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Update, Monday 2:10 Am Pt: Across the Top 10 major studio releases internationally there’s reason for some holiday cheer. This weekend’s figures are up 19.4% over last frame with The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies leading the pack at $89.2M, plus strong perfs from Exodus: Gods And Kings in new key markets and the Night At The Museum finale. Still, that result is down from last year, largely due to the impact that Frozen was having on the season with a $50.5M take in the comparable frame. Five Armies in the estimates is also about 9.3% off from Smaug’s performance last year, but there are those nasty currency fluctuations to take into account.
Still, it a big weekend for local titles. Last frame’s Indian release Pk added Bollywood flair to the international box office with an offshore haul of $14.3M for a global cume of $61.46M. Meanwhile, »
- Nancy Tartaglione
With the New Year just days away, Universal Pictures has released brand new photos, storylines and dates for some of the most anticipated movies in 2015.
First up is Ted 2.
Hitting theaters on June 26, 2015, Seth MacFarlane returns as writer, director and voice star of Ted 2, Universal and Media Rights Capital’s follow-up to the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time.
Joined once again by star Mark Wahlberg and fellow “Ted” writers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild, MacFarlane produces the live action/CG-animated comedy alongside Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, as well as John Jacobs and Jason Clark.
Photo Credit: Tippett Studios/Universal Pictures © 2015 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Sisters – December 18, 2015
Directed by: Jason Moore
- Michelle McCue
• Jason Biggs and Ashley Tisdale have been cast as the leads of Drive, She Said. The story follows an unconfident, expectant father (Biggs) who takes a job chauffeuring prostitutes (Tisdale, Janet Montgomery, Bria Murphy). Husband and wife team Joe Syracuse and Lisa Addario wrote and directed the film, which was inspired by Syracuse's experience driving call girls around La. Jenny Mollen, Adrian Voo, and Steven Weber also star. [THR] • Chris Pratt is in early negotiations for Magnificent Seven. Antoine Fuqua is directing the remake, which stars Denzel Washington. The 1960 film for which its based followed seven gunmen who defend a Mexican village from outlaws. »
- C. Molly Smith
Timur Bekmambetov‘s Ben-Hur remake has a pretty good cast of guys lined up already, including Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal, Morgan Freeman, and Jack Huston in the title role. Now it may finally have found its female lead. Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi has just received an offer to play Esther, the part Gal Gadot was up […]
- Angie Han
Boniadi had a recurring role in Scandal as Adnan Salif.
Ben-Hur is scheduled for release on February 26, 2016. »
After what has been described as a close race, Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi has landed the role of the female led in MGM and Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Ben-Hur remake, pipping the likes of Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Sofia Boutella to the part.
Boniadi will now star opposite Jack Huston in the sword and sandals epic, and it’s understood the actress won over the hearts and minds of the casting directors for her chemistry with the Boardwalk Empire star, who is on board to play the titular hero. Previously Man of Steel‘s Ayelet Zurer and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, were attached to the role, but contract negotiations with DC — which are as far reaching as you’d imagine — forced her to pull out.
With a release date pegged for 2016, we’re still a ways away from seeing Timur Bekmambetov’s bold remake in action, though it’s »
- Michael Briers
Just over one month after Gal Gadot backed out of MGM's Ben-Hur, the studio has brought on Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi as the female lead. Gal Gadot entered talks to play Esther, a female slave who falls for Jack Huston's title character, in mid-October. She was forced to bow out just a few weeks later, citing conflicts with her schedule on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where she plays Wonder Woman.
