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'Birdman' Eyes Oscar After Winning 2015 Producers Guild Award

7 hours ago

On Saturday night, the Producers Guild of America announced the winners of their annual awards, and while it wasn't quite as exciting as last year when there was a tie between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave for the top prize, this certainly makes the race for the 87th Academy Awards a little more interesting. While Boyhood won Best Drama and The Grand Budapest Hotel won Best Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes, neither of the Best Picture nominees won the PGA awrd. Instead, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's stellar Birdman got the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Here's a list of all the film winners from the 26th PGA Awards - for more (including TV) visit Variety. Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award: Birdman Producers: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole PGA Producer of the Year Award in Animation: The Lego Movie »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sundance 2015: Jack Black's 'The D-Train' is the Ultimate Bromance

11 hours ago

Over the past decade, we've seen the rise of the bromance, mostly popularized by Seth Rogen and James Franco with films like Pineapple Express and The Interview, or even Jonah Hill with Michael Cera and Channing Tatum in Superbad and 21 Jump Street repectively. But the new indie The D-Train starring Jack Black and James Marsden takes the bromantic comedy to a whole new level, and it makes for an absolutely hilarious and wild ride. If you want to keep aspects of this comedy in the dark (which I recommend), then stop reading after the fourth paragraph and then just come back for the final paragraph. Dan Landsman (Black) is one of those guys who just tries too hard, and it really gets on the nerves of most people, especially those on the high school alumni committee who are having trouble rounding up people to attend the 20-year reunion. Dan keeps giving himself nicknames like D-Fresh, »

- Ethan Anderton

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Margot Robbie Finds Herself at 'Dangerous Odds' in Gambling Drama

12 hours ago

Ever since her breakthrough role in The Wolf of Wall Street, the stunning Margot Robbie has been landing some big roles. She next stars alongside Will Smith in the con romantic drama Focus, and she'll be part of Suicide Squad in the DC Comics universe at Warner Bros. Pictures. We'll have word on how Robbie fares in the indie sci-fi flick Z for Zachariah sometime soon, but in the meantime, The Wrap has word that the actress is attached to star in Dangerous Odds, a new project that Warner Bros. just picked up that will see her playing Marisa Lankester, a beautiful insider within the world of illegal sports betting. More below! The film is based on Lankester's memoir of the same name, and will be adapted for the big screen by World Trade Center scribe Andrea Berloff, but there's no director involved yet. The life of Lankester is certainly »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sundance 2015: Taking 'A Walk in the Woods' is Exhausting & Wasteful

13 hours ago

When Robert Redford, the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, has a film playing here in Park City, you hope for the best. It wasn't Redford's idea to premiere A Walk in the Woods at Sundance, but instead that decision came from John Cooper, director of programming. Perhaps it would have been better to let the film lie, because it does not belong here in the mountains as part of the most prestigious independent film festival in the United States. A Walk in the Woods is a massive disappointment across the board with mediocre performances, poor production quality, and a story that meanders more than the characters. A Walk in the Woods adapts Bill Bryson's memoir of the same name, following Redford as the aging travel writer who decides to set out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail, despite the objection of his wife, played by Emma Thompson, who »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sundance 2015: 'Misery Loves Comedy' Fascinating & Full of Laughs

20 hours ago

Comedy is one of those magical things that can bring complete strangers together, all laughing as an instinctual response to a stand-up comedian, an online sketch, a motion picture, or a television series. And while we all know what we find funny, it's seemingly impossible to truly pinpoint just where the comedy comes from. These comedians, writers, actors, etc. all know how to make us laugh, but how do they know? Actor and first-time filmmaker Kevin Pollak sets out to answer the question of whether or not comedians have to be miserable in order to be funny, based on the frequency of talents with tragedy early in their lives. Misery Loves Comedy is a simple and straightforward comedy that lets the parade of incredible comedic talent take the spotlight. Stand-up comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Maria Bamford, Jimmy Fallon and Mike Birbiglia, actors like Tom Hanks and Sam Rockwell, directors like Jason Reitman, »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sundance 2015: Kirby Dick's Damning New Doc 'The Hunting Ground'

