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'Transformers 4' casts Chinese actress Li Bingbing
The news was first reported by China’s m1905.com, a state-owned film site. The casting comes during recent high-profile efforts to court and increase Chinese interest in Hollywood tent-poles: Iron Man 3 was shot with footage specifically for the country, which is now the world’s second-largest film market. Meanwhile, Transformers 4 Chinese Actors Talent Search Reality Show will air this summer, a reality TV competition to cast four speaking roles in the upcoming film, which jettisons franchise star Shia Labeouf »
- Adam Carlson
Cannes 2013: 'Blood Ties' is an authentic '70s-set crime movie that gives Clive Owen his best role in years
When film directors stage a scene from the mid-1970s, we all know how it’s done: They’ll clear everything out of a shot — commercial signage, etc. — that violates the period, and then they’ll plunk down a bunch of 1970s parked cars. Yet what they end up with still doesn’t usually look like the period — it looks prefab — and watching Blood Ties, a rivetingly scuzzy and authentic New York cops-and-crime drama (it’s set in 1974), starring Clive Owen as a hard case who has just gotten out of prison and Billy Crudup as his straight-arrow policeman brother, »
- Owen Gleiberman
Chinese Actress Li Bingbing Joins 'Transformers 4'
Chinese actress Li Bingbing has joined the cast of "Transformers 4," Paramount Pictures said Monday. She will co-star in the sequel along with Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Jack Reynor. Michael Bay will once again direct and orchestrate the fireballs and global mayhem. Li has previously appeared in "Resident Evil: Retribution" and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." Li's casting and the decision by Paramount to film parts of the fourth installment in its mega-grossing franchise in China is an acknowledgement of the region's growing importance to Hollywood. Last year, China »
- Brent Lang
Chris Evans Circling Stephen King’s ‘The Ten O’Clock People’
Exclusive: Captain America‘s Chris Evans is now circling the Stephen King adaptation, which had Justin Long attached before scheduling conflicts got in the way. Tom Holland (Fright Night) will adapt and direct The Ten O'Clock People, a modernized take on the short story from King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes about a man who tries to quit smoking with the help of a new drug only to discover a frightening aspect of reality as he kicks nicotine. Pic is aiming for a fall shoot in Atlanta and will mark Holland’s third King adaptation after The Langoliers and Thinner. Pascal Borno and Scott Karol’s Conquistador Entertainment, Holland’s Dead Rabbit Films and E.J. Meyers, Robin Reitman and Nathaniel Kramer’s Making Ten O’clock Productions will produce the film, which Borno and Karol are selling at Cannes. Evans, recently in theaters opposite Michael Shannon in The Iceman, has »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Invercine Links Up For ‘Hermanitos’ (Exclusive)
Chile’s Invercine Producciones has teamed with Filmadora Nacional, producer of smash hit “The Noble Family,” and Colombia’s Rhayuela, the company behind “El Paramo,” to produce Andres Waissbluth’s “Hermanitos” (“Little Brothers”).
Fictional “Hermanitos” turns on true events when Lalo and Roberto Parra, the younger brothers of Violeta Parra, took off as kids in 1929 to join the circus, earn money for their impoverished family and know the world.
“Hermanitos” targets family audiences, once rare for Chilean cinema, said Invercine’s Matias Cardone.
“There’s ever-growing diversification in Chilean films, more genre movies, exploitation, family-skewed animation, comedy, mainstream movies, not just auteur drama, which is helping grow domestic audiences,” said Cinemachile head Constanza Arena.
Also produced by Invercine, Fernando Lavanderos’ “Things the Way They Are” has been selected for the Forum of Independents at the Karlovy Vary festival, which kicks off June 28. »
- John Hopewell
Seth MacFarlane Confirms He Won’t Be Hosting the Oscars Again
Seth MacFarlane will not be returning to host the Oscars, at least not next year. While the Family Guy creator earned mixed reviews for his hosting duties earlier this year, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron nevertheless reached out to MacFarlane to see if he’d want to come back and host again in 2014. While the very busy MacFarlane seems like he was up to the task, scheduling issues have forced him to decline via a statement on his Twitter: “Traumatized critics exhale: I'm unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep. However, I highly recommend the job, as Zadan and Meron are two of the most talented producers in the business. My suggestion for host is Joaquin Phoenix.” MacFarlane is currently filming and starring in his second feature directorial effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and he's expected »
- Adam Chitwood
Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard Unveil 'Project Imaginat10n' Contest, Jamie Foxx's Short Film Goes Into Production Update
Director Ron Howard and daughter/actress Bryce Dallas Howard have teamed up to jump on the user-generated content bandwagon with the new film contest for Canon, "Project Imaginat10n." A number of celebrity directors are getting involved in the project, including Eva Longoria, James Murphy, Georgina Chapman and Jamie Foxx, who recently starting shooting his short film in Brooklyn.The film stars Tyrin Turner, Foxx's longtime friend and the star of "Menace II Society," and Foxx's "Django Unchained" co-star Nichole Galicia. Howard, along with Foxx's mentor on the set, David West, paid on-set visits during shooting. Beginning June 4, filmmakers of all skill levels can submit up to five photographs per 10 storytelling prompts -- among them, "setting," "mood," "backstory" and "the unknown." Submissions close in the fall and after a judging panel selects finalists in mid-October, Ron Howard and a public vote will determine 91 winning photographs. Then, directors will choose 10 photos, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Cocktail Doc 'Hey Bartender' Heading To Theaters This June
Douglas Tirola's "Hey Bartender" -- which had its world premiere at SXSW -- was picked up by 4th Row Films for a June 7th release both in theaters and on demand. 4th Row Films said they have pre-booked over 40 theaters for a summer run and will continue to build on that. They are also partnering with digital entertainment curator FilmBuff for a release on iTunes and all leading VOD platforms. Full press release below. New York, NY (May 20, 2013) – 4th Row Films announced today that Douglas Tirola's documentary Hey Bartender, which had it's world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, will begin it's theatrical run on June 7, 2013 in New York City at the Village East Cinema. 4th Row Films has pre-booked over 40 theaters for a summer run and will continue to build on this. They are partnering with digital entertainment curator FilmBuff for a release on iTunes and all leading VOD platforms. »
- Peter Knegt
Gallic Producer Preps Feature Based on ‘Love’ Short
While the USA Network has boarded the Stateside sitcom adaptation of French short “Love is Dead,” Paris-based De Films en Aiguilles is developing a spinoff feature that Gaul’s TF1 Intl. has acquired.