Nazanin Boniadi joins a cast that also includes Toby Kebbell as Messalla, Ben-Hur's former friend who sells him into slavery, and Morgan Freeman, who mentors the title character and teaches him to become a champion chariot racer. Deadline reports the actress beat out a number of candidates for the role. Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) was the runner-up to land the part, with other contenders including Moran Atias (Third Person) and Natalia Warner (The Double »
Boniadi will play Esther, the role that Gal Gadot was in discussions before conflicts knocked her out of the running. Boniadi also beat out Sofia Boutella ("Kingsman: The Secret Service"), Moran Atias ("The Next Three Days") and Natalia Warner ("Learning To Breathe") for the role. [Source: Deadline]
Tom Hanks reprises his role of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon who awakens in an Italian hospital with amnesia. He teams up with a doctor (Jones) whom he hopes will help him recover his memories and prevent a madman from releasing a global plague. [Source: Deadline]
- Garth Franklin
A month or so ago Man Of Steel's Ayelet Zurer was in the frame. Before her we were talking about Gal Gadot, who had to drop out in favour of the small indie comic-book curios Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Wonder Woman. This morning Timur Bekmambetov's new Ben-Hur finally has its female lead. Homeland star Nazanin Boniadi has grabbed the gig, fending off plenty of other competition by performing the best "chemistry read" with the toplining Jack Huston.Huston is, of course, Judah Ben-Hur himself, with Boniadi playing Esther, the daughter of the slave Simonides. Taken once again from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Ben-Hur and Messala (Toby Kebbell), best friends growing up in Jerusalem. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. »
While doing press for his upcoming musical Into the Woods, producer Marc Platt offered updates on two of his upcoming projects, the action-packed sequel Wanted 2 and another musical adaptation, Wicked.
Just a few days before Wanted hit theaters in 2008, Mark Millar, who wrote the comic book the film is based on, revealed that a sequel was already in the works, although we haven't heard much on the follow-up in the six years that followed that initial announcement. Marc Platt reveals that the script is still being developed, and it isn't quite there yet. But the sequel will happen nonetheless:
"We have a script that's getting pretty good. To do a sequel when it wasn't really set up for a sequel - one of our main characters dies in it. You don't want to just retread a similar story, but when we get the script to a certain bar, there will be a sequel. »
Rome – Rome’s Cinecitta Studios is boasting a burst of biz prompted by tax incentives which are luring back Hollywood majors, including Paramount and MGM with their “Ben Hur” remake more than five decades after the Charlton Heston original shot at the famed facilities.
A portion of the upcoming 24th James Bond film is also among high-profile pics scheduled to shoot in Rome early next year.
Cameras are set to roll at Cinecitta starting in February 2015 on MGM and Paramount’s “Ben Hur” redo, to be helmed by Timur Bekmambetov with Jack Huston in the title role, according to a Cinecitta statement. Production designer Naomi Shohan will be reconstructing pre-Roman empire Jerusalem on the Cinecitta backlot for a planned four-month shoot. Toby Kebbell is set for the role of Messala and Morgan Freeman is also attached. The script was co-written by Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave” scribe John Ridley and Keith Clarke, »
- Nick Vivarelli
He revealed that writer Mark Millar is involved in the comic book sequel.
"We have a script that's getting pretty good," Platt told Coming Soon. "To do a sequel when it wasn't really set up for a sequel - one of our main characters dies in it.
"You don't want to just retread a similar story, but when we get the script to a certain bar, there will be a sequel. It's taken a while because it's challenging, as I said, because we lost a main, main character, so where that James McAvoy character goes now... we have good ideas though. It's coming along."
The first film was loosely based on Millar's comic book miniseries, which was set in a world where supervillains had eradicated all superheroes.
"[Millar is] always going to be involved but he's not going to write the screenplay which is far along, »
Although it's been awhile since we've heard anything about a sequel to Timur Bekmambetov's Wanted, producer Marc Platt recently told Coming Soon they are still interested in doing another movie, and are currently working on the script. But if you haven't seen Wanted, you'll probably want to avoid Platt's comments below about the sequel. Spoiler Alert! We have a script that’s getting pretty good. To do a sequel when it »
- Jesse Giroux
From the earliest days of the website we seem to have been reporting on a potential sequel to 2008's surprise hit, Wanted. The original movie starred James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, with Timur Bekmambetov directing. And the first film ate up $341m at the global box office, Wanted 2 has been on the cards ever since.
