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Alex Kurtzman Will Direct Universal’s Reboot Of ‘The Mummy’

11 hours ago

It’s only been a few short months since writing dream team Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ("Star Trek," “Transformers 2,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”) announced the dissolution of their creative writing partnership, but the two have been busy ever since. Orci’s essentially going to take over the “Star Trek” series and direct “Star Trek 3” and Kurtzman is more involved in the “Spider-Man” series and will helm the villain “Venom” adaptation. And given Kurtzman and Orci were already developing “The Mummy” reboot together for Universal, it’s probably no surprise that Kurtzman has stepped up to take the directing job–"Mama" director Andrés Muschietti was tasked for the job last fall, but bailed over reported "creative differences” earlier this year. And it sounds like “Fast and Furious” scribe Chris Morgan is Kurtzman’s new bff partner. Variety makes no mention of Orci in their report, so perhaps these guys have »

- Edward Davis

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Review: John Michael McDonagh's Inventive, Masterful Black Comedy 'Calvary'

11 hours ago

Something black and acidic runs through the veins of those McDonagh brothers; there’s just something not quite right with these lads...and thank goodness for that. Playwright and younger sibling Martin McDonagh made a splash in Ireland’s theater scene with his hilarious, tart, pitch-black plays and then impressed film audiences with two wicked black comedies (“In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”). Older bro John Michael McDonagh possesses a similar talent, and an ear for devilish dialogue, and having penned “Ned Kelly,” he made his feature-length debut with the cheeky, underrated black comedy “The Guard” (underrated internationally, that is; the film is the most successful Irish film of all time in Ireland). If you don’t know these guys, you need to remedy that immediately. For McDonagh’s similarly irreverent, but darker sophomore effort, “Calvary,” the filmmaker reteams with his ‘Guard’ star Brendan Gleeson for an inspired story about a benevolent Irish priest tormented. »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Dakota Johnson Joins Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Le Piscine’ Remake; Domhnall Gleeson Joins Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Revenant’

12 hours ago

Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson has joined the cast of “I Am Love” helmer Luca Guadagnino’s next picture titled “A Bigger Splash.” This was the film reported as the untitled “sexy thriller” that would star Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Margot Robbie and Matthias Schoenaerts in May. Variety reveals it’s actually a long-gestating adaptation of 1969 French crime drama “La Piscine,” directed by Jacques Deray starring Alain Delon, Romy Schneider (quietly excellent if you haven’t seen it). This is something Guadagino’s been working on development in semi-secret for some time now. The trade mentions Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, so it’s possible the other two aforementioned stars fell out (or Dakota replaced Robbie). We’ll find out soon enough. [Variety] Domhnall Gleeson is joining Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "The Revenant." The story will follow "an 1820s frontiersman on a path of vengeance against those. »

- Edward Davis

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Jamie Foxx Will Play Mike Tyson In Biopic From 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Writer Terence Winter

12 hours ago

For those with a good memory, Jamie Foxx playing Mike Tyson is way old news. "I've reached out to Mike, and I've been open about it," Foxx told MTV back in 2009. "I think that, of all the biopics that are out there, he has the most interesting story that no one has ever heard." The idea back then was that Taylor Hackford, who directed Foxx to his first Oscar win in 2005 for "Ray," would also helm the project. And as Hollywood is wont to do, there hasn’t really been much a peep since. That’s changing, as “The Wolf of Wall Street” screenwriter/”Boardwalk Empire” showrunner and lead writer Terence Winter has been hired on to pen the script and the project looks like it has a new lease on life. No studio or director is attached as of now, but that could change fast. Variety, who breaks the news, »

- Edward Davis

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'Listen Up Philip' Team Alex Ross Perry & Elisabeth Moss Returning With Psychological Thriller 'Queen Of Earth'

12 hours ago

One of the The Best Films Of 2014 So Far and one of The Best Films Of The 2014 Sundance Film Festival, there's really not enough good things we can say about Alex Ross Perry's "Listen Up Philip." The indie director hit Park City to premiere his latest and starriest movie yet, and the end result was a picture hailed for its "terrific, attention-getting performances," noting that "it is a remarkable piece of work from this distinctive writer/director." And good news for everybody is that Perry and his 'Philip' star Moss are working together again. THR reports that the duo will reteam on "Queen On Earth," which will see them moving genres from comedy into psychological thriller. Described as being in the vein of "Rosemary's Baby" and "Repulsion," the movie will follow two women who retreat to a beach house, only for their suspicions and paranoia to overcome the disconnected pair. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: 'Go Down Death' Director Aaron Schimberg Talks Structure, Reviews, And 'The Da Vinci Code'

