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'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' preview: The heart is a lonely bounty hunter

1 hour ago

Maybe we really are alone in the galaxy. The heroes and villains of Star Wars: The Force Awakens sure seem to be. The movie is unquestionably 2015's most anticipated film, and although we’ve only seen flashes of actual footage from next December’s journey into that other galaxy, it’s notable that director J.J. Abrams chose to introduce the story's new characters in moments of isolation and desperation. Consider John Boyega as Finn, the scared, sweaty Stormtrooper trying to make an escape in the desert. Or Daisy Ridley’s Rey, riding solo (no pun intended) in her Taser-shaped »


- Anthony Breznican

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Reese Witherspoon and Cheryl Strayed find the meaning of 'Wild' in exclusive clip

1 hour ago

In 1995, Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,000 miles up the Pacific Crest Trail in a purifying, last-gasp effort to become the woman her late mother died thinking she could be. Her self-destructive grief following her mother's death from cancer had cost her her marriage, and it wasn't until she was alone out in the wild for 94 days that she rediscovered herself. But it took years for her to truly understand the meaning of that trek, says Strayed, who didn't publish her best-seller, Wild, until 2012. "I turned to the trail at a time in my life when I felt lost, at a place that »


- Jeff Labrecque

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First look: Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks reteam for a Cold War spy mission

2 hours ago

Here's an early look at another eagerly anticipated film coming next year. It’s a rescue mission—recovering a captured pilot from behind enemy lines—but star Tom Hanks isn’t playing a soldier. Instead, he’s a lawyer, and the only weapons he carries into this battle are his words. The still-untitled historical drama from director Steven Spielberg stars Hanks as James Donovan, the true-life attorney working on behalf of the CIA to secretly negotiate the release of Francis Gary Powers, a U.S. pilot shot down over Soviet airspace in 1960 while piloting a U-2 spy plane. »


- Anthony Breznican

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'Jurassic World': See Chris Pratt ride with some raptors -- exclusive

3 hours ago

It’s never an easy walk in Jurassic Park. In fact, guests typically end up running like hell. The fourth installment of Universal’s biggest franchise is no exception. Opening in theaters June 12, World is set 22 years after the original film. The dino-themed amusement park on Isla Nubla has been thriving for years, yielding four-star restaurants (hello, Nobu!) and beautiful resorts. But in an effort to create new buzz and boost attendance, a hybrid dino is hatched—and that’s when the island’s human population, including dino researcher Owen (Chris Pratt), park operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and »


- Tim Stack

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Best of 2014: How Richard Linklater cast his 'Boyhood' star

4 hours ago

Since debuting at January's Sundance Film Festival, Richard Linklater's Boyhood has become one of the most critically adored films in recent memory. Audiences felt the same way, swooning at the story of a boy (Ellar Coltrane) and his complicated family as he ages from 6 to 18 years old. The experimental $4 million movie, filmed in Texas with little fanfare over a dozen years, has grossed more than $43 million around the world and become one of the favorites for Best Picture. The experience has been surreal, to say the least, for 20-year-old Coltrane, whose life to this point is indirectly documented in the film. »


- Jeff Labrecque

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'The Jungle Book': Bill Murray will sing!

4 hours ago

Rudyard Kipling’s classic tales of an Indian boy raised by wolves, first published as a series in the late 19th century, has been adapted more than a dozen times. But Walt Disney’s 1967 animated musical—his last—set the gold standard. Now, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is giving Mowgli and his animal pals a 21st-century tech update. Newcomer Neel Sethi, 10, plays Mowgli, and there’s a lot riding on those young shoulders. Not only does he do his own tree-climbing—”A 10-year-old in a loin cloth is hard to double with a stuntman,” Favreau says— but he’s »


- Nicole Sperling

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Jason Reitman casts a surprising Han and Leia in 'The Empire Strikes Back' live-read

