Posts Tagged ‘Thandie Newton’

Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton Talk ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

If you’re not afraid of the dark now, you just might be after seeing ‘Vanishing on 7th Street.’ The new post-apocalyptic thriller by director Brad Anderson (‘The Machinist’) stars Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo and newcomer Jacob Latimore as a group of survivors trying to figure out how to sustain themselves in a world where everyone has inexplicably vanished.

This is a pretty unusual concept. What was your reaction when you first saw the script?
Newton: I really liked how spare the script was. And you could tell straight away that it wasn’t going to be looking for shocks and thrills. It was much more a kind of meditation on fear and -

Christensen: And death.

Newton: Yeah, and death. And it would rely heavily on what the actors brought to it, which I thought was… you don’t get those very often.

Did you have any idea about how you were going to get into character and approach it?
Christensen: What I liked about the script was the containment of it and how that would allow for real character exploration. We spent a lot of time in that bar. Just Thandie, John, Jacob and myself. And it really felt like we were putting on a play.

Newton: We had lots of night shoots in the freezing cold. It was like an endurance test. We had a lot of stuff to get through, so it was also everyone very keen to get the work done. So there almost wasn’t time to think about how cold it was. I love all of that.

Christensen: I think it also lends itself to the work. The nature of having to make a movie in such tough conditions in such a short period of time gave us all this sort of frantic feeling that we’re just trying to keep up with in the movie.

What were you picturing, since the “monster” is very vague and we never really see it?
Hayden: Just a shadow that moves on its own. That’s pretty unnerving.

Newton: Creeping towards you, encompassing everything. But also there’s sort of a feeling of drowning, too, and suffocation. It’s like all the worst ways to go in this entity.

Christensen: I think the ambiguity of it all allows you to create your own worst fear. It’s not like you have a monster jumping out at you. It’s unknown.

Last night you mentioned that you placed a lot of trust in Brad to help you really get to the core of your character. What inspired that trust?
Christensen: He’s extremely articulate in his vision, and his past films have all been very creative endeavors. Tonally, he’s able to capture something that is really unique and really an extension of his creativity. So that instills a lot of faith in you as an actor.

Newton: He has his own personal style that’s very unique. So what we wanted to do is honor that style in this catalog of movies that he’s going to be making. I had to put my faith in someone, because some scenes were just so driven and emotional, there was a real abandonment and I got quite lost in the trauma of it all. I had to hope that Brad, and to some degree the other actors, were there to be the judge of where it was going and what needed to happen.

Christensen: And dependent on each other as well. I think that’s sort of a theme in the film. How we rely on the people around us.

Is that sort of what you meant when you said it reminded you of a play?
Christensen: Yeah. When you’re on stage, you’re totally dependent on the other actor. But really for me it was about the containment of the story. When I read it, it really read like a play, and I thought we could approach it like a play. And that was really appealing to me.

What was it like working with John Leguizamo? Was he kind of the comic relief on set?
Newton: He’s actually pretty serious. He’s got incredible energy, John. He has all of these ideas and he’ll sort of switch from one topic to another. But he was all about the material. He’s got a slight obsessiveness, too. But then he might suddenly just break out into an amazing dance routine. And so would Jacob.

Christensen: Jacob is quite the dancer.

Newton: He is. And he sang at the end of the movie, didn’t he? Didn’t he sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to someone in the most beautiful voice — was it to Brad?

Christensen: Oh yeah. I think it was to Brad.

With such a small group of actors, how did having a rookie in the mix affect the dynamic?
Newton: He did not feel like a rookie at all.

Hayden: No, he’s a natural.

What was it like filming in Detroit? Had either of you filmed there before?
Christensen: No, it was my first time.

Newton: I loved it. Obviously, the city lent itself really well to the movie. Streets and building after building were empty, and there were old motor factories with machinery just left suspended. Buildings that have trees growing up out of them. It was beautiful and sort of tragic at the same time. It kind of has a ghost-like feel to it.

Christensen: Absolutely.

