• May28

    They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but I guess that depends on what you’re imitating, doesn’t it? Nobody thought that a television unknown named Noah Hawley would be able to adapt Fargo for the small screen with any kind of quality, but three years in, Fargo remains one of the best shows on television. And considering how much the first trailer for Netflix’s Shimmer Lake looks like an early bump for Fargo, it’s safe to say that the streaming giant has been taking notes. We need a new adage for the imitation of imitation being a somewhat less sincere form of flattery, I guess.

    That being said, judging by the film’s trailer, Shimmer Lake is going to make a lot of folks very happy. There’s nothing quite as much fun  —  in my book, anyways  —  as a movie about a group of small town idiots who stumble into a poorly conceived crime. From Fargo to A Simple Plan to countless others, the halls of movie Valhalla are lined with slow-burn indies with impressive casts and a few smart twists along the way. This certainly seems to fit the bill.

    Oh, and there’s one more trick up Shimmer Lake’s sleeve! According to the film’s website, the movie is actually told entirely in reverse, backing up days and weeks to tell the crime story from the very end all the way to the very beginning. It’s not a conceit we’ve seen too many times in film  —  outside of Christopher Nolan’s much-beloved Memento, of course  —  but if this approach is used as an important storytelling mechanic and not just as a hook to get people to watch, it’s an approach that could be a lot of fun. Memento meets Fargo? The perfect logline for studio executives, and hopefully, the perfect thriller for Netflix audiences at home.
    Here’s the brief plot synopsis for Shimmer Lake:

    An inventive crime thriller told backwards — reversing day by day through a week — following a local sheriff’s quest to unlock the mystery of three small town criminals and a bank heist gone wrong.

    Shimmer Lake’s impressive cast includes Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Wyatt Russell, Rob Corddry, and Ron Livingston. The film will be available for streaming on June 9.

  • May25
    Oren Uziel Discusses Directorial Debut ‘Shimmer Lake,’ ‘God Particle’ Joining ‘Cloverfield’

    There’s death. Men on the run. Multiple betrayals. Then, a heist.

    So unfolds “Shimmer Lake,” the feature directorial debut from Oren Uziel, a stylish thriller that ups the ante by telling its story backwards. Available on Netflix beginning June 9, the film begins on the last day of the tale, then proceeds to go back and show what happened each day before, until the day of the robbery. And if it sounds like a gimmick, don’t be fooled: Uziel’s smart script only works when told in reverse, revealing secrets and confidences at just the right times. “The problem with a lot of these movies that don’t work is it’s just a gimmick,” Uziel concurs. “Here, there’s no movie if it’s not told this way.” The film is also bolstered by fantastic performances from a cast that includes Benjamin Walker as a small-town lawman and Wyatt Russell as the ringleader of the heist.

    If the name of the script rings a bell, it might be because it’s been a hot property in Hollywood for several years. Uziel was a lawyer who quit his day job in 2008 to write a novel, thinking that would be his way into screenwriting. Because chick lit was all the rage, publishers were trying to make “lad lit” happen — something that put Uziel at odds with his agent. “She wanted something sexier,” he recalls. “I finally said to myself, ‘If you want to be a screenwriter, just write a screenplay!’”

    Uziel learned the trade simply by watching movies and reading scripts, and “Shimmer Lake” was the first screenplay he ever wrote. “I had no idea what to do with it,” he admits. “So I put it in the mail to the Austin Film Festival screenwriting competition. And I started getting calls: ‘You’re a semifinalist, you’re a finalist!’” Uziel went on to win the fest’s Latitude Productions award.

    The script was quickly optioned by Fox Atomic. “Then, they immediately went out of business,” Uziel recalls with a laugh. “It was my first introduction to Hollywood.”

