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‘Spider-Man’ Star Tom Holland to Play Young Nathan Drake in Sony’s ‘Uncharted’ Franchise
Shawn Levy is directing the film in which Holland is set to star as the young thief Nathan Drake. The film will take its inspiration from a sequence in the third version of the famous video game, in which Drake first meets professional rogue, Sullivan. Sony is yet to find a writer for the screenplay. Producers include Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Ted Sarandos Says Netflix Returning to Cannes Is ‘Less Attractive’ Under New Rule
Returning to Cannes is “less attractive” for Netflix if its films must play out of competition under a new rule requiring all competition titles to have a theatrical release, Ted Sarandos said early Monday.
Netflix made a splash on the Croisette this year with two movies in the official competition, Bong Joon-Ho’s “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories.” But outrage from French exhibitors and others over the selection prompted the festival to issue its new restriction on competition eligibility, effective next year.
Speaking to Variety at Netflix’s late-night bash in Cannes, Sarandos at first said “no” when asked whether the streaming giant would be willing to come back with its films relegated to out-of-competition. But he added quickly: “Well, I shouldn’t say that. It would be less attractive, for sure, because it would affect [Netflix’s] festival strategy around the world.”
Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Why ‘Dangal’s’ Triumph in China Could Be a Game-Changer For India
Indian drama “Dangal” crossed the $100-million mark at the Chinese box office Saturday, becoming the biggest foreign-language film of all time in China and reshaping perceptions of the movie market in the world’s most populous nation.
The film opened May 5, going head to head with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and coming second to the Hollywood superhero movie in its first weekend. But as “Guardians” lost momentum, “Dangal” picked up speed and screens.
This week, its third on release and second at the top of the chart, “Dangal” overtook “Your Name,” the Japanese animated smash hit that scored $82 million (RMB566 million) in China last year. “Dangal,” with more than $113 million (RMB780 million,) has now made more in China than in India.
- Patrick Frater
'Alien: Covenant' Narrowly Edges Out 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' To Top Weekend Box Office
It's a tight race at the top as weekend estimates have Alien: Covenant holding a narrow lead over Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for the #1 spot at the weekend box office. Considering Guardians has been underestimated the past two weekends by $1.46 million and $2.25 million, tomorrow afternoon's actuals will be something to look out for as less than $1 million separates the two films. Meanwhile, WB and MGM's Everything, Everything delivered on the high end of industry expectations while Fox's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul will be looking to next weekend, hoping the upcoming four-day holiday will improve what was a rather weak debut. At #1, Fox's Alien: Covenant debuted with an estimated $36 million, nearly 43% of which came from its Friday performance, which included $4.2 million from Thursday previews. An opening less than $40 million is somewhat disappointing considering the $51 million opening for its predecessor, Prometheus, five years ago. Yet, the »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
‘Resident Evil’ Franchise Set for a Reboot (Exclusive)
The “Resident Evil” movie franchise has not ended after all.
Details such as the reboot director, stars, and how the reboot would fit into the franchise narrative are being kept under wraps. But Martin Moszkowicz, chairman of the board at Constantin Film, did confirm to Variety at the Cannes Film Festival that a reboot is in development at the giant German production company, which owns rights to the franchise and has produced all of its installments.
The franchise was set to end with this year’s “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” which grossed $312 million worldwide after its January release, including an eye-popping $160 million in China alone. Sony helped sow the seeds of success by securing a release for “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and “Resident Evil: Extinction” in China.
Based on the Capcom video game, the series launched in 2002 with Paul W.S. Anderson directing, »
- John Hopewell
Cannes: Clint Eastwood Says ‘We’ve Lost Our Sense of Humor’
Clint Eastwood told a rapturous Cannes audience on Sunday that he will return to acting in front of the camera. Eastwood was giving a master class at the Cannes Film Festival and received a three-minute ovation from those able to get in to the packed auditorium, in a crowd that included Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara.
The star notably did not address the political situation in the U.S., focusing on his long career in front of and behind the camera. He did say that his first “Dirty Harry” movie was considered politically incorrect, and was the start of an ongoing era of political correctness. “We’re killing ourselves by doing that, we’ve lost our sense of humor,” he said.
Having mostly eschewed acting for directing in recent years, Eastwood’s last on-screen performance was in 2012’s “The Trouble With the Curve.” He said he missed performing “once in a while but not often,” but »
- Stewart Clarke
‘Saturday Night Live’ Scores Most-Watched Season Finale Since 2011
“Saturday Night Live” capped a red-hot season on Saturday with its most-watched final episode since 2011.
The show, hosted by Dwayne Johnson with musical guest Katy Perry, averaged 8.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen’s live-same-day ratings. The closer featured guest appearances by Alec Baldwin as President Trump, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hanks. NBC noted that the live rating in 18-49 makes “SNL” the No. 1 entertainment telecast of the week, edging past Fox’s “Empire.”
