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Disney has premiered the first poster for Rob Marshall's new musical, Into the Woods, based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim. Featuring a massive ensemble cast, Into the Woods surrounds a baker and his wife's quest to break a witch's curse in order to start a family. Along the way, they encounter several well-known fairy tale characters, and together they learn what happens after "happily ever after". The film stars Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt, Tracey Ullman, Anna Kendrick and Billy Magnussen. This is one film that very well could have a big effect on the Oscar race once it arrives on December 25, though Marshall hasn't exactly had the best track record since Chicago as Memoirs of a Geisha and Nine fell rather flat and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was... well... you know. Let me know, »
- Brad Brevet
By Anjelica Oswald
The Academy has a long and complex relationship with musicals, particularly with their ability to secure best picture nominations. The best picture nomination for Les Miserables (2012) at the 85th Academy Awards marked the first time since Chicago’s (2002) nomination and win that a musical was nominated in that category, and as of this moment, there aren’t many options that could break into the category this year.
Since premiering at Toronto, The Last 5 Years — the film adaption of the off-broadway musical written by Jason Robert Brown — has been receiving decent reviews but nothing that would propel it to best picture status. The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney said both Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan bring “confidence and depth of feeling” to their songs and “shift back and forth between rom-com breeziness and full-blown passion, be it the soaring highs or the heartsick lows” with ease, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley at Relativity Media have been through different manifestations through the years that involved grand enterprises like slate financing half of the movies in Hollywood at one time, and plotting an Ipo in the near future. The story of this festival has been the number of upstart companies that bought films as they re-brand themselves into indie distribution players. They include the soon-to-be-renamed Millennium buying Madame Bovary, EuropaCorp buying Big Game for its new domestic distribution pipeline Red, and Rlj/Image acquiring the Thomas McCarthy-directed Adam Sandler comedy The Cobbler.
Relativity has also been honing its own identity, and it made the first two deals of the festival, buying the completed picture The Woman in Black 2, and Kidnap, a thriller that Halle Berry will star in. Relativity chased the Chris Rock film Top Five and premiered two films here, Beyond The Lights and Hector And The Search For Happiness. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Over four years ago, Reese Witherspoon was slated to take on another musical biopic as jazz/pop singer, songwriter, composer and actress Peggy Lee. At the time, it was Witherspoon herself had secured Lee's life rights with the approval of Lee's granddaughter Holly Foster-Wells, followed by the attachment of producer Marc Platt (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Nine) and romantic comedy favorite Nora Ephron (of Julie & Julia) to write and direct the movie. And while the project had been slowly developing, it was put on hold after Ephron passed away in 2012. But now the project is back with a rewrite and a new director. Read on! THR has word that Far from Heaven and I'm Not Here director Todd Haynes will get behind the camera, complete with a rewrite of the script from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright (Quills). The project is set up at Fox 2000, which already saw Witherspoon »
- Ethan Anderton
Jonathan Kier has been promoted to president of sales and distribution for independent film finance, production and sales company Sierra/Affinity, up from Evp of sales. He will continue to work with Sierra principals Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg and Marc Butan on international sales of the company’s slate of third-party films as well as projects developed by OddLot Entertainment, Focus Features, Sierra Pictures and Incentive Filmed Entertainment.
“Over the last three plus years, Jonathan’s contributions have been invaluable to Sierra/Affinity, as we’ve greatly expanded our business,” said Meyer and Schaberg in a release. “His knowledge and passion for movies, the international film industry, combined with his sales acumen, make him the perfect executive to lead us through our next wave of growth.”
Kier previously was Svp of international sales and distribution for The Weinstein Company, joining Sierra in 2011. Since 2005, Kier has worked on more than 80 films including The King’s Speech, »
- The Deadline Team
Manuel here, to discuss some news that got lost in the shuffle last week -in an interview with EW last week, Rob Marshall confirmed that that new Stephen Sondheim-penned number for Into The Woods was cut. [Gay gasp!] Yes, that song which Meryl was so effusive about last year and which Sondheim had penned just for her (seemingly in response to certain plot strands that were left dangling by, well, Disneyfied cuts to the fairy tale musical) has found itself on the cutting room floor. In Marshall's words,
“It was beautiful and spectacular, but it was very clear, as good as the song was, that [the movie] was stronger without.” Rumblings on the web lead me to believe there's more to the story (isn't there always?) but rather than give credence to the rumor mill, we'll at least have something to look forward to in the film's DVD/Blu-Ray bonus features (they still have those, »
- Manuel Betancourt
After premiering at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, Andrea Di Stefano's latest film Paradise Lost will play at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, and a new trailer has arrived to showcase the thriller. In the film, Josh Hutcherson plays a young surfer who falls in love with a gorgeous Colombian girl (Claudia Traisac), but has his relationship thrown into upheaval when he meets her uncle, the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). This looks stylish and promising, especially with THR calling the film, "an impressive debut, an ambitious project pulled off with confidence." Watch! Here's the latest trailer for Andrea di Stefano's Paradise Lost from YouTube: Paradise Lost marks the feature directorial and writing debut of actor Andrea di Stefano (Nine, Eat Pray Love). Young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) thinks all his dreams have come true when he goes to visit his brother in Columbia. »
- Ethan Anderton
Sophia Loren will be the guest of honour at the 2014 AFI Fest.
