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Casting News for Danny Boyle’s Production of Frankenstein for UK’s National Theatre

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Early this year we learned that Oscar winner Danny Boyle would be returning to his theatre roots with a new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for the stage, and as of today we know who will be playing both the Monster and his creator, Dr. Frankenstein. In an interesting twist, two people will be alternating playing the roles.

According to the UK’s Daily Mail Online, Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured, left) and Jonny Lee Miller (pictured, right) will play Mary ­Shelley’s literary creations on alternate nights at the National Theatre when performances begin in early February on the building’s Olivier stage.

“They’ll share it,” Boyle said. “One night one will be Frankenstein, while the other will play his creator Victor,” adding that sharing the role will keep the production fresh. Also, the show – a major coup for the National and artistic chief Nicholas Hytner – will be told from the monster’s point of view.

The play, written by Nick Dear from Shelley’s famous Gothic novel, will explore the principles of life and examine how something conjured from body parts taken from graveyards and slaughter houses could observe how others live and behave and take on the traits of man: good and bad.

Benedict, 34, has enjoyed a ­sensational run recently, turning in one of the year’s best performances in Thea Sharrock’s sublime ­exploration of Terence Rattigan’s After The Dance and taking Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes into the 21st ­century on BBC TV. The drama is now being broadcast in the U.S.

Jonny, 37, has worked with Boyle before, playing Sick Boy in the director’s acclaimed film ­Trainspotting in 1996. He’s also appeared in this season of “Dexter”.

Casting News for Danny Boyle's Production of Frankenstein

Frankenstein, which begins rehearsals in early December, will mark Boyle’s return to the ­theatre after what he called a “15-year ­distraction” making movies. Danny wants to bring the story-telling knowledge he has garnered during his time behind the ­camera to the stage: exploring big themes with visual flair but also detailed intimacy.

In the novel people fear Frankenstein’s creation because of his appearance. But the blind man in Shelley’s tale can’t see the creature’s looks and so accepts him. And even though Boyle will keep the drama in the early 19th ­century, it clearly has 21st-­century resonance because society is still troubled by people who differ from what we perceive to be the norm — both politically and cosmetically.

Boyle’s production of Frankenstein will coincide with the new season of “NT Live”, which will be shown in cinemas throughout the UK, and there are also plans for “NT Live” to be screened in cinemas in the US as well.

Keep it here for more as it comes.

Debi Moore

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Jigsaw Plays Games in January

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If it’s Halloween, it’s got to be Saw. Remember that tagline? There was a time, way back when, when Saw films ruled the October roost in terms of theatrical horror entertainment. Then along came Paranormal Activity, and the king was dethroned. But then the supernatural franchise more than ran its course, leaving the door open for another icon to claim the yearly festival of fall frights. Will Jigsaw be able to game his way back into your hearts?

If you missed it in theaters, you’ll be able to make up for that soon as Lionsgate has just announced that the latest film in the Saw franchise, Jigsaw, returns on Digital January 9 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD on January 23rd.

From directors Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers, Undead) and writers Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, Jigsaw stars Tobin Bell (Manson Family Vacation, The Firm, the Saw franchise), Laura Vandervoot (TV’s “Smallville” and “V”), Callum Keith Rennie (TV’s “The Man in the High Castle,” “Californication,” Memento), Brittany Allen (It Stains the Sands Red), Matt Passmore (TV’s “The Glades”), and Hannah Emily Anderson (TV’s “Lizzy Borden Took an Ax”).

In the latest terrifying installment of the legendary Saw series, law enforcement find itself chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade, embroiled in a diabolical new game that’s only just begun. Has John Kramer, the infamous Jigsaw Killer, returned from the dead to commit a series of murders and remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a different killer with designs of his own?

4K UHD / BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Producers Mark Burg, Oren Koules, and Peter Block
  • “I Speak for the Dead: The Legacy of Jigsaw” 7-Part Documentary
    o “A New Game”
    o “You Know His Name”
    o “Survival of the Fittest”
    o “Death by Design”
    o “Blood Sacrifice”
    o “The Source of Fear”
    o “The Truth Will Set You Free”
  • “The Choice is Yours: Exploring the Props” Featurette

DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “I Speak for the Dead: The Legacy of Jigsaw” 7-Part Documentary
    o “A New Game”
    o “You Know His Name”
    o “Survival of the Fittest”
    o “Death by Design”
    o “Blood Sacrifice”
    o “The Source of Fear”
    o “The Truth Will Set You Free”
  • “The Choice is Yours: Exploring the Props” Featurette

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Producers Mark Burg, Oren Koules, and Peter Block
  • “The Choice is Yours: Exploring the Props” Featurette

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A Demon Within Emerges With Eye Candy

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We just scored you cats a fresh batch of stills from A Demon Within, which you’ll be able to dig on once it hits select theaters and VOD on January 12, 2018, via Blue Fox Entertainment. As we mentioned in our last article debuting the trailer, Blue Fox holds the worldwide rights and is currently selling the film internationally.

Charlene Amoia, Julia Larsen, Clint Hummel, Jeremy Miller, Patricia Ashley, Michael Ehlers, and Cole Crawford star in the film from directors Ayush Banker and Justin LaReau.

Synopsis:
In 1914 Crestwick, a demonic spirit named Nefas surfaced to prey on a family, which ended with the death of an innocent young girl. The mysterious events haunted the Midwestern community for years. Now, decades later, a skeptical doctor must stop history from repeating itself by confronting his personal demons and fighting to save the life of a teenage girl who has become possessed in his family’s old house.

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Annihilation – New Trailer and First Stills!

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We’ve been talking about Alex Garland’s new film, Annihilation, for a couple of years now, and finally Paramount has released some eye candy for you to digest in the form of a brand new trailer and several stills! Dig in!

Based upon Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez.

Look for it in theaters on February 23, 2018.

Synopsis:
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Natalie Portman plays Lena in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

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