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Angelina Jolie In Talks to Star in War Drama ‘Shoot Like a Girl’

35 minutes ago

Angelina Jolie is in early negotiations to star in the Afghanistan war drama “Shoot Like a Girl,” sources confirm.

The TriStar film is based on the upcoming memoir “Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front,” which tells the true story of Major Mary Jennings Hagar, who served multiple tours in Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot. The Purple Heart recipient saved hundreds of men and women on and off the battlefield in the Middle East and was later helped eliminate the military’s Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which kept female officers from serving in combat roles.

The film would mark Jolie’s first action project since “The Tourist” and “Salt” in 2010. She has since toplined Disney’s “Maleficent” and co-starred with ex Brad Pitt in the 2015 drama “By the Sea,” which tanked at the box office.

She is repped by UTA and Media Talent Group. »


- Variety Staff

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Box Office: ‘Miss Peregrine’s’ Aims for $26 Million, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ to Drill $19 Million

1 hour ago

Fox’s “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children” has cast a spell on audiences, as it leads Lionsgate’s “Deepwater Horizon” at this weekend’s box office following Friday matinee totals.

“Miss Peregrine’s” is aiming for a $9 million Friday, and an opening weekend in the $25 – $27 million range at 3,522 locations. Meanwhile, “Deepwater Horizon” should make about $6.5 million Friday and $18 – $20 million total over the weekend.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” produced by Chernin Entertainment, Tgs and Tim Burton Productions, is based on a novel by Ransom Riggs in which a 16-year-old named Jake is forced to move to a mysterious island where he meets the titular Miss Peregrine. Jane Goldman wrote the film adaptation which stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.

Tim Burton directed the film with a $110 million production price tag, »


- Seth Kelley

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Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon to Star in Afghanistan War Drama ‘Horse Soldiers’

1 hour ago

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon are set to star in the Afghanistan War drama “Horse Soldiers” for Black Label Media.

Nicolai Fuslig is directing the film from a script by Peter Craig and Ted Tally. Black Label Media is co-financing the project.

Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill are producing with Jerry Bruckheimer and his Jerry Bruckheimer Films banner. Chad Oman is exec producing.

Based on Doug Stanton’s book, the film is based on the true story of of a U.S. Special Forces team and their untested captain sent to a rugged, mountainous region of Afghanistan in the weeks after 9/11.

Hemsworth is coming off the latest “Ghostbusters” installment and is currently filming “Thor: Ragnarok” before moving on to “Avengers: Infinity War.” He is also attached to reprise his role as Captain Kirk’s father in the next “Star Trek” installment. He is repped by CAA, Roar, and Gang Tyre. »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Alchemist’ Movie Adaptation Lands at TriStar and PalmStar

1 hour ago

TriStar and PalmStar are teaming up to produce an adaptation of the classic Paulo Coelho novel “The Alchemist.”

PalmStar acquired worldwide rights to the book several weeks ago and TriStar moved quickly to ensure the project ended up at their studio. Hannah Minghella, who spearheaded the deal for TriStar, will oversee the project along with Nicole Brown.

PalmStar Media’s Kevin Frakes will produce with Harvey Weinstein and Laurence Fishburne.

More than 65 million copies of the novel have been sold worldwide, making it one of the top 10 bestselling books. “The Alchemist” has also been translated in 80-plus languages.

“I’m thrilled to be partnering with PalmStar on ‘The Alchemist.’ Like most fans of the book, I remember where I was when I first read ‘The Alchemist,'” Minghella said. “It is a story I have returned to over the years and it has long been a dream to bring this insightful, »


- Justin Kroll

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Bertrand Tavernier’s Dramatic ‘Journey’ Through French Cinema

3 hours ago

Few cineastes exude a greater passion for French cinema than celebrated writer/director Bertrand Tavernier, who broke through in 1974 with his debut feature, “The Clockmaker of St. Paul.”

So it’s fitting that this year’s Retrospective section of the New York Film Festival will focus on Tavernier’s three-hour-plus documentary “My Journey Through French Cinema,” which details the filmmaker’s myriad cinematic influencers, from Jacques Becker to Jean Renoir.

The fest will also screen a selection of the classic French films that figure prominently in “My Journey Through French Cinema,” as well as movies from one of Tavernier’s favorite American directors, Henry Hathaway.

Tavernier’s love affair with Gallic cinema began when he was a child stricken with tuberculosis in post-World War II Lyon. It was the discovery of film that helped Tavernier mine his inner strength in order to make a full recovery.

