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‘Blade Runner’ Breakout Sylvia Hoeks Joins ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel (Exclusive)

20 October 2017 1:20 PM, PDT

After breaking out in “Blade Runner 2049,” Sylvia Hoeks is looking to move on to another franchise revamp.

The Dutch actress is in talks to join Claire Foy in Sony’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the sequel to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Foy, who stars in the Netflix series “The Crown,” is on board to play Lisbeth Salander. The new installment of Sony Pictures’ Millennium franchise will commence production in January in Berlin and Stockholm. The film hits theaters on Oct. 19, 2018.

The studio had no comment on the casting. »


- Justin Kroll

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Box Office: ‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ to Blow Away ‘Geostorm’ in Slow Weekend

20 October 2017 2:05 PM, PDT

Tyler Perry’s horror-comedy sequel “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” is providing the only bright spot on a downbeat weekend with about $23 million at 2,388 North American locations, early estimates showed Friday.

Four other new films are showing little traction among moviegoers. The most prominent is costly weather disaster drama “Geostorm,” which is heading for a financial disaster with an opening weekend of $13 million at 3,246 venues for Warner Bros. The studio — which had forecasted a finish in the $10 million to $12 million range — took the unusual step of not holding Thursday night previews, as it had not held screenings for critics.

Sony’s opening of firefighting drama “Only the Brave” is heading for about $6 million at 2,575 locations — a disappointing result, given its $38 million budget. Universal’s murder mystery “The Snowman” is faring even worse with about $5 million at 1,813 North American theaters, well below muted estimates in the $8 million to $12 million range. And Pure Flix’s faith-based “Same Kind of Different as Me” is underperforming »


- Dave McNary

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Hollywood Teamsters, Iatse Condemn Sexual Harassment in Entertainment Industry

2 hours ago

The top below-the-line unions have issued strong statements condemning sexual harassment, joining the creative guilds in the latest response to the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal.

The Hollywood Teamsters union and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees published the statements on their web sites two weeks after the Oct. 5 disclosure in a New York Times article detailing the settlements of eight lawsuits against Weinstein, including those filed by Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. The expose has prompted dozens of women to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

“Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not to be tolerated or taken lightly,” said Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters. “In light of the recent reports regarding the alleged harassment of many A-List actresses by Harvey Weintstein, we must not forget that sexual harassment will not be tolerated towards Any hardworking women or men on set. “

“Sadly, many Below-the-Line »


- Dave McNary

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Directors Guild Begins Expulsion Process Against Harvey Weinstein

4 hours ago

The Directors Guild of America has launched disciplinary proceedings against disgraced ex-mogul Harvey Weinstein, which could lead to his expulsion.

The move was announced Saturday afternoon by DGA President Thomas Schlamme following a national board meeting in New York City. The guild said it filed the disciplinary proceedings on Oct. 13.

“The DGA has a long-standing practice of not commenting on internal union matters, but has decided to make an exception in this case to acknowledge the filing of charges,” the guild said. “However, because of due process concerns that are a part of federal requirements for labor unions, the DGA cannot comment further.”

Weinstein is listed as a DGA member on the dga.org site. Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein are credited as the co-directors on the 1986 movie “Playing for Keeps.”

The DGA’s move underlines how rapidly Weinstein’s career has descended since the Oct. 5 publication of a New York Times article detailing the settlements »


- Dave McNary

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Josh Brolin Mourns ‘Deadpool 2’ Stuntwoman’s Death: It Was an ‘Absolute Freak Accident’

5 hours ago

Josh Brolin spoke about the death of stuntwoman Joi “S.J.” Harris while working on “Deadpool 2” in an interview Saturday after the film wrapped shooting.

“We had somebody pass away on ‘Deadpool 2’ and it was an absolute freak accident,” Brolin told The Associated Press in an interview about his new film “Only the Brave.” Harris died in August after she lost control of her motorcycle and crashed into a Vancouver building.

“The woman was such a wonderful woman … it wasn’t even a stunt, it was a freak accident,” the actor, who plays Cable, said. “It was a terrible thing that happened. Was it a nano-decision that she made in order to save the bike and this, you know what I mean? You could look into it all [these ways], but sometimes things just happen that are tragic.”

