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Chris Meloni’s latest project is pointing him north.
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
The Law & Order: Svu and True Blood vet has landed a lead role in Wgn America’s period drama Underground — which has been ordered straight to series.
The one-hour drama “follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom, aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad,” according to the network. To succeed, they’ll have to “evade »
Excuse us if we go out on a limb here, but something tells us the collective brain trust at The Academy is glad this awards season has mercifully come to an end. After an incredibly diverse 86th Academy Awards ceremony, where "12 Years a Slave" took Best Picture, a Mexican filmmaker won Best Director, Lupita Nyong'o earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and John Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay, the Oscars appeared to take a step back in 2015. It wasn't just that "Selma" was snubbed in a number of major categories. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag became a historical footnote that will haunt the Academy for years (and, trust, it will be back again if the public wills it). But it had more to do with all white nominees in the acting categories than just "Selma" itself. This also brought to light that it was yet another year without a female nominee in the Best Director category, »
- Gregory Ellwood
That’s it. It’s over. A winner has been crowned. Birdman joins the illustrious ranks of Best Picture winners like The Godfather, On the Waterfront, Titanic, and uh, Crash.
With Aljeandro Gonzalez Inarritu's backstage drama taking home the top prize, and claiming additional awards for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography, only time will tell if it is remembered and revered the same way we now look back on The Sound of Music, Gone with the Wind, and Annie Hall. Or, in time, will leave us scratching our heads like the aforementioned Crash, A Beautiful Mind, or Shakespeare in Love whose repeat value and hindsight show that there may have been more deserving winners in those years:Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Saving Private Ryan, Life is Beautiful, Gosford Park and Moulin Rouge all lost out in their respective years.
The Academy Awards have now awarded 87 Best Picture winners. »
- Rachel West
Justin Chang: We don’t always agree, Guy (no two critics ever should), but it’s safe to say we’ve been more simpatico than usual over the course of this very long and happily almost-over awards season. I think we would both argue, for example, that “Foxcatcher” was ridiculously worthy of an Oscar nomination for best picture, and that its failure to nab one seems all the more inexplicable given that Bennett Miller managed to crack the much more competitive directing race. Likewise, I don’t know anyone else who had almost precisely the same reaction and counter-reaction to “Birdman” as I did — an initial thrill that almost completely fell apart on second viewing.
Clearly the industry feels otherwise, if “Birdman’s” presumed Oscar-frontrunner status is to be believed — which I fear it is, even as some of us are still clinging desperately to the hope that “Boyhood” will prevail. »
- Justin Chang and Guy Lodge
Ewan McGregor (Son of a Gun, Moulin Rouge) is set to make his directorial debut this year with an adaptation of Phillip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, American Pastoral with Lakeshore Entertainment. The film, which is set to be released next year, will see McGregor also co-starring alongside Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and Dakota Fanning (Night Moves).
Lakeshore’s CEO Tom Rosenburg said this today after the announcement: “Ewan’s talent goes far beyond his on-screen work and we’re excited to be working with a director who is as passionate as we are about telling the story of American Pastoral.”
“It’s a great privilege to be working with Lakeshore on Phillip Roth’s astounding novel American Pastoral.”, adds McGregor. “I’ve wanted to direct for years and wanted to wait until I found a story that I ‘had’ to tell and in this script I »
- Scott J. Davis
Johansson is set for a busy couple of years, with Avengers: Age of Ultron almost ready for its release in April, while she is also set to squeeze in reprising her role as Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, opposite Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., before taking the lead in the long-awaited live-action version of Ghost in the Shell,
- Scott J. Davis
With the 2015 Oscars coming up this weekend, we go back ten years to see if the 2005 awards still hold up today...
It was during an interview with Mark Kermode that I asked him how long someone really needs to gestate on a film, and come up with a proper review. "About ten years", he said. I get his point. Each awards season, it's about, at best, what feels like the best film right then. Not the one that settles over a period of time, or shows you new things each time you watch it. But the one that you watched once, and affected you once. It's the only way, anyway, I can think of why A Beautiful Mind won a Best Picture Oscar.
