19 items from 2016
London — European pay TV giant Sky will double its investment in non-sport content over the next five years, Gary Davey, the company’s managing director of content, said Thursday.
Davey, who launched Sky 27 years ago when he was managing director, said the company is set to spend 5 billion Gbp ($7.25 billion) this year on content, but wouldn’t break it down into sports and entertainment.
He said that whenever any Sky exec talks about the business, there are three key words they always use — content, innovation and service — and content was the most important.
“An important part of my job going forward is to make entertainment a primary reason to get Sky,” he told the audience of senior television executives at the Royal Television Society event in London.
Sky is “on a journey” with its entertainment and drama programming, he said. “I’m pretty happy where we are, but we have a long way to go. »
- Leo Barraclough
Focus Features’ ongoing identity crisis worsened Thursday, as the specialty unit behind “The Theory of Everything,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Moonrise Kingdom” underwent its second major management shakeup in less than three years.
Focus CEO Peter Schlessel, who replaced founder James Schamus in 2013, is being ousted as part of a drastic housecleaning by parent Universal Pictures. The studio is merging the label with Universal Pictures International Productions (Upip), in an attempt to make the unit more global and artistically relevant after a series of highly touted awards-season pictures such as “The Danish Girl” and “Suffragette” collapsed at the box office. Upip Managing Director Peter Kujawski will now be tasked with being chairman of the global unit.
The bloodletting, which is also resulting in the loss of COO Adrian Alperovich, marketing president Christine Birch and acquisitions chief Lia Buman, seems to be an acknowledgment by Universal’s brass that it erred in »
- Brent Lang
Well it looks like Steven Soderbergh might be coming out of his theatrical retirement to work on a new movie project with Channing Tatum, which will revolve around a heist during a Nascar-style race. According to a source close to THR, the new movie will be “Ocean’s Eleven but with hillbillies”.
Not much else is known as of yet however Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) has also been linked, although only Tatum has been confirmed to be involved right now.
Soderbergh’s last feature film project was Side Effects, released in 2013 and starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Since then he’s been working in television and his HBO film Behind the Candelabra – starring Michael Douglas as Liberace – won two Golden Globes.
Soderbergh confirmed shortly before the release of Side Effects that he would be retiring from filmmaking indefinitely citing Hollywood’s horrible treatment towards »
- Gavin Logan
The film, which begins production later this month, focuses on the end of Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti’s life. Tucci is directing from his own script, based on James Lord’s book “A Giacometti Portrait” in which Lord — a young American writer — studied Giacometti as he painted Lord’s picture in 1964.
Giacometti died in 1966 in Switzerland. He’s best remembered for his stark and surrealistic sculptures.
Producers are Gail Egan for Potboiler alongside Nik Bower for Riverstone Pictures and Ilann Girard. Deepak Nayar is an executive producer and the film is produced in association with Olive Productions, Lowsun Productions and Arsam International.
Sales launched at the Cannes Film Festival in May. HanWay Films will handle international sales at the Berlin Film Festival with CAA handling the U.S.
Riverstone was »
- Dave McNary
Telling the story of real-life Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, the film is an adaptation of Us critic James Lord’s biography and will star Geoffrey Rush (Shine) in the lead role alongside Armie Hammer.
The project was originally launched during last year’s European Film Market.
Founded in 2014, Riverstone Pictures, which is backed by Reliance Entertainment and Ingenious Media, also has the Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan-starring Sleepless Night and the Nicole Kidman and Jude Law-starring »
It’s pretty hard to screw up a western. You’ve got your white hat, you’re black hat, wide vistas of natural splendor, maybe an ornery sidekick with some colorful phrases and a dashing star on a horse. The title Jane Got A Gun, apart from triggering a Pavlovian response to that wretched Aerosmith anthem, promises a woman in the saddle serving up helpings of hot lead. Hey, have you seen my wallet? I gotta go buy a ticket.
Alas, short of a few marvellous shots of Natalie Portman in a long duster and black Boss of the Plains, Jane Got A Gun is a remarkable exercise in tedium, as if director Gavin O’Connor had a mandate to put »
- Jordan Hoffman
It’s a wonder that Jane Got a Gun is even out in theaters right now. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with its production headlines will have read about its hellacious development cycle – whether it be the multiple delays, or the revolving door of talent like previous director Lynne Ramsay, and departed headliners like Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper.
