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Fox unveils footage of final Gandolfini film

CINEEUROPE: Other highlights of Fox presentation include Ridley Scott and Ben Stiller presenting their next films.

Fox International wowed the crowd at CineEurope today with a star-studded, behind-the-scenes slate presentation that had an especially poignant moment showing the first footage from James Gandolfini’s final feature film, Animal Rescue.

Bullhead director Michael R Roskam is now in post production on the film, which also stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts in the Dennis Lehane-scripted story of a Brooklyn bartender (Hardy) who crosses paths with organised crime. Gandolfini plays a bar owner who has to contend with the Chechen mob.

Fox Searchlight International executive VP Rebecca Kearey said everyone at Fox feels “very honoured” to be working on Gandolfini’s final film.

Ridley Scott took to the stage in Barcelona alongside Javier Bardem to talk about The Counselor (which was previewed in four scenes and the new international trailer). Scott said he was “mesmerized and blown away” by Cormac McCarthy’s screenplay, which he says boasts “some staggeringly interesting characters.”

Bardem, who stars alongside Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz, said of Scott: “he is a master and he knows how to put things together.” Of McCarthy’s writing, he added: “It inspires your mind and your thoughts and your imagination and also your gut. McCarthy is like a punch in the stomach.” (He also starred in McCarthy adaptation No Country For Old Men.)

Ben Stiller also came on stage in Barcelona to introduce footage from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. He said the movie “above all isn’t cynical….I hope people walk out thinking, ‘It’s never too late to make a change in your life’.” He got a big laugh when he added: “There are no giant robots in it, I hope that’s okay.”

Other highlights in the Fox presentation included extended trailers for Walking With Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie and The Book Thief, an action sequence from The Wolverine, and Bryan Singer’s behind-the-scenes video tour of the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer noted there was “a very international flavor to the film” as it is set in Russia, France, China, Washington D.C., New York and beyond.

Director Carlos Saldanha previewed footage and animation tests from Rio 2. He noted that new cast members joining that film include Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae, will.i.am and Kristin Chenoweth.

Justin Timberlake, appearing on video, introduced an extended trailer for his new thriller Runner Runner. George Clooney and Grant Heslov appeared in a recorded message from the set of The Monuments Men, and Clooney called it “a war film in the scale and size they used to be done.” The film is in its final week or so of shooting and will launch theatrically in January.

Fox Searchlight International showed images from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is now in post. Kearey also confirmed that the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will shoot either at the end of 2013 or early 2014.

The Fox presentation showed more star power than any other studio thus far at CineEurope – Fox is a company that has directly benefitted from international markets on releases like the recent Life of Pi, so it’s no wonder they are paying special attention to European exhibitors. The company also had Snoop Dogg performing at a party in the evening (story here.)

Earlier in the day, Universal’s presentation included footage from RIPD, Kick-Ass 2, About Time (with a video intro from Richard Curtis), The World’s End, The Wolf of Wall Street, Last Vegas, All Is Lost and 47 Ronin. The studio then screened Despicable Me 2.

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