4 hours ago

Really, there's nothing that says "Han" can't be a woman's name. Ellen Page will be taking on the part of Han Solo in director Jason Reitman’s live stage-reading of The Empire Strikes Back Thursday night, and Jessica Alba has been cast as Princess Leia—the royal revolutionary who thinks the smuggler is nothing but a "stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder." Until, of course, she doesn't. The whole point of Reitman's live-read series is to take classic scripts and turn them into something we've never seen before, but he tells EW that casting his Juno star as the sardonic captain »


- Anthony Breznican

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Margaret Keane on 'Big Eyes,' art... and my great-uncle, Walter Keane

5 hours ago

The big eyes are everywhere. Walk into Margaret Keane's modest craftsman home in Napa Valley, Calif., and forlorn children with outsize peepers stare up at you from every angle. These whimsical kids are the trademark of Keane's paintings, which, in the 1960s, filled the aisles of Walgreens and Woolworths, where they sold by the truckloads and brought in an estimated $4 million. Her paintings were so popular that celebrities including Joan Crawford, Kim Novak, Natalie Wood, and Jerry Lewis all sat for portraits. Today, they line the walls of the soft-spoken 87-year-old artist's living room, adorn the labels of bottles of wine in her home, »


- Nicole Sperling

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We spend a day with Frank Grillo, Hollywood's one-two punch

6 hours ago

"Who's the toughest actor in Hollywood?" Frank Grillo asks, wrapping his hands in preparation for training. Grillo's posing the question to Terry Southerland, his trainer of more than 20 years. Lacing up Grillo's gloves, Southerland doesn't hesitate before responding, "You are." Standing in the middle of an underground boxing gym in New York City, Grillo is just one of the guys. He walks like a fighter, he talks like a fighter, and other than having the best hair in the gym—according to his trainers—he looks like a fighter. In this moment, there's almost nothing that points to the fact »


- Samantha Highfill

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If 'The Interview' were a prestige pic, how would this have gone?

23 hours ago

No one is arguing that The Interview is a great film—or, having talked to some people who have seen it, even a good film. But over the past few weeks, it has stumbled into being a capital-i Important Film in spite of itself—one people should have the option to see in a theater, on its usual release day, like any other film that isn’t causing an international incident. But how would the conversation around The Interview have been different if Seth Rogen and James Franco's movie were a prestige pic? If it were more like Hotel Rwanda »


- Kyle Ryan

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Sony cancels Christmas theatrical release of 'The Interview'

17 December 2014 2:23 PM, PST

With movie theater chains deciding not screen The Interview, Sony has decided not to release the movie on Christmas as planned. "We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public," Sony said in a statement. "We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Theater chains cancel 'The Interview' in face of 9/11 threats

17 December 2014 1:20 PM, PST

Sony is moving ahead with plans to debut The Interview on Dec. 25, but there might not be many theaters in your neighborhood actually playing it. Not long after the National Association of Theatre Owners released a statement today saying, "individual cinema operators may decide to delay exhibition of the movie so that our guests may enjoy a safe holiday movie season experiencing the many other exciting films we have to offer,” several of the biggest theater chains indicated that they would not be featuring the James Franco/Seth Rogen comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Celebs urge seeing Sony's 'The Interview' as act of defiance

17 December 2014 12:22 PM, PST

If you don't see The Interview, do the terrorists win? In the wake of Tuesday's unprecedented hacker threat pledging 9/11-style attacks on theaters screening Sony's The Interview, a few Hollywood luminaries are encouraging fans to buy a ticket to the film as an act of defiance. Actor-producer Adam McKay, writer-producer Judd Apatow, and writer-actress Mindy Kaling are among those urging their Twitter followers to support the imperiled Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Currently, the film is scheduled to open nationwide on Christmas. McKay tweeted: »


- James Hibberd

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Study: Children's movies are morbid, morbid things

