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Reboots, videogame adaptations, and a few long awaited sequels are all due for release next year
Now that Fast & Furious 7 has formally opened summer blockbuster season 2015 up, it's time for us to take our traditional look at the big movies gracing multiplexes this time next year.
2016 is set to be a pivotal summer, too. There are big movies in both the DC and Marvel cinematic universes. Warner Bros is looking to launch the first of six King Arthur movies, whilst Universal may get cracking with its classic monster cinematic universe. And - yep - we may even get the world's first great film based on a videogame.
Summer blockbuster season 2016 stretches from March through to August, and here's what treats are lined up. Please note, we've gone with Us release dates, for the purposes of this feature, as that's where most of the films will debut first.
Warcraft - »
Simon Columb on Fast & Furious and its debt to James Bond…
With the release of Fast and Furious 7 last week, it’s worth noting the key influences so far. Almost every escapade has actively appreciated the globe-trotting, explosive-heavy, expertly-produced James Bond series – and the seventh instalment is no different…
This is “007-style shit”, says Roman (Tyrese Gibson) in Fast & Furious 6 when introduced to a new task. In fact, he’d have to look a little earlier to see how big an influence James Bond has been. I’d go further and argue that the suave spy’s fifty-years of espionage is the biggest influence on the entire series so far. The initial set-up in The Fast and the Furious, with Brian (Paul Walker) as Bond (the undercover rogue-cop who can’t-be-contained) is merely scratching the surface as, film-by-film, the inspiration is clearer and we are more aware of »
- Simon Columb
"Furious 7" has finally hit theaters across the nation and we think some moviegoers are in for a surprise. After the first hour or so, some viewers will stop and think to themselves, "Wait, why is this flick getting so much hype, again?" Yes, this is when we arrive at the dirty secret of the latest installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise; it's actually the worst movie of the post-"Tokyo Drift"/Vin Diesel-less era. Before you immediately jump to the comments section to protest, please note this isn't click bait masking as contrarian opinion just to get fans all riled up. Sadly, it's the truth, but with one big caveat, the last 10 minutes or so of the picture will simply knock you out. Let's explore why, shall we? [Note: There are some spoilers from "Furious 7" ahead. If you don't want to know plot points for the main storyline stop here. The ending, however, »
- Gregory Ellwood
This week brought us another update on the Richard Jewell thriller that would reportedly re-team Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill following their work together on The Wolf of Wall Street. Deadline is reporting that Clint Eastwood is now circling the project.
Jewell was a police officer who discovered a backpack with a bomb inside at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and helped to evacuate the area. Though he was originally hailed a hero, misreporting by the press ultimately labeled him a potential suspect. Hill would play Jewell, and DiCaprio would play the Southern lawyer who helped clear his name.
The film is based on an article called “The Ballad of Richard Jewell” that ran in Vanity Fair in 1997, and Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) wrote the screenplay for the currently untitled film. It was originally presumed that he might join up again with Paul Greengrass to direct, but Greengrass »
- Brian Welk
Coming off the Oscar-nominated American Sniper, director Clint Eastwood has his pick of projects right now, and though he’s being aggressively courted for a number of them, the title that insiders say he’s most interested in is The Ballad of Richard Jewell.
A drama that centers on the security guard who heroically uncovered a knapsack bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, only to be smeared as a possible terrorist suspect in the subsequent media coverage, The Ballad of Richard Jewell got its start with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio, who sought to adapt Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article of the same name.
Hill is planning to star as Jewell, and DiCaprio is mulling the role of Jewell’s lawyer, who works tirelessly to clear his client’s name during a media firestorm despite having previously worked mostly in real estate. Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) wrote the script.
- Isaac Feldberg
Hot off the success of American Sniper, the highest-grossing movie of 2014, Clint Eastwood is said to be setting his sights on yet another biopic, this time focused on 1996 Olympic bombing suspect Richard Jewell. Jonah Hill is attached to star as Jewell, a security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics who was first seen as a hero and later a suspect in the bombing, with Leonardo DiCaprio eyeing the role of a Southern lawyer who helps him navigate the legal proceedings that followed. Paul Greengrass was being eyed to direct last year, but he dropped out to make the Matt Damon Bourne Sequel for Universal.