    Over the years, the script was optioned by various producers and set up at different studios and different directors expressing interest. In the meantime, Uziel was establishing himself as a screenwriter based on the strength of a script he couldn’t get made. He was brought on to work on “22 Jump Street” and a draft of “Zombieland 2,” and learning his way around a set. “Originally, I didn’t know anything about filmmaking and had no experience,” he says. “So I said, let’s baby step it, let’s learn how to be a screenwriter and learn how movies are made. I had told the last person who optioned it, ‘If you can get this movie made, I’m sure it’s going to be great. But if at the end of the first option period you haven’t made it, please give it back to me because I suspect I might be ready to direct it then.’ And he did.”

    Though it took until 2015 to roll the cameras, Uziel says things came together with surprisingly few hiccups once he was set to direct. Netflix had bought the streaming rights prior to shooting, and later purchased worldwide rights. While that means the film won’t be seen in theaters, Uziel knows the streaming platform can help it find a wide audience. “I know how I watch movies and how my friends watch. The movie’s going to be seen on Netflix,” he says. “You lose some things like a theatrical release, but it’s a give and take.”

    Uziel had originally spoken to Liev Schreiber about playing lawman Zeke Sikes, but when the actor went on to do his passion project “Chuck,” he met with Walker. “He’s was the first to sign on and he’s so good,” Uziel notes. “And casting him made everything go 10 years younger.”

    Rainn Wilson was cast against type as Zeke’s screw-up brother, who gets in over his head on the heist. “I just have so much faith in comic actors, I think they can do anything,” says Uziel. “So when you ask them to play tragic, they’re really good at it.” And Uziel was familiar with Russell, who appeared in “22 Jump Street.” He notes, “I wanted that guy to be someone you could feel for and wasn’t the stereotypical heavy.”

    Two fresh faces rounded out the cast: Stephanie Sigman plays Russell’s love interest, and Uziel had caught her in the Mexican thriller “Miss Bala.” And for the role of Chris, one of the robbers who suffered brain damage in a previous accident, Uziel cast unknown Mark Rendall. “One of the editors I was talking to has a clip of Mark on his reel and I said, ‘Who’s that guy?’” Uziel reveals. “And we tracked him down from that one scene.”

    The film was shot in 23 days and Uziel credits his cast with making his first time a smooth experience. “I love actors,” he enthuses. “I can’t do that, it’s insane. I respect how vulnerable they are and what a craft it is. Everybody understood what they were doing and the characters and the process. It was so indie they knew we didn’t have warm-up takes, we didn’t have time for take 12. They got it and they got it fast.”

    Asked if he ever got confused writing or shooting the film because of the nature of the timeline, Uziel quickly responds: “Always.” He adds that writing the script was a particularly delicate process. “Because it was my first screenplay, it’s the only reason I would be dumb enough to try and write something like that. The first bunch of drafts were a disaster. It’s a hard balance to make sure the audience isn’t ahead of you, but also confused. And to develop characters and set up payoffs in reverse is hard.”

    But in the end, Uziel has made an airtight film. “Hopefully it rewards rewatching, as opposed to demands rewatching,” he says.

    Up next, Uziel has a film due in October that already has the business buzzing: his script for the sci-fi film “God Particle” was produced by J.J. Abrams and has recently been revealed to be set in Abrams’ “Cloverfield” universe. The film is currently listed as “Cloverfield Movie” on IMDb.

    Though he wrote “God Particle” prior to the release of “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Uziel has no qualms about his script being part of this shared universe. “They are smart and savvy and know that the brand of J.J. and the brand of ‘Cloverfield’ are enormous,” he says. “It’s a smart way of being able to make original movies, but have them be a recognizable IP. I understand it and endorse that.”

    As for what he can reveal about the film, which stars David Oyelowo and Daniel Bruhl, Uziel pauses before saying, “It’s going to be very fun, I think.”

