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James Gunn Used Tyler Bates’ Music During Shooting of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

1 hour ago

It’s fairly unusual for a director to ask a composer to write music for his movie even before shooting begins. But it’s practically unheard of to play that music on the set while the actors are performing.

Yet that’s exactly what happened on “Guardians of the Galaxy” and this year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” Director James Gunn took his cue from composer Ennio Morricone and director Sergio Leone, who often followed this procedure.

“Music informs the way the cameras move, the performances, the cuts, everything,” Gunn says.

Composer Tyler Bates recalls visiting London’s Shepperton studios in 2013, when Gunn was making the first “Guardians,” and being surprised to hear star Chris Pratt rave about hearing the music on the set.

Related

Tyler Bates Balances Careers as Guitarist and In-Demand Film Composer

“When the actors hear the music play,” Gunn points out, “they get a much better idea of the tone of the »


- Jon Burlingame

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Paramount Pushes ‘Cloverfield Movie’ Back to 2018

2 hours ago

Paramount and J.J. AbramsBad Robot Productions have moved the science-fiction thriller “2017 Cloverfield Movie” back by more than three months to Feb. 2, 2018, from Oct. 27. The studio has also moved George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” forward a week from Nov. 3 to Oct. 27.

This is now the second delay for the “Cloverfield” threequel, which had been originally titled “God Particle,” after it was pushed back for the first time from its initial Feb. 24, 2017, date.

“The 2017 Cloverfield Movie,” which will most likely be retitled, will become the first title to launch on Feb. 2, just two days before the NFL’s 52nd Super Bowl.

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Oren Uziel Discusses Directorial Debut ‘Shimmer Lake,’ ‘God Particle’ Joining ‘Cloverfield

The story, set in the near future, centers on a team of astronauts on a space station making a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, all while desperately trying to fight for their survival.

Nigerian-American »


- Dave McNary

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Al Gore at Town Hall: ‘Every Night Is a Nature Hike Through the Book of Revelations’ (Listen)

2 hours ago

Washington, D.C. — Al Gore says that recent environmental devastation and extreme weather, more than anything, is what is changing minds on the climate crisis.

Appearing at a SiriusXM/Variety town hall on Thursday, tied to the release of Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s new movie “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” Gore traces climate denial to the economic meltdown in 2008. Before that, the nominees of both parties, Barack Obama and John McCain, acknowledged that action needed to be taken to address climate change.

“You saw, really, the beginning of the modern fever of climate denial in the Republican party start then,” Gore said in the town hall. “But we are seeing pushback, now, and we are seeing a lot of changes with people who don’t want to engage in the argument. They don’t even feel comfortable using the phrase global warming. But they understand…that they have an obligation to their kids, and »


- Ted Johnson

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Box Office: ‘Dunkirk’ Battles to $5.5 Million on Thursday Night

3 hours ago

Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” has opened impressively with $5.5 million in Thursday night preview screenings in North America.

Universal’s comedy “Girls Trip” launched respectably with $1.7 million in Thursday night shows in 2,195 domestic theaters, while Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” matched that figure at 2,600 locations.

Warner Bros. is opening “Dunkirk” at 3,720 domestic venues Friday. The studio has forecasted that the highly praised World War II epic will take in between $35 million and $40 million for the launch weekend but other trackers believe the final number will be higher.

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Dunkirk’ Stars Recall Receiving Script Shrouded in Secrecy: ‘I Felt Like I Was on a Spy Film’

The movie is getting the widest 70Mm release in more than two decades, a testament to the trust the backers have in Nolan. The director shot much of “Dunkirk” with Imax’s extremely high-resolution 2D film cameras.

The Thursday night preview numbers included $1.6 million from 402 Imax screens »


- Dave McNary

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Kevin Spacey Playing Author Gore Vidal in Netflix Original Biopic (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Rome – Oscar winner Kevin Spacey is playing writer Gore Vidal in a new Netflix original biopic, “Gore,” which is in production in Italy.

U.S. director Michael Hoffman (“The Last Station”) is helming the 1980s-set film about the late American author, playwright, and occasional political candidate. “Gore” is currently shooting in Rome but will move next month to Vidal’s longtime villa in Ravello, a village on the Amalfi Coast, sources tell Variety.

British producer Andy Paterson (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) is producing “Gore” for Netflix.

Netflix was not available for comment.

