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Gary Oldman and producing partner Douglas Urbanski are teaming with producer/writer/director Tony Krantz of Flame Ventures to produce an original series for Spike TV called “Deep Web,” the network announced Tuesday. Inspired by a recent Time cover story on the Silk Road online marketplace, “Deep Web” will tell the story of an ambitious computer aficionado in Silicon Valley who, with the help of his friends, evolves into an Internet underworld crime boss fueled by a web portal where people can buy anything from a kidney to cocaine to a rocket-launcher. Also read: Gary Oldman in Talks to Join Kevin Costner. »
- Linda Ge
Premieres include Time Out of Mind, Black and White, Love, Rosie.
The Rome Film Festival (Oct 16–25) has announced the first English-language titles for its ninth edition. They include:
Time Out of Mind, Oren MovermanTrash, Stephen DaldryLove, Rosie, Christian DitterBlack and White, Mike BinderStonehearst Asylum, Brad Anderson.
Time Out of Mind stars Richard Gere as a man in dire straits who is forced to find refuge in a homeless shelter. The European premiere will screen in the festival’s Cinema d’Oggi (Cinema Today) section.
Daldry’s anticipated drama Trash, which will have its European premiere in Rome, charts the story of three Brazilian children who make a discovery in a garbage dump that leads to a chase with the authorities. Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen star.
Larry Wasserman has joined Skydance Productions in the newly created role of Chief Financial Officer. He will oversee Skydance’s finance, accounting, and administrative operations, as well as back up new initiatives of a company that right now is flying on all cylinders. Skydance CEO David Ellison hired Wasserman, who most recently was CFO for DreamWorks and spent a decade there, helping secure $1 billion in funding through Reliance and Jp Morgan Chase. Before that, Wasserman worked for Universal.
“Larry’s wealth of knowledge and depth of experience make him the perfect addition to our company as we continue to grow and expand our film and television business,” Ellison said.
Skydance has become a franchise factory, aligned with Paramount Pictures. They just wrapped the first installment of the Terminator franchise with Terminator: Genisys for July 1, 2015 release, and are shooting Mission: Impossible 5 with Chris McQuarrie and Tom Cruise; Star Trek 3 »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Rome Film Festival Artistic Director Marco Muller announced Tuesday the first five English-language pictures in the upcoming ninth edition of the Rome Film Festival. European premieres include Mike Binder’s Black and White, Brad Anderson’s Stonehearst Asylum, Stephen Saldry’s Trash and Oren Moverman’s Time Out of Mind. German director Christian Ditter brings the international premiere of Love, Rosie to the festival. Black and White premiered to great acclaim in Toronto, earning early Oscar buzz for its leads Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. The film, based on a true story, explores racial tension when Costner and Spencer’s characters must feud over
- Ariston Anderson
Back To The Future Part III isn't the most popular film in the trilogy. But Simon argues this sci-fi western deserves more love...
I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb by saying that, in general, Back To The Future Part III is the least talked about film in the trilogy. It shouldn't be, in my personal view, but it's the one that generally puts technology on the back burner, introduces a love story, and visually is the most different.
Personally, I've never thought the labelling of Back To The Future Part III as the least liked film in the series - as some have - is particular fair, though. My 10-year old would go even further. It's his favourite of the lot.
So why then do some not warm to it as much? Well, let's deal with that, before I go onto the film in more detail. »
By Anjelica Oswald
With Oscar season in full swing, the race is on for Oscar hopefuls. U.S. distributors help push their films and actors involved toward Oscar nominations, and some acquisition titles managed to find distributors in Telluride and Toronto. Ethan Hawke’s Seymour: An Introduction was sold to Sundance Selects at Telluride. Toronto continued to be a hotspot for acquisition titles looking to secure deals. Some films that inked deals include Chris Rock’s Top Five (Paramount), Chris Evans’ Before We Go (RADiUS), Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics) and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young (A24); there are still a number waiting in the wings, though. Here are five actors who could possibly score an Oscar nomination if their films are picked up by distributors:
Spencer hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar since her supporting actress »
- Anjelica Oswald
With the last gasp of the Toronto International Film Festival now upon us (it officially closes Sunday,) the Oscar race has become further defined, particularly with input from Venice and Telluride. Until that fall fest trifecta, only IFC’s summer phenomenon Boyhood and perhaps Sony Pictures Classics’ Foxcatcher could realistically be thought to be in serious contention for Best Picture consideration. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has been mentioned in some quarters, but that movie came out in March, and when was the last time a March release made the list of Best Picture nominees?
