Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oscar Matters: The View from David Poland / A New Look at "Spotlight" / Directors Talk: Fukunaga and Gavron

Thursday has dawned and here is your latest installment of MTFB/FAC.


Movie City News awards wrangler David Poland has weighed in with an update on where he thinks the Oscar race is as we end the month of October.  His latest assessment can be found at the MCN site here:

Bottom line is that Poland thinks Ridley Scott's "The Martian" is a serious threat.  He's also still high on TFF #42's "Spotlight"


A new clip has been released from Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight" with the film slated to open next week on Nov. 6.  Entertainment Weekly trumpeted a new clip from the film earlier this week that features Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci.  You can find the post complete with the clip here:


I have highlighted and included two new conversations with directors who were in Telluride over Labor Day weekend.  The New York Times talked recently with "Beasts of No Nation" helmer Cary Fukunaga.  Meanwhile, has an interview with "Suffragette" director Sarah Gavron.  You can find those here:



So, let's put a bow on Thursday because that's a wrap...More to come on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

The FAC Supporting and Screenplays October Update / Oscar Matters: Podcasts and Predictions / Todd Haynes on "Carol" and More / Future Telluride?: Coens and Clooney

Welcome back fro the weekend fellow wanderers...


Our first run through for these categories was three and a half weeks ago (Oct. 1) and as you might expect, some things have changed over that time.  Here's our latest snapshot of Best Supporting Actress and Actor and Adapted and Original Screenplays.

For the purpose of The FAC I gather data from the publicly posted predictions of the following:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Peter Knegt/Indiewire
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.

The positions that these possible nominees had in our last look at these categories is indicated in parenthesis.


1) Alicia Vikander/The Danish Girl (4)
2) Rooney Mara/Carol (2)
3) Kate Winslet/Steve Jobs (1)
4) Jennifer Jason Leigh/The Hateful Eight (3)
5) Jane Fonda/Youth

6) Rachel McAdams/Spotlight (5)
7) Elizabeth Banks/Love and Mercy (6)
8) Joan Allen/Room (9)
9) Julie Walters/Brooklyn (10)
10) Kristen Stewart/Clouds of Sils Maria (8)

Hot: Vikander and Fonda
Cold: Winslet and Stewart


The news that Alicia Vikander will be campaigned for Supporting Actress for "The Danish Girl" really boosted her profile in the last three weeks.  Also. it will be very interesting to see how the box office bad news from this past weekend for Danny Boyle's "Steve Jobs" will affect Winslet, Fassbender, Sorkin and the rest of the "Steve Jobs" Oscar prospects.


1) Michael Keaton/Spotlight (1)
2) Tom Hardy/The Revenant (3)
3) Mark Ruffalo/Spotlight (2)
4) Mark Rylance/Bridge of Spies (5)
5) Idris Elba/Beasts of No Nation (4)

6) Jacob Tremblay/Room (NR)
7) Paul Dano/Love and Mercy (7)
8) Benicio Del Toro/Sicario (6)
9) Joel Edgerton/Black Mass (8)
10) Harvey Keitel/Youth (9)

Hot: Tremblay
Cold: Del Toro and Samuel L. Jackson who dropped way out of the top ten.
Commnet: The last three weeks has seen a strong surge of belief that young Jacob Tremblay is a very serious candidate for an Oscar nomination.  I am still stumping for Jeff Daniels in "Steve Jobs" and Peter Sarsgaard in "Black Mass".


1) Steve Jobs (1)
2) Brooklyn (5)
3) Room (3)
4) The Revenant (4)
5) Carol (2)

6) The Martian (6)
7) Anomalisa (NR)
8) The Danish Girl (7)
9) The Big Short (10)
10) Beasts of No Nation (8)

Hot: "Brooklyn" and "Anomalisa".
Cold: "Carol", "Beasts of No Nation" and "45 Years".
Comment:  "Anomalisa" jumps onto the chart in a big way and might well be in the top five save for some still on-going confusion among some of the Oscar prognosticators about whether it's an Adapted or Original screenplay.  Also, "The Martian", "Carol" and "The Revenant" are very tightly bunched at the 4-5-6 spots.

As I said above concerning the Best Supporting Actress race, it'll be interesting to see if Aaron Sorkin's "Steve Jobs" screenplay will lose any steam the next time we check this category because of that film's dismal box office this past weekend.


1) Spotlight (1)
2) Inside Out (2)
3) Joy (4)
4) The Hateful Eight (3)
5) Bridge of Spies (5)

6) Youth (6)
7) Sicario (7)
8) Son of Saul (10)
9) Love and Mercy (9)
10) Suffragette (NR)

Hot: "Son of Saul" and "Suffragette".
Cold: "Ex Machina".
Comment: The top five are substantially ahead of the other scripts in this category.

