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Universal Wins ‘The Grownup’; ‘Gone Girl’ Author Gillian Flynn Short Story Sells In High-Six-Figure Deal
Exclusive: Universal Pictures is tying down a deal to make a movie out of The Grownup, a package built around the short story by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. Natalie Krinsky is attached to adapt the tale, and Mike De Luca and Flynn will produce together what is her first big project since Gone Girl became a big hit movie. Studios read the short story and were pitched the material earlier this week, and the bids are hitting the table today. Sources tell me the deal will… »
Transformers 5, 6 and 7 release dates confirmed
The Transformers are going to be arriving annually, starting in 2017.
Well, we're getting three Transformers films in three years starting in 2017. And, we'd imagine, this is just the beginning.
Michael Bay has already confirmed that he's going to direct one of them - Transformers 5 - and then he plans to hand the series over to someone else. Paramount has an aggressive plan for a movie universe of Transformers features, and the announcement of three release dates suggests that the series is going to move to an annual schedule.
Transformers 5 is now confirmed in the U.S. for June 23, 2017. Then, Transformers 6 will follow on June 8, 2018. Transformers 7, meanwhile, will follow on June 28, 2019. June, it seems, will be Transformers month for the next few years. We'd imagine the UK release dates will mirror their Us counterparts.
We don't know yet who's directing Transformers 6 and Transformers 7, but we'll keep you posted. »
Lethal Weapon Pilot Ordered at Fox, Damon Wayans Sr. to Star
Wayans will follow in Glover’s footsteps by playing Det. Murtaugh, who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. Casting for the role of Riggs is underway.
The project represents a bit of a homecoming for Wayans, »
Janusz Kaminski Grabs Director’s Chair for ‘The Postcard Killings’ (Exclusive)
Steven Spielberg’s regular cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, who has been Oscar-nominated six times and won twice, is attached to direct crime thriller “The Postcard Killings,” which Good Films will finance and produce. Sierra Affinity is handling international sales.
The pic centers on New York detective Jacob Kanon, who joins forces with Swedish art critic Dessie Larsson to investigate a seemingly senseless sequence of killings of couples across Europe. Picture postcards are sent to apparently random journalists by the killer, each heralding the next horrific crime. Larsson has just received such a postcard, and she and Kanon must piece together the clues to catch the killer.
- Leo Barraclough
New Film Death House Is Billed As The Expendables Of Horror
A new horror film will unite all of the icons of the genre in one epic, bloody fight for survival, similar to the lassoing in of action legends in The Expendables franchise. Dubbed Death House, the movie will focus on the “Area 51 of evil,” where a government facility holds all of humanity’s worst death-dealers underground.
Who are they? You’ll probably recognize a bunch of icons from movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Re-Animator: Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, Michael Berryman, Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Barbara Crampton, Doug Bradley, Ken Foree, Camille Keaton and Don Shanks, among others.
Gunnar Hansen, the face of Leatherface in the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was set to be in the film before he passed away last November from pancreatic cancer. Hansen wrote the script for the film before he died, while Harrison Smith is set to direct the mayhem. »
- Mitchel Broussard
Margot Robbie Set To Headline Vaughn Stein’s Noir Thriller Terminal
News emerges from the ongoing Berlin Film Festival, revealing that Robbie joins the Vaughn Stein feature as Annie. Less a femme fatale and more a complex, morally ambiguous lead, the little details that were disclosed indicate that her character will cross paths with a pair of hitmen – or, rather, they cross paths with her.
Embarking on a suicide gig, the two hired guns are tasked with completing a mysterious mission, and the introduction of Robbie looks set to throw a spanner in the works, as she could be more involved in their employer’s devious plan than first thought.
- Michael Briers
NBC Greenlights Maya Rudolph-Martin Short Variety Show, Targets May Premiere (Exclusive)
NBC has formally given the greenlight to a long-gestating variety show to be co-hosted by Maya Rudolph and Martin Short and produced by Lorne Michaels. The Peacock is targeting a premiere in late May.
NBC confirmed the series order but details about the number of episodes and format are still being sorted out. It’s expected to air live from NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters in New York.
