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Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment Not Re-Upping Sony First Look Deal (Exclusive)

Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment Not Re-Upping Sony First Look Deal (Exclusive)
After more than a decade of residing on the Sony lot, Overbrook Entertainment principals Will Smith and James Lassister have chosen not to re-up their deal with the studio, insiders tell Variety.

The deal recently ended, and while there were rumors of Overbrook possibly moving its deal to Netflix, given the recent success of “Bright,” sources say Overbrook plans to stay independent. The company remains partnered with Sony on several projects in development including “Harlem Hellfighters” and “Bad Boys For Life,” while also working on “Uptown Saturday Night” at Warner Bros. and “The City That Sailed” at Fox. Overbrook is also a producer on the YouTube Red “Karate Kid” series “Cobra Kai,” which is also a Sony project.

Overbrook and Sony’s relationship goes back nearly 20 years and has led to a slew of hits that have included “Hitch,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Hancock” and “The Karate Kid.” As of late Overbrook’s projects have underwhelmed with “Concussion
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fred J. Koenekamp, Oscar-Winning Dp of ‘The Towering Inferno,’ Dies at 94

Fred J. Koenekamp, Oscar-Winning Dp of ‘The Towering Inferno,’ Dies at 94
Cinematographer Fred J. Koenekamp, who won an Oscar for “The Towering Inferno” and was also nominated for shooting “Patton” and “Islands in the Stream,” died May 31.

His daughter Kathy Guyitt and the American Society of Cinematographers confirmed his death.

Both “Patton” and “Islands in the Stream” were directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, for whom he also shot “Papillon” and later “Yes, Giorgio.”

His work included memorable films of the 1970s such as “Billy Jack,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” “Kansas City Bomber,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” and “The Amityville Horror.”

Koenekamp received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asc in 2005.

He was born in Los Angeles, where his father, Hans F. Koenekamp, was a Hollywood cinematographer and special effects expert. After starting out as a film loader at Rko, he moved up through the ranks and eventually became director of photography for several seasons of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director

Why Sidney Poitier’s ‘Stir Crazy’ Is Still the Most Successful Movie Ever Made By a Black Director
In the history of black filmmaking, “Stir Crazy” is rarely cited as a groundbreaker or an enduring high point. However, Sidney Poitier’s 1980 comedy sold more tickets in North America than “The Fate of the Furious,” or any other film by a black director.

Poitier’s career has included multiple breakout moments. He was the first black lead acting Oscar winner with “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner;” he starred in two blockbuster films in 1967 with “To Sir With Love” (over $300 million, adjusted gross) and “In the Heat of the Night” ($177 million, adjusted gross). He was, more than even Denzel Washington or any other black actor-turned-director, an icon of cinema when he made “Stir Crazy.” And it was this film, more than any other, that found access to all domestic audiences.

That said, it’s a film that doesn’t have the resonance of other historical blockbusters like “Gone With the Wind,
See full article at Indiewire »

Get Out director Jordan Peele signs Universal deal

Kayti Burt May 4, 2017

Jordan Peele has more films on the way, following his superb breakout hit, Get Out...

Jordan Peele has landed a first-look deal with Universal.

The writer/director of Get Out had been courted by several major studios after the massive success of the horror film, which has (thus far) grossed over $172 million on a budget of less than $5 million in the Us alone. But he ultimately went with Universal. Get Out is the highest-grossing debut for a writer-director from an original screenplay in the history of ever. So... that's pretty good.

What does this first-look deal mean for us viewers? In the short term, it means Peele will write, direct, and produce a new social thriller for Universal that is based on another of Peele's original ideas. Past that (according to The Hollywood Reporter), Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions will produce a broad range of films for Universal,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sidney Poitier Turns 90: Inside the Actor, Activist and Diplomat’s Incredible Life

Sidney Poitier Turns 90: Inside the Actor, Activist and Diplomat’s Incredible Life
Legendary filmmaker, activist and human-rights trailblazer Sidney Poitier can now add “nonagenarian” to his list of accomplishments.

