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Remember when Marlon Wayans was attached to star in a Richard Pryor biopic? His time for the role has since passed, with Mike Epps now set to portray the late comedian in a movie directed by Lee Daniels and costarring Oprah Winfrey and Kate Hudson. But thanks to Shadow and Act, we can see some of what the Wayans version might have looked liked. The video below features the Requiem for a Dream standout performing a scene with Omar Epps that was reportedly written and directed by Dreamgirls helmer Bill Condon -- who penned the old draft of the biopic, then titled Is It Something I Said?, and was supposed to direct before departing for the final Twilight movies -- plus another stand-up bit taken from one of Pryor's actual moments on stage. The audition...
- Christopher Campbell
Eddie Murphy was a miracle. Today, there is an industry around the show that is designed to be a sort of star-making assembly line, and I think many of the people who have used the show as a springboard to other things deserve that success completely. But when Eddie Murphy made his debut on the show in 1980, "Saturday Night Live" wasn't even guaranteed a spot on TV for much longer. After all, the original cast was gone by that point. The new cast, including Denny Dillon, Gilbert Gottfried, Charles Rocket, Ann Risley, and Joe Piscopo, seemed like a poor replacement for the likes of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray. I was a ten year old nascent comedy nerd, and for me, it was mystifying to see something that had been the absolute center of the comedy universe suddenly drop completely out of relevance. Everything about that »
- Drew McWeeny
FilmNation acquired Krysty Wilson-Cairns’ script last year and is producing, financing and handling worldwide sales. Plot details are being kept under wraps.
Munden is repped by Independent Talent Group in the U.K. and Wme in the U.S.
FilmNation has been looking to expand in adult dramas in the independently financed world. It had an impressive trio of highbrow films screening at Berlin: “Knight of Cups,” directed by Terrence Malick; “Life,” from Anton Corbijn; and “Mr. Holmes,” with Bill Condon directing Ian McKellen.
FilmNation sold a one-third stake in the company last year to Village Roadshow, which invested $18 million in FilmNation. The first two »
- Dave McNary
By Anjelica Oswald
Four different directors whose films are nominated for best picture could all win Oscars at Sunday’s ceremony.
Birdman, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater, are frontrunners in the best picture race. Both directors are nominated as co-producers on their respective films and both are also nominated for best director. If Inarritu wins for best picture and Linklater wins for best director (or vice versa), it would be the 24th time in Oscar history where best picture and best director have split.
Wes Anderson, director of The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Damien Chazelle, director of Whiplash, are nominated for original screenplay and adapted screenplay, respectively. Anderson co-produced The Grand Budapest Hotel.
If Anderson and Chazelle win for their screenplays (and Linklater and Inarritu win), it would be the second year in a row where three or more directors won at the same awards ceremony. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Emmerich recently completed filming “Stonewall,” a drama about the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and a turning point in the struggle for Lgbt equality. He’s also contributed to several non-profit organizations, including Outfest’s Legacy Project, dedicated to preserving Lgbt film history; the Los Angeles Lgbt Center; Freedom to Marry; and the Cambodian Children’s Fund.
“As one of Hollywood’s most sought-after film directors, Roland Emmerich has entertained audiences across the globe,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “His generosity has touched the lives of countless Lgbt people, »
- Dave McNary
Channing Tatum is coming out to the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards. I can exclusively reveal that the Magic Mike Xxl star will present this year's Stephen F. Kolzak Award to his White House Down director Roland Emmerich. The award is given to an openly Lgbt media professional who has made a significant contribution in the fight for equality. Emmerich has been a longtime supporter of the Los Angeles Lgbt Center, Outfest's Legacy Project to preserve Lgbt film history and marriage equality organization Freedom to Marry. Past recipients of the Kolzak Award include Laverne Cox, Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Condon, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sir Ian McKellen. Emmerich most »
Scott Foundas: Well, Peter, another Berlin Film Festival has come to a close, ending on a high note with the awarding of its top prize, the Golden Bear, to Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi.” Panahi’s film screened right at the start of the festival and emerged as an early consensus favorite among critics here. As it turns out, the Darren Aronofsky-led jury felt the same way, and I’d like to think their decision was based solely on the movie’s artistic merits, rather than the unfortunate position in which its director finds himself in his native Iran, where he’s been under house arrest for the last four years. It’s impossible, of course, to watch “Taxi” without thinking about the unusual circumstances under which it was made — something this highly self-reflexive film very much invites you to do. But what makes “Taxi” a great movie, I think, »
- Peter Debruge and Scott Foundas
Bill Condon’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is sticking to the structure of the Disney animated movie, right down to the same characters and same songs. Emma Watson was the first to be cast, taking the role of Belle. It’s actually the second time somebody gave her this role – Guillermo Del Toro was working on a non-musical, non-Disney version and Emma was his pick too.