  • May25
    Official Trailer for Netflix’s ‘Shimmer Lake’ Film with Benjamin Walker

    “Once you open that door there’s no going back!” Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a new film titled Shimmer Lake, the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Oren Uziel. This small-town crime mystery is told in reverse, going backwards day-by-day, telling the story of the local sheriff’s attempt to solve a bank robbery and find the criminals. Benjamin Walker (from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) stars as the sheriff, with an eclectic cast of indie actors including Rainn Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Rob Corddry, Wyatt Russell, Ron Livingston, Adam Pally, and John Michael Higgins. This seems like it’s riding the coattails of all the buzz about small-town crime TV shows and films, but I’m still curious to check it out.

    An inventive crime thriller told backwards — reversing day by day through a week — following a local sheriff’s (Benjamin Walker) quest to unlock the mystery of three small town criminals and a bank heist gone wrong. Shimmer Lake is written and directed by filmmaker Oren Uziel, making his directorial debut with this film without any other directing work before. Uziel is a screenwriter who worked on “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”, 22 Jump Street, and Freaks of Nature before jumping into directing. He’s also working on the screenplays for the new Cloverfield movie and the Mortal Kombat reboot. Netflix will release Uziel’s Shimmer Lake streaming exclusively starting on June 9th this summer. Anyone interested in seeing this?

  • May25
    Dark Comedy Thriller ‘Shimmer Lake’ Comes to Netflix June 9

    SHIMMER LAKE is a darkly comic crime thriller coming to Netflix. It follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.

    It features a fantastic cast that includes Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Wyatt Russell, Rob Corddry, Adam Pally, Ron Livingston & John Michael Higgins

    The film is written and directed by Oren Uziel, produced by Adam Saunders (Footprint Features) and Britton Rizzio.

    Check out the trailer below then watch it on Netflix June 9th.

  • May25
    Rainn Wilson Stars in Netflix’s Dark Comedy Thriller ‘Shimmer Lake’

    Rainn Wilson returns to the forefront with his latest role in Netflix’s dark comedy thriller, Shimmer Lake. Told in reverse, the film tells the story of a heist gone bad and stars Wilson as Andy Sikes, a man who gets caught in a bizarre series of events. Benjamin Walker plays Andy’s brother Zeke, the small-town sheriff who attempts to untangle the crime and those involved.

    Shimmer Lake is the directorial debut of Oren Uziel, who wrote the screenplay of the upcoming Mortal Kombat adaptation and also penned the script for 22 Jump Street. Look for the film to hit Netflix on June 9.

  • May25
    Netflix’s ‘Shimmer Lake’ Unfolds in Reverse (Trailer)

    Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.

    Starring Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight Schrute from “The Office” or to horror fans as “that dude who is turned into a fish” in Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses, Netflix has released the trailer for Shimmer Lake, set for streaming on June 9th.

    The full cast is awesome, starring Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies) and Ron Livingston (Officie Space, The Conjuring) as two private investigators, not to mention the up-and-coming Wyatt Russell, which has been starring in all sorts of gems from 22 Jumps Street and “Black Mirror”, as well as genre films We Are What We Are and At the Devil’s Door. Adam Pally, who is awesome on “Making History”, also stars with Stephanie Sigman and John Michael Higgins in Oren Uziel‘s directorial debut.

  • May25
    ‘Shimmer Lake’ Trailer Reveals Twisty Netflix Original Crime Thriller Told in Reverse

    Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for the upcoming original crime drama film Shimmer Lake. Written and directed by Oren Uziel, the scribe behind the upcoming Cloverfield movie formerly known as God Particle and co-writer of 22 Jump Street, the film is a darkly comic crime thriller told in reverse—the opening scene is the end of the story, and each successive scene keeps going backwards, revealing new twists and turns in reverse. While that may sound a bit like Memento, this film has its own hook and is bolstered by a cast of comedic actors turning in fine dramatic work.

    Benjamin Walker plays a local sheriff hunting down three bank robbery suspects, two of which are played by Rainn Wilson and Wyatt Russell. This trailer basically showcases the darkly comic tone and complex narrative, giving a nice overview of the feel of this dark yet engaging thriller.

