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Comic-Con: Ben Affleck evasive about Batman future

1 hour ago

Warner Bros session entertains… but nothing on Wonder Woman 2.

Ben Affleck was evasive on unconfirmed reports last week that he may not figure in Warner Bros’ plans to play Batman for much longer.

The actor focused on the November 17 release of Justice League and told Hall H attendees how thrilled he was to be playing the Caped Crusader during a lively DC Entertainment portion of the star-packed Warner Bros session on Saturday morning.

As previously reported, Affleck will not direct The Batman, which has fallen into the lap of War For The Planet Of The Apes director Matt Reeves. According to report, Reeves has said he intends to keep Affleck in the role, however reports have speculated the actor may not figure in future iterations.

Jason Momoa Aka Aquaman kicked off the DC session, running through the crowd on to stage, brandishing a trident and playing air guitar with it. Momoa flew in »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Blade Runner 2049', 'Ready Player One' footage wows crowd

1 hour ago

Will Blade Runner 2049 and Ready Player One deliver the goods?

An important session for the studio about to kick off on Saturday morning in Hall H.

Can it capitalise on the global success of Wonder Woman? Justice League and Aquaman action are due from DC Entertainment, but the killers could be Blade Runner 2049 and Ready Player One.

Let’s see…

Jason Momoa Aka Aquaman walks through crowd on to stage. He flew in from Australia last night – the film is 18 months away – and air-guitars with his trident on stage.

James Wan introduces first footage from Australia via video message. The scene showed a huge underwater fleet gliding beneath two men fishing in their small boat. In another sequence, Aquaman gets ready to fight.

Then

The Blade Runner 2049 team takes to the stage. Director Denis Villeneuve, stars Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas are among the line-up.

‘I didn’t »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Warner Bros panel

1 hour ago

Will Blade Runner 2049 and Ready Player One deliver the goods?

An important session for the studio about to kick off on Saturday morning in Hall H.

Can it capitalise on the global success of Wonder Woman? Justice League and Aquaman action are due from DC Entertainment, but the killers could be Blade Runner 2049 and Ready Player One.

Let’s see…

The Blade Runner 2049 crew takes to the stage. Director Denis Villeneuve, stars Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright among the line-up.

‘I didn’t want somebody else to fuck this up,’ says Villeneuve when asked why he directed Blade Runner 2049. The French Canadian added that Ridley Scott gave him space, which “was the best gift he could have given me.”

Gosling spoke of the moral ambiguity of Scott’s original 1982 sci-fi that fascinated him. “It was like being on a football team with The Avengers or something.”

“Maybe on a football »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Netflix screens first episode of Marvel's 'The Defenders'

18 hours ago

Iron First renewed for second season; The Punisher trailer revealed.

Netflix and Marvel thrilled the massed ranks of Hall H on Friday afternoon by screening the first episode of The Defenders.

Executive producer and Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb, whose division has an impressive 14 series either broadcasting or in the works, also announced Iron Fist would return for a second season on Netflix.

After a brief session with cast members that included Comic-Con legend Sigourney Weaver (who plays Alexandra) and the core four from The DefendersKrysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Mike Colter as Luke Jones, and Finn Jones as Iron Fist – Loeb introduced the season premiere of The Defenders.

The episode showed Jessica Jones and Iron Fist teaming up to fight off the Hand after he hurts The Punisher.

Panel attendees included Elodie Yung, Deborah Ann Woll, and Jessica Henwick.

Jon Bernthal added to fan excitement when he appered on stage »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Game Of Thrones' panel teases Daenerys, Melisandre alliance

23 hours ago

Cast of HBO fantasy series reflect on characters, say how they would rule.

HBO dropped a ‘Weeks Ahead Preview’ trailer at the end of Friday afternoon’s Game Of Thrones panel in Hall H that suggested an uneasy alliance could be on the cards between Daenerys Targaryen and Melisandre.

The appearance together of the Red Witch and the ‘Mother of Dragons’ brought a cheer from attendees who finally sniffed a hint of what could lie ahead in the remainder of Season 7 – which is only one episode in – after a spoiler-free yet highly entertaining panel.

Neither Emilia Clarke nor Carice van Houten attended the panel, although plenty of fan favourites were on show in a jovial session.

Asked what she would change if her character Brienne of Tarth ruled Westeros and its surrounding continents, fan favourite Gwendoline Christie struck a characteristically feminist note when she proclaimed: “That women could be knights!” Christie explained »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Will Daenerys and Melisandre team up in 'Game Of Thrones'?

23 hours ago

Cast of HBO fantasy series reflect on characters, say how they would rule.

