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Eurimages to support 27 films including Asghar Farhadi project

3 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Council of Europe’s cinema fund to award €7,104,430.

Eurimages, the council of Europe’s fund for co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinema, has announced it will support 27 films (including a documentary and an animation) for a combined €7,104,430.

The projects selected by the Eurimages board at its 147th meeting held June 19-23 are:

The Beast in the Jungle (Netherlands, Luxembourg) - Clara Van Gool (Netherland)A Woman At War (France, Iceland) -  Benedikt ErlingssonAsghar Farhadi’s Spanish Project(France, Spain, Italy) - Asghar Farhadi (Iran - France)The Man Who Surprised Everyone (Russia, Estonia, France) - Natalya Merkulova, Alexey ChupovThe Guest (Italy, Switzerland) - Duccio ChiariniIs This What You Were Born For? (Romania, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria) - Radu JudeJade (Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland) - Sacha PolakMotherland (Lithuania, Latvia) - Tomas VengrisThe Magic Quill (Czech Republic, Slovakia) - Marek NajbrtAlice T. (Romania, Sweden) - Radu MunteanHistory of Love (Slovenia, Italy, Norway) - Sonja ProsencDogman (Italy, France) - Matteo »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Italian distributor Lucky Red reveals ambitious production plans

27 June 2017 3:35 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Distributor plots move into genre and family movies, beginning with Asghar Farhadi’s upcoming thriller.

Italian distribution company Lucky Red is planning to ramp up its production operation, with a focus on genre and family movies.

At an event held in Rome yesterday (June 26) to mark the company’s 30th anniversary, founder and CEO Andrea Occhipinti said: “Distribution will remain our core business, but we want to become one of the most important production companies in Italy.”

“Production may be a good way not to be too dependent on acquisitions, since it’s becoming harder to get the good movies. Instead a good Italian film can make a big difference at the box office”.

One of the most prestigious projects that Lucky Red is co-producing is Asghar Farhadi’s untitled Spanish-language thriller starring Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darin (pictured, top).

As Screen announced during Cannes, the $12-13m project is a French-Spanish-Italian co-production with Lucky Red »

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Lucky Red reveals plans to become 'most important production company in Italy'

27 June 2017 3:35 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Distributor plots move into genre and family movies, beginning with Asghar Farhadi’s upcoming thriller.

Italian distribution company Lucky Red is planning to ramp up its production operation, with a focus on genre and family movies.

At an event held in Rome yesterday (June 26) to mark the company’s 30th anniversary, founder and CEO Andrea Occhipinti said: “Distribution will remain our core business, but we want to become one of the most important production companies in Italy.”

“Production may be a good way not to be too dependent on acquisitions, since it’s becoming harder to get the good movies. Instead a good Italian film can make a big difference at the box office”.

One of the most prestigious projects that Lucky Red is co-producing is Asghar Farhadi’s untitled Spanish-language thriller starring Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darin (pictured, top).

As Screen announced during Cannes, the $12-13m project is a French-Spanish-Italian co-production with Lucky Red »

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Ridley Scott’s ‘All the Money in the World’ Sold to Lucky Red for Italy

26 June 2017 8:07 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome — Italy’s Lucky Red has acquired Italian rights to Ridley Scott-directed kidnap drama “All The Money in the World” from Stx in the first announced sale of the hotly anticipated kidnapping thriller about the true 1973 abduction for ransom of J. Paul Getty III.

The potentially harrowing crime drama, which is currently shooting in Rome, stars Kevin Spacey as oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the ransom demanded by Italian kidnappers for his grandson; Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the kidnapped teenager’s mother; Mark Wahlberg as the ex-cia negotiator brought on board to help negotiate; and rising star Charlie Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty III (pictured after his release) whose ear was cut off to coerce the family into paying.