There’s been a rumour circulating around Hollywood’s tracking boards and private forums that Ryan Gosling has been asked to play The Beast. I know that this started because an agency source referred to Gosling as being a preferred choice for the role, but I don’t know that it ever went any further. I’m certainly not holding my breath – some Hemsworth or another seems much more likely.
As for Mrs. Potts, the housemaid turned teapot, Condon seems »
- Brendon Connelly
Emma Thompson is in talks to star in the live action film version of Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast'. The 55-year-old star is wanted to play the role of Mrs Potts, the housekeeper who's turned into a teapot in the iconic story, the Daily Mail newspaper reports. Mrs Potts assists Belle - the heroine of the story, played by Emma Watson - to sort out her romantic stresses. The film's director Bill Condon has been working with composer Alan Menken to determine which songs from the 1991 animated movie will make the cut in the eagerly-awaited live action film. Last month, meanwhile, Emma Watson revealed she'd been cast in the role of Belle and had already started singing lessons in preparation for the musical role. Writing on her Facebook page, Emma said: ''I'm finally able to tell you... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast! »
From its opening moments, when the BBC Films logo fades in and the gentle classical violins strike up, you're pretty sure what you're going to get with "Mr. Holmes." You already know it stars Ian McKellen and Laura Linney, you already know it's about an aging, doddery Sherlock Holmes, and you already know it's directed by Bill Condon, who's probably anxious to turn in a few low-key little keep-your-head-down numbers having blotted his creative copybook with "The Fifth Estate" and with stooping to the 'Twilight' franchise. It will be tasteful, respectful, with an immaculate sense of period, and dull as an old boot. How nice, then, to discover that you're quite a way off base. Because while it's hardly urgent or experimental filmmaking, "Mr. Holmes" is surprisingly satisfying, with more flourishes in terms of its structure of interlinked stories from several time periods than you might expect. In fact, it »
- Jessica Kiang
With most of the Berlin Film Festival competition titles now screened, there are some standouts. But sentiment on the ground here is that it’s the out of competition titles that have clearer crossover appeal. That’s a switch from last year when the main section went user-friendly. In 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel opened the festival to raves, and Boyhood won hearts a few days later. Ultimately, it was Chinese pic Black Coal, Thin Ice that was the top prize-winner, but Boyhood’s Richard Linklater was named Best Director, while Budapest Hotel scooped the Grand Jury Silver Bear. And just look where those films are now.
Among the competition films that are high on festgoers’ lists here thus far is Pablo Larrain’s exiled priests tale El Club. Larrain’s No was nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar in 2013 and this current film has a lot of people talking, although »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Save for a mention in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “His Last Bow,” precious little is known about the latter years of Sherlock Holmes: “We heard of you as living the life of a hermit among your bees and your books in a small farm upon the South Downs,” Dr. Watson tells Holmes in that final installment of the author’s short stories — hardly the sexiest ending to an illustrious career.
Novelist Mitch Cullin caught up with the character at age 93 in “A Slight Trick of the Mind,” which finds Sherlock a bit less sharp than before, handling a case whose clues are tied up in his foggy memories of the past. “Mr. Holmes,” the bigscreen adaptation of Cullin’s novel, debuted Feb. 8 at the Berlin Film Festival, and picks up where earlier stories left off. The indie movie, which Miramax will release later this year in partnership with Roadside Attractions, »
- Peter Debruge
Sigh. Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are apparently threatening to drown this year's show in musical numbers. No, really, according to the most recent press release, the pair are "creating several musical sequences," and they keep lining up talent to participate. First it was announced that Oscar-winning "Frozen" songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez would be penning a thing for host Neil Patrick Harris. (They talked about that a bit at the Grammys Sunday; check out the video above for more.) Then yesterday it was announced that Anna Kendrick would sing something on the show. And now, Jennifer Hudson has been added to the roll call. I feel like a "Sound of Music" tribute is lurking in there somewhere. I could totally picture Kendrick twirling around, "The hiiillllsss are allliiiiiveee…" But I don't know. Maybe with Hudson they want to pay tribute to the eighth anniversary of "Dreamgirls. »
- Kristopher Tapley
★★★☆☆ Benedict Cumberbatch need not worry his boots are being filled. Ian McKellen's take on Sherlock Holmes is more Sunday tea-time viewing than prime-time blockbuster, but its stately pace doesn't preclude Mr. Holmes (2015) from being a delightful romp all the same. McKellen reunites with director Bill Condon, who helped him to an Oscar nomination as James Whale for Gods and Monsters (1998), in this tale of the detective's twilight years, retired to a chocolate-box Sussex cottage and long since retired from sleuthing. He still gets spotted ("Is that 'im?" asks a passer-by), his reputation settled by Dr Watson's stories published decades previously.
