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Paramount Hires Director for ‘World War Z’ Sequel
After making $540 million at the worldwide box office, Paramount has worked fast to find a director for its sequel to “World War Z” with “The Impossible” helmer Juan Antonio Bayona coming on board to direct.
Brad Pitt is expected to return to star and produce. No writers are attached at this time.
In the original, Pitt played a former United Nations employee who travels the world trying to stop a zombie plague.
While the first film’s production was overshadowed in controversy that included a rewrite of the third act, the film more than overperformed at the box-office, propelling development on the sequel.
Bayona, who also helmed “The Orphanage,” is repped by CAA.
- Justin Kroll
Casting Net: Robert Pattinson joins 'The Childhood of a Leader', more
• Robert Pattinson is attached to star in The Childhood of a Leader, the directorial debut of Brady Corbet (Melancholia, Martha Marcy May Marlene). Juliette Binoche and Tim Roth also star in the Wwi-era pic, which Corbet co-wrote with Mona Fastvold. Pattinson currently has two films in post-production that will likely hit theaters in 2014: David Cronenberg’s Hollywood drama Maps to the Stars, and The Rover with Guy Pearce and Scoot McNairy. [Variety]
- Lindsey Bahr
'Godzilla' trailer: The King of Monsters has a taste for prestige actors -- Video
The first trailer for Legendary’s 2014 monster movie keeps the gigantic nuclear dinosaur mostly hidden behind veils of smoke, but there’s no doubting he’s got a big footprint. Strathairn air-drops a military unit into a destroyed city, and while we get to meet the heroes tasked with fighting the beast, we witness the wreckage he created. The soldiers announce their presence on the way down with red smoke trails. It’s a noble, heroic mission that sadly »
- Jeff Labrecque
Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke's 'Getaway' Is Worst Reviewed Film of 2013; 'After Earth' and 'Grown Ups 2' Also Rank
The Week has rounded up the worst reviewed films of 2013, based on Rotten Tomatoes scores. As to be expected, some of these titles were more publicized critical and financial bombs (M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth," starring Jaden and Will Smith, for example), while others barely register in memory ("The Big Wedding" and "Getaway" -- huh?). Check out the list, below. "Getaway," which takes the cake as the worst reviewed film of the year with a paltry 2% Rotten on the Tomatometer, stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. They're probably not too concerned about it -- Hawke had a great year with critical darling "Before Midnight" and box office surprise "The Purge," while Gomez was one of the bikini-clad stars of Harmony Korine's cult fave "Spring Breakers." Here are the worst reviewed films of 2013, per Rotten Tomatoes: 1. "Getaway" (2% Rotten) 2. "Paranoia" (4% Rotten) 3. "Movie 43" (4% Rotten) 4. "Scary Movie 5" (4% Rotten) 5. "Battle of the Year »
- Beth Hanna
The Deathbat Soars Again in Avenged Sevenfold's New Animated Series
Metalocalypse producer Jon Schnepp has teamed up with chart-topping rockers Avenged Sevenfold to create an animated web series based on the band's sixth studio album Hail To The King, which debuted in August to worldwide acclaim and the band's best-ever sales. The horror-fantasy series, which looks about as splattery as Dethklok's ultra-violent misadventures in Metalocalypse, tells the saga of the “Deathbat,” the band's winged skull mascot, and will also serve as a prequel to the band's upcoming mobile video game app (appropriately titled Hail to the King: Deathbat), slated for release in early 2014. All six episodes will premiere simultaneously on Machinima's Happy Hour YouTube channel on Sunday, December 15th. In the meantime, check out the trailer below! »
- Gregory Burkart
World War Z sequel signs Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona
• World War Z earns sequel after gobbling up global box office
• World War Z – the Guardian's verdict
World War Z was beset with problems during its production, involving rewrites and the whole 40-minute third act being reshot, but the struggle proved worth it as the film made $540m worldwide earlier this year. Its success has cleared the pathway for a sequel, as Hollywood looks ever more towards franchises as stable revenue generators.
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Blackfish and the backlash against killer whale shows
Heart are an unlikely bunch of revolutionaries. But the American soft rockers' decision to cancel a concert at SeaWorld in Florida may mark a turning point in the relationship between humans and one of the most magnificent mammals of the ocean. The band this week joined Willie Nelson and Barenaked Ladies in cancelling shows at the Orlando theme park because they had watched Blackfish, a film about Tilikum, a five-tonne male orca that has been involved in the deaths of three people. This modest yet riveting documentary has made ever-bigger ripples across the pond since its premiere at Sundance earlier this year, with an audience of 20 million recently watching it on CNN. It is now on the Oscar longlist.
Tilikum's plight – enduring »
- Patrick Barkham
Banderas eyed for Pope Francis biopic
Antonio Banderas is being tapped by one of Italy's most successful film producers to star as a young Pope Francis in a new biopic.