Vidal’s beloved gravity-defying villa La Rondinaia, nestled on a craggy cliff in Ravello a thousand feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea, will feature prominently in the movie, according to the president of the Ravello Foundation, Sebastiano Maffettone, local media reported. At La Rondinaia, which he sold in 2004, Vidal entertained his vast network of high-profile friends and acquaintances, including Greta Garbo, »


- Nick Vivarelli

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India’s Reliance Industries Buys Stake in Balaji Telefilms

4 hours ago

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. is acquiring a 24.9% stake in leading content provider Balaji Telefilms for $64.2 million, part of Reliance’s push into the entertainment sector. Balaji operates the digital content platform Alt and will use the Reliance investment to grow the business further.

Led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Reliance operates in the telecom, petroleum, retail, and media spheres. The group’s 2016 annual revenue was $44.7 billion.

Balaji Telefilms produces most of India’s top-rated Hindi-language television content, including “Naagin,” “Kum Kum Bhagya,” and “Ye Hai Mohabbatein.” The Balaji-produced “Chandrakanta” is currently airing on the Colors channel operated by Network 18, the media group in which Reliance owns a controlling stake.

Lipstick Under My Burkha” (pictured), a film that initially ran afoul of Indian censors but was subsequently cleared, is being distributed from Friday by Balaji’s films division, Balaji Motion Pictures, alongside Alt.

“This investment in content production (including digital content) is in line with [our] commitment to invest »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Michael Alago, Who Signed Metallica and White Zombie, Gets the Documentary Treatment in ‘Who the F**k Is That Guy?’

4 hours ago

If the histories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre warrant four hours of prime HBO real estate in “The Defiant Ones,” then certainly Michael Alago, the flamboyant New York punk habitue who signed Metallica to Elektra and White Zombie to Geffen during his stints as an A&R executive, deserves his 77 minutes of recognition.

In the spirit of similar documentaries on behind-the-scenes heroes such as Rodney Bingenheimer (“The Mayor of Sunset Strip”) and Danny Fields (“Danny Says”), “Who the F**k Is That Guy?” recounts the remarkable journey of Alago, a Puerto Rican kid who grew up on Brooklyn’s New Utrecht Avenue with his bedroom facing an elevated subway track. That undoubtedly influenced his passion for post-punk hardcore rock. “I love the noise,” he says at one point in the movie. “I love the sweat.  I love when I go to concerts and it’s 99% guys.”

The documentary was directed by punk-rock veteran Drew Stone, who »


- Roy Trakin

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Venice: New Films by George Clooney, Guillermo Del Toro, Stephen Frears Expected to World Premiere (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

Rome – George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Stephen Frears’ “Victoria and Abdul,” and Paolo Virzi’s “Ella and John,” starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, are among the titles strongly tipped to world premiere at the upcoming 74th Venice Film Festival.

Also expected to make their worldwide bows on the Lido are Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” Andrew Haigh’s “Lean on Pete,” and Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama.”

Less than a week before the official announcement, the buzz on the Venice lineup remains somewhat muted, though some locked-in titles have surfaced, including Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” which will open the fest. There’s also certainty over the absence of some titles – especially “Blade Runner 2049” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”, both high-profile movies that had been considered as possibilities.

Suburbicon,” starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac, looks set to be the second Paramount picture to launch from »


- Nick Vivarelli

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‘Scaffolding,’ ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’ Take Jerusalem Film Festival’s Top Prizes

9 hours ago

Matan Yair’s “Scaffolding” and Hong Sang-soo’s “On the Beach at Night Alone” took the top prizes at the 34th Jerusalem Film Festival during an awards ceremony Thursday evening.

On the Beach at Night Alone” won the Wilf Family Foundation Award (worth $20,000) for best international film. The jury, which comprised Israeli director Nadav Lapid, Israeli actress Evgenia Dodina and American journalist Deborah Young, said Hang had created “a mysterious magic, rooted in the heart of daily life” and had done so with “the simplest of cinematic tools.”

“Love, hatred, affection, rage, sexuality, loneliness and deep pain are reflected in the face and body of a young woman, the main character, one of the deepest descriptions of a human being we’ve seen in cinema in recent years,” the jury said.

Scaffolding” won the the Robert Nissim Haggiag Award for best Israeli feature film (worth $28,000), as well as best actor and an honorable mention for best cinematographer »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Film Review: ‘The Black Prince’

10 hours ago

Queen Victoria once painted a charming watercolor of the young Maharajah Duleep Singh carefully adjusting a child’s turban on the head of her son Arthur. Victoria was no artist, but the sketch delights thanks to the intimacy between the two royals, one Indian, the other British, and speaks of the familial affection the Queen felt for the man whose throne in Punjab her government had confiscated. Unfortunately, where the illustration offers a window onto a relationship, the new biopic on Duleep, “The Black Prince,” provides no similarly insightful rewards.

