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‘Bad Boys 3’ Director Joe Carnahan to Write ‘Uncharted’ Adaptation for Sony (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Sony has recruited Joe Carnahan to write the latest draft of the script for its adaptation of the popular video game “Uncharted.”

Carnahan, who is also an accomplished director and producer, told Variety that he’s unable to also helm, unless production is pushed back, due to schedule constraints. “Bad Boys 3” will be his next directing gig. Production on the sequel gears up early next year — after Will Smith wraps David Ayer’s “Bright.”

In a perfect world I would love to do both, but right now, I’m only on board to write the script,” he said.

Uncharted” is an action-adventure film based on the critically-acclaimed and top-selling PlayStation video game series, which follows the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake.

Carnahan said entering the world of Nathan Drake is a dream come true.

“Archaeology today is in itself an antiquity, but that world has always fascinated me. »


- Justin Kroll

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Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Central Intelligence’ Breaks $200 Million at Global Box Office

1 hour ago

Central Intelligence” has crossed the $200 million milestone at the global box office, making it the highest-earning action comedy this year.

Central Intelligence,” starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, is being handled by New Line Cinema domestically and Universal Pictures internationally.

The film opened with $35.5 million in its first weekend in North America and generated strong holdover numbers, topping $124 million. International grosses have reached $75.9 million.

Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of worldwide distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, stated: “We knew audiences would respond to the unbeatable chemistry of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in this fun, action-packed comedy. ‘Central Intelligence’ plays big and delivers across a wide demographic.”

In the film, Johnson portrays a CIA agent who was bullied in high school and Hart plays his high school friend and reluctant recruit. Rawson Marshall Thurber directed from a script he co-wrote with Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen.

The film also stars Amy Ryan, »


- Dave McNary

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John Carpenter Wins Second Round of Plagiarism Case vs. Luc Besson Over ‘Lockout’

2 hours ago

Rome — A Paris appeals court on Friday found French director-producer Luc Besson guilty of plagiarizing John Carpenter’s 1981 cult classic “Escape from New York” with the 2012 space-set movie “Lockout.”

The court ordered his EuropaCorp production company to pay  450,000 Euros ($502,000) in damages to the U.S. horror helmer, according to a report on French news service Bfmtv.

Besson, who is France’s most international director and recently drew applause at Comic-Con with footage of his big-budget sci-fier “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” had denied the charge. The suit was brought by Carpenter and his “Escape” co-writer Nick Castle in 2014.

Besson did not direct “Lockout.” He co-wrote it with Stephen Saint Leger and James Mather, who co-directed it. His EuropaCorp produced the film at the center of the plagiarism suit.

There was no comment from EuropaCorp on Friday.

The court ruled that “Lockout” had “massively borrowed key elements” of “Escape, »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, Vincent Cassel in Talks for Hijacking Drama ‘Entebbe’

2 hours ago

Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, and Vincent Cassel are in negotiations to star in Working Title’s hijacking drama “Entebbe.”

If their deals close, Pike and Bruhl will play German terrorists in the movie, based on the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane headed from Tel Aviv to Paris. A total of 248 hostages were held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, then rescued by Israeli forces.

The plane was hijacked by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two members of the German Revolutionary Cells.

RoboCop” director Jose Padilha will direct from a script by Greg Burke. He’s an executive producer of the Netflix series “Narcos.”

Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Liza Chasin are producing alongside Kate Solomon. Participant Media is co-financing and co-producing.

Pike received an Academy Award nomination for best actress for 2014’s “Gone Girl.” She is currently filming Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles. »


- Dave McNary

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Visual-Effects Pioneer Douglas Trumbull on ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ Digital Innovations

3 hours ago

Visual-effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull first appeared in Variety on Dec. 17, 1968, in a review of the sex satire “Candy,” for which he created two outer-space sequences. His other movie credit that year was more memorable: “2001: A Space Odyssey,” on which he was one of the masterminds behind the groundbreaking special effects.

Trumbull — also known for his effects work on such films as  “Blade Runner” and “The Tree of Life,” and for directing 1972’s influential “Silent Running” — continues to push the boundaries of filmmaking, working on digital innovations and theater design as part of his ongoing quest to create a new and immersive experience for moviegoers. He spoke recently with Variety about how he got his career off the ground by working on the Stanley Kubrick classic.

Your father worked on the effects on “The Wizard of Oz.” Was he an influence on your VFX work?

