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Tyler Perry Hopes ‘Boo 2!’ Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation’s ‘Darkness’

2 hours ago

Cast members descended upon the Regal Cinema at L.A. Live on Monday night as the theater played host to the spooky Halloween comedy “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.”

The latest film in the franchise features the fan favorite character Madea traveling to a haunted forest full of chainsaw murderers, ghost girls, and frat boys.

Among the stars who attended the carpet were “Madea” alum Cassie Davis, former Mma fighter and star Tito Ortiz, and writer/director/star Tyler Perry.

“To all of the Academy voters in the room: you ain’t gonna like this s—,” Perry joked when introducing the film. “But to everybody who just wants to laugh at this film, there is so much darkness going on in our country and in our industry that makes you go, ‘Jesus, what is going on?’ I wanted to do a movie that is just 100 minutes of silly, non-stop laughter. »


- Matt Fernandez

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Restorations ‘Non-negotiable’ for Video Streaming Deals, Says Gaumont’s Jérôme Soulet

3 hours ago

Lyon, France  — With U.S. video streaming platforms advancing across Europe and the rest of the world, restorations are a necessity if French film distributors want to ensure a future for their heritage film libraries, Jérôme Soulet, head of video, television and new media at Gaumont, said in his keynote address at the first day of the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market.

“If you want to sign an agreement with a platform, an HD restoration is necessary, otherwise they won’t do it; it’s non-negotiable,” he added.

Soulet shared his views on the challenges facing heritage film in market increasingly dominated by U.S. Svod platforms.

Despite a rich film history, France’s heritage market is facing an uncertain future due to the country’s dearth of domestic video streaming services, Soulet said.

Soulet, joined by industry analyst Pascal Lechevallier, presented sobering statistics and warned that French distributors needed to take concrete steps to ensure »

- Ed Meza

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Reese Witherspoon Says a Director Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16

3 hours ago

Reese Witherspoon opened up about her own experience with sexual assault on Monday night.

Speaking at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event in Beverly Hills, the Oscar winner revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16 years old. She was also made to feel that “silence was a condition of my employment.”

“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate. A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action,” she said.

“True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,” Witherspoon, 41, added. “And I wish I could tell you that »


- Matt Fernandez

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Jennifer Lawrence Says Producer Put Her in ‘Naked Lineup,’ Told Her to Lose Weight

4 hours ago

Jennifer Lawrence opened up about a “degrading and humiliating” experience she had working on a film, while speaking at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event on Monday night.

“A female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates,” Lawrence said. “After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”

When Lawrence brought this up to a producer, he told her “he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly ‘f—able.'” The actress said that she felt powerless against the directors and producers and didn’t want to become a whistleblower because she was afraid for her career.

“I couldn’t have gotten a producer or a director or a studio head fired »


- Matt Fernandez

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Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell to Star in Indie ‘Donnybrook’

4 hours ago

Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell, Margaret Qualley, and James Badge Dale are set to star in the indie pic “Donnybrook.”

Tim Sutton is writing and directing.

Production starts on Oct. 23 in Cincinnati. Backup Media is fully financing the film. UTA Independent Film Group is representing North American rights.

Adapted from Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel of the same name, the film follows a man hard up for cash and determined to support his family competes in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.

The film is produced by David Lancaster along with Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films, together with Backup Media. This is the third feature in the last two years that the two companies have made together after Fabrice du Welz’s “Message From the King” and Evan Katz’s “Small Crimes.”

Grillo can be seen next in Netflix’s action movie “Wheelman.” Bell was most »


- Justin Kroll

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Antalya Festival: Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis Head Antalya Star Lineup

4 hours ago

Turkey’s Antalya Film Festival has boosted the star wattage for its Oct. 21 opening night, with Oscar-winner Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis and Japanese actor and Jim Jarmusch regular Masatoshi Nagase (“Radiance”) set to attend the seaside event in Turkey.

During the festival, Walken and Lewis will discuss career benchmarks at  In Conversation With sessions; Walken will take home an Honorary Golden Orange Award for outstanding contribution to the art of film.

Also on hand will be Sean Baker, screening “The Florida Project,” Ai Wei-Wei producer Chin-Chin Yap, presenting “Human Flow” and Cannes winner Aida Begic with “Never Leave Me.”

In addition, Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”) will make his way to the historic resort city for a tribute to his work, along with that of late director Ömer Lütfi Akad, a pioneer of post-war Turkish cinema.

