First look at Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe and Matt Damon and Michael Douglas in Behind the Candelabra

We've got two first official looks today, one from director David Gordon Green's JOE, starring Nicolas Cage and the other from HBO's BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.  First up is Cage's JOE, where he plays an ex-con who finds a role model in the form of a fifteen-year-old boy.  Green, who has previously directed ALL THE REAL GIRLS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, and the brilliant HBO series Eastbound and Down is at the helm, tapping into his more dramatic side, which will hopefully be a step in the right direction after the box office disappointments of YOUR HIGHNESS and THE SITTER.  His most recent film, PRINCE AVALANCHE, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch debuted at Sundance with solid reviews, so the director may be on the upswing.

Here's the synopsis:

In the dirty unruly world of small-town Texas, ex-convict Joe Ransom (Cage) has tried to put his dark past behind him and to live a simple life. He works for a lumber company by day, drinks by night. But when 15-year-old Gary (Sheridan) - a kid trying to support his family - comes to town, desperate for work, Joe has found a way to atone for his sins - to finally be someone’s hero. As Joe tries to protect Gary, the pair will take the twisting road to redemption in the hope for a better life in this tough, hard-hitting but incredibly moving story.

Next up is Steven Soderbergh's adaptation of the autobiographical novel BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, which chronicles the six-year relationship between famed musician Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his lover, Scott Thorson (Matt Damon).  Soderbergh took the film all over Hollywood to get made, but it as deemed "too gay" by everyone, except HBO. 

"Nobody would make it, We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay. And this is after 'Brokeback Mountain,' by the way, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us."

We've seen some snippets of footage and a few set pics so far, but this is the first official image of the duo (ambiguously gay?) looking every bit their real-life counterparts.  I'm looking forward to seeing this, especially when it's a project that fought through the studio system to see the light of day. 

JOE will debut sometime in 2013, while BEHIND THE CANDELABRA is set for sometime in May, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: Cage seems like a perfect fit for David Gordon Green. I think he'd do well to work with directors who can tap into his crazy and harness it, rather than just film it going wild.



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