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‘Star Wars’ Teaser Will Be Online Friday – Update

2 hours ago

3Rd Update, 3:18 Pm: For those of you scoring along at home, that first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available online Friday, the same day it hits theaters. Here’s a new tweet from the official Star Wars account:

The Force is with you on #BlackFriday when #TheForceAwakens teaser hits @iTunesTrailers.

Star Wars (@starwars) November 26, 2014

2Nd Update: After Regal jumped the gun announcing Friday’s Star Wars sneak peek, Disney and Lucasfilm have gone ahead and announced all 30 North American theaters playing the 88-second Episode VII preview. (Scroll down for the full list.) Among the participating chains cashing in on the ticket-driving force of The Force are Regal, AMC, Carmike, Cinemark, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, and – of course – Disney’s own El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The rest of the world will have to wait until December for a theatrical peek.

Update: This weekend’s »


- Jen Yamato

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‘The Imitation Game’ Review: Pete Hammond On Cumberbatch’s Enigma

4 hours ago

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley sparkle in this tremendous telling of the story of Alan Turing, the cryptology and computer-science pioneer whose work broke Germany’s Enigma code during World War II but who later was hounded into suicide by the English government because he was gay.

As I say in my video review, this is easily one of the year’s best films, and I’m particularly impressed by the work of Cumberbatch and Knightley. The film also stars Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear and Matthew Goode.

Morten Tyldum directs, in his first English-language film, from a script by Graham Moore, based on Alan Hodges’ biography of Turing. Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman are producers. The Weinstein Company is handling U.S. distribution.

After a long string of almost weekly film festival screenings – including Toronto, Telluride and London – the film finally debuts in theaters Friday.

Will you see the film? »


- Pete Hammond

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‘Unfinished Business’ Redband Trailer: Vince Vaughn And Company Invade Europe

6 hours ago

Here’s the decidedly Nsfw redband trailer for the international comedy starring Vince Vaughn. A relentless businessman with his own company, he heads to Germany with his only two employees (Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco) to clinch a make-or-break deal. Complications arise. Sienna Miller and James Marsden also star in Unfinished Business, from director Ken Scott — who helmed Vaughn in last year’s Delivery Man — and scribe Steve Conrad. Fox opens it wide March 6.

 

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- The Deadline Team

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‘Manson Girls’ To Go Helter Skelter

6 hours ago

Exclusive: As Charles Manson gears up for his behind-bars nuptials to a young follower named Star, a February shoot has been set for long-gestating indie drama Manson Girls. Susanna Lo is directing the film about the female devotees who joined Manson’s flock in the 1960s and helped carry out brutal killings meant to start an apocalyptic race war. Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects) will portray Manson in the film, which TriCoast Worldwide boarded this month at Afm.

Rather than probe the twisted brain of Manson himself, Manson Girls will chronicle how eight young women in his brood came from diverse and even privileged backgrounds to become the most notorious female serial killers of the decade’s Love Generation. The pic will follow the girls’ pre-Manson teen years through their indoctrination into the Family and up to the bloody summer of 1969 when their violent “Helter Skelter” campaign that »


- Jen Yamato

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Making ‘The Boxtrolls:’ “Like 18 Months Of Opening Nights” – The Contenders

7 hours ago

The Boxtrolls producer Travis Knight (ParaNorman, Coraline) and director Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) talk with Deadline’s Pete Hammond about the challenges and joys of stop-motion animation, a creation process nearly as old (and beloved) as cinema itself, in this video from Deadline’s recent Oscar showcase, The Contenders.

Actually making a film with the stop-motion process, however, can be incredibly stressful, says Stacchi. It’s like ” 18 months of opening nights with no rehearsals.”

The voice cast includes a number of notables, including Ben Kingsley, Tracy Morgan, Elle Fanning, James Urbaniak, Toni Collette and Simon Pegg (plus uncredited work by Mr. SpongeBob SquarePants (and Adventure Time Ice King) himself, Tom Kenny).

