5 Hollywood Rumors: Jennifer Lawrence Sex Scene, and More

Every week we tap into Hollywood’s psyche, or give it our best shot, to give readers an in-depth look at the latest rumors, casting updates, and other entertainment beats. Everything you read has been incubating in the Hollywood world, and now it’s time to share it with you, Cheat Sheet readers. So, at long last, here is what’s been bouncing around the Internet this week.

1. Adam Driver justifies his Kylo Ren character

Kylo Ren as seen in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Source: Lucasfilm

In a November 19 Cinema Blend article, Gregory Wakeman reported that Adam Driver, who plays Kylo Ren in the upcoming Star Wars installment, The Force Awakens, had some kind words to say about his character. Sure, not only does he seem sympathetic to Darth Vader in the trailer, but, according to Wakeman, “everyone from J.J. Abrams to Daisy Ridley has confirmed that Kylo Ren will be the baddie for the film.”

Nonetheless, Driver, who by most all accounts is a passionate, dedicated actor, developed a somewhat empathetic stance toward the Ren character, so that he could portray the double-edged-lightsaber-wielding man with gusto. To Empire Online, Driver said, “When they think of their actions as morally justified, it makes them dangerous and unpredictable. There’s no level they won’t go to to accomplish what they’re after. I never thought of the character as an evil person.”

Wakeman continues, writing that Empire Online also released an impressive photo of Kylo Ren wielding his weapon while being pursued by stormtroopers.

Witnessing Driver’s attempt to rationalize the Ren character is actually a thing of beauty; it shows the commitment that Driver has shown to J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars franchise.

2. Jennifer Lawrence discusses Passengers sex scene

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Eight of the world’s most prolific actresses gathered for The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Actress Roundtable on November 14. One of the featured performers in attendance was Jennifer Lawrence (Mockingjay — Part 2Joy). At one point, she began to discuss the nerves that emerge for sex scenes.

The topic came up because Lawrence recently shot her “first real sex scene” a few weeks ago, as a part of the upcoming sci-fi romance Passengers. She shared the scene with Chris Pratt (Jurassic WorldGuardians of the Galaxy). On the topic, she said, “…everything was done right; nobody did anything wrong. It’s just a bizarre experience…”

When asked about how one prepares for such a scene, Lawrence said:

I got really, really drunk. But then that led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, ‘What have I done? I don’t know.’ And he was married. And it was going to be my first time kissing a married man, and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach. And I knew it was my job, but I couldn’t tell my stomach that. So I called my mom, and I was like, ‘Will you just tell me it’s OK?’ It was just very vulnerable.  And you don’t know what’s too much. You want to do it real, you want everything to be real, but then … That was the most vulnerable I’ve ever been.

The scene will be a part of Morten Tyldum’s film slated for release on December 21, 2016. Aside from Pratt, it also features Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne.

The roundtable event also featured Kate Winslet, Jane Fonda, Carey Mulligan, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren, and Charlotte Rampling.

3. Gods of Egypt trailer debuts, draws some questions

This week, the Gods of Egypt trailer emerged on YouTube. Alex Proyas’s epic film comes to the screen on February 26, 2016. It was written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Gerard Butler, and Geoffrey Rush.

The plot will be about the Egyptian god of darkness Set (Butler) taking over the Egyptian empire. A mortal, Bek (Thwaites) will team up with the Egyptian god Horus (Coster-Waldau) to save the world.

This is all well and fine; a real mystical film that will probably stun us with capable CGI and immersive settings. But Ross A. Lincoln of Deadline.com has a rebuttal to that. In his November 17 article, he writes:

I’m not going to pass judgment on this film sight unseen, but here’s the thing: sure, given the millennia that has passed since the height of ancient Egyptian civilization, it’s difficult to know with any precision just what ancient Egyptians actually looked like. However, based on the statuary and monuments that have survived, not to mention thousands of years of other cultures commenting on them, they definitely weren’t white people with flowing, curly blond locks, and their gods were definitely not Europeans. To me, casting here stands out like a sore thumb leftover from 1950s Hollywood…

Lincoln also draws upon the controversy that surrounded Ridley Scott’s 2014 film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and suggests that there may be some opinionated dialogue surfacing before Gods of Egypt is released early next year.

4. Trailer for Jeff Nichols’s film Midnight Special debuts

Jeff Nichols, who delivered a gem with the 2012 film Mud, will be at it again in Midnight Special, set for release on March 18, 2016. The trailer for the film was released this week.

Nichols, who also wrote and directed the 2012 film Take Shelter, will unveil the genre-bending Midnight Special in March to a welcoming audience. Nichols, if only considering Mud, has already staked his claim as one of the most promising young filmmakers in Hollywood.

The film, according to Silas Lesnick of comingsoon.net, is about a father (Michael Shannon) who goes on the run to protect his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who has some special powers. Lesnick continues, writing:

What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Ultimately his father risks everything to protect Alton and help fulfill a destiny that could change the world forever…

Here are some specifics: Midnight Special is produced by Sarah Green and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. Its music is by David Wingo, and Adam Stone is the cinematographer. The film’s actors include frequent Nichols collaborators Michael Shannon and Sam Shepard, as well as Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver (who will remain in the headlines for his portrayal of Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens).

5. Teaser trailer for J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls is released

A teaser trailer was released this week for the upcoming drama fantasy, A Monster Calls. The film is directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, who spearheaded both The Impossible and The Orphanage. The film is based on the children’s fantasy novel by Patrick Ness and will feature Lewis MacDougall as Conor, Liam Neeson as The Monster, Sigourney Weaver as Conor’s grandmother, Felicity Jones as his mother, and Toby Kebbell as his father.

The film is also produced by Belén Atienza, Mitch Horwits, and Jonathan King. Music is by Fernando Velazquez, and the cinematographer is Oscar Faura. The film will be distributed by Focus Features and will be released on October 14, 2016.

In A Monster Calls, a 12-year-old Conor attempts to cope with his mother’s illness and the bullying he endures by entering a world of monsters and fairy tales.

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