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“In Dubious Battle” is not the first movie about a labor strike with Robert Duvall as the antagonizing boss man; that honor goes to the 1992 Disney musical starring Christian Bale, “Newsies,” in which Duvall portrayed Joseph Pulitzer. “Newsies” went on to receive five Golden Raspberry Award nominations, but it contained more drama and gusto than this humorless dirge from director-star James Franco.
This smug period drama follows the conventional narrative of an idealistic revolutionary and his fearless leader as they incite a strike among apple pickers in California’s fictional Torgas Valley. Matt Rager adapted the script from John Steinbeck’s 1936 novel, and the film is largely based on events that occurred during the California labor strikes of 1933.
Franco is Mac, a spirited labor rights activist (some say Communist) who takes young Jim »
- Jude Dry
The short is part of “The Big Script,” an incubator series launched by Hutcherson’s company Turkeyfoot Productions, next-gen digital studio Indigenous Media and Condé Nast Entertainment, which took five scripts about adolescent or young adult protagonists and mentored the writers through the process of directing their own short film.
“We’re trying to find new voices. It’s that simple,” Indigenous Media co-ceo Jon Avnet says. “Wouldn’t this be an interesting way to get a script turned into a feature film?” For Hutcherson, whom Avnet calls “very talented,” the risk paid off. “Ape” is now being turned into its own feature. You can watch all the films on Condé Nast Entertainment’s digital video collection “The Scene.”
Josh Hutcherson’s Directorial »
- Dani Levy
The most impressive aspect of James Franco’s “In Dubious Battle” is, by far, its cast. Unsurprisingly, Franco stars in his adaptation of what is thought to be John Steinbeck’s first major work, and joining him is a celebrity roll call: Robert Duvall, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Shepard, Josh Hutcherson, Selena Gomez, Zach Braff, and even Danny McBride. Together, they tell the story of California apple pickers who went on strike in 1933 and of the two radical activists who instigated them. But rarely has such star wattage resulted in a film so dull. Franco has tackled legendary authors. »
- Tricia Olszewski
Having established himself as an actor, Josh Hutcherson has now moved behind the camera. The Hunger Games co-star’s short film ‘Ape’ is the most buzzed-about entry with The Big Script, a five-video filmmaking series now available through Conde Nast Entertainment (Cne)’s owned-and-operated video platform The Scene.
The Big Script is a collaboration between Cne, Hutcherson’s Turkeyfoot Productions, and Indiginous Media, a studio founded in 2014 by a trio of entertianment industry vets. The project’s producers combed through thousands of screenplays from Hollywood’s Black List before settling on five to adapt into short films. The resulting videos range from 11 to 17 minutes in length, and four of them are directed by their writers. The lone exception is ‘Ape,’ which Hutcherson directed from a screenplay written by Jon Johnstone.
With The Big Script, Cne, Indiginous, and Turkeyfoot are hoping to introduce viewers to the “next generation of great storytellers, »
- Sam Gutelle
“Ape,” a psychological thriller directed by Josh Hutcherson (“The Hunger Games,” “The Kids Are Alright”), debuted today on the Conde Nast-owned digital platform The Scene. The fifteen-minute film stars Hutcherson as a schizophrenic teen battling hallucinations, with a script by Jon Johnstone.
The film is part of a new emerging filmmakers initiative from Conde Nast Entertainment, Indigenous Media, and Josh and Michelle Hutcherson’s Turkeyfoot Productions, called The Big Script. Citing an increase in major studio tent pole films, The Big Script aims to find and produce “independently created content that can thrive on digital/emerging platforms” and is “driven by unique voices.”
Read More: Female Filmmakers Are ‘Grossly Underrepresented’ When It Comes to Directing Opportunities, New Study Finds
Partnering with The Black List script database, the five films were chosen from over 2,000 submissions, with the only requirement being that the film feature characters in their late teens to late twenties. »
- Jude Dry
You can add Josh Hutcherson to the list of actors who are also directors. The Hunger Games star makes his directorial debut with Ape, a new short about a young man (Hutcherson) with mental illness. The film is part of The Big Script, a series of five shorts produced by Hutcherson and his mom Michelle Hutcherson's Turkeyfoot Productions, Indigenous Media and Condé Nast Entertainment. "I've always wanted to direct," Hutcherson tells me. "Directing definitely preceded acting for me. Before I really actually started in the business, I was directing my friends in movies in Kentucky. But they hated every moment of it and would quit often, so I didn't finish one of those projects. Now I'm »
Ashley Greene is one busy bride-to-be!
