11 items from 2017
Thea Sharrock: ScreenSlam/YouTube
Thea Sharrock may be following up a tragic romance with a gorilla story. The “Me Before You” director is in talks to helm Disney’s big screen adaptation of Katherine Applegate’s Newbery Medal winner “The One and Only Ivan.” Variety reports that Mike Newell (“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”) was originally attached to the project, but is no longer involved, and Sharrock is being eyed to replace him.
Published in 2011, the book tells the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan, “who is in a cage at a shopping center with an elderly elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob,” the source details. “When a baby elephant arrives, Ivan regains his memories and plans an escape to protect the new elephant from their abusive owner.” The book, illustrated by Patricia Castelao and told from the perspective of Ivan, is based on “the story of a gorilla named Ivan who spent 27 years in a Washington mall before being transferred to an Atlanta zoo.”
Last year’s “Me Before You” marked Sharrock’s feature debut. The film starred “Game of Thrones’” Emilia Clarke as a chronically under- and unemployed woman who accepts a job caring for and offering companionship to a disabled man (Sam Claflin, “The Hunger Games” franchise) despite the fact that she has no experience in the field. The tearjerker grossed over $207 million on a budget of $20 million.
Sharrock, a theater vet whose TV directing credits include “Call the Midwife” and “The Hollow Crown,” has also signed on to helm Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Kiera Cass’ 2012 Ya novel “The Selection.” The plot centers on a woman competing for a prince’s affections. No word on when we can expect either “The Selection” or “The One and Only Ivan.”
In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Sharrock said of women in the industry, “If a woman is the right person for the job, she should get the job, not because she’s a woman but she’s the right person for the job. But I find it staggering that in my career, I have never felt I got a job because I’m a woman. I’ve never approached things with that in my mind, but when you look at the numbers in movies, it’s absolutely staggering.”
Thea Sharrock Being Eyed to Direct “The One and Only Ivan” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Hey, young actors! Now is your chance to be in the band! Broadway’s Tony-nominated “School of Rock” will hold an open casting call for union and nonunion child talent to join its current ensemble. The musical, with a book by Julian Fellowes and score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is casting male and female actors ages 8–12 for five principal roles including guitar-wielding Zack, Freddy the “killer drummer,” and Tomika, the “exasperated” singer with golden pipes. Tara Rubin Casting will hold the call in New York City on March 25. Those hired will be paid a minimum of $1,974/week under an Equity Production (League) Contract. Do you know a child actor who’s got what it takes? Check out the full listing here. And browse more gigs for kids in Backstage’s casting calls, which you can sort by age! Check out Backstage's YouTube channel for auditioning advice just for kids! »
Jack Black made a lot of kids very happy when he recently showed up at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. During his visit, he spent time playing games with patients at their bedsides and talking with their families. The School of Rock star and Tenacious D musician also joined in on a few infants' music therapy sessions, singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Twist and Shout. Children's Hospital Los Angeles is the first and largest pediatric hospital in Southern California. The actor is one of several who have shown their support for the kids during the medical center's second annual Make March Matter™ campaign, a month-long initiative partnering with local businesses across Los Angeles »
Most of the young cast of the U.K.’s School of Rock — The Musical weren’t alive when the Spice Girls released their smash hit, “Wannabe,” in 1996. But that didn’t stop them from jamming out to the hit when former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm a.k.a. Mel C joined them on stage Thursday night at the West End’s New London Theatre for a surprise curtain-call performance.
The visit came just weeks after her former bandmate Mel B unexpectedly burst into a snippet from the hit song during her final performance as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s Chicago. »
- Dave Quinn
You’re in the band! Well, not yet, but today’s casting roundup gives you a shot to get your rocker on. Broadway’s “School of Rock” will hold an open casting call for the leading role of Dewey Finn, plus three more paid gigs below! “School Of Rock” Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes’ Tony-nominated “School of Rock” will hold an open casting call for the leading role of substitute teacher-turned-band-leader Dewey Finn. Talent will be seen Feb. 28 in New York City, with a first performance slated for March. Union and nonunion actors, ages 20–40, are welcomed to audition. Peace Corps, “The Volunteers”Talent is needed for three leading roles in a 60-second PSA calling for Peace Corps volunteers. The spot will shoot late March in New York City and pay $300/day, in addition to 15% agency fee. “Joan”“Joan,” a student film “about a female artist watching her grandfather's funeral online, »
Here at Et, we’re obsessed with a lot of things -- and for the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, this is what we’re most excited about:
Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams was shamefully snubbed for what many consider to be her best performance yet as translator Louise Banks in this film about an alien invasion that pushes humanity to its brink. “It was one of my favorite scripts that I've ever read. It got me right away and it became one of those that I had to do," Adams explained ahead of Arrival’s theatrical release. Of course, the film’s standout performances are not limited to Adams, who shares the screen with Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, both of whom added gravitas to this sci-fi drama.