The show, tentatively titled “Maya and Marty in Manhattan,” was a topic of conversation Thursday night among the current and former “Saturday Night Live” troupers who were on hand at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for the center’s American Songbook tribute to Michaels, recognizing his long »
- Cynthia Littleton
Steve Coogan on Playing a Lawyer in Apartheid South Africa in ‘Shepherds and Butchers’ (Exclusive)
Variety spoke exclusively to Steve Coogan, who plays the lead in “Shepherds and Butchers.” The film world premieres in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section today. WestEnd Films is handling international sales.
The movie is set in South Africa in 1987, when a young white man kills several black members of a soccer club. Nineteen-year-old Leon Labuschagne works as a prison guard in a high-security wing, and in the last two years, he has been required to administer the death penalty no fewer than 160 times. In this courtroom drama based on actual events, director Oliver Schmitz exposes the traumatic experiences of a police employee forced to be an executioner. Coogan plays the young man’s lawyer.
What was it about the role that attracted you to it?
It was just very intelligently written and these days genuinely smart, thought-provoking polemic material is thin on the ground, so when you see »
- Leo Barraclough
Adele Charms L.A. Crowd With Pre-Grammy Concert at the Wiltern
Adele's surprise show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Feb. 12 was truly the hottest ticket in town. It was her first concert in the city since 2011 -- "I haven't played in L.A. for years," she told the audience early on in the night, and remarked that her "best show here" in L.A. was at The Wiltern, back in January 2009. The diva -- who was introduced to the stark stage by her carpool karaoke pal, The Late Late Show host James Corden -- opened the concert with her Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash "Hello." The 16-song set
- Keith Caulfield, Billboard
Gianfranco Rosi’s ‘Fuocoammare’ Doc Chronicles Refugee Crisis
The issue of refugees and migration continued to dominate the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday with the premiere of Italian helmer Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary and competition title “Fuocoammare” (“Fire at Sea”), which looks at the harrowing journeys undertaken by African and Middle Eastern immigrants as they risk their lives to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa in the hopes of making it to mainland Europe.
Rosi spent months living on the Mediterranean island, capturing its everyday life as hundreds of migrants arrived on a weekly basis. The film examines the grave migrant situation through the eyes of the island’s residents, including the young boy Samuele, the son of a fisherman, and Pietro Bartolo, the only medical doctor on Lampedusa.
Speaking at a press conference following the film, the award-winning director responded to one journalist’s observation that he had made “a very, very political film without making a political statement. »
- Ed Meza
Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Deadpool’ Brutalizes Box Office With $47 Million Friday
Ryan Reynolds‘ ultra-violent “Deadpool” blew away expectations, rivals and records with a $47.5 million first day Friday, making a bloodbath of the Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend box office race. The R-rated saga of the sardonic and foul-mouthed Marvel Comics superhero — a mercenary who develops super healing powers, a scarred mug and a very cynical attitude after a failed operation to cure his cancer — was on pace for an eye-popping $130 million over the four-day holiday for Twentieth Century Fox. That would obliterate the records for a three-day February opening ($85 million) and Presidents Day weekend ($93 million) set last year »
- Todd Cunningham
The Best and Worst of Ben Stiller, A to Z
Ben Stiller's professional onscreen career is officially turning 30 this year — that's roughly 412 in comedian years. In a business where funny people tend to quickly exhaust their limited charm and sink from telling jokes to becoming a punchline, the restless and versatile Stiller has managed to sustain one of the most consistent comic careers this side of Bob Hope. From his days as a bit player to his later emergence as a force of nature in front of the camera and behind the scenes (you have his production company Red »
‘Deadpool’ Pegged for $130 Million Debut, Setting Presidents Weekend Box Office Record
“Deadpool” is obliterating its box office expectations as it hurdles toward a record-setting four-day weekend total north of $130 million.
The superhero comedy pulled in $47.5 million on Friday (including $12.7 million from Thursday night previews, which set a record for an R-rated film) from 3,558 locations. This puts the film on track to wrap up Presidents Day with more than $130 million. Fox had indicated it was expecting a debut between $60 million and $65 million, making its new projected total more than double the studio’s conservative estimate.
- Marianne Zumberge
Berlin Film Review: ‘Fire at Sea’
A tiny island no more than eight square miles in size, Lampedusa has long been a Mediterranean toehold for people on the move, from ancient Greek and Roman sailors until now, as African migrants take advantage of its position roughly halfway between Libya and Sicily to make their first contact with European soil. These refugees now number more than 150,000 a year, crossing illegally in crowded boats — a phenomena seen often enough on European news, usually when things go tragically amiss. But what of those who call this isolated location home? In “Fire at Sea,” humanist docu helmer Gianfranco Rosi turns his eye on the locals, most notably a 12-year-old boy named Samuele, whose lives have been transformed both directly and indirectly by a migrant problem far too large for the minuscule community to handle.
