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The other day, Steve did the press junket for Lone Survivor, and he sent me an e-mail asking if I had any questions for director Peter Berg. I didn't, but I told Steve to tell Berg that I adore his 2003 action-adventure film, The Rundown. For those who haven't seen it, it's similar to Midnight Run in that a tough guy (Dwayne Johnson) has to retrieve a squirrelly, meeker guy (Seann William Scott), but Berg's film distinguishes itself with exciting set pieces and delightful performances, especially from Chistopher Walken. It's my favorite Peter Berg film, but after ten years, I had given up any hope of a sequel. But other fans have kept that hope alive, and now their patience might be rewarded. Berg says he's actively developing a sequel. Hit the jump for more on The Rundown 2 (unofficial title, but it feels good just to write that). Lone Survivor opens »
- Matt Goldberg
Friday Night Lights is sure to go down in history as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, but fans have been clamoring for just a bit more since the NBC show’s series finale in 2011. Executive producer Peter Berg and many Fnl castmembers have been teasing the possibility of a Friday Night Lights movie for the past few years now. Though the show initially began as a spinoff of Berg’s Billy Bob Thornton-fronted 2004 film of the same name, this proposed new film would follow Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor and Connie Britton’s Tami Taylor. Steve recently had a chance to speak with Berg in anticipation of his upcoming feature directorial effort Lone Survivor, and during the course of their conversation he provided an update on the status of the Friday Night Lights movie by saying it’s most likely not going to happen. Hit the jump for more. »
- Adam Chitwood
Universal Pictures has released some new images from director Peter Berg’s (The Kingdom) adaptation of the non-fiction book Lone Survivor. The film tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission who try to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The film has drawn positive responses from early screenings, and Berg has more than proven himself to be a skilled action director. Hopefully the dramatic character interplay is on point here as well. Hit the jump to check out the new images. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Alexander Ludwig, Ali Suliman, and Rohan Chand. Lone Survivor opens in limited release on December 27th before going wide on January 10th. Click on any image to enlarge. [gallery link="file" columns="1" ids="299500,299490,299493,299502,299497,299496,299499,299495,299504,299501,299503,299498"] Here’s the official synopsis for Lone Survivor: Based on »
- Adam Chitwood
"I don't go home, you don't go home!"
I'm a huge fan of military films, and Peter Berg's Navy Seal movie, Lone Survivor, looks pretty freakin' incredible. I'm really looking forward to this movie. I think it's going to deliver on all emotional levels.
The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana. It's based on the true story of Marcus Luttrell and his Navy Seal team members who fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 by Taliban forces during a covert mission in the Hindu Kush mountain region, where the team went to kill a terrorist leader.
The movie will get a limited release on December 27th and will go wide January 10th.
- Joey Paur
Navy SEALs operating in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
(L to R) Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, of Cupertino, California; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician Daniel R. Healy, of Exeter, New Hampshire; Quartermaster 2nd Class James Suh, of Deerfield Beach, Florida; Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell; Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Eric S. Patton, of Boulder City, Nevada; and Lt. Michael P. Murphy, of Patchogue, New York pose in Afghanistan.
With the exception of Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces while supporting Operation Red Wings.
“No matter how many times I get up and tell this story,
or how many people read the book,
it’s nothing compared to how many people will watch this film.
So my job is done. Mission complete.”
I like war films – always have.
Having seen Lone Survivor in November, »
- Michelle McCue
Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor has gone from “just another war movie” to Oscar hopeful in the span of a few short months. After a well-received screening at the AFI Fest, the film is now gearing up for its December 27th theatrical release, which puts it in prime position to be considered for some awards.
Starring Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor tells the tale of Seal Team 10′s failed mission to eliminate a high-ranking Taliban leader named Ahmad Shah during the War in Afghanistan. It’s based on Luttrell’s book of the same name and presents a gripping story of courage, heroism and the brutalities of war.
Earlier this week, Universal rolled out the red carpet for the NYC »
- Justine Browning
Nearly a decade after “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” pulled off one of the biggest Oscar-night sweeps of all time, it seems almost unthinkable that it could have played out any other way. But in the days leading up to that year’s ceremony, there were whispers around town that Peter Jackson’s trilogy-capping epic couldn’t possibly win best picture, because it was (gasp!) a fantasy film — a genre the Academy had never once seen fit to honor in its 75-year existence.