No, by the time I was born, »


- Tim Gray

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U.K.’s Secret Cinema Draws Audiences With Immersive Events for Classic Films

4 hours ago

Theater owners have bemoaned declining audience numbers for years. So it might be a surprise to learn of one exhibitor that packs them in despite showing old movies and charging upward of $85 a ticket.

Secret Cinema has been putting on films in London since 2007. The latest, 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” wrapped July 24 after six days of sold-out screenings that raked in $2.5 million. The company offers an “immersive,” interactive experience, with sophisticated sets, actors, and staged events. Audience members are encouraged to wear costumes.

For “Dirty Dancing,” 30,000 attendees descended on an East London park that had been converted into a fictional Catskills resort. Decked out in ’60s attire, they indulged in outdoor games and laughed at cheesy stage acts for hours before the film finally lit up the huge outdoor screen.

Some of Secret Cinema’s previous productions have been even more ambitious. Its 2014 “Back to the Future” extravaganza re-created a ’50s-era American town. »


- Henry Chu

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Funding Completed for Ross McCall Crime Thriller ‘Beautiful Ones’

5 hours ago

Scatena & Rosner Films has provided finishing funds on Ross McCall’s crime thriller “The Beautiful Ones” for final color and effects, Variety has learned exclusively.

S&R has secured all sales rights as a condition of the deal. Director and veteran stunt coordinator Jesse V. Johnson collaborated with McCall to tell the story of a shylock falling in love with the wrong woman amidst the atmosphere of organized crime in Los Angeles.

The film also stars Brian Tee (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”), Jessy Schram (“Nashville”), Fernanda Andrade (“The Devil Inside”), and Eric Roberts.

Johnson is the producer with Anthony Pugliese executive producing. McCall starred in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” and the USA series “White Collar.”

The deal was negotiated at San Diego Comic-Con by Gato Scatena and Johnson.

»


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: Matt Damon’s ‘Jason Bourne’ Shoots Down $4.2 Million on Thursday

7 hours ago

Universal’s “Jason Bourne” has opened with a solid $4.2 million on Thursday night.

The actioner screened at 2,928 locations in North America in showings starting at 7 p.m.

Stx Entertainment’s raunchy comedy “Bad Moms” took in $2.1 million in Thursday night previews.

Matt Damon’s fourth “Bourne” movie is expected to dominate the weekend with about $50 million at 4,025 theaters. He’s returning to the signature role as a former CIA assassin for the first time since “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which launched with $69.3 million in 2007.

Paul Greengrass directs “Jason Bourne,” which also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, and Riz Ahmed. Greengrass also directed “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”

Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” opened with $55.5 million over the same weekend last year, including $4 million from Thursday night previews. “The Bourne Legacy,” starring Jeremy Renner, debuted with $38 million in 2012 with Damon not appearing.

Universal »


- Dave McNary

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Q&A: ‘Tallulah’ Director Sian Heder on Working With Ellen Page, Allison Janney and a Baby

8 hours ago

Writer and director Sian Heder’s new film “Tallulah” explores the concept of motherhood — specifically whether someone can and should be a mother. Ellen Page stars as the free-spirited Tallulah and Allison Janney plays Morgan, the mother of Tallulah’s boyfriend. The film follows its titular character in a haphazard effort to rescue a neglected baby and convince Morgan that it’s her granddaughter.

Tallulah” is the longer version of Heder’s critically acclaimed short film “Mother.” The creator spoke with Variety about the balancing act of writing and directing her own feature, what she learned from Jenji Kohan and Ray Romano and working with a 15-month old on set.

How did you come up with the concept “Tallulah”?

Tallulah the character was based on a friend of mine basically who was living out of a van and traveling around the country, finding odd jobs. She was a bit of »


- Maria Cavassuto

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‘The Wailing’ Wins Top Prize at Bucheon Fantasy Festival

9 hours ago

Local director Na Hong-jin’s “The Wailing” was named as winner of the Bucheon Choice award at the 20th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, Korea’s largest genre movie festival.

The occult thriller which premiered in Cannes also won the Nh Audience award. The film was recently released in Korea and scored a smashing $49.5 million (KRW55.7 billion) at the box office.

British director Babak Anvari’s horror “Under the Shadow” took the Jury’s Choice award. French actress Karin Viard earned best actress for “21 Nights with Pattie,” while India’s Deepak Sampat won best actor for crime drama “Autohead.”

Feature award-winners were selected by a jury including veteran local actors Chang Mi-hee and Jung Jin-yeong, Cannes’ Christian Jeune, Filipino director Khavn De La Cruz and American producer Garrick Dion.