Arrival debuts on digital HD Tuesday, Jan. 31.[p »
I’ve been coming to the Sundance Film Festival since 1995, and if you asked me to pick the most audacious film I’ve ever seen here, it would probably be “Chuck & Buck,” the thrillingly twisted — but humane! — arrested-development stalker love story written by Mike White and directed by Miguel Arteta. (White also starred in it.) It played here in 2000, and though other films grabbed bigger headlines, it was enough of a landmark that White and Arteta recognized what they’d brought out in each other and decided to team up again. Two years later, they were back with “The Good Girl,” a solid but much safer comedy (it starred Jennifer Aniston). Now, after 15 years, they’ve reunited for “Beatriz at Dinner,” a small-scale but elegantly deft squirmfest that features a luminous performance by Salma Hayek. It also has the distinction of being the first dramatic comedy that’s an explicit »
- Owen Gleiberman
One of those conspicuously talented comics who nonetheless can be tricky to cast, Jack Black has rather surprisingly found some of his best big-screen roles portraying liberally dramatized versions of real people, à la “School of Rock” and “Bernie.” (No, “Drunk History” doesn’t count.) Featuring Black’s most eccentric true-life character yet, “The Polka King” amply plays to its star’s strengths, yielding a hilariously tough-to-believe biopic that should easily prove one of the bigger commercial breakouts of Sundance’s 2017 edition.
Co-directors Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky’s affectionately farcical comedy is based on a loopy 2009 documentary about Jan Lewan, a colorful Polish émigré turned “Polka King of Pennsylvania” turned convicted Ponzi-scheme felon. Perfectly cast down the line, this bizarre tale of the American Dream gone kitschily awry introduces Black’s Jan in 1990, when he’d be well on his way to realizing that dream, if only the finances would cooperate. »
- Dennis Harvey
Catherine Pearson Jan 23, 2017
The world has gone gaga for La La Land and it’s not difficult to see why. We love a good musical number. Sometimes there’s nothing more uplifting than a catchy tune with some fun choreography and other times music is the best, if only, way to depict a character's despair, fear or hope. Music taps into something very primal in us all and can often extract laughter and tears easier than two hours’ worth of dialogue.
Numerous classic musicals have graced the big screen since cinema began, but the 21st century alone has seen some fantastic songs in film. Some considered ‘musical films’ and others ‘films with music’, here are my top picks for this century’s best on-screen musical sequences.
Although the 2016 season in film isn't quite over until the Oscars take place, 2017's newest and most anticipated films are about to usher their way onto the (screen) scene. The Sundance Film Festival has arrived! This year's festival consists of 113 full-length films coming from as many as 31 countries and debuting 36 first-time filmmakers. Those included in the lineup come from a whopping 13,782 submissions, 95 of which will be world premieres. And to save you some trouble (read: countless hours scrolling Rotten Tomatoes), we've rounded up the most eagerly awaited movies you're most likely to hear about postpremiere. How about that for upping your indie culture game? 1. Before I Fall Director: Ry Russo-Young Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Diego Boneta This is a book-to-film adaptation based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver. High schooler Samantha Kingston (Deutch) thinks she has it all, living life amongst her Mean Girls-esque clique, »
- McCall Minnor
This year’s Sundance Film Festival is mere days from unspooling in snowy Park City, Utah and, with it comes a brand new year of indie filmmaking to get excited about. As ever, the annual festival is playing home to dozens of feature films, short offerings and technologically-influenced experiences, and while there’s plenty to anticipate seeing, we’ve waded through the lineup to pick out the ones we’re most looking forward to checking out.
From returning filmmakers like Alex Ross Perry and Gillian Robesepierre to a handful of long-gestating passion projects and at least one film about a ghost, we’ve got a little something for every stripe of film fan.
Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts
Ahead, check out 20 titles we’re excited to finally check out at this year’s festival.
The trifecta behind previous Sundance »
- Chris O'Falt, Eric Kohn, Graham Winfrey, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Steve Greene and Zack Sharf
11 items from 2017
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