Related: ‘Theory Of Everything’ Sends Oscar Race Into Early Overdrive As Tiff World Premieres Keep On Coming
But with these early fall fests, Hollywood has trotted out at least three additional films that seem like sure shots to add to the list: Focus Features’ Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything, with certain »
- Pete Hammond
The film reunites Costner with his director from The Upside of Anger, Mike Binder. Together, they've created a film that is not just about race relations, but also about the bare bones concepts of what it is to be a family.
Costner plays Elliot, a widow raising his granddaughter after his daughter died in childbirth. In the midst of his grieving, the child's grandparent on her father's side, played by Octavia Spencer (The Help), enters Elliot's life, demanding that the young girl be returned to her drug addict father.
Here are five things we learned at the »
- Sasha James
The good news is that Kevin Costner does some of the finest, most deeply felt work of his career as a widower lawyer fighting for custody of his biracial granddaughter in Mike Binder’s “Black and White.” The bad news is that that’s as if “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” had been made only five minutes ago. The even worse news is that, in the moment of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and the Birther movement, a movie like this might be just what America needs right about now. Unlikely to match the $28 million worldwide take of Costner and Binder’s 2005 teaming “The Upside of Anger,” “Black” should connect with select older and urban auds, but lacks the broader crossover potential of a “Crash” or “The Help.”
Maybe because Costner became a star playing golden-boy athletes, military men and noble crusaders, it’s particularly affecting to see him at »
- Scott Foundas
Lionsgate scored the No. 1 spot on all three charts the week ending Sept. 7 with “Draft Day,” a sports drama that stars Kevin Costner as the general manager of a football team faced with a difficult draft pick.
The film only earned $28.8 million in U.S. theaters, but it’s the highest-grossing new release to come out on disc last week. On the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart – which tracks overall disc sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined – “Draft Day” knocked the previous week’s top seller, Warner’s “Blended,” a theatrical underperformer with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, to the No. 3 spot.
Steady sales demand for Sony Pictures’ “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” kept the action sequel at No. 2 for the second consecutive week.
- Thomas K. Arnold
As this year’s Toronto Film Festival hits its midpoint, the headlines are that sales have been slow and that Oscar prognosticators are still looking for The One — that mythical, anointed cinematic being that will appear before them (like Neo in “The Matrix” or the giant mechanical claw in “Toy Story”) and reveal itself to be this year’s odds-on best picture favorite. Meanwhile, for those of us who care more about the art of movies than the hype and the business, this over-programmed, over-scheduled but nonetheless essential festival of festivals has (as usual) been an embarrassment of riches. Of course, those who stick to Toronto’s starry, red-carpeted world premieres (here, as at most North American fests, milquetoast sops to the deep-pocketed donor-sponsor crowd) are bound to go home disappointed, though at least one of those much-buzzed titles, Chris Rock’s outrageously funny “Top Five,” was »
- Scott Foundas, Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
Earlier in the year news broke that a remake of legendary western The Magnificent Seven was in the works with Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) taking the hot seat and Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman just a few names being linked with a role. Since then not much else has been revealed about the planned remake. However while promoting his latest flick The Equalizer at Tiff, Fuqua announced that one actor has already signed on, Denzel Washington.
This will mark the third time time Fuqua has directed Washington since they first worked together 13 years ago on Training Day. Fuqua praised Washington on his professionalism and why he enjoys working with him:
“Denzel’s all about the work…He’s all about the acting. He’s an actor. He’ll tell you himself, ‘I’m not a movie star, celebrity, something else, I’m an actor’…He steps on »
- Gavin Logan
The idea of sampling new films at Toronto is sort of like going to the Cheesecake Factory for a little nibble. It seems like a good idea, but then you realize: There is no such thing as a small portion.
The 11-day fest, which passed the halfway mark on Tuesday, offers 300 films. This means that on Saturday, Sept. 6, press and industry members had a choice of 140 screenings. (Things slow down a bit after the first four-day frenzy. On Thursday Sept. 11, for example, there are a mere 120.)
Similarly, awards possibilities are too plentiful, yet one feels hungry for more. Of the new films hoping to enter the Oscar race, speculation so far centers on acting: “The Theory of Everything” (Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones), “St. Vincent” (Bill Murray), “Nightcrawler” (Jake Gyllenhaal), and “The Judge” (Robert Duvall).