21 hours ago

Let me say this upfront because I must confess: it is very hard to analyze a documentary on its technical merits when it is so excruciatingly emotional. The first documentary world premiere I caught at Sundance 2015 was The Hunting Ground, the new doc from acclaimed filmmaker Kirby Dick (of This Film Is Not Yet Rated and The Invisible War). This is such an important documentary that two senators were in the audience, but it's also important because it's showing the truth in the face of resistance, it's allowing us to actually hear from and listen to real people. The Hunting Ground is a film that explores the epidemic (yes) of campus rape occurring for decades at the most prestigious universities in America. And it's appalling. The Hunting Ground opens with an amusing "welcome to college" montage, reminding us that this is when everyone is supposed to go out and become an adult, »

- Alex Billington

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Sundance 2015: Jason Segel is Incredible in Profound 'End of the Tour'

22 hours ago

Why do we act the way we do, why has modern culture become so obsessed with entertainment, why is fame such a primal desire for so many people? Films that make you really think, that make you consider ideas and reflect upon your own life, are most often the ones I find myself connecting to the most. The ones with big thoughts presented in understandable sentences, crafted with intelligence and empathy, and yet they're still heartfelt and human. The End of the Tour, the latest from director James Ponsoldt (of Smashed and The Spectacular Now from previous Sundances), is another masterful creation in that vein journeying deep into the mind of brilliant author/writer David Foster Wallace, who wrote the book Infinite Jest. Over the last few years, James Ponsoldt has become one of my favorite filmmakers. I said the same thing in my The Spectacular Now review, and I'll repeat it again here, »

- Alex Billington

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Watch: Teaser Trailer for Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' with Keanu Reeves

23 January 2015 9:40 PM, PST

Tonight sees the premiere of the latest horror film from director Eli Roth at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The film is called Knock Knock, and it stars Keanu Reeves as a married man who suddenly comes into contact with two beautiful young girls (Lorenza Izzo and Ana De Armas). What seems like his wildest fantasy slowly turns into his biggest nightmare. And for all of you who aren't at Sundance, Roth still wanted to give you a taste of the flick, so he unveiled the teaser trailer on his own Facebook page this evening. It's just a quick teaser, but it looks like something Roth fans will be excited about. Watch below! Here's the first trailer for Eli Roth's Knock Knock from the director's Facebook page: (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Julia Roberts to Produce & Star in Adaptation of 'Batkid Begins' Doc

23 January 2015 7:39 PM, PST

While we're covering the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, there's also the smaller Slamdance Film Festival going on nearby, and that's where a documentary is screening called Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around the World. The film tells the story of the event gone viral where San Francisco pulled out all the stops to put together a Make-a-Wish event for a five-year old boy named Miles who was diagnosed with leukemia. His wish through the charity was to be Batman for a day, and the city's law enforcement and over 25,000 citizens helped create the citywide spectacle that will now also be the basis of a drama. Read on! Today Submarine, the company behind the documentary, announced that Julia Roberts is attached to produce and star in the narrative adaptation of the documentary. Batkid Begins director Dana Nachman will executive produce the film along with Submarine's Josh & Dan Braun. Nachman says: “It’s thrilling to me that Ms. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Space Family 'The Jetsons' is Getting Animated for the Big Screen

23 January 2015 7:21 PM, PST

After being stuck in development hell for some time, there's finally a big screen adaptation of The Jetsons in the works, but it won't be live-action as was originally the plan. Instead, the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon will be getting an animated feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures, and the studio has just hired Matt Lieberman, who has scripted a lot of films that are in development at various studios. Since this is an animated adaptation of the cartoon, we're guessing that the plans for a live-action version that somehow involved Kanye West. Honestly, we're a little bummed that we'll probably never get to see that version. Anyway, Lieberman has been all around Hollywood with projects like a spec script called 12/24 that is a found footage Santa Claus movie and also an adaptation of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disney, along with the remake of Short Circuit that seems stuck in development. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Owen Wilson Learns 'She's Funny That Way' in New Comedy's Trailer