Designed as a Quality (with a capital “Q”) production demonstrating the Maharajah’s gradual awakening to his Indian heritage after years in exile acting the British squire, director-writer Kavi Raz’s oh-so-simple take on a deeply contradictory character turns a fascinating historical figure into a sad and dully predictable footnote. Clunkily scripted and generically pretty in a Stately Home porn kind of way, the »


- Jay Weissberg

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Film Review: ‘Awaken the Shadowman’

10 hours ago

A slow burn of a horror drama that doesn’t build toward quite enough of a blaze to be truly memorable, “Awaken the Shadowman” nonetheless ranks a cut above the genre norm for its atmospheric and confident setup. This debut feature for director “J.S. Wilson” (actually a pseudonym for the three scenarist-producers, two of whom are also the male leads) finds estranged brothers reunited over their mother’s disappearance, but increasingly troubled even more by weird goings-on in the town where they grew up. Some horror fans will decry the lack of gore — or even much violence — here. More discerning ones, however, may just lament that a film with such a strong first two-thirds grows rushed and underwhelming in the last lap.

After a brief prologue depicting an imperiled young woman and baby in 1964 Connecticut, we meet present-day protagonist Adam (James Zimbardi), a Redding, Calif. construction worker struggling to meet the needs of his small family — to »


- Dennis Harvey

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Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Regina King, Abigail Spencer Seek SAG-aftra Board Seats

16 hours ago

SAG-aftra’s upcoming national board election has drawn a quartet of new high-profile candidates — Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Modine, Abigail Spencer and Regina King.

With ballots going out July 25, the names were revealed as the self-styled progressives of Membership First and the ruling Unite For Strength Factions have unveiled their candidate slates representing the Los Angeles branch, which has the largest representation and the most competitive races. The winners will be announced on Aug. 24.

Most of the attention is on the presidential race with current president Gabrielle Carteris heading the Unite For Strength ticket, facing a challenge from Membership First’s Esai Morales along with independents Peter Antico and Robert B. Martin, Jr. SAG-aftra’s 80-member national board is the key ruling body for the union.

Taylor Thomas is best known for voicing the young Simba in “The Lion King” and starring in “Home Improvement,” where he was a cast-mate of current national board member Patricia Richardson.

“Since »


- Dave McNary

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Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Mother!’ Moves Forward to September Release

17 hours ago

Paramount Pictures has moved its Jennifer Lawrence thriller “Mother!” forward by a month to Sept. 15 from its previous Oct. 13 release date.

The studio confirmed the date change Thursday but did not elaborate. It’s possible that “Mother!” could be premiered at the Telluride Film Festival or Venice Film Festivals — both which open on Aug. 30 — or even at the Toronto Film Festival, which opens Sept. 7.

“Mother!” is directed and produced by Darren Aronofsky through his Protozoa Pictures banner along with Scott Franklin and Ari Handel. It co-stars Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristin Wiig, Domnhall Gleeson, and Ed Harris, in addition to Lawrence.

Lawrence and Bardem portray a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

“Mother!” will open against Open Road’s Blake Lively drama “All I See Is You” and Lionsgate’s actioner “American Assassin,” starring »


- Dave McNary

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Noah Hawley Developing Doctor Doom Movie for Fox

17 hours ago

Legion” and “Fargo” creator Noah Hawley is developing a movie at Fox involving Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom.

At the end of a Comic-Con panel for “Legion” Thursday, Hawley announced that he was developing a new film at Fox — one he would say just two words about. “I’ll just say two words. The first one is Doctor and the next one is Doom,” he said.

More to come.

Related stories'Wonder Woman' Star Saïd Taghmaoui Joins 'Legion' Season 2Will Smith, Joel Edgerton Deal With Strange Things in Netflix's 'Bright' TrailerWill Smith, 'Bright' Director David Ayer on Netflix: 'They Let You Be a Filmmaker' »


- Daniel Holloway

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Will Smith, Joel Edgerton Deal With Strange Things in Netflix’s ‘Bright’ Trailer

18 hours ago

“They didn’t teach us this at the Academy,” admits Joel Edgerton to Will Smith, who play cops in a strange Los Angeles-based alternate universe in the first trailer for Netflix’s police thriller “Bright.”

“No, they did not,” Smith concurs in typical movie-cop-to-movie-cop banter.

Smith, Edgerton, and director David Ayer finally unveiled the trailer during Thursday afternoon’s session at Comic-Con’s Hall H in San Diego.

