15 items from 2015
The Sundance Film Festival is in full swing over in Utah, and a whole host of films have had their premieres in the variety of showcases across the festival. As ever, many of the films have had distributors clamouring over each other to purchase the distribution rights and a lucky few have been successfully picked up for cinema or VOD release.
Starring Jack Black (School of Rock) and James Marsden (The Best of Me), The D Train is close to being acquired by IFC Films. Variety reports that the comedy, directed by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, sees Black star as an insecure guy heading preparations for his 20th high school reunion, and takes to befriending the most popular guy in his class (Marsden) in order to boost the profile of both the reunion and his own life.
The deal for the film, set to be over in the seven-figure range, »
- Scott J. Davis
Most Richard Linklater fans can tell you which film – and sometimes which scene – ignited their enthusiasm for the director, whether it was 1991’s influential indie Slacker, 1993’s high-school classic Dazed and Confused or 2003’s comedy School of Rock.
But, it all began with Before Sunrise.
Released 20 years ago this week, Before Sunrise boasted fresh-faced actors and a swoon-worthy premise: An American man (Ethan Hawke) meets a French woman (Julie Delpy) on a train, and they spend one magical evening together in Vienna. That alone was enough to attract my 17-year-old self to the theater, as was the case with many of my peers.
News: Julie & Ethan Reunite 'Before Midnight'
The true magic of Before Sunrise, however, lies beyond the picturesque scenery and smitten gazes. Building upon his gift for crafting relatable and engrossing conversation, Linklater’s characters feel fully formed, discussing everything from philosophy and religion to love and their hopes for the future.
Jack Black has discussed the difficulties of making an independent film, saying it is "a miracle if you can".
The actor and producer is currently promoting his new film The D Train - which he produced and stars in - at the Sundance Festival, and spoke to Deadline about the struggles of an independent film.
"As a producer when you're doing an indie film, it's all just about getting the film made, because it's a miracle if you can," he said. "If you can scrape the money together that's the first hurdle.
"That's the hardest hurdle really because it's a tough investment. It's tough to get even billionaires to part with a couple of their millions to make a movie."
Black, who is known for his roles in Hollywood movies King Kong and School of Rock, added that he thinks the growth of high-quality television has played a part in making film production more difficult. »
One noticeable consequence of this current golden age of television is that you’re no longer seeing the success of a show measured by how likely it is to get an awkwardly cobbled together payday at the cinema. Instead the best shows are staying on your screens at home, and it’s movies that are looking to make the leap across the artistic divide.
While the very mention of the film-to-tv spin off invokes horrible flashbacks to My Big Fat Greek Life and The Young Indiana Jones, the adaptation of the Coen Brothers dark comedy Fargo proved two important things. Firstly that any movie can make the transition into the world of television so long as there’s a strong enough idea at its heart and the writing’s good enough, and, secondly, that you should never run across an icy lake in heavy boots.
But what next? »
- Adam Clery
Last night, we saw Richard Linklater win Best Director and Best Picture for his movie Boyhood along with Patricia Arquette picking up a trophy for her role in the film. This also gave an opportunity to see several of Linklater's prior collaborators applaud the director they have come to know and admire. Jack Black (School Of Rock, Bernie) was there as was Dazed And Confused veteran Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey, in the middle of a resurgence in his career, was smiling from ear to ear at »
- Alex Maidy
The Voice UK is back - and the coaches aren't messing about. Well, they are - from Rita's flirting to will.i.am's babbling about steak - but even so, in just one episode, six acts made it through to the battle rounds after wowing with their blind auditions.
Read on to see how we ranked the first episode's blind auditions - and then let us know who you enjoyed by voting in our poll and leaving your comments below!
1. Lucy O'Byrne
'Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana' - Katherine Jenkins
Lucy won bonus points from us pretty early on, when she revealed her Nana Rose had got a passport specifically so she could fly to London for her audition (which is just adorable). And we couldn't help but love the ridiculous Vt, which saw her drop her coat when she got to a West End theatre to reveal an usher's outfit. »
Fox has handed out the first pilot order of the season today for a TV series based on Steven Spielberg's 2002 sci-fi feature Minority Report. We first reported on the project back in September, when Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment hired Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein to write the pilot script. Kevin Falls has signed on to serve as the showrunner and executive produce alongside Steven Spielberg, Max Borenstein and Amblin TV's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
The original film Minority Report centered on the Precrime unit in Washington D.C., where three "precogs" can see crimes before they are committed. Tom Cruise starred as John Anderton, who leads the Precrime unit before one of the precogs sees him committing a murder, as Anderton goes on the lam to clear his name. The series will be set 10 years after the end of Precrime in D.C., where one of the Precogs »
Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is easily 2014’s Specialty Release box office champion. The film outpaced second ranked St. Vincent by just over $16M. In all, the 2014 Specialty Top 10 amounted to over $277.6 million, about 10% greater than last year’s $249.2M-plus Top 10 total, which included titles Instructions Not Included, Oscar-winner 12 Years A Slave and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. As with all the films surveyed here, the numbers reflect theatrical grosses and do not take into account VOD/digital, which remain state secrets for the most part for a huge swath of distributors. RADiUS did reveal some of their on-demand numbers in 2014, while Sony has been forthcoming with its recent digital roll out of its controversial The Interview. The term “specialty release” can be a slippery slope, but for this article, titles considered were in limited release for a significant period during their launch.