Pietro Valsecchi, the man behind popular comedies Sun in Buckets (Sole a catinelle) from this year and What a Beautiful Day (Che bella giornata) from 2011, broke the news in a television interview. The proposed film would most likely debut on the small screen in Italy.
Valsecchi's popular films, which star musician and standup comic Checco Zalone and are often directed by Gennaro Nunziante, are lowbrow comedies. But the producer certainly has the financial clout to get the biopic made, with his last two movies currently standing as the highest grossing films of all time in Italy, ahead of Roberto Benigni's 1997 Oscar winner Life is Beautiful. »
- Ben Child
China Box Office Passes RMB20 billion Landmark
Hong Kong – China’s theatrical box office has topped the RMB20 billion landmark for the first time ever. The record score appears to have been realized from fewer, bigger films.
According to figures from the China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (Gapprft,) the milestone, which equates to $3.27 billion, was passed on Sunday (Dec. 8, 2013).
The full year total was RMB17 billion in 2012 and with the busy Christmas season kicking off many forecasts for the full year predict a 2013 total in excess of RMB23 billion ($3.76 billion). Major releases this month include Feng Xiaogang’s comedy sequel “Personal Tailor” (pictured) and Jackie Chan’s “Police Story 2013.”
Box office for local films totaled RMB11.1 billion in the period to Dec. 8, implying a market share for Chinese movies of 55%
The Gapprft said that 591 films had been produced in China to date, a tumble of over 100. But it did not »
- Patrick Frater
Film today: Puss in Boots to Pope in biopic
As news emerged of casting for the Pope Francis movie, we've the full rundown of today's headlines and more
In the headlines
• Antonio Banderas tipped to play young Pope Francis
• NBC plans Rosemary's Baby TV miniseries
• Later today, the Screen Actors Guild nominations are out
Elsewhere on the site
• Our countdown of the year's best films continues. Today: number eight.
• The best reader reviews of the Cinema Paradiso reissue
• Charles Gant's UK box office report
• Top 10 biopics
• Clip joint is twisted sisters
You may have missed
• As news of the Joan and Pauline Collins buddy movie emerged, Stuart Heritage suggested other same-surname collaborations
• Adam Sandler tops Forbes annual list of overpaid actors
• Week in geek on the first trailer for Jupiter Ascending
• The AFI names its top 10 films »
Ian McKellen Meets Gandalf In Sesame Street's Upcoming Lord Of The Crumbs Parody
Major spoiler alert: If you don.t want to know what happens on Thursday.s episode of Sesame Street, look away! Today.s letter is "J," for "just kidding." Since its inception, Sesame Street has appealed to adults by utilizing celebrity guest stars, but it.s only in recent years that the writers began tapping into the wide world of parodies on a regular basis, with the last year or so seeing a host of pop culture riffs getting the educational (but still quite amusing) spoofing. And while not exactly timely, the beloved series will take on Lord of the Rings this week, with none other than Sir Ian McKellen appearing before a yellow and bearded Gandalf while trying to get into Mr. Hooper.s store. All it takes is a little politeness, though, and McKellen is as genial as they come, but will he be the "Lord of the »
Adam Sandler Is Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actor
Once upon a time, Adam Sandler churned out comedies with very modest budgets. They did pretty well at the box office and everyone involved turned a tidy little profit, leading to new greenlights and more creative freedom. Unfortunately, along the way, the budgets started getting bigger and bigger and long story short, he.s now apparently the most overpriced actor in Hollywood. The annual study published by Forbes singled the former Saturday Night Live star out thanks to a failures of Jack & Jill and That.s My Boy. The latter in particular brought in less than its budget at the box office, and when added to the advertising budget, it likely lost a pretty penny, even with DVD sales. Grown Ups 2, on the other hand, did very, very well at the box office, but since the period in question measured ended on June of this past year, that film »
Hailee Steinfeld in Talks for Ten Thousand Saints; Juliette Binoche, Tim Roth and Robert Pattinson Join Brady Corbet’s The Childhood Of A Leader
Here's the day's latest casting news: Hailee Steinfeld (Ender's Game) is in talks to star in Ten Thousand Saints, from writers-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor). Juliette Binoche (Words and Pictures) and Tim Roth (Arbitrage) will topline Brady Corbet's directorial debut, The Childhood of a Leader, with Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis) co-starring. Omar Epps (House M.D.) will lead the neo-noir thriller, One Small Mistake, for director Alexander Harvey. Hit the jump for more on each picture. First up from Deadline is news that Steinfeld is in early talks to join Ten Thousand Saints, a feature adaptation of Eleanor Henderson’s 2011 novel set in 1980s New York City, an age encapsulated by Cbgb, yuppies and gentrification, all leading to 1988′s Tompkins Square Park riots. The film follows "Vermont teenager Jude, who moves in with his hippie dad in NYC after his best friend Teddy overdoses. There he falls in with the no drugs, »
- Dave Trumbore
Jared Harris Talks Playing a Hustler, His Love of Disaster Movies, Why His Characters Always Die, and More on the Set of Pompeii
