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More than two years ago, it was reported that Sacha Baron Cohen exited the Untitled Freddie Mercury Biopic over a 'creative differences' dispute with the band. It was nearly a year later when reports began to swirl around Ben Whishaw taking on the lead role as the Queen frontman, with Dexter Fletcher set to direct. There hasn't been much movement on the project since then, but it is now being reported that Queen manager Jim Beach and the band have come to an agreement with Sacha Baron Cohen.
A biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has been in the works for many, many years, and throughout most of that time, Sacha Baron Cohen was to be the man to bring Mercury to life onscreen. He sure looked the part, and few doubted he could bring the goods in the dramatic department. But back in 2013, Cohen finally exited the project over creative differences with the remaining Queen band members, who wanted the film to be a more family-friendly movie instead of Cohen’s envisioned R-rated, unflinching look at Mercury’s life. [caption id="attachment_102540" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via Paramount Pictures[/caption] But it appears that the Freddie Mercury movie has new life, and Cohen is back in the fold. Queen’s manager Jim Beach revealed a major breakthrough at the Artist & Management Awards (via The Playlist) Thursday night: "An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, »
- Adam Chitwood
The saga of the long developing Freddie Mercury biopic is as operatic as "Bohemian Rhapsody." Once promisingly slated to star Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor bailed from the movie after he couldn't come to an agreement with the surviving members of Queen over the tone of the movie. Throughout, there has been a lot of talk, but not much action. Dominic Cooper, Daniel Radcliffe, and Ben Whishaw were tossed around as possible stars at various points, while Stephen Frears, Tom Hooper, Dexter Fletcher, and even David Fincher were all mentioned as potential directors, with varying degrees of likeliness. Meanwhile, a script by "The Queen" screenwriter Peter Morgan has been kicking around for a while. Now it looks like the remaining members of Queen are not only going back to Cohen, but giving him total creative power. The band's manager, Jim Beach, during the Artist & Management Awards (man, there are awards for. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The comedian, who previously exited the project after reportedly falling out with the remaining members of Queen, will now help to write, produce and direct the movie, as well as taking the lead role.
Music Week reports that the band's manager of 40 years, Jim Beach, announced Baron Cohen's re-appointment at the Artist and Manager Awards 2015 last night (March 26).
The band also expressed concerns that the comedian's involvement would turn the project, based on the late singer's life, into "a joke".
Louis Leterrier is in talks to direct the shark attack thriller In the Deep for Sony Pictures. The script by Anthony Jaswinski (Vanishing on 7th Street) sparked a heated bidding war last September, in which Sony beat out Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. The script landed on the 2014 Black List as one of the top unproduced screenplays of the year.
The story follows a young girl, mourning the recent loss of her mother, who goes surfing on a remote beach. After being attacked by a shark, she finds herself stranded on a buoy, 20 yards off shore, with this massive great white shark standing in her way between the buoy and the beach. She must find a way back to shore before succumbing to her injuries. The script has been described as a cross between 127 Hours, Gravity and the shark classic Jaws.
The story centers on a young woman who’s surfing on an isolated beach and gets stranded on a buoy by when a great white shark that’s between her and the shore.
Leterrier is repped by Wme.
- Dave McNary
Filmed at Leavesden Studio near London and scripted by Stuart Beattie and Stephen Sommers, the plot follows Skarsgård.s Tarzan, who leaves. the jungles of Africa for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his wife Jane (Robbie).
When he is invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, he becomes a pawn in a deadly game of greed and revenge, masterminded by Belgian Captain Leon Rom (Waltz).
- Don Groves
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the company is working with Moelis & Co. to raise the equity funding and with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Rabobank Na to refinance and extend its credit facility beyond 2020.
Village Roadshow Pictures, which has a longstanding co-financing deal through Warner Bros., is 47% owned by Australia’s Village Roadshow Ltd. The parent company said last month that it was planning to boost its annual production to as many as 12 films a year.
