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Tom Hardy to Star in Bosnian War Movie ‘My War Gone By, I Miss It So’ (Exclusive)

44 minutes ago

Tom Hardy will produce and star in the Bosnian War movie “My War Gone By, I Miss It So,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film is based on the 1999 book of the same name by Anthony Lloyd, an English journalist and war correspondent. Gavin O’Connor is attached to direct and produce, along with Scott Lastaiti, who launched Palantir Group as an entertainment fund last year.

“My War Gone By, I Miss It So” is Lloyd’s personal account of the Bosnian War, and alternates between his experiences in Bosnia and personal reflections of his time in the British army, his parents’ divorce, his estrangement from his father, and his heroin addiction.

“‘My War Gone By’ is a brutal yet sensitive story which addresses both the nature of addiction and the experience of war,” Hardy said. “I was struck by Anthony’s work and words, experiences, and for me his is an important voice and an important »


- Dave McNary

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‘Hobo With a Shotgun’s’ Jason Eisener to Direct Thriller for Fede Alvarez

2 hours ago

Hobo With a Shotgun” director Jason Eisener is attached to an untitled techno thriller produced by Bad Hombre, the new production company formed by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues.

The thriller will be written by Simon Barrett, whose credits include “Blair Witch,” “The Guest,” “You’re Next,” and “A Horrible Way to Die.” The logline is being kept under wraps.

The project will executive produced by Jay Basu along with Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake, and Erin Westerman of Good Universe.

Eisener’s credits include “The ABCs of Death” and “V/H/S/2.” Basu is currently working with Alvarez on Sony’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the follow-up to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and on the TriStar/Jim Henson Co. rebirth of “Labyrinth.”

Alvarez directed 2013’s “Evil Dead,” which grossed nearly $100 million worldwide, and “Don’t Breathe,” starring Stephen Lang, which topped $150 million worldwide. Bad Hombre was formed by Good Universe and Alvarez »


- Dave McNary

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‘Shot Caller’ Director Boards ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Sequel ‘Angel Has Fallen’ (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Ric Roman Waugh will direct the next installment in the “Olympus Has Fallen” series, “Angel Has Fallen” starring Gerard Butler.

Butler returns as secret service agent Mike Banning and Morgan Freeman is also on board to reprise his role.

Butler will produce with his partner Alan Siegel at their G-base production banner, alongside Danielle Robinson. Millennium Entertainment’s John Thompson, Matt O’Toole, and Les Weldon will also produce, with Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, and Boaz Davidson exec producing.

Olympus Has Fallen” bowed in 2013, grossing $170.3 million worldwide, including $98.9 million at the domestic box office. The sequel, “London Has Fallen,” did even better overseas, earning $205.8 million worldwide, leading Millennium to move forward on a third installment.

After saving the president in the first two pics, secret service agent Banning himself becomes the target of terrorists, this time while mid-flight on Air Force One.

Insiders say Butler has been a fan of Waugh’s work since seeing his first »


- Justin Kroll

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‘The Emoji Movie’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

3 hours ago

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

Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.8 million through Sunday for 1,497 national ad airings across 37 networks. (Spend figures are based on estimates generated from July 17-23. Estimates may be updated after the chart is posted as new information becomes available.) As you’d expect, Columbia appears to be targeting a youthful and family-friendly audience, prioritizing budget across networks such as Nick, Cartoon Network and CBS, as well as shows including SpongeBob SquarePants, The Loud House and Teen Titans Go!

Just behind “The Emoji Movie” in second place: Focus Features’ “Atomic Blonde,” which saw 1,128 national ad airings across 43 networks, with an estimated media value of $4.63 million.

TV ad placements for Annapurna Pictures’ “Detroit” (Emv: $4.54 million), Stx Entertainment’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” ($4.1 million »


- iSpot.tv

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Rick Famuyiwa in Talks to Direct Martial Arts Movie ‘Son of Shaolin’

3 hours ago

Sony Pictures is in negotiations with “Dope” director Rick Famuyiwa to come on board teen martial arts movie “Son of Shaolin.”

Dwayne Johnson is producing with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia through his Seven Bucks Entertainment company. Johnson is not attached to star in the film.

“Son of Shaolin” is based on on the graphic novel by Jay Longino and Caanan White, which focuses on a struggling street artist discovering he is the last of his bloodline and must find a way to survive a seemingly unstoppable killer.

Longino wrote the first draft of the script and will serve as an executive producer. Ryan Kalil is also executive producing. Sony execs Matt Milam and Maia Eyre are overseeing for the studio.

The logline for “Son of Shaolin” is under wraps, but it will be a modern day martial arts movie influenced by classic Hong Kong cinema.