13 hours ago

Aaron Schimberg's "Go Down Death" is now available digitally via Factory 25.  Here's our interview with the director from earlier this year. Fever dreams can be scarring. However, if you’re filmmaker Aaron Schimberg, you can take that harrowing dip into the subconscious and make it into the fine, singular work “Go Down Death.” His debut film follows a few lives in a desolate village ravaged by constant bombing and unending trauma, changing character perspectives frequently -- ranging from a child gravedigger to a disfigured gambler -- but always maintaining its utter strangeness. It’s also sort of an anomaly in the independent scene, having been shot on 16mm black & white and utilizing both sets and scale models. We saw it last year and raved about it, claiming it “will trouble and beguile the subconscious long after you’ve moved on.” Recently acquired by Factory 25, the film became available this week on various VOD platforms, »

- Christopher Bell

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Oscar Isaac Will Lead David Simon’s Civil Rights Miniseries HBO, Elle Fanning Steps Into A 'Storm' And More

13 hours ago

Earlier this year, it was reported that David Simon—the man behind "The Wire" and "Treme"—was writing an HBO miniseries biopic about Martin Luther King Jr. Whether that project is still going or perhaps shifted directions is unclear, but Simon has a new project coming on HBO, with similar thematic matter, and it sounds great. Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener will lead the Simon co-penned miniseries, based on the book "Show Me A Hero" by Lisa Belkin, that will follow "a young Yonkers mayor (Isaac) in the 1960s who is faced with a federal court order requiring that he build a small number of low-income housing units in his town’s Caucasian neighborhoods. His attempt to do so tears the entire city apart, paralyzes the entire municipal government and, ultimately, destroys him and his political future." Hot damn, that sounds great, and stepping into to direct the first episode »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow & J.J. Abrams Team Up To Save Film Stock

14 hours ago

A couple of years ago, things were looking grim for Kodak. The legendary film company couldn't keep up with the digital age, and were on the brink of bankruptcy, but managed to bounce back last fall. While the company promised to be more contemporary in their approach going forward, they also said that film stock was part of their future as well. And a bunch of filmmakers teamed up to make sure the industry ensures that in an increasingly digital age, there is still room for good, old fashioned physical film stock. The Wall Street Journal reveals that behind-the-scenes, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams went to the heads of studios to make the case for film, and to have them invest in the format. How? The studios have agreed to buy an unspecified amount of film stock each year from Kodak, even if they don't know »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Essential Jacques Demy: The Director's Candy-Colored Films Get The Criterion Treatment

15 hours ago

“French director Jacques Demy didn’t just make movies—he created an entire cinematic world.” So say the good folks at Criterion over at the page for the recently released box set of perhaps the most undervalued member of the French New Wave. Demy stood out compared to the rest of the movement, insofar as he embraced a lot of Hollywood cliches—storybook romances, melodrama, musicals (quelle horreur!). But at his best, Demy did all that while subverting audience expectations. It’s nearly impossible to describe a Demy film without going gaga over the color schemes in his films. Brilliant, bright and bold (to say the least), his color films can sometimes blind the viewer with their sheer candy-colored exuberance. But this set proves that he wasn’t only interested in musicals and technicolor spectacle. Two of the six feature films herein (“Lola” and “Bay of Angels”) are black and white; on the surface, »

- Erik McClanahan

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Step Into A Fairy Tale With New Images From Disney's 'Into The Woods'

15 hours ago

After a bit of back and forth by Stephen Sondheim over the changes made to his musical "Into The Woods" for Disney's big screen, star-studded version, he's ultimately behind the "first-rate" production, and now the studio can push on with promoting the film. And today they've dropped a handful of new images to take you into the alternate fairy tale world you'll experience later this year.  Featuring Meryl StreepEmily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Tracey Ullman, Lucy Punch and many, many more, "Into The Woods" turns the stories you thought you knew right upside down. The characters—The Wolf, Cinderella, Jack, Rapunzel, and more—are not quite wholesome, and the reconfigured tales are a bit darker and more twisted (but on this side of being family friendly we'd wager). Still, it's imaginative source material and it gives director Rob Marshall a lot to play with. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Playlist Summer 2014 Movie Song Mixtape