Newton: Humanity has left this place. So that was amazing for the film. On a personal level, the people of Detroit are just so tenacious. Hayden took us to this Italian restaurant where Brad had his first truffle, didn’t he?

Christensen: That’s right.

Who do you think this movie will appeal to, since it really defies genres?
Christensen: I think it will appeal to people who want to go to a movie and be stimulated.

Source

Vanishing On 7th Street Review

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Dir: Brad Anderson. US. 2010. 90mins

The adage “don’t be afraid of the dark” would provide little comfort to the few unfortunate souls who are among Earth’s last living humans in director Brad Anderson’s enjoyably unsettling thriller Vanishing On 7th Street. Re-imagining the apocalypse as an encroaching darkness that evaporates people in its path, this chamber piece bears a striking resemblance to George A. Romero’s original Night Of The Living Dead but prefers creeping unease to outright horror.

Vanishing On 7th Street is a subtler, more stimulating variation on the traditional horror/zombie/apocalypse film.

Making its world premiere at Toronto’s Midnight Madness section – where Anderson previously launched his Christian Bale psychological thriller The Machinist – Vanishing On 7th Street should easily find an audience among fans of apocalyptic thrillers, a genre that has been a staple of recent years, encompassing everything from I Am Legend to The Road. With a small cast that includes Hayden Christensen and Thandie Newton, Vanishing could be a moderate box-office performer for a filmmaker who tends toward niche indie fare.

As the film begins, a power outage has just hit Detroit. But when electricity is restored, it becomes apparent that a large majority of the population has vanished, their bodies eradicated and just their clothes remaining. Only a few random survivors remain: a TV reporter (Christensen), a physical therapist (Newton), a theatre projectionist (John Leguizamo) and a young kid (Jacob Latimore). They discover that the amount of daylight has rapidly decreased and that they must remain in lighted areas to avoid being devoured by hovering shadows (often in the form of human silhouettes). Even worse, the emergency generator they’re using to power their hideout (a local bar) is about to fail.

Combining the house-under-siege plot of Night Of The Living Dead with the threat of night predators from Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend (which was the inspiration for The Omega Man and the later Will Smith remake), Vanishing On 7th Street is agreeably modest in its ambitions, despite the fact that it’s dealing with the extermination of humanity. (In one of the film’s delicious unanswered mysteries, there is no explanation for why animals are unaffected.) Anderson, who has previously delved into psychological horror with The Machinist and Session 9, is more invested in the philosophical implications of this fictional plague than in trying to break new ground within its genre.

This is not to suggest that Anderson and Session 9 cinematographer Uta Briesewitz aren’t supremely skilled at executing several understated suspense sequences – just that Anderson is as concerned with the intellectual questions in Anthony Jaswinski’s screenplay as he with frightening his audience.

Taking its cue from Night Of The Living Dead, much of the movie revolves around the interactions of these dissimilar characters as they try to stay alive. This requires strongly drawn individuals in order to bolster audience empathy, and unfortunately the results are a bit uneven. Christensen gives perhaps his best performance since Shattered Glass, but still he seems too boyish to convince as the steely leader of this mismatched group. Leguizamo’s character exists largely to provide exposition and plot obstacles, but nonetheless the actor doesn’t bring much personality to the part. By contrast, Newton is quite touching as a woman pining for her lost (and presumably dead) child, and young actor Latimore holds his own with his adult co-stars.

Even if Vanishing On 7th Street is rarely overtly frightening, it is wonderfully spooky, its atmosphere enhanced immensely by a chilling soundtrack peppered with inaudible whispering from the hovering shadows of darkness descending upon the characters. Additionally, the cause of the lethal darkness – or why these select people escaped unharmed – is never explained, suggesting that Anderson sees this darkness as a metaphor for mortality, a way to ask how any of us would face the unfathomable prospect of our own death.