Famuyiwa’s credits as a director and screenwriter includes “The Wood” (1999), “Brown Sugar »


- Dave McNary

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Fox Teams With Russo Brothers in Finance-Distribution Movie Deal

4 hours ago

Twentieth Century Fox is teaming with the “Captain America” directing team of Joe and Anthony Russo for the studio to co-finance and distribute movies from the brothers’ unnamed production company.

The production company will formally launch next year after the brothers complete their work directing Marvel-Disney’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and the untitled sequel. “Avengers: Infinity War” will open May 4, 2018, and the sequel is set for May 3, 2019.

Related

Marvel’s Russo Brothers on Political Messages and if They’d Direct a ‘Star Wars’ Film

The Russo brothers directed 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” for Marvel-Disney. The team first gained notice for their work on the 2002 film “Welcome to Collinwood” and then turned to television with work on the series “Arrested Development” and “Community.” They also produced the 2006 Owen Wilson comedy “You, Me and Dupree.”

Under the non-exclusive multi-year deal with Fox, the Russo brothers venture will provide half of the »


- Dave McNary

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Film Festival Wars: How Venice Is Turning Up the Heat on Telluride (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Forget about dirty Oscar campaigning. This year’s biggest awards season brawl is over which festival gets dibs on the next “La La Land.”

When the Venice International Film Festival unveils its roster of titles on Thursday, expect many of the English-language offerings to be scheduled early. That’s because organizers have been cracking down on a policy, which prevents movies from showing at Telluride unless they’ve opened at Venice first.

Although Venice has previously required that its world premieres are exclusive to the Lido — despite its remote location — this hasn’t always been the practice. In some instances, movies have debuted at Telluride as “sneak previews.”

But insiders say that for the 2017 festival, Venice has been trying to hold its ground, which has caused scheduling headaches for the seven or eight movies that are trying to screen at both venues.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera strongly denies any rivalry with Telluride, the »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Nicholas Hoult Eyed to Play J.R.R. Tolkien in Biopic

5 hours ago

Nicholas Hoult is in talks to star as “Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien in the Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment film “Tolkien.”

Sources say negotiations are still in their early stages, but Hoult is the top choice to play the famed writer. Finnish director Dome Karukoski will helm the movie.

The film’s script by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford focuses on the author as he finds friendship, love, and artistic inspiration among a group of classmates prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914. He served in the British armed forces from 1916 to 1920, then wrote the two novels while working at Pembroke College. Tolkien died in 1973.

Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment have been developing the project since 2013. Tolkien’s epic novels served as the basis for the film trilogies “The Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

“The Hobbit” was first published in 1937. Tolkien then wrote “The Lord of the Rings” between 1937 and »


- Justin Kroll

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Melissa McCarthy to Star in ‘Super-Intelligence’ From ‘The Boss’ Co-Writer

5 hours ago

New Line has landed the spec “Super-Intelligence” from Steve Mallory who co-wrote “The Boss” with Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. McCarthy is attached to star.

Falcone will direct as well as produce along with McCarthy via their On the Day banner.

The spec is another high-concept action, unconventional buddy comedy, like McCarthy’s “The Heat” and “Spy,” but this time set against the phenomena of technological singularity.

Mallory, McCarthy and Falcone have a history of working together, most recently teaming on the Universal comedy “The Boss,” which grossed $78.8 million worldwide.

New Line also is releasing upcoming comedy “Life of the Party,” which stars McCarthy and is helmed by Falcone. The film is set to bow on May 11, 2018.

Mallory is represented by Mgmt and Jamie Feldman at Lichter Grossman.

McCarthy will soon be seen in Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me” for Fox Searchlight which was written by Nicole Holofcener and is attached to produce and »


- Justin Kroll

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Toronto International Film Festival 2017 Lineup (Photos)

7 hours ago

The Toronto International Film Festival’s 2017 lineup for the galas and special presentations categories.

Related storiesFilm Festival Wars: How Venice Is Turning Up the Heat on Telluride (Exclusive)Toronto Film Festival Lineup Includes Movies From Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Alexander PayneToronto Film Festival Kicks Off $3 Million Campaign to Support Female Filmmakers »


- Jacob Bryant

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Ben Stiller Has a Nervous Breakdown in First Trailer for ‘Brad’s Status’

8 hours ago

Ben Stiller deals with middle-age disappointment in the first trailer for Mike White’s bittersweet comedy “Brad’s Status.”

Stiller plays the titular Brad, who, despite a good career and happy family, is obsessed with the better fortunes of his old friends from school. While escorting his musical prodigy son (played by Austin Abrams) on an East Coast tour of colleges, he is forced to confront the success of his friends and his own feelings of failure.