Fortunately, rules are made to be broken, and 10 years on from that milestone, the Academy’s alleged prejudice against fantasy/sci-fi movies, suspense thrillers and other strands of popular storytelling seems largely a thing of the past. That’s potentially good news for some of this year’s popular prestige entries, including pictures as different as “Prisoners,” “Lone Survivor,” “Captain Phillips” and »
- Justin Chang
The same day it was named as one of the National Board of Review's top 10 films of the year, "Lone Survivor" was celebrated with a luncheon yesterday in New York, hosted by Universal Pictures. Emile Hirsch, one the film's ensemble players, learned of the good news via his co-star in the film, Mark Wahlberg. "This means so, so much," Hirsch told Indiewire, clearly moved by the honor. "More than any film out there, this is about something that's going on now. It's relevant, it's in the news." Based on The New York Times bestselling true story of the same name, Peter Berg's powerful film follows four Navy SEALs on a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative who are ambushed by the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan. Hirsch plays one of the real-life Seal members, alongside Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster, all of whom were in attendance, »
- Nigel M Smith
Update: Ouija is back from the dead. Michael Bay is still producing and the first actor was cast today. In the story, a gruop of teens try to contact their dead friend with a Ouija board but contact a very, very evil spirit. "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" star Daren Kagasoff will play Trevor, who doesn't think trying to connect with the dead friend's spirit is a good idea. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White wrote and will co-direct, they co-wrote The Possession and the Nicolas Cage movie Knowing.
Aug. 25, 2011 - Ouija has been scrapped by Universal, allowing producer Michael Bay to shop the film elsewhere. Fandango reports that he already took it to Paramount (where he's made over $1 billion this year alone with Transformers 3) and they said no. In this case, we can safely assume that it supersucks because Paramount definitely owes Bay one. Universal's original multipicture deal »
- email@example.com (Tara the Mom)
Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures just announced that they've closed deals with Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Toby Kebbell (The Counselor), and Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) for writer-director Duncan Jones' Warcraft. Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) is also in final negotiations to star. Production is scheduled to begin in Vancouver this coming January. Warcraft will open March 11, 2016. Hit the jump for more. Unfortunately, no casting details are available at the moment, and the order of the casting announcement is not indicative of the final film's billing. News out of BlizzCon 2013 did tell us that the Warcraft film adaptation would tell “the story of Anduin Lothar versus Durotan, Human and Orc heroes from the original real-time strategy games.” Your guess is as good as mine as for who will be taking on which role when the film kicks into gear. »
- Dave Trumbore
Legendary Pictures and Universal closed deals with Lone Survivor star Ben Foster, Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbel, Dominic Cooper and Rob Kazinsky to star in Warcraft, the live action adaptation of the Blizzard Entertainment video game. Duncan Jones is directing a Charles Leavitt script that Jones rewrote. Production begins January in Vancouver, and Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Gartner are producing. Foster, whom Lone Survivor director Peter Berg called the best young actor in Hollywood during our conversation at Deadline’s recent Contenders Event, is finally getting his due. Besides Lone Survivor, Foster is in the home stretch playing Lance Armstrong in the Stephen Frears-directed film about the Tour de France champ’s fall from grace from a doping scandal. He’s repped by Wme. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Universal's Lone Survivor is an intense, gritty drama based on the true story of a Navy Seal team ambushed in Afghanistan, leaving 19 Americans dead and only one survivor. The film features a number of brutal, grisly moments, including scenes in which the main characters tumble down rocky hillsides, complete with the sound of bones breaking. But ahead of the film's New York premiere Tuesday night, the stars and director Peter Berg told The Hollywood Reporter the most challenging part of making the movie was trying to do justice to the fallen service members and their families. Video: First 'Lone
- Hilary Lewis
Universal’s “Lone Survivor,” based on the memoir by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, held a premiere on Dec. 3 at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater that doubled as a tribute to the men who lost their lives in the ill-fated 2005 Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan. After the screening, director Peter Berg introduced Luttrell to a standing ovation, as well as family members of the soldiers who perished on the mission.
Mohammad Gulab, the Afghan who helped save Luttrell by hiding him in his village, also made an appearance “for the first time in New York City and ever in a movie theater,” Berg noted.
Mark Wahlberg, who plays Luttrell, called him “such a remarkable guy.” On the red carpet outside the Ziegfeld, the cast talked about how they trained to portray Navy Seals, which included attending a three-week bootcamp in New Mexico.
“We each had a Seal assigned to us,” Emile Hirsch said. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
The Writers Guild of America has remained tough on qualifying scripts for its screenplay awards, excluding more than a dozen high-profile scripts, including John Ridley’s screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”
The guild’s restrictions — far more rigorous than other guilds — require that scripts be produced under WGA jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. The WGA had no immediate comment on the exclusions, but the restrictions on eligibility are a longstanding practice at the guild.
