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‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Adds ‘Heroes’ Actor Robert Knepper
He will portray Antonius, minister to Donald Sutherland’s President Snow.
Lionsgate unveiled the casting on its “Hunter Games” Twitter account.
It's official! Please welcome @Robert_Knepper as Antonius to the cast of @TheHungerGames: Mockingjay Parts 1&2. http://t.co/LWSCS5AuAp—
Catching Fire (@TheHungerGames) December 11, 2013
Aside from his TV credits, Knepper’s work includes films “Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters” and “R.I.P.D.”
The first two “Hunger Games” films have grossed nearly $1.4 billion combined.
- Dave McNary
Jason Clarke In Talks To Play John Connor In ‘Terminator’ Reboot
Exclusive: The Terminator reboot is getting more interesting by the minute. Jason Clarke, so good in Zero Dark Thirty, is in early talks to play the role of John Connor, the leader of the rebellion against the Skynet artificial intelligence system bent on wiping out the human race. This comes as Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke emerges as the frontrunner to play Sarah Connor (with Brie Larson also in the mix) for Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also expected to reprise his signature cyborg role in a film that involves time travel into the future. Terminator: Genesis is being spearheaded by Skydance Productions’ David Ellison, who is teamed with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna in the effort. Paramount has signed on to distribute, and has set a July 1, 2015 release date. Annapurna purchased the rights for over $20 million and the expectation is that they will »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Little Miss Sunshine Duo Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton to Direct The Good Luck Of Right Now
Directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton have been tapped to helm an adaptation of Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick’s novel The Good Luck of Right Now. Per Variety, the duo will direct the project for DreamWorks from a script by Mike White (School of Rock). The story follows four misfits grieving over pain and lost who come together to “form the most unlikely family.” Best known for helming the 2006 indie darling Little Miss Sunshine, Faris and Dayton most recently directed last year’s sadly underseen Ruby Sparks. They’re also attached to direct the biopic I’m So Proud of You, which revolves around childrens television icon Mister Rogers. There’s no word on which project will be next for the duo, but the sensibility of The Good Luck of Right Now sure seems to be right up their alley. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book. »
- Adam Chitwood
'The Hobbit' lawsuit: Weinsteins and Miramax sue Warner Bros. over profits
After months of legal harrumphing from all corners, Miramax sued Warner Bros. and New Line for $75 million over claims to profits related to The Hobbit sequels. Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who ran Miramax when it was developing The Hobbit in the 1990s and retained a financial piece of Peter Jackson’s 2012 movie, are part of the lawsuit.
“This case is about greed and ingratitude,” the plaintiffs claim in papers filed today in Manhattan. “It arises in connection with a decision by Warner Bros. and New Line executives to divide a motion picture based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit into »
- Jeff Labrecque
The Congo's Giant Tigerfish Will Totally Eat You
The terrifying sea creatures featured on these pages make for pretty intense nightmares, but most don't pose a threat to humans (except maybe for this Amazonian pacu fish, which will literally bite your nads off). But that's not the case for the Goliath Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath), which has more in common with the giant flesh-ripping carnivores in the Piranha movies than actual piranhas. Native to the Congo river in Africa, the Goliath can grow to over 5 feet long and weigh over 150 pounds. Combine that with massive, razor-sharp teeth and a ferocious predatory nature, and you've got a real-life sea monster like no other. Tigerfish can hunt in packs, but the larger ones tend to go solo, drifting in the currents until they catch sight of a target, then zoom in for the kill (they're also among the world's fastest water predators). This beast is not easily intimidated, so if you're in its way, »
- Gregory Burkart
Harvey Weinstein And Warner Bros Are Going To War Over Hobbit Profits
The Weinsteins don.t mess around when it comes to Oscars season. Apparently, they don.t mess around when it comes to their bottom line either. The brothers filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros/ New Line Cinema today, demanding a share of the profits from the next two installments of The Hobbit. Jrr Tolkien.s Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings novels have very complicated rights histories. In short, they ended up in the hands of the Weinsteins in the late 90s who wanted Peter Jackson to make two films for $75 million based on the latter property. That proved impossible and after looking at several other possibilities, they decided to sell the rights to New Line Cinema in exchange for some money and a portion of Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit grosses. All of that is agreed upon by both parties, but what.s unclear is whether Warner Bros »
29 Images from Grudge Match Featuring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Hart
Warner Bros. has released a gallery of 29 images from the boxing comedy Grudge Match. Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone play two Pittsburgh fighters whose rivalry ended abruptly in 1983. Thirty years later, a boxing promoter (Kevin Hart) convinces them to get back in the ring for one last fight that turns into a "must-see HBO event." Watch the trailer here. Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, and Jon Bernthal also star in Grudge Match. Peter Seagal (Get Smart) directed the December 25 release. Check out the image gallery after the jump. Official synopsis: In “Grudge Match,” De Niro and Stallone play Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp, two local Pittsburgh fighters whose fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight. Each had scored a victory against the other during their heyday, but in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, refusing to explain why but »
