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Ken Watanabe has been diagnosed with early-stage stomach cancer, his rep confirms to People. The Tony-winning actor has been forced to delay his return to Broadway's The King and I while he focuses on his health, as first reported by Kyodo News Service. The cancer was detected during a routine checkup and the actor has already undergone an endoscopic surgery and is recovering in a hospital located in Japan. "I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed," said Watanabe in a statement on Tuesday. The Japanese actor, »
- Jodi Guglielmi, @JodiGug3
U.S. regulators have given the thumbs up to the $3.5 billion deal that will see China’s Dalian Wanda Group acquire a majority stake in Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment. The deal, initially announced last month, marks the biggest acquisition yet by a Chinese company of an American media player. Legendary Entertainment is the production company behind Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong. The U.S. dept of Commerce has now given its greenlight for… »
While we've heard some character names bandied about for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we have no confirmation as to whom anyone of the ensemble cast is playing. Today, we have some inside intel on this first Star Wars spinoff, which reportedly gives us a full character profile on the role being played by Forest Whitaker. And he sounds like a very interesting guy.
Suffice it to say, the rest of this story does contain some Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. So read on with caution. At first glance, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn't really fit in with anything else Forest Whitaker has done in his career. He's a more serious actor who doesn't usually gravitate to franchise fare. But perhaps he's arrived here due to the fact that the characters in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are pretty solid, and all a »
Thanks to that first awesome image of our Rebel heroes assembled, we know what several of the main characters from Godzilla director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will look like in the movie, but we still don’t know a single thing about any of them. Of course, we know even less about the characters that weren’t pictured, and right at the top of that list is whoever Forest Whitaker is playing.
The veteran Last King of Scotland actor has yet to speak about his role in any capacity to the press or media, so we’ve never even had any hints to go on – but now we might just have some juicy details thanks to Making Star Wars, who reckon they’ve come across some info on the character’s appearance and affiliations.
It appears he has one leg and uses a cane as a crutch to walk. »
- Mark Cassidy
Just before we rang in the new year, production on the first Star Wars spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wrapped. Now the long wait begins for the first footage. A rumor surfaced earlier this month that the first official trailer will debut in theaters with Captain America: Civil War, but even if that's true, we still have a few months before we get our first look at this anticipated adventure. Thankfully, Entertainment Weekly spotted a number of photos featuring the official costumes from this spinoff, which have surfaced from the Nuremberg Toy Fair.
Unfortunately, these photos don't reveal much about the actual story itself. Rogue One is set between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, centering on a group of Rebels who hatch a mission to steal the original Death Star plans. There have been rumors »
A missed opportunity to tell what should be a captivating real-life disaster tale that is instead plodding, scattershot, and lacking in dramatic impetus. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
In 2010, as you may recall from the news, 33 men were trapped thousands of feet underground when the Chilean gold mine they were working in collapsed. They had minimal supplies, and, at first, no way of even letting those aboveground know that they were still alive. When they finally emerged 69 days later, it was the result of a global effort, and was seen on TV around the planet by more than a billion people. Basically, it’s The Martian times 33, except real. So it’s a shame that The 33 is a missed opportunity to tell what should be a »
- MaryAnn Johanson
There are stories about what will happen. They may be true. They may be complete rubbish; a million voices crying out utter bulls*it.
Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there were A Lot of rumours. Some of them hit like Luke Skywalker firing at the Death Star (see: Han Solo dying); some were close to the mark (Kylo Ren and Rey being siblings); and others had all the accuracy of a Stormtrooper who’s just banged his head (the vast majority of Luke theories).
However, like the Empire and planet destroying weapons, the internet is definitely trying again. The Force Awakens may have been the most hyped film of all time, but it’s really just the beginning. It has reignited the saga, and now there’s going to be a new Star Wars movie every year until the Earth dies (or at least 2019).
There’s the standalone »
- James Hunt
Production continues on the next Star Wars adventure, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This is the one that's going to be set just before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, and that Godzilla's Gareth Edwards is directing.
