then there’s his title problem.

Now, “Gattaca” isn’t terribly catchy, but it combines the four letters used to label DNA nucletide bases, which — I suppose — is part of the reason I ended up watching it in tenth-grade biology class. At least it sounds good — if you like the inscrutable, it’s a neat way to pique your attention.

07132010_simone.jpgBut Niccol followed that up in 2002 with “S1m0ne,” the most typographically annoying title since “Se7en.” The movie itself is a dispatch from Al Pacino’s late “hoo-aa” days, a clunky satire about notable truths like hey, we live in a superficial, celebrity-obsessed culture. But that title! It’s got the 1’s and 0’s of binary code, and it’s also an abbreviation for “Simulation One.” A lot of characters in the movie are named after computer brands, and at a certain point you have to just throw your hands up.

Niccol’s last film was the relatively normally titled “Lord of War” — from a Liberian dictator’s muddling of “warlord” — but this new project called “I’m.mortal.” Why? At least “Gattaca” was clever-ish — this is just two words combined into one with a period that’s been drafted into service. It barely qualifies as a pun. Much worse, it can’t help but bring to mind will.i.am, and overwhelming Black Eyed Peas associations probably aren’t the first thing you look for in a concept-heavy sci-fi film.

[Photos: “Gattaca,” Sony, 1997; “The Truman Show,” Paramount, 1998; “S1m0ne,” New Line, 2002]

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