The two-time Academy Award winner turned 90 on Monday, and celebrated the milestone with friends and family, including his wife, Joanna Shimkus, whom he married in 1976, as well as six daughters, Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Gina, Anika and Sydney. He also has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Poitier, who made a career out of defying expectations, began his life beating the odds. The actor was born two months premature in Miami in 1927 to a pair of poor immigrant farmers from the Bahamas, and the likelihood
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Blaxploitation Streaming Service Brown Sugar Launches Online

  • The Wrap
Blaxploitation Streaming Service Brown Sugar Launches Online
Brown Sugar, a streaming service featuring classic blaxploitation movies, launched on Thursday. The service is now available for mobile phones and tablets in the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store and for computers at BrownSugar.com. There is a free initial trial period for subscribers with a retail price of $3.99 per month thereafter. Brown Sugar features an extensive library of iconic black movies, all un-edited and commercial-free. Classics available now include: “Foxy Brown,” “Shaft,” “Super Fly,” “Dolemite,” “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Uptown Saturday Night,” “Cooley High,” “Black Caesar,” “Cleopatra Jones,” “Mandingo,” “Car Wash” and many more. Also Read: Could 'Fences' and 'Hidden Figures'.
See full article at The Wrap »

NYC Weekend Watch: ‘News from Home,’ Claire Denis, ‘In the Heat of the Night’ & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

BAMcinématek

Chantal Akerman: Images Between the Images” continues with Night and Day on Friday, News from Home this Saturday, and, on Sunday, Golden Eighties and The Meetings of Anna.

Metrograph

“Welcome to Metrograph: A to Z” offers The Eight-Diagram Pole Fighter on Friday, Deux Fois on Saturday, and, this Sunday, three short films by Julie Dash.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Sidney Poitier to be honoured with BAFTA Fellowship

  • ScreenDaily
Sidney Poitier to be honoured with BAFTA Fellowship
Pioneering actor to receive BAFTA’s highest honour.

BAFTA is to honour Us actor Sidney Poitier with its Fellowship honour at the Ee British Academy Film Awards in London on Feb 14.

Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.

Fellows previously honoured for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese, Alan Parker and Helen Mirren. Mike Leigh received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.

Poitier said: “I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Fellowship and my deep appreciation to the British Academy for the recognition.”

The pioneering actor’s award-winning career includes six BAFTA nominations, including one BAFTA win for The Defiant Ones (1958), and a British Academy Britannia Award for Lifetime
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Two New Women Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault

Two New Women Accuse Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault
The list of women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault grew Thursday, with two new women publicly coming forward in New York City with their stories.

The two accusers join a group of more than 40 women who allege they were drugged and sexually assaulted by the comedian.

Charlotte Fox and "Elizabeth" – who asked that her real name not be used – detailed their allegations against the 78-year-old comedian in a press conference held by civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the alleged victims. The women were also joined in support by another alleged Cosby victim, Sarita Butterfield, who came
See full article at People.com - TV Watch »

BahamasBuzz: Sir Sidney Poitier to Bestow his Name to the Biff's Career Achievement Award

The Bahamas International Film Festival (Biff) has announced that Academy Award® winner and renowned global icon Sir Sidney Poitier has agreed to the naming of the prestigious Career Achievement Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival the “Sir Sidney Poitier Tribute Award.” Biff founder and executive director Leslie Vanderpool made the announcement.

“There is no person on Earth who is better suited to have the Career Achievement Award be named after him,” Vanderpool said. “Poitier is one of the finest actors for generations and is, simply put, an icon and a legend.” The American Film Institute named him among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time.

Poitier stretched his reach within the industry on film and on stage acting in productions such as "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959) and "Lysistrata." For his film role in "The Defiant Ones," Poitier was the first male actor of African descent to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award in 1958. A few years later in 1964, Poitier was the first black person to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a riveting and memorable performance as Homer Smith in Ralph Nelson’s "Lilies of The Field."

Thirty-eight years after receiving the Best Actor award, Poitier received an honorary tribute from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being. In 2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.

A global legend, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1968 and highly respected author, director and “actor’s actor,” with more than fifty films and television shows to his credit, Poitier has starred in some of Hollywood’s most important and biggest films and earned critics’ praise for several commanding performances. Poitier’s reputation solidified with leading roles in mainstream films: "No Way Out" (1950), "Blackboard Jungle" (1955), "The Bedford Incident" and "A Patch Of Blue" (1965). The most successful films that catapulted Poitier’s career in 1967 where, "To Sir with Love," "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" and "In the Heat of the Night."

Directing was not far away from his achievements having a directorial debut with the western "Buck and the Preacher" soon followed by "Uptown Saturday Night," "Let’s Do It Again," "A Piece Of The Action," "Stir Crazy," "Hanky Panky," "Fast Forward’ and ‘Ghost Dad."