Gavin O’Connor, who’s built a sturdy reputation through elevated genre hits like Miracle and Warrior, was given the unenviable job to pick up the pieces. And while he’s created a fleet, nasty western that feels uncompromising in its violence, it’s also just as quick to jettison any of the themes that have the possibility to weigh down the story. In the last third, O’Connor isn’t so much tying up loose ends, as forcing the groundwork for the tidiest ending possible.
Set in »
- Michael Snydel
To no one’s surprise, at least in the film industry, media world, and the savvy readers that pay attention, The Weinstein Company’s romantic action Western, “Jane Got A Gun,” once owned by Relativity Media before they fell into financial ruin, isn’t very good. To those that don’t play inside baseball, the litany of catastrophes that beset the production are long, and all of its ugliness spilled out into the press before a frame of footage was shot. An attempt at the shortest version: one of the film’s main stars (Michael Fassbender) abruptly walked away one week before production was to begin and the movie’s mercurial director (Lynne Ramsay) soon followed (quit/fired on day one of the shoot; lawsuits soon ensued). It didn’t take long for other key crew to abandon ship (cinematographer Darius Khondji), or for outsiders to toy with the idea »
- Rodrigo Perez
This Friday, the Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun hits theaters. The film has Portman playing the all-too-rare Western film heroine - a wife and mother who must fight off a gang of outlaws. (Watch a clip exclusive to People here.) The film, often described as a passion project of Portman's, has been a long time coming. The actress first became attached to the project back in 2012, and various delays held up production. Michael Fassbender, Jude Law and Bradley Cooper were each attached as playing one of the film's two main male characters, but then left due to conflicts »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
After a bevy of problems — a director who quits on the first day of production, a series of cast changes, conflicting script approvals, legal battles and the loss of a distributor — the Weinstein Company premiered Western drama “Jane Got a Gun” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Wednesday evening. Natalie Portman, who produced the film and stars as the title character, Jane Hammond, made a grand entrance at the intimate screening presented by the Cinema Society — where she admitted to Variety that the production was “stressful,” but has made her a “stronger and braver” filmmaker.
“This was the most challenging movie I’ve ever been a part of. There was an obstacle every hour, every day,” Portman, 34, told Variety on the red carpet. “It was interesting that all the problems we went through were parallel to the obstacles that characters in the movie go through. You »
- Paul Chi
Sara Hemrajani on Hollywood’s love affair with its Golden Age…
Since there’s no business like show business, it’s unsurprising that one of Hollywood’s favourite topics is itself. The recent wave of award nominations for Trumbo, including a best actor Oscar nod for Bryan Cranston, is fresh evidence of the industry’s fascination with the so-called Golden Age.
In Trumbo, Cranston plays real-life writer Dalton Trumbo who was jailed and blacklisted for his ties to the American Communist Party. Despite the ban, Trumbo and his peers managed to flout the system using pseudonyms and support from eager filmmakers. He went on to write screenplays for classics such as Roman Holiday and Spartacus.
Following swiftly in its steps is Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers’ throwback to the glossy studio pictures of the 1940s. The trailer reveals characters reminiscent of Gene Kelly and Esther Williams, as well as producer »
- Sara Hemrajani
Warner Bros. Pictures has once again pushed back Guy Ritchie's untitled King Arthur film, the first in a proposed series of films about the iconic English story, by just over a month.
Originally slated for February 17th 2017, it will now open March 24th 2017. This marks the second delay, albeit a much shorter one this time as previously the film was scheduled for July 22nd this year before the news last month that it was being delayed by seven months.
Charlie Hunnam leads a cast that includes Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou and Katie McGrath. The film will now open opposite the "Power Rangers" reboot, a third "Bad Boys" film, and the final film in "The Maze Runner" series.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
The King Arthur movie, which also stars Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as Guinevere, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou and Katie McGrath, will open against Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” movie. It was previously going up against Sony’s “Bad Boys 3” and 20th Century Fox’s “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.”
It’s the second time that Warner Bros. has moved the King Arthur project backwards. It announced in December that it was going to open the film seven months after its originally scheduled launch on July 22, 2016.