- Dave McNary
Best known for her role in period drama The Tudors, Annabelle Wallis will soon be trading out the corsets for an entirely new type of wardrobe. Deadline reports that the British actress has signed on to star alongside Charlie Hunnam in Guy Ritchie’s medieval re-telling Knights Of The Roundtable: King Arthur.
Wallis will play opposite Hunnam, who stars as the titular sword-puller, as Maid Maggie. As well as the Sons Of Anarchy lead, she joins Astrid Berger Frisby as Guinevere, Jude Law as Vortigern, Eric Bana as Arthur’s father, Djimon Hounsou as Bedivere, Aiden Gillen as Goosefat Bill and Mikael Persbrandt in an as-yet undisclosed role.
A part in Warners’ fledgling franchise – they’re aiming for six movies – could see Wallis become a household name. While she’s currently known for her work on The Tudors and Netflix series Peaky Blinders, she’s not a stranger to the big screen. »
- Gem Seddon
In the greatest sartorial stunt since Sacha Baron Cohen turned up to film Bruno at the Milan fashion week, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have hit the Parisian catwalks as Derek Zoolander and Hansel to herald the arrival of a new Zoolander movie. Paramount subsequently confirmed the long-awaited sequel to Stiller’s 2002 comedy has been greenlit for February 2016, a mere 14 years after everybody’s favourite intellectually challenged, orange mocha frappuccino-quaffing male models fought it out for runway bragging rights. Here are a few essential accessories the follow-up film surely cannot manage without.
Continue reading »
- Ben Child
Conan O'Brien is the first late-night host to film in Cuba in more than five decades, and Team Coco just unveiled a preview of the "Conan in Cuba" shenanigans, set to air tomorrow. There's our Conan, spreading his wings, singing random Nutella phrases in Spanish, looking at people's boobs, dancing like a crab in a wheelchair, and pulling off a reverse-Borat in a grocery store. The hour-long episode was shot over Presidents' Day weekend, shortly after news broke that the U.S.-Cuba embargo would thaw. O'Brien's comedy diplomacy sounds like it was hilarious and, much like the host's immersion into the worlds of Tinder, Grindr, and Korean spa life, definitely at his own expense. »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
Jennifer Aniston and her longtime friend Isla Fisher met up at the Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty on Sunday night, and the Cake star couldn't help but get playful with Isla's growing baby bump. She kneeled down and posed for photos while kissing Isla's belly, making for some supersweet snaps during the soiree. Isla and her husband, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, are currently expecting their third child together; the couple confirmed the news of their growing family back in October, and the new bundle of joy will join daughters Olive and Elula. While Isla and Sacha slipped into the Vanity Fair event without attending Sunday's Academy Awards, Jennifer and her fiancé, Justin Theroux, enjoyed the show in their prime seats behind Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep after Jen tried to pick up Emma Stone on the red carpet. Jennifer also took the stage with David Oyelowo to present the award for best documentary feature. »
Bad weather hurting theme park attendance and a weak lineup of films that hurt its distribution business meant weaker financial results for Australian multinational Village Roadshow Limited.
For the six months to end of December – the first half of its 2015 financial year – the film and entertainment group reported revenues down 2% at Us$417 million (A$470 million) and net profits down 27% to Us$12.2 million (A$13.8 million) compared with the same period last year.
The bad weather affecting the East Coast of Australia particularly damaged its business in Sydney and the Gold Coast.