HBO ran a teaser at the end of Friday afternoon’s Game Of Thrones panel in Hall H that suggested an uneasy alliance could be on the cards between Daenerys Targaryen and Melisandre.

The appearance of the red priestess in the company of the dragon commander brought a cheer from attendees who finally sniffed a hint of what could lie ahead in the remainder of Season 7 – which is only one episode in – after a spoiler-free yet highly entertaining panel.

Asked what she would change if her character Brienne of Tarth ruled Westeros and its surrounding continents, fan favourite Gwendoline Christie struck a characteristically feminist note when she proclaimed: “That women could be knights!”

John Bradley brought the house down when he said, “Maesters have to clean up their own stinking mess!” That was in reference to last weekend’s montage in Episode 1 of Season »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Game Of Thrones' cast on how they would rule

23 hours ago

No spoilers but plenty of laughs in warm-hearted Friday session.

A jovial Friday afternoon session in Hall H saw the Game Of Thrones cast reflect on their roles and amuse attendees with a wish-list of how they would rule Westeros and its surrounding continents.

When asked what she would change, favourite Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne Of Tarth, struck a characteristically feminist note when she proclaimed: “That women could be knights!”

John Bradley brought the house down when he said, “Maesters have to clean up their own stinking mess!” That was in reference to last weekend’s montage in Episode 1 of Season 7 that shows Samwell Tarly, now an apprentice at the Citadel, retching as he cleans the elder men’s toilets.

Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor, moderated the panel and appropriately one of the questions for the cast was which dead character they would like to see return.

Hodor earned many mentions – most poignantly from Isaac Hempstead Wright who as »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Game Of Thrones' panel

23 hours ago

No spoilers but plenty of laughs as cast ponders what they would do if they ruled the land in HBO fantasy series.

In what may be the biggest event at Hall H these days, stars from the HBO cult hit took part in a Q&A days on Friday afternoon moderated by Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor.

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) attended the panel with Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Conleth Hill (Varys), and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark).

When asked what law she would pass if she ruled the land in Game Of Thrones, Christie said: “That women could be knights!” Emmanuel said, “Education for everyone.”

“Maesters have to clean up their own stinking mess,” said Bradley, in reference to the hilarious montage in Episode 1 of Season 7 where his character Samwell Tarley is seen retching as he cleans »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Mr. Robot' creator Sam Esmail to direct Bermuda Triangle film

23 hours ago

Project details nowhere to be found.

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail will direct a film about the infamous Bermuda Triangle for Universal Pictures.

Esmail will write the script from earlier drafts by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, and Juliet Snowden & Stiles White.

The Bermuda Triangle is a region over the Caribbean that earned notoriety several decades ago for press coverage about a number of planes and ships that reportedly went missing after travelling through the area.

Appropriately enough, Esmail, his fellow producers, and Universal are keeping plot details under wraps.

Dylan Clark (Planet Of The Apes series, Oblivion) will produce through his Universal-based Dylan Clark Productions, alongside Esmail and Chad Hamilton for Esmail Corp.  Millar and Gough will serve as executive producers

As previously announced, Esmail is lining up the Amazon Studios project Homecoming to star Julia Roberts.

Universal Cable Productions and Anonymous Content will produce that show, based on a fiction podcast by Gimlet Media about a »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Latido, 'Rara' director Pepa San Martín line up 'La Felicidad'

21 July 2017 9:46 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Chilean drama to follow well-received Berlin and San Sebastian title Rara.

Following the festival success of her first film Rara, Chilean director Pepa San Martín is lining up drama La Felicidad.

As they did on Rara, Madrid-based Latido Films will handle sales on the project, which San Martín is currently writing with Chilean actress and playwright Elisa Zulueta.

Guillermo Calderon - screenwriting collaborator of Pablo Larraín on The Club and Neruda - is on board as an advisor.

Chile-Argentina coming-of-age drama Rara won Berlin’s Grand Prix in the Generation KPlus strand in 2016. The film followed that accolade with the Horizontes Award in San Sebastian last September and two nominations at the Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, which are held tomorrow in Madrid.

Speaking to Screen in the Spanish capital where she is attending the Platinos, the director said: “Having made my first feature at 40, I want to take my time and work on stories that are »


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Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund backs four projects

21 July 2017 6:21 AM, PDT

Films from Colombia, South-Africa, Palestine and Brazil selected.

The Hubert Bals Fund (Hbf), which is administered by International Film Festival Rotterdam, has announced the four projects selected for its 2017 Hbf+Europe: Minority Co-production Support scheme.

The projects, from Colombia, South-Africa, Palestine and Brazil, have been awarded a contribution of €55,000 ($64,000). The selection includes projects from both debut and second-time filmmakers.