In one of the standout deals of the Cannes market Stx in May took international rights to the potentially harrowing crime drama produced by Imperative Entertainment and Scott-Free »

- Nick Vivarelli

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The 25 Best Sexy Movies of the 21st Century, From ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ to ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

23 June 2017 7:06 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It’s no secret that sex sells, and movies are no exception. But while plenty of films like to show gratuitous sex, they’re not always very good. That’s a problem, since movies have the power to shape not only the cultural norms, but personal ones. And what could be more personal than sex? Sexuality is an integral part of the human experience, not some sensational or shameful ploy to sell tickets (though it doesn’t hurt).

That’s why we think it’s important to single out the very best films that also happen to be incredibly sexy, titillating, and provocative. These are not only some of our favorite films in general, but they’re films that celebrate the broad spectrum of human sexuality while telling stories as cinematic as they are personal. Some don’t have any sex scenes at all, while some are notoriously near-pornographic. When these movies do show sex it is always in service of the story, and always in order to challenge, subvert, or celebrate contemporary beliefs about sexuality.

Turn on (and get turned on) by our list of the 25 best sexy movies of the 21st century (well, so far). You know you want to.

25. “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008)

Undeniably sexy and amusing at once, Woody Allen’s 2008 Spain-set dramedy delights in pushing its various players into all sorts of romantic permutations and configurations. Anchored by Scarlett Johansson in a sneaky performance as the eponymous Cristina (pre-breakout Rebecca Hall is her best pal Vicky), the film follows a pair of friends as they meet and make lots of love with the beguiling Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who isn’t at all thrown off by the possibility of having two lovely ladies in his bed. In fact, he’s got another one to think about too, his free-spirited ex-wife (Penelope Cruz), who he just can’t get out of his head (or heart). On the surface, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is a dead sexy romp about free-wheeling love-makers (complete with plenty of naughty bits), but it’s also a film that boldly explores issues of fluidity and fidelity with an uncharacteristically easy touch. -Ke

24. “Shortbus” (2006)

With its three-person blowjob circle, non-simulated sex scenes including ejaculation, and close-up of a pee stream unleashing into a bathtub, “Shortbus” is not for everyone. It’s an ambitious film, one that attempts to have fun, be sexy, and tell a good story. If anyone could pull it off, it would be the man behind “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” John Cameron Mitchell. “Shortbus” feels as much like an ensemble comedy as a playful experiment, though the two main characters are a sex therapist who’s never had an orgasm and a retired gay sex worker experimenting with opening up his relationship. With their partners, they both begin attending a weekly artist and sex salon, each hoping inspiration will strike. Mitchell wanted to use sex in new cinematic ways, “because it’s too interesting to be left to porn.” If it’s interesting sex you want, “Shortbus” has got it. -Jd

23. “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)

The end of this film is so movingly profound that your memory of it might not be that it was all that sexy. The love between these two men, buried under their rugged cowboy exteriors, ends with what can only be described as a sense of life-defining tragedy. Yet it is those brief moments where they let themselves go and unleash their animalistic passion, which “Crouching Tiger” director Ang Lee captures in his normal visceral fashion, that add a level of eroticism and physically affection that nearly makes all the pain worth it. Ennis and Jack rotate from almost fighting, as they pull at each others’ denim-clad exterior, to moments of being naked and incredibly tender. It’s virtually every cowboy fantasy rolled up into one. That they can only be themselves in the privacy of the great outdoors makes everything that much more liberating. Watching this film in 2005 felt taboo and rebellious, which resulted in a charged atmosphere in packed mainstream cineplexes around the country. -Co

22. “In the Cut” (2003)

Jane Campion’s handle on female desire has always been one of her best attributes as a director (and she’s got a lot of them), but nothing in her filmography is as overtly sexy and emotionally challenging as her 2003 Meg Ryan-starrer “In the Cut” (and that includes “The Piano,” which has a sexiness and eroticism all its own). Our first introduction to Ryan’s character is rooted in her coming to heady terms with her own sexuality, a theme that carries over throughout the often grisly drama. Increasingly drawn to Mark Ruffalo as a moody detective looking to solve a local murder that Frannie is tangentially involved in, Ryan’s character pushes the boundaries of “acceptable” desire. It’s a theme that Campion giddily plays into with some of modern cinema’s most satisfying and profound sex scenes, many of which center on — gasp — Frannie’s own pleasure over that of Ruffalo’s character. -Ke

