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4 items from 2017

Tom Hardy: My Taboo character James Delaney is based on Oliver’s Bill Sykes

12 January 2017 2:53 PM, PST | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

Tom Hardy says his character James Keziah Delany in FX’s new show Taboo was based on a conversation he had with his dad about Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist. The actor says the idea came about when he and his father Edward “Chips” Hardy asked each other: “Wouldn’t it be great to take Bill Sykes and put him in a gentleman’s body?” After the pair talked about flipping the social status of the iconic Charles Dickens character, blending both the upper and tougher lower classes of London, Hardy says he went straight to his Peaky Blinders producer/creator Steven Knight to flesh...read more »

- April Neale

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We’re Feeling Lucky! Neil Patrick Harris Stars as the Archest of Archvillains in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

12 January 2017 11:30 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

In Daniel Handler’s s Lemony Snicket books, the three Baudelaire children (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) are cycled through an endless sequence of cruel horrors — baby Sunny is threatened at one point with being dropped from a roof — all concocted by their greedy relation, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris).

It’s a fiendish, funny, bustling and yet oddly impersonal narrative, as if Charles Dickens from time to time regarded Oliver Twist less as a hapless urchin than a hamster on a wheel.

Netflix’s version, which covers the first four books, preserves some of the 2004 film’s style (a blend »

- tgliatto

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Kate Mara Iraq War Hero Biopic ‘Megan Leavey’ Gets Release Date

11 January 2017 12:34 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kate Mara’s “Megan Leavey” has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Bleecker Street, which plans a June 9 release.

Bleecker Street bought the true-life story directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite from Ld Entertainment. In the film Mara portrays Leavey, a young marine corporal in the K9 unit whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.

The film also stars Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford and Common. Cowperthwaite (“Blackfish”) directed from a screenplay by Pamela Gray and the team of Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt.

Producers are Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe. The film recounts Leavey’s life following the death of her best friend to enlisting in the Marine Corps. When she is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, she identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. »

- Dave McNary

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Animated Fare Like ‘Zootopia’ and ‘Red Turtle’ Toon Into Heavy Issues

6 January 2017 8:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The maxim that good scripts are essential to making good movies is especially true in animation.  In this medium, scripts and storyboards provide blueprints for completely invented worlds, and dialogue is recorded before the animation is done.

There’s been an Oscar category for animated feature for just 15 years; and toon screenplay nominations are relatively recent. Prior to that, animated movies typically were likelier to be recognized for song. Thus far, writer-director Andrew Stanton tops the list of Oscar-nominated animation screenwriters with four to his name (including “Toy Story,” “Wall-e,” “Finding Nemo,” and “Toy Story 3”), and he could compete again this year with the Disney/Pixar billion-dollar winner “Finding Dory.”

There’s another billion-dollar baby attracting awards buzz this season, too.  Disney’s computer-animated “Zootopia” nabbed 11 Annie Award nominations (including writing) and a Golden Globe nod for animated film.  It’s also the only animated feature among AFI’s 2016 honorees. »

- Ellen Wolff

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4 items from 2017

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