There are other newbies with strong performances, but it’s not clear if they will »
- Tim Gray
Kevin Costner sits at the center of “Black and White,” a film about the custody battle over his biracial granddaughter. At the opposite end of this entry into the Toronto International Film Festival is Octavia Spencer, as the young girls’ grandmother on her father's side. The custody battle emerges after the girl's mother dies, and Costner takes over primary responsibility for her. Spencer wants joint custody, but Costner refuses. And so the case winds up in court for the climactic moments of the film. Also read: Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer Fight It Out in ‘Black and White’ He decides he dislikes her. »
- Jason Hughes
Most of Kevin Costner's most famous films wouldn't seem to be easy sells. How would it today sound to pitch a studio on a Civil War soldier befriending Sioux Indians on the South Dakota plains? Or on an Iowa farmer who hears voices?
But while Costner's industry clout was once impervious, he's had to fight harder for his latest, the drama Black and White, which premiered over the weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, written and directed by Mike Binder, Costner plays a Los Angeles attorney devastated by the deaths of his daughter and wife. A custody battle over his granddaughter ensues between Costner's character and the child's African-American grandmother (Octavia Spencer).
"I was pretty convinced someone would want to make it, but that just wasn't the case," Costner said in a recent interview. "I didn't fight, I just kind of surrendered. So I used »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Two splashy deals have revived a slow market for films at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.
Buyers and sellers were getting concerned that no one would reach for their checkbooks until a pair of Scott Rudin produced pictures sparked bidding wars among distributors willing to shell out big bucks. U.S. rights for Noah Baumbach’s “While We're Young” sold to A24 for $4 million, while global rights to Chris Rock’s “Top Five” will likely be nabbed by Paramount for $12.5 million and a $20 million P&A commitment.
Those major paydays aside, there is a mounting sense among the Hollywood types who made the cross-continent trek to the Canadian city that this year’s festival will go down as a slow boil that never bubbled over.
- Brent Lang
Plot: After his wife dies, a grandfather (Kevin Costner) has to fight for custody of his biracial granddaughter against the girl's father and grandmother (Octavia Spencer). Review: There was a moment at the Tiff screening of Black And White that I attended that really drove home the message Mike Binder/Kevin Costner's film was trying to deliver about race. Costner is called upon to testify about the prospect of the father of his grandchild obtaining custody of his daughter where he »
- Chris Bumbray
By Anjelica Oswald
Some pictures headed to the Toronto International Film Festival already with a domestic distributor — such as, The Judge (Warner Bros.) and Nightcrawler (Open Road Films) — but others are hoping to garner some bids and make some deals during the 11-day festival.
Among the recent acquisitions is The Last 5 Years, which was picked up by the Weinstein Co.’s RADiUS label.
Here are 10 acquisition titles to keep an eye on as of Monday morning:
While We’re Young
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, along with Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, play two sets of New York couples who become unlikely friends in Noah Baumbach’s new film. These couples have similar interests — both Stiller and Driver are documentary filmmakers — but live vastly different lifestyles. The older couple is more intune with the modern world, whereas the younger couple are into the hipster lifestyle, obsessed with vinyls and vintage. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Look across the landscape of Best Actor Oscar contenders this year. Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Bill Murray, Timothy Spall, Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Costner, Ralph Fiennes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy, Channing Tatum all seen and stumped for. Joaquin Phoenix, David Oyelowo, Brad Pitt, Jack O'Connell, Bradley Cooper, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey and Mark Wahlberg all looking for room on the other side. Gael García Bernal, Ellar Coltrane, Brendon Gleeson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Miles Teller all likely to find supporters besides. Now look at the Best Actress contenders… It seems an oft-repeated lament. The leading lady category always feels just wide enough to manage a healthy slate of nominees, while the fellas deal with shocked asides on Oscar nomination morning about Tom Hanks or some such somehow missing the cut. "It was just too competitive." But it never seems »
- Kristopher Tapley
In just 10 days, festival-goers have seen way too many best-actor contenders, and there are plenty of year-end possibilities still to come. Will the Academy expand the actor race to accommodate this year’s crop? No way, but they should: The quality and quantity are amazing.
Between Telluride and Toronto, festgoers have seen Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”; Michael Keaton, “Birdman”; Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”; Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”; and Bill Murray, “St. Vincent.” All had advance buzz, but several thesps suddenly emerged this past weekend in Toronto: Kevin Costner in “Black and White”; Richard Gere in “Time Out of Mind”; and Jake Gyllenhaal in “Nightcrawler.”
In the Bff category (Before Fest Frenzy), Ralph Fiennes was outstanding in “Grand Budapest Hotel”; Timothy Spall won the Cannes award for “Mr. Turner,” while Miles Teller earned fans in “Whiplash” at Sundance.
There is another actor who got a lot »
- Tim Gray
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