1-20 of 21 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Peter Horton may have launched his Hollywood career as an actor, but his real passion is for writing and directing. And he’s never prouder of any project than NBC’s “American Odyssey” (premieres April 5th), on which he serves as co-creator/writer (along with Adam Armus and Kay Foster) and director.
Horton talked to Variety about the challenges of wearing multiple hats — as well as filming in Morocco. “We had great fun riding camels,” he says. “When they stand up, that’s a thrill!”
How did you come up with the idea for “American Odyssey”?
My writing partners, Adam, Kay and I, had been working on a pilot for NBC that didn’t work. We had kind of bombed it. We were trying to figure out what to do next, and a producer came to us and suggested a modern take on the Odyssey. We didn’t want to »
- Debra Birnbaum
Ok, so we all know that movie logic increases the median attractiveness of everybody on screen by at least 50%, and we accept it. But what happens when an actor is just too attractive for suspension of disbelief to work in a particular role?
Mae Whitman being cast as the eponymous "designated ugly fat friend" in this weekend's The Duff is a fine example. Thankfully the film (which is kind of great, by the way) does take pains to emphasise that even perfectly attractive people can be the Duff in their friendship group, because Duff is a state of mind. Or something.
Digital Spy takes a look back at seven more actors who were too attractive for the part, most of whom still got cast anyway.
Last year, mere months after Four Weddings celebrated its 20th birthday, Hugh Grant dropped the bombshell that nobody »
Legendary has assembled its final shooting cast for the forthcoming historical epic The Great Wall, which promises to be the largest movie production ever to shoot entirely within China. Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe and Game Of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal are all locked in to star alongside a raft of Chinese actors attached to smaller supporting roles.
The Great Wall hails from Zhang Yimou, notable for his standout works House Of Flying Daggers and Hero, who will employ a range of old and new faces for the title. In addition to its leading English-speaking trio, Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Lin Gengxin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, Huang Xuan and Wang Junkai are set to appear. Newbies Yu Xintian and Liu Qiong will similarly fall in line for a tale of mythic proportions.
The film takes place in 15th century China and revolves around the formation of the titular wall, »
- Gem Seddon
If you cast your mind back to last September, you might recall that Matt Damon was considering starring in China-set epic The Great Wall. The film, which has had some development difficulties, has now caught a break as Damon is on board alongside Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal, Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Lin Gengxin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, Huang Xuan and Wang Junkai. Zhang Yimou is directing this one, which finds soldiers in 15th century China searching for gunpowder and discovering much more. But though they initially think that the wall, still under construction, is the most amazing thing they’ll encounter, that’s only the start of it – as the structure is being put in place not to just keep out invaders, but also mystical creatures. Legendary boss Thomas Tull conceived the initial idea as part of a plan to push into global co-productions with his Legendary East arm. »
Notable Chinese actors Andy Lau, Jing Tian, Zhang Hanyu, Eddie Peng, Lu Han, Lin Gengxin, Zheng Kai, Chen Xuedong, Huang Xuan and Wang Junkai will make up the rest of the cast for the production, which is being positioned as the largest film ever to shoot entirely in China for global distribution.
Newcomers Yu Xintian and Liu Qiong will play supporting roles in the film that’s set in 15th century China and revolves around soldiers in search of gunpowder who happen upon the construction of the massive wall, and learn that its hurried construction isn’t just to keep out the Mongols, but mystical creatures.
