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Bryan Singer Will Direct X-Men: Apocalypse
As expected, Bryan Singer has officially been confirmed as the director of X-Men: Apocalypse. This will be the fourth film Singer has helmed in the franchise, following this summer’s megahit X-Men: Days of Future Past. While Singer has been tweeting about the project for over a year, there was some speculation that the he might lose the gig in the wake of his recent legal troubles, in which plaintiff Michael Egan alleged that Singer sexually assaulted him when he was underage. The charges — which you can more read about in Robert Kolker’s recent New York feature — have since been dismissed, albeit in such a way that they can be refiled in the future. »
- Anna Silman
Peter Dinklage to Star in Adaptation of ‘The Thicket’
The pic will be produced by Nunnari. Dinklage and his long-time manager David Ginsberg will also produce through their newly formed production company. Shannon Gaulding, who works with Nunnari, will also serve as producer on the project.
Set in feral East Texas in the early 20th century, this dark thriller follows an innocent young man named Jack who goes on an epic quest to rescue his sister after she has been kidnapped by violent killer Cut Throat Bill and his gang. Jack enlists the help of a crafty bounty hunter named Shorty (Dinklage), a grave-digging alcoholic son of an ex-slave and a street-smart prostitute. The three track the girl into the deadly no-man’s land known as The Big Thicket — a place where blood and chaos reign. »
- Justin Kroll
'Gone Girl': Fincher's Faithful Flynn Adaptation Bewitches Critics
Critics have set a high bar for the hotly buzzed "Gone Girl," which bows at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival on September 26 before opening wide October 3. While the two-and-a-half hour thriller's Oscar status remains up in the air, players Affleck and Pike and director-writer team Fincher and Flynn are all picking up praise. Fincher seems to be returning to the hardboiled storytelling of 2007's "Zodiac," another long and twisty thriller where the criminal investigation is a red herring for a much darker, deeper exploration of American life. Here's a sampling of the chatter. Trailer below. David Edelstein, New York Magazine: "The movie is phenomenally gripping—although it does leave you queasy, uncertain what to take away on the subject of men, women, marriage, and the possibility of intimacy from the example of such prodigiously messed-up people. Though a woman wrote the script, the male gaze dominates, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
New York Times Editor Says Article About Shonda Rhimes Was ''Condescending'' and ''Out of Touch''
Margaret Sullivan of The New York Times has slammed her colleague's recent article on Shonda Rhimes, calling it "astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch." In light of the recent controversy surrounding Alessandra Stanley's article on the television producer, where she calls her an "angry black woman", Sullivan says, "the readers and commenters are correct to protest this story." She continued, "Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way." Culture editor Danielle Mattoon, discussed the editing process with Stanley's particular article, explaining, "There was never any intent to offend anyone and I deeply »
‘The Shawshank Redemption’ at 20: How It Went From Bomb to Beloved
When it premiered on September 23, 1994, “The Shawshank Redemption” barely registered at the box office. The prison drama opened at No. 9, below the odious sex comedy “Exit to Eden” and just above Robert Redford’s “Quiz Show,” already in its fifth week. Though nominated for seven Academy Awards, the film failed to connect with audiences and vanished from theaters with little fanfare. And then, slowly but surely, its fortunes began to change. On its 20th anniversary, here’s how “The Shawshank Redemption” beat the odds and became a beloved classic.
Prior to 1982, most readers thought of King as an author who wrote only horror, but the publication of “Different Seasons” changed all that. A critically acclaimed bestseller, this beautifully crafted collection of four dramatic novellas introduced King to an even broader audience. The book’s first story, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” remains one of his most deeply humane and hopeful works of fiction. »
- Matthew Chernov
Did a Texas Doctor Try to Poison Her Boyfriend with Antifreeze?
By all accounts, Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo was a respected oncologist. Known for her extensive medical knowledge and kind demeanor, the 43-year-old, who was born in Colombia, worked hard to become a prominent doctor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She worked closely with Dr. George Blumenschein, a buttoned-down oncologist, who was also highly respected in his field. But, according to prosecutors, these two mild-mannered doctors began a secret affair - and became embroiled in a love triangle that nearly ended in tragedy. On Jan. 27, 2013, after feeling ill all day, Blumenschein checked into the hospital. The results shocked »
- Steve Helling, @stevehelling
Film School 101: Prof. Soderbergh examines 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the Citizen Kane of modern action films, a revolutionary piece of cinematic storytelling that is still the template for just about every action-adventure that rolls into theaters. Director Steven Soderbergh is a major fan, and his admiration appropriately goes to delightfully film-geek lengths. In a recent blog post, Soderbergh marvels at Steven Spielberg’s staging of Raiders; by staging he refers to the alchemic art of putting a shot together and then connecting several shots together to tell a story in the most fluid, unobtrusive, and dynamic manner.
