19 items from 2014
Children of the world can rejoice today as their favourite computer game Minecraft is getting a film. First announced by Warner Brothers all the way back in February, many thought (and hoped) that this project had been shelved. Unfortunately this was not the case as news breaks today that the production is very close to signing Shawn Levy on to direct.
Having previously worked on family friendly films Night At The Museum, Cheaper By The Dozen and Reel Steel, it would seem that Levy is the ideal candidate to bring the game to life. Just what the plot of the film will be remains to be shared though the game isn’t exactly action-packed; the game poses no threat of dying and having to start over. The premise of the game is purely to build things, sort of like a virtual Lego.
Minecraft won’t be the only film based »
- Kat Smith
Veteran execs Rich Sullivan and Philip Goore have joined Robert Simonds’ still-unnamed studio, joining a roster that includes former Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and former Disney and Fox exec Oren Aviv.
Sullivan has been named CFO while Goore will serve as exec VP of business and legal affairs for the motion picture group.
Sullivan will report to chief operating officer Thomas McGrath. He most recently served as deputy CFO for Dreamworks Animation Skg, where over the years he served as the head of investor relations and of corporate finance.
Sullivan previously worked as an exec At&T Corp. and for Deutsche BankSecurities as a member of its mergers and acquisitions investment banking group.
The four-month-old studio is led by Simonds with backing from Tpg Growth, »
- Dave McNary
Manuel here with some Steve Martin news.
Did you all hear? Not content with having been pegged for an Honorary Oscar just last year (and a Kennedy Center Honors back in 2007 as well as an American Cinematheque honor in 2004), our favorite silver-haired comedian slash banjo enthusiast has been named the 43rd recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. This past June, they feted Jane Fonda, only the eighth woman to receive the honor, a statistic that would look surprising if it only it weren’t so familiar. Did you know women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films of 2013 while females accounted for 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking characters of said films? No wonder Reese, Gillian, heck even John Cusack, have been so vocal about this issue lately, following Geena Davis’s example. »
- Manuel Betancourt
Steve Martin has been named recipient of the highly prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award to be presented June 4th and aired on TNT and later on sister network TCM. After generally reserving this coveted prize to actors and directors who made their mark in dramatic films this is second time in the past three years that the American Film Institute has decided to lighten things up by giving their award to a person who made their mark in comedy. And it has paid off. Mel Brooks got the honor in 2013 and it resulted not only in a hilarious and memorable evening, it got higher ratings and brought the AFI special its first Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special in August. But Martin is the first recipient who actually started and made their reputation as a stand up comic. And his films beginning with The Jerk and continuing with such modern comedy »
- Pete Hammond
Marketing veteran Jack Pan is the latest hire at Robert Simonds’ new film and television company, joining a collection of studio hands that includes former Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and former Disney and 20th Century Fox exec Oren Aviv.
Pan has served as senior marketing executive at both Disney and Summit Entertainment, helping on the rollout of the “Twilight,” “National Treasure,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Divergent” franchises. He is known for being a pioneer of online marketing, who is credited with helping the “Twilight” films reach their core audience of passionate readers.
As president of marketing at Simonds’ still unnamed studio, he will oversee research and analytics, creative advertising and other forms of promotion. He will report to Aviv and starts at the studio immediately.
Pan previously worked with Aviv at Disney. His hire gives the Simonds team a strong backing in marketing, as both Aviv and Fogelson »
- Brent Lang
Shawn Levy is what happens when someone who has never forgotten what it means to be a boy becomes a dad.
The director of Real Steel, the Night at the Museum movies, and the new bittersweet family comedy This Is Where I Leave You (in theaters now), is an undeniable family guy. The father of four girls, he’s known for making movies about households run amok (2003’s Cheaper By the Dozen) and parents who desperately want an evening away (2010’s Date Night,) as well as fathers who redeem themselves in their kids’ eyes with the help of boxing robots or magical museums. »
- Anthony Breznican
Grayson will join the company at the end of September, and is the latest high-profile hire for the as-yet unnamed company.
