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Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s ‘The Irishman’ Headed to Netflix — Exclusive

21 February 2017 6:11 PM, PST

In a sign of the ongoing power shift in Hollywood, Martin Scorsese’s $100-million gangster movie “The Irishman,” his ninth starring Robert De Niro, has been scooped up by Netflix, which is in the process of closing a deal to release the movie to its 93 million subscribers in 190 countries.

The movie was going to be backed by Paramount Pictures, but with its 12-year chairman Brad Grey heading out the door, Scorsese’s team put together another package. As someone close to the deal put it, “Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal, and Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.”

We now live in a world where Netflix is in a better position than any major studio to make a Martin Scorsese-Robert DeNiro gangster movie. Netflix would not comment on the deal.

Steve Zaillian adapted “The Irishman »


- Anne Thompson

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Jon Favreau’s VFX Master: Why ‘The Jungle Book’ Will Win the Only Oscar It Can Get

20 February 2017 3:26 PM, PST

Last year, the Academy rewarded George Miller’s Best-Picture contender “Mad Max: Fury Road” with 10 Oscar nominations and six wins. Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” belongs in the same cinematic groundbreaker category, but partly because Disney marketing wasn’t able to pull the movie out of its family movie ghetto, only the Visual Effects branch of the Academy nominated this wondrous achievement that wowed global moviegoers to the tune of $964 million worldwide.

Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks took Rudyard Kipling’s classic tales of Mowgli and his brothers and, with help from James Cameron and Martin Scorsese’s go-to VFX master Rob Legato (“Titanic,” “Aviator,” “Hugo”), created a seamlessly natural digital world with many vibrant animal characters — and one live boy (Neel Sethi).

Read More: Why Photographic Realism Makes Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ the VFX Oscar Favorite

Finally, “The Jungle Book” will win an Oscar for its only nomination, »


- Anne Thompson

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Trump, Triumph and Speaking Truth to Power: Politics Take a Bow at 2017 Writers Guild Awards

19 February 2017 9:50 PM, PST

When you think about the Writers Guild of America, which hosted two award ceremonies on Sunday night in two Blue cities, New York and Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that the writers spoke out. (Check out videos of some of the best bits below.)

For example, while accepting his life achievement award, filmmaker Oliver Stone got two standing ovations. After conservative James Woods was targeted at the top of the evening by WGA West Awards show host Patton Oswalt, retaliating by going onstage to steal his shoe, Woods presented the WGA award to the ultra liberal Stone, who starred him in “Salvador,” won three Oscars for “Midnight Express,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Platoon,” and penned “greed is good.”

Stone thanked mentors Robert Bolt and Ernest Lehman as well as Wma agent Ron Mardigian. He reminded that when he told Billy Wilder about his “Nixon” running time of 3 hours 10 minutes, »


- Anne Thompson and Kate Erbland

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Writers Guild Award Analysis: It’s Still ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Manchester’ At the Oscars

19 February 2017 8:49 PM, PST

The Writers Guild Awards and the Academy writing nominees always don’t line up; many films are ineligible. This year, those included Oscar-writing nominees “Lion” and “The Lobster.”

This year, the WGA and the Academy differed dramatically. While the WGA deemed “Moonlight” and “Loving” as Original Screenplays, the Academy considered both as Adapted; only “Moonlight” landed a nomination.

At the WGA, as at the BAFTAs, Barry Jenkins’ script for “Moonlight” competed for the Original Screenplay Award against both Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea” and Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.” Unlike the BAFTAs, Jenkins emerged the winner over Lonergan, a sign of strength for “Moonlight,” which is nominated for eight Oscars.

Read More: Yes, Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ Really Will Win Director and Picture Oscars — Here’s Why

However, in the Oscars’ Original Screenplay contest, lauded playwright and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lonergan (“You Can Count On Me, »


- Anne Thompson

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