But while these questions are thought provoking, the B-movie characters don’t do much to illuminate these issues. Instead, Anderson’s themes resonate much more strongly in his strikingly staged set pieces when the characters leave the safety of the bar for supplies, only to discover that this hovering darkness has the ability to manipulate their emotions in order to lead them to their doom. Vanishing On 7th Street is a subtler, more stimulating variation on the traditional horror/zombie/apocalypse film, but it cuts deepest when it opts for good-old-fashioned elegant terror.
Credit

Vanishing on 7th Street Review

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Light is also the pulse of Brad Anderson’s “Vanishing on 7th Street,” but in a way that’s far more literal than “Julia’s Eyes.” Hayden Christensen (in one of his best performances to date), Thandie Newton, John Leguizamo and the young Jacob Latimore star as a group of strangers who are drawn towards the light of a speakeasy after an unexplained power outage leaves Detroit, and likely the rest of the world, cloaked in darkness that disappears anyone who isn’t holding a flashlight, a lighter or something that can keep away the shade. The film plays out almost like a small-scale version of “I Am Legend,” minus the CG zombies and putting in their place the creepier echoes of the unknown in the shadows to terrorize the quartet as they escape onto the empty streets around the bar, a safe haven thanks to its persnickety power generator, to try and find a way to prolong their lives and not evaporate into the piles of empty clothes they see around them.

In introducing the screening Monday, Christensen told TIFF’s Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes that he was drawn to the film’s “metaphors and subtext of what isn’t going on” and believe me, some will think there won’t be a lot going on. Fans of Anderson’s might liken it to “Session 9,” which impressed not with its threadbare storyline but its evocation of dread. There aren’t really character arcs so much as there are varying levels of fear and desperation in “Vanishing on 7th Street” amongst Christensen’s proactive newsman Luke, Newton’s frightened nurse Rosemary, Leguizamo’s crippled projectionist Paul, and Latimore’s fickle James.

Even though there are flashbacks to their lives pre-eclipse, you don’t get to know them in any meaningful way, nor do you ever learn what caused the darkness. Still, Anderson remains committed to challenging himself, this time shooting nearly an entire movie in the dark, and even if “Vanishing on 7th Street” never delivers the knockout blow that’s usually crucial to films as suspenseful as this aspires to be, it’s a testament to its director that it remains engaging throughout and puts an extra spring into your step once you leave the darkened theater.

“Julia’s Eyes” and “Vanishing on 7th Street” do not yet have U.S. distribution.

Source

New ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’ Details, Logo

Friday, April 16th, 2010

They may in fact be the last people on earth… One of the most underrated directors around is Brad Anderson, the man behind Session 9, The Machinist and the forthcoming chiller Vanishing on 7th Street. Starring Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton, below you’ll find the new synopsis and title card. Unfortunately no release info is available yet. We’ll keep you posted with any updates.

“In the film a mysterious and seemingly global blackout causes countless populations to simply vanish, leaving only their clothes and possessions behind. A small handful of survivors band together in a dimly-lit tavern on 7th Street, struggling to combat the apocalyptic horror. Realizing they may in fact be the last people on earth, the darkness hones in on them alone.”

Credit to MrDisgusting
and
Source


Click to enlarge!

New Details: Brad Anderson’s The Vanishing on 7th Street

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Some new details today for Brad Anderson’s next film guaranteed to screw with your head, The Vanishing on 7th Street. But we have to admit directing chops aside, the flick sounds pretty damned good.

Finally after some fairly vague details we have an official plot crunch for you for the film which stars Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo, and Thandie Newton. Dig on that below. No release dates have been issued as of yet but when we know, you’ll know!

For more check out an early title card treatment over at Bloody Disgusting.

Synopsis
A mysterious, seemingly global blackout causes countless populations to simply vanish, leaving only their clothes and possessions behind. A small handful of survivors band together in a dimly-lit tavern on 7th Street, struggling to combat the apocalyptic horror. Realizing they may in fact be the last people on earth, the darkness hones in on them alone.”

Credit to Uncle Creepy
and
Source

Vanishing on 7th [Seventh] Street mention!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

IM Global’s fast-rising Octane division is talking up its genre titles to international buyers here at the EFM.