This weekend, then, is the Academy Awards once more. And I thought it'd be worth rewinding ten years, to see whether the Academy's choices on February 27th »
After paying in the actor's homeland last winter, Russell Crowe is bringing his directorial debut The Water Diviner to theaters in the United States this spring, and the first trailer for the domestic release has just arrived. Crowe also takes the lead in the period drama as Australian farmer Joshua Connor, who, in 1919, goes in search of his three missing sons, last known to have fought against the Turks in the bloody Battle of Gallipoli. On his journey he encounters many who have come into contact with his sons, played by the likes of Olga Kurylenko and Dylan Georgiades, all who have suffered losses of their own. Watch! Here's the Us Trailer for Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner, originally from Apple: You can still watch the previous Australian trailer for The Water Diviner right here. The Water Diviner is directed by Russell Crowe (star of Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, »
- Ethan Anderton
For all the months of campaigning surrounding Oscars season, this week is the one week that actually counts. Ballots for the final vote went out to Academy members on Friday, February 6, and must be submitted by next Tuesday, February 17. So whatever happened before, it's what's on voters' minds this week that matters.
The two big questions this week are: 1.) Does "Boyhood" or "Birdman" have the edge? and 2.) Which individuals would voters like to see up on the podium thanking their agents, spouses, and higher powers (God, Harvey Weinstein, et al)?
"Boyhood" and "Birdman" have been locked in a tight race for Best Picture for nearly three months. For most of that time, "Boyhood" seemed to have the edge, but its early momentum is now nearly spent. "Birdman" has won the trifecta of the major guild prizes. Last month, it won at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and on Saturday, »
- Gary Susman
Over the past decade, the BAFTAs have become an increasingly accurate barometer for the eventual Oscar winners, with the last six Best Picture winners in a row being pre-empted by an identical BAFTA winner.
But there have been several memorable – and telling – instances in which the two awards bodies have diverged, and often not for the obvious cultural reasons you expect.
It's easy enough to see, for example, why Four Weddings and a Funeral took the top prize at 1995's BAFTAs while Forrest Gump triumphed across the pond, and ditto The Full Monty over Titanic three years later. But the explanation isn't always so clear, and the discrepancy often highlights intriguing differences between Academy and BAFTA members' sensibilities.
Digital Spy looks back on six notable times BAFTA diverged from the Academy path, either for better or for worse.
1. Brokeback Mountain wins Best Film (2006)
Almost a decade on, this still stands as BAFTA's crowning achievement. »
I suppose as long as we are bringing back Astro Boy, there's room for a live-action Robotech movie. I have only seen a few episodes of the series that debuted in the 1980s, but for true fans I’m sure this has to have them more than a little curious. The idea for a big-screen version of the show has been floating around for years with Tobey Maguire attached to produce and possibly star at one point. Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes »
- Graham McMorrow
Always popular with the Academy voters, fully half of the contenders for best picture this year are historical dramas. Four of the eight films vying for the top prize — “Selma,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything” and “American Sniper” — are based on real people and their impact on the world in disciplines ranging from warfare and science to civil rights.
Several also explore the dark undertones of human nature — violence, persecution, discrimination — while some shine a light on the inspirational aspects of their subjects.
“There’s definitely a movement toward inspiring true stories,” says Anthony McCarten, a producer of “The Theory of Everything” who is also nominated for his adapted screenplay about astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. “The pressure you feel is to do it justice. The work has to be in service to the truth.”
Whether the stories are set decades ago or in recent years, filmmakers face challenges in »
- Hillary Atkin
One thing was pretty certain going into Friday night's Ace Eddie Awards ceremony honoring the best in editing: "Boyhood" was an odds-on lock to win the drama prize, and is, as ever, the frontrunner to win the Oscar in the category. So that happened. With "Birdman" tearing up the guild circuit, though, certainly plenty of us had an eye on it coming out on top in the comedy field, despite a lacking Oscar nod. Alas, that didn't happen. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which was nominated for a film editing Oscar, came out on top. Cue more "what does it all mean" dialogue. It doesn't mean that much, though. There used to be a stat some folks would cling to re: Ace's place in the Best Picture build, but "12 Years a Slave" (nor "Gravity," for that matter) didn't win there. "The King's Speech" didn't win there. "No Country for Old Men, »
- Kristopher Tapley
NBC has greenlit a pilot based on the hit 1990 film “Problem Child.”
