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Previous to Star Wars: Episode I, Natalie Portman only had a handful of screen credits, the most notable being in Léon: The Professional as Mathilda. But the terrible dialog and direction by George Lucas tainted the young actress' career. Her most visible work was also her most awful. From 1999 until 2003 Portman was in two middling films and had a single cameo. No director wanted to work with her.
Star Wars had come out around the time of [The Seagull], and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, “Put her in Cold Mountain, »
- Free Reyes
As Disney and J.J. Abrams looks to restore some pride in the Star Wars saga following George Lucas’ Prequel Trilogy, Natalie Portman has told New York Mag that “everyone thought I was a horrible actress” after her role as Padme Amidala in The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and that “no director wanted to work with me”. Fortunately, the late Mike Nichols – who directed Portman in Closer – managed to help her get her career back on track…
“Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike Nichols wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. »
- Gary Collinson
Portman first worked with Nichols in an all-star production of Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001, while she was in between Star Wars movies.
"Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress," she told NY Magazine.
"I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me.
Portman also credited Nichols »
Following her superb debut in Luc Besson's Leon, back when she was just 13 years old, Natalie Portman attracted the attention of the Star Wars casting team. Thus, she was cast as Padme Amidala in George Lucas' Star Wars prequel trilogy, kicking off with The Phantom Menace, and ending with 2005's Revenge Of The Sith.
However, whilst the movies made an awful lot of money, there was a consequence for Portman, who was stuck in what ultimately seemed quite an unforgiving role. Talking to New Yorker magazine, she revealed that once Star Wars had come out, "everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me".
The man who came to her rescue was the late, great Mike Nichols, »
Being a part of a major franchise is not always a good thing, in fact it can almost become a career killer for some.
In a new feature piece for New York Magazine, actress Natalie Portman spoke about the late film director Mike Nichols whom she worked with on "Closer" and received rave reviews for her performance. However, she claims that at the time no-one wanted to hire her because of a certain franchise she was involved with:
"Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis."
After the prequel trilogy ended, Portman ended up »
- Garth Franklin
Vulture has an article featuring Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Eric Idle and Natalie Portman remembering the late Mike Nichols and the effect he had on their lives and careers and an interesting passage comes via Portman who remembers how Nichols helped her find work after starring in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels. Star Wars had come out around the time of 'Seagull', and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, "Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her." And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis. Portman, of course, would later star in Closer for Nichols, for which she won a Golden Globe and would be nominated for an Oscar, but to the point »
- Brad Brevet
In 1997, Natalie Portman landed the coveted role of Padme Amidala in George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels. The films cleaned up at the box office, however, they left her acting career in the toilet as many people in Hollywood weren't impressed with her performances. Luckily, the late, great director Mike Nichols ("The Birdcage") went to bat for her. "Star Wars had come out … and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. Mike wrote a letter to Anthony Minghella and said, ‘Put her in Cold Mountain, I vouch for her.’ And then Anthony passed me on to Tom Tykwer, who passed me on to the Wachowskis." I always thought Portman appeared to be worse than she was because of the wooden dialogue, lazy direction and having zero chemistry with Hayden Christensen ("Shattered Glass"). Guess it »
Tom Hanks clearly has a thing for working on films adapted from Dave Eggers’ books – he’s already part of Tom Tykwer’s upcoming A Hologram For The King. And the actor/producer is now teaming up with The Spectacular Now writer James Ponsoldt for another Eggers tome, The Circle.In a somewhat topical tale, The Circle follows a young woman hired to work for the titular internet megacorp. The idea behind the company is uniting users email, social media, banking and online shopping in its universal operating system as one identity, with this leading to a new age of transparency and civility. But of course, it’s not that simple – and the story becomes a thriller that exploits the dangers of a digital life where all personal data is collected and pervasive surveillance means that privacy is a thing of the past.Ponsoldt, who also wrote and directed Smashed, »
It looks like Tom Hanks is a Dave Eggers fan. The actor has already wrapped Tom Tykwer's adaptation of "A Hologram For The King," and now the actor is eying Eggers' "The Circle" for the big screen. Hanks is attached to star in and produce the movie, with James Ponsoldt ("Smashed," "The Spectacular Now") writing and directing the thriller about "a young woman who is hired for a big job in an Internet monopoly called the Circle, which links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency." The package is being shopped around but given the sketchy state of "Internet movies" ("Men, Women & Children," the not so promising looking "Blackhat") we wonder how many will bite, even with Hanks involved. [Deadline] Ashley Hinshaw ("Chronicle," "Goodbye To All »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Looking to sink his teeth into another David Eggers novel adaptation, Tom Hanks could be lining himself up to produce and star in The Circle. Hanks is already starring in the upcoming A Hologram For The King adaptation where he will reteam with Cloud Atlas co-director Tom Tykwer. Deadline reports that The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt is writing and directing The Circle. The 2013 novel sounds like this: When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s »
- Graham McMorrow
After a four-year slowdown due to the economic recession and the Arab Spring shockwaves, Morocco is back with a bang and proving once again a hotspot for big U.S. shoots.
