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Bart & Fleming: On ‘Birdman,’ Sony PR Tsuris, Mike Nichols And Bill Cosby

23 November 2014 12:26 PM, PST | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. 

Bart: Critics don’t like to admit it, but the conditions under which you see a film strongly influence your opinion. Birdman is a good example: If you see a film like this with a pack of cinephiles like at Telluride, everyone gets every inside joke, and you instinctively go along with the crowd. I made it a point to see Birdman with a paid civilian audience and it was like screening it in a mausoleum. No laughs, just occasional grunts and lots of walkouts. Some reviews predicted Birdman “will captivate arthouse and multiplex crowds alike and send awards pundits into orbit” (the Variety review). Well that ain’t happening with the audiences; we’ll see about the awards. »

- Mike Fleming Jr

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Tiny Island Malta Hosts Big Productions

6 November 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

When oscar-nominated director paul greengrass wanted “an authentic ocean experience and look” for his hijack hostage thriller “Captain Phillips” (pictured), he headed to the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, joining a long list of top helmers and high-profile productions that have filmed here. Among them: Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”), Angelina Jolie (“By the Sea”), Steven Spielberg (“Munich”), Wolfgang Petersen (“Troy”) and Marc Forster (“World War Z”).

Highly competitive incentives are part of the appeal. The Malta Film Commission offers a cash rebate of up to 27% on all eligible expenses incurred in Malta; 25% is available for all eligible productions, while an additional 2% is given to productions that shoot Malta as Malta. Value added tax, currently 18%, is fully refundable.

Its Mediterranean location, authentic architecture and stark landscapes are also part of Malta’s appeal for productions ranging from swords-and-sandals epics to war movies. “Malta is able to double as myriad classical and historical periods, »

- Iain Blair

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10 Amazing Unmade Steven Spielberg Films

1 November 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Paramount Pictures

Is there a more versatile, driven and inventive director working in Hollywood today than Steven Spielberg? If you said Nicolas Winding Refn then you’d be right, but there’s no way you could entertain both your mother, your baby nephew and your rebellious cousin at the same time with Only God Forgives. Spielberg’s CV, meanwhile, features movies that run the gamut from kid-friendly adventure (Tintin) to serious adult drama (Munich) to whatever The Terminal is.

Over his long career has rarely gone a couple of years without putting something out, in that time begin responsible for inventing the modern blockbuster; creating the Indiana Jones franchise; revolutionising special effects; making the best Philip K Dick adaptation since Blade Runner; and creating an intensely powerful film about the holocaust.

With the rate he gets through them, you wonder if he has time for anything else. Apparently he does, »

- Tom Baker

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Ricky Gervais, Eric Bana: ‘Special Correspondents’

31 October 2014 8:06 AM, PDT | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

Ricky Gervais has set Eric Bana to help him bring that Golden Globes cynicism to a movie about journalism. They’ll star in Special Correspondents, a satirical comedy that Gervais wrote and will direct next spring. Bana will play a struggling New York based radio journalist whose arrogance and decadent lifestyle has hindered his career. With his job on the line he fakes front line war reports from the comfort of his hideout above a Spanish restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. Pic’s a co-production between Bron Studios and Unanimous Entertainment in association with Creative Wealth Media Finance and they’ll sell at Afm. Unanimous’ Chris Coen, Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, and Manuel Munz will produce. Creative Wealth’s Jason Cloth and Larry Sanisky are executive producers. Wme Global’s selling domestic; Protagonist is dealing international.

Bana will do it after wrapping The Finest Hours at Disney. While »

- Mike Fleming Jr

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Oscar Bait: Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' spy thriller begins production

6 October 2014 11:05 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Why don't we talk about Steven Spielberg's "Munich" more? Flipping his sentimentalist reputation the bird, the docudramatized look inside Mossad's covert retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization is unmercifully tense and morally complicated to the point of inducing anxiety attacks. "Munich" is weaponized blockbuster filmmaking — and it sounds like Spielberg's antsy to return to the style. Perhaps praise for the 2006 Best Picture-nominee will resurface next October, when Spielberg adds another notch to his thriller belt with a Cold War drama starring "Catch Me If You Can" star Tom Hanks. Dreamworks and Walt Disney Pictures announced today that principal photography has begun on the currently untitled film, which costars Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Shooting around New York and Berlin, the film tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney thrust into Cold War chaos when the CIA recruits him for a "near-impossible mission to negotiate the »