They are:

Clara Sola

The debut of Nathalie Álvarez Mésens. the A coming-of-age story of a woman, Clara, and her journey to break free from social and religious oppression. Ciudad Lunar (Colombia), the award-winning production company behind Oscar-nominated El Abrazo de la Serpiente, produces the film in co-production with Swedish producer Hob Ab, who receives the Hbf+Europe grant, and Danish production company Snowglobe Film.

Flatland

Directed by South-African Jenna Cato Bass. A Western about three women who embark on a journey of self-discovery in the Karoo semi-desert. Bass’ previous films include short The Tunnel (which screened at  Sundance »


- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Transatlantyk Festival honours Lucrecia Martel, Edward Norton

21 July 2017 5:15 AM, PDT

Argentinian filmmaker and Us actor honoured in Poland.

Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel and Us actor Edward Norton were the guests of honour at the seventh edition of the Transatlantyk Festival which comes to a close in the Polish city of Lodz on Friday evening (July 21).

Martel became the second woman director - after Germany’s Margarethe von Trotta - and the 11th filmmaker overall, to be awarded the Fipresci 90+ statuette in celebration of the International Federation of Film Critics’ ten decades of activities.

Fipresci general secretary Klaus Eder travelled to Lodz to present the award along with Transatlantyk’s director Jan A.P. Kaczmarek to Martel at a gala ceremony last night (Thursday) before a screening of her 2008 film The Headless Woman.

Previous recipients include Jean-Jacques Annaud, Edgar Reitz, Bela Tarr and the late Andrzej Wajda, while the choice of Martel this year was particularly fitting since the Polish festival had the Power of Woman as an overlying »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Transatlantyk Festival honours Lucretia Martel, Edward Norton

21 July 2017 5:15 AM, PDT

Argentinean filmmaker and Us actor honoured in Poland.

Argentinean filmmaker Lucrecia Martel and Us actor Edward Norton were the guests of honour at the seventh edition of the Transatlantyk Festival which comes to a close in the Polish city of Lodz on Friday evening (July 21).

Martel became the second woman director - after Germany’s Margarethe von Trotta - and the 11th filmmaker overall, to be awarded the Fipresci 90+ statuette in celebration of the International Federation of Film Critics’ ten decades of activities.

Fipresci general secretary Klaus Eder travelled to Lodz to present the award along with Transatlantyk’s director Jan A.P. Kaczmarek to Martel at a gala ceremony last night (Thursday) before a screening of her 2008 film The Headless Woman.

Previous recipients include Jean-Jacques Annaud, Edgar Reitz, Bela Tarr and the late Andrzej Wajda, while the choice of Martel this year was particularly fitting since the Polish festival had the Power of Woman as an overlying »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Big rise in tax relief to UK film and TV sector

21 July 2017 4:45 AM, PDT

T2: Trainspotting, Lady Macbeth and The Crown benefit from creative sector tax reliefs.

The British film sector received £415m in tax relief last year, up from £339 in 2015, the government has revealed.

A total of 175 films claimed film tax credits with those productions ranging from Wonder Woman to T2: Trainspotting and Lady Macbeth,

Overall the treasury awarded £751m in tax relief to the creative sector. £163m went to high-end TV productions including The Crown and Game Of Thrones, up from £104 last year, with 45 shows making claims. The rest was received by video games, animations and children’s TV shows.

Both film and TV programmes have to pass the cultural test administered by the BFI, or qualify as a co-production to benefit from tax relief. For films, at least 10% of total costs must relate to activities in the UK.

Some other films that were certified as British through the BFI’s cultural test include: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, [link »


- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Unstable Ground, Federgreen, Raven Banner, Uncork’d plot 'Lifechanger'

21 July 2017 4:00 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Partners to gather at Frontières Co-Production Market this week.

Justin McConnell of Unstable Ground is at the Frontières Co-Production Market in Montreal this week with distribution and sales partners to strategise on horror-thriller Lifechanger ahead of a late October start.

McConnell has joined forces with Canadian producers Federgreen Entertainment, Us distributor Uncork’d Entertainment, and Toronto-based Canadian distributor and global sales agent Raven Banner Entertainment.

McConnell will direct from his own screenplay, which he described to Screen as “a murderous shape-shifter on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves”. His directing credits include Broken Mile and documentary Skull World.

Avi Federgreen and McConnell are producing, while Keith Leopard of Uncork’d and Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt, James Fler and Andrew Hunt serve as executive producers with Pasha Patriki of 9 Light Entertainment.

George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine), Adam Mason (The Devil’s Chair) and Serena Whitney (Mark Of Kane) are on board »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Unstable Ground, Federgreen, Raven Banner, Uncork’d plot 'Lifechangers'

21 July 2017 4:00 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Partners to gather at Frontières Co-Production Market this week.