The 29-year-old actress spoke to People exclusively about her engagement to longtime boyfriend Paul Khoury and their upcoming wedding plans.
“It’s really fun!” Greene says of being newly engaged. “Paul and I are best friends, so it’s the same but different.”
She adds: “I look down at my hand every once in a while and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m engaged’ which is crazy, but as always, we’re keeping it easy and fun and not stressing about anything that’s to come afterwards—we’re just enjoying this moment. »
- Brianne Tracy
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
The Lego Batman Movie won the weekend as expected, but not with nearly as much money as I had predicted, not besting the opening of The Lego Movie as expected, but instead ending up with a reasonable and not so bad $53 million. Fifty Shades Darker proved that the audience for movies based on the popular books was still great enough for it to win Friday with $21 million (to Lego Batman’s $15 million) and end up second for the weekend with a strong $46.6 million. That was still almost $40 million less than the opening of the previous movie Fifty Shades of Grey, but the sequel also didn’t have the benefits of Valentine’s Day and a four-day holiday. Coming in »
- Edward Douglas
New Line Cinema has revealed an image from this year’s upcoming The Disaster Artist, an adaptation of the novel of the same name detailing the troubled production of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, which often gets labelled as the worst movie ever made. The image gives us a first look at James Franco as the titular disaster artist Wiseau, along with his brother Dave Franco, who is playing Greg Sestero, a real-life friend of Wiseau who played Mark in The Room.
The Disaster Artist is set to have its world premiere at the SXSW film festival next month. The star-studded cast of the film also includes Seth Rogen (The Night Before), Zac Efron (Neighbors), Kate Upton (The Other Woman), Ari Graynor (The Sopranos), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Andrew Santino (Sin City Saints), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2), and a cameo from Tommy Wiseau himself. »
- Robert Kojder
Variety is reporting that The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson will be voicing the lead role in the upcoming animated feature Elliot the Littlest Reindeer from Awesometown Entertainment and director Jennifer Westcott (Locked in a Garage Band).
The film will revolve around a miniature horse called Elliott as he follows his dream to earn a spot on Santa’s sleigh team when Blitzen retires. Hutcherson joins a voice cast that also includes Samantha Bee, John Cleese, Martin Short and Jeff Dunham.
“It’s a great script, with a powerful message wrapped into an accessible story,” states Hutcherson. “I really feel it will resonate with kids and adults alike… It was a fun process making Elliot’s character come to life… and collaborating with the team!”
- Amie Cranswick
Often referred to as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies,” Tommy Wiseau’s The Room wrote its name in cinema’s history books for all the wrong reasons back in 2003. A spluttering mess of plot holes and cringe-worthy dialogue, Wiseau’s self-confessed passion project – one which he wrote, directed and starred in – has since gone on to become something of a cult classic, and soon James Franco and Co. will introduce moviegoers to the story behind the so-called misguided masterpiece.
Its title? The Disaster Artist, a big-screen rendition of Greg Sestero’s novel of the same name. Those already familiar with Sestero’s source material will know all too well that the author pulls no punches in his autopsy of The Room, which is hardly surprising given he co-starred in the cult original as conflicted best friend Mark. Fast forward to 2017 and it is Dave Franco that will be playing the part of Mark, »
- Michael Briers
12 February 2017 12:33 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Morena Baccarin has joined the voice cast of Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer.
The former Homeland star will play Corkie, a intrepid journalist determined to get the scoop on Santa's North Pole tryouts in the animated Christmas underdog tale. Baccarin joins Josh Hutcherson, Samantha Bee, John Cleese and Martin Short in the pic from Awesometown Entertainment, which is being shopped at the European Film Market in Berlin by Double Dutch International.
The film finds Santa Claus reindeer Blitzen announcing his retirement on Dec. 21, giving Elliot, a miniature horse, just three days during North Pole tryouts to fulfill his »
- Etan Vlessing
Exclusive: Homeland actress joins voice cast of family animation.
Baccarin will play Corkie, an intrepid reporter who is determined to get the scoop on Father Christmas’s North Pole try-outs for his coveted sleigh team.
“I really enjoyed the story,” said Baccarin. “The idea that with enough perseverance and team spirit you can change the expected and surpass the norm… And it’s always a plus to be in something your kids can watch.”