To isolate that subtle aspect of Raiders, »
- Jeff Labrecque
‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Review: Scott Bakula Steers CBS's Competent Expansion of the Franchise
Nearly 20 years after “Jag” premiered on NBC, the latest spinoff of the long-running franchise is set to hit CBS. “NCIS: New Orleans” is the third iteration of the “NCIS” brand, and it follows long-established patterns that virtually guarantee it will be a hit. CBS knows that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if it's working, make another one. “CSI” spawned countless spinoffs in its heyday, and now it's “NCIS's” turn. One of the reasons “NCIS” has resonated for so many years is that sense of family that Mark Harmon established for his team. Also read: ‘Scorpion’ Review: CBS's ‘Fast. »
- Jason Hughes
Comic Book Overload: Why TV Has Gone to the Superheroes
Hope you like superheroes, TV fans. The fall 2014 television schedule looks like it would be more appropriate for a Comic-Con lineup. Fox's Batman prequel “Gotham” debuted Monday night. The CW's “The Flash” premieres on Oct. 7; “iZombie” opens midseason. “Arrow” is returning for the youthful-skewing CW, while ABC's “Marvel's Agents of Shield” and its new spin-off “Agent Carter” are also due on the airwaves. NBC's “Constantine” starts on Oct. 24. Of course, those aren't the only TV shows based on comic books. Ever hear of a little program called “The Walking Dead”? TV's top scripted show is also based on graphic »
- Tony Maglio
Denzel Washington keeps the 'walk away from an explosion' trope alive
If an actor has played the hero or villain in an action film in the last few decades, there’s a good chance he or she walked away from an explosion and looked cool while doing it. There’s no shortage of examples—more than enough for Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island bandmates to make a music video about it—and many actors have pulled off the impressive and unrealistic feat multiple times.
- Jonathon Dornbush
Paula Deen Returns to ‘Today’ Show After N-Word Fiasco to Apologize and Make Some Money
On Tuesday, Paula Deen lathered the “Today” Show audience in apologies, and then sprinkled on some fresh promotion. A year after suffering a tearful breakdown on the program during the height of her racism scandal — Deen had admitted to using the N-word during a deposition for a discrimination lawsuit — pop culture's foremost embodiment of southern cooking pleaded insanity. Also read: Paula Deen Launching Online Cooking Network “I looked at none of it, I didn't recognize that woman,” Deen told Matt Lauer of her appearance last year, flying out the gate with a prepared explanation. “That was a woman in trauma; in, »
- Jordan Zakarin
Oscar Isaac talks Patricia Highsmith thriller and 'Star Wars: Episode VII'
Oscar Isaac is having a pretty good year. The Juilliard-trained actor has been on a bit of a roll since being cast as the lead in Inside Llewyn Davis; the Coen brothers’ ’60s folk noir may not have gotten the awards traction that could have made Isaac’s breakout a truly golden ride, but it’s not like the lack of an Oscar nomination dimmed his prospects either. Not only did he score a choice role opposite Jessica Chastain in director J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, which recently received an awards-season friendly 2014 release date—he was also cast in Star Wars: Episode VII. »
- Lindsey Bahr
Resurgent Film Group Launching with Brad Thor’s ‘Lions of Lucerne’ (Exclusive)
Resurgent Film Group is launching operations with a movie version of Brad Thor’s action-thriller “The Lions of Lucerne.”
The newly minted company is aiming to fund and produce its own projects in the mid-budget range. “Lions of Lucerne,” which is planned for a shoot in Switzerland for the fall of 2015, will have a budget in the $60 million to $70 million range.
“The Lions of Lucerene” follows Scot Harvath, a young Navy Seal turned U.S. Secret Service agent who survives an attack, which leaves 30 of his fellow agents dead and the president of the United States kidnapped. He begins a worldwide hunt for those responsible in an attempt to rescue the president.