Justin McConnell of Unstable Ground is at the Frontières Co-Production Market in Montreal this week with distribution and sales partners to strategise on horror-thriller Lifechangers ahead of a late October start.

McConnell has joined forces with Canadian producers Federgreen Entertainment, Us distributor Uncork’d Entertainment, and Toronto-based Canadian distributor and global sales agent Raven Banner Entertainment.

McConnell will direct from his own screenplay, which he described to Screen as “a murderous shape-shifter on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves”. His directing credits include Broken Mile and documentary Skull World.

Avi Federgreen and McConnell are producing, while Keith Leopard of Uncork’d and Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt, James Fler and Andrew Hunt serve as executive producers with Pasha Patriki of 9 Light Entertainment.

George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine), Adam Mason (The Devil’s Chair) and Serena Whitney (Mark Of Kane) are on board »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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German sales outfit boards int'l co-pro 'Black Sun'

21 July 2017 3:15 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Ireland-Finland-Germany drama set to shoot later this year.

Berlin-based sales outfit Pluto Film has boarded international sales rights to Ireland-Finland-Germany co-production Black Sun from Finnish writer-director Maria Ruotsala (Apeiron).

The English-language drama, currently in pre-production, is aiming to shoot in Ireland, Latvia and Finland during late 2017 and early 2018.

Set shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in a former satellite state, the film follows a small band of idealists who seek to establish an artists’ retreat.

Producers are Finnish company Greenlit Productions (War/Peace), Irish film and TV outfit Abú Media Film Productions (TV series An Klondike) and German partners Cornelsen Films (Berlin Dance Battle 3D), marking the first co-production between the three countries.

Attached cast includes Chloé Farnworth (Soy Nero), Nicolas Fagerberg (Imperial Blue) and Johan Hwatz.

Around 65% of the €1.3m budget is in place with funders including the Finnish Film Fund and Finnish national broadcaster Yle. The production »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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'The Endless' wins top prize at Bifan festival

20 July 2017 8:15 PM, PDT

Sci-fi by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson debuted at Tribeca Film Festival.

Asia’s largest genre film event, the 21st Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Bifan), awarded its Best Of Bucheon prize to The Endless.

Directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson receive a cash prize of $17,900 (KW20m).

The Us sci-fi horror thriller follows two brothers who return to visit what they believe to be a UFO death cult that they escaped at a younger age.

Benson and Moorhead also star and the innovative team has previously been noted for co-directing genre favorites Resolution and Spring.

The Endless made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and has been snapping up distribution deals since. Read about those here and here.

The Bucheon Choice: Features jury was made up of Train To Busan actor Kim Eui Sung, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival director Angel Sala, Korean producer Shin Chul (My Sassy Girl), programme director of the Hong »


- hjnoh2007@gmail.com (Jean Noh)

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Comic-Con: 'Twin Peaks' cast in David Lynch love-in

20 July 2017 6:47 PM, PDT

Kyle MacLachlan, cast, wax lyrical about show co-creator.

David Lynch did not attend the Twin Peaks panel on Friday afternoon, although the Hall H session focused on little else as panellists including show veteran Kyle MacLachlan extolled his virtues.

MacLachlan, who reprises his role as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in the returning series on Showtime 27 years after the original series and 25 years after spin-off film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, said he owed his film and TV career to Lynch.

“He brought me up into film and spoiled me,” MacLachlan said. “He’s very accessible to all of us and he’s very open and available and then there’s a point at which he goes into a place that’s purely David.

“It’s like this is him as the artist. At that point I become like a fan. Now he’s my pal but when he goes there he’s a real artist »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Bright' director David Ayer: Netflix let you be a filmmaker

20 July 2017 4:43 PM, PDT

Streaming giant stages first film panel at Comic-Con in support of Bright, Death Note.

Bright director David Ayer unsurprisingly enthused over the freedom Netflix grants directors during a lively and opinionated session on Thursday afternoon.

Tough guy actor Terry Crews hosted Netflix’s first Hall H session and introduced Ayer, who reunites on the upcoming supernatural crime thriller with his Suicide Squad star Will Smith. They were joined on stage by Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace, Con debutants Edgar Ramirez and Lucy Fry, as well as producers Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless.

The session kicked off with a first-look at the new trailer, which sets the scene of a Los Angeles where humans live side-by-side with magical creatures. Smith’s Lapd officer teams up with an orc police officer played by Edgerton as they get involved in the hunt for a magic wand with devastating power. Max Landis wrote the screenplay.

“This isn’t some »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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