“My mind drifts at night,” he says in a voiceover. “I work for a nonprofit and I have nothing to show for it.”

By comparison, his college pals are now a Hollywood bigshot (White), a hedge fund founder (Luke Wilson), a tech entrepreneur (Jemaine Clement), and a political pundit and bestselling author (Michael Sheen).

“Dad, are you having a nervous breakdown?” Abrams asks after noticing his father’s anxiety.

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment first unveiled the project last year after White »


- Dave McNary

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Netflix Boards Ariel Vromen’s Spy Thriller ‘The Angel’ (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Netflix has boarded “The Angel​,” a $12-million spy thriller to be directed by Israeli helmer Ariel Vromen (“The Iceman”). The film is based on Uri Bar-Joseph’s bestselling novel “The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel.”

The Netflix Original will depict the true story of high-ranking Egyptian official Ashraf Marwan, who became a spy for Israel despite being the son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and close adviser of his successor, Anwar Sadat. Marwan, who died in 2007 under mysterious circumstances in London, is perhaps the most famous spy in the history of the Middle East, and was regarded as a national hero in both Israel and Egypt.

“The Angel” begins shooting this month in London under cinematographer Terry Stacey (“Elvis & Nixon”). It will also shoot in the U.K., Bulgaria, and Morocco this summer.

The film will topline Marwan Kenzari (“The Promise”), Toby Kebbell (“The East”), plus a number of well-known Middle Eastern actors »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Charlize Theron Relates ‘Atomic Blonde’ to ‘Wonder Woman’: ‘Girls Can Take Ownership in This Space’

8 hours ago

According to Charlize Theron at Monday night’s premiere at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, “Atomic Blonde” might not be the last we see of her character, Lorraine Broughton.

“We’re actively talking about where we could go with a sequel or a prequel,” she mused on the red carpet. “The great thing about Lorraine is that she is such an enigma. We really didn’t saddle her with anything so that leaves us a lot of ways to go and continue her story.”

Theron said she was particularly satisfied about how the movie, which debuted at SXSW in March, matched her initial vision in 2013 when development began on a movie version of Sam Hart’s graphic novel “The Coldest City.”

“I think it’s very rare where you develop something and you end up with what you planned four years ago,” she added. “I’m very proud of it.”

Related »


- Dave McNary

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Protagonist Pictures Restructures, Ups Dave Bishop to CEO

8 hours ago

Protagonist Pictures has named Dave Bishop its new boss, promoting from within to fill the role being vacated by Mike Goodridge.

Protagonist works across sales, finance, and production, and Bishop’s elevation has sparked an internal restructure. Dimitra Tsingou becomes president of production in addition to her current role as chief operating officer and will work on Protagonist’s drive into production, alongside Bishop.

Vanessa Saal, head of sales, will become managing director of sales and distribution. Head of marketing Bridget Pedgrift will also be part of the new-look senior management team.

The London-based company said it would fill the head of worldwide acquisitions role that Bishop held in coming months.

“With Dimitra, Vanessa and Bridget at my side we will continue to collaborate with fiercely intelligent filmmakers whose honest, challenging and thoughtful films have become synonymous with the Protagonist brand, while exploring new opportunities to grow our business,” Bishop said in a statement.

Protagonist »


- Stewart Clarke

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Toronto Film Festival Lineup Includes Movies From Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Alexander Payne

9 hours ago

Films by Joe Wright, Angelina Jolie, Darren Aronofsky, George Clooney, and Alexander Payne will hit the Toronto International Film Festival, hoping to build buzz as they head into a crowded awards season.

Jolie will be on hand with “First They Killed My Father,” a drama about the Cambodian genocide that she made for Netflix. Aronofsky will present “mother!,” a horror film he made with Jennifer Lawrence; Clooney will offer up “Suburbicon,” a Coen brothers’ scripted crime comedy; and Payne is presenting “Downsizing,” a satire in which Matt Damon will shrink to the size of a saltine cracker.

None of those films will get gala presentations, however. That’s either because they have previously stated that they will premiere at other film festivals — “Downsizing” will bow at Venice, for instance — or they’re in line for a Telluride or Venice berth.

Related

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Is the First Slam-Dunk Oscar Contender of 2017

The gala section boasts Wright »


- Brent Lang

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Mexico’s Piano Bows Foreign Film Distribution (Exclusive)

9 hours ago

Having carved out a reputation for its distribution of edgier Mexican fare, Piano Distribution, the auteur art pic distribution operation of Julio Chavezmontes’ production house Piano, has moved into international acquisitions, picking up Mexican rights to two high-profile Cannes titles: Ruben Ostlund’s 2017 Palme d’Or winner “The Square” and Rungano Nyoni’s first feature “I’m Not a Witch,” a Directors’ Fortnight standout.