Octane sales chief Catherine Quantschnigg’s slate is led by psychological thriller Isolation from Boogeyman director Stephen T Kay, which is financed by Matty Beckerman’s Natural Selection fund.

Rounding out the slate are Brad Anderson’s recently wrapped thriller Vanishing On 7th Street starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo, and Tim Sullivan’s 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams, which received its market premiere last week.
Source




(Click to Enlarge)

Local dog becomes movie star, meets “Darth Vader”

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Whether or not you agree with the tax-credit program that sparked it, the burgeoning movie industry is creating all kinds of quirky and interesting situations we otherwise wouldn’t be seeing around here.
Bunny (3).JPG
Here’s one: Mary Dixon, who runs the local company Mup Mups Animal Actors, has a tale of a Saline poodle’s brush with the big time.

On the evening of November 8th, Bunny found her self on a darkened street, in Darth Vader’s arms…

In October and early November, my Ann Arbor company, Mup Mups Animal Actors, was hired to work on the film “The Vanishing on 7th Street” in Detroit.

“Vanishing” is directed by Brad Anderson (of the TV show “Fringe”) and stars Hayden Christensen (the young Darth Vader in the recent “Star Wars” sagas), John Leguizamo (Henri-Toulouse Latrec in “Moulin Rouge”) and Thandie Newton (Makemba “Kem” Likasu in the TV show “ER”) as survivors in a world where shadowy figures appear and human beings disappear.

The plot is so hush-hush, even I was not given a script (which we usually have so that we can break down the animal action as required). We had to train on-set for both animals, which can be a real challenge, no matter how simple the action seems (to the director or crew) or how good a trainer you are!

For the October days, I hired a real police horse, whose owner, a sergeant, came as his primary handler. Which was good, since we were shooting in a not-so-nice area of Detroit! The production company closed down I-75 for 8 hours for one of the police horse shoots, which I believe is the biggest stunt a film company has pulled off since the Michigan Film Incentive (MFI) was started in April 2008.

The other animal I was asked to find for the film was a white standard poodle.

I’ve been involved in the dog show scene for 15 years as an obedience and conformation exhibitor and as a vendor of my handmade porcelain dog breed jewelry. So I knew it would be difficult at this time of year to find the extreme show-groomed poodles, with the balls and flourishes. They are all on the road, being shown for those last-minute 2009 AKC standings, most with professional dog handlers.

But, luckily for us, Bunny and a few other young ones were available. Of those, he picked Bunny.

Bunny is a young white standard poodle bred and owned by longtime show exhibitor and Southeast Michigan Poodle Club president Patricia Jason of Saline. She was cast as a fancy dog wandering alone to fend for herself on the streets of the deserted city. We shot on a back street between the Compuware building and Greektown, just under the People Mover.

The script called for her to walk around from one mark to another, seemingly easy stuff. But when I, Pat and her daughter Danielle Sugai got there, we were asked to add a few other behaviors to make the scene more realistic.

This happens nearly every time I get to set with one of my animal actors! So I am always ready with my cooked garlic chicken (which I raise myself on my little farm next to the Pittsfield Preserve in Pittsfield Township).

So…on the one hand, Bunny is only 1.5 years old and prone to bouts of random silliness. On the other hand, poodles are one of the smartest breeds.

We were pretty sure she could do it.

Bunny had other ideas…

When the prop guys finished readying the set, we were allowed to work with her right there, where she would be (rummaging through broken-open grocery bags with cans and boxes spilled out on the ground and shoes and clothing scattered around- because the people had vanished).

Bunny seemed to be channeling Marilyn Monroe, who had a penchant for doing things her own way, much to the consternation of her directors.

Despite our efforts and the yummy bait, she went around, saying “Hi” to the crew, sniffing the props, eating some of the chicken and generally being a goofball.

At one point, a crew member, wearing a hoodie over his head and a variety of unusual-looking flashlight devices on the front of his clothing, came over to meet her and ask her name.

He knelt down, hugged and pet her for quite a while.

“Why all the lights?” Pat asked.

He smiled and said, “Oh, I just like flashlights.”

I said, “You look like a Star Wars character!”