21. “Hustle & Flow” (2005)

Craig Brewer’s crowdpleaser about a pimp dreaming of music fame is anchored by strong performances from Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, and Taryn Manning. Howard plays Djay, while Henson and Manning are Shug and Nola, two of his girls. Hot-tempered and passionate, Djay begins making tracks with his friend Key (Anthony Anderson), and discovers he has a gift for lyrics. The catchy original soundtrack helps sell the story, as Djay’s songs seem to actually have a chance at getting radio play. While the strip club setting provides ample shots of semi-nude women, Djay and Shug’s sweet romance gives the film its emotional core and shows a softer side to Djay (and his temper). Their undeniable chemistry leads the previously timid Shug to throw down a sexy hook, her raspy croon on “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” making Henson’s star power glaringly obvious. -Jd

20. “Beyond the Lights” (2014)

Chemistry is the name of the game in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s freight-train fast music industry romance, which pairs up rising starlet Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pure charm) alongside pre-“Birth of a Nation” Nate Parker. The pair exhibit major fireworks from the start, imagining Mbatha-Raw as hot new pop star Noni Jean, a big talent who is dangerously close to burning out and fading away, before she falls into the protective arms Parker’s do-gooder cop, Kaz Nicol. Prince-Bythewood’s film cannily sneaks in big questions about fame and the entertainment industry, along with issues regarding what’s actually sexy (Noni Jean is frequently kitted out in teensy costumes that make record execs happy, while diminishing her own humanity with every stitch), deep issues that are lovingly cradled by full-scale love story. When the pair finally give into their obvious attraction, “Beyond the Lights” pulls out the big guns, all gauzy love scenes and one particularly hot trip to Mexico, but the film maintains its sensuality by remembering that nothing is so sexy as mutual respect and admiration. -Ke

19. “In the Mood for Love” (2000)

Every Wong Kar-wai movie contains a kind of visual sensuality in every frame, but “In the Mood for Love” goes one step further — its slow-burning romance between a pair of would-be lovers who live across the hall from each other in sixties-era Hong Kong is rich with unobtainable desire. Much is left unsaid and unachieved about the fantasy of an extramarital affair shared by Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), but the hints of attraction between them, unfolding in small gestures and passing glances, imbues each scene with the intensity of emotions specific to a period of repression. It’s a grand tragedy of issed opportunities framed by erotic implications. —Eric Kohn

18. “Ex Machina” (2014)

If you like high-tech voyeurism and intellectual sparring, you might find Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi thriller unearthing some hidden desires. An affable young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), is invited to the secluded jungle home of the CEO of his company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac) to participate in a top-secret experiment. Nathan wants to know if the cyborg he has been developing, Ava (Alicia Vikander) can convince Caleb that she has real consciousness. The tension is ripe between Nathan and Caleb as each attempts to alternately impress and control the other, but it is Caleb’s obsession with saving Ava that raises questions about the hero myth. Ava is the embodiment of male fantasy, trapped within a body invented to please and serve. As the two men fight over who best understands her mind, it turns out Ava was pulling the strings all along. There’s nothing sexier than a woman in charge. -Jd

17. “Quills” (2000)

It’s easy enough to get sucked into “Quills” based on the promise of Joaquin Phoenix playing an earnest (and incredibly sexy) young priest tempted by his attraction to a chambermaid. But somehow, much like Kate Winslet’s Madeline, we fall under the spell of the charismatic Geoffrey Rush, who plays his role as the Marquis de Sade with a deliciously dirty panache befitting the notorious French writer. The Marquis’ libertine ways run counter to the no-nonsense Royer-Collard (Michael Caine), who takes over the asylum with the intention of stifling the writer’s creative output. But even his own wife is no match for the words of the Marquis, which ooze both sensuality and liberty. Before long, any initial apprehension to the Marquis de Sade (he is a dirty old man, after all) is fully given over to the hope that his debauchery will win out, and that his desire, as well as that of Madeline and Coulmier (Phoenix) will be fully fulfilled — even though we know this is impossible. -Jr