“I think that cinema »


- Malina Saval

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Steven Yeun, Randall Park, Constance Wu to Attend Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment Anniversary Gala

3 hours ago

Advocacy group Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (Cape) will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gala on Saturday, Oct. 22 at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.

The evening will include remarks by Twitch.tv co-founder Justin Kan and COO Kevin Lin, and a look at the history and future of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Additionally, magician David Kwong will perform.

“For a quarter of a century, Cape has promoted and nurtured Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are among the most creative and influential change-makers in Hollywood,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, executive director of Cape. “In a time when diversity and inclusion are finally more than buzz words, and as the entertainment industry scrambles for more inclusive leaders and stories, Cape looks forward to cultivating the rich talent pool within our community and to becoming an effective resource of Aapi talent for the industry.”

Among those scheduled to »


- Tim Gray

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Ang Lee Pushes Technological Barriers in ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

3 hours ago

There’s a movie hitting theaters this fall that pushes the technical limits of the filmmaking process to new extremes. But the filmmaker isn’t using his tech in the service of an effects-laden blockbuster about aliens or superheroes or hobbits. He’s harnessing it for the intimate story of a young Iraq war vet and the memories that haunt him.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” directed by Ang Lee and based on the 2012 novel by Ben Fountain, will premiere Oct. 14 at the New York Film Festival in its envelope-pushing native format, screening in 3D at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second for each eye. The Sony movie significantly raises the bar compared to the industry’s previous high-water mark — the 3D, 48 fps trilogy “The Hobbit”

— in a film intended for serious, adult theatergoers rather than popcorn-munching action-hounds.

“We are experimenting with a new visual language for emotional storytelling, »


- Gordon Cox

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Sf Studios Appoints Michael Porseryd as CEO

3 hours ago

Nordic mini-major Sf Studios has tapped Michael Porseryd as CEO for the vertically-integrated centenary company starting in 2017.

Porseryd will replace Frida Westerberg, who stepped in as CEO in June following the polemical exit of Jonas Fors amid accusations of sexism and bullying.

Westerberg will remain at Sf Studios in her previous role of deputy CEO and COO for the company.

A Scandinavian media industry vet, Porseryd previously worked as Nordic CEO for the global production company Endemol where he spearheaded Nordic operations between 2010 and 2015. He also held top management positions at Metronome Film & Television and Mtg.

“I’m extremely pleased and very excited to be entrusted with this opportunity, says Michael Porseryd. Sf Studios has a fantastic legacy of producing and distributing content,” said Porseryd. “I strongly believe in their well-defined strategy where content continues to be core as well as their focus on investing in new distribution channels and »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Aisling Walsh’s ‘Maudie’ Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics

3 hours ago

Sony Pictures Classics announced Friday that it has acquired rights to Aisling Walsh’s biopic about Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, “Maudie.”

The studio’s acquisition extends to the U.S. and multiple international territories including the U.K. and Latin America.

Starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, “Maudie” is a romantic story about a reclusive man who hires a determined woman to be his housekeeper. Sherry White wrote the script.

In his review for Variety at the Telluride Film Festival where the film premiered, critic Peter Debruge wrote, “Sally Hawkins delves past Maud Lewis’ arthritis-stricken exterior to capture the inner spirit of the Canadian folk artist in this modest biopic.”

“I am delighted that Sony Pictures Classics have come on board to distribute “Maudie,” Walsh said. “They have an amazing record of bringing indie films to the widest audience possible and I am so excited to be working with them. »


- Seth Kelley

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Man Who Pirated ‘The Revenant’ Ordered to Pay $1.1 Million to 20th Century Fox

3 hours ago

A federal judge this week ordered a California man who had pleaded guilty to stealing copies of “The Revenant” and “The Peanuts Movie” from 20th Century Fox and sharing them illegally via a piracy website to pay the studio $1.12 million in restitution.

William Kyle Morarity, 31, of Lancaster, Calif., was sentenced for felony criminal copyright infringement after he admitted swiping screeners of the films when he was working on the studio’s lot last year. This week U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson sentenced him to eight months’ home detention and 24 months’ probation, in addition to the fine. Morarity had been facing a maximum sentence of up to three years in federal prison.

Using the screen name “clutchit,” Morarity uploaded “The Revenant” to a torrent website called Pass the Popcorn six days before the movie’s debut in a limited theatrical release on Christmas Day 2015, according to authorities. More »


- Todd Spangler

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‘The Shepherd’ Takes Home Flock of Awards From Raindance Film Festival

5 hours ago

London — Jonathan Cenzual Burley’s “The Shepherd” hooked awards for film, director and actor at the 24th Raindance Film Festival, which wraps Sunday. The Spain/U.K. co-production is about a small-time farmer facing a land grab by a major construction firm.