A few minutes later, in better lighting, I took a good look at Bunny’s biggest fan, who was still doting on her.

“Are you Hayden?” I asked him.

“Yes, I am!” he said.

” Well,” I said, “I was kind of just kidding before but I guess you really were, like, the coolest Star Wars character- ever! ” (besides Han Solo).

It was nearly impossible to recognize him with his hoodie and makeup, which I’d say is true for most actors I’ve worked with, including Hllary Swank.

The cameras were set up. “ROLLING!” Brad yelled.

Pat released Bunny from stage right (the left side of the frame). Dragging her leash, Bunny went all the way into the set, to the bags, rummaged.

Showed her good side.

Did it right.

For a whole minute that seemed to last forever. I silently counted the seconds from the sidelines.

Danielle, standing next to me, at stage left (the right side of the frame) and I were cued via Walkie Talkie to call the dog.

We yelled, “BUNNY!”

Up shot her head. Exactly what they wanted.

Bunny looked around. Exactly what they wanted!

What was going on?! She was perfect!

Then we called “Bunny…baby, come!” and she sauntered off in our direction. Hayden runs into the scene, rummaging through the bags himself. Perfection.

Another take. Perfect again. No mistakes.

“CUT!” Brad yelled. “Moving on!” which meant, basically, that the dog was “wrapped!”

Ah, yes, the Force was strong in Bunny that night. I felt something, or someone was helping us.

It really was amazing that Bunny did the job so perfectly after all of those silly rehearsals. Pat and I had said Bunny’s performance could be in honor of Pat’s mother, who had sadly passed away just two days before.

Later, I was talking with the Humane Association representative and she said she’d ‘felt a presence’ on set helping us. I told her I did, too.

So, later, I thanked grandma, on the way home, for helping us with Bunny!
Source

The citizenry suddenly vanishes in a new Hayden Christensen thriller being shot in Detroit

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Wide open spaces
The citizenry suddenly vanishes in a new Hayden Christensen thriller being shot in Detroit


Click both to enlarge

Hayden Christensen plays a TV reporter in the film




Cars appear to have been abandoned on a portion of I-75 in Detroit, a setting for “Vanishing on 7th Street,” a psychological thriller/horror movie that is filming locally.

A neon sign for a bar called Sonny’s glows in the night at an intersection in southwest Detroit. The cars in the street are parked haphazardly. The sidewalks are scattered with pieces of clothing, oddly enough.

Suddenly, a man and a woman run tentatively away from the bar. “Keep up,” says Hayden Christensen, who’s best-known for playing Anakin Skywalker in two “Star Wars” prequels. He’s talking to Thandie Newton, star of “Crash” and “Mission Impossible II.”

The actors are working on a scene for “Vanishing on 7th Street,” an independent movie that has aspects of a psychological thriller and a horror film.

The story involves a blackout and the mysterious disappearance of a city’s population. Five remaining people must try to figure out what they’re up against.

Detroit will play itself in the film. For this scene, the crew has turned an existing building on Junction Street into the exterior of a tavern.

The movie, which has a budget of around $10 million, needed a setting that would evoke the right look and feel for the subject matter. After considering locations in Iowa, Washington, New York and Canada, the filmmakers chose metro Detroit for creative reasons and for Michigan’s generous tax breaks for filmmaking.

“The city is such a character in the way we’re shooting the movie,” says producer Celine Rattray. “The city looks a combination of beautiful and, at times, haunting. We hope that it portrays Detroit in a beautiful light.”

The “Vanishing” team has been impressed by the architecture and friendliness of local communities as it’s gone about its scary-making business.

And in practical terms, when you’re shooting an eerie scene like the street exterior on this particular night, it’s easier to shut down locations and create an empty landscape in Detroit than it would be in a more crowded urban area.

Executive producer Kelly McCormick, who grew up near East Lansing, has been struck by the fact that “there’s beauty and there’s brilliance juxtaposed to extreme destitution and emptiness.”