16. “A Bigger Splash” (2015)

Watching “A Bigger Splash” feels like observing a sizzling chess game of attraction. Luca Guadagnino sticks Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Dakota Johnson on the world’s most gorgeous island and lets the sparks fly. Swinton plays a world-famous rock singer vacationing with her lover, a chiseled Schoenaerts who is practically a walking and talking sculpture of male beauty. Their time together is disrupted by the arrival of the rocker’s former lover and his daughter, a promiscuous young 22-year-old. Each character is so ready to succumb to sexual desire and so pent up with sexual attraction that Guadagnino creates the ultimate emotional orgy. The fun is in seeing how each person uses their sexuality to outsmart the next. You’ll be seduced from the first frame to the last. It feels like you’re watching each actor for the very first time. -Zs

On the next page: wild adventures in Florida, some of the century’s most jaw-dropping pairings, and at least one murder. 

Related storiesAbdellatif Kechiche is Auctioning Off 'Blue is the Warmest Color' Palme d'Or to Finance New FilmNetflix's New Ratings System Is a Terrible Idea13 Essential Lgbt Indies From the Post-'Brokeback Mountain' Era »

- Kate Erbland, Jude Dry, Eric Kohn, Zack Sharf and Jamie Righetti

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Inside the Investigation of the Man Who Murdered Gianni Versace and 4 Others: It Was 'Almost Execution-Style’

23 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Twenty years after serial killer Andrew Cunanan’s cross-country murder spree left five dead, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, a key question still lingers for investigators and the victims’ families: Why?

Even now, according to experts People spoke to on the anniversary of Cunanan’s slayings, it’s still not clear what drove the 27-year-old hustler to travel across the country killing people he knew and others he did not.

“Investigators really didn’t have what they felt was a concrete motive,” says John Kelly, a criminal profiler and serial killer expert.

A case that has already generated years of »

- KC Baker

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First images from The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

23 June 2017 2:45 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Entertainment Weekly has debuted a batch of first-look images from The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the upcoming second season of FX’s American Crime Story, which features Edgar Ramirez as the titular fashion designer, Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella, Ricky Martin as Antonio D’Amico, and Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan; check them out here…

See Also: American Crime Story shuffles The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Katrina

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is currently in production and will premiere on FX in 2018. »

- Amie Cranswick

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Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz & the 'Versace: American Crime Story' Cast Look Fabulous in Costume -- See Pics!

22 June 2017 9:17 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

The first look at the star-studded cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story in costume was unveiled this week -- and boy are we ready for Ryan Murphy's latest anthology series!

Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, Darren Criss and Ricky Martin perfectly embody their characters for the second season of the hit FX series and look absolutely fabulous while doing it.

Watch: Penelope Cruz Channels Donatella Versace While Filming 'American Crime Story »

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American Horror Story’s Finn Witttrock joins The Assassination of Gianni Versace

22 June 2017 5:50 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Finn Wittrock has moved over from American Horror Story to the next season of American Crime Story.

The new anthology season, entitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace, is again being orchestrated by one Ryan Murphy who worked with Wittrock on three seasons of his other FX show, American Horror Story.

Wittrock will be playing Jeff Trail, the friend and first victim of the serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan is being played by Darren Criss of Glee fame.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace will follow the titular designer (played by Edgar Ramirez) and the man that would kill him, with the series cutting backwards and forwards in time between the murder and earlier points of the two men’s lives.

Penelope Cruz is also on board as Gianni’s sister Donatella, with Ricky Martin taking on the role of Gianni’s long time lover Antonio D’Amico.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace will premiere in early 2018 on FX. »

- Samuel Brace

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How Donatella Versace Stepped Up to Run Her Brother's Fashion Empire After He Was Murdered by a Serial Killer

22 June 2017 3:04 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

The 1997 murder of designer Gianni Versace was so shocking for his family that, years later, they were “still in pieces,” a family friend tells People.