According to reports, Harris, the first female African-American road racer, was brought on at the last minute to fill »


- Erin Nyren

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Film Review: ‘Surviving Peace’

8 hours ago

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a morass, but that doesn’t mean a documentary about it can afford to be. It shouldn’t oversimplify, but it should shine a light through the darkness, which is what several key documentaries out of Israel have recently done. “The Gatekeepers” offered the startling vision of six former leaders of the Shin Bet — Israel’s internal security service — testifying to the self-destructive nature of current Israeli policy; it was the hawks from the trenches calling out the armchair warriors. And earlier this year, “The Settlers” was a masterly piece of history: In letting us glimpse the invisible organic design of the Israeli settlement movement, almost as if by time-lapse photography, it revealed the insidious life-of-its-own dynamic that has rendered that movement more powerful, even, than Israel’s supreme leaders.

Surviving Peace” isn’t as good a film (it’s more of a personalized ramble), yet it dares to frame the issues in a way »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Box Office: Tyler Perry’s ‘Boo 2!’ Set to Top Sluggish Weekend Ahead of ‘Geostorm’

9 hours ago

Tyler Perry’s most recent installment in the “Madea” franchise, “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween,” is likely to dominate one of the most torpid October weekends yet with $21 million at 2,388 North American locations — nearly double the next highest projected intake from “Geostorm.”

“Boo 2,” from Lionsgate, received an A- CinemaScore and should bring in about 30% less than the original “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” which won its opening weekend easily over “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” with $28.5 million and finished with $73 million domestically. The sequel, set at a haunted campground, is directed and written by Perry, who also stars in his ninth iteration as the tough-talking Madea.

“Boo 2” is a fairly low-risk project for Lionsgate, with a combined production and marketing budget in the $20 million range. Lionsgate is likely to dominate the box office next weekend during the pre-Halloween period with the opening of “Jigsaw,” its eighth movie in the “Saw” franchise, and the second weekend of “Boo 2.”

Geostorm,” a weather »


- Erin Nyren

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Tony Zierra to Follow up ‘Filmworker’ with New Stanley Kubrick Doc about ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

13 hours ago

Lyon  — Tony Zierra, the director of this year’s critically acclaimed Cannes screener “Filmworker” – about Leon Vitali, who served for decades as Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man – is working on a followup Kubrick documentary about the making of the 1999 drama “Eyes Wide Shut,” starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Zierra was in Lyon this week for a screening of “Filmworker” at the Lumière Film Festival, where the documentary has generated massive buzz.

Speaking to Variety about his next project, “SK13,” (“Eyes Wide Shut” being Kubrick’s 13th film), Zierra explained that he was originally working on that documentary when he met Vitali and decided to put it aside and do “Filmworker” first.

Zierra is now returning to his initial project, which promises an inside look at what is arguably  Kubrick’s most controversial work, due in part to the director’s death during post-production.

“The one movie that I feel is the wrinkle in Kubrick’s filmography »


- Ed Meza

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William Friedkin on the Power of Film, Capital Punishment and his Recklessness on ‘The French Connection’

14 hours ago

Lyon  — Director William Friedkin, maker of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” in Lyon for a showcase of his work, proved his storytelling prowess at a master class on Thursday as he captivated the audience with anecdotes of his illustrious career.

Particularly moving was the account of his first work, the 1962 documentary “The People vs. Paul Crump.”

After meeting the chaplain of the Cook County jail and learning about a young black man on death row named Paul Crump that both the pastor and the warden believed to be innocent, Friedkin visited the inmate and likewise became convinced of his innocence. He set out to make a documentary about the case in the hope of saving his life.

“A confession was beaten out of him by the Chicago police, which was done routinely in those days. If there was an African American accused of a crime they would go into the African American community and round up the »


- Ed Meza

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Wong Kar-wai Honored in Lyon, Talks Early Influences, Bruce Lee, Hong Kong Handover and Bigger Canvas for ‘Grandmaster’

17 hours ago

Lyon The Lumière Festival honored Wong Kar-wai with the Lumière Award on Friday following a wide-ranging discussion between the Chinese filmmaker and the festival director Thierry Frémaux about his life and career.

Asked about his early influences during the master class, held in front of a packed house at the majestic Théâtre des Célestins ahead of the evening’s award ceremony, Wong said he moved with his family from Shanghai to Hong Kong as a child in 1962 before the onset of the Cultural Revolution. Since the family had no friends or relatives in Hong Kong and did not speak Cantonese, Wong regularly went to the movies with his mother.

“It’s all because of my mother. My mother is a big film buff – she enjoyed watching movies. The fact that we didn’t have any friends and relatives in this new city, the only thing she liked to do was take me to the cinema. We spent almost »


- Ed Meza

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Film Review: ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’

17 hours ago

In 1998, millionaire art dealer Ron Hall, a Fort Worth father of two and an adulterer, promised he’d do anything to win back his wife Debbie, a “girl with a heart so big that all of Texas couldn’t hold it.” Debbie gave him a challenge: help her feed the homeless at Fort Worth’s Union Gospel Mission and befriend the scariest man on the block, an ex-felon and murderer named Denver “Suicide” Moore.