Says McCormick, “What’s been amazing is that you’ll find empty streets without any trouble here. You’ll find empty buildings that are either still together or partly dismantled or ruined in some way, shape or form that show that people have sort of already vanished. And that’s really fascinating.”

The director is Brad Anderson, whose credits include the 2004 film “The Machinist” with Christian Bale, and several episodes of the Fox series “Fringe.” John Leguizamo also stars.

The cast and crew have filmed at several locations, including a portion of I-75, the movie theaters at Dearborn’s Fairlane Town Center and Detroit churches and bars.

Scenes were shot at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) studios in Southfield, a handy setting because Christensen plays a TV reporter. Weekend anchor Dave LewAllen and traffic reporter Erin Nicole landed small parts.

Filming is supposed to be completed next week on the roughly five-week shoot. The movie is expected to be released next year.

McCormick finds hope in the fact that projects like this are discovering Detroit’s visual potential.

“It’s like, take advantage of what this landscape is,” she says. “In a sense, then we can rebuild or we can find something interesting in it or something valuable in it still, which, for us, is this awesome landscape that makes our movie look bigger than we ever thought it was going to look.”


Source

Hayden Christensen in the D!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

The Hayden Christensen film “Vanishing on Seventh Street” will be shooting in and around Detroit through Nov. 17, the Michigan Film Office confirmed with the Free Press on Tuesday.

Directed by Brad Anderson, the film is set in “a once-thriving city where shadowy forms cause residents to inexplicably disappear,” IMDB.com says. Also starring in the thriller are Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo.

Source

Movie Features Hayden & Action News

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Action News is getting a taste of Hollywood right here in our own Broadcast House! The Producers of “Vanishing on 7th Street” chose Channel 7 as a key location in the movie. Some of our colleagues even have roles in the upcoming film that stars Hayden Christensen.

Christensen plays a young reporter on the Action News Team. You’ll remember the actor from his starring role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars 2 and 3.

In the film “Vanishing on 7th Street,” there’s a good chance you’ll see Dave LewAllen, Erin Nicole, Stephen Clark, Carolyn Clifford and Tom Leyden in the movie.

Erin Nicole plays a meteorologist and Hayden’s girlfriend.

Dave LewAllen is a reporter who reports on the mysterious disappearance of everybody.

Stay with WXYZ.com for details on when the movie will be set for release.


You can also see a slideshow, but the pictures are what is already uploaded.


Source

Hayden Christensen bonds with WXYZ Detroit news staff on set of ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

A new horror film starring Hayden Christensen and Thandie Newton is filming in Detroit — and incorporating a Detroit TV station into the film.

The newsroom of WXYZ is being used as the set for some scenes in the film “Vanishing on 7th Street.”

The movie is about the strange disappearance of nearly an entire city’s population. Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode II” and “Episode III”) plays a news reporter covering the story.

Several staff members from channel 7 news will also have small roles in the movie.

Weekend anchor Dave LewAllen will play the role of another reporter. Traffic reporter Erin Nicole plays a meteorologist and Christensen’s character’s girlfriend.

Stephen Clark, Carolyn Clifford and Tom Leyden are also expected to have roles in the film.


Source

Vanishing on 7th Street Mention

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

LewAllen on His New Movie Role


What a thrill! I got word following an audition yesterday that I was being cast in a major motion picture to be shot this month in Detroit.

The film is “Vanishing on Seventh Street,” directed by Brad Anderson, whose previous credits include “Session 9,” “The Machinist,” and “Transsiberian.”

The story is set in a once-thriving city where shadowy forms cause residents to inexplicably disappear. Five survivors fight to stay alive while grappling with the meaning of existence.

Hayden Christensen has signed to star, along with John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton. I was selected to play (of all things) a TV news reporter. This is an exciting first for me; hopefully my few lines don’t wind up on the cutting room floor! My Action News colleague, Diana Lewis, gained a measure of fame with her role in the first “Rocky,” and Bill Bonds appeared in the “Escape from the Planet of the Apes,” from 1971.

Shooting for “Vanishing on Seventh Street” is set to begin mid-October in Detroit.



Source