The company says the second half will be significantly better than the first, but still represent a drop on the 2014 financial year. “The second half of FY2015 is expected to be significantly stronger than the first half, however due to the results to 31 December 2014, it is estimated that Vrl’s attributable net profit, before material items and discontinued operations for »
- Patrick Frater
After the party, it's the afterparty, which is exactly what had A-listers flocking to the Wallis Annenberg Center For the Performing Arts for Vanity Fair's annual Oscars bash on Sunday. The red carpet wrapped up, and the big show ended, so it was time for stars like Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston, Jared Leto, and more to let their hair down and party. We also caught a glimpse of cute couples like Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, and Sacha Baron Cohen and a pregnant Isla Fisher. Keep reading to see all the best photos from the Vanity Fair afterparty! »
Strike! Jennifer Aniston rang in her 46th birthday with a bevy of her closest A-list pals and bowling on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The Cake actress rented out the Spare Room inside Hollywood’s famed Roosevelt Hotel and partied with fiancé Justin Theroux and pals Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Molly McNearney, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Malin Akerman, Isla Fisher, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tobey Maguire, Jennifer Meyer, Ken Marino, Amy Adams, Lake Bell, and her beloved hair stylist Chris McMillan. According to an insider, the group arrived around 9 p.m. [...] »
Check out the guest list of celebrities who joined Jennifer Aniston to celebrate her recent 46th birthday. Jen and a bunch of her closest Hollywood friends enjoyed a star-studded birthday dinner on Thursday. The 'Cake' actress turned 46 last week and she and her fiance Justin Theroux were joined at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel by friends including Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Malin Akerman, Amy Adams, Lake Bell, and Ken Marino, as well as couples Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Mayer for a celebratory meal. A source told E! News: ''The party appeared to be over just before 1 a.m. in the morning. ''Jennifer and Justin left through a different entrance as the rest of the party grabbed their cars from valet.'' One friend who couldn't make the dinner was Reese Witherspoon, but the 'Wild' star sent »
Only Jennifer Aniston could throw such a big (and private) birthday bash! While turning the big 4-6 earlier this week, the A-list actress managed to organize an epic celebration with more than a few famous faces. E! News has learned Justin Theroux's fiancée gathered her celebrity BFFs for a fabulous dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood this past Thursday. Eyewitnesses spotted Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Malin Akerman, Amy Adams, Lake Bell and Ken Marino arriving around 9 p.m. for a tasty meal. There was also a handful of couples including Tobey Maguire, Sacha Baron Cohen and John Krasinski who all brought along their wives. "The party appeared to be over just before 1 a.m. in »
Sticking up for the controversial North Korea-baiting comedy is hard when it’s so unfunny
The censorship row over Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s satire The Interview – whose Us release was briefly halted by North Korean activist-hackers outraged by its mockery of Kim Jong-un – feels redolent of a more polite age, a Marquess of Queensberry age. In the light of the Charlie Hebdo murders, it seems trivial. The movie is now out in the Us and Europe, and it would be nice in a #JeSuisTheInterview spirit to stick up for it – to hail it as something in the tradition of Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be Or Not to Be, or indeed Sacha Baron Cohen’s xenophobia comedies. But after a promisingly crass start, the film runs out of ideas and after some T&A material and violent slapstick, winds up in a mood of plumply sentimental solemnity.
Related: James Franco »
- Peter Bradshaw
Happy birthday and bon appetit! Isla Fisher rang in her 39th birthday with husband Sacha Baron Cohen and pals Courteney Cox, Naomi Watts, and Liv Schreiber — and a swanky cooking tutorial! The A-list pals joined the pregnant star for a cooking class at Eatz Los Angeles, a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “It was a small group,” the insider explains of the clan, who turned their dinner party into a private cooking class. “It was a very hands on class with unlimited alcohol,” the source says, adding [...] »
Despite the fact that Sony Pictures chiefs Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton were supportive of the project, Rogen and Goldberg took the script, which was originally titled “Kill Kim Jong Un,” to a team of comedians and actors including Jonah Hill and Sacha Baron Cohen for an outside opinion.
They asked if it would be a good idea to name the movie’s dictator Kim Jong-un, “and the consensus was that it would make the movie funnier and more interesting,” they said.
Rogen and Goldberg said that it “seemed wrong” to back away from depicting Kim Jong-un in the movie. “That would be like saying, ‘Don’t make fun of Hitler because it’ll piss off Hitler.’ Because Hitler’s »
- Shelli Weinstein
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