Clint Eastwood's potential involvement is not set in stone quite yet, since the director has always been loyal to his home studio Warner Bros., and this movie is set up at 20th Century Fox. Both studios are trying to work out some sort of a co-production deal, »
Deadline is reporting that Clint Eastwood is seriously considering directing Fox's currently untitled movie about the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing. Jonah Hill is attached to star as Richard Jewell (the security guard who was wrongly suspected and later cleared of setting off the bomb), and while Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't officially joined the project yet, it's still possible he will play the Southern attorney who helped Jewell out. Paul Greengrass was reportedly eyeing »
- Jesse Giroux
Last week we reported on Steven Spielberg’s plans to direct an adaptation of the cult sci-fi novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. Color us excited. The novel involves players of a video game journeying into a virtual reality world rife with pop culture references and Easter eggs to the real world. The player who can decipher all the mysteries and references in the world wins the opportunity to control it. In Spielberg’s capable hands, it has the potential to be a technical marvel and a modern classic.
That is, if he actually makes it. Ready Player One poses some unusually problematic challenges on just a practical standpoint. Cline’s story falls into the “unfilmable novel” territory, not just for the digital world necessary for a filmmaker to recreate, but also in terms of licensing. To get the rights to depict the many iconic film and TV characters »
- Brian Welk
Exclusive: Former TF1 sales exec joins London outfit as home ent exec.
Former TF1 International and Funny Balloons sales executive Marta Ravani-Lorber has joined Protagonist Pictures as director of video, digital and TV sales, effective immediately.
Based at Protagonist’s London headquarters, Ravani-Lorber’s remit will include sales to all platforms of the Film4 Library, which Protagonist has handled since 2008, and its own back catalogue of more than 50 titles.
Ravani-Lorber previously worked across sales, production and acquisitions, most recently as international sales manager for TF1 International in Paris and before that as sales acquisitions manager with Funny Balloons.
The valuable Film4 Library contains films from Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Peter Greenaway, Danny Boyle, Paul Greengrass and Michael Winterbottom while Protagonist’s own library includes films from Ben Wheatley, Shane Meadows, Terence Davies, Kevin Macdonald and Peter Strickland.
Ravani-Lorber will attend upcoming MipTV in her new role. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Julia Stiles has said that she is hopeful of returning for the next Bourne movie.
Stiles famously played Treadstone operative Nicky Parsons in 2002's The Bourne Identity, and later appeared in sequels.
The actress recently told reporters that she "would love" to reprise her role as Parsons in the next Bourne movie.
"Yeah, they're writing it now so I'm hoping that my character fits into the storyline somehow," she said.
"But Matt and Paul have so much integrity that they waited a long time before making another one, for many reasons, but largely because they wanted a good story there.
"And they're so much fun to shoot, I would love to be a part of it."
Stiles stopped »
The next couple years are going to be very busy for Matt Damon. In addition to the return of Jason Bourne in a new film directed by Paul Greengrass, he's working on The Martian for release this year, and is set to star in Downsizing with director Alexander Payne. In addition, he's also got The Great Wall at Legendary Pictures from director Zhang Yimou, and the action adventure has just gained a new cast member. THR reports Willem Dafoe has joined the film which features a fantastical retelling of the origin of The Great Wall of China. However, details on Dafoe's character are being kept under wraps for the now. More below! But the good news is we actually have some plot details as the trade reports Damon is playing a soldier in a group of mercenaries traveling to China in order to bring back gunpowder to Europe. But when »
- Ethan Anderton
Over the past decade, the BAFTAs have become an increasingly accurate barometer for the eventual Oscar winners, with the last six Best Picture winners in a row being pre-empted by an identical BAFTA winner.
But there have been several memorable – and telling – instances in which the two awards bodies have diverged, and often not for the obvious cultural reasons you expect.
It's easy enough to see, for example, why Four Weddings and a Funeral took the top prize at 1995's BAFTAs while Forrest Gump triumphed across the pond, and ditto The Full Monty over Titanic three years later. But the explanation isn't always so clear, and the discrepancy often highlights intriguing differences between Academy and BAFTA members' sensibilities.
Digital Spy looks back on six notable times BAFTA diverged from the Academy path, either for better or for worse.
1. Brokeback Mountain wins Best Film (2006)
Almost a decade on, this still stands as BAFTA's crowning achievement. »
“The lesson we take away is don’t suck — make great movies,” he said with a laugh during a recent lunch.
FilmNation is coming into the Berlin Film Festival with considerable momentum from 2014 as one of the key backers of adult-skewing movies at a time when studios continue to focus their resources on franchises and $200 million tentpoles. Its sweet spot is in the $12 million to $30 million budget range.