From 1995 to 2003, Poitier served as a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company. Proud to represent The Bahamas, Sir Sidney was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan, a position held from 2002 to 2007, while being the Ambassador of The Bahamas to Unesco.

What makes this addition so momentous is that he is a Bahamian who believes in building future generations of filmmakers while honoring the actors and actresses who broke ground, furthermore, upholding their careers with poise. Sir Sidney possesses a true love and appreciation for the people of The Bahamas.

One of the Bahamas International Film Festival’s missions is to ensure youth in The Bahamas have the opportunity to remember Sir Sidney while celebrating the achievements of others within the film industry.

“Leslie Vanderpool’s efforts have been extraordinary in making it possible for The Bahamas to have not only a film festival, but to also attract some of the great film artists and filmmakers from around the world. People like Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Glover, Alan Arkin, Sir Sean Connery, Sophie Okonedo, Lee Daniels, Lenny Kravitz and my own daughter Sydney Tamiia Poitier, who have found, to their great surprise, that the Bahamas is moving swiftly toward a bona fide motion picture community--all of which have been structured by the imaginative young Bahamians who have committed themselves to The Bahamas having a film community of its own,” Poitier said.

Adding to his many achievements, Poitier has published four best sellers "This Life," "The Measure of A Man," "Life Beyond Measure: Letters to my Great-Grand Daughter" and "Montaro Caine." Additionally, he has many talents having recorded an album with the composer Fred Katz called ‘Poitier Meets Plato’ reciting passages from Plato’s writings.

Family is most important for Sir Sidney, He and his wife Joanna Shimkus, a Canadian-born former actress of Lithuanian and Irish descent have two daughters Anika and Sydney Tamiia Poitier. Poitier has four daughters Beverly, Pamela, Sherri and Gina from a previous marriage. In addition to his six daughters, Poitier has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Leslie Vanderpool and Sydney T. Poitier will be instrumental in overseeing the granting of the Sir Sidney Poitier Tribute Awards.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Harry Belafonte & Sidney Poitier on Stage Together. That Should Be Enough, But There's More (Video)

The moment when Sidney Poitier joined him on the stage was magical and moving. I watch and I think about the years of life experiences between the 2, and the countless stories they could tell the rest of us that would probably trump any work of fiction. Maybe it's just the filmmaker in me, but I also immediately imagined both of them on screen, together again. It's been a very long time - "Uptown Saturday Night" I believe was the last film Harry Belafonte and Poitier both appeared in. That was 40 long years ago. And before that, there was "Buck and the Preacher," a favorite of mine, released in 1972.  Granted, both have, we could say, moved on to perform...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Adam McKay Says Uptown Saturday Night Isn’t Happening; The Big Short Is Next But Step Brothers 2 Could Happen in a Few Years

Adam McKay is certainly one of the most talented people working in the comedy genre today, with a career that goes back to his days as head writer on SNL and includes writing and directing evergreen comedies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Recently, though, McKay has shown an ambitiousness that sees him branching out into different avenues. He tackled his first sequel with the absurdly funny Anchorman 2, he worked with collaborator Paul Rudd to rewrite Marvel Studios’ upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, and his next film may seem him taking on dramatic material. Steve recently sat down with McKay in anticipation of the upcoming short film series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, and during the course of their conversation he provided updates on a number of upcoming projects. He revealed that his Uptown Saturday Night remake is not going forward, but said
See full article at Collider.com »

Denzel Washington starts a campaign to be the next James Bond

Denzel Washington starts a campaign to be the next James Bond
It’s a question he’s been asked before: Would you considering being the next James Bond? But while he skirted around the question back in 2012 — saying “it’s too late now” — when a Reddit user posed the question again on Friday during an extensive Ama, he seemed a bit more enthusiastic. In fact, he seemed to get downright giddy at the thought of it, urging everyone to start a “Denzel is Bond” campaign stat.

“The next James Bond? They better hurry up! Yes I would! Who’s doing James Bond now..Daniel Craig! Did they shoot another one? Everybody
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

It’s the Music That Makes the Man: Top 10 Movie Themes for Action-Packed Guys in Film

Every movie has to have its signature song and that certainly goes for the action-oriented males in film that are fortunate to have these finger-snapping tunes represent them on the big screen. The movie theme song indulges the audience and delivers a whole new kind of intrigue and feeling that we invest in the roguish ruffians on the big screen that some men would like to emulate and the ladies would love to cozy up to intimately.

