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Looks like Tom Cruise finally has another hit on his hands. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has gotten good reviews and just delivered the actor's biggest opening weekend in some years. That should come as welcome news to Cruise, whose last few films been financially disappointing, at least in the U.S. (He's still pretty big overseas.) Of course, movie stars often have to deal with fallow periods. Will Smith is kind of in one right now; so is Jim Carrey. And Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock had to endure their own respective ruts for a few years, before their current resurgence.The question of why so many movie stars have recently had a hard time of it is a complicated one, as much about Hollywood’s drift away from star-driven movies as it is about individual actors’ drawing power. But Cruise’s case is somewhat different. The reason a lot »
- Bilge Ebiri
Since 2006, Tom Cruise has been reduced to, for lack of a better phrase, a global joke; a quick source for derision, slander, and mockery among the A-List Hollywood performers for the masses to prod at. There was his Jumping the Couch moment on Oprah, the uncomfortable Scientology interview, his termination with Paramount studios, and M:i:iii underperforming at the box office. In short, 2006 was not a good year for the iconic A-Lister.
Despite such set-backs Cruise still produces and stars in critically and financially successful movies, which proves his presence in Hollywood is unscathed. One needs only to look at 2011’s Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which would become Cruise’s highest grossing film to date, or the last few films that have received critical acclaim i.e. Edge of Tomorrow. Further, when one looks at Cruise’s career, one gets a sense that »
- Matthew Lee
Season one of "True Detective" surprised everyone. It was really unlike anything we had seen before and was anchored by standout performances from Woody Harrelson and Emmy winner Matthew McConaughey as well as a compelling central mystery. Season two hasn't exactly met the astronomical expectations of critics or viewers but isn't without it's strengths. The discourse around the show may be mostly negative but that doesn't seem to be slowing it down. HBO programming president, Michael Lombardo is happy with the series and with showrunner Nic Pizzolatto. Covering the summer Television Critics Association press tour, The Hollywood Reporter notes that this season outpaces the viewership of the first by garnering an average of 12 million viewers, roughly a million more than last year. Lombardo hopes viewership stays strong through the final two episodes of the season after having viewed the finale: "Nic Pizzolatto is one of the best writers working in television and motion pictures today. »
- Michael Hindle
If you're watching "True Detective," it's hard to buy that Vince Vaughn's performance as crooked Vinci ringleader Frank Semyon could put the defibrillators on his career. The actor, long known for his goofy comic turns, postures a faux-seriousness that whiffs of Matthew McConaughey's brooding season one turn, and a face that says, "I'm thinking about Emmys." (When "Delivery Man" opened in 2013, we called him a "toxic comedian" who "has burned many smart moviegoers over the years.") But Vaughn clearly wants to buff his dramatic chops. After "True Detective," he will usher into Mel Gibson's World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge," Deadline reports. He's set to star opposite Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington in Gibson's first film since 2006's "Apocalypto." Distributed by Lionsgate, "Hacksaw" will shoot in Australia. Read More: Lionsgate Nearing Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge,' Starring Andrew »
- Ryan Lattanzio
This story first appeared in the Aug. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe. So, you want to be a director. Or a screenwriter. Or a sound engineer. Or maybe you just want to take a class on independent movie producing taught by Matthew McConaughey. Whatever your dream, there's a film school in the United States — or abroad (see sidebar) — that wants your tuition check. But, of course, not all film schools are created equal. That's why THR has been ranking the top 25 programs every year for half a
- THR Staff
While it didn't quite become the Matthew McConaughey style career changer for Vince Vaughn, his turn as gangster Frank Semyon in this season of "True Detective" is a reminder to many that, given the opportunity, the actor, best known for his comic roles, can go serious when required. And it would appear that he wants to stay in that mood for now. Deadline reports Vaughn has joined Mel Gibson's next directorial effort, "Hacksaw Ridge," starring Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington. While the trade says Robert Schenkkan ("The Quiet American") and Randall Wallace ("Braveheart") penned the script, Inside Film lists Andrew Knight ("The Water Diviner") and Schenkkan, but not Wallace. I guess the credits are still being worked out. As for the movie, it will tell the true-story tale of Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to earn a Congressional Medal Of Honor. The Private First Class of the 307th »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Early reviews of “True Detective” season two were mixed, and many were positive. One suspects that a lot of critics (including this one) were reluctant to completely bury the series based on the three episodes that HBO made available.