Anytime you cast Jared Harris, you’ve made the right choice. Over the past two decades, and especially the last few years with Mad Men, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Lincoln, Harris has played every type of role and always makes it look easy. In director Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii, Harris plays a morally ambiguous businessman that is quickly running out of rope. He also happens to be the father of Emily Browning's character, the story's primary love interest. During a group interview on set last June, Harris talked about being a fan of disaster movies, how he was cast, his perspective on his character, filming the disaster scenes, why the characters he plays always die, what surprised him to learn about Pompeii, and a lot more. Hit the jump for the interview. Before going any further, if you haven't watched the Pompeii trailer, I'd watch »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Mark Pellegrino Talks The Tomorrow People, Playing Characters in the Gray Area, Shocking Mid-Season Finale Moments, and More
The new CW drama series The Tomorrow People follows a generation of humans born with paranormal abilities, who are the next evolutionary leap of mankind. Up until a year ago, Stephen (Robbie Amell) was a “normal” teenager, but then he learned that he is part of a genetically advanced race with the abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication, and that this race is being hunted down by a paramilitary group of scientists known as Ultra. In Episode 9, “Death’s Door,” John (Luke Mitchell) finds himself in a dangerous situation with Stephen unable to help without revealing himself to Ultra, while Cara (Peyton List) and Russell (Aaron Yoo) negotiate a trade with Jedikiah (Mark Pellegrino), which ultimately makes Jedikiah take a big risk. During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Mark Pellegrino talked about why he likes playing characters that live in the complicated grey territory, how many big »
- Christina Radish
This Week In Home Entertainment: Fast & Furious, Despicable Me 2 And More
Fast & Furious 6 Blu-ray There can.t be any talk about this latest Fast & Furious release without a nod to the late Paul Walker. I watched the Blu-ray edition for the latest movie in the franchise, Fast & Furious 6, just a short time after news of Walker.s untimely death hit the press. Mentions of Walker.s character, Brian and his parenting skills and his role in the team will hit especially hard for fans, and lend a poignant note to an otherwise fast-paced and thrilling film. At the beginning of Fast & Furious 6, our crew of criminals have retired and taken up residence around the world. Then, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), Han (Sung Kang) and more agree to take on a mission, helping none other than the United States of America. This might seem a bit nonsensical, but it.s actually a sweet deal, »
Liv and Ingmar Is an Anecdotal Treasure Chest for Cinephiles
Liv Ullmann is warm and charming, the kind of person you'd want to have coffee with. Her easy charisma, not to mention her coruscating azure eyes, make her an ideal interview subject.
She is just that in Liv & Ingmar: Painfully Connected, reflecting with brutal honesty on her tempestuous relationship with director, partner, and soulmate Ingmar Bergman, or as she calls him, Pingmar.
Recalling a conversation on the set of Persona, the duo's first collaboration, Ullmann divulges how Bergman took her aside and branded the two "painfully connected," a portentous label that stuck throughout their 50-year history. She speaks candidly about their seesaw relationship, never shying away from details about his emotional abuse or the forced isolation she endured on t »
Nuclear Nation Charts Futaba, Japan's Meltdown
Though mentioned only once, Hiroshima and Nagasaki loom large over Nuclear Nation, an assured and sobering documentary that charts the situation in Futaba, Japan, shortly after the 2011 meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Due to the catastrophic infrastructural damage wrought by this calamity (and the preceding tsunami and earthquake), most of Futaba's residents were forced to relocate to a nearby school. Funahashi's film locates the ongoing tragedy of these circumstances in crowded classroom dorms, cramped makeshift offices, and the uniformly despondent countenances of those who lost homes and loved ones to the catastrophe and who have now been left purgatorial refugees.
Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the »
Captain Phillips Returning to Theaters on Wednesday, January 15th in Advance of Academy Award Nominations
In an effort to goose Oscar buzz, Sony is re-releasing Captain Phillips into theaters starting Wednesday, January 15th. The Tom Hanks-starrer is expected to expand to 1,000 theaters from its current tally of 640 by the time the Academy Award nominations are announced the very next day. Hanks plays the title role, the captain of a ship taken over by Somali pirates. The action-adventure biopic has already made north of $100 million domestically and is nearing $200 million worldwide. On the awards front, buzz is building for newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who played the lead pirate thrust into taking action that was far beyond his own abilities. Hit the jump for more. News of Sony's re-release of Captain Phillips comes via Deadline. The film will appear on DVD and Blu-ray a week later on Tuesday, January 21st, so the theatrical re-release stands to give audiences a chance to check out the awards-worthy performances on »
- Dave Trumbore
‘Napoleon’ Writer Signs Two-Picture Script Deal at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)
Warner reached a deal last month with “Snow White and the Huntsman” helmer Rupert Sanders to direct the Napoleon project with Gianni Nunnari producing. Doner heavily researched Napoleon in writing the script, leading to significant parts of the story being at odds with the general public knowledge of the French general.
He is repped by CAA.
- Dave McNary
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