    Check out the trailer below, and look for my interview with Uziel about the film on Collider next week. The film also stars Stephanie Sigman, Rob Corddry, Adam Pally, Ron Livingston, and John Michael Higgins. Shimmer Lake premieres exclusively on Netflix on June 9th.

  • May24
    Shimmer Lake Official Trailer – Netflix

    Netflix has released an official trailer for its up coming dark comedy thriller feature film, Shimmer Lake. The film tells a story of a local sheriff hunting for three bank robber suspects one of whom is his brother. The movie is written by Oren Uziel(22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, Mortal Kombat:Rebirth) who is making his directorial debut. The cast includes Wyatt Russell(22 Jump Street), Rainn Wilson(The Office, Juno), Benjamin Walker(In The Heart of the Sea, Flags of Our Father), Adam Pally(Happy Endings, Dirty Grandpa, Iron Man 3), John Michael Higgins(Bad Teacher, The Ugly Truth), Ron Livingston(The Conjuring, Office Space), Stephanie Sigman(War on Everyone, Spectre) and Rob Corddry(Hot Tub Time Machine). Shimmer Lake is set to debut June 9th on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.

  • May24
    Shimmer Lake Trailer: Rainn Wilson Turns to Crime

    Netflix has revealed the trailer for Shimmer Lake, their new comedy thriller starring Rainn Wilson (The Office), Benjamin Walker (The Choice), Wyatt Russell (22 Jump Street), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher), Ron Livingston (The Conjuring), Stephanie Sigman (Narcos) and Rob Corddry (Office Christmas Party). Check out the Shimmer Lake trailer below!

    Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.

    The film is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth), and is produced by Britton Rizzio and Adam Saunders.

    Shimmer Lake will debut on Netflix June 9.

  • May24
    Netflix’s Shimmer Lake Trailer Unravels a Backwards Mystery

    With just a few weeks until it debuts on the streaming service, Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for the upcoming indie Shimmer Lake, which is slated to arrive June 9. This dark comedy is set during the aftermath of a bank robbery in a small town, but nothing is as it seems, including the actual format of the movie itself. While we can’t exactly tell from the trailer, this movie is told in reverse time.

    Netflix debuted the trailer for this darkly comic crime thriller on YouTube today, which follows a local sheriff named Zeke Sikes (Benjamin Walker) hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother Andy (Rainn Wilson). From the trailer’s opening moments, we can tell that Zeke is a straight shooter, so to speak, telling his young niece Sally (Isabel Dove) that everyone in town thinks they can do whatever they want with no repercussions. When he ponders what’s the point of being the only clean person in a town that’s completely dirty, Sally says that her mom gives her a bath when she’s dirty. Zeke responds by saying he’s ready to give this whole town a bath.

    Zeke’s brother Andy, along with Ed (Wyatt Russell) and Chris (Mark Rendall), were responsible for robbing the bank, but we see in this trailer that Ed screwed over his partners, leaving them high and dry and taking the money for himself. We also see scenes with Andy and another woman named Steph (Stephanie Sigman), who Andy is seemingly planning to leave town with, once he gets a hold of the money Ed stole. There is also a strange scene with Andy confronting Brad (John Michael Higgins), who seems to be the bank manager, since he was seen leaving the bank earlier in the trailer, just before the robbery. Like seemingly everyone else in this town, Brad is hiding a secret, a young homosexual lover.

    The movie’s title refers to the place Andy wants to meet Steph at, after he has procured the money, but there will likely be twists and turns aplenty in this dark comedy. The cast also includes Adam Pally, Ron Livingston and Rob Corddry. Shimmer Lake marks the directorial debut of writer Oren Uziel, who wrote the hit short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth that helped spawn the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. He went on to write the script for the hit comedy sequel 22 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, along with Freaks of Nature and the upcoming Cloverfield Movie, which was once entitled God Particle.