Palestinian filmmaker/provocateur Elia Suleiman will preside over a jury composed of Turkish actress, producer and writer »


- Will Tizard

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‘The Snowman’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

4 hours ago

In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Snowman.”

Ads placed for the serial-killer thriller had an estimated media value of $5.47 million through Sunday for 604 national ad airings across 26 networks. (Spend figures are based on estimates generated from Oct. 9-15. Estimates may be updated after the chart is posted as new information becomes available.) Universal prioritized spend across CBS, NBC and Fox networks, and during programming including NFL Football and episodes of The Big Bang Theory and This Is Us.

Just behind “The Snowman” in second place: Lionsgate’s “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” which saw 769 national ad airings across 29 networks, with an estimated media value of $4.3 million. It also had the best iSpot Attention Index (138) in the ranking, getting 38% fewer interruptions than the average movie ad (interruptions include changing the channel »


- iSpot.tv

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‘Geostorm’ Director Hopes Harvey Weinstein Scandal Signals ‘Sea Change’ for Hollywood

6 hours ago

Warner Bros.’ “Geostorm” premiered Monday night at the Tcl Chinese Theatre in Hollywood while talk of the Harvey Weinstein scandal percolated on the red carpet.

Dean Devlin, who made his directorial debut with the weather disaster take, admitted that he was “stunned” by the sheer volume of the #MeToo postings on social media after actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women who had been been sexually harassed or assaulted to post on social media in solidarity.

“It is depressing; it is overwhelming,” he said. “I hope that maybe this will be the pivotal moment of a sea change where society says ‘enough.’ This is crazy and it has to end.”

As for “Geostorm,” Devlin said its underlying message carries plenty of power, given the number of deadly hurricanes that have struck recently. The film is set in a near future where climate-controlling satellites go haywire and cause a storm of epic proportions, until brothers »


- Dave McNary

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‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Movie Title Announced

6 hours ago

The “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff has finally been titled: “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

Director Ron Howard announced the news in a video on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Howard also revealed that they just wrapped production on the movie.

“Hey #Twitterville, we just wrapped production so here’s a special message #StarWars,” he wrote.

Hey #Twitterville we just wrapped production so here's a special message #StarWars pic.twitter.com/8QJqN5BGxr

Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) October 17, 2017

The film follows the young Han Solo — a 20-something version of Harrison Ford’s character — and Chewbacca’s adventures before joining the Rebellion, including their encounters with Lando Calrissian.

Howard took over as director in August after the movie’s original helmers, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired, after clashing with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan.

“It was a culture clash from day one,” a source told Variety at the time. “She didn’t »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Hilary Swank to Star in Sci-Fi Thriller ‘I Am Mother’ (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Hilary Swank is starring in the science-fiction thriller “I Am Mother,” which has started shooting at South Australia’s Adelaide Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.

Swank, who won best actress Academy Awards for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Boys Don’t Cry,” is joining Clara Rugaard in a unique mother-daughter story.

Rugaard portrays the first of a new generation of humans raised by “Mother” – a kindly robot designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of mankind. But their unique bond is threatened when a blood-drenched woman (played by Swank) inexplicably arrives, calling into question everything she’s been told about the outside world.

I Am Mother” is based on an original concept by director Grant Sputore and writer Michael Lloyd Green. The screenplay was on the 2016 Black List.

I Am Mother” is Sputore’s feature debut. The special effects team at Weta Workshop (“Avatar,” “The Lord of The Rings”) has created the titular robot.

The movie is »


- Dave McNary

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Busan: ‘Gasoline’ Fills up at Project Market Awards

8 hours ago

Oh Seung-uk’s “Gasoline” from Korea was the front runner Tuesday at the Asian Project Market (Apm), part of the Busan Film Festival. It picked up the Lotte award of $8,900 (KRW10 million) and the Moneff award that provides $20,000 worth of post-production services.

Bui Thac Chuyen’s “Glorious Ashes” (Vietnam) won the Busan award of $15,000. The Bright East Films award of $15,000 was won by Li Xiaofeng’s “Revenge” (China). Riri Riza’s “Humba Dreams” (Indonesia) won the Cj Entertainment award of $10,000.