At the end of the festival’s new 7-day industry program BiFan Industry Gathering (BiG), “Mogwai,” a sci fi horror »


- Sonia Kil

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Venice: The Match Factory Acquires Competition Player ‘Spira Mirabilis,’ Horizons’ ‘White Sun’ (Exclusive)

15 hours ago

Germany’s The Match Factory has acquired world sales rights to Venice competition entry “Spira Mirabilis” and Horizons player “White Sun,” building one of the biggest sales slates of any company on the Lido this year.

Other Venice titles for The Match Factory, giving it a four-picture slate two years in a row, include a second competition title, “La region salvaje,” Mexican Amat Escalante’s follow-up to his 2014 Cannes best director winner “Heli,” and Israeli Rama Burshtein’s “Through the Wall,” which screens in Horizons.

Since it launched in 2006, few companies have pushed harder into auteur world cinema than The Match Factory. That’s reflected in its Venice slate. A creative essay on immortality, “Spira Mirabilis,” an Italy-Switzerland docu-feature, is directed by husband-and-wife team Massimo d’Anolfi and Martina Parenti.

Described as a “visual symphony” and shot around the world, “Spira Mirabilis” plumbs different manifestations of immortality, or at least »


- John Hopewell

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Fox ‘s Fourth ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Movie in the Works

19 hours ago

Fox is rebooting its “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” franchise with Jason Ian Drucker and Owen Asztalos on board for the fourth film in the series.

David Bowers, who directed “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” has been tapped to helm the new film based on Jeff Kinney’s book “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.”

Fox’s Wimpy Kid films are all produced by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson via their Color Force production company. Based on Kinney’s book series, the three films grossed a total worldwide box office of $225 million with Zachary Gordon starring as the main character Greg Heffley.

Gordon has aged out of the part with Drucker taking over the role. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” follows Greg Heffley, who goes on a summer road trip with his family »


- Dave McNary

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‘Justice League’ Star to Make Cameo in ‘Suicide Squad’

20 hours ago

Warner Bros. has made a last-minute addition of a major new DC character to its potential blockbuster “Suicide Squad.”

Spoiler Warning: Ezra Miller will appear as The Flash in the offbeat superheroes film that hits theaters Aug. 5. The studio disclosed the news in the “Suicide Squad” press notes from critics screenings this week without information about The Flash’s impact on the story.

It’s unclear when Miller’s scenes were shot for “Suicide Squad.” Director David Ayer re-shot several scenes this spring.

Miller first appeared as The Flash” in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” during which his out-of-costume Barry Allen character stopped a robbery in a convenient store and in a Bruce Wayne dream sequence.

Miller will appear in the DC Entertainment superhero team-up “Justice League,” which opens on Nov. 17, 2017″ and then star in his standalone “Flash,” set to be released on March 16, 2018. Warner Bros. hired Rick Famuyiwa earlier this year to direct. »


- Dave McNary

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Dick Cook, Carnival to Make Kim Ki-duk Chinese Fantasy Film (Exclusive)

20 hours ago

Dick Cook Studios and its Chinese partner Film Carnival are to make “Who Is God?,” an anti-war film that will mark the Chinese movie making debut of South Korean maverick Kim Ki-duk (“The Isle,” “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring,” “Pieta”.)

The film is set to have a budget of some $37 million (RMB250 million), which by some estimates is three times the total Kim has spent on production in his entire 20-film indie career.

The principal financier of the picture is Huafeng Investment Consultation, a securities firm based in Hangzhou. The city is home to both Carnival and e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Kim describes the film as “the story of a conflict of faith – the wars between the tribes that worship nature and the kingdom that advocates religion… with plot lines (that) are richly interwoven with philosophy and Buddhist allegory.”

Film Carnival will be responsible for the production, with Dcs involved in pre-production, »


- Patrick Frater

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Meryl Streep Joins Emily Blunt in ‘Mary Poppins’ Sequel (Exclusive)

20 hours ago

Is Meryl Streep ready for a spoonful of sugar?

Sources tell Variety, the Oscar-winning actress is in talks to join Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel-Miranda in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.”

If a deal closes, the family film would reunite Streep with the “Into the Woods” musical team of Blunt, director Rob Marshall, and producers Marc Platt and John DeLuca. Streep and Blunt also shared the screen in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Marshall and John De Luca are also producing.

Streep is said to play the role of Poppins’ cousin, Topsy, a supporting role that wasn’t in the 1964 classic. Streep would also sing for the part, much like she did in “Into the Woods,” which earned her a record 19th Oscar nomination.