The screenplay for the movie was originally penned by Gary Whitta, and then Chris Weitz was brought onto the project when he left the film. But it seems as though further help was sought towards the end of last year, as it's being reported that early into production, Christopher McQuarrie came in to do some tuning on the screenplay.
McQuarrie has worked as a script doctor of course for a long time, in addition to penning his own screenplays (The Usual Suspects) and directing movies (Mission: Impossible - »
Here’s our primer on all the upcoming Star Wars movies, including Rogue One and Episode VIII…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently making short work of the worldwide box office. Despite the fact that said Jj Abrams film hasn’t event left cinemas yet, Lucasfilm and Disney are already working on its follow-up and a whole host of other Star Wars movies (namely a handful of spin-offs that will expand on the story of the main saga).
As with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney’s plan here is to squeeze as Star Wars movie into cinemas every year. Here’s when UK audiences can expect all the of them…
16th December 2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
So, Lucasfilm and Disney are setting their Star Wars stall out in a similar way to Marvel Cinematic Universe. Akin to the Avengers films, there’ll be the main event ‘Episode’ movies like The Force Awakens at regular intervals, but we’ll also get standalone films in between.
These have been dubbed the ‘Story’ films, the first of which is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This film, directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards will take us back to the period of time between the first two trilogies to show us how the Rebels nabbed the Death Star Plans. There’s also a lot hype surrounding the upcoming Han Solo movie, which Lawrence Kasdan is writing for Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct.
But beyond that, fans haven’t been given the vaguest clue about what these spin-off films will be. Star Wars history is stretches back much »
- Rob Leane
Fans of special effects icon Ray Harryhausen should rejoice at the remastering of 1961’s Mysterious Island, a sequel of sorts to Jules Verne’s more celebrated 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which had been memorably adapted by Richard Fleischer in 1954. Director Cy Endfield takes the reigns on this big budget spectacle which tends to suffer from a bout of sequel-itis as regards the bombastic fervor of gigantic, menacing creatures taking precedence over characterization or narrative energy. Still, the production quality does display the same sense of movie magic specific to a certain period of cinema where Harryhausen’s signature Dynamation would influence generations of future filmmakers.
During the 1865 siege of Richmond, Virginia, a handful of soldiers, both Union and Confederate, escape the stockade via a hot air balloon, ending up somewhere on a strange island in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Cyrus Harding (Michael Craig) more or less resumes control of the men, »
- Nicholas Bell
Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has demolished the global box office, attention turns towards Lucasfilm’s next cinematic offering – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This one’s – whisper it – a prequel movie. But don’t let that put you off just yet, as early signs suggest this actually could be a pretty interesting take on what the galaxy looked like before A New Hope.
Judging by the only set picture that’s been released, Rogue One is a dark and gritty depiction of what life under a galactic dictatorship would look like. A group of brand new characters will attempt to steal the plans to the original Death Star, which – spoiler alert! – will eventually end up hidden within R2-D2’s rusty innards in Episode IV.
- Rob Leane
Thomas Tull, founder of Legendary Entertainment, says today’s deal with China’s Wanda is milestone in the development of his company.
While offering the ability to scale up, he says the $3.5 billion deal changes little or nothing of the creative process.
“Nothing editorially or creatively will change. Obviously I’ve been asked this by filmmakers. Wanda has been incredibly specific about this, they don’t want to create extra layers, they want to enhance and not inhibit. Nothing will change in terms of process and control,” said Tull speaking in China.
“One of the core principles for us is to have large properties that get fans passionate and that they can interact with these worlds in any way that they can, whether that is through movies, or by extension television, digital, toys and merchandizing and certainly theme parks,” said Tull.
The notion of “Pacific Rim” theme parks across Asia, »
- Patrick Frater
Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. announced today at a signing ceremony in Beijing that it has acquired Legendary Entertainment for no more than $3.5 billion in cash - making it China's largest cross-border cultural acquisition to date.
Legendary is a major film production company that owns film, television, digital and comics divisions. Originally setup at Warners, they have since moved to Universal Pictures. Thomas Tull will remain as Chairman and CEO of Legendary and will continue to be responsible for its day-to-day operations and will significantly participate in the success of the company with Wanda.
