Benedict Cumberbatch, Sean Bean & Channing Tatum, Gregg Araki, Lust for Life

Benedict Cumberbatch
Photo: Helga Esteb /
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Benedict Cumberbatch  Photo: Helga Esteb /

Benedict Cumberbatch
Photo: Helga Esteb /

By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT–

Benedict Cumberbatch steps into DiCaprio’s shoes as Alan Turing

It’s turning into Benedict Cumberbatch’s year at the movies. Co-starring in The Hobbit trilogy, Star Trek Into Darkness and the film adaptation of August: Osage County will put the acclaimed, chameleonic British actor on multiplex screens stateside for the foreseeable future. And now he’s in talks to star in The Imitation Game as famed British World War II hero Alan Turing (quick history lesson: Turing cracked the German “Enigma” code during the war, helping Allied forces win; he was prosecuted in the 1950s for homosexuality and chose chemical castration over imprisonment, later committing suicide). Originally planned as a vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, Cumberbatch is the likely successor to play the man widely considered to be the father of the computer. Morten Tyldum will direct Graham Moore’s screenplay and, OK, yes, it’s another gay tragedy in the Brokeback Mountain and Milk vein, that’s true, but it’s also the kind of historically important story that’s all too often been hidden from history. And you can bet it’ll be the kind of prestige project that gets the heavy Oscar push when it all finally comes to pass.

Sean Bean and Channing Tatum are Jupiter Ascending with the Wachowskis

The crazy, heart-on-its-sleeve sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas didn’t get the kind of love Andy and Lana Wachowski were looking for, but their latest project, Jupiter Ascending, is reported to be much more like their mega-successful Matrix trilogy (and that’s good for everyone’s bottom line in the long run, since Atlas made about 35 cents at the box office). Of course, that doesn’t mean anybody can adequately explain the new film’s plot, which involves genetic superbeings who’ve been bred with animal DNA and the bounty hunters whose job it is to track them. But no matter, the Wachowskis are never boring, as though their own genetics were incapable of something so routine. It can be about anything, really, and nobody will accuse them of slacking. The movie stars Channing Tatum, Sean Bean (as a Han Solo-esque rogue), Mila Kunis and Les Miserables’ Eddie Redmayne in what is sure to be a head trip to Jupiter and back. That is, unless the characters never actually ascend to Jupiter. We’ll all just have to wait and see.

Adding on to Gregg Araki’s White Bird

Unlike filmmaker Gregg Araki’s most acclaimed film about troubled youth, the novel-based Mysterious Skin, his latest project feels a little more like a delicate secret being kept from advance spoilers, almost a protest to Internet movie information glut. What we’ve known up to this point is that its title was White Bird and it starred The Descendents’ Shailene Woodley as a teenage girl whose life is thrown out of control when her mother (Eva Green) disappears.  Well, we’re still fresh out of details regarding the plot, but there are other developments. Its title has grown and is now called, evocatively enough,  White Bird In A Blizzard. The cast has expanded, too, rounded out with Chris Meloni, Angela Bassett, Precious star Gabourey Sidibe, Glee’s Jacob Artist and Ugly Betty’s Mark Indelicato. And now for a reader’s poll: Who among you quit reading after seeing Meloni’s name and went off to obey a Pavlovian response involving old Oz DVDs? No judgments.

Lust For Life digs deeper into the Velvet Goldmine

Director Todd Haynes’ trippy art-fantasia about an imaginary glam-rock past, Velvet Goldmine, was never meant to be a faithful portrayal of the glitter-bombed 1970s: his David Bowie wasn’t really Bowie and his Iggy Pop wasn’t really Iggy. A more historically accurate representation now falls to Lust For Life, the story of the friendship between the musicians, their collaboration on both Bowie’s Low album and Pop’s first two solo records and their years spent being cooler than everyone else in West Berlin. A script is ready from Robin French based on Paul Trynka’s Bowie book Starman and his Pop biography Open Up And Bleed and Gabriel Range (Death of A President) is attached to direct. Now for the fun part – who gets to play two iconic musicians? Casting news coming soon…

*Romeo San Vicente is still absolutely fabulous himself. He can be reached care of this publication or at

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