    When Shimmer Lake debuts on the Netflix streaming service in a few weeks, it will mark the end of a long road for this film, which started back in 2009. This original screenplay by Oren Uziel landed on the 2009 Black List, a year which included scripts such as The Social Network, Prisoners, The Voices and eventual Best Picture winner The King’s Speech, just to name a few. Take a look at the first trailer for Shimmer Lake below.

  • May24
    Rainn Wilson Turns to Crime in The Trailer For Netflix’s Shimmer Lake

    The official trailer for Netflix’s Shimmer Lake is here. The inventive, darkly comic crime thriller features an ensemble cast led by Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight Schrute from The Office, as Andy Sikes, a man who gets entangled in a chain of events involving a heist gone bad. Benjamin Walker will play Andy’s brother Zeke, a local sheriff who attempts to untangle the crime and its many diverse participants.

    A story told in reverse involving many shady characters, the inventive Shimmer Lake ostensibly bills itself as a cross between Memento and Fargo. It marks the directorial debut of Oren Uziel, who wrote the screenplay of the new upcoming Mortal Kombat adaptation and also penned the script for 22 Jump Street. Now, the first trailer finally unveils Uziel’s complex creation.

    Netflix have released the official trailer for Shimmer Lake, which you can watch above. It focuses on the aforementioned Zeke and Andy, the two brothers who end up playing a game of cat-and-mouse with each other as Zeke dedicates himself to “giving this town a bath” while Andy gets in way too deep with the wrong people. There’s also a visual cue to the movie’s backward narrative, showing a cabin by the titular Shimmer Lake burning in reverse.

    The movie also stars Rob Corddry and Ron Livingston as a pair of (probably shady) private investigators, as well as Wyatt Russell, Stephanie Sigman and Adam Pally. The movie is produced by Footprint Features, a young company born out of theater that specializes in “character-driven” storytelling.

    The trailer for Shimmer Lake certainly teases a movie with loads of potential. It promises a uniquely structured story, a complex web of characters, and a chance to deliver plenty of darkly humorous thrills. Uziel showed his comedic chops with his script for 22 Jump Street, and the comedy experience of much of the cast has a good chance to breathe life into Shimmer Lake. Wilson, in particular, looks like he has the potential to deliver a memorable performance.

    Clearly it’s one of the most anticipated Netflix movies of the year for a reason. But there’s also plenty of uncertainty surrounding Uziel at the helm – directorial debuts always carry some risk. That said, he obviously pulled in plenty of talent to work with him and the narrative structure of Shimmer Lake shows that the young filmmaker has plenty of ambition.

    Shimmer Lake premieres June 9 on Netflix.

  • May24
    Crime Goes Backwards In Trailer For Netflix’s ‘Shimmer Lake’ Starring Rainn Wilson & Benjamin Walker

    Whichever side of the Netflix debate you’re on, there’s no arguing that sometimes they’re not the greatest advocates of their own original programming. Case in point: “Shimmer Lake.” The movie drops on the service in two weeks, and it’s only now getting a trailer, and something you might’ve only noticed if you were paying attention to YouTube.

    Rainn Wilson and Benjamin Walker star in the directorial debut of screenwriter Oren Uziel (“22 Jump Street“), which tells a crime story with a narrative twist. Here’s the lean synopsis from the streaming service:

    Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.

    It’s certainly an interesting storytelling gambit, but we’ll see if the execution pays off. “Shimmer Lake” hits Netflix on June 9th.

  • May24

    Check out the first official trailer of Shimmer Lake, the upcoming drama thriller movie written and directed by Oren Uziel and starring Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Rob Corddry, Wyatt Russell, Ron Livingston, Adam Pally, and John Michael Higgins.

    Sometimes it is the smallest towns that have the biggest problems.

    Plot synopsis:
    “Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.”
    Best quote from the trailer: “When I am dirty my mom gives me a bath.”

