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The film will centre around a crack team making a last stand at the ancient and iconic wall.
Pascal is best known for his role as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones.
The Great Wall film will begin shooting in early 2015 for release in late 2016. »
Following his breakout performance in “Game of Thrones” last season, Pedro Pascal is in negotiations to join Matt Damon in Chinese director Zhang Yimou's untitled Great Wall historical epic at Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures.
The supernatural-tinged, English-language feature is expected to be the largest film ever shot entirely in China and follows an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure back in a time when it was freshly built.
Damon is currently in negotiations to star in the lead role in the film which begins production in the Spring ahead of a November 2016 release. Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Charles Roven and Richard Suckle will produce.
Pascal will »
- Garth Franklin
“Game of Thrones” breakout star Pedro Pascal is in negotiations to join Matt Damon in Legendary’s untitled Great Wall historical epic, multiple individuals with knowledge of the project have told TheWrap.
Visionary Chinese director Zhang Yimou is set to make his English-language debut with the film, which follows an elite force making a last stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure.
Damon remains in negotiations to star in the Great Wall movie, which is expected to be the largest film ever shot entirely in China.
Production is set to begin in the spring 2015, as Universal Pictures »
- Jeff Sneider and Linda Ge
By Anjelica Oswald
Though he may sound unfamiliar to folks at home, Bradford Young is one of the names to emerge during recent Oscar discussions for his cinematographic work on two films this year: J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year and Ava DuVernay‘s Selma. Both films premiered at AFI Fest.
The 37-year-old director of photography was first recognized for his work at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for Dee Rees’ Pariah (2011), which took home the excellence in cinematography award. He won the award a second time in 2013 for David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George (2013). He most recently received a Spirit Award nomination for Selma, which was also nominated for best picture and director, and he may very well land his first Oscar nomination this year.
Young previously worked with DuVernay on Middle of Nowhere (2012), which put DuVernay on the map. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Shonda Rhimes — creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Scandal,” and executive producer of “How to Get Away with Murder” — has been selected by the Writers Guild of America West for its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement.
The trophy will presented at the Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 14 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
“Few writers in television have had the impact on the medium that Shonda Rhimes has,” said WGA West President Chris Keyser. “Her ability to create, consistently, television that is, at once, excellent, provocative and crowd-pleasing is almost the least of it. She is a breaker of barriers.”
Keyser noted that Rhimes has given voice to characters who had been voiceless and has been fearless in tackling issues.
“Offscreen, she has been a mentor to a generation of writers – some of whom are women, some of whom are writers »
- Dave McNary
The Writers Guild of America East has selected Paul Haggis to receive the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement.
Haggis is the only writer to have won back-to-back screenwriting Oscars, for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash.”
The honor will be presented at the 67th annual Writers Guild Awards at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on Feb. 14.
Haggis has been a member of the WGA since 1981. His screen credits include “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” while his TV credits include “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Thirtysomething,” which earned him Emmys for writing in a drama series and outstanding drama series.
“In a career stretching from episodic television to major feature films -– and at a time when, more than ever, a national dialogue is needed on such difficult topics as race and war — Paul Haggis has provoked audiences into facing the reality of a »
- Dave McNary
The film was pitched by All Nippon Entertainment Works (Anew), a Hollywood- and Tokyo-based production house backed with public and private funds.
The Naoki Hashimoto directed “Birthright” premiered at the 2010 Tokyo International Film Festival and won a special jury prize at the 2011 Shanghai festival.
Released in Japan in 2011, the movie revolves around a young woman invited to stay with a suburban family – who may the abandoned birth daughter of the mother. When the visitor’s secrets are revealed all hell breaks loose.