- Matt Patches

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Steven Spielberg's Cinematographer Says Indiana Jones 5 is His Next Film

2 October 2014 4:00 AM, PDT | WorstPreviews.com | See recent Worst Previews news »

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski works on about one film per year and has collaborated with Steven Spielberg on over a dozen films, including "Schindler's List," "War of the Worlds," "Munich," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and "Lincoln." He recently completed work on Robert Downey Jr's "The Judge" and is already planning something for 2015. In an interview with Variety, he revealed that his next movie will be a re-teaming with Spielberg for "Indiana Jones 5." We've heard of lots of hints that "Indiana Jones 5" is moving forward, but mostly from crew members and leaked schedules. But now that Kaminski has confirmed the project, it's only a matter of time before filming begins. »

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Race producers plan to re-team

1 October 2014 7:05 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Four producers on Stephen HopkinsJesse Owens biopic Race have joined forces to produce English-language features in the future for the international market.

Jean-Charles Lévy, sports entrepreneur Luc Dayan, Karsten Brünig and Thierry Potok are partners in the Berlin-based production house Trinity Race GmbH, which has served as the German producer on Race.

The film wraps principal photography in the German capital’s historic Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Stephan James plays Owens.

Trinity’s partners on the $31.6m German-Canadian co-production are Lévy’s Forecast Pictures, Dayan’s ID+, Kate Garwood and Hopkins’ Totally Commercial Films, and Canadian producers Louis-Philippe Rochon and Dominique Séguin of Solofilms.

David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international distribution and now only has sales deal pending for Japan, France and the UK. Square One Entertainment will distribute theatrically in Germany and eOne in Canada. Focus Features will release the film in the Us.

“Originally, it had been »

- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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'Forrest Gump' and 'Benjamin Button' Screenwriter Eric Roth Talks About His Writing Process

24 September 2014 10:25 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The Academy has been releasing a series of Academy Originals for quite some time now and they are varying degrees of interesting, and this latest installment, sitting down with screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) I found particularly interesting, perhaps if only because he tells us he uses a piece of screenwriting software that still requires Dos and there's only enough memory for 40 pages. He likes the limits of the program, however, saying, "I like it because it makes you make acts. If I haven't said it in 40 pages, I'm starting to get into trouble, you knowc" Once he's done, he sends the studio a hard copy of the screenplay, which they have to scan into their computers. I also liked his approach to writer's block, which he says he combats by simply doing something as easy as changing the weather in a scene, which »

- Brad Brevet

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Universal Changes Course On International Stewardship; Duncan Clark To Head Ops From London

22 September 2014 2:29 PM, PDT | Deadline New York | See recent Deadline New York news »

A few months after Universal announced a restructure of its international operations that intended to see a then-unnamed head of international theatrical operations located in Los Angeles, the studio has decided to keep the point person for overseas in London. Duncan Clark, who has been President of Distribution for Universal Pictures International since June 2011, will expand his role to lead the international team from his current perch in the British capital.

The announcement regarding Clark, who was named International Distributor of the Year at CineEurope in June, was made at an internal worldwide summit of Universal marketing and distribution execs in L.A. this morning (read the memo below). The move follows closely on the heels of Friday’s appointment of Universal Evp Worldwide Acquisitions Peter Kujawski to the newly created position of Director of Universal Pictures International Productions. It also follows Josh Goldstine’s May promotion to President of Worldwide Marketing. »

- Nancy Tartaglione

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'Forrest Gump' screenwriter Eric Roth uses a Dos program to write scripts

22 September 2014 10:46 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

AMPAS' Academy Originals series continues to be not just a dynamic peek behind the creative process for filmmakers and actors, but a nice look into what makes inspires some of the most gifted individuals working in the sphere, what makes them tick, and screenwriter Eric Roth is a great subject. I've known Roth for close to 10 years now. He's a fascinating writer to me, and reading his work on the page can be exhilarating. He has such a way with painting a picture for you, navigating the waters of a screenwriting format that can often be unbending, rigid and dry by its very nature. Roth is also rather old school. He writes his script in a Dos program without any access to the internet while he's fleshing out his work. It eliminates distraction (not that Eric's surfing Twitter at any given moment), but it also keeps the script from leaking out or anything. »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Angelina Jolie to Next Direct Africa