Yoon Ga-eun’s “Sora” (Korea) won the Kocca award of $8,850. Wissam Charaf’s “Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous” won the Arte International prize of $7,000. Min Bahadur Bham’s “A Year of Cold” (Nepal/France/Germany) won the Sorfund award which is an invitation to the Norwegian South Film Fund’s pitching forum, including flights.

The New Creator awards for book to film pitching went to Lee Jung Yuen’s “The Untouchables” while the E-ip pitching went to Lee Soo-a »


- Naman Ramachandran and Patrick Frater

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Bjork Elaborates on Harassment: Danish Director ‘Stroked Me,’ Made ‘Graphic Sexual Offers’

8 hours ago

After Lars Von Trier denied Bjork’s allegations that an unnamed Danish director had sexually harassed her, the singer got specific with her allegations in a Facebook post Tuesday. Bjork and von Trier worked together on the 2000 film “Dancer in the Dark.”

In the post, she expresses sympathy with other women who hesitated to make their claims of sexual harassment public, and then goes on to accuse the still-unnamed director of “strok[ing] me sometimes for minutes against my wishes,” “making “unwanted whispered sexual offers with graphic descriptions,” and threatened to “climb from his room´s balcony over to mine in the middle of the night with a clear sexual intention , while his wife was in the room next door.”

Von Trier denied the allegations on Monday, telling the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, “That is not the case — although we didn’t get along, that’s a fact. … On the other hand, she delivered »


- Jem Aswad

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Nora Johnson, Writer of ‘The World of Henry Orient,’ Dies at 84

8 hours ago

Nora Johnson, who wrote the screenplay for “The World of Henry Orient” with her father, writer-director Nunnally Johnson, died Oct. 5 in Dallas. She was 84.

Her daughter, Marion Siwek, said she died of natural causes.

Johnson based the story on her novel about two schoolgirls who have a crush on a concert pianist, informed by her experiences at private school in New York. Peter Sellers played the pianist; the film also starred Angela Lansbury and Paula Prentiss. It also became a Broadway musical, “Henry, Sweet Henry.”

Her memoirs about her father and growing up in show business included “Flashback,” “You Can Go Home Again” and “Coast to Coast,” a memoir of her childhood shuttling between her journalist mother in New York and her Hollywood-based father. Nunnally Johnson was the writer and director of films including “The Three Faces of Eve” and “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” and screenwriter of “The Dirty Dozen.”

Her 1959 essay »


- Pat Saperstein

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What Prompted Jack Gao’s Wanda, Legendary Departure?

8 hours ago

If China’s Dalian Wanda is going to make a comeback in Hollywood, after weathering its present storms, it will do so without Jack Gao. The polished and high-flying executive this week parted from Wanda, the property to entertainment giant, and from its Hollywood producer subsidiary Legendary Entertainment.

Wanda insiders insist that the group maintains a long-term commitment to Legendary, where Gao had been interim CEO since January, and will be back as a major player in Hollywood. But Wanda’s list of problem issues mean that further overseas expansion is not going to happen in the short or medium term.

The Chinese government, in a series of ever stronger measures over the past year, has punished the companies that have engaged in “irrational” and “exuberant” foreign acquisitions. Putting restrictions on deal-making in the areas of hotels, entertainment and sports, the measures seem specifically tailored to halt Wanda in its tracks. And without that activity, »


- Patrick Frater

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Harvey Weinstein Firestorm Marks an Inflection Point for Entertainment

8 hours ago

In all the years we’ve been in the entertainment news business, there’s never been a firestorm quite like the one ignited by the sordid saga of Harvey Weinstein and his alleged far-reaching sexual abuse scandal.

The Variety staff has been working overtime to cover every angle, including Tuesday’s extensive coverage.

This moment is about more than just one man whose decades of despicable behavior have been exposed by the courageous women who are finally coming forward with their terrifying stories. Yes, the reverberations are being felt across the entertainment industry, where other alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment, like Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, will continue to be outed.

But the scandal, of course, transcends Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

What this is really about is our culture at large, where for too long too many turned the other way as power was abused and covered up to protect profits.

But no more. »


- Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein

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European Filmmakers and Producers Protest Sacking of Polish Film Institute Director

8 hours ago

European film producers are voicing outrage over what they allege was the politically motivated sacking of the head of the Polish Film Institute, the nation’s key funding and international networking hub for cinema production.

