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Steven Spielberg to Direct ‘The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara’ (Exclusive)
Though he’s still mulling what his next directing gig will be, Steven Spielberg has added another project to his development slate: a religious drama titled “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara,” written by “Lincoln” and “Munich” scribe Tony Kushner. Spielberg plans to direct and produce the drama, which would be a co-production between DreamWorks and the Weinstein Co.
The pic is based on the David Kertzer novel revolving around the true life story of an Italian Jew who in 1858 became the center of an international controversy when he was removed from his parents at the age of seven by authorities of the Papal States and raised as a Catholic. He went on to become a priest in the Augustinian order.
Spielberg and Kushner also teamed on historical dramas “Munich” and “Lincoln,” both of which landed best picture nominations. Spielberg is said to be very anxious to get back behind the camera, »
- Justin Kroll
Chris Pine in Talks to Star in Disney’s ‘Finest Hours’
Craig Gillespie is in talks to direct .
The pic is based on true events revolving around a rescue effort by the coast guard in 1952 to save the crews of two oil tankers after the two ships crashed into each other off the coast of New England.
Jim Whitaker is producing.
Pine is repped by CAA and John Carrabino Management and was last seen in Paramount’s “Jack Ryan.” Gillespie is repped by UTA and Management 360.
- Justin Kroll
Cannes lineup: Ryan Gosling, Bennett Miller, and 'Dragons' get festival showcase
Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, starring Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carell, was one of the high-profile movies that was announced this morning for competition in next month’s Cannes Film Festival. Also competing for the Palme d’Or is The Homesman from director Tommy Lee Jones, and David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, which features Robert Pattinson.
How to Train Your Dragons 2 will also premiere at Cannes, with an out of competition screening. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Box office preview: Johnny Depp's 'Transcendence' heads for an Earth-bound debut
Johnny Depp is back in theaters this weekend for the first time since last summer’s The Lone Ranger – but his $100 million sci-fi thriller Transcendence isn’t the only movie with a shot at the box office crown. There’s strong competition from both last week’s champ Captain America: Winter Soldier and the animated Rio 2, which could get an additional boost from kids who aren’t school-bound on Good Friday. The inspirational Heaven Is for Real and the profane A Haunted House 2 are also in the running.
Here’s how the weekend could go:
1. Rio 2 »
- Adam Markovitz
Paramount, China Filmco eye Marco Polo
The partners will co-produce the 3D fantasy-action and are searching for a name Hollywood director and star plus Us and Chinese cast.
Production is expected to commence in October in conjunction with Yuehua Entertainment, Phoenix Entertainment and Huahua Film & Media Culture.
Paramount vice-chairman Rob Moore (pictured) joined China Filmco director and vice-president Zhang Qiang at the official signing ceremony in Beijing, where the Beijing International Film Festival is underway.
Yuehua Entertainment CEO Du Hua, Phoenix Entertainment chairman Wang Fengchang and Huahua Film & Media Culture CEO Wang Kefei were also in attendance. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Steven Spielberg joins religious drama 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara'
Steven Spielberg’s already-full plate just got a little more crowded: The celebrated director is currently developing a religious drama titled The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.
Spielberg may not direct the drama, according to Variety – but he does plan to have a hand in producing. The Oscar winner is currently wrapped up in two potential projects that may take precedence over Edgardo: Robopocalypse and another historical drama, Montezuma.
The film would be co-produced by DreamWorks and the Weinstein Co and the script, based on David Kertzer’s nonfiction book, comes from Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner. Kertzer’s book tells »
- Andrea Towers
First Images from MacBeth Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
Filming on Justin Kurzel's Macbeth is currently underway, and the first two images have been released. The adaptation of Shakespeare's play stars Michael Fassbender as the titular Scottish king with Marion Cotillard playing Lady Macbeth. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Fassbender says all the cast speaks with Scottish accents except for Cotillard. "We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent," says Fassbender. "It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court." I'm willing to allow for that assumption when there's a great actress like Cotillard in such a juicy role. Hit the jump to check out the Macbeth images and to learn more about Kurzel and Fassbender's take on the material. The film also stars Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor and Elizabeth Debicki. Macbeth opens in the U.K. in early »
- Matt Goldberg
Why 'Silicon Valley' Could Be HBO's First Comedy With Mass Appeal In Years
For all of the cheering for the quality and creative ambition of HBO's programming -- rah-rahs that are all truly deserved -- it's too often glossed over that that the network hasn't had a lot of comedy success recently. Before you lose yourself in a Ari Gold-style meltdown over that statement, allow some clarification. Yes, there has been an abundance of critical and awards success when it comes to HBO's current slate of comedies, a testament to the network's admiral commitment to quality and adventurous content above all other programming factors. But while Julia Louis-Dreyfus is dutifully and rightfully winning acting awards for motherfucking epic comedic work on "Veep" (cursing just feels right when talking about that show) and Lena Dunham's "Girls" routinely lights the zeitgeist on fire as if the cast moonlight as cultural flamethrowers, the fact of the matter is that HBO hasn't had a mass-appeal hit in years. »
- Kevin Patrick
Transcendence: 2014's most unexpected turkey?