    The release date of the movie Shimmer Lake is set to June 9, 2017 on Netflix.

    Stay tuned with us for more details.

  • May24
    Shimmer Lake – Trailer

    Benjamin Walker, star of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” plays a small-town sheriff who intends to give his dirty town a much-needed bath in the newly-released trailer for the offbeat crime thriller “Shimmer Lake.”

    Told in reverse chronological order, the Netflix original spins a darkly comic (Fargo-esque) yarn about a town that’s “completely dirty” where the “only clean person” is a straight-arrow sheriff (Walker) who finds himself investigating a strange bank robbery case that appears to involve his brother (played by Rainn Wilson).

    Written and directed by “22 Jump Street” and “Freaks of Nature” screenwriter Oren Uziel (it’s his directorial debut), “Shimmer Lake” also stars Stephanie Sigman, Rob Corddry, Wyatt Russell, Ron Livingston, Adam Pally, and John Michael Higgins.

    The film is set to premiere on June 9 only on Netflix.

    Synopsis: Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother.

    Directed by Oren Uziel
    Starring Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Stephanie Sigman, Rob Corddry, Wyatt Russell, Ron Livingston, Adam Pally, John Michael Higgins

    Release date June 9, 2017 (on Netflix)

  • May24
    Trailer: Rainn Wilson In Netflix’s “Shimmer Lake”

    Netflix has premiered the trailer for their new comedy thriller original feature “Shimmer Lake” starring Rainn Wilson, Benjamin Walker, Wyatt Russell, Adam Pally, John Michael Higgins, Ron Livingston, Stephanie Sigman and Rob Corddry.

    Unfolding in reverse time, this darkly comic crime thriller follows a local sheriff hunting three bank robbery suspects, one of whom is his brother. Scribe Oren Uziel makes his feature directorial debut on the film which goes up on the service on June 9th.

  • May16
    Rainn Wilson gets foul-mouthed in exclusive clip from crime film Shimmer Lake

    The new Netflix crime thriller Shimmer Lake has an impressive cast, which includes Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Adam Pally, Stephanie Sigman, Wyatt Russell, Rob Corddry, Ron Livingston, and John Michael Higgins. Plus? One doozy of a twist.

    “It’s a movie about a crime in a small town and a sheriff’s attempts to get to the bottom of what happened,” says the film’s writer and first-time director, Oren Uziel. “It is told in reverse chronological order, so it starts three days after the crime, and slowly works its way backwards to two days after, one day after, to the actual day of the event. Ben Walker, who is phenomenal, plays Zeke, the town sheriff; Adam Pally plays Reed, who is the extremely lovable deputy; Rainn Wilson is Zeke’s brother Andy, who’s sort of gotten in over his head; Stephanie Sigman plays Ed’s wife; and Rob Corddry and Ron Livingston play a couple of FBI agents.”

    Uziel, whose previous writing credits include 22 Jump Street, says seeing movies on HBO as a kid helped inspire his film’s unusual structure. “I loved watching anything that was on there,” he says. “It didn’t matter what part of the movie was on, I would watch from that point on. I would end up watching movies out of order, because I would just catch whatever piece was on. Eventually I would watch the whole movie the way it was intended and it would never be as good as it was the way I watched it. It just added a level of tension and mystery.”

    Shimmer Lake producer Adam Saunders compares the tone of the film to Fargo and Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan. “It’s in the bag-of-money thriller genre, but it’s also comedic,” he says. “I think Oren’s done a really great job of combining those two elements into a cohesive tone.”

    In addition to Shimmer Lanke, Uziel also had a hand in writing the J.J. Abrams-produced, super-secret, and currently untitled 2017 Cloverfield movie, which will be released Oct. 27. What can he tell us about that?

    “I know that it’s going to be part of — I don’t know how you say it exactly— but the expanded Cloverfield universe,” says Uziel. “It is, uh, in space. People should be very excited for it. I mean, I don’t know. I’m in fear of saying too much!”