Magdalena Sroka’s ouster, announced Oct. 9 by Poland’s culture minister, Piotr Glinski, prompted street protests at the Warsaw film festival this week. Filmmaker Wim Wenders, the head of the European Film Academy, said in an open letter that the organization’s members were “deeply disturbed” by the right-wing Polish government’s move to fire Sroka.

“The Polish Film Institute is financed by private sources, and the director can only be dismissed by the government if she has broken the law, which she hasn’t,” Wenders wrote. He described Sroka’s removal as “an expression of disrespect for culture and artistic freedom, and that, indeed, concerns us as a European Academy. It shows how shortsighted governments are when trying to subjugate culture »


- Will Tizard

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Casting-Couch Tactics Plagued Hollywood Long Before Harvey Weinstein

9 hours ago

Whether producing “The Artist,” “Shakespeare in Love” or “The English Patient,” Queens-born serial predator Harvey Weinstein has always had a knack for making powerful period pictures. Maybe, between the best picture Oscars that those movies scored, he should have brushed up on his Hollywood history. His penchant for the casting couch — the practice of powerful white men exploiting young actresses trying to break into the movie business — has a historical precedent as old as the movie business itself.

“The perils for women in Hollywood are embedded, like land mines, from an actress’s debut to her swan song,” says film critic and historian Carrie Rickey, “where moguls like Harry Cohn reputedly wouldn’t cast starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak unless they auditioned in bed.”

Long before Weinstein there was Louis B. Mayer, who co-founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1924. Mayer, the ground zero of this kind of abuse, had means, motive, opportunity »


- Thelma Adams

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Amazon, the Democrats and the Fallout From the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

9 hours ago

The New York Times and New Yorker stories detailing a decades-long history of alleged sexual abuse have undone the career of Harvey Weinstein. Bounced from his role as co-chairman of the company he founded with his brother Bob, his name scrubbed from multiple projects, expelled from the Academy, and publicly denounced by dozens of high-profile actors, executives and filmmakers, the mogul has been tossed out of the business of which he was once a titan.

But he’s not the only one facing a reckoning. With even more revelations about Weinstein’s misdeeds coming to light, the scandal has had a ripple effect throughout the industry, dragging down multiple companies and public figures in its wake.

Amazon Studios

As allegations against Weinstein flooded Hollywood, the waters also began to rise around Roy Price, president of Amazon Studios. Rumors of Price’s imminent departure from the tech company’s entertainment division had begun swirling this summer with the »


- Daniel Holloway

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Entertainment One Merges Film, TV Production (Exclusive)

11 hours ago

Entertainment One has unified film, TV, and digital production with Steve Bertram and John Morayniss now co-presidents of the consolidated operation.

Independent studio eOne signaled its intention to align TV and film earlier this year and the sales teams have already come together under Stuart Baxter, who has proceeded to bring in Dan Gopal and Joyce Yeung, both of whom have studio experience.

Uniting production and development was a natural next step, Morayniss told Variety. “As we put that sales structure together we asked why stop there,” he said. “There was an ‘a-ha moment’ for us a while ago when we did ‘Sharp Objects.’ We optioned Gillian Flynn’s book to develop as a feature, but after we started developing, it occurred to us that this is a very complicated story and to do it justice it made more sense as a series, so we pivoted very quickly on that.”

The series, »


- Stewart Clarke

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Mipcom: Colombia’s Dynamo and YouTube Sensation Enchufe TV Co-Produce Enchufe’s First Movie (Exclusive)

11 hours ago

Basking in the success of its production service involvement in Netflix’s mega hit “Narcos,” Univision’s “El Chapo” and Doug Liman’s Tom Cruise-starrer “American Made,” Colombia’s powerhouse production company Dynamo,is melding digital and traditional media in its upcoming feature film production, “Rock ’n Cola.”

Sony Pictures Int’l Prods. will distribute the comedy in the U.S. and Latin America with Sony’s Diego Suarez and Raymundo Diaz overseeing the project.

The comedy, now in post, taps the talent of wildly popular YouTube channel, Enchufe TV, which boasts more than 22 million subscribers. Written and directed by Jorge Ulloa of Touche Films, a co-founder and executive producer of Enchufe TV, the comedy stars a pan-Latin American cast comprised of Enchufe’s Raul Santana and Nataly Valencia, Mexican thesp Mariana Trevino, Peruvian stand-up comedian and actor Carlos Alcantara and Colombian thesp Biassini Segura. Top YouTubers of the region, Fernanfloo (El Salvador »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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