20 September 2014 2:54 AM, PDT | WorstPreviews.com | See recent Worst Previews news »

Angelina Jolie has been focusing more on directing than acting recently. She will release "Unbroken" this Christmas and is currently filming "By the Sea" with Brad Pitt. And now comes word that she found her next directing project. The new movie is called "Africa" and is based on a screenplay by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, Munich) about paleo-archaeologist Richard Leakey's battle with ivory poachers that threaten the existence of the African elephant population and the very soul of Africa. "I've felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life," said Jolie. "And was taken with Eric's beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man's footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him." »

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Watch: 15-Minute Talk with Richard Leakey, Angelina Jolie To Direct Biopic 'Africa' About Conservationist's Life

19 September 2014 11:37 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

She tackled the Bosnian war in her feature debut, "In The Land Of Blood And Honey," this holiday season she tells the WWII survival story "Unbroken," and now Angelina Jolie has lined up yet another directorial project, based on another true-life topic. With a script by Eric Roth ("Ali," "Munich," "The Good Shepherd"), Jolie is set to helm the biopic "Africa" based on the life of Kenyan Richard Leakey. Coming from a line of archaeologists, Leakey turned his attentions to paleontology and most famously to conversation efforts. He became the crucial face of the anti-poaching movement, working to save endangered African wildlife, but it also found him making enemies with those either within the illegal trade, or who couldn't handle his brusque manner. A fascinating subject to be sure, but this one is likely a bit of a way off. Jolie is currently helming "By The Sea" co-starring her husband Brad Pitt (first look. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Angelina Jolie Wants to Make a Movie About Elephant Poaching

19 September 2014 7:20 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Angelina Jolie isn't giving up the director's chair any time soon. The multihyphenate just tossed another high-profile project onto her to-do pile, and it's serious business. "Africa" is about paleoanthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey's fight against ivory poachers in the '80s.

When Leakey was the chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service, the organization was given "presidential permission to shoot poachers on sight," which made Leakey a target himself. "When I was head of the Kenya Wildlife Service I had five bodyguards, night and day, 24/7," he told Newsweek. "And I needed them. There were many, shall we say, interesting incidents." Screenwriter Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for "Forrest Gump" and nominations for "The Insider," "Munich," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," will pen the script.

Of course, Jolie's got plenty to do before tackling "Africa." Her next film, "Unbroken," is a prestige picture about the life of »

- Jenni Miller

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10 Fun Facts about The Neverending Story

9 September 2014 12:00 PM, PDT | GeekTyrant | See recent GeekTyrant news »

The Neverending Story is a movie that I grew up loving, and I recently realized that I've never really heard any stories about the film's development. Usually when a person spends as much time online as I do, you come across all kinds of interesting facts and trivia about the movies we love, but this isn't one of them. I haven't come across much about this movie, so I thought I'd point out a few fun facts that you maybe haven't heard before. The only bit of trivia I knew about it before I looked up this stuff was the first bit of information below:

During the first Ivory Tower scene when the group of Fantasians are gathered together, if you look very closely you will see characters such as Yoda, Mickey Mouse, Chewbacca, C3PO, The Ewoks, Et and Gumby. Here's a photo pointing them out: The original Auryn »

- Joey Paur

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Directors' Trademarks: Steven Spielberg

26 August 2014 5:30 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Directors’ Trademarx is back! At least once a month, Cinelinx will chose one director for an in-depth examination of the “signatures” that they leave behind in their work. To kick things off again, we examine the trademark style and calling signs of Steven Spielberg as director.

No director is as well known, nor has had as much success in Hollywood as Steven Spielberg. He invented a style of filmmaking that audiences ate up in the 1980’s, single-handedly invented the modern blockbuster, and was influential in helping George Lucas make Star Wars. From a young age, Spielberg was fascinated by theater and film. In his teens, he used an 8mm camera to film movies with his friends. Later, he became an intern at Universal Studios, and the rest is history. 