23 January 2015 1:14 PM, PST

It's been about 14 years since director Peter Bogdanovich was at the helm of narrative feature film, and now he's back with She's Funny That Way. The first trailer has just debuted, and it's certainly not going to be for everybody, but it has a classic charm that we normally don't see in films nowadays. It feels old fashioned, for better or worse, but it doesn't exactly look bad. The film follows a prostitute and aspiring actress (Imogen Poots) who has a one night stand with a married Broadway director (Owen Wilson), hoping to further her career. But the real story begins when the hooker auditions for a play starring his wife. Here's the first trailer for Peter Bogdanovich's She's Funny That Way, originally from Yahoo: She's Funny That Way (formerly Squirrel to the Nuts) is directed by Peter Bogdanovich (What's Up Doc?, The Last Picture Show) from a script »

- Ethan Anderton

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Watch: Hugh Grant Charmingly Fails Again in Us 'The Rewrite' Trailer

23 January 2015 8:57 AM, PST

After being a washed up writer for pop tunes in Music and Lyrics, it looks like the perpetually charming Hugh Grant is hitting rock bottom in another part of the entertainment industry. The Rewrite sees Grant playing a former award-winning screenwriter who is now broke, divorced and desperate. So he takes a gig teaching screenwriting at a small town university, and wouldn't you know it, he falls in love with someone there. It's Grant being charmingly befuddled all over again, which some people can't get enough of no matter how many times he does it. And hey, J.K . Simmons has a small role in this one too. Watch below! Here's the Us trailer for Marc Lawrence's The Rewrite from Katrina Wan PR: You can still watch the previous UK trailer for The Rewrite right here. Once upon a time, screenwriter Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) was on top of the world. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sundance 2015: Continuously Updated List of Movies Sold at Festival

23 January 2015 8:34 AM, PST

The Sundance Film Festival is host to the world premiere of dozens of independent films, most of them looking to get distribution so they can make it to the big screen (or at least VOD). And since there are so many sales that happen at the festival, we wanted to keep you updated with a complete and comprehensive list of all the films getting picked up here at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. As of the writing of this initial post, five films have already been sold, and the festival has barely started. You'll find the festival films sales listed below as well as other info on each movie, starting with the most recent acquisition. Read on! Below is a chronological list of the latest distribution news from Sundance 2015 - refresh for updates. A24 & DirecTV snag The Witch New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, »

- Ethan Anderton

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'The Cove' Director Exposes Threats in 'Racing Extinction' Doc Trailer

23 January 2015 8:15 AM, PST

After exposing the despicable world of illegal dolphin hunting and meat sales in Japan, the director of The Cove is broadening the scope a bit to shine a light on something even more threatening and on a much larger scale. Louie Psihoyos is back at Sundance with his documentary Racing Extinction, a film focusing on mankind’s role in precipitating mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of the world’s species. This seems to be much more than just tree-hugging, hippie stuff as some like to say, and you can see for yourself in the first trailer. This looks like a documentary to pay attention to very closely. Watch! Here's the trailer for Louie Psihoyos' Racing Extinction from The Oceanic Preservation Society: Racing Extinction is directed by Louie Psihoyos (of the Oscar-winning The Cove) and sees the filmmaker assembling a team of artists and activists intent »

- Ethan Anderton

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DreamWorks Reduces Film Slate, Delays 'How to Train Your Dragon 3'

23 January 2015 7:45 AM, PST

Though DreamWorks Animation just landed an Oscar nomination for How to Train Your Dragon 2 in the Best Animated Film category, the studio still isn't doing so hot. Even though The Croods was a success, other recent releases like Rise of the Guardians, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman haven't done as well at the box office as anticipated, resulting in their stock prices dropping and more layoffs happening as the company begins a massive restructuring of their feature animation business. And part of that restructuring includes a plan to only release two films each year now, one original project and one sequel. More below! Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria were recently appointed new co-presidents of feature animation, and it's all part of the restructuring happening at the studio. Chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg told Variety: “I don’t think we ever attained the creative capacity to maintain the highest level of »

- Ethan Anderton

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Martin Scorsese Has Full Funding for 'Silence,' Shooting Next Week

