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'Fifty Shades of Grey' Gets a Woman Director--And a Possible Leading Man?
Yes, Universal Pictures and Focus Features have chosen a woman director, Brit Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Boy"), to direct the film adaptation of E.L. James' global bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing the film. The book has sold over 70 million ebooks and printed copies worldwide. The trick with hiring the right director was finding someone who could handle the delicate sexual nuances of a highly erotic story on film without making audiences wriggle with discomfort. Weinstein Co. picked up 2009's BAFTA-nominated "Nowhere Boy," which tells the story of John Lennon (played by the filmmaker's husband Aaron Taylor-Johnson) in Liverpool, where he met the teenage Paul McCartney. But the movie did not pick up much traction in the U.S. Taylor-Johnson also directed the short "Love You More" which was nominated for the Palme D’Or in 2008. She is currently in development on a film for. »
- Anne Thompson
Here’s a Casting Breakdown for the New Star Wars
We still don't know what the new J.J. Abrams Star Wars is going to be about. But now we can start guessing with a little more information! From Bleeding Cool, this is the casting breakdown that went out in the U.K.: Late-teen female, independent, good sense of humour, fit.Young twenty-something male, witty and smart, fit but not traditionally good looking.A late twentysomething male, fit, handsome and confident.Seventy-something male, with strong opinions and tough demeanour. Also doesn’ t need to be particularly fit.A second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and fit.Forty something male, fit, military type.Thirtysomething male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit. So, no descendants of Jabba the Hutt, then. »
- Margaret Lyons
The Walking Dead 'Minimates' Return to Comic-Con
Diamond Select Toys scored a hit at last year's Comic-Con with their first two-pack of “Minimates” figures based on The Walking Dead, and two more quick-selling series followed. Now, according to Art Asylum, the company will be introducing a new four-pack exclusively for Comic-Con 2013. Limited to a run of 3000, the “Hershel’s Farm” set includes four different Minimates based on that story arc from Robert Kirkman's comic. The pack includes Hershel, his zombie son Shawn, a “lookout duty” Rick variant, and a barn zombie. The figures are 2 inches tall each, with a variety of interchangeable parts and accessories, and come in a blister-card package. Diamond Select Toys will be selling the sets from booth 2607 at Comic-Con, which runs from July 18th through the 21st at the San Diego Convention Center. »
- Gregory Burkart
Guldvog named Norwegian Film Institute boss
Publisher will replace Nina Refseth.
Sindre Guldvog has been appointed managing director of the Norwegian Film Institute (Nfi), replacing Nina Refseth who will step down at the end of 2013, when her six-year contract expires.
Guldvog, a former CEO at Cappelen and Bonnier Norge Publishing who now runs his own media consultancy, is appointed for a fixed term of six years at the Nfi.
He has also been on the board of the Norwegian Publishers’ Association, Sf Norge, Sf Kino and Bonnier Multimedia.
“The publishing and film industries have much in common as well as differences,” Guldvog told local press.
“But both are strongly concerned by the challenges of new technology, new business models and new distribution channels.”
Culture minister Hadia Tajik said: “With Guldvog, we have a sharp leader who can continue Refseth’s good work.
“His long experience in the culture industry, film distributionand his knowledge of technological developmentsin culture willbe important inthe challenges the film »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jorn Rossing Jensen)
Lovers And The Despot shoot starts in Korea
Thrilling documentary is about filmmaking team whose lives are changed by Kim Jong-il.
Directors Rob Cannan (Three Miles North of Molkom) and Ross Adam are starting the shoot this week in Seoul for feature documentary The Lovers And The Despot.
But when their careers are cut short after a scandal, they divorce and the actress is kidnapped by movie-obsessed Kim Jong-il and Shin is thrown into a North Korean concentration camp. They are reunited but with Kim dictating their career path.
The UK’s Tigerlily Films and Hellflower Film are producing in association with the Netherlands-based Submarine Films and France-based Pumpernickel Films.
The filmmaking team said: “With North Korea ever more present in the news, this is a timely film that will offer an insider’s perspective on the crazy world of the »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
James Gandolfini: his film career in clips
Growing up in a devoutly Roman Catholic working class Italian-American family in New Jersey, it would be no surprise that James Gandolfini quickly found film roles as mob enforcers, brutal hit men and other assorted mafiosi when he got interested in acting in the mid-80s. After a string of small roles, Gandolfini made a major impact in True Romance, the Quentin Tarantino-scripted thriller directed by the late Tony Scott.