Stacchi directed the film with Graham Annable, from a script by Irena Brignull and Adam Pava, from Alan Snow’s novel Here Be Monsters! The movie was produced by Knight and David Bleiman Ichioka. It has grossed $105.7 million worldwide since its Sept. »


- David Bloom

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Natalie Portman In Talks To Join Steve Jobs Biopic

8 hours ago

Exclusive: Natalie Portman is in talks to join Universal’s Steve Jobs biopic. Character details were not revealed, but it is expected to be a major role. Should be a deal be done, this would mark a further positive reversal of fortunes for the Danny Boyle-helmed project. Deadline revealed last week that it had been put in turnaround by Sony Pictures, to the shock of many in the industry. Universal Pictures picked it up Monday.

Michael Fassbender recently was courted to play the Apple genius in the Aaron Sorkin-scripted film , adapted from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography Steve Jobs. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.

Portman, repped stateside by CAA, has been particularly busy of late. The actress-turned-filmmaker has her feature directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness, an adaptation of celebrated Israeli writer Amos Oz’s memoir, in post. »


- Ali Jaafar

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Richard Linklater To Receive Palm Springs Visionary Award For ‘Boyhood’

9 hours ago

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood received five Indie Spirit Award noms yesterday including best feature and director, and now Linklater can add another kudo to the list. He will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s awards gala on January 3. The fest runs January 2-12.

Past recipients include Academy Award-winning filmmakers Tom Hooper, Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, and Michel Hazanavicius.

Richard Linklater’s latest feature film is the critically acclaimed Boyhood, a one-of-a-kind epic undertaking shot over the course of 12 years with the same cast,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For his creative innovations in filmmaking, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Richard Linklater with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Linklater wrote, produced and directed Boyhood, a film about growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. »


- The Deadline Team

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‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Cashes Tuesday Paycheck: Turkey B.O. Update

9 hours ago

Update, Wednesday 8 Am: Warner Bros./New Line’s R-rated sequel Horrible Bosses 2 nabbed an early bonus last night with $1 million at Tuesday night previews. The comedy about a trio of wacky business guys who kidnap their investor’s son will be playing at 3,321 locations today and expand to 3,375 on Friday. That figure outstrips the $365K chunk of cash Horrible Bosses stole from late night previews in July 2011.  

Previous, Tuesday 1:18 Pm: Penguins will try to carve into a Katniss’ Thanksgiving feast this weekend at the box office but, despite a lower-than-expected debut from the penultimate Hunger Games entry last week, look for the Suzanne Collins adaptation to retain the holiday crown over Madagascar‘s latest entry.

Mockingjay, like Catching Fire last year, has the benefit of Thanksgiving traffic. However, Catching Fire was coming off a franchise record bow and spurred an all-time record for any film, opener or second-framer, »


- Scott Bowles

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Mel Brooks To Voice Adam Sandler’s Vampire Dad In ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′

10 hours ago

Comedy legend Mel Brooks has been tapped to voice Vlad in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2. He’ll play the very old and grumpy vampire father to Adam Sandler’s Dracula. The sequel to Sony’s 2012 family film sees old-school supernatural meet modern-day cool when Vlad turns up at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together. Genndy Tartakovsky is helming again from a script by Robert Smigel. The original movie made about $360M worldwide and was nominated for a Golden Globe. This one is set for release September 25.

The Oscar-, Tony-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning Brooks has some cinematic vampire experience; he directed, produced and co-wrote 1995’s Dracula: Dead And Loving It, also starring as vamp hunter Val Helsing. He said of the Hotel Transylvania character: “He’s been around for eons, and he’s a pretty crabby guy. Basically, he reminds me of me.”

In a savvy move »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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London Cops Collar Suspected ‘Expendables 3′ Pirates

23 hours ago

Lionsgate and Millennium are one step closer to vanquishing the pirates who stole and uploaded Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3. London cops today arrested two men on suspicion of leaking the action sequel this summer ahead of its August 15 release. The film grossed just $39.3 million domestically before taking in more than $206 million globally. The first two installments of the franchise grossed a combined $580 million worldwide.

