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'Safety Not Guaranteed' Director Chosen For 'Jurassic Park IV'

Colin Trevorrow Getty Images

Dinosaurs are about to get a lot more indie-quirky.

Colin Trevorrow is the latest director to prove that one can score a big studio franchise gig if one makes a cute romantic comedy as the "Safety Not Guaranteed" director has signed on to direct "Jurassic Park IV," according to Deadline.

Trevorrow joining the production makes for the latest bit of development on a project that was all thought extinct until earlier this year when Universal announced that it had locked a June 2014 release date for the film. Steven Spielberg will be producing "Jurassic Park IV" with Frank Marshall, with Kathleen Kennedy not involved due to her commitments to Disney's "Star Wars" resurrection. Get More »

Filed Under: Movie News | Source: Deadline

Staff Picks: Kase Wickman's Top 10 Movies of 2012

FilmDistrict

I don't believe in feeling guilt over what movies I like. Many critics and bloggers and other people who get to say with a straight face that they get paid to think about movies all day will tell you all about "important" movies and other milestones they feel are underappreciated by mainstream audiences, but I personally don't feel like I'm above having a good time at the movie theater.

You won't see "Zero Dark Thirty" on this list, nor will you find "The Master," though I saw both and enjoyed them and took something away from them. They just aren't movies that I can see myself wanting to enjoy again (ever again), unlike the 10 titles that made my admittedly somewhat fluffy year-end list.

2012 was a banner year for movies, and the hits just keep coming (thanks for the time off, winter break! You would need to call in sick to see the array of awesome holiday offerings coming at us before year's end). Read on for my list of my top 10 picks for the year. Get More »

Filed Under: Best of 2012 Features

The 10 Most Criminally Underseen Movies of 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed FilmDistrict

This has been a pretty darn good year for movies. Awesome blockbusters ("The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises"), hilarious comedies ("Ted," "21 Jump Street") cool indies ("Moonrise Kingdom," "The Master") and hot dramas ("Lincoln," "Argo") have battled for attention in the media and at the box office. It's really been an embarrassment of riches.

But you know what else is an embarrassment? The fact that because of the crowded box office slate, some of the best movies of the year were hardly seen at all. Get More »

Filed Under: Best of 2012 Features

New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'The Campaign' and More

Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell in "The Campaign" Warner Bros.

This week: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis play two North Carolina congressional candidates engaged in a hilariously contentious race for votes in "The Campaign," which arrives on disc just before we cast our vote for the next President.

Also new this week is the acclaimed indie film "Safety Not Guaranteed," a Criterion Collection edition of "Rosemary's Baby" and the must-own massive Blu-ray set "Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection." Get More »

Filed Under: DVD & Blu-ray Queue It Up

Summer Movies Poll: Best Indie

FilmDistrict / Focus Features / Fox Searchlight

NEXT: What was the biggest surprise this summer? >>

PREVIOUS: What was this summer's best action movie? <<

Filed Under: Poll Summer Movies

Summer Movies Poll: Best Comedy

Focus Features / Universal / Paramount

NEXT: What was the best action movie of the summer? >>

PREVIOUS: Who was the standout female this summer? <<

This poll will close on Aug. 30, 2012, at 12 p.m. ET

Filed Under: Poll Summer Movies

Q&A: 'Safety Not Guaranteed' Star Jake Johnson Hates the Internet (But Loves Zooey Deschanel)

Getty Images

Jake Johnson's had a good run on the big screen lately — we've loved his supporting roles in "Get Him to the Greek," "No Strings Attached," "21 Jump Street" and more. It's his small screen success that really got our attention this year, though; as Zooey Deschanel's roommate and someday love interest on the pitch-perfect FOX sitcom "New Girl," Johnson embodies the rare and magical combination of gentle misanthropy and humor that makes him a fictional boyfriend of Pacey-like proportions.

His starring role in the bizarre but mesmerizing indie "Safety Not Guaranteed" is a departure for Johnson. Meeting the actor is the key to recognizing his chops — you have to be impressed by skills that transform a down-to-earth man into his "Safety" character, the apathetic and casually cruel reporter Jeff, whom Johnson describes as "a real douche."

There's not a trace of Jeff in the real Johnson, an affable, chatty guy who covers his love of "The Hunger Games" and loathing of high-waisted hipster pants before we even manage to turn on the recorder. With our equipment in place, we work through Johnson's love/hate relationship with computer technology — but we start with the unbelievable inception of his new movie.

The story behind "Safety Not Guaranteed" is insane. If people don't realize this: It's based on a real classified ad someone placed in a magazine in the late '90s, seeking a companion for time travel. How did that turn into a movie?

FilmDistrict

Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly — Derek's our writer and Colin's our director — they read this thing online and were really into it and came up with the story of what would happen if this guy was real. They wanted the protagonist to be a female who finds this guy — Derek and Colin are huge Aubrey Plaza fans, so they wrote the movie for her.

I know them socially — Colin and I are old friends, and Derek and I have known each other for years now. They didn't write it for me but they kept me in mind for it. I got a script a couple years ago. It was very early, it was before Aubrey had said yes — it was before I knew Aubrey — I read it and I LOVED Jeff. I was like, yeah, sign me up.

The ad — the real ad — reads, "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed."  For most of the movie, it's ambiguous whether Kenneth, the prospective time-traveler, is crazy or if he actually knows how to go back in time. How does the movie answer that when it's based on a real guy?
The guy who wrote the classified ad is in our movie! In the post office, when they're first looking, that first old guy that they think is him — that's really the guy who wrote the classified ad.