- Dave McNary
The 50 Craziest Moments on Scandal So Far
The epic, fast-paced Wtf-ness helped propel Scandal to huge audiences over the past three seasons. As we gear up for season four, it helps to remember all of the murders, secret identities, explosions, conspiracies, and craziest moments that paved the way. Do you know how hard it was to whittle this list down to 50 things? 1. The president kills a Supreme Court justice with his bare hands. 2. Olivia and President Fitzgerald Grant are having an affair. 3. Olivia bullies Amanda Tanner to the brink of suicide and then admits she had an affair with the president, too. 4. But then Amanda is kidnapped and murdered. 5. Olivia short-changes the Russian mob by $3 million during negotiations to retrieve a kidnapped baby. 6. Quinn’s reporter boyfriend Gideon gets stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors when he confronts Billy Chambers, the vice-president’s chief of staff, about his relationship »
- Danielle Henderson
Revenge Sneak Peek: Emily and Victoria's First Season 4 Interaction Is Seriously Epic—Watch Now
Let the games begin. When Revenge returns for its fourth season on Sunday, fans will see a major role reversal between Emily (Emily VanCamp) and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe), as Ems finally exacted her revenge and had Victoria locked away in a mental health institution. But any Revenge fan knows that hell hath no fury like a Grayson scorned! We're sharing a seriously juicy exclusive sneak peek from the ABC hit's season four premiere, which features Emily and Victoria's first conversation of the season and it's just as vicious as you can possibly imagine... After Victoria gets her hands on a cell phone, she attempts to call Grayson manor for some help...only to have Emily, who is now »
‘Black-ish’ Creator Goes for Specific Stereotypes – While Telling a Universal Story
“Black-ish” goes after some very specific stereotypes. One of they key jokes on the show's pilot is about a white child's assumption that an African-American family will have grape soda in the fridge — and the offense the father, played by Anthony Anderson, takes at that assumption. The show is built around specific jokes because of creator Kenya Barris’ belief that the best comedy comes from real moments and real life. It's also one of the mantras from ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee this season as he unveils a 2014-15 slate with several shows — including “Black-ish” and “American Crime” »
- Tim Molloy
‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Ep on Saturating Market With Too Many Spinoffs: ‘There's Always a Concern’
CBS has gone marching in to New Orleans with the latest installment of its “NCIS” franchise, titled, appropriately enough, “NCIS: New Orleans.” The newest incarnation of the mighty “NCIS” franchise — premiering Tuesday at 9 p.m. — stars “Quantum Leap” and “Behind the Candelabra” star Scott Bakula as Special Agent Pride, who heads up the New Orleans office of NCIS. The series also stars Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan and C.C.H. Pounder. TheWrap spoke to executive producer Jeff Lieber about, among other things, staying true to the tragedy and scandal-afflicted New Orleans while also creating a riveting crime drama. Read on for »
- Tim Kenneally
New Line Ramping Up ‘No Baggage,’ Based on ‘Craziest OkCupid Date Ever’ (Exclusive)
Variety reported in April that New Line has picked up movie rights to Bensen’s Salon.com article, set the project up with Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot at their Offspring Entertainment banner and titled the project “No Baggage.”
“Jeff and I traveled to eight countries in 21 days without changing clothes,” Bensen wrote in her article for Salon.com. “It sure beat meeting for coffee.”
Bensen, a writer based in Austin, Texas, said the journey went well despite the lack of belongings.
“On the surface, we appeared to be sure candidates for ‘World’s Most Unlikely Pair,’” she wrote. “He’s a wildly energetic university professor who is always on the move. »
- Dave McNary
Blacklist Season 2 Premiere Recap: The Cat in the Hat Is Back
When we last left our heroes and antiheroes, Meera was dead, Tom had escaped, and Berlin had landed in the United States and was hunting Red. As season two opens, we see that Liz is in hiding (kinda), Ressler is having emotional problems because of the death of his fiancée and the attack on his team, and there’s a new evil mastermind connected to Berlin who may be after Red.But we find out that Lord Baltimore isn’t a lord or a man at all, it’s actually a woman. Or two women, to be precise. Turns out that the woman is Nora Mills, and she killed her twin sister Rowan and is now having personality issues. If I’m doing the math correctly, she’s actually three people: Nora, Rowan, and Lord Baltimore. Lord Baltimore is a skip tracer who uses data analytics to find people, hunting »
- Bob Sassone
Jimmy Kimmel Was Not Pleased with Courteney Cox's Performance in His Friends Reunion Skit
Remember that Friends reunion Jimmy Kimmel hosted on his show a little while back? Do you remember each and every mistake? Well, Kimmel does. Courteney Cox was a guest on the show Monday night, and the actress's performance during her last appearance apparently wasn't up to snuff for Jimmy. See, when reviewing Cox's performance during the skit, he noted that, after a line that references the Friends theme, Cox clapped five times instead of the requisite four. Obviously, he was not thrilled about this, and had Cox rectify her mistake on-air. (This time, she nailed it.) The very first episode »
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