He did, and the two men’s unusual friendship is the foundation of Michael Carney’s empathetic faith-based drama “Same Kind of Different as Me,” starring Greg Kinnear and Renée Zellweger as the wealthy white couple, and Djimon Hounsou as the traumatized sharecropper welcomed into their 15,000-square-foot home. The three leads have six Academy Award nominations between them. However, the film’s key draw is the nonfiction bestseller that inspired it, co-written by Hall, Moore and “Heaven is For Real’s” Lynn Vincent, who saw »


- Amy Nicholson

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Busan: Korea’s ‘After My Death,’ Iran’s ‘Blockage’ Win Competition

19 hours ago

Films from South Korea and Iran were announced Saturday as joint winners of the Busan Film Festival’s main competition section.

Kim Ui-seok’s “After My Death” and Mohsen Gharaei’s “Blockage” won the New Currents competition which focuses on first and second features by filmmakers from Asia.

“My Death” is critique of the world where reason and tolerance have no sway and is the story of a girl who is suspected of having goaded another schoolgirl into killing herself. “Blockage” reflects the current economic condition of Iran by depicting the overwhelming chaos that happens to a vicious, despicable temporary worker.

The jury was headed by American filmmaker Oliver Stone, and included Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, French cinematographer Agnes Godard, Philippines’ Lav Diaz and South Korea’s Jang Sun-woo. The jury said that “both films are tightly scripted, and display vivid detail and excellent craftsmanship.”

The first Kim Ji-seok Award, a newly prize »


- Sonia Kil

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Film Review: Pixar’s ‘Coco’

21 hours ago

Conceived as a vibrant celebration of Mexican culture, writer-director Lee Unkrich’s “Coco” is the 19th feature from Pixar Animation Studios and the first to seriously deal with the deficit of nonwhite characters in its films — so far limited to super-sidekick Frozone in “The Incredibles,” tagalong Russell in “Up” and Mindy Kaling’s green-skinned Disgust in “Inside Out.” It’s a point worth making from the outset, not so much for political reasons (although they matter) but to indicate how this effective yet hardly exceptional addition to the Pixar oeuvre finds at least one significant front on which to innovate, even while coloring comfortably within the lines on practically everything else.

Like Remy, the rodent hero of “Ratatouille” who dreamed of working in a French restaurant, 12-year-old Miguel Rivera (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) has just one passion in life: He wants to play the guitar. Unfortunately for him, Miguel belongs to a family of humble shoemakers where music »


- Peter Debruge

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Film News Roundup: Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions Backs Oliver Sacks Documentary

23 hours ago

In today’s film news roundup, Paul Allen comes on board an Oliver Sacks documentary, the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival unveils its lineup, and animation veteran Teresa Cheng gets a USC post.

Documentary Backing

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions is backing the documentary “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life” in partnership with Steeplechase Films, American Masters Pictures, Motto Pictures, Passion Pictures, and Tangled Bank Studios.

Directed by filmmaker Ric Burns (“New York,” “Andy Warhol”), the film attempts to provide an exploration of human consciousness and the intimate relationship between art and science. Burns shot footage in the months before Sacks died in 2015, including more than 80 hours with the physician himself, his partner, and his closest family, friends, and colleagues.

Allen and Carole Tomko, general manager of Vulcan Productions, are executive producers of “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,” along with Julie Goldman of Motto Pictures and Michael Kantor of American Masters Pictures. Vulcan said Friday »


- Dave McNary

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AFI Fest Adds Galas for ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Disaster Artist,’ ‘Hostiles’

20 October 2017 3:03 PM, PDT

The American Film Institute has added a trio of awards season contenders as centerpiece galas for next month’s AFI Fest — “Call Me by Your Name,” James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” and Christian Bale’s “Hostiles.”

The AFI Fest will also hold a tribute to documentary filmmaker Errol Morris and a screening of “Wormwood” on Nov. 11 at the Egyptian Theatre. The festival opens on Nov. 9 with “Mudbound” and closes on Nov. 16 with the world premiere of “All the Money in the World.” All the galas will be held at the Tcl Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Call Me by Your Name” will screen on Nov. 10. The film, directed by Luca Guadagnino from a James Ivory adaptation of André Aciman’s novel, is a coming-of-age story centered on a 17-year-old who spends the summer holidays at a villa with his parents. The movie, which debuted at Sundance, stars Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and [link=nm »


- Dave McNary

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Colony Capital Has Three-Week Window to Avert Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy (Exclusive)

20 October 2017 2:44 PM, PDT

Colony Capital has been granted a three-week window to negotiate a deal for some or all of the Weinstein Company’s assets, as the company seeks to avoid a bankruptcy filing.