“A thrilling milestone for the company, said Chavezmontes, the entry into international acquisitions dovetails, however, into plans for a far larger international expansion at Piano, kicking in over the next months.

Sold by The Coproduction Office, “The Square,” a social fable underscoring the valuelessness of modern life, marks final consecration for Ostlund, whose “Force Majeur” already topped Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2014.

Set in a small Zambian community, the Kinology-repped “I’m Not a Witch,” turning on a small girl who’s branded a witch, was one of the most talked-about titles of »


- John Hopewell

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Johnny Depp’s ‘Richard Says Goodbye’ Releases First Look Photo, Rounds Out Cast

10 hours ago

Danny Huston, Rosemarie DeWitt, Devon Terrell and Odessa Young have joined Johnny Depp’s comedy-drama “Richard Says Goodbye” with principal photography started on location in Vancouver.

Variety reported on July 20 that “Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch had been set to co-star with Depp. Wayne Roberts is directing from his own script.

The film follows the story of  a world weary college professor — portrayed by Depp — who is given a life-changing diagnosis and decides to throw all pretense and conventions to the wind and live his life as boldly and freely as possible with a biting sense of humor, a reckless streak and a touch of madness.

Im Global and Cirrina Studios are co-financing the film with additional financing from Leeding Media. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik Entertainment and Im Global’s President of Production Greg Shapiro are producing the film. Executive producers include Im Global chief Stuart Ford, Miguel Palos of Im Global, Karine Martin, »


- Dave McNary

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Comic-Con 2017: What Popped and What Flopped

10 hours ago

Comic-Con 2017 has come and gone, with well over 100,000 attendees flooding into San Diego for the annual event. Amid a sea of costumes, comics and merchandise, the TV and film industry trotted out its biggest stars and action-packed previews for upcoming projects with the hope of winning over a passionate fan base. Some blew the crowds away; others tried valiantly, but ultimately failed to impress.

Best: Steven Spielberg

Geekdom’s elder statesman scored with “Ready Player One,” his dive into virtual reality. It’s been more than a decade since he worked in the sci-fi space — he’s been more interested in Oscar-bait dramas like “Lincoln” or “Bridge of Spies.” Based on the trailer, “Ready Player One” offers a cornucopia of pop culture delights referencing everything from “Back to the Future” to “The Iron Giant.”

Worst: Ben Affleck

Batman hit back at a report he’s ready to hang up the cape and cowl, declaring »


- Variety Staff

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Venice Days: Works by Chloe Sevigny, Canada’s Kim Nguyen, China’s Pengfei in Lineup

13 hours ago

Rome – The Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days section, modeled on Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, has unveiled a promising lineup mixing known auteurs and potential discoveries, with 11 of 12 competition titles slated for world premieres.

New works from China’s Pengfei; Canada’s Oscar-nominated Kim Nguyen (“War Witch”); Thai auteur Pen-ek Ratanaruang (“Last Life in the Universe”); U.S.-based Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat (“Women Without Men”); and Italy’s Vincenzo Marra (“La Prima Luce”) are among competition highlights.

Pengfei, who was in Venice Days in 2015 with his first film, “Underground Fragrance,” is returning with followup “The Taste of Rice Flower” (pictured), a mother/daughter drama set in a village in China’s Yunnan province.

Venice Days will also play an active role in a “Focus on China” film industry forum being held during the fest this year.

Kim will world premiere “Eyes of Juliet,” a love story seen from the point of view of »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Korea Box Office: ‘Dunkirk’ Beats ‘Spider-Man’

14 hours ago

Foreign releases remained in the lead at the South Korean box office, with “Dunkirk” topping the chart after opening last Thursday. The Warner Bros. World War II drama earned $10.44 million from 1.35 million admissions over its opening five days. Showing on 1,245 screens nationwide, it accounted for 46.5% of the total weekend box office.

Spider-Man: Homecoming” slipped to second place, with a week-on-week drop of 62.5%. The Sony release earned $3.99 million from 533,700 admissions between Friday and Sunday for a cumulative total of $50.27 million from 6.85 million admissions after three weekends.

The horror film “47 Meters Down” with Mandy Moore and Japanese animation “Crayon Shinchan 2017 Theatrical Film: Invasion!! Alien Shiriri” landed in third and fourth place, respectively. Opening last Wednesday, “47 Meters” earned $2.26 million over five days, while Thursday opener “Crayon Shinchan” earned $870,900 over its first four days.

Cars 3” dropped to fifth from the previous week’s second spot. The animated family adventure earned $727,600 between Friday and Sunday for a total of $2.88 million after »


- Sonia Kil

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