The annual event is organised by the American Film Institute, which celebrates current innovation in the film industry and pays tribute to pioneers from the past.
Loren will attend a screening of her classic movie Marriage Italian-Style on November 12 in Los Angeles, in addition to taking part in a discussion.
The organisation's president Bob Gazzale announced the Loren tribute, saying: "In a world where the daily obsession seems to be, 'What's next?' Sophia Loren is a rare and welcome reminder that true talent is timeless.
"It is AFI's honour to shine a proper light on all the gifts she's given the world across the years."
Loren earned a Best Actress Oscar for the war drama Two »
Phase I of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was, in retrospect, a densely plotted affair, with several story threads all tying together – and paying off to glorious effect – inThe Avengers; everything from the Tesseract to Loki himself was properly introduced and fully integrated with the rest of the films’ burgeoning continuity, allowing the first phase’s climax to only worry about telling its particular story instead of pulling the narrative dead weight of exposition.
Phase II (which consists of last year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World and this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy), in contrast, has largely eschewed world-building in favor of smaller, more character-driven tales – Tony Stark’s post-traumatic stress disorder, say, or Thor’s world-weariness and simple desire for love over the needs of either his family or an interstellar monarchy. Even The Winter Soldier’s Shield upheaval »
- Marc N. Kleinhenz
Their launch was overshadowed by comments from original show composer Stephen Sondheim which suggested the Disney film made changes to the musical, eliminating some of the darker subject matter and fan-favorite songs to make it more 'family friendly'.
The backlash was swift and intense, and concerns weren't settled by a follow-up explanation. Speaking with EW, Marshall ("Chicago," "Nine") has taken a turn at trying to clear up any misconceptions:
"It's ironic that happened at all, because Steve's been part of every single step of this movie. And the truth is, we've been incredibly faithful to the original. I'm actually really impressed Disney's doing this film, because it's very brave. I don't feel we've watered it down in any way, shape, or form. »
- Garth Franklin
Before Disney released a trailer and an assortment of first- (well, second-) look photos at Into the Woods in late July, there wasn’t much information available about the upcoming movie adaptation of the beloved 1987 Broadway musical. That’s why fans latched on tightly earlier this summer, when composer Stephen Sondheim indicated that the film had made certain changes to the show’s script—ones pertaining to death and sex and the elimination of fan-favorite songs.
Sondheim wasn’t pleased with the backlash. Despite the theater legend’s follow-up explanation, some fans had already decided that Disney was making a »
- Marc Snetiker
Christmas just got a whole lot merrier now that the first teaser trailer for Disney's Into the Woods has arrived online. Due in theaters on Christmas Day, Into the Woods is an adaptation of the popular Broadway musical that mashes up a bunch of iconic fairytale characters into one fantastical story about a couple (played by Emily Blunt and James Corden) who venture into the woods to see about lifting a family curse. Watch the teaser trailer below. This first look at what's sure to be one of the biggest films of the holiday season does a great job teasing the spectacle--from the music to the incredible ensemble cast, it's impossible to watch this and not immediately want more. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides...
- Erik Davis
While Stephen Sondheim has been a major name on Broadway for decades, very few off his plays have migrated off the stage, with the Tim Burton adaptation of Sweeney Todd being the biggest exception to date. However, it’s not set to be the last, as the next play of Sondheim that’s set to hit the big screen is Into The Woods. Directed by Rob Marshall, who has previous experience in the musical genre with movies such as Chicago and Nine, the movie version eschews transplanting Broadway stars into the role, instead filling the cast with performers such as Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, and Anna Kendrick. Amidst stories of rewrites to the script and the lingering question of how the movie shall incorporate certain elements of the stage story, the first trailer for the film has now been released. Into the Woods opens Christmas Day. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Be careful what you wish for! Finally! Disney has debuted the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall's new musical Into the Woods, based on the Broadway show of the same name about all of the various Disney fairytales being twisted into on big, dark musical story. Meryl Streep stars as "The Witch", but this teaser is all about introducing the rest of the cast: Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, and Johnny Depp, who they tease but don't really show. They're building this up to be quite the spectacle come Christmas-time, but for now we get a quick tease (without any singing featured as of yet) of the world and characters we'll be spending time with. How does it look? Watch the first teaser trailer for Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, in high def from Apple: Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, »
- Alex Billington
Very soon Disney will release the first trailer for their adaptation of fairytale mash-up stage musical Into the Woods, but in the meantime, we finally get some more first look photos to join the singular glimpse at the film that featured Meryl Streep as an ugly witch. This time there's photos of Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as her prince, Johnny Depp as the the Wolf, James Corden as the baker, Emily Blunt as the baker's wife, and many more. Could this inspire the return of live-action musicals at The House of Mouse? It's about time they ad a bit of a revival since once being a big part of the studio's history. Here's the new photos from Rob Marshall's Into the Woods from People and Ropes of Silicon: Into the Woods is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) based on »
- Ethan Anderton
In the Red Room with a Vue, the chorus of delighted FrightFester’s are set to join together in joyous song for the chorus of their clawed and shrivelled icon…
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.