Gandolfini benefitted from the Tarantino effect again with Get Shorty, the Elmore Leonard adaptation that gained traction after the success of Qt's Pulp Fiction, featuring that film's star John Travolta. Gandolfini again plays a hoodlum, Bear - though one who does a bit of movie stuntwork on the side. »
- Andrew Pulver
Shanghai names market award winners
The Shanghai International Film Festival’s Siff Project market closed last night (June 19) with Gao Bo’s Fantasy Journey picking up the award for Most Promising Investment Project.
Budgeted at $2m, the road movie is about a father who takes his previously unknown nine-year-old daughter to flee a creditor while masking the sadness of the things they encounter on the way with fanciful stories he makes up.
Gao’s previous credits include The Piano In A Factory, Only Walk and Lemon.
Li Xiaofeng’s Scrape My Bone took the award for Most Creative Project. Based on a novel, the China Film Pitch and Catch (Cfpc) selection portrays the development of two teenagers’ stories in four chapters spanning the four seasons.
Li previously worked as a scriptwriter and actor on Zhang Yuan’s Dada’s Dance.
Three projects won the Phenom Films Special Attention Award: Lu Yitong’s Invisible Tattoo – one of the Co-production Film Pitch and Catch »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jean Noh)
Samson and Delilah: a good effort at biblical sex and violence
Cecil B DeMille's film does justice to the tale of lust and betrayal, despite the stuffed lion and bouncing temple stones
Samson and Delilah (1949)
Director: Cecil B DeMille
Entertainment grade: B
History grade: B
The story of Samson is recorded in the Bible's book of Judges, thought to have been written in about the 7th or 6th century BC.
The tribe of Dan are oppressed by the cruel Philistines, which everyone in the film doggedly pronounces "Fliss-teens". "Tyranny rose!" exclaims the voiceover, "But deep in man's heart still burned the unquenchable will for freedom." There's a political message here for the 20th century. The film is based on a treatment by Harold Lamb and leading Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky, who died in 1940, nine years before the film's release. The modern state of Israel was established in 1948.
- Alex von Tunzelmann
Tasting Menu, The Sea bookend Galway
Tasting Menu, which stars Fionnula Flanagan, Stephen Rea, Claudia Bassols, Jan Cornet, Rodrigo Cortés and Togo Igawa, follows a couple whose romantic evening at the world’s best restaurant takes an unusual turn.
Producers on the latter are Zentropa and Subotica.
The 25th Galway Film Fleadh runs from July 9-14. »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
City exec launches film slate
Demons Never Die director and former Screen Star of Tomorrow Arjun Rose is to spearhead new UK finance outfit Schneider Media Investments - a company he will co-own with city executive Sonny Schneider.
According to company CEO and former city trader Rose, Schneider Media Investments will initially look to back sci-fi and fantasy genre features as well as online projects.
Rose told Screen: “We will be reviewing creative projects in the media industry for investment from a wide range of investors in the form of equity, loans and gap funding.”
“My role is to head up the company, looking for and proposing those projects which I feel have true artistic premise as well as commercial viability.”
An early stage project on the slate is a feature adaptation of a short written and directed »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis – watch the trailer for their Manchester International Festival show
Reading on mobile? Watch here
The film-maker Adam Curtis has provided a glimpse of the new work he is prepating with Robert del Naja of Massive Attack for the Manchester International Festival – a piece that he calls "a Glim – a new way of integrating a gig with a film".
It has also been revealed that the show, titled "Massive Attack v Adam Curtis", will feature two guest performers: Elizabeth Fraser, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, and reggae singer Horace Andy. Massive Attack will also play live.
"The show will be a bit of a total experience. You will be surrounded by all kinds of images and sounds," said Curtis, director of films including The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares. »
- Caspar Llewellyn Smith
Films made in 3D are a marketing gimmick, says director Alan Parker
Sir Alan Parker has dismissed 3D films as a marketing gimmick and said he is unlikely to direct any more movies – but would consider working in TV, where "the very best work is being done".
Parker said that big budget films were made in 3D because the Hollywood studios thought that was necessary to make it appealing to a mainstream audience.
"Everything has to be 3D if it is over a certain amount of money from a marketing point of view," he said, during an interview with journalist and presenter Kirsty Wark at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Wednesday. "From a creative point of view it is rubbish. Absolute nonsense."
He added: "For instance Gatsby, why on earth was that 3D? Well the reason was »
- Mark Sweney
Sam Taylor-Johnson to direct Fifty Shades
British director of Nowhere Boy is unexpected choice for film adaptation of El James's bestselling erotic novel
The artist turned film-maker, whose only feature film to date is the highly acclaimed 2009 John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, was named by author El James on Twitter last night. She wrote: "I'm delighted & thrilled to let you guys know that Sam Taylor-Johnson has agreed to direct the film of Fifty Shades of Grey."