- Dave McNary
Rachel McAdams earned the first Oscar nomination of her career last week for her role as a Boston Globe reporter in director Tom McCarthy’s journalism drama, Spotlight. The 37-year-old actress has had an interesting career, flirting with bonafide movie star status but never quite reaching the heights of box office draws such as Scarlett Johansson.
Still, her resume is littered with collaborations with big-name stars and respected directors. Often seen as a rom-com or love story drama star, looking back at McAdams roster of films shows that the actress has had a much more diverse career then the public perception would imply.
Now, dead-center in a best supporting actress race with no clear front runner, in which Kate Winslet has won the Golden Globe for Steve Jobs while Swedish breakout Alicia Vikander took home the Critics’ Choice Award for The Danish Girl, McAdams may »
- Patrick Shanley
More than once, the female heroines in Paul Feig’s comedies are accused of getting too emotional. A heinous example comes in 2013’s The Heat, when good cop/bad cop partners Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) and Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) are verbally accosted by a male colleague after a botched sting operation: “We don’t need the two of you coming in with your estrogen and flying at full speed, sticking out in the middle of broad daylight, fucking things up for us!” The threat of being upstaged is always palpable in Feig’s films. Take, for instance, the dueling engagement party speeches by new frenemies in 2011’s Bridesmaids, or the dismissive antics of Jason Statham’s overly aggressive and insecure secret agent in 2015’s Spy. Women betray each other out of fear and self-doubt, while men demean women once their power is threatened. Sarcasm and snarky jokes ensue, usually revolving around physical appearance and gender roles. »
- Glenn Heath Jr.
When it comes to getting a new TV show off the ground, any production has its ups and downs, and sometimes they come at the same time. Mark Hudis, known for his work on HBO's hit vampire series True Blood, has just exited as Showrunner on the highly anticipated TV series adaptation of Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events. Coming to Netflix later this year, the bad news was met with good when Neil Patrick Harris was announced as the show's evil lead Count Olaf.
Count Olaf will be Neil Patrick Harris's first major TV role since leaving How I Met Your Mother in 2014, where he played bad boy Barney. His new character, originated by Jim Carrey in the 2004 big screen adaptation Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, will be quite the departure. At this time, no replacement has been named for Mark Hudis. Netflix is refusing to comment on either matter. »
On Mubi Off is a bi-weekly column exploring two films: one currently available on Mubi in the United States, and the other screening offsite (in theaters, on VOD, Blu-ray/DVD, etc).On MUBIShopping (Paul W.S. Anderson, 1994) A telling exchange from an early scene in writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson's 1994 debut Shopping:"What's prison taught you, Billy?""Don't get caught." Yet the film that follows is, in large part, all about getting caught—about being swept up into the Hollywood big leagues, using this enjoyable, eye-catching display of kinetic prowess as proof of talent. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with such calling card features, though they're often ascribed cynical motivations, and you can't necessarily say you've seen one until the artist behind them has got a few more projects under his-or-her belt. The aesthetic impulses and inclinations mostly become clear in retrospect. And from our current vantage point, you »
- Keith Uhlich
Natalie Portman has left Joel Edgerton heartbroken in an exclusive new preview from her upcoming drama Jane Got a Gun. Portman stars as a pioneer woman living in New Mexico who accepts the aide of her former lover (Edgerton) in defending her family from an outlaw (Ewan McGregor) and his gang of ruffians. In the clip, Edgerton watches Portman from on top of a cliff while she cradles a baby and embraces her husband Bill "Ham" Hammon (Noah Emmerich). "When I finally found you, seeing you holding another man's child, I knew you weren't mine no more and that did »
- Lindsay Kimble
Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21) has added nine titles to its Competition line-up, bringing the current total to 14 (the full Competition programme will be announced soon, according to the fest).
The new additions include The Commune, marking the first time Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, Far From The Madding Crowd) has been in Competition at Berlin since Submarino in 2010. The film centres on a Danish commune in the 1970s and will be released in Denmark this weekend (Jan 14).
French director Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) has been selected with her drama Things to Come, starring Isabelle Huppert as a woman embarking on a new life after her husband leaves her for another woman. The film will world premiere at Berlin.
Another world premiere will be documentary Fire at Sea, capturing life on »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
19 items from 2016
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