Jennifer Westcott is directing Elliott The Littlest Reindeer from her screenplay. Lucas Lynette-Krech produces and executive producers include Dan Krech, Victoria Westcott of Elgin Road, Mike Sears and Michael Emerson of M3, and Moring.
Ddi’s Efm line-up »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The Big Script, a film incubator looking to nurture emerging filmmakers’ top scripts and backed by Indigenous Media, Condé Nast Entertainment, Josh Hutcherson and Michelle Hutcherson's Turkeyfoot Productions, has unveiled five entries into the program. Each of the scripts selected from more than 2,000 via The Black List revolves around young-adult, generation-defining screenplays featuring core characters from their late teens to late 20s. As part of the program, Jon… »
The James Franco train is rolling hard at the moment — he’s got both “In Dubious Battle” and “The Institute” coming to cinemas in the next couple of months — but every once in a while, his moviemaking machine turns up a possible gem, and we’ve got hope for “The Disaster Artist.” Why? Because the film finds Franco playing Tommy Wiseau, the eccentric director of cult favorite “The Room.”
Joined by Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, and Alison Brie, the film will detail all the shenanigans that went into making one of the best worst movies in recent memory.
- Kevin Jagernauth
Feature is directed by Jennifer Westcott and produced by Lucas Lynette-Krech. Executive producers are Dan Krech along with Victoria Westcott of Elgin Road; Mike Sears and Michael Emerson of M3; Jason Moring of Ddi, who made the announcement at the Berlin Film Festival; and Active Intl.
The animated adventure was written by Westcott and follows miniature horse Elliot, who follows his dream to earn a spot on Santa’s sleigh team after Blitzen retires. Other voice actors include Samantha Bee, John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham.
“It’s a great script, with a powerful message wrapped into an accessible story. I really feel it will resonate with kids and adults alike… It was a fun process making Elliot’s character come to life… and collaborating with the team! »
- Variety Staff
With little over a month to go until Austin plays host to SXSW 2017 for another year, organizers of the annual showcase have announced that James Franco’s drama The Disaster Artist has been added to the stacked lineup.
Based on Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s non-fiction book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, Franco’s passion project is set to recount the infamous story behind The Room, Tommy Wiseau’s widely-derided pic that has since gone on to become something of a cult classic. No release date has been set, but we know that the feature will be written and directed by Franco, who stars as the eccentric Wiseau, and features a cast comprised of Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, and former Community star Alison Brie. Bryan Cranston and Zach Braff are among those set to cameo.
In related news, the midnight »
- Michael Briers
James Franco’s movie about the worst movie ever made — which became a beloved cult classic — will join Terrence Malick’s latest and others at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. “The Disaster Artist” sees Franco as director and star playing “The Room” filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, who made “the Citizen Kane of bad movies,” according to the festival guide. Franco gathers a cast of family and frequent collaborators in brother Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson and Jacki Weaver. The ensemble will tell the story behind the genesis of “The Room,” about a love triangle set in. »
- Matt Donnelly
SXSW made the announcement Tuesday. Franco directed “The Disaster Artist,” based on the making of Tommy Wiseau’s incomprehensible “The Room,” which some describe as the “’Citizen Kane’ of bad movies.” Franco also stars along with sibling Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver and Alison Brie.
The program is also attempting to set up a screening of the original “The Room,” which first screened in 2003.
The festival, which is heading into its 24th year, will open March 10 in Austin with the previously announced Terrence Malick movie “Song to Song” with Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman. It announced most of the lineup a week ago, including world premieres of “Baby Driver” and “The Ballad of Lefty Brown.”
The new announcement includes the SXSW Midnighters section of 10 genre films, »
- Dave McNary
Despite what you may think of his talents, it is indisputable that James Franco is a prolific creator. So comes a new full-length theatrical trailer for his most recent adaptation, In Dubious Battle. Based off the novel by John Steinbeck, the film follows a California-based activist who gets tangled up in the labor movement for farm workers in the 1930s.
Jam-packed with such an extensive cast-list that it barely fits on a poster, Franco’s latest directorial effort stars himself, Nat Wolff, Vincent D’Onofrio, Selena Gomez (in a Spring Breakers reunion!), Robert Duvall, Bryan Cranston, Ed Harris, Josh Hutcherson, Sam Shepard, Scott Haze, and Zach Braff. Following screenings at Venice and Tiff last year, where it garnered mostly mixed reviews, it’ll arrive in just a few weeks.
See the trailer below.
In the California apple country, nine hundred migratory workers rise up “in dubious battle” against the landowners. »
- Mike Mazzanti
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