Overall, if these predictions were 100% accurate, Telluride #42 films would see a total of  nine nominations in these categories with another eight possibilities.  Added to last Thursday's update of four categories (Picture, Director, Actress and Actor) the T-ride 2015 totals for these eight major categories would be 19 nominations and 11 other possibilities.



Here are links to awards season podcasts from Awards Watch, The Hollywood Reporter and Screentalk:


And here's the link to Sasha Stone's weekly (Friday) update of her Oscar predictions from Awards Daily:


Todd Haynes "Carol" continues to be a central part of the awards season discussion and so I have included this link to Rodrigo Perez's profile of the writer/director based on Haynes' appearance at the New York Film Festival.  That post is linked here from The Playlist:


George Clooney on the set of the Coen Brothers' "Hail Caesar"

We got word over the weekend that past Telluride participants George Clooney and The Coen Brothers ("The Descendants" for Clooney, "Inside Llewyn Davis" for The Coens) are planning to collaborate again but in a slightly different set of circumstances.

Clooney, who has an extensive history with the Coens ("O Brother, where Art Thou", "Intolerable Cruelty" and "Burn After Reading") and is starring in the upcoming "Hail Caesar" (set for release in early February) will apparently direct a Coens script that's been in development for more than a decade.  The film is currently titled "Suburbicon".

The SlashFilm report makes it sound as if the film could well begin shooting as early as next year.  Bring it to TFF #43 or 44, I say.

 Check that story from here:

That's all for Monday.  There'll be more on Thursday....

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Film Awards Clearinghouse Major Categories Updated / Directors: Boyle, Fukunaga, Haynes / New Views from "Suffragette"

Good Thursday!

Here we have the newest number crunching for the four major Oscar categories.  The first FAC posting for the categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress was Sept. 28th.

As I have done in the past, I collate the publicly posted predictions of some of best Oscar experts in the business and then crunch the numbers to come up with The FAC consensus.  This year we begin with information from:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Peter Knegt/Indiewire
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.  The position of each film/performer from the 9/28 post is in parenthesis;


1) Spotlight (1)
2) Steve Jobs (3)
3) The Revenant (1)
4) Brooklyn (7)
5) Room (10)
6) Bridge of Spies (5)
7) Joy (8)
8) The Danish Girl (4)
9) The Hateful Eight (9)
10) Carol (6)
11) Inside Out (12)
12) The Martian (11)

Hot: "Brooklyn" and "Room"
Cold: "The Danish Girl" and "Carol"
Comment:  The top 12 remain the same with some significant re-shuffling.  As of this morning's post, "Spotlight" has a solid grasp ion the top spot.  "Steve Jobs" and "The Revenant" are solid as well.  After that, it begins to get tighter and sketchier.


1) Tom McCarthy/Spotlight (1)
2) Danny Boyle/Steve Jobs (3)
3) Alejandro Inarritu/The Revenant (2)
4) David O. Russell/Joy (6)
5) Steven Spielberg/Bridge of Spies (5)
6) Quentin Tarantino/The Hateful Eight (7)
7) Ridley Scott/The Martian (NR)
8) Todd Haynes/Carol (8)
9) Tom Hooper /The Danish Girl (10)
10) George Miller/Mad Max:Fury Road (NR)

Hot: Russell and Scott.
Cold: Haynes and Nemes
Comment: Though "The Martian" hasn't gained any ground in as far as a Best Picture nomination over the last three weeks, the strong emergence of Ridley Scott in the director's race may signal that it has some underlying strength.


1) Brie Larson/Room (2)
2) Jennifer Lawrence/Joy (1)
3) Saorise Ronan/Brooklyn (5)
4) Cate Blanchett/Carol (4)
5) Carey Mulligan/Suffragette (3)
6) Charlotte Rampling/45 Years (6)
7) Lily Tomlin/Grandma (9)
8) Cate Blanchett/Truth (7)
9) Maggie Smith/The Lady in the Van (10)
10) Blythe Danner/I'll See You in My Dreams (NR)

Hot: Ronan and Tomlin
Cold: Mulligan
Comment: Alicia Vikander drops off this chart as she will apparently be campaigned in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in "The Danish Girl"


1) Michael Fassbender/Steve Jobs (3)
2) Eddie Redmayne/The Danish Girl (2)
3) Leonardo DiCaprio/The Revenant (1)
4) Johnny Depp/Black Mass (4)
5) Michael Caine/Youth (5)
6) Matt Damon/The Martian (6)
7) Tom Hanks/Bridge of Spies (7)
8) Will Smith/Concussion (9)
9) Ian McKellen/Mr. Holmes (NR)
10) Steve Carell/The Big Short (10)

Hot: Fassbender and McKellen
Cold: DiCaprio and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) who dropped to the 11th spot in the latest FAC.