- Brendan Bettinger
Jason Segel to Play David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg in The End Of The Tour; James Ponsoldt to Direct
Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg are attached to star in The End of the Tour, an adaptation of journalist David Lipsky's account of his five-day trip with David Foster Wallace during the last leg of the Infinite Jest book tour in 1996. I picture many long conversations in hotel rooms, but the book synopsis notes a few adventures for Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies to spice up the road trip script including a dash to the airport, an encounter with a "terrible reader," and a Baptist church dance. Segel is attached to play Wallace---Eisenberg will play Lipsky. According to The Wrap, James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) is attached to direct. Segel vs. Eisenberg and the focused biopic angle were likely enough, but signing Ponsoldt locks The End of the Tour as a project I look forward to. Production is tentatively scheduled to begin in February or March. Read the book synopsis after the break. »
- Brendan Bettinger
American Horror Story: Coven Mid-Season Finale Recap – “Head”
As of tonight's episode, American Horror Story: Coven is back on track, which is remarkable for a show that's known for going off the rails in all sorts of entertaining ways. The show's mid-season finale had all of the elements that make the horror anthology so much fun to watch: multiple examples of the supernatural (in this case, the powers of both the witches and voodoo practitioners), explorations of character backstories that make their otherwise vile actions seem somewhat justified, and plenty of shocking Wtf moments to go around. Some characters are starting to come apart at the seams while others are finally managing to knit themselves back together. Hit the jump for a recap and review of tonight's episode, "Head". In a show that highlights witches and voodoo priestesses, it's a bit surprising that the very human Hank Foxx (Josh Hamilton) has perhaps been the most mysterious so far. »
- Dave Trumbore
Awards Roundup: San Diego Goes for 'Her,' Boston, DC & Online Critics Love '12 Years a Slave' and More Updated
Updated: The San Diego Film Critics Society has announced winners for their 2013 awards, giving top honors to Spike Jonze's "Her." See winners below. DC Critics awards after the jump.Best Film"Her"Best DIRECTORAlfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"Best ACTRESSCate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"Best ACTOROscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"Best Supporting ACTRESSShailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now"Best Supporting ACTORJared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"Best Original SCREENPLAYSpike Jonze, "Her"Best Adapted SCREENPLAYRichard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight"Best Foreign Language Film"Drug War"Best Documentary"The Act of Killing"Best CINEMATOGRAPHYEmmanuel Lubezki, "To the Wonder"Best Animated Film"The Wind Rises"Best EDITINGChristopher Rouse, "Captain Phillips"Best Production DESIGNCatherine Martin and Karen Murphy, "The Great Gatsby"Best SCOREArcade Fire, "Her"Best Ensemble"American Hustle"Earlier: Over the weekend, the La Film Critics Association (winners here), the Boston Film »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Arrow Mid-Season Finale Recap – “Three Ghosts”
The mid-season finale of The CW's Arrow had everything you could ask for: comic book references, wall-to-wall action, and an added bonus of Christmas cheer. It even managed to make good on its episode title of "Three Ghosts", one of whom included a special guest star. Speaking of special guest stars, this episode also featured Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, who did his part to help the hooded do-gooder before making his way back home to Central City with explosive consequences. There's lots to get to in this mid-season finale, so hit the jump to get right to it. This episode was particularly difficult to break down into discussion points because each of the separate plot arcs came together and crossed paths throughout the hour, and they did it quite well. We'll start with Roy, Thea and Sin, who certainly have a part to play, but their roles only intersect with the main storyline intermittently. »
- Dave Trumbore
Full Moon Night gets greenlight
Tunisian director Fares Naanaa’s A Full Moon Night, winner of the top Dubai Film Connection (Dfc) prize last year, will start shooting in February 2014.
“We’re still missing the money for post-production but we’re going to shoot it, make a rough cut of the film and try to finalise finance off that,” said Tunis-based producer Habib Attia of Cinetelefilms.
Popular Tunisian actor and comedian Lotfi Abdelli has signed to play the husband in the film about a couple whose marriage disintegrates after the death of their daughter. The role of the wife has yet to be cast.
The film will shoot in Tunis and the oasis city of Tozeur in south-west Tunisia. A Full Moon Night picked up $25,000 in award money at Dfc last year, as one of the three top Dfc prizewinners alongside Me, Myself And Murdoch and Batata. The film is budgeted at $800,000.
Attia has two films in the Muhr Arab Feature competition »
Imaginarium wraps Assaf’s Curve
Jordanian director Rifqi Assaf is in post-production on his debut feature The Curve, co-produced by Jordan’s The Imaginarium Films and Egypt’s Film Clinic.
The road movie stars Palestinian actor Ashraf Baehoum, Syrian actor Falina Laila and Lebanese actor Mazen Moadam. The story revolves around a man suffering from social phobia and a woman in distress who set out on a journey to the Syrian border on a minibus.
“We want to finish the film by March 2014 if we can find the finishing funds,” said producer Rula Nasser of The Imaginarium Films.
Nasser will also be the line producer in Jordan for Ali F Mostafa’s road movie A To B which starts shooting in February next year. She also produced Mais Darwazah’s My Love Awaits Me By The Sea, which is screening in the Muhr Arab Competition at this year’s Diff.