However, Wanted 2 appeared to have fallen off-radar in recent years, and we'd assumed that the project had quietly been dropped. Not so though, says producer Marc Platt. "We have a script that’s getting pretty good", he told Coming Soon. "You don’t want to just retread a similar story, but when we get the script to a certain bar, there will be a sequel. It’s taken a while because it’s challenging. »
• The Vampire Diaries’ Paul Wesley will star in Convergence, a vehicle for him to star in and produce. Little is known about the plot at this time, but the film is said to follow a group of underground biotech engineers who experiment with a new technology that exceeds their expectations. Jeff Richard wrote the script. Filming is planned for next spring in Shanghai and Atlanta. [Deadline] • Sam Huntington, of Being Human fame, has been cast as the lead in Finding Sofia. Nico Casavecchia is directing the indie comedy, which follows Huntington as a young filmmaker who buys a ticket to Buenos »
- C. Molly Smith
Steve Coogan is taking over Hoffman's role of a man facing a mid-life crisis. Hahn plays Coogan’s wife and mother of their six-year-old son. [Source: Variety]
Huston plays the titular Jewish prince who is forced »
- Garth Franklin
MGM’s remake of 1959 historical epic Ben-Hur failed to nab Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice actress Gal Gadot (who had to pass on the project due to a scheduling conflict), but it may have managed to get a hold of another powerful woman in Superman’s life all the same.
According to THR, Ayelet Zurer, who played Superman’s Kryptonian birth mother Laura Lor Van in Man of Steel, is circling a role in Ben-Hur, though it’s not the same one that was offered to Gadot. If she ends up committing to the project she’ll play Naomi, the mother of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston).
This marks one of several big projects to come Zurer’s way following last year’s Superman reboot; she recently wrapped production on Last Days in the Desert opposite Ewan McGregor, and has been cast as Vanessa Fisk, the wife of the Kingpin, »
- James Garcia
The casting information about the new take on the Ben-Hur story is coming in quicker than a speeding chariot. With director Timur Bekmambetov looking to set his cast quickly ready for shooting to gear up, Ouija star Olivia Cooke is circling the role of Tirzah, Ben-Hur’s sister.Taken once again from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and Messala (Toby Kebbell), best friends growing up in Jerusalem. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, Messala mocks our hero for his religion. After an accident he pins on his friend, he has him sold into slavery, while imprisoning his mother and sister. Cue a quest for revenge that includes (in the 1959 Charlton Heston film, at any rate) the iconic chariot race. »
Nb: this article contains language and violent video footage which may be considered Nsfw.
Gun battles. Car chases. Explosions. All stuff we've seen in action films before, so what can be done to freshen it up and make it seem new? Enter Hardcore, a sci-fi action film with the first-person viewpoint and demented pace of a videogame.
It's the work-in-progress from Russian filmmaker Ilya Naishuller. You might remember a superbly-shot video that appeared on YouTube last year, which saw an anonymous hero involved in car chases, fights and gun battles - all viewed from his point-of-view. Although intended as a music video for his band Biting Elbows, the film itself got the lion's share of the attention, with over 40m views and praise from director Timur Bekmambetov. If you've never seen it before, you can watch it here. »
Universal recently acquired Blumhouse’s horror film Cybernatural, in which a malevolent force haunts six high school friends during a Skype session that turns deadly when the unseen presence forces its victims to commit gruesome, self-inflicted acts of violence in front of the computer camera. It’s now been announced that Universal has re-named Cybernatural and moved its release date just a bit.
According to Box Office Mojo, Cybernatural is now called Unfriended, giving it a Facebook-related title that ties in with its modern technology tale. Originally scheduled to come out on April 10th of next year, Unfriended will now be released one week later on April 17th, 2015.
“While video chatting one night, six high school friends receive a Skype message from a classmate who killed herself exactly one year ago. At first they think it’s a prank, but when the girl starts revealing the friends’ darkest secrets, they »
- Derek Anderson
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