“I met them several years and … it took several years for the pieces to settle and for the family to deal with the reality of what had happened — both personally and professionally,” the friend says.

Versace, 50, was returning home to his Miami mansion on the morning of July 15, 1997, when he encountered 27-year-old Andrew Cunanan, who had already killed at least four other people.

What happened between them is still unclear, but Cunanan almost immediately opened fire on Versace, »

- Adam Carlson and Liz McNeil

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The One Change Donatella Versace Wanted for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

22 June 2017 12:43 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Unlike some of the cast in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Penélope Cruz had a long and direct conversation with Donatella Versace before taking on playing her in FX's upcoming series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. "I did have one conversation that was between she and I," Cruz told Entertainment Weekly in the new cover story about the series. "I don't want to say the details, but it was a long conversation." The Oscar winner, who has a history with the Versace fashion house, spoke to Donatella before officially signing on for the series. "That was very important to me. I think she knows that the way I'm playing her, that I truly love »

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The Day Gianni Versace Died: Why Did a Serial Killer Target the Fashion Icon Outside His Miami Mansion?

22 June 2017 6:00 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Nearly 20 years after designer Gianni Versace was shot to death outside his Miami mansion, it’s still unclear what made him the target of serial killer Andrew Cunanan — who had already killed at least four other people in a spree that spanned several states, from Minneapolis to Florida.

Days after Cunanan, 27, took Versace’s life with two gunshots, he took his own on a local houseboat as authorities closed in. But key questions lingered about his crimes, as there did not appear to be any consistent m.o. or connection among his victims.

“He was killed almost instantly,” Miami crime scene investigations technician Berta Valdez, »

- Steve Helling

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‘American Crime Story: Versace’ photos land online

22 June 2017 12:12 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Some new America Crime Story Versace photos have arrived online. The brand new Showtime series, which arrives on our screens in early 2018, is actually titled The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and stars the likes of Edgar Ramirez as the famous fashion designer, Penelope Cruz as his daughter Donatella, Ricky Martin as Versace’s lover Antonio D’Amico, and Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

The Verscace photos come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, who have debuted the shots on the cover of their new issue.

American Crime Story Versace photos land online American Crime Story Versace photos land online courtesy of EW.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is the follow-up to the hugely successful, massively popular The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which premiered in 2016. That series garner a mass of awards nominations and aired on the BBC in the UK, the network which we assumed Versace will debut on sometime next year.

Ryan Murphy, Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson are executive producers on the new series, and one of its stars, Penelope Cruz, spoke to EW about filming in Versace’s former home, Casa Casuarina.

“It was very moving, sometimes disturbing,” said Cruz. “We all felt a very powerful energy. It just made me have more passion to tell this story.”

Related: Penelope Cruz will play Donatella Versace in America Crime Story series

Murphy apparently pitched the Versace story before ‘O.J.’ aired.

“I kept going back to Versace because it was different from O.J. tonally,” Murphy told the magazine. “It was a manhunt and it takes place all over the country.” 

“The more I had read about it, the more I was startled by the fact that Cunanan really was only allowed to get away with it because of homophobia,” added Murphy. “There was this great apathy about it, and I think part of that was because it seemed like gay people were disposable in our culture.”

More on the new series as we get it. Check out the gallery of American Crime Story Versace photos below.

The post ‘American Crime Story: Versace’ photos land online appeared first on The Hollywood News. »

- Paul Heath

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Everything We Know About American Crime Story Season 2