The current status would have TFF #42 films snagging 10 nominations in these four major categories and also  have possibilities for three others.

Coming on Monday, I'll take a new look at the Supporting categories and the Screenplays as well.


Recent conversations included here from Danny Boyle ("Steve Jobs"), Cary Fukunaga ("Beasts of No Nation"), and Todd Haynes ("Carol").

Danny Boyle from Interview Magazine:

Cary Fukunaga from The New York Times:

and also with

and from Indiewire:

Todd Haynes from Thompson on Hollywood:


From The Playlist comes this post with extensive clips, pictures and interviews from Sarah Gavron's "Suffragette".

More on Monday including the next edition of The Film Awards Clearinghouse focused on Supporting and Screenplay categories.

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Michael's Telluride Film Blog's Facebook page:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Interviews and Backgrounds for "Malala", "Steve Jobs" and "Room" / Oscar Matters: Screen Talk, Oscar Poker and The Awards Pundits

Good Monday to all.  Back from Dallas and headed back to the every day...



Time's Eliza Berman is behind this "Behind the scenes"featurette about the creation of the Davis Guggenheim documentary "He Named Me Malala".

That is here:


The National Board of Review talks about the Danny Boyle film that peers at the life of Apple co-creator Steve Jobs,  Included in the Q and A are Boyle, Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

Here that is:


The NBR folks also spent some time with Brie Larson discussing her film, "Room".  Here's the link for that:


Here's the link to the latest installment of Screen Talk featuring Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood and Eric Kohn of Indiewire.  Included are discussions of "Room" and "Beasts of No Nation":

Sasha Stone and Jeff Wells (with special guest Erik Anderson of Awards Watch) are here with their latest look at the Oscar field on Oscar Poker:

Meanwhile, over at The Hollywood Reporter, there's another edition of "The Awards Pundits" with Scott Feinberg and Steve Galloway.  "Beasts of No Nation" also gets a mention in there discussion as does "Steve Jobs".  That is here:

That's it for a Monday in October.  More to come on Thursday including a new look at the Film Awards Clearinghouse for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trailers Times Three / Oscar Matters: Brie Larson and "Room" / Oscar Matters: InContention's Latest Look

Good Thursday to everyone.  MTFB/The FAC is on the road this week in Dallas, TX.  No film reason, though there was filming here last week for the forthcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "11/22/63" which is set to show up on Hulu.

Nope, we're in Big D for a Don Henley concert...then back to OKC for family fun.

It's fall break.

Thank God.


New trailer came down the pike this week for three Telluride 2015 films and I pass them on to you via YouTube with a story to accompany them.

First, a new look at the final trailer for Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation":

And the story from MTFB friend (and one of "The Professionals" who rates films for the blog each year at T-ride) Alex Billington and

Also, a new trailer for Guatemala's Oscar Foreign Language entry "Ixcanul":

The Film Stage has a fantastic and extensive collection of the trailers for the 81 films that have been submitted for the Foreign Language Oscar.  You can find that here:

And we circle back to and the release of the official trailer for Stig Bjorkman's "Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words".  Here's that trailer:

And the story from Alex:


Two big Brie Larson interviews showed up in the last day or two as "Room" gets ready to open this weekend.  Larson talks about the film with Jenelle Riley of Variety and Lauren Moraski of CBS News and both of those articles are linked here:

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure I ran into Larson at Telluride playing darts at one of the local pizza places.  I didn't interrupt the game.


Now that the New York Fest is over, the Oscar prognosticators are re-calculating.  They'll do that again after the AFI Fest next month and again with the screening of big December releases such as "The Revenant" and "Joy".