His appointment comes less than two weeks after Simonds brought on veteran executive Oren Aviv as the studio’s president and chief content officer. Aviv had been a marketing chief at 20th Century Fox and president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. Earlier this year, Simonds named former Viacom executive Thomas McGrath as the company’s chief operating officer.
The new venture is backed by Tpg Growth; Hony Capital, a private equity firm in China; the business interests of producer Gigi Pritzker through Dns Capital »
- Brent Lang
In terms of Oscar watching, the most anticipated World Premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival debuted Sunday night and it did not disappoint. Focus Features, as expected, has a major contender in The Theory Of Everything, its Stephen Hawking biopic that turns out to be a touching and unusual love story between the young Hawking and his wife Jane. The film is based on her memoir, and Anthony McCarten’s adaptation and first-rate direction by Oscar winner James Marsh (Man On Wire) get it all right. Stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones will both be heading to the Oscars in the lead actor and actress categories, and if the buzz at the Patria afterparty is any indication, they could be going there with front-runner status (although the season is just getting rolling). To say the response here was rapturous would not be understating the enthusiasm I heard »
- Pete Hammond
Sitting shiva makes the heart grow fonder (and the libido rage and the repressed grievances runneth over) in “This Is Where I Leave You,”. Repping a concerted effort by “Night at the Museum” and “Cheaper By the Dozen” helmer Shawn Levy to spread his wings beyond the gilded cage of family-friendly tentpoles, this alternately manic and mawkish adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s 2009 novel aims for “Kramer Vs. Kramer” and “Terms of Endearment” territory and ends up somewhere closer to a Semitic “Home For the Holidays” or “August: Osage County.” But a tremendous ensemble cast gives the pic a significant boost, especially when they’re allowed to act rather than merely act out. Opening wide Sept. 19 following its Toronto Film Festival bow, “This” occupies an increasingly rare space on a major studio’s release slate: a literary adaptation that’s neither tween-centric nor awards bait, but which could generate some modest »
- Scott Foundas
Aviv said the yet-to-be-named studio is getting ready to produce and distribute up to 10 mainstream motion pictures per year in all genres.
“The studio will strategically focus on films in the $20 to $60 million range,” he added. “We can’t wait to bring our first few films into the market next year.”
Simonds had previously hired former Viacom exec Thomas McGrath as its chief operating officer. He’s backed by Tpg Growth; Hony Capital, a private equity firm in China; the business interests of producer Gigi Pritzker through Dns Capital; and the business interests of Beau Wrigley.
The studio’s board includes Frank Biondi, former president and CEO of Viacom; Tony Vinciquerra, former chairman and CEO Fox Networks Group; producer Gigi Pritzker; David Bonderman, founding partner of Tpg; Bill McGlashan, »
- Dave McNary
"I don't make festival-type movies," Shawn Levy freely admits. The 46-year-old producer/director, who lives in Brentwood with his wife, Serena, and their four daughters, ranging in age from 3 to 15, is most closely associated with such family comedies as 2003's Cheaper by the Dozen and effects-driven fantasy films such as the hit Night at the Museum franchise. "And I made a vow early on that I would only attend a film festival if I had a reason to be there," he says. Finally, though, that reason has come along for the Montreal-born
- Gregg Kilday
Covert Affairs and Coyote Ugly star Piper Perabo got married to director Stephen Kay on July 26, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Perabo, 37, and Kay tied the knot in New York City, and this is the first marriage for both. They had announced their engagement in September 2013. Photos Power Couples: At Home and at Work With 11 Hollywood Duos Perabo rose to fame as the star of the 2000 film Coyote Ugly. She has appeared in films such as Looper, The Prestige and Cheaper by the Dozen. Kay is an executive producer and director on USA's Covert Affairs. He
- Ryan Gajewski
As we anticipate a potential Part III, catch up on the major stars' exploits since - and compare how they looked then and now:
Steve Martin - already an established Hollywood name before Father of the Bride - plays hapless patriarch George Banks, who suffers a series of ridiculous misfortunes (and a mild breakdown - the too-plentiful pack of hotdogs springs to mind) after his daughter announces that she's getting married. »
A full length trailer has finally debuted for a project that has been building some buzz ever since it was first announced early in 2013. This Is Where I Leave You is the adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s popular novel of the same name – featuring an all-star dream cast, with Shawn Levy (Night At The Museum) directing from a screenplay penned by the author himself.