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Will Smith, ‘Bright’ Director David Ayer on Netflix: ‘They Let You Be a Filmmaker’

Smith’s human cop Ward and Edgertons’ orc officer Jakoby are not pleased to be paired together — “I’m not here to be your friend,” says Smith — but manage to get along while on a routine night patrol … until they discover a deadly wand that could destroy everything. “This is like a new killer weapon that grants wishes,” Edgerton observes.

Edgerton further notes that the pair may be a prophecy, prompting »


- Dave McNary

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Will Smith, ‘Bright’ Director David Ayer on Netflix: ‘They Let You Be a Filmmaker’

18 hours ago

Put David Ayer squarely in the pro-Netflix camp.

The “Bright” director praised the streaming service for giving him creative freedom to make his upcoming fantasy adventure during a panel discussion on Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.

“They let you be a filmmaker,” Ayer said. He later added that the picture, which reunites him with his “Suicide Squad” star Will Smith, “Ain’t no bull s–t, PG-13 studio movie. This is real s–t.”

Smith also praised Netflix for rolling the dice on “Bright,” a special effects-heavy picture that reportedly cost $90 million to produce. “I’m sure this will end soon, but they just give you the money and say, ‘Go make a movie,'” said Smith.

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Will Smith Defends Netflix at Heated Cannes Jury Press Conference

Ayer hasn’t had the happiest experience with big studio filmmaking of late. “Suicide Squad,” a Warner Bros. and DC release, was a commercial success, grossing $745.6 million, »


- Brent Lang and Seth Kelley

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Anna Faris-Eugenio Derbez Comedy ‘Overboard’ Lands April Release

19 hours ago

Lionsgate has set an April 20, 2018, release date for its remake of the romantic comedy “Overboard,” starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez.

Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, and Edward Herrmann starred in the 1987 original directed by Garry Marshall. Hawn played a selfish heiress who got amnesia when she fell off her yacht, while Russell portrayed a carpenter who ultimately fell in love with her.

The original movie has been re-imagined with a reversal of the leading roles. The story now focuses on a spoiled playboy from one of Mexico’s wealthiest families, portrayed by Derbez, who falls overboard off his yacht. He’s then convinced by Faris’ single, working-class mom that he is her husband. Eva Longoria also stars. »


- Dave McNary

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‘Purge 4’ Finds Director in ‘Burning Sands’ Filmmaker Gerard McMurray

20 hours ago

Gerard McMurray has come on board to direct the untitled fourth “Purge” movie for Blumhouse Productions with Universal Pictures setting a July 4, 2018, release date.

McMurray’s feature directorial debut “Burning Sands” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix. The film chronicles the brutal hazing process at an all-black university. McMurray also produced and co-wrote “Burning Sands.”

He additionally served as an associate producer on Ryan Coogler’s highly praised 2015 feature film, “Fruitvale Station.”

James DeMonaco — who served as the writer/director of “The Purge,” “The Purge: Anarchy,” and “The Purge: Election Year” — is returning to write the script. The logline is under wraps.

All three films center on America having devolved into a culture where murder is legal for one night every year. The franchise’s producers are Blumhouse ProductionsJason Blum; Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller »


- Dave McNary

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Seeks to Raise State Production Tax Incentives to at Least $500 Million

20 hours ago

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is promising to push for an increase in California’s production tax incentives to at least $500 million annually — up more than 50% from the current $330 million figure.

“We must make sure, first and foremost, that the film industry not only stays strong but expands,” he said Thursday morning in a speech before about 400 attendees, hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at the Loews Hotel.

“This is an opportunity for us to not rest on our laurels and to show that we aren’t going backwards any more,” he added. “When the legislature comes back to this issue, we should be going to $500 million or more. Maybe even no limit.”

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Garcetti, who was re-elected in March, had highlighted during his campaign that he had been active in pushing the state legislature to expand the tax credit program from $100 million annually »


- Dave McNary

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Zoey Deutch to Co-Star With Johnny Depp in Im Global’s ‘Richard Says Goodbye’ (Exclusive)

20 hours ago

Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch is set to co-star with Johnny Depp in the Im Global film “Richard Says Goodbye.”

Wayne Roberts is writing and directing the pic with Im Global financing. Producers are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik and Im Global president of production Greg Shapiro, with Stuart Ford and Depp executive producing.

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The dramedy follows a college professor who lives his life with reckless abandon after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Deutch will play his daughter in the pic, and production is already underway.

The film is the first under Im Global’s first look feature film deal with Depp’s Infinitum Nihil production company, which the actor signed this past June.

This is a major gig for Deutch, whose star has been on the rise since breaking out in her first starring role earlier this year in Open Road’s “Before I Fall.” She »


- Justin Kroll

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