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Entries in Michael Fassbender (2)



A broad synopsis outlining what we can expect from Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant has been issued by 20th Century Fox, further fueling fan expectation surrounding the the highly anticipated return of the British director to the universe and mythology he made famous 38 years ago.

Released to the global press day-and-date, the coverage reads:  The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. Pictured above are the principal cast (l-r): Katherine Waterston, Amy Seimetz, Tess Haubrich, Alexander England, Nathaniel Dean, Demián Bichir, James Franco, Danny McBride, Uli Latukefu, Benjamin Rigby, Callie Hernandez, Jussie Smollet, Carmen Ejogo, Billy Crudup and Michael Fassbender.

Earlier reports that surfaced in late 2016 also indicated that ‘David’, the synthetic character played by Michael Fassbender in 2012’s Prometheus, would reappear as the sole inhabitant of the paradise planet. It has been confirmed that in addition to the blonde android, Fassbender will also play Walter, a second synthetic who shares the deep-space craft with the human crew (pictured, above; Fassbender as Walter, with Carmen Ejogo).

Katherine Waterson (pictured, above) takes the central role as the terraforming scientist Daniels, with James Franco as her husband, Branson. Billy Crudup is on board as the captain of the spacecraft, with Danny McBride as the ship’s pilot and a support cast that includes Callie Hernandez, Carmen Ejogo and Oscar nominated Demián Bichir. Holdover cast members from Prometheus include Noomi Rapace as Elizabeth and Guy Pearce as corporate villain Peter Weyland, though Scott has been circumspect as to the size of their contributions.

It is believed that the film is the first of a new trilogy that will conclude in line with the narrative of 1979’s Alien. The events of Prometheus unfolded in 2093, one year after the birth of the original film’s heroine, Ellen Ripley; Covenant will take place in 2103, approximately 19 years before Ripley’s first encounter with the Xenomorph.

Alien:Covenant shot in Sydney at the Fox Studio complex from March to July last year, before exteriors were completed in New Zealand. The projected production costs are estimated at US$150million, a significant proportion of which was invested into the Australian production sector; it is understood close to 600 jobs were created to service the blockbuster shoot. In a press conference to announce the project, Scott (pictured, above, during the shoot) indicated the planned sequels would also shoot Down Under.


ALIEN: COVENANT will be released on May 18.



In hindsight, the Sundance Film Festival timed its run very nicely. As a new wave of American independent cinema was emerging, so to was the festival that would become synonymous with the freshest film voices. From its roots in the late 1970s as the Utah US Film Festival to its rebranding in 1985 under the guidance of Sundance Institute head Sterling Van Wagenen and chairman Robert Redford, The Sundance Film Festival has solidified its status as American industry’s premiere film event.

Few labels in the film industry carry as much importance as ‘Sundance’s breakout hit’. Best exemplified by the Sundance-inspired success of Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), each year a parade of indies vie to be the festival’s most buzzed-about new film. Directors who owe their careers to Sundance include Joel and Ethan Coen (Blood Simple, 1985), Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, 1992), Kevin Smith (Clerks, 1994), Christopher Nolan (Memento, 2000; pictured, above), Behn Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild, 2012), Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, 1992) and Steve James (Hoop Dreams, 1994).

Last year, the title went to Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, currently a frontrunner for several Oscar nominations. So which of the 2015 Sundance slate will be this years ‘Breakout’ film? MEET THE FILMMAKERS looks at five who might have the goods…

Slow West
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rory McCann, Ben Mendelsohn, Brooke Williams, Caren Pistorius.

Director: John Maclean, Screenwriters: John Maclean, Michael Lesslie. (New Zealand).
A hardened teenager journeys across the 19th-century American frontier on a romantic odyssey, with a mysterious traveller by his side and an outlaw in pursuit. Fassbender has both indie cred (Frank) and Oscar heat (12 Years a Slave), but needs to drive a hit film; Aussie acting might in the form of next-big-thing Kodi Smit McPhee (The Road; The Young Ones) and Ben Mendehlsohn (Animal Kingdom; Killing Me Softly). World Premiere

Call Me Lucky
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait (USA)Goldthwait is one of the most enigmatic directors working the US indie scene. With hard-bitten satire (Shakes the Clown; God Bless America) and found-footage horror (Willow Creek) already stamped with his imprimatur, he turns to politico-showbiz documentary with Call Me Lucky, an account of the life of fearless stand-up Barry Crimmins. The comic/peace activist/political satirist is seen through the eyes of those whose intellect and talent were affected deeply by Crimmins.

Racing Extinction
Director: Louie Psihoyos (USA)
Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos is not one to sugar-coat the environmental agenda of his films; anyone who has The Cove will attest to that. In Racing Extinction, the filmmaker/activist assembles a crack unit of investigators and infiltrators in an effort to take down black market operators, poachers and white-collar criminals exploiting the animal world. Docos don’t usually hit big at the box office, but The Cove became a cult hit in ancillary; the charismatic Psihoyos can put a sellable spin on even the most challenging subject matter.

Cast: Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel, Florence Mezzara.
Director: Ariel Kleiman, Screenwriters: Ariel Kleiman, Sarah Cyngler. (Australia)
In what reads like a ‘Doomsday Hoarder’ spin on Joe Wright’s teen-assassin thriller Hanna, Jeremy Chabriel plays Alexander, a prized member of the young army being trained by Vincent Cassel’s Gregori. Having been raised to view the world through Gregori’s bitter vengeful eyes, Alexander hits puberty and begins to form his own views about the worth of civilization.  Cassel replaced Oscar Isaac (who bailed to star in Star Wars The Force Awakens); the Frenchman spent several weeks in Australia’s southern mountain regions for the tough shoot. A very high-profile slot for writer/director’s Kleiman’s debut feature. World Premiere

Last Days in the Desert
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ciaran Hinds, Susan Gray.
Director/screenwriter: Rodrigo Garcia.
The resurgence of faith-based films (Noah; Exodus Gods and Kings; Son of God) may bolster Last days in the Desert. Auteur Rodrigo Garcia (Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her; Mother and Child) imagines a struggle between Jesus Christ and the Devil over the fate of a family in a remote desert settlement. After a few too many paycheque performances, McGregor is seeking out edgy, interesting projects of late; he double-duties here in both key roles, offering a version of Christ as an existential everyman discovering the strength of his own soulful resilience. Lots of press coverage everytime cinema reworks biblical lore; could click with upscale, nonsecular audiences. Garcia has been a critical darling on the edge of the director's A-list for a while and is due a hit. 

Z for Zachariah
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.
Director: Craig Zobel, Screenwriter: Nissar Modi (USA)
Zobel garnered lots of polarising opinion for his last effort, Compliance; both Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) are as hot as they will ever be. Throw in Captain Kirk and the promise of smart sci-fi and Z for Zachariah - a post-apocalyptic vision about a lone young woman and the sexual politics that emerge when two male survivors stumble upon her – is rightfully one of Sundance’s hottest tickets.