Kristopher Tapley has re-calibrated at Variety/InContention and I have culled his latest for Telluride-centric Oscar predictions.  Here's what he's saying as of yesterday:

Telluride films/performers in the following categories will be nominees:

Best Picture: "Black Mass', "Room", "Spotlight", "Steve Jobs"
Best Director: Abrahamson/"Room", McCarthy/"Spotlight", Boyle/"Steve Jobs"
Best Actor: Depp/"Black Mass", Fassbender/"Steve Jobs"
Best Actress: Larson/"Room", Rampling/"45 Years"
Best Supporting Actor: Edgerton/"Black Mass', Keaton/"Spotlight"
Best Supporting Actress: Mara/"Carol", Winslet/"Steve Jobs"
Adapted Screenplay: "Room", "Steve Jobs"
Original Screenplay: "Spotlight"
Costumes: "Carol"
Film Editing: "Spotlight", "Steve Jobs"
Makeup/Hair: "Black Mass"
Production Design: "Carol"
Documentary: "The Look of Silence" (TFF #41)
Foreign Language Film: "Son of Saul", "Rams", "Viva"

For Tapley's complete predictions look here:

That's Thursday's post...if you see me at the Henley concert tonight, say hello!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

In Depth for Three TFF #42 FIlms: "Steve Jobs", "Beasts of No Nation" and "Carol" / Hail Coens!

Good Monday to All...


The P.R. machine for a number of Oscar-y films has warmed up considerably in the last six weeks and that certainly includes a number of films that played at Telluride last month.  I have in three films from TFF #42 that are getting a lot of attention:


Looks at the film from The Hollywood Reporter which has a big overview of the film and The Playlist which reports on some changes that have been made in the film since we saw it screen in T-ride:


Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood reports on Idris Elba's transformation into his character for Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts of No Nation":


Finally, The New York Times' Mekado Murphy asks "Carol" director Todd Haynes five questions about the film :


One of the best things about my weekend was the release Friday of a trailer for the new Coen Brothers film "Hail, Caesar" which stars everyone in Hollywood plus a couple of other people.

Of course, the film has no Telluride connection (save for the Coens tribute in 2013) but I'm a Coens fan so...

Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johannson, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand and more star and show up in the trailer.

It looks silly and entertaining.  The film is currently set to open in early February 2016.  Here it is via YouTube:

That'll do it for Monday.  Check back Thursday for more...

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oscar Matters:"Son of Saul" for BP?, Gold Derby, THR Podcast / Morgan Talks "Suffragette" / Welcome Marty!

Good Thursday Friends and Neighbors!


I thought when it showed up at Telluride as the only film that Sony Classics had in the lineup that we were seeing a signal that SPC had big ambitions for Laszlo Nemes Cannes Grand Prix winning "Son of Saul".

How big?  How about a serious drive for more than the expected Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination?  I was telling people that were asking that weekend that it seemed the film has a real shot at a Best Picture nomination.

Now, Clayton Davis at Awards Circuit has posted his belief that it could not only play for that nomination (and several other major noms) but that he thinks "Saul" could be a real threat to win the big prize in late February.

I'm not there yet (my money is still divided between "Spotlight" and "The Revenant") but the Davis story is interesting.  Check it here:


The latest Gold Derby expert odds for the Best Picture odds still favors Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight" at odds of 6 to1 to win.

Other TFF #42 films in the Gold Derby odds are "Steve Jobs" at the #2 spot with odds of 8 to1; "Carol" at #5 with odds of 12 to 1.  "Room" is at #7 with odds of 18 to 1.

Take a look at all of the Gold Derby latest odds here:


Here's the link to The Hollywood Reporters latest episode of their Awards Chatter podcast featuring Scott Feinberg and his guest this week: Sir Ridley Scott:


This week Variety/InContention's Kristopher Tapley put up a lengthy interview with Abi Morgan, writer of "Suffragette".  Take a look at an interesting discussion of women and film here:


Those who are fans of the "Back to the Future" trilogy know that we have reached the point in time that is the "Future" of BTTF.  2015.  Marty McFly should be showing up soon. (less than two weeks from now).  As a part of the hoopla, you might have seen the "trailer" for "Jaws 19" which, as you may recall, is playing at the cinema in future Hill Valley.  If you haven't seen it...

"Jaws 19" trailer via YouTube

That'll do for a Thursday...

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Trailers for TFF #42 Films / Danny Boyle Talks Career / TFF #42 Reports from Friends / Future Telluride: "Downsizing" Moves Forward

Good Monday to All...


New trailers have been released for Laurie Anderson's "Heart of a Dog" and Kent Jones' "Hitchcock/Truffaut.

"Heart of a Dog" trailer via YouTube

"Hitchcock/Truffaut" trailer via YouTube

The Film Stage has stories for the release of both trailers:


Variety/InContention's Kristopher Tapley recently caught up with British director Danny Boyle whose "Steve Jobs" first screened at Telluride last month and over the weekend was taking the New York Film Festival by storm.