Once again immersing himself in a community on the margins, as he previously did in his »
- Peter Debruge
Berlin: Isabelle Huppert, Mia Hansen-Love Chat About ‘Things To Come’
Berlin — French star Isabelle Huppert was on hand in Berlin at the presser of “Things To Come” (“L’Avenir”) along with helmer Mia Hansen-love and co-star Roman Kolinka, who was just named one of Variety’s European Star To Watch.
In “Things To Come,” Huppert plays a philosophy professor who is confronted with a series of misfortunes prompting her to throw herself into a new chapter of her life.
“I was attracted to this project because I had been wanting to work with Mia Hansen-Love for a while and I found compelling the way this film draws a portrait of an intellectual woman, which we seldom see in contemporary movies,” said Huppert, adding that “there is common belief that if we talk about intellectuels, movies won’t be entertaining; but it’s not true. I liked the way Mia depicted this character in a sensual, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Best of the Week: First Berlinale Reviews, Inside the Oscar Circuit, Roger Deakins on 'Hail, Caesar!' and Much More
A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (Exclusive) 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Final Draft Awards Winners, Paul Schrader Joins Hall of Fame How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Dressed the Oscar-Nominated 'Carol' and 'Cinderella' (Video) Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Jacques Audiard Wants Magic, Not Realism, in His César Nominee 'Dheepan' Oscars: Evaluating the Best Costume. »
Oscar flashback: Which precursor prizes are key to winning Best Picture?
This year, we have seen key precursor prizes award Best Picture (or its equivalent) to three different films. The Critics' Choice and SAG went for for "Spotlight," the Golden Globes and DGA opted for "The Revenant" and the PGA picked "The Big Short." This is all terribly exciting but if you’re an Oscar pundit, it’s a dangerous time. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Although I find it endlessly fascinating, the idea of predicting based on notions such as "Oh, Inarritu won three Oscars last year, so that counts against him and his film, 'The Revenant,' this year," I am unconvinced that this is a fool-proof method. Therefore, to save myself from this (or at least to give me something to blame if I do go wrong), I have used math, science and history to come up with an algorithm of »
'The Amazing Race' premiere: Did you predict the surprise twist on 'I Should've Been a Boy Scout'?'
Did you foresee which of the 11 teams competing in "I Should've Been a Boy Scout," the first leg of "The Amazing Race," was going to be last to the mat? If you got the result right, why are you not taking part in our predictions contest? Every week, someone will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate and the top place on our leaderboards. Do you have what it takes to be the best among the most fervent fans of the "Race"? -Break- To get started Click Here or scroll down and make your first prediction using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Don't worry, you can keep changing your predictions right up until show time. But we urge you not to wait till then. 'Survivor: Second Chance': Win prizes predicting who'll win Season 31 Why? Because your predictions will factor into our official racetrack odds that are pored over by other "Race" fans »
Berlin: Focus Nabs Jeff Nichols' 'Loving'
The day after the premiere for his latest film Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols' next project, Loving, has been picked up by Focus for North America and several other international territories including UK, Germany and Latin America. The film, based on a true story, stars Joel Edgerton (who also stars in Midnight Special) as Richard Loving, whose interracial married to Mildred (Ruth Negga) caused them to be sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958. They were later banished from the state, but the couple took their case, Loving v. Virginia, all the way to the Supreme Court, which reaffirmed their
- Rebecca Ford
Berlin: Liam Neeson's Korean War Film Sells to Germany, Taiwan
Big-budget South Korean war film Operation Chromite, in which Liam Neeson stars as General Douglas MacArthur, has notched a few quick sales at the start of the European Film Market in Berlin. Seoul-based sales company Finecut closed deals for Germany, Austria, Benelux, Yugoslavia and Taiwan for the title. “Liam Neeson looks great in Operation Chromite in this Korean film … We are happy to have acquired a quality movie with quality actors,” said Marko Mollers, acquisition executive of Germany's Splendid Film. Directed by John H. Lee (The Third Way of Love), Operation Chromite is produced by Chung
- Patrick Brzeski
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