The actress prize went to Camila Romagnolo for Argentina’s “Hortensia.” directed by Diego Lublinsky and Alvaro Urtizberea. The film’s magical realism and quirky humor is reminiscent of “Amelie.” It centers on Hortensia, whose father was recently electrocuted by their faulty fridge. She sets out to achieve her childhood goals: to create the most beautiful pair of shoes in the world, and to marry a man who is blonde like her father.

Rick Darge’s “Zen Dog,” a U.S. road movie about a man who discovers the art of lucid dreaming, received a special award for Film of the Festival. Raindance founder Elliot Grove said: “We »


- Damon Wise

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8 Movies for Theater Fans at the 2016 New York Film Festival

5 hours ago

The 2016 New York Film Festival is a big draw for the city’s movie lovers — and this year, it may attract a crowd of theater fans, too. From the premiere of a “Hamilton” documentary to an immersive, multiplatform storytelling experiment with live actors, here’s what theater lovers and performing-arts avids should check out at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual fest, which runs through Oct. 16.

1. Hamilton’s America

Oct. 1, 2, 15, 16

Can’t wait until this documentary, about Lin-Manuel Miranda and the road to “Hamilton,” debuts on PBS Great Performances Oct. 21? Festivalgoers will get a sneak peak of Alex Horwitz’s film in world premiere screenings at Nyff. Expect special guests Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

2. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened

Oct. 9, 10, 16

This one’s catnip for stage diehards. A new documentary about “Merrily We Roll Along,” the ambitious Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical that flopped on »


- Gordon Cox

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Box Office: Tim Burton’s ‘Miss Peregrine’s’ Charms $1.2 Million on Thursday

5 hours ago

Fox’s "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children” conjured up $1.2 million during Thursday night previews at 3,000 locations.

Following a recent string of underperforming films at the box office from Tim Burton — notably “Big Eyes” and “Frankenweenie” — “Miss Peregrine’s” could serve as at least partial redemption for the director as it heads toward a solid $30 million opening weekend. The film carries a $110 million production price tag and will open to 3,522 locations starting Friday.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” produced by Chernin Entertainment, Tgs and Tim Burton Productions, is based on a novel by Ransom Riggs in which a 16-year-old named Jake is forced to move to a mysterious island where he meets the titular Miss Peregrine. Jane Goldman wrote the film adaptation which stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.

According to Fandango, »


- Seth Kelley

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Rome Film Fest Will Open With ‘Moonlight’, Close With ‘Lion,’ Include Some World Premieres

6 hours ago

Rome — The Rome Film Festival has unveiled the lineup of it’s 11th edition which will feature a selection of hot Fall fest circuit titles sandwiched between its opening film, Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” and the closer, Garth Davis’ “Lion,” plus 24 world premieres.

Films set to play in Rome that have not screened at other fests include Ben Affleck thriller “The Accountant,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, which will be Affleck’s first film since “Gone Girl.”

World premieres include Benedict Cumberbatch-narrated documentary “Naples ’44” by Italian director Francesco Patierno, based on the eponymous diary by British travel writer Norman Lewis about his experience in Naples as a British intelligence officer; Iranian drama “Immortality” by Mehdi Fard Ghaderi; and Chinese 3D martial arts blockbuster “Sword Master,” directed by Derek Yee.

Mexican director Natalia Almada’s “Todo lo demos” (“Everything Else”), which stars Oscar-nommed actress Adriana Barraza (“Amores Perros,” “Babel”) as a »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Argentina Chooses ‘The Distinguished Citizen’ as Its Foreign-Language Oscar Entry

6 hours ago

Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn’s “El ciudadano ilustre” (The Distinguished Citizen), a Venice Festival best actor winner, will represent Argentina as its foreign-language Academy Award entry.

A dramedy which builds into a finally swinging put-down of small-town provincialism, “The Distinguished Citizen” has several things going for it: It won Oscar Martinez a Volpi Cup best actor award at the Venice Film Festival. Drawing a long applause at its audience screening in Venice, it garnered generally positive reviews at the Italian festival as an arthouse crowdpleaser. Distributed by Disney in Argentina, “The Distinguished Citizen” earned €1.25 million ($1.4 million) in box office after two weekends at the Argentine box office.

“The Distinguished Citizen” was chosen by Argentina’s Academy, whose president, Juan Jose Campanella, was Argentina’s last foreign-language Academy Award winner, for “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which won in 2009.

In the film, Martinez plays an Argentine Nobel Prize winning writer »


- John Hopewell

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Daniel Craig ‘Absolutely First Choice’ for Bond Producers

8 hours ago

The producers of the James Bond movies, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, want Daniel Craig to return as 007, according to a senior production executive on the franchise.