Even if real life mirrored science fiction and we could predict the future, it would have taken a pretty sophisticated bit of kit to have nailed the emergence of Wally Pfister's Transcendence as one of 2014's bigger critical turkeys. Christopher Nolan's cinematographer lined up a sumptuous cast including Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara for his directorial debut. Jack Paglen's script, about the revival of a dead artificial-intelligence researcher, Will Caster (Depp), as an apparently omnipotent digital version of his former self, made the 2012 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Trailers so far have suggested an intriguing fate-of-humanity thriller with shades of The Terminator, Watchmen and The Matrix. But early reviews are in, »
- Ben Child
Watch: Here Are the First Three Minutes of Joss Whedon's New Indie 'In Your Eyes,' Premiering at Tribeca
Joss Whedon fans waiting for "Avengers: Age of Ultron", here's something to tide you over. Back at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, Indiewire spoke to Whedon about his independent production company, Bellwether, and its first completed feature, his adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Whedon mentioned that Bellwether started another feature before "Much Ado," and it's finally premiering at Tribeca Film Festival. "In Your Eyes," a science-fiction romance, stars Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David as two people who can feel what the other is feeling despite not knowing each other and living on opposite sides of the country. Written by Whedon and directed by Brin Hill, it sounds like an ambitious, unusual love story, and Entertainment Weekly has released the first three minutes of the film online. The film establishes its conceit quickly and succinctly, showing a connection between the characters that reaches all the way back to childhood. »
- Max O'Connell
Maleficent Featurette Teases A Re-Invention, Not A Re-Telling Of Sleeping Beauty
Rather than delivering a live-action remake of Sleeping Beauty, Disney has taken more of a Wicked approach with Maleficent in focusing its attention on the villain of the story. As screenwriter Linda Woolverton describes the concept in the new featurette, Maleficent is "a reinvention, not just a re-telling of the same story." It's a risk, no doubt, as it does involve tinkering with a beloved classic. But from everything we've seen, including some of the thrilling footage revealed in this featurette, that risk may very well pay off. In the latest promotional video, stars Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, writer Linda Woolverton and director Robert Stromberg discuss revising the classic story from a new angle. Those familiar with Sleeping Beauty might agree that Maleficent is a pretty underdeveloped villain. In the animated film, she shows up at Aurora's christening, interrupting the fairies as they're bestowing their gifts on the baby. »
Paramount, China Film Group Corp. to Produce 3D ‘Marco Polo’
The companies signed the deal Friday at the Beijing International Film Festival with a traditional hand-printing ceremony.
Signatories were La Peikang, president of China Film Group Corp. and Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures. Pic will be produced by Par and Sino partners Yuehua Entertainment, Phoenix Entertainment and Huahua Film & Media Culture.
The participants emphasized the significance of the first-time partnership between Par and Chinese film industry orgs. Deal was billed in a news announcement as an “important milestone in the history of cross-border cooperation in the U.S. and Chinese film industry.”