Other notable screenplays excluded include Peter Morgan’s screenplay for “Rush”; Ryan Coogler’s script for “Frutivale Station”; “Philomena,” written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” penned by William Nicholson.
Voting to determine the WGA’s nominees launched Tuesday on 95 eligible screenplays — 41 in the adapted category and 54 in the original category. The guild’s restrictions also require that the »
- Dave McNary
Peter Berg wrote and directed Universal’s year-end opener “Lone Survivor,” which centers on Marcus Luttrell, who was part of a Navy SEALs mission in 2005 to capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd. It was a difficult shoot, with the mountains of New Mexico doubling for Afghanistan. But Berg is quick to praise his team and the collaboration.
Editor: Colby Parker Jr.
Colby has edited everything I’ve ever done. He understands what I like and vice versa. And he understands how to edit the mass amount of uncatalogued film I dump in his computer every night: I tend to shoot three cameras all the time. The film’s gunfight is almost an hour-long, with lots of different experiences within that. There are moments when it’s calm, quiet, slow and precise, also moments when it’s dynamic, disorienting, chaotic. We had to create it like a piece of music, with different builds, »
- Tim Gray
HBO premieres State of Play Trophy Kids Dec. 4: State of Play features a topical sports documentary followed by a roundtable discussion of the issue with guest panelists including the filmmakers, subjects and other experts. The premiere, “Trophy Kids,” examines obsessed parents of student athletes. Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) moderates. Premieres on HBO Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 9pm Et. State of Play: Trophy Kids Press release from HBO below: HBO Sports® And Filmmaker Peter Berg Team Up To Present The Innovative New Documentary Series State Of Play, Debuting Dec. 4 Emmy® Nominee Berg Executive Produces New York, Oct. … Continue reading →
The post HBO premieres State of Play Trophy Kids Dec. 4 appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Ryan Berenz
Going beyond X’s and O’s and wins and losses, HBO Sports’ “State of Play” brings much needed reflection and a wider lens to the sports universe — each episode tackling a topic in a cinema-verite-style documentary, followed by a panel discussion moderated by producer Peter Berg. Admittedly, it will be hard to top the premiere, “Trophy Kids,” which focuses on obsessive parents pushing children to excel in various sports — a brainier version of “Toddlers & Tiaras,” made all the more unsettling by the participants’ apparent obliviousness to how terrible they come across onscreen. If nothing else, it should become required viewing for youth-sports leagues nationwide.
“Trophy Kids” finds parents living vicariously through their offspring in various endeavors — golf, tennis, high-school football and basketball — in a manner that frequently proves uncomfortable, particularly in those portions of the show that involve the youngest would-be stars, who hang their heads and pout as their dads (mostly) hector them. »
- Brian Lowry
Jean-Marc Vallee filmed “Dallas Buyers Club” in 25 days, for just under $5 million. The director, whose credits include “Young Victoria,” had a no-frills set, including only source lighting to illuminate the scenes (“I’m a less-is-more kind of guy.”) Co-scripter Craig Borten had been with the project for 20 years, but Vallee said the script didn’t change much after he signed on; the only changes involved concentrating even more on the three lead characters, played by Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.
Cinematography: Yves Belanger
We used only natural lighting. I worked that way on “Cafe Flor” and I loved it so much. We were shooting with Down’s Syndrome children and we wanted to use digital, low lighting, with 360-degree mobility, to capture the kids, shooting handheld. “Dallas” was the perfect project to push it further. It was not only a creative decision, but it helped the budget. Yves accepted the challenge. »
- Tim Gray
12 Years a Slave continues to be the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to nominations. After leading the Spirit Award nominations it now leads the International Press Academy's (Ipa) 2013 Satellite Award nominations with a total of ten noms, followed by American Hustle and Gravity, each with eight nominations. The top five nominees were rounded out by Rush with seven nominations and Inside Llewyn Davis and Saving Mr. Banks with six nominations each. The Satellites, however, are an interesting bunch. As you can see there are several nominations in each category, leaving pretty much no stone unturned. I guess you could say no nomination for Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) is a surprise and, in my personal opinion, with such a large field of nominees I'd like to see Joaquin Phoenix (Her) get a nomination, but that certainly isn't going to be a film for everyone even though Arcade Fire was »
- Brad Brevet
Every Friday through the Oscars on March 2, 2014, Variety’s awards editor Tim Gray offers a rundown of the warming trends and cold fronts in our weekly “Temperature Gauge,” in addition to his latest projections in each of the major awards categories.
What’s New This Week?
With the addition of forecasts on the two supporting races, we look at how the Indie Spirit nominations and a Golden Globes might reflect who’s heating up and cooling off.
- Tim Gray
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