Detectives in the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit arrested the men, ages 36 and 33, who are believed to have illegally obtained a high-quality version of the film from a cloud-based system. They are suspected of uploading it online around July 25, after which it was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in a leak distributors allege cost them millions in lost ticket sales.

The London investigation was opened after Lionsgate began campaigning stateside and internationally to hunt down the culprits. Domestically, the U.S. Department of »


- Jen Yamato

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‘The Imitation Game’ Will Stuff Theaters This Holiday Weekend – Specialty Box Office Preview

23 hours ago

The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game is the big kid on the block among this holiday weekend’s batch of newcomers. The title is following in the footsteps of past TWC heavyweights The King’s Speech and The Artist, both of which opened to solid box office numbers and eventually scored Oscars for Best Picture. The distributor is expecting good numbers for Imitation Game over the Thanksgiving frame. IFC Films’ horror pic The Babadook has some good buzz heading into the weekend, though it might show its biggest heft via VOD with its day-and-date rollout. Remote Area Medical is one of those films one hopes everyone will see. Timed perfectly for this time of the year’s focus on thanks and giving, the documentary shows the underbelly of America’s healthcare crisis by way of people who provide free medical services to needy people in pop-up clinics around the country. »


- Brian Brooks

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‘Midnight Rider’ Director, Producer Seek Escape From Trespass Case

25 November 2014 4:10 PM, PST

Despite settling with the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones last week, Midnight Rider’s director and producer are still trying to escape the sights of rail company Csx. Randall Miller and Jody Savin today asked a Georgia court to dismiss them and their business entities from a cross-claim by Csx, whose remaining involvement in the ongoing civil suit filed by Jones’ family has kept the filmmakers tethered to the wrongful death case.

Csx accused Miller, Savin, Unclaimed Freight Productions, and Film Allman, LLC in September of intentional trespassing leading up to the February 20 death of 27-year-old camera assistant Jones. Jones died and several others were injured when a freight train collided into a hospital bed and equipment that the Midnight Rider crew had placed on Csx-owned tracks.

Now that Miller and Savin have settled with Jones’ parents, they’re arguing that their lingering battle with Csx is “essentially a »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Cake’ Trailer: Jennifer Aniston Feels The Pain And Shows It

25 November 2014 3:57 PM, PST

Jennifer Aniston doesn’t wear any makeup in her latest film — save for scars and other disfigurements. The former Friend and rom-com regular takes a right turn with Cake, playing a woman suffering with chronic pain who carries plenty of emotional hurt as well. After a member of her support group commits suicide, Aniston’s Claire hopes to find salvation by inserting herself into the lives of the late woman’s husband and son. Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch and Britt Robertson also star for director Daniel Barnz. Upstart Cinelou Releasing will open the film, which has been generating some Oscar buzz for Aniston, on January 25 in New York.

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- The Deadline Team

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‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Review: Pete Hammond On Earthbound Spinoff

25 November 2014 2:32 PM, PST

Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise’s winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich.

Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath (director of the three Madagascar films), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots director), Christopher Knights and Conrad Vernon (director of Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens).

The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, from a script fashioned by McGrath, Brandon Sawyer, Eric Darnell, John Aboud and Michael Colton. Producers are Laura Breay and Mark Swift.

Penguins opens in the United States on Wednesday (it’s been in China and »


- Pete Hammond

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‘Glee’s Chris Colfer Inks New Five-Book Deal

25 November 2014 2:11 PM, PST

Exclusive: As Glee winds down, Chris Colfer is creating more opportunities for himself by going deeper into the Land Of Stories. The Golden Globe-winning actor and NY Times bestselling author has inked a new five-book deal with publisher Little, Brown to expand the popular children’s fiction franchise he launched with 2012’s The Land Of Stories: The Wishing Spell.