The premise of the story is simple enough – a father leaves instructions for his family to spend 7 days together after he passes away – but with a cast like this, you can guarantee things will get complex in a hurry. Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Adam Driver (Girls), Rose Byrne (Bad Neighbors), Corey Stoll (House Of Cards), Kathryn Hahn (Bad Words), Connie Britton (Nashville), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Dax Shephard (Parenthood), and Jane Fonda (The Butler) all star as characters caught up in a web of dysfunction, »
- Sarah Myles
"Required Reading: The ‘Hateful Eight’ Live and Death is Dead" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source.
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Much to love in live reading of Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight” — Betsy Sharkey at the La Times giddily reports from a dead movie resurrected as theater (and which might be re-resurrected as a movie). Apparently a good time was had by all. “Cheaper By the Dozen” — Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker praises Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany »
- Scott Beggs
For the fifth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers (and Geeks) from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival beginning this Thursday, April 10 and running through Sunday, April 13.
Coinciding with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.
TCM recently announced the tribute to Mickey Rooney, who passed away last weekend, will be Sunday, April 13 at 9am with a screening of National Velvet at the Tcl Chinese Multiplex 4. Eddie Muller will speak with Margaret O’Brien and read a poem written by Mickey Rooney, titled “Flesh and Bones” to close the tribute.
Fans of Rooney can watch a full day of his films this Sunday on TCM beginning at 6Am with Broadway To Hollywood. The »
- Melissa Thompson
Ben Stiller is the new museum nightwatchman who finds his shift anything but peaceful when the exhibits come to riotous life. As the night wears on, he finds himself face to face with Owen Wilson's cowboy, President Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and Steve Coogan as a mini Roman centurion with anger management issues. Cheaper By The Dozen director Shawn Levy orchestrates the chaos in one of the biggest fantasy adventure hits of this - and any other - century. »
The partners said they would focused on producing eight to 10 star-driven properties with mid-range budgets and an emphasis on global appeal. The venture vows to sidestep the traditional distribution process in favor of what it described as “unprecedented direct distribution agreements” with exhibitors AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark and Carmike.
“The seismic shifts in the entertainment industry have produced exciting new opportunities in content, production and distribution. Together with our partners, we are creating a studio with the flexibility, global scale, and experience required to seize this opportunity,” said Simonds (pictured), whose recent pics include remakes of “Cheaper By the Dozen” and “The Pink Panther.”
“Star-driven, mid-budget films are an underserved market and with our proven track record in this area, »
- Variety Staff
While ostensibly a family show, The Simpsons has always catered for those who prefer their humour a darker shade of yellow. After all, a running gag about a former children’s entertainer tirelessly plotting to kill a ten year old boy is surely the antithesis of ‘kid-friendly’. In fact, the more time you spend in Springfield, the more you realise just what a sordid little burg it is. It’s a town where corruption creeps like ivy through every corner of power. A town where its young are indifferent, its elderly ignored. A town that lives in constant threat of a nuclear meltdown.
Still, think of the comic potential.
And so this list is a celebration of the show’s more unexpectedly macabre moments (although please note that Treehouse of Horror episodes are excluded here); like the line you can’t quite believe you’ve just heard or the »
- Dan Wakefield
19 items from 2014
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