French novelist Francois Begaudeau, whose “The Class” won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, is set to write the satirical comedy’s script about a man who runs a company that specializes in handling breakups.
TF1 Intl. takes French distribution and international sales rights.
“The main character is the “Dexter” of breakups, who terminates relationships in a near-surgical way on behalf of his clients,” said Lambert.
Ruszniewski said the pic would be mix of Georges Clooney-starrer “Up in the Air” and “Californication”.
Casting is underway with production skedded for 2014.
- Elsa Keslassy
Rodar Sees ‘Mirage’ as English-Lingo Debut (Exclusive)
“The Orphanage” producer Rodar y Rodar is teaming with Atresmedia, the film arm of top Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia group, to produce $20 million sci-fi thriller “Mirage,” Rodar’s English-language debut.
A typical character-driven psychological thriller, a mix that has won Spanish genre movies admirers and buyers around the world, “Mirage” turns on a mother battling to find her lost son. It is set in parallel worlds of 1980, 2000 and 2014, said Rodar producer Joaquin Padro.
“’Mirage’ is based on a terrifying premise,” Paulo said. “What if one life had to be lost in order to save another?”
A more detailed plot is under wraps.
Movie is set in a middle-class small U.S. town, he added. Rodar aims to shoot exteriors in North America, interiors in Spain, where costs are considerably lower. »
- John Hopewell
New Poster & Photos Of 'Snowpiercer' Starring Chris Evans & Tilda Swinton
We were joking about "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" being our most anticipated for the rest of the year the other day. We are desperately counting the days until the comedy sequel arrives, of course, but there are films that are probably a little higher on our watch-list. And perhaps at the very top is Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer." We consider the Korean filmmaker, who was behind "Memories of Murder," "The Host" (the good one, not the Stephenie Meyer one) and "Mother" one of the most exciting filmmakers in the world right now, so we've been following his English-language debut with eagle-eyes ever since it was announced, and even more so once he started to assemble a killer international cast. But the closer the film gets, and the more we see of it, the more desperate the wait for it becomes, and that's true of the latest batch of photos and posters »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Academy Changes Rules For Animated Feature Oscar Category
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved the rules for next year's Oscars, with the most significant change affecting the Animated Feature Film category. In that category, a new rule designates a maximum of two award recipients, one of whom must have a producer credit. "The director and/or key creative individual shall continue to be a recipient, and in the circumstance of a two-person team with shared and equal director credit, a third statuette may be awarded," The Academy noted. This year, a film with two director credits -- "Brave" (shared by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman) -- won the Oscar, and both Andrews and Chapman took a statuette. Previously announced rules changes for the 86th Academy Awards include allowing members to see the nominated documentary shorts and foreign language films either at a theatrical screening or on DVD. Prior to the final round of voting, »
- Peter Knegt
Seth MacFarlane Won't Host The 2014 Oscars, He Swears
Whether you thought he did a great job or think he's a sexist monster, you had to be intrigued by the recent rumor that Seth MacFarlane had been invited back to host the Oscars again next year. Sure, he swore after the February ceremony that it was a one-time deal, but he made headlines and got a lot of people to watch-- why wouldn't the Academy want him back, and why wouldn't a showman like MacFarlane take the job? Unfortunately for everyone who loves arguing on the Internet, though, MacFarlane has squashed the rumor once and for all-- via Twitter, of course. Here's the story in two tweets: Traumatized critics exhale: I'm unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep.However, I highly-->— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) May 20, 2013 --> recommend the job, as Zadan and Meron are two of the »
The Simpsons Writer Jon Vitti to Pen Angry Birds Movie
Last week, we reported that Sony Pictures had picked up the rights to the Angry Birds movie, and set it for July 1, 2016. Production is now speeding ahead as Jon Vitti has been announced to write the script. Vitti's impressive resume include writing stints on Saturday Night Live, The Critic, The Larry Sanders Show, King of the Hill, and The Simpsons. It also includes Alvin and the Chimpmunks and Alvin and the Chipmunks, but for the sake of being interested in the Angry Birds movie, we'll ignore those and focus on the positive. The press release also notes that there's already an Angry Birds Toons series, which is news to me since I don't really play Angry Birds much less follow their animated adventures. It's unknown if Vitti will follow in the tone of those cartoons or if it will be more in line with his rich TV resume. Hit the jump for the press release. »
- Matt Goldberg
Nikolai Lebedev Boards Russian ‘Flight’
Lebedev’s project is currently at the script stage.