17 December 2014 11:50 AM, PST

Remember that movie where the title character's parents are mauled to death by a wild leopard four minutes in? Or how about the one where the protagonist, only a baby, is left to fend for himself after his mom is murdered? Those traumatizing bummers would be Tarzan and Bambi, respectively. New research reported by The Atlantic reveals that those films are no exception: According to a study published yesterday in The British Medical Journal, children's movies are much more morbid than their adult drama counterparts. »

- Carolyn Todd

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Randall Park discusses playing Kim Jong-un in 'The Interview,' addresses threats against film

17 December 2014 11:13 AM, PST

At the heart of the controversy surrounding The Interview is the film's actual plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But amid all the reactions from stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, little has been heard from the actor portraying Kim—Randall Park. Park spoke with the Los Angeles Times about his role in the film, offering his take on playing the character, what it's been like to deal with the threats made against those involved with the film, and even how he thinks Jong-un might feel about the movie if he were to watch it. »


- Jonathon Dornbush

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Ten things Andy Serkis can say about 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

17 December 2014 10:26 AM, PST

"Who does Andy Serkis play in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?" is one of the thousand questions fans have been asking about next year’s Episode VII. And the actor himself seems to be bursting with the desire to talk about which galactic denizen he'll be inhabiting. But Serkis, best known as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), the giant ape from Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and the smaller but more sophisticated simian Caesar from the new Planet of the Apes films, has been tight-lipped about Star Wars so far. »


- Anthony Breznican

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Sony to move forward with 'The Interview' release, but theaters have a choice

17 December 2014 10:23 AM, PST

Facing terrorist threats from the same group that committed a massive cybersecurity attack of its network and the public dissemination of proprietary content, Sony is moving forward with the release of The Interview, the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. However, sources close to the film confirm a Deadline report that the studio will support the theater chains' decision whether or not to screen the film when it opens on Dec. 25, in light of potential safety concerns. Carmike Cinemas, one of the country's largest chains with 2,917 screens in 41 states, has »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Jamie Dornan visited a sex dungeon to prepare for 'Fifty Shades'

17 December 2014 8:22 AM, PST

When an actor gets cast as a cop, he or she might go for a ride along with a real-life cop to prepare. Or when an actor gets cast as a lawyer, he or she might shadow a lawyer. So what happens when you get cast as the world's prettiest man who also happens to be a major fan of S&M? Well, you hit the gym ... and then visit a sex dungeon on your way home. Jamie Dornan, who will play Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey, recently revealed to Elle UK that his research process »


- Samantha Highfill

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Casting Net: Tessa Thompson lands female lead in Rocky spinoff, 'Creed'

16 December 2014 7:15 PM, PST

Tessa Thompson, who gained acclaim for this year's Dear White People and Selma, has claimed the female lead in Creed. Fruitvale Station's Ryan Coogler is directing the Rocky spinoff, which also stars Sylvester Stallone, reprising his iconic role as Rocky Balboa, and Michael B. Jordan. The story follows Balboa as he trains the grandson (Jordan) of his fellow boxer, Apollo Creed. Coogler wrote the script with Aaron Covington. [Deadline] • Nicola Peltz has signed on for Universal's untitled low riders project, replacing Lily Collins in the role of Lorelai. The film, which centers on the East L.A. world of lowrider cars and street tagging, »


- C. Molly Smith

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Jason Reitman re-staging 'The Empire Strikes Back' with Aaron Paul and J.K. Simmons -- Exclusive

16 December 2014 12:27 PM, PST

Instead of “Yo, bitch …” now it’s “Yoda, bitch.” (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul will take on the role of Luke Skywalker in director Jason Reitman’s one-night-only live-read of The Empire Strikes Back this Thursday, while fearsome Whiplash star J.K. Simmons will let the hate flow through him as Darth Vader. It’s part of an ongoing series of live performances of movie scripts Reitman stages each month, bringing in new actors to create a kind of cover version of beloved films. He has previously staged live-reads of The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, American Beauty, and The Apartment, »


- Anthony Breznican

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