That title exploded onto the bestseller list and spawned three sequels, with the fourth Land Of Stories title set to hit shelves next year. Colfer’s new pact includes the fifth and final book in the Land Of Stories series and a boxed set with new companion volumes Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide To Royalty and The Mother Goose Diaries, to be released in fall 2015. Colfer is also penning a pair of spin-off picture books inspired by Land lore and aimed at younger readers: The Curvy Tree, illustrated by Brandon Dorman for release next fall, »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Pan’ Teaser: Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara In Peter Pan Origin Tale

25 November 2014 12:52 PM, PST

Joe Wright’s take on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan lore doesn’t hit theaters until July 17 but a first teaser has dropped via Warner Bros. The fantasy actioner retells the tale of an orphan boy snatched from turn-of-the-century London and transported to a magical land ruled by a moustache-twirling pirate. Pan stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, and youngster Levi Miller as Peter in the Black Listed origin tale scripted by Jason Fuchs.

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- The Deadline Team

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‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Director On Serkis, Weta: The Contenders

25 November 2014 12:37 PM, PST

Matt Reeves, director of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, talks with Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. about the work of Andy Serkis, and how visual-effects house Weta Digital transformed Serkis physical performance into Caesar, the chimp leading the apes after a worldwide plague has decimated the human population. Reeves and Fleming spoke as part of Deadline’s annual Oscar showcase, The Contenders.

The film also starred Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke and Keri Russell.  Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver wrote the script from Pierre Boulle’s original novel. It was produced by Jaffa, Silver, Dylan Clark and Peter Chernin.

The film grossed $708.1 million worldwide, on an estimated production budget of $170 million.

Did you see the film? What did you think of the visual effects work, and Serkis’ performance? Let us know.

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- David Bloom

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Indie Spirit Noms Preview Likely Oscar Contenders, But What’s Up With That ‘Imitation Game’ Shutout?

25 November 2014 11:50 AM, PST

With this morning’s release of the Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, one more piece of the eventual Oscar puzzle is in place, and, as expected, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma and increasingly Whiplash —  which all landed Best Feature and Directing noms — seem to be headed toward the same trajectory at the Academy Awards. And although the Indie Spirits announcement is one of the earliest of the season, the actual awards themselves are one of the latest, taking place February 21, the day before the Oscars. There generally is a lot of bleed-over from one to the other, even though Oscar nominations won’t be out for a couple of months and — unlike the Indie Spirits, which supposedly limit eligibility to only films made for $20 million and under — the Academy has everything to consider and more time to do it.

For instance, Sony Pictures Classics had a very good day with a whopping 15 nominations, »


- Pete Hammond

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‘Jurassic World’ Trailer: Life, And Another Sequel, Finds A Way

25 November 2014 11:19 AM, PST

Hold on to your butts: The first Jurassic World trailer has arrived early, after leaking online days before debuting during Thursday’s Niners-Seahawks game. Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) makes his sophomore directing turn with the blockbuster follow-up set 22 years after the events of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, when corporate overlords have ironed out all the kinks and turned Isla Nublar into a full-fledged destination theme park. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, and Ty Simpkins lead the first CG-laden trailer and although they’re absent here, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, and Bd Wong also star.

Script is credited to Trevorrow with Derek Connolly. Spielberg served as exec producer on the Universal, Amblin, and Legendary production, which hits theaters in 3D on June 12. Bring on the ominous John Williams theme…

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- Jen Yamato

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Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations 2015 – Full List

25 November 2014 10:24 AM, PST

Fox Searchlight’s Birdman leads the 30th Film Independent Spirit Award nominations with six nods — best actor for Michael Keaton, director Alejandro G. Inarritu, supporting actress Emma Stone, supporting actor Edward Norton and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma follow with five noms each and Love Is Strange and Whiplash round out the Best Feature list. See the complete list of nominees below:

2015 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Best Feature

(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood

Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

Love is Strange

Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

Selma

Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

Whiplash

Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Ava DuVernay, »


- The Deadline Team

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