The company hit three milestones last year: It helped develop and sell “The Imitation Game” which has more than $100 million in worldwide grosses; during Cannes, it announced the Amy Adams-starring, $50 million alien-arrival project “Story of Your Life,” produced with Lava Bear for which Paramount paid $20 million for North American rights; and finalized a strategic parnership with Roadshow Australia under »
- Dave McNary
Frank Marshall will receive the American Cinema Editors’ Ace Golden Eddie Filmmaker Of The Year Award in Los Angeles on January 30.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Prolific filmmaker Frank Marshall has been selected by the Board of Directors of the American Cinema Editors (Ace) to be honored with the organization’s prestigious Ace Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the 65thAnnual Ace Eddie Awards black-tie ceremony on Friday, January 30, 2015 in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“Frank Marshall has helped shape American film, treating audiences to some of the most well-loved, successful and enduring films in cinematic history,” stated the Ace Board of Directors. “From “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Sixth Sense” and the “Back to the Future” trilogy, among so many others, Mr. Marshall has made – and continues to make – a profound and indelible contribution to the cinematic landscape. We are honored to recognize him for his extraordinary accomplishments.”
Marshall joins a distinguished group of past Ace Golden Eddie honorees including Steven Spielberg, »
- Michelle McCue
“Look at where you are.”
Michael Mann’s new film, Blackhat, is a paradox of magnitudes and proximities. The scale is global, as announced in the opening shots that rhyme with the Universal logo just prior and, thanks to the dissolves down to Earth, Charles and Ray Eames' 1977 Powers of Ten. Once on ground, in a nuclear reactor’s control room, the powers of cinema take us yet deeper, smaller, to see how fast data travels across minuscule relays inside a screen, a computer, a network. And this data, or code, is made visible as points of light—dots arrayed and racing in tandem with the image (itself a fiction of code, or data) of this new vast universe—given weight through the thunder and crackle of sound design—a truly cinematic sequence of movement/animation no text can replicate.
This opening serves to illustrate the mechanisms »
- Ryland Walker Knight
Frank Marshall has been selected by the American Cinema Editors as the Ace Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year.
The award will be presented at the 65th Annual Ace Eddie Awards on Jan. 30 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Marshall has received five Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Color Purple,” “The Sixth Sense,” ” Seabiscuit” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
“Frank Marshall has helped shape American film, treating audiences to some of the most well-loved, successful and enduring films in cinematic history,” said the Ace Board of Directors. “From ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,’ ‘The Sixth Sense’ and the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy, among so many others, Mr. Marshall has made — and continues to make — a profound and indelible contribution to the cinematic landscape. We are honored to recognize him for his extraordinary accomplishments.”
- Dave McNary
The producer whose credits include Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Color Purple, The Sixth Sense, Seabiscuit, and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button will be handed the award at a ceremony in L.A. on January 30.
“Frank Marshall has helped shape American film, treating audiences to some of the most well-loved, successful and enduring films in cinematic history,” says the board of Ace, an honorary society of film editors. He “has made – and continues to make – a profound and indelible contribution to the cinematic landscape.”
Previous Golden Eddie winners include Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Norman Jewison, Alexander Payne, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Saul Zaentz, Paul Greengrass and Stanley Donen.
- The Deadline Team
Paris — Variety caught up with Nicolas Saada, a former French film journo at the prestigious mag Les Cahiers du Cinema and a screenwriter who made his directorial debut with “Spy (es).” For his sophomore outing, Saada is tackling the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack with “Taj Mahal,” a psychological thriller toplining “Nymphomaniac” star Stacy Martin as a young woman who was trapped in one of the suites of the hotel during the assault. Sold by Bac Films and produced by Patrick Sobelman at Agat Films, the $8 million film is based on the true story of one of the survivors, taking place over one night inside Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which was seized by terrorists who took guests hostage.
Variety: What made you want to make a film about this terrorist attack in Mumbai?
When I was promoting “Spy (ies),” I lived the Mumbai attack minute by minute. And it happened »
- Elsa Keslassy
With only five slots, some deserving folks didn’t make the cut. However, they shouldn’t give up hope: The nominees for the Directors Guild of America and Oscar have been identical only five times since 1970.
It’s an international race, with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman”) hailing from Mexico; Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) from Norway; two from Texas, Wes Anderson (“Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”); and one California native, Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper”).
The omission of DuVernay wasn’t a surprise, since the 15,000 voters of the DGA were not sent screeners of “Selma” (though Academy members were). And many pundits predicted a nod for Fincher (“Gone Girl”). Possible dark horses included James Marsh, “The Theory of Everything”; Damien Chazelle, »
- Tim Gray
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