- Mark Schilling
Basically Kublai Khan: The Show as told by the only non-Asian in the cast, Netflix’s dreadful Marco Polo is another in a long line of shows/films about an ‘ethnically different’ culture seen through the safe veneer of whiteness. We’ve come full circle then in that Marco Polo and his “book” Marvels of the World may well be the originator of the white man in a foreign land that became the template for every mid 90s Ed Zwick film before now becoming its very own prestige Netflix show. The snake has eaten its own tail indeed. It’s difficult though to get all gung-ho and worked up about a show this down right pedestrian. There’s a bit towards the end of the first episode that intercuts between Marco resisting the lure of a bevy of naked prostitutes and Marco’s Kung-Fu trainer battling the untoward advances of a rattlesnake, »
- Tommy Cook
Turkey or no turkey, these next couple of days lucky filmmakers who’ve been selected to screen as part of the Sundance Film Festival will get the invitation notice straight from John Cooper and the Park City programming team, and thus, those that we’re betting have made the cut have also inched up the list a bit. One of those that seem an obvious choice to premiere at the fest is director Steve Hoover and producer Danny Yourd’s Crocodile Gennadiy. Following up their Grand Jury Prize winning Blood Brother with incredible turnaround time, our new most anticipated film tracks the delicate operations of Gennadiy Mokhnenko, a Ukrainian activist, orphanage manager and savior of countless children whose addict parents favor injected cold medicine and alcohol over them. Part heartwrenching domestic drama, part sleuth thriller, the film looks to use the Ukrainian uprising as a backdrop to highlight its protagonist »
- Jordan M. Smith
By Anjelica Oswald
Since opening Nov. 6 with the world premiere of J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, AFI Fest has hosted the world premieres of Ava DuVernay’s Selma, Rupert Wyatt’s The Gambler and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, but it’s also hosted a variety of festival favorites, including Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which closes the festival tonight. Miller, a two-time Oscar nominee, received the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival following the film’s premiere. This biographical film is based on the true story of brothers and wrestling gold medalists Mark (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with John du Pont (Steve Carell), which ultimately results in Dave’s murder. The film opens in theaters tomorrow. Twelve of the past 14 films to close AFI Fest have received Oscar nominations, two for best picture. Closing-night films at AFI Fest »
- Anjelica Oswald
While Matt Damon recently withdrew from consideration for Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s (House of Flying Daggers) action film The Great Wall, Legendary Entertainment is moving full-speed ahead with the picture. The film was initially developed with director Edward Zwick and was poised to star Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker, but it was postponed due to financing and weather issues. Legendary started the film back up again with Yimou, and it is poised to be the first film to emerge from the company’s Legendary East banner. Described as “a period action spectacular with sci-fi elements and a massive plot twist”, the film is based on an idea by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and World War Z author Max Brooks, and explores “the mysteries” behind the construction of The Great Wall in China. Two 15th century British soldiers get caught up in the havoc caused by some inhuman element that »
- Adam Chitwood
“Los Angeles and Tokyo – October 30, 2014 – Adding to its commitment to establish a cultural bridge between a consortium of Japan’s leading creative companies and prominent Hollywood filmmakers and studios, All Nippon Entertainment Works (Anew) has partnered with the Hollywood feature film production company, Depth of Field and Japan’s legendary movie studio, Shochiku to develop “Ghost Train.”
The announcement of “Ghost Train” follows on the heels of previously announced Anew projects that include “Soul ReVIVER,” in association with Fields Corp., and filmmaker partners Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of Bedford Falls Prods. and a live action remake of Toei Animation’s robot anime “Gaiking, »
- Jonathan James
It's another full day at the Austin Film Festival -- are you ready? If your brain is starting to lag a little and you need some direction, here are a few promising film and panel picks to help you plan the next few hours.