Boyle spoke about his films and what he has learned from each.  Here's the story:


You may have read Kenny Miles Telluride 2015 report in the Sept. 21 MTFB post.  That was Kenny's report for TheMovieBlog.  He has a longer take up at and I thought I'd pass it along:

Additionally, Rick Schmidt, whom I met at Telluride in 2014 also has published his take on Telluride 2015 at and that's linked here as well.  Relive your TFF #42 experience through theirs here:


Alexander Payne's next project is moving closer to reality as it is reported that "Downsizing" will be handled by Paramount.  The film is said to be starring Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon.  The reports from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter say that the film will shoot in 2016 and be aimed at a late 2017 release which sounds to me like a real possibility for TFF #44!

Here's the lowdown form Variety and The Hollywood Reporter:

That's a wrap for the first Monday in October.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The FAC Looks at Supporting and Screenplays / New Clips from "Suffragette" / "Heart of a Dog" Poster / New Trailer for "The Revenant"

Welcome to the first Thursday in October...


Continuing what we started with last Monday's post, here is the first FAC review of where the Oscar field is in the categories of Supporting Actress and Actor as well as Adapted and Original Screenplay.

I collate the publicly posted predictions of some of best Oscar experts in the business and then crunch the numbers to come up with The FAC consensus.  The sources I am using at this point are:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.


1) Kate Winslet/Steve Jobs
2) Rooney Mara/Carol
3) Jennifer Jason Leigh/The Hateful Eight
4) Alicia Vikander/The Danish Girl
5) Rachel McAdams/Spotlight
6) Elizabeth Banks/Love and Mercy
7) Jane Fonda/Youth
8) Kristen Stewart/Clouds of Sils Maria
9) Joan/Allen/Room
10) Julie Walters/Brooklyn

Comment: Supporting Actress is a strong TFF #42 category with four possibilities and three of the top five spots occupied by TFF #42 women/films.  Additionally, Leigh is Telluride connected as T-ride served as the home base for the bulk of filming for "The Hateful Eight" and Banks is in Telluride frequenter/supporter Bill Pohlad's "Love and Mercy".


1) Michael Keaton/Spotlight
2) Mark Ruffalo/Spotlight
3) Tom Hardy/The Revenant
4) Idris Elba/Beasts of No Nation
5) Mark Rylance/Bridge of Spies
6) Benicio Del Toro/Sicario
7) Paul Dano/Love and Mercy
8) Joel Edgerton/Black Mass
9) Harvey Keitel/Youth
10) Samuel L. Jackson/The Hateful Eight

Comment: Perhaps this year's most competitive major category with a number of question marks.  Is Oscar going to reward Keaton after his near miss for "Birdman" last year?  Does "Spotlight" really land two nominations in the same category?  Can either Jeff Daniels (who is one of my two favorites that are possible nominees for this category; the other is a real longshot-Peter Saarsgard in "Black Mass") or Seth Rogen get enough traction to get into the game from "Steve Jobs"?

The field is crowded and likely to be the most fun for the duration of the season.


1) Steve Jobs
2) Carol
3) Room
4) The Revenant
5) Brooklyn
6) The Martian
7) The Danish Girl
8) Beasts of No Nation
9) 45 Years
10) The Big Short

Comment: Lots of TFF #42 love here with half the list coming from films at last month's fest.


1) Spotlight
2) Inside Out
3) The Hateful Eight
4) Joy
5) Bridge of Spies
6) Youth
7) Sicario
8) Ex Machina
9) Love and Mercy
10) Son of Saul

Comment:  Today's least Telluride-centric category with only one likely nomination and an outside chance at a second.

Total Telluride nominations if these initial projections are correct in these four categories: 10 with another five possibilities.


The Playlist is up this week with five new clips from Sarah Gavron's "Suffragette"  If you missed the film at Telluride or if you want to revisit the film, that post is here:

Also included are a number of new character posters for the film.  One of those is posted above.


Speaking of posters, Laurie Anderson's "Heart of a Dog" has a new one.  The film was well recieved last month in Telluride.  Indiewire has the coverage here:


OK.."The Revenant" is not a Telluride 2015 film but it probably would have been had it been completed in time.  Additionally, the Alejandro Inarritu film is consdered, at least at this point, to be the strongest Best Picture challenger that will not play any festival (AFI Fest looks like it has locked down all of its prime presentation slots).  For those reasons, and the fact that its first trailer was amazing, it will continue to get attention as we move toward the end of the year and its Dec. 25 release date.

Keeping the fires of interest burning this week was the release of a second trailer.  Here it is via YouTube:

HitFix covered the story of the new trailer release here:

More on Monday...

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