Yet once the show was exposed to sunlight, the blowback has grown more intense — or at least, the real-time dissection and grousing on Twitter and in recaps more pointed. At this point, it’s possible to seriously dislike what series creator Nic Pizzolatto hath wrought, and still feel a tad sorry for it.
“Hate watch” is a rather ugly term, but it’s a fair appraisal of the feelings harbored by many who brought high hopes to the project. In the past, such a program would have been assessed and then dismissed, with critics moving on. Today, in an age where traffic considerations drive coverage, a show with such a high »
- Brian Lowry
After rescuing Matthew McConaughey from the universe's most heartwarming black hole, what's Christopher Nolan doing for a follow-up? Directing a short documentary about a pair of avant-garde filmmaker brothers, of course! Actually, scratch the present tense on that — Nolan has already completed his film on the Quay twins, two identical brothers who have been making wordless stop-motion films since the late '70s. Knowing Nolan's obsession with puzzles and miniatures, it seems like a perfect match. The film's called Quay, and it will screen at New York's Film Forum in August — presumably to beat out Legend, the upcoming Tom Hardy movie about phonetically similar but completely unrelated Kray twins.Here is a selection of Quay Brothers films to get you up to speed: »
- Nate Jones
Today, at the Television Critics Association press tour, Netflix Cco Ted Sarandos talked in detail about his company’s collaborations with Marvel, from the forthcoming Jessica Jones to series much further down the line.
Readers might recall that the original plan when Netflix announced its partnership with Marvel was to have four different heroes introduced in freshman seasons of their own shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) before bringing them together for The Defenders, an Avengers-style team-up series. Given that Netflix and Marvel are fast-tracking a second season of Daredevil in the wake of overwhelming acclaim and high ratings for the first, however, that no longer seems to be the case.
“I think ideally there will be a rhythm of about every six months you’ll get a new season or a new series from the Defenders group. And then they’ll crossover into a »
- Isaac Feldberg
Maybe our expectations were just too high. The first season of True Detective (after, admittedly, a warmup period) was one of the best shows of 2014, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson delivering a dramatic gold mine, so our hopes were up there. And season two started off with potential, with a lot of excitement because of the promising cast, and when the premiere hit, it was like, Ok, there are some interesting questions here. But after six episodes, season two has become the hate-watch of 2015, with viewers tuning in only to take to social media each Sunday to complain that they're underwhelmed and over this season (well, no complaints about this, anyway). It's been such a shared experience that I've pinpointed how it has felt every step of the way to watch True Detective season two. »
Exclusive: MGM has acquired Bed Rest, the first script deal for Lori Evans Taylor. Spec is a Hitchcockian thriller in the vein of Rear Window and What Lies Beneath, centering on a pregnant woman who is isolated and confined to bed rest. Karen Rosenfelt is producing with Chris Sparling, the writer behind Buried and the upcoming Matthew McConaughey-Gus Van Sant film Sea Of Trees. This was a competitive situation with interest from multiple studios. Evans Taylor is repped by… »
In college football, the practice of “redshirting” is widely employed: A player’s participation is delayed for a year in order to maintain his eligibility for another year.
HBO has ordered a fifth season of “Veep,” in which Simons plays former White House liaison Jonah Ryan and Walsh portrays the vice president’s director of communications Mike McLintock.
Simons is due to appear in “Goosebumps” with Jack Black, in “Michelle Darnell” with Melissa McCarthy and in “Gold” with Matthew McConaughey. Walsh appeared in “Get Hard” and is in Paul Feig’s upcoming “Ghostbusters,” starring McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.
Paramount-based Red Hour is in post-production on Stiller’s “Zoolander 2,” due out Feb. 12.
Simons is repped by UTA and Brillstein. »
- Dave McNary
With several studios vying for the property, Broad Green Pictures has won the rights to the book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” with Michael B. Jordan attached to star and Destin Cretton on board to direct.
Gil Netter will produce the adaptation of the book, which is based on the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a young lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned and women and children.