21 June 2017 4:45 PM, PDT | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

Image Source: Getty / Stringer Season one of American Crime Story swept the Emmys, and creator Ryan Murphy's brilliant idea for season two, titled American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, will likely be just as affecting. It was originally slated to be season three, preceded by a season focusing on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina starring Dennis Quaid and Annette Bening, but due to production schedules, the two have been swapped. Season two will be here before you know it, so let's take a look at all the information released about the show so far. The Story Tom Rob Smith wrote the script for the show, which centers on the 1997 murder of Donatella Versace's brother, designer Gianni Versace (pictured above). After returning from a morning walk, the 50-year-old was shot twice on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan and died from his wounds. Cunanan wasn't caught by police but killed himself nine days later (with the same gun, no less) while on a houseboat in Miami. The Cast Image Source: Getty / Stuart C. Wilson Originally, American Horror Story alum Lady Gaga was in talks to play Donatella, but the role eventually went to Penélope Cruz (who definitely looks the part). She's joined by Glee actor Darren Criss (as Andrew Cunanan), Edgar Ramirez (as Gianni), and Ricky Martin (as Gianni's partner, Antonio D'Amico). Most recently, Finn Wittrock joined the cast as Jeff Trail, the former friend and first victim of Andrew Cunanan. The First Look In June, Entertainment Weekly unveiled their new cover story, which offered a first peek inside the new season. In addition to the stunning cover shot, there are a handful of additional images on the inside. Creator Ryan Murphy also revealed his inspiration behind the project: "The more I had read about [Versace's murder], the more I was startled by the fact that Cunanan really was only allowed to get away with it because of homophobia. There was this great apathy about it, and I think part of that was because it seemed like gay people were disposable in our culture." The Premiere Date An exact date hasn't been nailed down yet, but if all goes according to plan, it will air sometime in early 2018. The first season hit FX on Feb. 2, 2016, so we wouldn't be surprised if season two came out around the same time. »

- Quinn Keaney

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First Look At Full Cast of American Crime Story: Versace

21 June 2017 3:46 PM, PDT | ScreenRant.com | See recent Screen Rant news »

Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz, and Darren Criss all appear in new photos touting the full cast of American Crime Story: Versace. »

- Becky Fuller

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TVLine Items: Ahs Vet to Crime Story, Lion King Spinoff Adds Scar and More

21 June 2017 12:25 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Ryan Murphy has tapped another member of his acting troupe for the next season of American Crime Story.

Frequent American Horror Story cast member Finn Wittrock will co-star in the Assassination of Gianni Versace installment as serial killer Andrew Cunanan’s friend (and first victim) Jeff Trail, EW.com reports.

RelatedAmerican Crime Story Shuffle: Versace to Air Next, as Katrina Start Is Delayed

Versace — slated to premiere in early 2018 — centers on the July 1997 murder of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace (The Bourne Ultimatum‘s Édgar Ramirez) on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by Cunanan (Glee‘s Darren Criss »

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Finn Wittrock Joins ‘Versace: American Crime Story’

21 June 2017 11:28 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Finn Wittrock is joining the cast of FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” The “La La Land” actor will play Jeff Trail, who is friends with serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) and becomes his first victim. Wittrock and “Versace” executive producer Ryan Murphy have previously worked together on “American Horror Story,” with Wittrock appearing on the three most recent seasons of that FX anthology series. Also Read: Colton Haynes Joins 'American Horror Story' for Season 7 The 10-episode season of “Versace” centers on the murder of Gianni Versace by Cunanan. It also stars Edgar Ramirez »

- Ryan Gajewski

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See Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin in ‘Versace: American Crime Story’ Pics (Photos)

21 June 2017 9:09 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Fans can now get a peek at Edgar Ramirez, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz in first-look photos from “Versace: American Crime Story.” The photos, obtained exclusively by Entertainment Weekly, show Ramirez as Gianni Versace, Cruz as Donatella Versace, Martin as Versace’s lover Antonio D’Amico and Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are the executive producers on the highly anticipated “Versace: American Crime Story,” which is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions. Production of “Versace” began in April, with the series set to debut in early 2018. Also Read: 'Versace: »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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More Cannes Winners: Diane Kruger to Become the New Isabelle Huppert + Best Director Coppola Oscar Chances?