Her upcoming projects include Jordanian director Yahya Alabdallah’s Me, Myself And Murdoch »
Front Row, Kncc acquire Helmy project
Exclusive: In a ground-breaking deal, the Kuwait National Cinema Company (Kncc) and Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment have jointly acquired worldwide rights to popular Egyptian comedian Ahmed Helmy’s next film.
“We did the deal directly with the actor,” said Front Row managing director Gianluca Chakra.
The companies plan to release the as-yet-untitled film theatrically across the Arab world and additionally tap into expat Arab communities in Europe, the Us and Latin America with targeted day-and-date releases.
“We’re looking to do a Magnolia type release internationally. It’s the first time this has been done with an Arab film,” explained Chakra, referring to Us distributor and day-and-date pioneer Magnolia Pictures.
“We pretty sure it’s going to find an audience in these territories,” he added. “Over here it will go wide like any of Helmy’s other films.”
Chakra and Kncc chief Hisham F. Al Ghanim said they would most likely distribute the title through local distributors »
Fleifel to kick off Oscar bid on Aflamnah
Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel is set to launch a crowd-funding campaign on Dubai-based platform Aflamnah this January to finance a 2015 Oscar race bid with his award-winning documentary A World Not Ours.
The documentary, a humorous account of life in the Ein el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, has won a slew of awards since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.
It is not eligible, however, for Oscar consideration because it has not been released in New York and Los Angeles as per the regulations of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
“The big question is, can a Palestinian film win an Oscar?” said Fleifel.
“My film is the antithesis of that film. I really »
Casting Net: Sandra Bullock in talks to join a George Clooney project; Plus, Jason Segel cast as David Foster Wallace, more
• Sandra Bullock, who just picked up a SAG nomination for her work in Gravity, is in early talks to star in the comedy Our Brand Is Crisis for producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Peter Straughan wrote a script based on a 2005 documentary about the use of American political campaign techniques in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. EW’s Entertainer of the Year is currently voicing the lead role in The Minions, set for a July 2015 release. [The Wrap]
- Lindsey Bahr
'Little Miss Sunshine' directors in talks to adapt 'Silver Linings Playbook' author's latest novel
Nearly one year after DreamWorks acquired the rights to Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick’s manuscript The Good Luck of Right Now, the studio is in negotiations with Little Miss Sunshine directing team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to head up the adaptation. Variety first reported the news.
The story follows a middle-aged man who has always lived with his mother. When she dies, he and a group of fellow outsiders — a librarian, her vulgar brother, and an ex-priest — head to Canada. On the way they form a family of sorts. Oh, and it’s all told through a »
- Lindsey Bahr
Jesus Comes to Lionsgate Via ‘Zealot’ Deal
“Zealot” challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus by examining him through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived. Random House Publishing Group published the work in July.
Lionsgate has not set up the project with a producer. Aslan’s first book was “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.”
“Reza Aslan has written a remarkable book that manages to bring the ancient world into contemporary relief and to make a timeless story very timely,” Feig said. ” We are excited to create this uniquely cinematic and immersive world for moviegoers to experience.”
Aslan said Lionsgate’s vision for “Zealot” is aligned with his objective in writing the book: »
- Dave McNary
‘The Hobbit’ Sequel to Bring Home Treasure at Worldwide Box Office
Warner Bros.-New Line’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” began its global domination at the box office Wednesday before arriving in the U.S. on Friday for what is expected to be an $80 million-plus weekend Stateside.
Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” sequel, opening in 49 foreign territories Wednesday, earned $2.8 million in France on Wednesday to become the No. 1 movie in the region.
Domestic expectations for “Smaug,” meanwhile, are on track to perform in line with the original, which grossed $84 million this time last year.
“The Hobbit” launches in the U.S. Thursday at midnight.
Internationally, “Smaug” is tracking lower than the first film’s $139 million overseas start, but that’s because Warners is launching the sequel in fewer day-and-date territories than “An Unexpected Journey,” which debuted in 56 markets. That said, word-of-mouth has been strong for the sequel, meaning it could overperform this weekend in the major markets like Germany, Italy, »
- Andrew Stewart
‘Blackfish’ Director Talks About the Power of Film to Affect Change
Gabriela Cowperthwaite, director of the controversial “Blackfish” — about the dangers, not to mention the cruelty, of keeping orcas in captivity at marine parks like SeaWorld — outlined how films like hers can affect change at a luncheon celebrating the documentary at Hinoki and the Bird, David Myers’ restaurant in Century City.
Heart, Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and, most recently, Cheap Trick, have cancelled their appearances at SeaWorld in Florida, and Joan Jett asked the amusement park franchise to stop using “I Love Rock & Roll” as part of their shows, Cowperthwaite told the assembled who feasted on vegan fare.
Among those in attendance were actress Kate Mara, an advocate of the film who was there with actor/boyfriend Max Minghella, producer Manuel Oteyza, and fellow documentarians Louis Psihoyas (“The Cove”) and Mark Jonathan Harris (“The Long Way Home”).
She also used the opportunity to defend herself from certain allegations by SeaWorld, which »
- Steve Chagollan
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