15 hours ago

When it comes to the delicate art of the mixtape, context is everything. And in the context of us hurtling toward the end of summer (ok fine, there’s another month left, and a few big releases still on the calendar, but we’re getting nostalgic nonetheless) we thought we’d emulate Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in this week’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” who has a cherished memento from Earth in the form of a cassette of classic songs, by putting together a mixtape of our own. Of course, making a movie song mixtape (“tape,” incidentally, being a small rectangular plastic object containing sound recorded onto a magnetic strip that Grandma and Grandpa might tell you about) adds another layer to the process: should we feature only the movies we liked? Should we feature only the songs we liked from those movies? Thing is, great songs are often used in mediocre films, »

- The Playlist Staff

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Review: 'Get On Up' Starring Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis And Octavia Spencer

16 hours ago

“You cats ready?” Chadwick Boseman’s James Brown asks the audience, breaking through the fourth wall, early in “Get On Up.” It takes a lot of confidence for a character (and a filmmaker) to take this direct approach. The asides to the camera would feel forced if the biopic were covering almost anyone other than the Godfather of Soul, but it works well in this film. Directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”), the film bounces between various periods in the singer's life, beginning with a latter day instance of Brown’s antics in 1988 as he berates a woman for “drop(ping) a brick” in his bathroom in August, Georgia. The narrative jumps to 1968, then to 1939 and beyond. The audience gets a glimpse of young Brown and his difficult home life with his argumentative, absent mother (Viola Davis) and abusive father (Lennie James). Abandoned by his parents, he is raised in »

- Kimber Myers

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Watch: New Trailer For Christopher Nolan's ‘Interstellar’ Delivers More Majestic Wonder & Awe

16 hours ago

“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.” That’s the tagline for Warner Bros.’/Paramount’s upcoming fall blockbuster, Christopher Nolan's “Interstellar." Those words could be modified for the fans-travaganza in San Diego last weekend: “Christopher Nolan was born on Earth. He was never meant to go to Comic-Con.” The notoriously secretive filmmaker had never been to the preeminent sci-fi and fantasy convention in his entire career, despite having made his 'Batman' trilogy, a series made for the Comic-Con crowd. Yet Paramount Pictures took over Hall H on Thursday, and quite unexpectedly, Nolan was in attendance with his "Interstellar" lead Matthew McConaughey (read our report here). Of course, he unveiled the latest trailer at the Con, which has now hit the Internet today. The clip peels back a lot of layers, unveiling a lot of footage we haven't seen before of lead actors McConaughey, »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: Harry Potter Gets The Richard Linklater Treatment In 'Boyhood' Parody Trailer 'Potterhood'

17 hours ago

As you've no doubt heard, there are few films like Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." A coming-of-age story that was literally shot as the lead actor, Ellar Coltrane, grew from a boy to a young man, Linklater filmed the movie for a few days over the course of a dozen years, compiling a unique cinematic scrapbook. There is, however, at least one other film project that has allowed us to see the lead character grow up with its audience, and that's the Harry Potter franchise, which not only catapulted Daniel Radcliffe to worldwide fame, but also put him in the position of living out his awkward years on the big screen (as a wizard). So it didn't take long for the parody trailer "Potterhood" to arrive, courtesy of Slate. And it's nicely cut, taking viewers on a journey through the eight film series, as we watch Radcliffe age before our eyes. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Trailer For 'Atari: Game Over' Tells The Incredible True Story Of The Infamous 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' Video Game

18 hours ago

The story is the stuff of video game legend. In 1982, Atari — the dominant player in the nascent field — rushed the release of the "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" game, based on the Steven Spielberg film that would quickly become the top grossing movie of all time, in time for Christmas. It was nothing short of a disaster. Widely cited as one of the worst games ever made, it was developed and approved in five weeks, a process that for any other game would take months. As you might expect, the finished product was a mess, and it became one of the biggest financial failures in the industry's history, leading to the downfall of Atari. In 1983, it was reported that the company's unsold merchandise —including millions of copies of the 'E.T. 'game— were buried in the desert. The tale passed into urban legend, and now it's the basis of the documentary »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Exclusive: Listen To Nathan Halpern's "Fourth Of July" From Sundance Winning Documentary 'Rich Hill'

