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“The Social Network” thesp Max Minghella and “The River” star Eloise Mumford are in talks to star in Universal Pictures’ and Blumhouse Prods.’ low-budget thriller “Not Safe For Work,” which Joe Johnston will direct and Jason Blum will produce.
Adam Mason and Simon Boyes wrote the script, which follows a young paralegal trapped in an office with a killer on a secret mission to destroy files and anyone that stands in his path.
Minghella is in talks to play the cunning protag, while Mumford is in talks to play his girlfriend, who works at the same office.
Couper Samuelson will exec produce the pic, while Bryan Brucks will co-produce. Blumhouse recently signed a first-look agreement with Universal to produce low-budget genre films.
Summit Entertainment will release the alien invasion thriller The Darkest Hour from director Chris Gorak and writer Jon Spaihts in Blu-ray 3D, 2D and DVD configurations on April 10.
The Darkest Hour stars Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachel Taylor, Joel Kinnaman and Max Minghella as part of a group of American tourists in Moscow who come under attack by mysterious, invisible alien creatures. They soon discover the aliens affect electricity when close by and use this knowledge to both survive the attack and fight back.
Summit opened The Darkest Hour on Christmas Day, 2011, and has earned $21.2 million from the thriller since its release.
Max Minghella claims he never wanted to be an actor, a pledge you have to take with a pound of salt. After all, when your dad is Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), you’re born with sharp and handsome good looks, and his friends cast you in their shorts when you’re just 12 years old, you’d have to fight not to go Hollywood. Still, Minghella insists, “I thought it was sort of embarrassing to say you wanted to be an actor—it was, like, uncool.” The British schoolboy managed to hold out until he was 20. Then he succumbed to his destiny, racking up roles in Bee Season, Syriana and Art School Confidential in his first year on the job. But it was his Social Network role as the litigious Diyva Narendra—the Winkleviis’ partner and Mark Zuckerberg’s Public Enemy #3—that made Minghella the go-to guy for brainiac social climbers, just like his latest gig as aspiring politico Ben Harper in The Ides of March. Minghella tells Boxoffice how hard it was to play a role where he must fade into the background like a spider waiting for his moment to pounce, and warns us that when George Clooney is around, you have to watch your pants.
You’re making a little name making these really kind of show-stopping small roles. Is this an agenda?
No, it’s not an agenda at all.
Just lucky? That sounds impossible.
You don’t know how people are going to react to something. You have no idea.
Max Minghella is young, smart, articulate, politically active, has an impressive resume and is doggedly determined to get what he wants. Which made him the perfect choice to play a young campaign aide opposite Ryan Gosling in the political drama of the season.
The 26-year old British actor, son of Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella, is something of a prestige film good luck charm, having featured in titles such as “Syriana” and “The Social Network.” This week, he re-teams with his “Syriana” co-star George Clooney in “The Ides of March,” the story of a presidential candidate (Clooney) with a secret, his brilliant young aide with a moral dilemma (Gosling) and the seasoned campaign vet with a bout of bitterness (Seymour Philip Hoffman).
Minghella’s character, Ben, is thrust into the spotlight after a series of campaign firings and moral breakdowns. It’s hard to tell whether Ben is ready for the star turn or not, but Minghella is certainly well prepared to talk about both his role and the larger themes of the film.
What made you want to get involved in the film?
I was obsessed with the play — the play before it was a movie. I saw the play twice in New York, and then I saw it twice in LA and I heard they were doing a movie of it. And I wasn’t sent the script or anything, but I just heard it was happening and it was actually going ahead, because there had been various articulations of the movie that had never been green-lit. So I said okay, the movie is happening, and I got a copy of the script and I remembered that there was a small part in the play and I wasn’t sure if they had carried it over. They had, and so I thought okay, maybe I’ll have a go at this, and I just took one of those speeches and I did it over and over and over again. It was definitely the most psychotic I’ve been about preparing for a read, but it paid off.
Max was on Young Hollywood recently and you can check out the interview below. Really, really love this interview! Caps from it coming soon!
It’s a Brit-off in the Studio when Max Minghella stops by to talk about his films ‘Ides of March’ and ‘The Darkest Hour’, empties his pockets, and enjoys some snacks. Max also muses on Comic-Con and Justin Bieber, but please don’t look inside his wallet… Hosted by Oliver Trevena.
Max Minghella is no stranger to film sets. As the son of the late filmmaker Anthony Minghella, the now-26-year-old Max would watch as his dad worked with a bevy of capable actors and crew on such films as The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain — experiences that inform his own approach as an actor today.
Max, an England native who now lives in New York City, dropped out of high school at 17 to start acting, a choice that began to pay off when he got his first large role, as the lead in Terry Zwigoff’s 2006 satire Art School Confidential. Minghella’s been quite discerning in the characters he’s taken on since — he was also busy attending Columbia University — the most recognizable being his role as one of the three guys (the non-Winklevoss twin) who sues Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s The Social Network.
Now comes his supporting role in George Clooney’s The Ides of March, in which he plays the assistant to Ryan Gosling’s troubled, political consultant protagonist. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, much of Ides was shot on location in the Cincinnati area earlier this year (Minghella calls Cincinnati a “classy” town). (Read Scott Renshaw’s review of The Ides of March here.)
CityBeat recently phone Minghella to discuss everything from his initial fear of Gosling to the experience of working with Clooney.
CityBeat: As a political junkie, I found that Ides is another snapshot of our current political climate being in a perilous, highly cynical state. On the other hand, the film deals with themes that go back to Shakespeare and Machiavelli. It’s also, by the end, much more of a straight-up thriller than I was expecting.
Max Minghella: I hope it’s more complicated than being just about one thing. I kind of love that it’s a film about politics that genuinely isn’t about politics. I think that’s an amazing thing to pull off. I just saw Moneyball recently, and I thought that film achieved the same thing — a really magnificent piece of filmmaking that doesn’t rely on the audience being familiar with or having any affection for the sport. It’s just a universal story, and I think Ides accomplishes the same thing. Politics is just a really fun playground for the story.
CB: I know you were a fan of Beau Willimon’s original stage version. How does the film version differ from the play?
MM: The film feels to me like a Chinese whisper of the play. There are dramatic turns that are different from the play that are necessary. One of the biggest fears as a fan of the play was that it would feel like a play on film, and it doesn’t in any way.
The cast of George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH is practically mammoth. Aside from Clooney himself, you have Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright and Evan Rachel Wood. If you go one more name down the list though, you’ll come by one Max Minghella, and once you see the film, you’ll know why his name deserves to be included amongst all these others.
“It’s an amazing privilege to work with people like that,” the 26-year-old, London native tells me in his charming accent. “It was such a useful experience in terms of education.” Personal benefits aside though, Minghella, who was part of another impressive cast last year in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, hopes the film’s pedigree does not hurt its chances of being seen. “There are so many prestigious actors, I hope it doesn’t turn people or get them to not root for the movie because I think it has a really strong heart.” So why the elaborate casting then? “I don’t think its cast for the sake of casting. It happens to have an extraordinary cast but they’re all the right people for the parts.”