Spielberg’s career started small. First he directed segments of TV shows, and then later entire episodes. His success convinced the »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (G.S. Perno)

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James Garner: In His Own Words on The Notebook, Maverick and More

21 July 2014 5:00 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

"There are few people on this planet I have adored as much as Jimmy Garner," Sally Field said of her costar in the 1985 movie Murphy's Romance. "He was a diamond." Tom Selleck paid tribute to Garner, who died Saturday night at age 86, by saying, "Jim was a mentor to me and a friend, and I will miss him." In his own words, Garner - who first rose to prominence on the '50s TV Western Maverick and whose star continued to burn bright on the '70s series The Rockford Files - sat down with People in 2005 to reminisce on »

- Jeff Nelson and Stephen M. Silverman

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Box Office: Lessons From a Weak July 4th Weekend

7 July 2014 6:30 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

1. Somebody really likes "Transformers." For a smash hit film series, Michael Bay's giant-robot franchise gets awfully little love, at least in public. It's like porn; everyone claims to find it loathsome, but in secret, someone is watching it and making it a huge success. Last week, of course, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" cruised easily to No. 1 because no other wide release film was willing to challenge it. This weekend, it faced three new wide release challengers and still came out far ahead of all of them. It lost 64 percent of last week's business and still grossed an estimated $36.4 million, more than $15 million ahead of its nearest rival, and enough for a ten-day total of $174.7 million. If everyone hates these movies so much, who are the 22 million people who've already paid good money to see the fourth installment? Show of hands, please, and don't be shy.

2. Eric Bana is not a movie star. »

- Gary Susman

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'Deliver Us From Evil' Review: Is It Scary or What?

2 July 2014 7:45 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

"Deliver Us From Evil" is the latest in a long line of "inspired by true events" horror films.

This tale of cops, criminals, and swarthy, renegade priests opens this week to try and scare up some summer box-office business.

So who is this Scott Derrickson guy?

Derrickson is a genre director perhaps best-known for his other true story, religo-horror film, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." He's beloved by many horror fans thanks in part to a very open and engaging presence on social media. His 2012 film "Sinister" did fantastically well at the box office, turning a $3M budget into an almost $90M take.

Derrickson has also written several screenplays, including "Devil's Knot" for Canada's Atom Egoyan. He's also recently been picked by Marvel to tackle one of the more challenging characters in their canon, set to write and direct the "Dr. Strange" film for the megastudio.

Is this really a true story? »

- Jason Gorber

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'Deliver Us From Evil' Review: 10 Things You Should Know About the Eric Bana Horrorfest

2 July 2014 4:00 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

"Deliver Us From Evil" is the latest sweaty summer offering from Scott Derrickson, the co-writer/director of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Sinister." Eric Bana stars as Ralph Sarchie, a special ops police officer in one of the most dangerous precincts in Manhattan. Sarchie and his partner (played by Joel McHale) are used to seeing the worst that humans can do to each other, but some of the crimes on their beat have a supernatural flavor to them. Enter Father Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez), a priest who smokes and drinks and performs exorcisms. Sarchie's no believer, but when things start going bump in his house -- and threatening his wife (Olivia Munn) and child -- that's another story.

Derrickson and co-writer Paul Harris Boardman were inspired by the real Ralph Sarchie's tales of supernatural stuff he saw during his career as a NYPD, as detailed in his book "Beware the Night. »

- Jenni Miller

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Watch: 50-Minute Retrospective on The Films of Steven Spielberg

1 July 2014 10:27 AM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

The next couple years will be very busy for Steven Spielberg as he's tackling a Cold War thriller that will reunite him with Tom Hanks and an adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Bfg, with the films being dated for release in 2015 and 2016 respectively. For those who have been a fan of the iconic filmmaker for decades, it's always nice to take an extended look back at the impressive and varying work of the director of films like Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Munich, Duel, Minority Report and more. And we have an awesome, lengthy 50-minute tribute to Speilberg's work below. Watch! Here's the 50-minute retrospective on the film's of Steven Spielberg (via The Playlist): This tribute couldn't come at a better time either since Universal just announced the Steven Spielberg Director's Collection, a box set of the director's films made at the studio which »

- Ethan Anderton

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