23 January 2015 7:00 AM, PST

After being in the works for about 20 years, Martin Scorsese finally has full funding to get his adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence off the ground. Production was originally supposed to begin this past fall, but it took a little long to get all the money together to make it happen. Now Deadline reports Fábrica de Cine and SharpSword Films have boarded the project as producers and are fully financing the film. The cast is also solidified with Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Tadanobu Asano (though Ken Watanabe was once involved, he's no longer in the film). Production begins next week in Taiwan. Scorsese couldn't be happier after tying to make this happen for so long: “I’ve wanted to make 'Silence' for almost two decades, and it is finally a reality. It is heartening to have adventurous partners like Fabrica and SharpSword to work with on this picture. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Karl Urban Circles 'Aquaman' Villain Role, Noam Murro May Direct?

22 January 2015 8:15 PM, PST

Well, hot on the heels of Chiwetel Ejiofor being sought after for a role in Doctor Strange, and the official addition of Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and Alexandra Shipp in X-Men: Apocalypse, we've got one more superhero story, but this one is a little less solid. The first big screen iteration of Aquaman isn't slated to arrive until July 27th, 2018, but that's not stopping Warner Bros. from getting their DC Comics cinematic universe in order ahead of time. Latino Review has early word that Star Trek franchise star Karl Urban is in the running for a supporting role in the aquatic adventure that already has Jason Momoa as the hero. Urban's specific role isn't known, but there's a chance that he could be playing the villain. The studio is apparently patiently waiting for Urban to get finished with Star Trek 3 so he can take this role in Aquaman. It »

- Ethan Anderton

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Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan & More Suit Up for 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

22 January 2015 7:54 PM, PST

After scouring Hollywood for young talent, director Bryan Singer has finally found the stars who will play the younger versions of the familiar mutants Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse, the next installment of the comic book franchise. Singer took to Twitter to make his casting announcement, revealing that "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner will play Jean Grey, Mud star Tye Sheridan is Cyclops and Drumline: A New Beat star Alexandra Shipp has landed the role of Storm. We're getting a little bit closer to the original X-Men line-up from back in 2000, but these are still very young versions. Here's the casting update from Bryan Singer himself on Twitter: Meet our new and brilliant young mutants: @Alexshipppp as #Storm @SophieT as #JeanGrey and @TyeSheridan as #Cyclops. #XmenApocalypse— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) January 23, 2015 And here's Sophie Turner's adorable reaction on Twitter as well: Omg— Sophie Turner (@SophieT) January »

- Ethan Anderton

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Chiwetel Ejiofor Eyed for a Major Role in Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'

22 January 2015 7:20 PM, PST

Now that Marvel Studios has Benedict Cumberbatch confirmed to play Doctor Strange in the Phase Three film of their cinematic universe, it's time to fill out the rest of the cast. THR has word that Marvel has their eye on Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) for a leading role in the film, but there's no specifics on what character he might play. Reportedly some sources are saying that Ejiofor is wanted for a villain role while others say the opposite. All we know about Doctor Strange right now is that Cumberbatch is playing the title character, a surgeon named Stephen Strange who becomes the titular sorcerer supreme. As of now, we're not even entirely sure who the main villain would be, though the likely choice is Baron Mordo, a pupil who gets upset when Strange becomes the sorcerer supreme instead of him. Frankly, I'd love to see Ejiofor »

- Ethan Anderton

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Cinema in the Cold - We're Ready to See Films at Sundance 2015

22 January 2015 2:10 PM, PST

It's time. We've packed our winter jackets, long underwear, a pair of boots and gloves/hats galore. The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is about to kick off in the mountains up in chilly Park City, Utah and we're back, ready to fire up the festival and watch films. This is FirstShowing's ninth year in a row covering Sundance. It all started back in 2007, when I made the trek to Park City by driving from Colorado, seeing an impressive 31 films by the end of my first year. I've returned here ever since; I can't help it, I love this festival with all my heart and have grown to appreciate films of all kinds by coming back every year. And I'm ready for more. Covering Sundance 2015 for Fs.net are the regulars: myself, Alex, (constant updates @firstshowing) and Ethan (constant updates @ethan_anderton). As usual, we'll be posting reviews, video blogs, maybe a few interviews, »

- Alex Billington

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