“Mission Impossible 5,” “Queen of the Desert” and “A Hologram for the King” along with 30 other foreign films and TV productions sailed to Morocco in 2014, investing an estimated $120 million on local soil, a 420% year-on-year jump.
Mendes and Bond star Daniel Craig recently traveled to Oujda, in northeastern Morocco, to shoot a small scene in a train — one that’s not electrified.
“Oujda is pretty spectacular: It’s surrounded by the desert,” said Zakaria Alaoui, who runs one of Morocco’s leading shingles, Zak Productions, and signed a one-year exclusive contract to work on the Bond movie.
The production will return in June »
- Elsa Keslassy
Internationally acclaimed producer and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) has come on to direct the epic adventure film Tiger’S Curse, based on the first in a series of New York Times bestselling novels by author Colleen Houck. Julie Plec, creator of “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals” has adapted the book for the screen.
Ineffable Pictures’ founder Raphael Kryszek and Jesse Israel will produce along with Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel, and with director Shekhar Kapur. Lotus’ D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian are executive producing and Lotus will introduce the action/adventure to foreign buyers starting at Afm.
Tiger’S Curse follows Kelsey Hayes who learns that she has a powerful connection with a beautiful white tiger named Ren, while working at a circus in Oregon over the summer. When a mysterious stranger arrives to reclaim Ren and return him to his native India, Kelsey is whisked »
- Michelle McCue
Tiger’s Curse is based on the first in a series of New York Times novels by Colleen Houck about a circus worker who embarks on an adventure to free a prince from the curse that keeps him inside a tiger’s body.
The Vampire Diaries and The Originals creator Julie Plec adapted the screenplay. Ineffable Pictures’ founder Raphael Kryszek and Jesse Israel will produce alongside Lotus Entertainment’s Johnson and Seibel and Kapur.
Lotus’ DJ Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian serve as executive producers.
“Colleen Houck has created a brilliant story of a young girl’s journey through amazing adventures in the discovery of herself,” said Kapur.
“We are thrilled to pair Kapur’s creative talent with Houck’s epic adventure,” said Kryszek. “This is the first film in a franchise certain to capture the hearts and minds »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Lotus Entertainment will introduce the project at the American Film Market.
Ineffable Pictures’ founder Raphael Kryszek and Jesse Israel will produce along with Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel and Kapur. Lotus’ D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian are executive producing.
The novel centers on a woman who learns that she has a powerful connection with a beautiful white tiger named Ren, while working at a circus in Oregon over the summer. When a mysterious stranger arrives to reclaim Ren and return him to his native India, the woman learns that the tiger is a prince who is the victim of a 300-year-old curse.
Lotus Entertainment’s current film slate includes “Replicas, »
- Dave McNary
The film is produced by Jason Newmark (“Triangle,” “Severance,” “Creep”), who developed the project with the BFI, and the script has been written by Stephen Leslie. Nisha Parti (“Honour”) is also attached to produce.