Season 42 of “SNL” ranks as the NBC mainstay’s most-watched season in 23 years. Peak viewership of this season’s 20 episodes came on Feb. 11 with Alec Baldwin as host and Ed Sheeran as musical guest. That seg grabbed 10.8 million viewers.
“SNL” was clearly buoyed by viewer interest in the 2016 presidential election and the onset of the Trump administration. Baldwin has been a semi-regular on the show this year in the guise of President Trump. Melissa McCarthy »
- Cynthia Littleton
‘The Keepers’ Filmmaker Has Theory on Sister Cathy Murder, Personal Connection to Case
Warning: Major spoilers appear below. “The Keepers” filmmaker Ryan White made the new Netflix docuseries that has everyone on the edge of their seats. He spearheaded the project because of his personal connection to Sister Catherine Cesnik, a nun who was found murdered in January of 1970 and who serves as the centerpiece of the true crime series. “My access point was a personal connection: My aunt went to Archbishop Keough High School and was Sister Cathy’s student,” White told TheWrap. His aunt was also friends with Jean Wehner, one of multiple people in the documentary who say they were sexually abused. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
‘The Rider’ Cannes Review: Spectacular Rodeo Tale Is the Festival’s Sleeper Hit
Some films arrive at Cannes with the eyes of the world already fixed upon them, while others make a more a subtle entrance. Building on ebullient early reactions, and on the tips festivalgoers share with each other over late-night glasses of rosé or in the long lines to get into the next competition film, those smaller works grow in reputation and stature. They may enter the festival without much fanfare, but they leave as conquering heroes. Start prepping the laurels now, because Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider” looks to be this year’s word-of-mouth hit. The story of a young rodeo hotshot grappling. »
- Ben Croll
Todd Haynes on ‘Wonderstruck’: ‘It Is a Kids’ Movie’
“Wonderstruck,” in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, is director Todd Haynes’ seventh feature film, his fourth with Julianne Moore, and his first for Amazon Studios, which backed it along with Roadside Attractions. The film is “weird, wild, and not like anything I can think of,” he tells Variety. It also turns out it’s a kids’ movie.
You’ve talked in Cannes about making something kids would love. Was that always the idea?
It is a kids’ movie, and that’s something I could never have conceived myself from scratch. I think [illustrated novel and screenplay writer] Brian Selznick has some strange line in to the idiosyncrasies of kids that shows them utter respect and is true.
In process of making this movie, by working with kids, working with deaf kids, showing cuts of the film to kids as we were making it, they taught me everything I needed to know about making this film. »
- Stewart Clarke
Cannes, Day 6: Punk Rock Aliens Party at Grand Palais; Sean Baker’s ‘Florida Project’ Shines
Didn’t you miss John Cameron Mitchell? The loud and proud auteur has been dabbling here and there with short films, producing, script and story polishing — but the “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” filmmaker hasn’t given us a significant feature since 2010’s stark “Rabbit Hole.” He’s back with an army of ambiguous millennials, and a much more joyous reteam with Nicole Kidman. More good news? Sean Baker has successfully captured the joy and abject poverty of Florida as he did for the trans sex workers of East Hollywood, to meaningful effect. Let’s do this, Lundi. How to Disrupt Cannes? »
- Matt Donnelly
‘Spider-Man’ Star Tom Holland to Play Young Nathan Drake in ‘Uncharted’ Movie Adaptation
Shawn Levy came on board in October to direct “Uncharted,” based on the PlayStation video game series following the adventures of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Holland will play a younger version of Drake. The film follows Drake’s first encounter with the professional rogue Sullivan.
The video game series was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America.
- Dave McNary
Weinstein Company Acquires Oliver Stone TV Series ‘Guantanamo’
The project marks Stone’s first time as a director in scripted television. The show, created by Voll, focuses on the detainees held in the controversial prison, and those who defend and condemn them. Alexandra Milchan will produce with Weinstein Television. Stone plans to direct all of Season 1 with Voll as showrunner.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to work with Oliver,” Weinstein Company co-chair Harvey Weinstein said. “I’m a longtime fan and he’s one of our greatest filmmakers of all time. This is explosive material that will work from all sides. Daniel Voll’s incredible resume will make this amazing collaboration between him and Oliver both newsworthy and super watchable.”
The Guantanamo Bay detention camp was opened after the September 11 attacks to interrogate and imprison suspects in the war on terror. Various »
- Joe Otterson
Sony Sets ‘Angry Birds 2’ Movie for Landing in September, 2019
Sony Pictures has set a Sept. 20, 2019, release date for “The Angry Birds Movie 2” — coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the hit videogame.