Sources tell Variety that the Weinstein Co.’s financial situation, and particularly its debt load, are more dire than was previously known. Nevertheless, Colony Capital, under the leadership of Tom Barrack, is still working toward some sort of purchase. Insiders say that Colony has reached out to other potential partners to help close the deal.

There has also been a shift in the human resources department, which has come under harsh criticism for failing to stand up to Weinstein’s abuses. Frank Gil, the head of the department, has been let go. He’s been replaced by David Anderson, an industry veteran who has worked with companies who are trying to dig out from troubling financial situations.

The Weinstein Co. was not in »


- Gene Maddaus and Brent Lang

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Lionsgate Unveils World’s First ‘Hunger Games’ Theme Park

20 October 2017 1:42 PM, PDT

Hunger Games” now has its own theme park.

Lionsgate and Dubai Parks and Resorts have partnered to celebrate the opening of the world’s first “Hunger Games” theme park, based on the popular series of young adult novels and films. “The World of the Hunger Games” had its first full day of operations in the Lionsgate zone at Motiongate Dubai, the Middle East’s largest Hollywood-inspired theme park.

“The World of the Hunger Games” features newly designed marquee attractions, never-before-seen content showcasing talent from the film, iconic walk-around characters and entertainment, dining, and retail experiences that include:

Panem Aerial Tour: A hovercraft simulator experience with an exciting twist, featuring custom content created exclusively for Motiongate Dubai.

Capitol Bullet Train: A half-pipe roller coaster that transports guests to the Capitol, featuring a forward and backward launch and multiple inversions.

Peeta’s Bakery: A food and beverage station serving over 20 themed delicacies and local favorites.

Panem Supply »

- Matt Fernandez

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Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser’s ‘Biggest Regret Is Opening That Door’

20 October 2017 1:32 PM, PDT

The attorney for the Italian actress and model who has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in 2013 says that she is relieved to finally tell her story.

“What happened to her is horrible and she is relieved to come forward now, but she’s also extremely scared, and rightfully so,” said attorney Dave Ring, in a press conference outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown L.A.

The accuser, who has not been identified, was interviewed Thursday by detectives from the Lapd Robbery-Homicide division. The 38-year-old woman alleges that Weinstein raped her in her hotel room at Mr. C Beverly Hills in February 2013. She had met him once before, in Rome, and was in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest.

Ring gave few additional details of the case, saying he did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

“He bullied his way into her room,” he said. “She »


- Gene Maddaus

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Former Actress Heather Kerr Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Forcing Himself on Her

20 October 2017 12:18 PM, PDT

Heather Kerr is the latest actress to come forward and accuse disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

Kerr, in a news conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, asserted Friday that Weinstein had exposed himself to her and forced himself on her sexually in a private meeting in 1989.

“He asked me if I was good,” Kerr said. “I started to tell him about my training and acting experience and he said, ‘No. I need to know if you’re good.’ He said if he was going to introduce me around town, he needed to know if I was ‘good.’ He kept repeating that word.”

Kerr, who appeared on the shows “The Facts of Life” and “Mama’s Family,” said, while she was sitting on a couch with Weinstein, he unzipped his pants, pulled out his penis, grabbed her hand, forced it onto his organ, and held it there.

“He said this is how things work in Hollywood »


- Dave McNary

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Female Animators Call for End of Culture of Sexual Harassment in Open Letter

20 October 2017 12:03 PM, PDT

In the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement, 217 women and gender non-conforming people working in the field of animation signed an open letter to a dozen studios calling for the end of a culture of sexism and sexual harassment in the industry

The letter, which was signed by high-profile figures like “Steven Universe” creator Rebecca Sugar and Shadi Petosky of “Danger and Eggs,” was addressed to executives at Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Bento Box, OddBot, Paramount, Shadowmachine, Sony Pictures Animation, Stoopid Buddy, Titmouse, and Warner Bros. The letter draws attention to the lack of women in the industry and summarizes their grievances with three demands: that sexual harassment policies are made clear and seriously enforced, that the Animation Guild add language to its constitution and create an anti-harassment committee, and that male colleagues take the initiative to prevent further instances of harassment. »

- Matt Fernandez

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