- CineVue UK
According to Guiness World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character, by more than 70 actors in over 200 films, plays and television shows. I haven't seen all of those, but Ian McKellen can certainly put his performance near the top of the list of great ones (my favourite will always be Jeremy Brett).Reuniting with director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey), McKellen brings the world's greatest detective to life in a somewhat sedate mystery, more of an examination of the ravages of old age and senility, and the guilt that can prey upon those who have perhaps been a bit too insensitive. While not a surprising film, in that the story unfolds in expected ways, Mr. Holmes (based on the book A...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Ian McKellen was in Berlin over the weekend in support of his performance as Sherlock Holmes in Bill Condon's well-received drama "Mr. Holmes." The film, an adaptation of the novel "A Slight Trick of the Mind" by Mitch Cullin, picks up with the former detective, now 93, as he reflects on his life and deals with deterioration of his once incredible mind. Unlike the character he portrays onscreen, McKellen, 75, is still very with it and busier than ever. Indiewire sat down with the actor in Berlin to discuss "Mr. Holmes" and why he feels the need to continue to work. Have you been long wanting to reunite with Bill Condon, who you worked with last on "Gods and Monsters"? Yes. I'd just sort of assumed one day we would work together again. I can't remember how this was, but I think he asked me to do the film. I said yes, »
- Nigel M Smith
Mr. Holmes, you are a man of great wisdom. In the new movie Mr. Holmes, beloved legendary actor Ian McKellen finally gets his shot at playing the character Sherlock Holmes, but not the Sherlock Holmes we're all familiar with. Instead, he plays the "real" detective that Holmes was based on in the stories told by Dr. Watson, which are the stories told in Arthur Conan Doyle's stories (very meta but it's easy to understand). He has no hat or pipe, as those were embellishments added to the stories. Instead, he's kind of a bumbling old man, a bit disgruntled with others but has still maintained a keen intellect. This wonderful film swept me away, I fell really hard for it, to the point where I don't even know how to start I adore so much about it. Directed by Bill Condon (of Dreamgirls, Kinsey, Gods and Monsters, The Fifth Estate »
- Alex Billington
Sherlock Holmes faces his most difficult challenge yet in Bill Condon's gently radical "Mr. Holmes," in which the much-loved detective must detangle latent hang-ups regarding an unsolved case from his younger years at 221B Baker Street. Trouble is, Holmes, now aged 93, is suffering the fears and anxieties that come with Alzheimer’s disease, and so -- with the help of a young protégé -- must do all he can to find a sense of completion in this late period of his life. Adapted from Mitch Cullin's 2005 novel, "A Slight Trick of the Mind," Condon's latest feature reunites the director with the ever-dependable Ian McKellen, with whom he first teamed up on the 1998 James Whale biopic "Gods and Monsters." McKellen takes to the role with effortless gravitas and emotional versatility in the wake of more pugnacious big-screen endeavors from Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch's hipper incarnation in the BBC television series. »
- Michael Pattison
After hitting a couple of commercial highs (“Dreamgirls,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) and one major artistic low (“The Fifth Estate”) in the major-studio trade, Bill Condon makes a welcome return to more intimate, character-based fare in “Mr. Holmes,” an elegiac portrait of the once-great detective as a senescent old man — arthritic of body and foggy of mind, yet unwilling to go gently into that good night. A graceful film that seems happy to proceed at roughly the pace of the honey that drips from its central character’s apiary, this faithful adaptation of Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel “A Slight Trick of the Mind” may disappoint audiences seeking a ripping good Sherlock Holmes mystery, but should delight genre buffs fond of such earlier revisionist Holmes yarns as “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution” and “Young Sherlock Holmes,” and even attract some younger viewers curious to see the old guy from “Lord of the »
- Scott Foundas
Seventeen years after the movie that put him on the directing map and won him a screenwriting Oscar, Gods and Monsters, Bill Condon is reunited with that film’s redoubtable star, Ian McKellen, in a pleasing variation on shared themes of aging and mortality. The 1998 bio-drama of James Whale, the cinematic father of Frankenstein, dealt with an elderly man reconciling with the shadows of desire and creativity near the end of his life. Mr. Holmes centers on another sacred monster deep into his twilight, the fictional sleuth of Baker Street, as he wrestles with the retreat of his most
- David Rooney
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