There are music selections that do bring to mind the euphoria of the male action-packed characters we regard highly despite their moral compass. Maybe one can get excitable when hearing Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” tune for the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name? Perhaps any of the musical themes for the countless James Bond films tickle your fancy? (there are two included in this article incidentally). Your preference might be in
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Lee Chamberlin, The Electric Company Star, Dies at 76

Lee Chamberlin, The Electric Company Star, Dies at 76
Lee Chamberlin, an original cast member of the 1970s' PBS children's show The Electric Company, and who then went on to a decades-long acting career on stage and screen, died Monday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, of metastatic cancer, The New York Times reports. She was 76. The actress, who was living in Paris, had been visiting her son Matthew at the time of her death. Chamberlin - who starred on The Electric Company alongside Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno and then-newcomer Morgan Freeman - played the character Vi, who owned a diner and sang duets with Freeman. She left after two
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Lee Chamberlin, The Electric Company Star, Dies at 76

Lee Chamberlin, The Electric Company Star, Dies at 76
Lee Chamberlin, an original cast member of the 1970s' PBS children's show The Electric Company, and who then went on to a decades-long acting career on stage and screen, died Monday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, of metastatic cancer, The New York Times reports. She was 76. The actress, who was living in Paris, had been visiting her son Matthew at the time of her death. Chamberlin - who starred on The Electric Company alongside Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno and then-newcomer Morgan Freeman - played the character Vi, who owned a diner and sang duets with Freeman. She left after two
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Nicholas Stoller Says Uptown Saturday Night Is Still On Its Way

Have you noticed that non-romantic pairings of actors in Hollywood movies in recent years have largely followed the ‘big star/little star’ pattern? Mel Gibson and a young Robert Downey Jr. in Air America, Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett in Hollywood Homicide, Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns – sometimes, it’s almost as if filmmakers are afraid the screen can’t hold more than one megastar at a time. Back in the day, we’d enjoy Robert Redford and Paul Newman together in the frame, or Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby. Now, Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) and Adam McKay (Anchorman) are attempting to re-capture that level of mega-wattage by re-making the 1974 film, Uptown Saturday Night.

Originally written by Richard Wesley – the first screenplay by the successful playwright – Uptown Saturday Night was directed by Sidney Poitier, who also starred in the project alongside Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte. With Poitier and Cosby as two friends,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Nicholas Stoller Talks Adam McKay’s Uptown Saturday Night Remake with Will Smith and Denzel Washington

While filmmaker Nicholas Stoller has been plenty busy with his own films as of late, he’s also been doing excellent work writing for movies that he didn’t direct. Stoller co-wrote the screenplays for both The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted, and he’s currently working on a high-profile Uptown Saturday Night remake that would see the comedic pairing of Denzel Washington and Will Smith under the direction of Anchorman and Step Brothers helmer (and all-around comedy great) Adam McKay. Steve recently spoke with Stoller in ancitipation of his latest directorial effort, Neighbors, and during the course of their conversation, Stoller provided an update on Uptown Saturday Night. He said that everyone seems to be excited about the script, and spoke a bit about what the story entails. Hit the jump to read on. When asked about upcoming project, Stoller said that writing on Uptown Saturday Night is going really well,
See full article at Collider.com »

Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart May Team for Buddy Cop Comedy

While doing press for his upcoming comedy Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, director Nick Stoller revealed that he wants to direct an Untitled Buddy Cop Comedy next (tentatively titled Black and White), which has Seth Rogen and Kevin Hart attached to star. Here's what he had to say about the project in an interview with /Film, where he described the movie as a mix between Baz Luhrmann and Quentin Tarantino, as it centers on the first pairing in history of a white cop and a black cop together.

"The next thing I want to direct is this thing for Seth [Rogen] and Kevin Hart. It's basically about the first white cop black cop pairing in history. That takes place in the late '40s and they have to bust jazz musicians for weed. It's kind of a Baz Luhrman world mixed with Tarantino shit. It's a lot of things.
See full article at MovieWeb »

No ‘Anchorman 3′, Ron Burgundy Goes Gently Into That Good Night

“It’s done. I think that’s it. It was great to do it, and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.” So says Adam McKay, director, co-writer and producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and 2004′s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when asked about a potential third installment. Will Ferrell, along with castmates Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner will make their final run together on the big screen starting today, with an R-rated, extended cut of the most recent theatrical release, with over seven hundred new jokes, which essentially turns this version of the film into a massive comedy stew of scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and a whole lot of improvisational comedy. It’s a seven day run in theaters, and according to McKay, that’s the last new Burgundy you’ll be getting
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »
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