- Marc Graser
After profiling "thirtysomething" creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, "X-Files" creator Chris Carter and others, the AOL original series "Inspired" has turned its attention to the Farrelly Brothers. As co-directors of such classics as "Dumb and Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary," Peter and Bobby Farrelly rank among the most prolific and enduring comedy filmmakers around. More recently, they've been behind remakes of "The Heartbreak Kid" and "The Three Stooges," as well as the sequel "Dumb and Dumber To." In the upcoming episode of "Inspired," the writing-directing team explains how after nine years of writing without ever getting anything produced, they were able to write and direct one of the most successful and beloved comedies in history, "Dumb and Dumber," and helped make Jim Carrey one of the biggest stars in film. Check out two exclusive clips of the »
- David Canfield
Now that the busy winter fest schedule of Sundance, Rotterdam and the Berlinale has concluded, we’ve now got our eyes on the likes of True/False and SXSW. While, True/False does not specialize in attention grabbing world premieres, it does provide a late winter haven for cream of the crop non-fiction fare from all the previously mentioned fests and a selection of overlooked genre blending films presented in a down home setting. This year will mark my first trip to the Columbia, Missouri based fest, where I hope to catch a little of everything, from their hush-hush secret screenings, to selections from their Neither/Nor series, this year featuring chimeric Polish cinema of decades past, to a spotlight of Adam Curtis’s incisive oeuvre. But truth be told, it is SXSW, with its slew of high profile world premieres being announced, such as Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs »
- Jordan M. Smith
By winning the Best Cinematography Oscar for a second year in a row, "Birdman" director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has joined a truly elite club whose ranks haven't been breached in nearly two decades. Only four other cinematographers have won the prize in two consecutive years. The last time it happened was in 1994 and 1995, when John Toll won for Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" respectively. Before that you have to go all the way back to the late '40s, when Winton Hoch won in 1948 (Victor Fleming's "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman) and 1949 (John Ford's western "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"). Both victories came in the color category, as the Academy awarded prizes separately for black-and-white and color photography from 1939 to 1956. Leon Shamroy also won back-to-back color cinematography Oscars, for Henry King's 1944 Woodrow Wilson biopic "Wilson" and John M. Stahl »
- Kristopher Tapley
Between The Grand Budapest Hotel, A Most Wanted Man and cult action favorite John Wick, last year proved to be an excellent twelve months for veteran actor Willem Dafoe, and going off of the star’s recent streak, 2015 looks set to be no different. With parts in My Hindu Friend not to mention voicework on Pixar sequel Finding Dory already in the pipeline, Dafoe has boarded Zhang Yimou’s upcoming mercenary thriller The Great Wall in an unspecified role.
That’s according to the Hollywood Reporter, who brought news of the casting late last night. As things stand, Dafoe will now star opposite Matt Damon, who joined the project last year to fill the boots of a soldier tasked with bringing gunpowder back to Europe. However, all is now what it seems when the character and his squadron are ambushed by a group of foul, mythical beasts, leaving only Damon »
- Michael Briers
It's been a few years since we've heard anything about The Great Wall, so let me bring you up to speed. The story revolves around that of a group of mercenaries who are traveling to China in an effort to bring gunpowder to Europe. Once there, they come across construction of The Great Wall and before you know it are under attack by mystical beasts. The film was originally written to be directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Glory) and star Henry Cavill. Zwick eventually »
- Sean Wist
Despite the backing of Legendary boss Thomas Tull, who co-created the basic idea and intends it to help his business in China and beyond, The Great Wall hasn’t exactly been the easiest film to develop. It appears things are running a little more smoothly now, as Willem Dafoe has joined the cast, and will co-star with Matt Damon. And with The Hollywood Reporter’s news on the casting comes a few more details about the film, which will see Dafoe and Damon as part of a group of mercenaries in an unspecified historical period travelling to China in order to bring back gunpowder. A nasty encounter with some mystical beasts leaves all but the two men dead, and caught in a war between a warrior clan and the creatures.Zhang Yimou is set to direct the film, for which World War Z novelist Max Brooks helped flesh out the story, »
Here at Shadowlocked, we're fans of crowd-funding projects, as well as anything awesome. And few things say 'just plain awesome' as well as 'red panda samurai comic book'. It's even written by J.S. Skye, who shares his name with one of the best characters on Marvel's Agents of Shield. This project is almost a perfect example of The Lego Movie's song Everything is Awesome.
(Okay, technically samurai warriors had a strange code of honour which seemed to incorporate little regard for human life; the glorification of which hamstrings Ed Zwick's otherwise excellent film The Last Samurai. But let's not quibble. It's a red panda we're talking about. There's no way he's not the hero.)
Edward Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice," starring Tobey Maguire as chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer, will finally be released on September 18, 2015. Indie distributor Bleecker Street acquired the well-reviewed film after its Toronto 2014 premiere. This dramatic rendering of Fischer's 1972 face-off against Russian rival Boris Spassky co-stars Peter Sarsgaard, Liev Schreiber, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Produced by Zwick, Maguire and Gail Katz, "Pawn Sacrifice" was written by celebrated "Locke" scribe and "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight. Meanwhile, Bleecker will release its hot Sundance pickup "I'll See You in My Dreams," starring Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott as 70ish leads, on May 15, 2015. Co-starring Malin Akerman, June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place, the winter-years drama follows Danner, who finally gets to play the lead, as a lonely widow who rediscovers her lust for life. The film, which had a standing ovation in Park »
- Ryan Lattanzio
A couple of key new release date announcements have taken place today.
Universal has set an October 9th release date for Danny Boyle's currently filming Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender as the late Apple mogul and Seth Rogen as co-founder Steve Wozniak. Aaron Sorkin penned the script.