Callum McDougall, executive producer on the last four Bond films, told the BBC Friday that Craig is the “first choice” of Broccoli and Wilson, who run Bond’s production company Eon Prods.

McDougall, who has worked on nine 007 movies, was asked if Craig would be returning. “I wish I knew,” he said. “We love Daniel. We would love Daniel to return as Bond. Without any question he is absolutely Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s first choice. I know they’re hoping for him to come back.” He added that if Craig is willing to join the next Bond movie the role would “absolutely” be his.

Eon did not respond immediately to a request for confirmation.

Craig, who is the sixth actor to play Bond, »


- Leo Barraclough

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Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Negotiates Sale of Its Exhibition Business to Cinemas Gaumont-Pathe

8 hours ago

Refocusing on its core production and distribution activities, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has entered into exclusive negotiations with Cinemas Gaumont-Pathe, France’s biggest exhibition chain, for the sale of Europacorp’s three-year-old exhibition business.

Aiming to drive into a premium end of the exhibition business, EuropaCorp launched its cinema theater investment in October 2013 at its Aeroville 12-screen multiplex in Tremblay-de-France, near Charles de Gaulle Airport, staging a glitzy premiere of “Malavita,” with Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert de Niro and Dianna Agron walking the red carpet.

Operating rather than owning the multiplex, EuropaCorp rented it from a real estate company, Unibail-Rodamco. It aimed to turn a profit on its investment Dolby Atmos sound and 4K 3D projectors, plus offer of gourmet food and a platter of Petrofina salmon and champagne for a $33.80 ticket price.

Move formed part of “a diversification strategy” allowing EuropaCorp “to generate recurrent revenues with very limited risk,” said Christophe Lambert, »


- John Hopewell

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Mumbai Festival to Honor China’s Jia Zhangke, India’s Sai Paranjpye

12 hours ago

The 18th Mami Mumbai Film Festival will honor Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke and Indian filmmaker Sai Paranjpye with ‘Excellence in Cinema’ awards.

The festival that runs Oct. 20-27 will open with actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut “A Death in the Gunj” that bowed at Toronto and will play in Busan.

Two new gender-based awards have been instituted. In partnership with Oxfam India, the best Indian film on gender equality carries a cash prize of $15,000 (INR1 million.) The best Indian female filmmaker award has a cash prize of $22,500 (Inr 1.5 million.)

Films in the ‘India Gold’ competition strand include Rohit Mittal’s “Autohead,” Manas Mukul Pal’s “Colours of Innocence,” Haoban Paban Kumar’s “Lady of the Lake,” Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” Sushanshu Saria’s “Loev,” Prithvi Konanur’s “Railway Children,” Saumyananda Sahi’s “Remembering Kurdi,” Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s “The Cinema Travellers,” Jaicheng Jai Dohutia’s “The Hidden Corner, »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Indian Producers Seek Ban on Pakistani Talent in Political Fallout

13 hours ago

The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (Imppa) has called on its members to stop working with Pakistani talent and technicians until the current political tensions between India and Pakistan ease.

Separately, political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has called for all Pakistani artistes to leave India and that their films be banned.

The latest tensions between the neighboring countries stems from the death last week of 18 Indian army soldiers in the disputed territory of Kashmir. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by Pakistan-based terrorists. Indian soldiers have crossed the ‘Line of Control’ to make retaliatory strikes.

Movies that could be affected include Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” due a Diwali holiday frame release in October. It stars Aishwarya Rai and Ranbir Kapoor alongside Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan (“Kapoor & Sons”.) Further out, “Dear Zindagi,” which stars Pakistan’s Ali Zafar alongside India’s Shah Rukh Khan, is due a November release. »


- Naman Ramachandran

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New York Film Festival Review: ‘13th’

18 hours ago

Ava DuVernay’s “13th” is the first documentary ever to be selected as the opening-night film of The New York Film Festival. (It premieres at Lincoln Center on Sept. 30.) That lends a momentous aura to what is already, each year, a momentous event. In this case, the precedent feels spiritually right. Movies, as both a business and an entertainment form, are struggling to define themselves in the 21st century, but there’s no doubt that we’re in the high renaissance era of documentary. Each week, every day, in theaters and on VOD, on cable channels and networks and streaming services, you can see movies that dive into topical issues with the investigative fury we once expected from newspapers. You can see movies that conjure (as maybe only movies can) the ghosts and artifacts and living semiotics of history, and that hold you in their grip with a force and »


- Owen Gleiberman

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