Three, four, Better lock your door
Five, six, grab your crucifix.
Seven, eight, Gonna stay up late.
Nine, ten, He’s back again.”
If life can be described as a disappointment, of a vortex of uncertainty, then the one constant is FILM4 FrightFest, which, like a beacon of light, guides us to safely towards a guaranteed trip of unadulterated pleasure into the Dark Heart of Cinema every August Bank Holiday.
So what news has fallen upon our ears to add a little more detail to what the landscape of FrightFest 15 looks like?
Well, this year’s Film4 FrightFest guest list brings together the great, the grand and the gifted as over 100 filmmakers, performers, »
- Paul Risker
"I need to trust everyone near me, Nick." Ohh this is looking good already. An early promo teaser trailer has debuted for Andrea Di Stefano's Paradise Lost, starring Benicio Del Toro as infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar of Colombia. The story involves a surfer, played by the wide-eyed Josh Hutcherson, visiting his brother in Colombia who discovers that his uncle is actually Escobar. Things get a bit tricky as he falls for a local Colombian girl. This looks like another slimy drug cartel movie that will make for edge-of-your-seat cinematic entertainment, but is there more to it? The teaser is only 30 seconds but gives us a solid first look. Here's the very first teaser trailer for Andrea Di Stefano's Paradise Lost, found via The Film Stage: Paradise Lost marks the feature directorial and writing debut of actor Andrea di Stefano (Nine, Eat Pray Love). Young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson »
- Alex Billington
Martina Stella’s debut screenplay is set to enter principal photography in early 2015.
Ambi Group, owned and run by Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi, has optioned the rights to psychological thriller O.O.B.I.
Actress Martina Stella’s debut screenplay revolves around a powerful drug that allows those who take it the ability to travel through time, transforming a scientific researcher’s life into a nightmare.
Iervolino and Lady Bacardi are targeting a first quarter 2015 start date for principal photography and will shoot in Canada and Italy.
“Monika and I are excited to be working with young Italian talent Martina Stella on her first screenplay, which we were instantly drawn to. Martina has crafted a unique and electrifying thriller that we cannot wait to bring life to on the big screen for moviegoers,” commented Iervolino.
Lady Bacardi added: “We are continuously searching for projects that are commercially appealing on a global level and viable from a »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
When Hollywood brings a Broadway show to the bigscreen, the first casualty is usually the stage actors. This dates back to 1964′s “My Fair Lady,” which passed Julie Andrews over for Audrey Hepburn (with Marni Nixon dubbing the singing). Idina Menzel recently revealed that she and Kristin Chenoweth were told they were too old for the upcoming “Wicked” movie. And sometimes, recasting is inevitable: By the time “Chicago” made it in front of cameras after a protracted development process, it was more than 25 years since the original Broadway production. Director Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” suffered a similar fate.
Which is why Clint Eastwood’s decision to keep the stage cast of “Jersey Boys” is an anomaly. John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for originating on Broadway nine years ago, is back as Four Seasons crooner Franki Valli. »
- Ramin Setoodeh and Scott Foundas
There are a lot of blockbuster hopefuls coming out this summer, but perhaps none of them are more risky than Clint Eastwood’s song-and-dance musical Jersey Boys, a star-studded adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. As Rob Marshall, whose ambitious musical Nine flopped at the box office, and Adam Shankman, whose Rock of Ages only faired slightly better and never recouped its budget, can attest, movie musicals are very tough to do.
Honestly, I don’t think that Eastwood’s Jersey Boys is going to fare much better than Nine or Rock of Ages at the box office, but hopefully it will at least do a solid job of communicating the fascinating story of popular ’60s musicians Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Today, seven new clips for the film have hit the web, and you can watch them down below. The acting looks very solid all around, »
- Isaac Feldberg
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