People tried to hunt him down for a long time —  had he already been discovered?
No. Colin found him, and Colin's a very persuasive guy. Colin befriended him and took time, and the guy didn't trust him, and Colin optioned the classified ad as if it were a script. He worked very hard to make it happen. It wasn't locked into place when I signed on — it was like, there's a chance this won't happen if the guy says no, and Colin was like, "I'm going to meet with him again." The guy, I guess, is like a guy with guns and ... you know ... safety not guaranteed.

But eventually the guy said yes, and he came on set and he had a good time, and I think he stands behind the movie.

It was a hell of a meme, back in the day. Are you, yourself, a meme fan?
Hmm. I didn't have a cell phone until I was 25 — I got so mad when they started doing NBC.com, I wouldn't visit the sites. I really thought the Internet craze was a fad, I didn't want it to win, I didn't want us all on computers, I hate that we all have cell phones, I hate that I love it. I hate that I love twitter.

Here's a reality. I just did a press tour, and I hate that I'm in a city, coming from the airport, and rather than looking at the buildings, I'm sending texts and emails, and someone's like, look, there's the Liberty Bell, and I've been like [mimes texting furiously]. And I'm part of it!

I'm not too cool for school to say there are certain actors, the Sam Rockwells of the world, I love those guys. They don't DO this s**t! They're COOLER than it! That's what I aspire to be. But I'm not. I'm a nerd, who texts and reads tweets and watches funny videos and LAUGHS. So nerd-pants. Those guys are cooler. They just are. There's no denying it.

You know what I love? When I meet an actor and I find out later that they're not on twitter. It's so cool. "YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME!"

It's like people who genuinely ask, "What's 'Twilight'?"
[Laughs] Exactly. "Everything about you, I like. Everything about me, I hate!"

But you do watch funny videos and laugh. So what's your poison — cats eating sandwiches or dogs saying "I love you?"
I like very weird stuff online. Like ... everybody else in the world.

"I like money, food and sleeping!"
[Laughs] Right, I say that like it's interesting.

FOX

But what I really love is reporters caught in the moment, because I think of the business that I'm in. I love, like, Bill O'Reilly getting angry. Whenever I'm on set doing "New Girl," all jokes aside, probably once a day when it's quiet and I can't get my line right or something doesn't look right, I'll yell "F**K IT, WE'LL DO IT LIVE!! I CAN'T READ THIS." Every cast member says it. Crew members have pulled it out. Our sound guy, every once in a while, will go, "F**k it, we'll do it live!"

So like those moments, the news reporter who gets a fly in his mouth. That stuff makes me laugh SO HARD. Those are the memes that I'll send around.

One more thing — you've seen the "Quirky Girl" sketch about Zooey on "SNL," right? Accurate ... at all?
Not at all, really. The reality of Zooey as a human … it's a character. She's got her style, but I think the quirkiness was thrown on for projects. Like, she's actually a very smart businesswoman. This thing hasn't been thrown on her lap.

There are certain actors where it's almost like they won the lottery. You talk to them and you're like … "You don't have it figured out at all, you don't have a strategy at ALL." Zooey isn't like that. She's got a web site and a band. She's smart and well-read and interesting.

It's easy to forget that screenwriters create words and actors get paid to make them sound real.
Yeah. Everybody on our set thinks it's really funny — Zooey thinks it's really funny. I'm the only one. Maybe it's because I'm an old stick in the mud.

Also check out our interview with "Safety Not Guaranteed" star Aubrey Plaza on Film.com.

Filed Under: Interviews

'Safety Not Guaranteed' Will Time-Travel Its Way Into Your Heart

Safety Not Guaranteed
FilmDistrict

"Wanted: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before."

So read a personal ad found in the back of a newspaper by then-aspiring screenwriter Derek Connolly, who was looking for inspiration to pen a new work. Using the ad and a lot of imagination, Connolly wrote "Safety Not Guaranteed," a romantic comedy involving time travel, conspiracy theories, the FBI, long-lost loves and a whole lot of laughs. Get More »

Filed Under: Indie Jones

15 Breakout Stars to Watch This Summer

There are a lot of things to avoid this summer: blistering sun, bug spray, sweating, sunburns, broken air conditioning, puka shell necklaces. Thankfully, heaven can be found indoors, in a movie theater, with functional air conditioning, popcorn and 90+ minutes of pure cinematic bliss.

This summer Hollywood is giving us a lot of "popcorn flicks" to look forward to: a "Spider-Man" reboot, "Men in Black III," a second "G.I. Joe" movie and "Battleship," to name a few. Among all of these big movies are 15 up-and-coming stars who will be heating up the summer. Some of these are people you've seen on TV, and some you've heard on the radio. All of them are quickly on the rise to silver-screen stardom.

Filed Under: Features Summer Movies

The Top 30 Must-See Summer Movies of 2012

Summer 2012 Movies Preview
Columbia Pictures / Warner Bros.

'Tis the season for massive explosions and people running from them.

Summer movies are coming, and iconic superheroes will dominate as "Dark Knight Rises," "Avengers," and "The Amazing Spider-Man" duke it out for box office supremacy, while the sci-fi derby includes fresh takes on the "Alien" saga ("Prometheus") and Philip K. Dick ("Total Recall"), plus a return visit to MIB headquarters.

Of course, it's not all grenades and gunshots. Just see a shirtless Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages" and everythingless Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike" representing for the ladies this summer.

We count down the biggest and best blockbusters for beating the summer heat. Get More »

Filed Under: Features Summer Movies
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