The comedy follows the cat-and-mouse relationship between a set of parents and their brilliant but mischievous child.
Also read: ‘True Detective’ Villain Cast in NBC’s ‘Hannibal’
Produced by Universal Television, Tbd Entertainment and Imagine TV, the pilot will be written by Scot Armstrong (“Hangover II”) who’s also an executive producer. Bob Simonds, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan and “A Beautiful Mind” producer Brian Grazer will also executive produce.
- Alicia Banks
By Anjelica Oswald
Only one of this year’s adapted screenplay nominees isn’t adapted from a book, and that’s Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, which is adapted from his short film of the same name that took home the jury prize for short film from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The other four adaptations all come from books, three non-fiction and one fiction.
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
The Imitation Game features Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a mathematician and computer science pioneer who, along with his fellow code-breakers, broke the Nazi Enigma code to help end World War II. Though Turing was hailed as a hero, he was eventually arrested and prosecuted for homosexuality, along with 49,000 other British men and women. Turing chose to be chemically castrated rather than face imprisonment, so he could continue his work, and it is believed that he committed suicide a few years later. Queen Elizabeth II posthumously pardoned Turing in 2013.
On Jan. 21, Stephen Fry led a discussion about the The Imitation Game following a screening of the film for BAFTA voters, discussed Queen Elizabeth’s pardon and suggested that the 49,000 persecuted men and women should be as well. Chad Griffin, the president of Human Rights Campaign, which is honoring The Imitation Game at its Human Rights Gala on Jan. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Nothing is ever the same again in Castle Rock after Leland Gaunt shows up and opens his antiques store, Needful Things. There’s something for everyone in Gaunt’s shop, but instead of money, the prices must be paid through devious, deadly deeds. Based on Stephen King’s 1991 novel of the same name, Needful Things (1993) is making its Us Blu-ray debut via Kino Lorber.
Kino Lorber will release Needful Things on Blu-ray this June with a new audio commentary from director Fraser Clarke Heston. Fans of the film no doubt are wondering if this home media release will include the extended TV version that features around an extra hour of footage. Kino Lorber revealed they do not at this time have the rights to the TV version, but they are pursuing them and will keep fans updated on the procuring process.
We’ll keep Daily Dead readers posted on further developments. »
- Derek Anderson
The Lego Movie has earned prizes far beyond an Oscar nomination. But the snub still hurts...
The dust has settled somewhat on last week's Oscar nominations, and as is the norm, controversy has not been in short supply. The more Oscar-friendly films - such as The Imitation Game - have already arguably been over-rewarded, whereas edgy, genuinely brave and daring movies such as Nightcrawler have been all but blocked out. To be fair, that's a surprise to virtually nobody: rarely have the Oscars ventured too far out of a mainstream comfort zone when it comes to giving out main prizes.
Yet the snub this year that's got people talking the most is the bizarre failure to nominate The Lego Movie for a Best Animated Feature Oscar.
It is, to be fair, a fairly staggering omission. For many people, The Lego Movie was the finest animated production of last year; a film bubbling with ideas, »
TCA 2015: Network picks up Lee Daniels’ hop hop soap opera after just two episodes
Fox has given “Empire,” its high-rated hip hop soap opera, a second season after just two episodes, Fox Television Group’s co-chairman and CEO Dana Walden announced during Saturday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.
Created by Lee Daniels (“The Butler”), the show premiered to big numbers for the network. So far, averaging a 5.3 rating by Nielsen, the series has become the No. 1 new series of the season. Following its second episode, it is the only new broadcast drama this season to grow »
- Jethro Nededog
The story that inspired Herman Melville.s Moby Dick was scheduled to hit the big screens in just a few months, on March 13, 2015. The film, entitled In the Heart of the Sea starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Tom Holland looks to be a breathtaking adventure filled with sea, survival, and a massive whale. But, director of the film, Ron Howard decided to push back the release even though the film is ready to go in hopes that a winter date will inspire more people to go to the theaters and see the film. Ron Howard, who has brought us an array of stunning films from Cinderella Man to How the Grinch Stole Christmas to A Beautiful Mind has directed and produced many critically-acclaimed films, so why he wants to change the date of the release is a bit confusing. He told The Hollywood Reporter that the pushback is due »
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