Relativity has set an October 30th U.S. release date for "Autobahn," the car chase thriller starring Nicholas Hoult as a man scheming to pull off a drug heist for an eccentric gangster (Ben Kingsley) to pay for the medical emergency involving his girlfriend (Felicity Jones). Anthony Hopkins plays an evil drug lord menacing the girl.
Finally, Bleecker Street has set two release dates for films it has acquired. Edward Zwick's chess drama "Pawn Sacrifice" will open September 18th, whilst the Brett Haley-directed drama "I'll See You In My Dreams" will score a May 15th release. »
- Garth Franklin
The award will be presented at the 51st annual Cas Awards on Feb. 14 at the Millennium-Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
“For nearly three decades he has made his mark on cinema,” said Cas president David Fluhr. “From ‘Slacker’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’ to the ‘Before’ series to this year’s groundbreaking film ‘Boyhood,’ he has entertained and surprised us with his vision as a storyteller and filmmaker. As a director, writer and producer, he has shown us that a lot can happen in one day or 12 years. Rick embodies the word ‘filmmaker,’ and we are honored to present him with the Cas Filmmaker Award.”
- Dave McNary
Though the Bravermans love them some baseball, "Parenthood" never had a regular sports component like producer Jason Katims' previous NBC drama, "Friday Night Lights." Perhaps to make up for this, "Parenthood" fans added a competitive aspect to their viewing: trying to outdo their fellow fans over how much a given episode made them cry. It was really something to witness these past six seasons, as comments and tweets and messages would fill up the internet the night and morning after each new episode aired: fans boasting that, truly, their sobbing at Kristina's cancer, or sniffles over Max's struggles to fit in at school, or their weeping over Amber's weeping, was the most possible of anyone watching. Not even "Fnl" — that beautiful, ruthless tear-jerking machine — ever made its audience quite as intent on announcing the state of their tear ducts. While I never felt that competitive spirit myself, I »
- Alan Sepinwall
Recently launched distributor Bleecker Street and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have reached a multi-year output deal.
Uphe will handle all marketing, sales and distribution services for the Blu-ray, DVD, Electronic Sell-through and Video-on-Demand platforms of Bleecker Street films in the U.S.
The announcement was made Thursday, the first day of the Sundance Film Festival, by Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen and Eddie Cunningham, president of Uphe.
The deal will begin with Bleecker Street’s “Danny Collins,” starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, and Christopher Plummer, which opens March 20; followed by Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic” with Viggo Mortensen; “Pawn Sacrifice,” directed by Edward Zwick with Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber; and Jay Roach’s “Trumbo,” starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane and Helen Mirren.
Bleecker Street acquired the domestic rights to “Pawn Sacrifice,” about the 1972 iconic Fischer-Spassky match in Iceland, at the Toronto Film Festival in September. It »
- Dave McNary
Elevation Pictures will distribute the Bleecker Street slate in Canada, the company heads announced on Tuesday (January 20).
“They know how to reach Canadian film-goers and we’re really proud to be partnering with them on our upcoming films.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew Karpen and the incredible team at Bleecker Street,” said May and Segal. “We are excited about their initial slate and know that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Independent distributor Bleecker Street’s CEO Andrew Karpen and Elevation Pictures co-presidents Laurie May and Noah Segal have announced a multi-year distribution deal across Canada for Bleecker Street’s titles. Elevation will handle all marketing, sales and distribution services. First up on the docket is Bleecker Street's as-yet-unseen "Danny Collins," starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer, which opens in select cities on March 20. Following "Danny Collins," Elevation and Bleecker Street will partner on Edward Zwick's long-awaited Bobby Fischer biopic "Pawn Sacrifice," which Bleecker acquired after its 2014 Toronto Film Festival premiere; it stars Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard, Liev Schreiber, and Michael Stuhlbarg. Bleecker Street was founded in 2014 by Andrew Karpen; Elevation Pictures has been distributing films in Canada under founder Laurie May, alongside financier »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Knight's also the creator of Netflix Brit import "Peaky Blinders," a seedily atmospheric turn-of-the-century look at gangster life. (Our review here.) Charismatic tar Cillian Murphy used to be able to walk around in New York unrecognized but can't do it anymore. One obsessed fan is Snoop Dog, who Knight recently took out in London. "He told me how he related to his experience with gang culture," he says. "It's been one of those things that's gone off like a rocket. He says it's going down so well with black people that they are getting into the way of dressing. The same thing happened here on the East End, people dressed like Peaky, wearing caps." Knight wrote Bleecker Street Media's upcoming Ed Zwick chess thriller "Pawn Sacrifice," starring Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer and Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky, which played well at Toronto. He's writing the treatment for the sequel »
- Anne Thompson
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