Released domestically by Central Partnership, “Legend No.17,” a biopic about Russian ice hockey star Valeri Kharlamov, is riding high at the Russian box office, having grossed $27 million after four weeks, with nearly 4 million admissions.
Roskino, Russia’s state-run promotion org, is handling international sales on “Flight Crew.” Roskino is selling “Legend No. 17″ at the Cannes market and has sold it to various territories. »
- Elsa Keslassy and Leo Barraclough
Sean Penn in Talks for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice; Chris Evans Eyes Ten O’Clock People; Li Binbing Joins Transformers 4
We’ve got a few interesting casting stories to share today. Briefly: Sean Penn is in talks to join the increasingly impressive cast of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, Inherent Vice. Looking to expand outside of the Marvel world, Chris Evans is eyeing a starring role in the Stephen King adaptation The Ten O’Clock People. Li Bingbing (Resident Evil: Retribution) is the first Chinese actress to join the cast of Michael Bay’s sequel Transformers 4, which will feature a host of Chinese stars. Hit the jump for more on each project. While the two have been trying to work together for years, it appears that Sean Penn will finally be appearing in a Paul Thomas Anderson film. Cigarettes and Red Vines reports that Penn is in talks to sign on in an undisclosed role. Joaquin Phoenix is set to star in the Thomas Pynchon adaptation, and »
- Adam Chitwood
Cannes Film Review: ‘Stop-Over’
Novice helmer Kaveh Bakhtiari’s cousin Mohsen was an illegal immigrant from Iran trapped in limbo in Athens. Inspired by his cousin’s plight and moved by others in similar situations, Bakhtiari shot “Stop-Over,” an intimate portrait of men (and one woman) who had hoped to make Greece a transit point en route to other European locales, but whose reliance on smugglers or faked papers makes leaving difficult and staying almost impossible. Though the docu needs trimming and the focused view ignores larger issues, “Stop-Over” reps a respectable entry on the topic, and could see traction at fests and with Euro satcasters.
Bakhtiari, an Iranian-born Swiss citizen, moved in with the clandestine group at a moment of great hopelessness. Six men from Iran and one woman from Armenia were living in a below-street-level apartment rented by Amir, a guy who had similarly fled Iran three years earlier; he’s also »
- Jay Weissberg
MacFarlane Opts Out of 2014 Oscar Gig, Recommends Joaquin Phoenix as Host
Some have speculated that because the motion picture Academy is happy with the ratings of the last Oscar show, and therefore wanted to bring back musically-oriented producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, that their 2013 Oscar host Seth MacFarlane would be part of the 2014 show package. But not so fast. Update: MacFarlane reiterates yet again on Twitter that his Oscar gig was a one-time thing.First, this is no surprise. He has never sounded too eager to return after the way critics beat him up. Even if he did lower the age demo. Second, the Academy says they aren't anywhere near to hiring a host yet. “Given the fact that we just confirmed Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce," says an Academy spokesperson, "we understand how people might speculate in that fashion, but it's really way too early to have any idea who our host might be in 2014." Who would you like to see host? »
- Anne Thompson
Bryan Singer Shows Off Blue Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’
Your daily dose of Marvel Mutant Mayhem isn’t really much as far as mayhem goes, but if you’re a big fan of body paint then this one is going to go over well. Producer/director Bryan Singer is hip-deep in X-Men: Days of Future Past at the moment, and has been tweeting occasional photos of his cast as [...] »
- Russ Fischer
Seth MacFarlane Confirms He Won't Be Hosting The 2014 Oscars
Ever since the end of February, fans of jokes about boobs, lazy pop culture references and dinner theater crooning have had one question: would Seth MacFarlane return to host the Oscars? The "Family Guy" creator and "Ted" director was a divisive choice for this year's ceremony, some finding him a breath of fresh air, some finding him laugh-less and not that much more modern than Billy Crystal the year before (guess which camp we're in...) Since Oscars night, there's been a bit of back and forth about whether MacFarlane would return; he initially indicated that he wouldn't be back, but returning producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron were reportedly asking him to be back as host only last month. Well, MacFarlane seems to have just confirmed that much, saying in a tweet that he was approached, but that he's ultimately turned it down. "Traumatized critics exhale," MacFarlane tweeted. "I'm unable to do the Oscars again. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
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