The appointment was confirmed by producer Michael De Luca in a statement. "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life," he said. "El James's characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to »
- Ben Child
Kim Dotcom lambasts 'largest data massacre in the history of the internet'
Hosting provider says it stored data for a year with 'nobody showing interest' before reprovisioning for other customers
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has attacked the internet-hosting company LeaseWeb after it wiped data from 630 servers that were used by his online storage service before it was shut down in January 2012.
Dotcom raged against LeaseWeb's decision in a series of tweets starting on Wednesday afternoon, suggesting in characteristically bombastic style that "this is the largest data massacre in the history of the internet".
He went on to claim that LeaseWeb had wiped the former Megaupload servers on 1 February 2013, but waited several months before informing Dotcom yesterday of its actions.
"Millions of personal #Megaupload files, petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property forever destroyed by #Leaseweb," tweeted Dotcom, who contrasted LeaseWeb's actions with those of Carpathia, another of Megaupload's hosting providers.
"While #Carpathia has chosen to store #Megaupload servers in a warehouse to »
- Stuart Dredge
Edinburgh international book festival announces 2013 lineup
The life and works of the late Iain Banks will be celebrated by close friends including Ian Rankin and Val McDermid in a special event at this August's Edinburgh international book festival, for which the Guardian is media partner.
"Scotland and the world were rocked by his death last weekend," said Nick Barley, the festival director. "We'd been planning a celebration anyway as we're marking our 30th birthday, and his first novel, The Wasp Factory, was out in 1984. I spoke to him many times about what he'd like to do. He wanted to be there – sadly he can't be."
Instead, the event on the festival's closing Sunday will see Scottish authors including Rankin, McDermid and Ken MacLeod looking back over Banks's 29-year career. »
- Alison Flood
Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' casts Jason Schwartzman
The film will be based on the true story of Margaret and Walter Keane (Adams and Waltz), the couple responsible for the pictures of large-eyed children that became a sensation in the '50s and '60s.
Domineering Walter claimed credit for the works until a legal battle in which his former wife revealed that she had created all the paintings.
Schwartzman will play a gallery owner called Ruben.
Big Eyes is yet to set a release date.
Gallery - Tim Burton's career in pictures: »
James Gandolfini Dies At 51
Farewell, Tony Soprano. James Gandolfini - the man who was utterly unforgettable as one of the great screen gangsters - has died suddenly, at the age of 51.Variety reports that Gandolfini was on holiday in Italy, where he suffered a suspected heart attack. The actor's tragic and untimely death was confirmed by HBO, for whom he worked on The Sopranos and Criminal Justice, a limited series that had just been given the green light.In a statement, the network said, "He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect."He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. "In another statement, his managers said, "Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family »
James Gandolfini: 5 of 'The Sopranos' star's best movie roles
James Gandolfini was a towering presence on TV as crime kingpin Tony Soprano, but beyond the groundbreaking HBO series the New Jersey-born actor's career was filled with great performance on the big screen.
From an early memorable turn in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted True Romance through to singing in Romance & Cigarettes, the late Gandolfini was never anything less than utterly compelling when the camera started to roll.
Recently he appeared in Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly and Sopranos creator David Chase's Not Fate Away. Though brilliant in all three, Digital Spy has reached back further to dig out five great Gandolfini performances that stick in the mind...
True Romance (1993)
The movie role that first put Gandolfini on the map, True Romance saw him play a sadistic mob enforcer for Christopher Walken's Vincenzo Coccotti. He was brutal as killer Virgil, attacking Patricia Arquette's Alabama before the tables turn. »
Mary Jane Watson Cut From Spider-Man 2
Surprising news from Camp Spidey, with Entertainment Weekly reporting that Shailene Woodley's Mary Jane Watson has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In what can best be described as a 'Terrence Malick moment', Peter Parker's friend and future love interest has been left on the cutting room floor in the second instalment and will instead make her debut in part 3.The news comes soon after Sony locked The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 onto its schedule for 2016 and 2018 respectively, and is a slightly surprising turns of events. All expectation was for Mary Jane to be debuted, albeit in a small role, next year, prior to a subtantially beefier role when you-know-what happens to you-know-who.Sanguine but disappointed, Woodley is staying philosophical. "Of course I'm bummed, but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason... Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for »
'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig develops spy movie 'Susan Cooper'
The Bridesmaids director is working on the film which is intended to launch a female spy franchise at 20th Century Fox, reports The Wrap.
Feig is currently searching for a female lead for Susan Cooper.
The director also wrote the script and will produce through his Feigco Entertainment banner's first look deal at Fox.
Watch a trailer for the film below (Warning: Explicit content): »
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