18 hours ago

Filmmakers Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos didn't reinvent the wheel for their documentary "Rich Hill." They simply turned the camera on Andrew, Harley, and Appachey, three youngsters on the verge of adolescence in the titular small town, resulting in a movie that took the Best Documentary prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film's score, composed by Nathan Halpern, is particularly key. He has a strong track record of documentary work behind him ("Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present," "The Loving Story," "All the President's Men Revisited"): Below, you can hear the lovely tune, "Fourth Of July," from the "Rich Hill" soundtrack. "Rich Hill" opens in limited release on August 1st. The soundtrack will be available digitally on the same day via Halpern's Copticon Music, distributed by The Orchard on outlets like iTunes, Amazon and more. Listen below and check out »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Check Out The Storyboards By 11 Year-Old Martin Scorsese For Roman Epic 'The Eternal City'

19 hours ago

"...dealing with Howard Hughes at this point in his life, his flaw, the curse so to speak, is the curse for all of us in terms of a nation, a country that acquires wealth like empires," Martin Scorsese told Film4 circa "The Aviator." "I love studying ancient history and seeing how empires rise and fall. They sow the seeds of their own destruction and I think that's what fascinated me. Ultimately the story asks, is that the wave of the future for everyone?" And it would seem that's been an area the director has been fascinated with since childhood. As if you needed any more reason to be in awe of Scorsese, here he is at 11 years-old, making storyboards for a Roman epic titled "The Eternal City." For the imagined movie, the young Scorsese dreamcasted Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Virginia Mayo and Alec Guinness, for what was described as “a »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Wesley Snipes Wants To Make 'Blade 4,' Says "Experimental" 'Blade' Movies Paved The Way For 'Avengers'

19 hours ago

Wesley Snipes is back! Sort of! The actor, who has spent the past handful of years mired in legal woes, while also starring in a string of forgettable, low budget movies, returns to the multiplex this month in "The Expendables 3" and could we be looking at a Snipes-aissance? Maybe (but probably not). But don't rain on Snipes' parade, because he's really hoping to make "Blade 4."  "I'd be open to it. I think we've got some stones left unturned and there's some latitude left for us to build on and I'd love to get back in the suit again and do some things I've learned how to do now that I didn't know how to do then," he told MTV at Comic-Con. "I think we're better at making that kind of a film now. Some of the things we did in the early parts of the franchise were experimental and »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Exclusive: Trailer For Short Film 'Retrospective' With 'Game Of Thrones' Star Charles Dance

20 hours ago

Among many of the services that "Game Of Thrones" has done (boosting George R. R. Martin's book sales, keeping the fake blood industry alive, etc etc), perhaps the greatest is giving new leases of life to veteran stars. The show's hugely expansive cast features a host of recognizable faces, but given the series' enormous popularity, it's likely that people like Diana Rigg, Stephen Dillane, Iain Glen et al are winning over new generations of fans. One of the biggest beneficiaries has to be Charles Dance, who plays steely patriarch Tywin Lannister on the series. Dance's magnetic presence has been seen in major films like "The Jewel In The Crown," "Alien 3" and "Last Action Hero," but he's been giving one of the finest performances of his career  as Tywin, and it's revitalized his career, with roles in big films like "Dracula Untold," "The Imitation Game" and "Child 44" on the way. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Casting: Paul Dano Eyes 'War And Peace,' Iggy Azalea Joins 'Fast & Furious 7' And More

20 hours ago

It's probably not a total shock that a miniseries adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s doorstop "War And Peace" is being described as "the most ambitious event series ever made for the BBC." But it is interesting to see some of the actors being sought. Paul Dano and Lily James have been offered roles in the production, with the former eyed for "Pierre Bezukhov, the awkward illegitimate son who rises in society but leads a tumultuous life as he seeks to overcome his emotions" and the latter as Natasha Rostova, who falls in love with him. The plan is for this one to air in 2015 in the UK, so expect things to start coming together soon. [Deadline] Emile Hirsch has joined "Just Jim," the directorial debut of "Submarine" star Craig Roberts, who will also lead the film. The story follows "a teenage loser who life is turned around by the appearance of an enigmatic, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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