Pic is expected to be directed by Rob Cohen, helmer of the first “Fast and Furious” movie, and will feature a mix of Hollywood and Chinese stars. The focus on the famed 13th-century Italian explorer, »
- Patrick Frater
Your Box Office Predictions for 'Transcendence', 'Heaven is for Real', 'Haunted House 2' and 'Bears'
The number of people participating in the Box Office Challenge continues to decline. You do realize you have over eight more months to crack the top ten rightc You also realize you're playing for a $50 Amazon gift card no matter where you live in the world... rightc Oh well, at least a few people are joining in the fun. As for this week, there's a radical difference in the predictions as Laremy has gone much higher than the readers on Transcendence, $5 million higher in fact as he sees it trending toward a $30.6 million finish while the reader average is just below tracking at $25.6 million. Seems tracking numbers are a little more influential than Laremy's gut instinct. Perhaps that and the ridiculous 19% RottenTomatoes rating, but we'll get into that on today's podcast. With Heaven is for Real, the readers went $300,000 higher than Laremy with a $17.3 million prediction as religious based films continue to prove successful, »
- Brad Brevet
Cannes: Nicole Garcia Announced as Jury President for the Caméra d'Or Award
French actress-director Nicole Garcia has been chosen to the lead the jury for the Caméra d'Or award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The award is given out to the best debut film at Cannes. Nicole Garcia first received acclaim in the 1980s French comedy "Practice Makes Perfect," which won her a Cesar Award. Her efforts as a director have also brought her much praise, especially her 1990 film "Every Other Weekend" and the 1994 "The Favorite Son." Her most recent picture, "Going Away" came out earlier this year. “Presiding over the Caméra d’or is an honour, a joy and a mission,” announced Garcia. “I hope to be worthy of the honour, bask in the joy and do my best to deliver on the mission.” Previous Jury Presidents for the Caméra d'Or award include Bong Joon-Ho, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, Carlos Diegues and Agnes Varda. Garcia will announce the Caméra d'Or winner at »
- Eric Eidelstein
Review: Mindless And Harmless '13 Sins' Starring Mark Webber & Ron Perlman Fails To Thrill
Real human beings take a certain kind of sadistic pleasure in watching fictional human beings suffer. As long as it's from a safe distance, and it's not affecting you or yours on any level, watching man turn into beast right before your very eyes could feel almost empowering. Just think about the most popular video games for a second, if all the violent movies aren't convincing enough. This type of barbarity gets upped a notch when you throw in the theme of voyeurism; not only are we watching how low some people will go, but now we're watching them being watched, controlled, and manipulated into doing some really nasty stuff. We've seen it on taut psychological display in David Fincher's “The Game,” James Wan's “Saw” begat an entire franchise on it, and more recently E.L. Katz's “Cheap Thrills” had all sorts of delirious fun with it during the festival circuit. »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Why Is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Opening Internationally First?
Heading to the movies this weekend? I bet you are super-excited to finally check out Marc Webb.s The Amazing Spider-Man 2! Fan feedback has been off the charts positive. Reviews, on balance, are strong. Grab your tickets and head out to. Wait, what? Oh yeah, that.s right. We live in the United States, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn.t open here for another two weeks. Webb.s sequel opens in 15 territories today, including the U.K., Spain, Belgium, Mexico and Australia. Financially, it.s a winning move for Sony. Deadline reports that in four of the key markets, the Spider-Man sequel "already has logged the biggest opening days of the year." But U.S. readers have been reaching out to us wondering why we.re behind the curve when it comes to global distribution. It.s a valid question. This isn.t an anomaly. It.s the »
'Proxy' Director Zack Parker on Playing with Audience Expectations and Conscious (and Unconscious) Influences
At a point where most horror is content to go "booga booga" with a shock cut or otherwise offer non-stop carnage, a film like Zack Parker's "Proxy" is a breath of fresh air. Indiewire critic Eric Kohn wrote about the film's surprises (and it seems to have one up its sleeve every fifteen minutes), but also that "It isn’t about the shocking developments around each corner so much as the energy and invention that it brings to them." It's a film that features throwbacks to Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma and Lars von Trier without feeling like empty quoting, and it goes to far-out places without careening off the rails or leaving its characters behind. Indiewire sat down with Parker to talk about his penchant for slow-burning tension, his influences, and how he planned to subvert audience expectations. "Proxy" opens today in theaters and is available to watch On Demand. »
- Max O'Connell
'The Immigrant': Marion Cotillard finds hardship in America -- Video
The film, directed by James Gray, was met with glowing reviews at the 2013 Cannes festival. It follows the story of Cotillard’s Ewa, who struggles to find the American dream while working for a pimp (Joaquin Phoenix) as a magician (Jeremy Renner) tries to help set her free.
The Immigrant comes out May 16. Watch the trailer below: »
- Ariana Bacle
New Godzilla Featurette Focuses on Director Gareth Edwards
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have released a new Godzilla featurette. This featurette is a brief chat with director Gareth Edwards. For those who don't know, Edwards breakthrough feature was 2010's Monsters, an indie film that looks far more expensive because of Edwards' background as a visual effects artist and his ability to use effects shots wisely rather than simply throwing a bunch of CGI at the screen. In this interview, Edwards explains that he's going for a realistic take on Godzilla, which stays true to the original 1954 movie. Even though there's a giant monster roaming around, the original film is really about living in the aftermath and fear of the atomic bomb. While I assume Godzilla won't be a dour blockbuster, I'm glad Edwards respects the monster's origins and wants to be true to the spirit of the classic picture. Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, »
- Matt Goldberg
Ben Affleck's Batman Looks 'Epic,' But When Will We See Him?
Somewhere, in an undisclosed location, deep in the bowels of his underground lair, "Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder is staring at Ben Affleck's Batman costume — and you are not. We'll give you a minute to soak that in. In an interview with Forbes, the man behind the Batman-fueled "Man of Steel" sequel spoke about the costumes for the upcoming superhero flick, revealing, "I'm actually staring at [a picture of the costumes] right now ...
By Josh Wigler »
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