One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy and political machination that transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Several major studios, including Paramount and Universal, put bids in for the book before Broad Green landed the rights. »
- Justin Kroll
In a competitive situation, MGM has bought horror script Bed Rest by relative newcomer Lori Evans Taylor. Chris Sparling, the scribe who wrote the upcoming Gus Van Sant drama Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey, is attached to produce with Karen Rosenfelt. Spec scripts were the currency of much movie development in the 1990s and into the mid-2000s but the WGA strike, shrinking DVD revenues and studio contraction led to their waning. When they do occur, it's usually with major attachments. That's why clean specs such as this one are rare. The script began making the rounds last week,
- Rebecca Ford and Borys Kit
Read More: Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano on the Dark Side of Human Nature in 'The Stanford Prison Experiment' At 18 years old, Tye Sheridan has a career that would make even the most accomplished actor jealous. In the four years since making his acting debut opposite Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," Sheridan has continued to work with some of the biggest and most acclaimed names in the business, including Jeff Nichols and Matthew McConaughey on "Mud," David Gordon Green and Nicolas Cage on "Joe," Rodrigo Garcia and Ewan McGregor on "Last Days in the Desert" and more. Joining Indiewire over the phone from the Montreal set of another envious project -- Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Apocalypse," where he's taking on the role of a young Cyclops -- Sheridan spoke about working on his latest heralded indie, "The Stanford Prison Experiment, »
- Zack Sharf
Reese Witherspoon is set to receive the 29th American Cinematheque award at the organization's annual black-tie benefit gala on Friday, October 30 in the ballroom of La's Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Witherspoon was unanimously chosen by the Cinematheque board for her work as an actress, and as a producer under her Pacific Standard production banner, which she founded with Bruna Papandrea in 2012. This year, she was Oscar-nominated for her performance as Cheryl Strayed in the redemption drama "Wild." Witherspoon, who recently launched her own retail brand, took the 2006 Best Actress Academy Award for her steely portrayal of June Carter Cash. Read More: Recipe for a Successful Cinematheque Ball: Matthew McConaughey Last year's American Cinematheque award went to Witherspoon's "Mud" costar Matthew McConaughey. Recent honorees include Julia Roberts (2007), Samuel L. Jackson (2008), Matt Damon (2010), Robert Downey Jr. (2011), Ben Stiller (2013) and Jerry »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The American Cinematheque will honor Reese Witherspoon with its annual award Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the org announced today.
Rick Nicita, American Cinematheque chairman said: “Reese Witherspoon’s career is a perfect example of an actress flourishing in today’s world. She achieved commercial success early in comedies like ‘Election,’ ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and then added major critical success to her resume with movies such as ‘Walk the Line,’ for which she received the Academy award for best actress. She has refused to be limited to only certain types of roles and has continued to impress with her varied choices, ranging from smaller roles in dramas such as ‘Mud’ to a tour-de-force, Oscar-nominated performance last year in ‘Wild.’ She is an active and successful »
- Shalini Dore
These actors bulked up, slimmed down and puffed out in service of their work … and perhaps they shouldn’t have, when the only results were film flops
When popular actors make the bold choice to alter their appearance for a role, people take notice. Often the effort pays off: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro and Charlize Theron all won Oscars after transforming themselves for their art. Unfortunately, for some stars, the work ends up being in service of a project that doesn’t merit the gamble.
Related: Jake Gyllenhaal: ‘I’m fascinated by my own anger’
Continue reading »
- Nigel M Smith
Friedberg joined the studio in Burbank this week. He will oversee all aspects of Stx’s international sales strategy, along with developing partnerships for foreign acquisitions.
Stx launched last year by producer Robert Simonds and Tpg managing director Bill McGlashan to develop medium-budget projects — an area largely vacated by the studios in favor of superhero movies. It aims to release as many as 15 films annually by 2017, and has lined up projects with Matthew McConaughey (“The Free State of Jones”) and Julia Roberts (“The Secret in Their Eyes”).
For the past decade, Friedberg has overseen sales and distribution in partnership with Bill Block — first at Qed International and most recently at Block Entertainment. He worked on international sales for Brad Pitt’s “Fury,” Neill Blomkamp’s “District Nine” and the upcoming “Dirty Grandpa,” starring »
- Dave McNary
"Mad Men" has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with the TV Academy. Matthew Weiner's series won Best Drama at the Emmys for its first four seasons, among other numerous trophies. But its leading man has never won. Despite earning a nomination every year "Mad Men" has been eligible (plus guest star nods for "30 Rock" in three seasons and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" this year), Hamm has lost every single year (spurring him to create the "Losers' Party" with fellow snubee Amy Poehler). Will he join the ranks of the unjustly ignored like Jason Alexander and Steve Carell, or will the Academy finally reward him in his final year as Don Draper? The answer will be "no" if Kevin Spacey has anything to say about it. Hot off his Golden Globes win and feeling rejuvenated after Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey's exit from the category, the two-time Oscar winner »
- Peter Knegt and Ben Travers
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