Legendary's film productions have grossed more than $12 billion worldwide at the box office and have included the likes of Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy and "The Hangover" films, "Jurassic World," "Man of Steel," "Godzilla," "300," "Watchment," "The Hangover," "Inception," "Crimson Peak," "Interstellar," "Unbroken," "Clash of the Titans," "Dracula Untold" and "Pacific Rim". They've also got "Warcraft," "The Great Wall »
- Garth Franklin
The blockbuster deal is worth $3.5 billion.
Such a move has been widely speculated about since late last year, when Variety broke news of deal talks.
Wanda made an announcement of the deal on Tuesday morning (local time) in Beijing, describing the Legendary acquisition as a “merger,” though Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin made it clear that his company will have an outright majority.
“Together, Wanda and Legendary will create a completely new international entertainment company,” said Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, who will remain chairman. “There is an ever growing demand for quality entertainment content worldwide, particularly in China, and we will combine our respective strengths to bring an even better entertainment experience to the world’s audiences.”
- Patrick Frater
After highlighting 50 films that are most certainly worth seeing this year, it’s time we venture into the unknown. While a multitude of 2016 previews simply regurgitate a list of dated releases, we’ve set out to focus on 100 films we’re genuinely looking forward to, regardless of their marketing budgets. While some might not have a release date — let alone any confirmed festival premiere — most have wrapped production and will likely debut at some point in 2016, so make sure to check back for updates over the next twelve months and beyond.
It should be noted that there are a number of films we’re greatly looking forward to, but whose release we aren’t confident about, including the next features from Claire Denis and Michael Haneke. (Rest assured, however, that we’ll have updates as they come in.)
Lastly, despite not coming out last year, as was planned, Orson Welles »
- TFS Staff
David Bowie in 'The Hunger' with Catherine Deneuve. David Bowie movies: Iconic singer memorable as fast-aging vampire in 'The Hunger,' Nikola Tesla in 'The Prestige' Singer and sometime actor David Bowie, one of the iconic figures of the English-language music scene of the second half of the 20th century, died of cancer yesterday, Jan. 10, '16. Bowie (born David Robert Jones in the London suburb of Brixton) had turned 69 on Jan. 8. His son, filmmaker Duncan Jones (Moon), has confirmed Bowie's death on Twitter. Bowie was seen in only a couple of dozen movies during his four-decade show business career. Among his most memorable film roles were those in the titles listed below. The Man Who Fell to Earth Directed by Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, Don't Look Now) from a screenplay by Paul Mayersberg (based on a novel by Walter Tevis), The Man Who Fell to Earth »
- Andre Soares
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures has unveiled synopses, images and information for their 2016 releases.
First up is the highly anticipated Doctor Strange.
The cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Stuhlbarg with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Marvel’s Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Kevin Feige. The film opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 4, 2016.
Chris Pine stars as Captain Bernie Webber in Disney’s The Finest Hours, the heroic action-thriller presented in Digital 3D (Tm) and IMAX (c) 3D based on the extraordinary true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. (Trailer)
On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard »
- Michelle McCue
Now that legions of fans around the world have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens multiple times, they are turning their attention to the first Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is set for release on December 16. Earlier this week, a Fandango poll listed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as the most anticipated movie to come out in 2016, setting the stage for another massive blockbuster. Today we have a new rumor from Star Wars Time, which claims that Disney is planning to attach the first trailer for Rogue One to theatrical prints of Captain America: Civil War.
While the news has not been confirmed yet by Disney, it certainly would follow a pattern of Disney using other projects to help promote its burgeoning Star Wars universe. Disney released the second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens during Star Wars Celebration in April, before attaching »
The frenetic pace of dealmaking between Hollywood and China is showing no signs of abating at the start of 2016. Chinese real estate and investment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal to acquire the studio behind Godzilla and Pacific Rim is said to value the U.S. company at between $3 billion and $4 billion. Legendary founder and CEO Thomas Tull had been wooing Wang Jialin, Wanda's chairman and one of China's wealthiest individuals, since June. The new tie-up is expected to provide
- Patrick Brzeski
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