“A Bollywoof Tale” tells the story of Basil, a much-loved pet Spaniel, with a comfortable family life in London, who is set to move with his human family to Delhi. However when his crate is misplaced at Heathrow, Basil arrives alone on the other side of India in Kolkata.
With the help of a cunning street dog, Santoosh, and a holy cow, Uma, Basil »
- Leo Barraclough
Orson Welles's legendary uncompleted final film, The Other Side of the Wind, featuring John Huston, Susan Strasberg, Lilli Palmer, Dennis Hopper and Peter Bogdanovich, will finally see the light of a projector, reports the New York Times. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Jonathan Rosenbaum on Jacques Tati and Abbas Kiarostami and Reverse Shot and The Believer on Martin Scorsese. Plus: Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta, Michael Haneke, Tom Tykwer, Nina Hoss and Christoph Waltz are among the more than 60 filmmakers and actors who have signed an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel protesting proposed cuts to the German Federal Film Fund. » - David Hudson »
Lotus Entertainment and di Bonaventura Pictures announced today Keanu Reeves will star in Replicas from director Tanya Wexler, the follow-up to her successful hit (Hysteria). From a screenplay by Chad St. John, Replicas is produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (GI Joe, Transformers Franchises), Stephen Hamel, Reeves, and Fundamental Films. Company Films’ partners Hamel and Reeves developed the script based on Hamel’s treatment. Lotus will introduce the sci-fi thriller to foreign buyers starting at the upcoming Afm. CAA is handling domestic rights.
After a car accident kills his loving family, a daring neuroscientist will stop at nothing to bring them back, even if it means pitting himself against a government-controlled laboratory, a police task force, and the physical laws of science themselves.
Production is slated for spring 2015.
No stranger to sci-fi action films, Reeves is possibly best known for his role as “Neo” in the wildly popular The Matrix Trilogy. »
- Michelle McCue
Departure Day: When it comes to TV, is closure important?
If you happen to follow a decent number of TV critics on Twitter, you may have noticed a minor eruption of late. A schism has emerged, prompted by accounts like The Cancellation Bear, which concerns itself solely with the topic of whether or not series are likely to survive based on current ratings patterns. That may sound perfectly innocent on its own, but quite a few admirers have expressed the notion that they refuse to dive into a series if they get the sense that it will come to a premature end, thereby robbing them of closure. This idea has, naturally, left many critics incensed: isn’t TV a medium founded on chaos, on the thrill of working within limitations and at the whims of fickle audiences? Moreover, isn’t it silly to always want tidy resolution in the context »
The Post-1960S, Pre-Digital Age: Real-time One-offs, 1975-1998
British filmmaker John Byrum is responsible for the first (and in some ways only) real-time period film. Inserts (1975), set in the early 1930s, is about a Boy Wonder movie director (called Boy Wonder, played by Richard Dreyfuss fresh from American Graffiti (1973) and Jaws (1975)) now washed up before the age of 30, resigned to making porn because of Hollywood’s conversion to sound. Not only is Inserts scrupulously real-time (with the exception of the opening credits sequence, which offers glimpses of the stag film we’re about to see made) and period, but it’s rather long for such a film, just shy of two hours. To tell the entire story would be spoiling the fun, but the Boy Wonder deals with recalcitrant actresses, the problem of his own potency, career problems, death, sex, after-death and after-sex…and in the end, as »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
What do film directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Agnès Varda, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann, Luis Buñuel, Alain Resnais, Roman Polanski, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Louis Malle, Richard Linklater, Tom Tykwer, Alexander Sokurov, Paul Greengrass, Song Il-Gon, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Iñárritu have in common? More specifically, what type of film have they directed, setting them apart from fewer than 50 of their filmmaking peers? Sorry, “comedy” or “drama” isn’t right. If you’ve looked at this article’s headline, you’ve probably already guessed that the answer is that they’ve all made “real-time” films, or films that seemed to take about as long as their running time.
The real-time film has long been a sub-genre without much critical attention, but the time of the real-time film has come. Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), which was shot and edited so as to seem like a real-time film, floated away with the most 2014 Oscars, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
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