20 June 2017 8:05 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'In the Fade' with Diane Kruger: Fatih Akin's German-language Avenging Woman drama may give its star the chance to become next awards season Isabelle Huppert. Diane Kruger: 2017–2018 awards season's Isabelle Huppert? The 2003 Cannes Film Festival's Female Revelation Chopard Trophy winner, Diane Kruger was Cannes' 2017 Best Actress winner for Fatih Akin's In the Fade / Aus dem Nichts. If Akin's German drama finds a U.S. distributor before the end of the year, Kruger could theoretically become the Isabelle Huppert of the 2017–2018 awards season – that is, in case the former does become a U.S. critics favorite while we stretch things a bit regarding the Kruger-Huppert commonalities. Just a bit, as both are European-born Best Actress Cannes winners who have been around for a while (in Huppert's case, for quite a while). Perhaps most importantly, like Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle, Kruger plays a woman out for revenge in In the Fade. Diane Kruger-Isabelle Huppert 'differences' There is, however, one key difference between the two characters: in Elle, Huppert wants to avenge her own rape; in In the Fade, Kruger wants to avenge the death of her Turkish husband (Numan Acar) and their son (Rafael Santana) at the hands of white supremacist terrorists. Another key difference, this time about the Kruger-Huppert Cannes Film Festival connection: although Isabelle Huppert became a U.S. critics favorite – and later a Best Actress Oscar nominee – for her performance in Elle, her (unanimous) Best Actress Cannes win was for another movie, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher / La pianiste back in 2001. At that time, Huppert also became a U.S. critics favorite (winning Best Actress honors in San Diego and San Francisco; a runner-up in Los Angeles and New York), but, perhaps because of the psychological drama's sexually charged nature, she failed to receive a matching Oscar nod. Last year's Cannes Best Actress, by the way, was Jaclyn Jose for Brillante Mendoza's Philippine drama Ma' Rosa. Huppert had been in contention as well, as Elle was in the running for the Palme d'Or. Diane Kruger Best Actress Oscar nomination chances? A Best Actress nomination for Diane Kruger at the German Academy Awards (a.k.a. Lolas) – for her first German-language starring role – is all but guaranteed. Curiously, that would be her first. As for a Best Actress Oscar nod, that's less certain. For starters, unlike the mostly well-reviewed Elle, In the Fade has sharply divided critics. The Hollywood Reporter, for one, summarized Akin's film as a “thriller made riveting by an emotional performance from Diane Kruger,” while The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it a “mediocre revenge drama” with “a not particularly good” star turn. Besides, since the year 2000 just one “individual” Best Actress Cannes winner has gone on to receive an Oscar nomination for the same performance: Rooney Mara*, who, though one of the two leads in Todd Haynes' Carol (2011), was shortlisted in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category so as not to compete with her co-star and eventual Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett. Then there's the special case of Penélope Cruz; the 2006 Best Actress Oscar nominee – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – was a Cannes winner as part of that family comedy-drama ensemble†. And finally, despite their Cannes Best Actress win for performances in (at least partly) English-language films, no less than seven other actresses have failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards this century. Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Maggie Cheung, Clean (2004). Hanna Laslo, Free Zone (2005). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (2009). Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (2010). Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (2011). Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars (2014). Coincidentally, that same year Moore starred in Still Alice, which eventually earned her the Best Actress Oscar. Warner Bros. will be distributing In the Fade in Germany later this year. Regarding the Oscars, whether late in 2017 or late in 2018, seems like it would be helpful if Diane Kruger got a hold of Isabelle Huppert's – and/or Marion Cotillard's and Jean Dujardin's – U.S.-based awards season publicists. * Rooney Mara shared the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award with Emmanuelle Bercot for My King / Mon roi. † Also in the Cannes-winning Volver ensemble: Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Chus Lampreave, and Yohana Cobo. 'The Beguiled' trailer: Colin Farrell cast in the old Clint Eastwood role in Sofia Coppola's readaptation of Civil War-set, lust & circumstance drama. Sofia Coppola ends Cannes female drought About 13 years ago, Sofia Coppola became the first American woman to be shortlisted for the Best Director Academy Award – for the Tokyo-set drama Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Coppola eventually lost in that category to Peter Jackson for the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but she did take home that year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar statuette. There haven't been any other Oscar nominations since, but her father-daughter drama Somewhere, toplining Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, was the controversial Golden Lion winner at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. This year, Coppola has become only the second woman to win the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award – for The Beguiled, an American Civil War-set drama based on Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil). With shades of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus, The Beguiled follows a wounded Union soldier as he finds refuge at a girls' boarding school in Virginia. Sexual tension and assorted forms of pathological behavior ensue. Tenuous Cannes-Oscar Best Director connection From 2000 to 2016, 20 filmmakers† have taken home the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award. Of these, only four have gone on to receive matching Best Director Oscar nominations – but no wins: David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. (2001). Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2006). Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher (2014). Four other Cannes Best Director winners were bypassed by the Academy even though their movies featured – at least a sizable chunk of – English-language dialogue: Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There§ (2001). Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002). Gus Van Sant, Elephant (2004). Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (2011). In other words, a Best Director Cannes Film Festival win is no guarantee of a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Ultimately, Sofia Coppola's chances of an Oscar nod in the Best Director category depend on how well The Beguiled is received among Los Angeles and New York film circles, and how commercially successful – for an “arthouse movie” – it turns out to be. † During that period, there were three Cannes Film Festival Best Director ties: 2001: Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There§ & David Lynch for Mulholland Dr. 2002: Im Kwon-taek for Painted Fire & Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love. 2016: Cristian Mungiu for Graduation & Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Both films opened in the U.S. in spring 2017 and may thus be eligible for the upcoming awards season. § Ethan Coen co-directed The Man Who Wasn't There, but didn't receive credit in that capacity. 'The Beguiled' with Nicole Kidman. The Best Actress Oscar winner ('The Hours,' 2002) had two movies in the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition; the other one was 'The Killing of the Secret Deer,' also with Colin Farrell. Moreover, Kidman was the recipient of Cannes' special 70th Anniversary Prize. 'Sly' & 'elegant' Also adapted by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled will be distributed in the U.S. by Oscar veteran Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Danish Girl). The film has generally received positive notices – e.g., “sly” and “elegant” in the words of Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek – and could well become a strong awards season contender in various categories. The cast includes The Killing of a Sacred Deer actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, in addition to Kirsten Dunst (the star of Coppola's Marie Antoinette), Somewhere actress Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Angourie Rice, and Emma Howard. As an aside, Cullinan's novel also served as the basis for Don Siegel's The Beguiled (1971), a Southern Gothic effort adapted by Irene Kamp and former Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz. In the cast of what turned out to be a major box office flop: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and Jo Ann Harris. Women directors at Cannes & the Oscars For the record, Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva was the Cannes Film Festival's first Best Director winner, for The Story of the Flaming Years back in 1961. The only woman to have directed a Palme d'Or winner is Jane Campion, for The Piano (1993). Early in 1994, Campion became the second woman to be shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Director category. The first one was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976). 'A Gentle Night' & 'Montparnasse Bienvenue' Qiu Yang's short film Palme d'Or winner A Gentle Night should be automatically eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards. But competition, as usual, will be fierce. In the last decade, the only short film Palme d'Or winner to have received an Oscar nomination is Juanjo Giménez Peña's Timecode (2016), in the Best Live Action Short Film category. This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »

- Steph Mont.

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American Crime Story shuffles The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Katrina

15 June 2017 9:55 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

FX has announced that it is shuffling its schedule for the next two seasons of American Crime Story, with The Assassination of Gianni Versace now set to premiere before Katrina.

Production is now underway on Versace, with a cast that includes Edgar Ramirez as celebrated fashion designer Gianni Versace, Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan, Ricky Martin as Gianni’s partner Antonio D’Amico, and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.

Katrina – which will focus on the aftermath of the hurricane that decimated New Orleans in 2005 – will star Annette Bening as Louisana Governor Kathleen Blanco, Matthew Broderick as Fema Director Michael D. Brown and Dennis Quad as President George W. Bush.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace will premiere in early 2018, around the same time that Katrina will begin shooting. »

- Gary Collinson

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