Saturday Panel Picks:
Independent Filmmaking Track: The Climate of Indie Film -- Local director Kat Candler is one of the indie filmmakers on this panel geared towards aspiring creatives. Texan (and former Aff staffer) Ryan Piers Williams, Frank Hall Green and Jeffrey Brown (co-producer of No No: A Dockumentary) join Candler for this discussion, which aims to help attendees make sense of a changing industry. (Saturday, Oct. 25, 9 - 10:15 am, Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Assembly Room)
- Caitlin Moore
Back in 2009, it was announced that Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond) will direct "Heart of the Sea" survival film. Over the last 5 years, Ron Howard replaced him and cast Chris Hemsworth (Thor) to star. And now, we have the first photos from the movie. Check them out below. The story is based on an 1820 event, in which a whaling ship called the Essex was preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home. The tale was the inspiration for Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." "Heart of the Sea" co-stars Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker and Ben Whishaw as Herman Melville. It's set to hit theaters on March 13th, 2015. Photos: (click to enlarge) »
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
Barry Levinson‘s drama The Humbling, which stars Al Pacino, and Richard Lagravanese‘s musical The Last Five Years, which Jason Robert Brown adapted from his off-Broadway show — two films that had their world premieres at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival and quickly found U.S. distributors that see them as 2014 awards bait — will open the 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference on Oct. 23, the fest announced on Tuesday.
Additionally, Jon Stewart‘s feature directorial debut Rosewater, a drama based on the harrowing true story of the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, will close the fest in Texas’ capital on Oct. 30, with Stewart and Bahari — who have been working the fest circuit hard this fall — on hand for the festivities.
- Anjelica Oswald
The 2014 Austin Film Festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling” on Oct. 23, along with Richard Lagravenese’s “The Last 5 Years,” an adaptation of the Jason Robert Brown musical. Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart’s “Rosewater” to close the festival on Oct. 30.
“The Humbling,” (pictured) based a Philip Roth novel of the same name, stars Al Pacino as an aging actor who begins an affair with a much younger woman, played by Greta Gerwig. “The Last 5 Years,” which writer-director Lagravenese will present at the festival, explores a five-year relationship between an ascending novelist, played by Jeremy Jordan, and a struggling actress, played by Anna Kendrick.
Stewart wrote and directed “Rosewater,” based on Bahari’s book “Then They Came for Me” with Aimee Molloy about the Iranian journalist’s experience of as a prisoner in his native country for 118 days »
- Kevin Noonan
Why was anyone surprised that "The Equalizer" was a solid hit, opening at an estimated $35.0 million?
Tracking suggested that the Denzel Washington movie would open only in the high 20s; after all, it's a movie based on a second-tier 1980s TV action drama that no one under 50 remembers fondly, and it's competing in the marketplace with Liam Neeson's similar "A Walk Among the Tombstones."
Nonetheless, "The Equalizer" pulled off the fourth largest September opening ever and marked the 12th straight $20-million-plus opening for a Washington wide-release movie, a track record stretching back a decade.
Clearly, Washington remains, at 59, one of Hollywood's most reliable box office draws. (And like fellow Aarp-aged action hero Neeson, Washington shows no sign of slowing down.)
What is he doing right? What does he have that others don't? Here are a few things.
Consistency. The world-weary, vengeful man-of-action role that Washington plays in "Equalizer" may »
- Gary Susman
A two-time Academy Award-winner (with a further four nominations under his belt), Washington has achieved just about all there is to achieve in his glittering Hollywood career. Picking out his five best movies is a tricky job, but we've attempted to do it anyway. Read on to find out which Denzel movies we think are the absolute essentials...
Edward Zwick's American Civil War drama starred Washington as Private Silas Trip, a soldier in the first Union Army unit to be made up entirely of African-American men. Washington stole the movie from its leading man Matthew Broderick, and bagged a Supporting Actor Oscar win for his troubles. He was nominated two years prior for playing activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom, but this was the movie that »
• Bryan Cranston and Matt Damon are in very early talks to star in Zhang Yimou’s China-set movie The Great Wall. This is the second time the film has tried to go into production after a failed attempt by director Ed Zwick that was to star Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker. The latest draft of the supernatural adventure picture was written by Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity) and follows the mystery surrounding the construction of The Great Wall of China. [Deadline]
- Jake Perlman
Damon is managing a busy schedule in an attempt to find time to take the lead role in the Legendary Pictures movie.
The film will explore the mysterious origins of the historic structure. Cranston's role has not been revealed.
Legendary's Thomas Tull - who will produce the movie - has been attempting to get the feature made for several years.
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