The studio announced Monday that it was re-teaming with Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd. for the animated sequel. “Angry Birds” grossed a solid $350 million worldwide, including $107 million domestically. The film, directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, was set on an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – except for Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis), speedy Chuck (Josh Gad), and Bomb (Danny McBride).
Rovio announced last August that it had launched development of a sequel but gave no details as to whether Sony would be involved again.
“The Angry Birds Movie 2” will be directed by Thurop Van Orman, whose credits include “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack” and “Adventure Time.” Van Orman recently worked at Disney and Sony Pictures Animation.
The film will be co-directed by John Rice (“King of the Hill, »
- Dave McNary
Oliver Stone to Direct ‘Guantanamo’ TV Series for Weinstein Company
Weinstein Television announced Monday that it has acquired rights to dramatic series “Guantanamo,” which marks Oliver Stone’s first foray into scripted television. Stone is known for tackling controversial subjects: He directed the film “Snowden,” and recently the documentary “The Putin Interviews,” which premieres on Showtime in June. He will direct all of season one, per Weinstein Television. “Guantanamo” will tell the stories of the prison from multiple perspectives — from prisoners to soldiers, lawyers to journalists. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp was opened after the September 11 attacks to interrogate and detain suspects in the war on terror, and has since been a focal. »
- Ashley Boucher
TV Ratings: Billboard Music Awards See Big Declines in Early Numbers
The Billboard Music Awards suffered a noticeable decline in the overnight ratings, according to early Nielsen data.
The awards show, which aired on ABC, is currently averaging a 2.3 rating and 7.7 million viewers, making it easily the top-rated program of the night on broadcast but down 20% in both measures from a 3.1 and 9.6 million in 2016. Granted, the normal fast affiliate ratings are not wholly accurate, since they are time-period based and the awards show aired live coast-to-coast. However, last year’s ceremony adjusted up from a 2.9 to 3.1 once the final ratings came in, so there would need to be a significant increase in both key measures to even bring this year’s ceremony on par with last year.
Earlier in the night on ABC, the network aired a new episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.1, 5.4 million), which was even with its last original airing.
NBC aired a two-hour installment of “Dateline NBC” (0.9, 4.8 million) from 7-9 p.m »
- Joe Otterson
Tomi Lahren Lands a New Gig, but It’s Not at a TV Network
Right-wing firebrand, Tomi Lahren, is joining a pro-Trump advocacy group, Great America Alliance. She will work on the communications team for the organization, after splitting from conservative network TheBlaze earlier this year. Lahren rose to fame with a series of polarizing viral videos in which she often defended Trump and mocked the president’s critics. However, her first post-Blaze gig won’t be behind an anchor desk. “With critical policy battles looming, including repealing Obamacare and passing pro-growth tax reform, Great America Alliance (Gaa), the leading issue advocacy organization supporting the America-First agenda of President Donald J. Trump, announced Tomi Lahren is joining their. »
- Brian Flood
‘Star Wars’ Movies Push Overall Licensed Merchandise Sales to $262 Billion
With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” providing major boosts, global retail sales of licensed merchandise rose 4.4% to $262.9 billion last year, according to the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Assn.
The association issued the report Monday, a day ahead of the launch of the three-day Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The report did not break out any specific contribution from Disney’s first two “Star Wars” movies, but Marty Brochstein, senior VP of industry relations and information for Lima, said that the tie-ins from the tentpoles movie played a crucial role in boosting the overall numbers.
“You had the first full year of ‘The Force Awakens,’ which Disney presented with an appealing combination of new and classic items,” Brochstein told Variety. “The ‘Rogue One’ merchandise appealed to a slightly older demographic and did very well.”
Disney made a major »
- Dave McNary
Celine Dion Stops Billboard Music Awards Interview to Sing Along to Cher’s ‘Believe’ (Videos)
Celine Dion had to stop her backstage interview at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards to sing along to Cher‘s performance of “Believe.” As the 71-year-old took the stage on Sunday night, Dion paused to watch the fellow performer on the monitor and started an impromptu karaoke session with reporters backstage. Cher accepted the Icon award at the Billboard Music Awards. During her acceptance speech, she said, “I want to thank my mom. When I was really young my mom said, ‘You’re not going to be the smartest, you’re not going to be the prettiest. You’re not going to be the most talented. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Stephen Colbert: Ted Cruz Asked Me to ‘Humanize’ Him During Gop Primary
Stephen Colbert said that former Gop presidential candidate Ted Cruz once asked the “Late Show” host to “humanize” him before an appearance on the CBS comedy show. “I don’t want to betray my guest because there’s what happens on-camera and off-camera, but I guess it’s okay because I don’t think understood what he was asking,” Colbert said on Saturday at New York Mag’s Vulture Festival, according to the New York Post. Colbert continued: “I said, ‘Thanks for coming on, I like to have republicans on,’ and he goes, ‘Well, I was hoping we could humanize me. »
- Brian Flood
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