Tom Marvolo Riddle through the years.

USA Today has released the first official picture of Hero Fiennes-Tiffin in character as the young Tom Riddle, the boy who will grow up to be the evil Dark Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. To mark the occasion, here are a handful of screen captures depicting the various actors and special effects that have played Voldemort at various points in his life:

Tom Riddle, age 11 — Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, age 10

Tom Riddle, age 16 — Frank Dillane, age 16

Tom Riddle, age 16 — Christian Coulson, age 23

Voldemort, age 65-ish — computer-generated special effect

Voldemort, age 68-ish — Ralph Fiennes, age 42

Voldemort, age 71-ish — Ralph Fiennes, age 47

Another actor, Frank Dillane, has been cast as the teenaged Tom Riddle in Half-Blood Prince — Christian Coulson, the actor who played him in Chamber of Secrets, is 29 now, so he’s almost certainly too old for the part! — but no pictures of him in character have surfaced yet. When they do, I’ll update this little gallery.

JUL 14 2010 UPDATE: I have now added Dillane’s picture above.

I have also added a picture of Voldemort from the climax to Deathly Hallows, as per the trailer that was released a few weeks ago; between that and the picture I already had from Goblet of Fire, I figured it would be good to capture both the beginning and ending of Ralph Fiennes’ take on the character.

Yet another Noah’s Ark cartoon brewing?

The Hollywood Reporter says Casey Affleck, the Oscar-nominated younger brother of Ben, pitched an animated film called Aardvark Art’s Ark two years ago and is still developing it at Warner Brothers, though a new screenwriter has been brought in to do the rewrites while Affleck takes care of his busy acting career.

The paper says the film concerns “a group of animals who are stranded when they are not chosen to go on Noah’s ark.”

That brings the number of recent and in-development Noah’s Ark cartoons — whether literal or quasi-allegorical — up to six. Other such films that I have noted here include:

  1. The Flood — Promenade Pictures
  2. Rock the Boat — Gaumont
  3. Noah’s Ark — Unified Pictures
  4. El Arca — Patagonik Film Group
  5. The Missing Lynx — Kandor Graphics

And that’s not counting the seemingly defunct projects that were once being developed by Bill Cosby and Walden Media — to say nothing of the recent live-action effort Evan Almighty (2007).

All About Us — the interview’s up!

My interview with Michael and Christine Swanson, the producer and writer-director respectively of All About You (2001) and All About Us (2007), is now up at CT Movies.

Billy: The Early Years has a website.

CT Movies has an update on Billy: The Early Years, the Billy Graham biopic coming out in October, including a link to the film’s official website, which includes a trailer. Bits of it seem kind of over-the-top, and the photo below would seem to confirm suspicions that the film will give Charles Templeton, the evangelist-turned-agnostic played by Martin Landau, something of a non-historically happy ending. But we’ll see. I do get a kick out of the scenes of young Graham refining his preaching style.

John Boorman preps Hadrian

Variety reports that John Boorman is preparing a movie about the Roman emperor Hadrian, who reigned AD 117 to 138 and is most famous now for building a fortified wall across the northern part of England. Boorman’s films have ranged anywhere from great to awful, so it’s impossible to say what will become of this particular project. But it’s a handy excuse to post the picture above, taken when I visited Hadrian’s Wall on August 3, 1994.

Interestingly, Boorman tells Variety that Hadrian’s reign “marked both the height of the Roman empire and the beginning of its decline. It’s the irony of his rule.” That’s certainly true geographically, inasmuch as Hadrian’s predecessor, Trajan, had conquered Mesopotamia, i.e. the region now known as Iraq, whereas Hadrian pulled out of that territory — thus marking the end of Rome’s imperial expansion. Others, however, have placed the beginning of Rome’s cultural and imperial decline at a later date. For example, Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) derives its title from the idea that everything began to go downhill with the death of Marcus Aurelius, who reigned AD 161 to 180.

For what it’s worth, it was also Hadrian who, following the Bar Kokhba revolt in the 130s, changed the name of the Holy Land from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina — or, if you will, from Judea (named after the Jews) to Palestine (named after the Philistines). So, depending on what it chooses to emphasize, a movie about his reign could resonate with modern audiences for a whole host of reasons.

Canadian box-office stats — July 27

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Journey to the Center of the Earth — CDN $5,930,000 — N.AM $60,185,000 — 9.9%
Mamma Mia! — CDN $5,920,000 — N.AM $62,714,000 — 9.4%
Wanted — CDN $11,250,000 — N.AM $128,616,000 — 8.7%

Hellboy II: The Golden Army — CDN $5,710,000 — N.AM $65,894,000 — 8.7%
Get Smart — CDN $10,740,000 — N.AM $124,214,000 — 8.6%
The Dark Knight — CDN $25,210,000 — N.AM $314,245,000 — 8.0%
Hancock — CDN $16,330,000 — N.AM $206,371,000 — 7.9%
Step Brothers — CDN $2,270,000 — N.AM $30,000,000 — 7.6%
The X-Files: I Want to Believe — CDN $763,474 — N.AM $10,200,000 — 7.5%
WALL·E — CDN $14,110,000 — N.AM $195,235,000 — 7.2%

A couple of discrepancies: Get Smart was #9 on the Canadian chart (it was #11 in North America as a whole), while Space Chimps was #9 on the North American chart (it was #11 in Canada).