The Mary Poppins sequel hits theaters Dec. 25, 2018.

David Magee wrote the screenplay, based on the stories by P.L. Travers, with Marc Shaiman composing an all-new score and »


- Justin Kroll

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Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer’s Pay Jumps 61.5% to $10.9 Million

20 hours ago

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer received pay of $10.9 million for the fiscal year ended March 31 — up 61.5% from the $6.7 million he made in the previous year.

The studio made the announcement in an 8-k regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange commission on Thursday.

Vice Chairman Michael Burns saw his compensation package rise 33.1% to $11.5 million.

The report was filed a month after Lionsgate announced it had agreed to buy pay cabler Starz for $4.4 billion with the goal of becoming a “global content powerhouse.”

Felthimer’s package included $1.5 million in salary, $4.1 million in stock awards, $5.3 million in option awards, and $95,113 in other compensation ($18,761 in club membership dues and $71,882 for personal use of the company-leased jet).

Burns’ package included $1 million in salary, $5 million in stock awards, $5.3 million in option awards, and $221,866 in other compensation (including $204,064 for use of the jet).

The filing noted that Lionsgate stock declined 35.6% in the fiscal year, citing disappointing  film »


- Dave McNary

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Michael Crichton’s Novel ‘Dragon Teeth’ Bought by HarperCollins

21 hours ago

Michael Crichton’s “Dragon Teeth” has been acquired by HarperCollins for publication in May — the third posthumous novel to be released from the bestselling author.

HarperCollins made the announcement Thurday, describing “Dragon Teeth” as a fictional recounting of the actual rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during “The Bone Wars” of the 1870s.

“The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other and not only makes discoveries of historic proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined,” the publisher said.

“Known for his meticulous research, Crichton uses Marsh and Copes’ heated competition during the ‘Bone Wars’ — the golden age of American fossil hunting — as the basis for a thrilling story set in the wilds of the American West.”

Crichton, who died in 2008, authored a dozen books that »


- Dave McNary

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Film Review: ‘Realive’

23 hours ago

The general consensus of fantasy fiction is that nearly everyone wants to live forever, but most of those who actually get that wish fulfilled end up wishing they hadn’t. Such is the case in “Realive,” prominent Spanish scenarist Mateo Gil’s third directorial feature. This smoothly crafted English-language sci-fi tale finds a modern man cryogenically frozen, then thawed seven decades into the future as humanity’s first successful “reanimate.” But his subsequent disillusionment isn’t as moving as it’s meant to be here, primarily because Gil hasn’t created a protagonist with enough personality to seem particularly relatable, or to render his regret after getting what he thought he wanted more profound than petulant.

Those who welcome thinkier Sf cinema in the realm of recent “Ex-Machina” and “Another Earth” will find some similar rewards in this watchable, nicely produced if modestly scaled English-language enterprise, which straddles select thematic »


- Dennis Harvey

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Luke Treadaway’s ‘Street Cat Named Bob’ Gets U.S. Release

23 hours ago

Cleopatra Films has acquired all domestic rights to Luke Treadaway’s “A Street Cat Named Bob,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film is an adaptation of James Bowen’s best-selling book of the same name, which chronicles his life as a street musician and recovering addict barely getting by in London. He adopts a stray ginger cat, names him Bob, nurses him back to health, and takes him to guitar-playing gigs — and the pair became an instant attraction.

Cleopatra Films, the movie division of record label Cleopatra Records, plans a Nov. 18 release in at least 20 U.S. markets.

Roger Spottiswoode directed from a script by Tim John and Maria Nation, and produced by Adam Rolston for Shooting Script Films. Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”) and Ruta Gedmintas also star.

A Street Cat Named Bob” was first published in the U.K. in March 2012 and spent a record 70 consecutive weeks on the Sunday Times bestseller list. »


- Dave McNary

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‘Batman v Superman’ Shoots to Top of Disc Charts

23 hours ago

Warner Bros.’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” fought its way to an easy No. 1 debut on the Npd VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended July 24.

The superhero epic arrived in the home video market following a $330.4 million haul at the domestic box office, which presented the first big-screen live-action meeting of iconic comic book characters Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).

Upon its release, “BvS” was plagued by bad reviews that may have hampered audience enthusiasm for the film, but fans were generally more receptive of director Zack Snyder’s efforts to create a sprawling conflict between the legendary characters. On RottenTomatoes.com, just 27% of critics recorded a positive review, compared with 65% of audience voters who liked the film.

To counter some of the backlash, almost immediately »


- John Latchem

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