Wes Anderson’s title was »
- Brian Brooks
“My ideas were all over the place,” he said in an appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “An Evening with Richard Linklater,” sponsored by Film Independent.
The writer-director, who already had “Dazed and Confused” and “Before Sunrise” under his belt at that point, recalled in a conversation with Film Independent programmer Elvis Mitchell that back in 2002, he was baffled as far as how to approach the “Boyhood” narrative structure — so much so, that he was instead embarking on writing a novel.
“I just didn’t ‘have’ the film, and I had pretty much given up on it,” Linklater said. “And just as my fingers hit the keyboard, the whole film popped into my head — proving that I’m not a novelist, »
- Dave McNary
There's surely no better place than an IMAX screen to watch a story about a 700-foot-high wall.
But the announcement this week that the two most recent "Game of Thrones" episodes (the epic ice battle episode "The Watchers on the Wall" and the shocking Season 4 finale "The Children") and a Season 5 trailer are coming to IMAX screens on Jan. 23 brings to mind another wall under assault -- the increasingly academic wall between movies and TV.
Granted, it makes sense for HBO to give theatergoers a healthy helping of its popular swords-and-skin fantasy series. After all, as large as George R.R. Martin's saga looms in pop culture chatter, there's still a majority of Americans who don't subscribe to the premium cable channel and haven't seen the show. The IMAX event is a good way to mobilize both newbies and longtime fans and to get both groups primed for this spring's new season. »
- Gary Susman
Nickelodeon has ordered a 13-episode adaptation of the 2003 film, while it will also be adapted into a Broadway musical under the guidance of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, Black said: "School of Rock is cropping up in the strangest places, on Nickelodeon and on Broadway with Andrew Lloyd Webber. And I have nothing to do with any of them.
"It's kind of like one of my kids grew up and did things without my approval."
Asked whether he will be involved with the projects in any capacity, he replied: "No, my plate's pretty full. I don't like looking back. I only look forward."
Last month, it was announced that the School of Rock musical will open at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre in November.
Watch Jack Black in a scene »
Jack Black is making is rounds for his HBO TV series, but he is not a fan of Nickelodeon right now. The star of School of Rock is upset that they will be turning it to a TV series. This is on top of Andrew Webber turned it into a musical. Jack said that he finds it all weird and betrayed as he never wanted this for the film. Here is what he all had to say when asked about it at Television Critics Association press tour.
School of Rock is cropping up in the strangest places, on Nickelodeon and on Broadway with Andrew Lloyd Webber. And I have nothing to do with any of them, It’s kind of like one of my kids grew up and did things without my approval. (on appearing)No, my plate’s pretty full. I don’t like looking back. I only look forward. »
- Sarah Peel
When School of Rock begins its first day on the small screen, might the original Dewey Finn make a cameo appearance?
Not so fast, says Jack Black, star of the 2003 film comedy.
In August, Nickelodeon ordered a 13-episode adaptation of the Paramount Pictures flick, which starred Black as a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious private school.
But according to Black, there are no immediate plans for him to work on — let alone appear in — the small-screen adaptation.
The entertainment industry is constantly changing, and it's important to stay aware of what’s going on. Want to find out who’s casting? What projects are happening? What’s coming up? Call Sheet highlights will help you stay in-the-know: “School of Rock,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical adaptation of the Jack Black career-making film, has found its venue and it’s headed straight for Broadway. The Shuberts’ Winter Garden Theatre will welcome the production starting Dec. 6. Former casting associate Caitlin Jones has been upped to casting director at Liz Lewis Casting Partners. John Travolta has landed the role of lawyer Robert Shapiro in Ryan Murphy’s new FX series “American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.” Production is scheduled to start early this year in Los Angeles. The hotly publicized “Steve Jobs” biopic has deemed San Francisco its primary filming location. Shooting is tentatively scheduled to begin on Jan. »
We might have mentioned it, but The Voice UK begins this Saturday and we're very excited indeed. We've actually had a sneak peek at some of the blind auditions, too, and now we're bringing you some cheeky spoilers about what you can expect this weekend...
We've got info on who the acts are and what they'll be singing - although don't worry, we won't tell you if they get any of those chairs spinning in excitement. But if you want to know more about what's coming up, then read on for pictures and gossip...
Letitia George - 24, Coventry
Song: 'Stay with Me' - Sam Smith
What you need to know: Letitia auditioned for the West End production of The Lion King two »
15 items from 2015
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