The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" as the closing night film of the 52nd annual New York Film Festival, rounding up a string of high profile announcements that have included David Fincher's "Gone Girl" as the fest's opening night gala and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" as the centerpiece. The selection eschews a recent pattern of slotting world premieres like "Flight" and "Her" to close the fest. "Birdman" opens just six days after Nyff concludes, and this further exposure for the film — which will come after a Venice world premiere and likely Telluride and Toronto showcases — will be a huge boost going into awards season. The announcement also comes after Hollywood trade Variety scooped the festival's protocol with both the opening night and centerpiece selections without getting confirmation from either Nyff or the studios involved. Film Society personnel were scrambling Friday »
- Kristopher Tapley
Filmmaker David Fincher has been away from the screen for a couple of years, since 2011's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" threatened to be a major Oscar force but settled for a handful of nods (and a surprising Best Film Editing victory). He's back this year with the Gillian Flynn adaptation "Gone Girl," which could be a major play for Fox as the studio looks to get its awards legs back after hitting a wall with "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" last year. Well, an opening night berth at the 52nd annual New York Film Festival is certainly a great way for the studio to set the stage. It's a nice, and really, expected fit for a few reasons. When Fincher opened the festival four years ago with his critically acclaimed film "The Social Network," that sort of kicked Nyff into gear as new personnel began to see the »
- Kristopher Tapley
At 71, no one keeps up with the relentlessly energetic Martin Scorsese. Seven months after "The Wolf of Wall Street" opened before earning a Best Picture nomination — and just after his latest documentary, "The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument" premiered as a work-n-progress at the Berlinale ahead of HBO's planned fall theatrical release, his next feature film "Silence" is prepping to start production in Taiwan. Paramount has nabbed Scorsese's long-gestating drama for a planned awards-friendly November 2015 release date, which is no surprise. The studio run by his longtime manager Brad Grey released "Wolf," "Hugo," and "Shutter Island." But "Silence" has never been a commercial sure thing. The director has wanted to tell this story, adapted by Jay Cocks from Shūsaku Endō’s revered 1966 novel about an undercover investigation into a Christian community in »
- Nick Newman
Things are firming up for Martin Scorsese’s next film, his long-developed passion project Silence. The filmmaker has been working on an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel for years and is finally gearing up to begin production this year with Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Ken Watanabe, and Liam Neeson set to star, and now Deadline reports that Paramount is in talks to acquire the pic for a planned November 2015 release. The Silence release date puts the film right in the heart of awards season. The story takes place in 17th century Japan and revolves around two Jesuit priests who face persecution as they search for their mentor and work to spread Christianity. It’s heady subject matter, but the prospect of Scorsese and the impeccably talented Garfield bringing the film to fruition is extremely exciting. Paramount has distributed Scorsese’s last three films in a row, Shutter Island, Hugo, »
- Adam Chitwood
Martin Scorsese's "Silence" is finally making its way to the screen. First announcing his intention to direct an adaptation of the acclaimed Shusako Endo novel in 2007, the Oscar-winning filmmaker has directed a trio of narrative features in the intervening years ("Shutter Island," "Hugo" and "The Wolf of Wall Street") but is now closer than ever to realizing his vision for the book, which was the recipient of Japan's prestigious Tanizaki Prize in 1966. Paramount Pictures has officially acquired U.S. distribution rights to the project -- whose production is being financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis partners Randall Emmett and George Furla -- for an awards-season release in November 2015, according to a report by Deadline. Starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Adam Driver and written by Jay Cocks (who previously collaborated with Scorsese on "Gangs of New York" and "The Age of Innocence"), the film will shoot at least partially in Taiwan. »
- Chris Eggertsen
While a specific release date has not been announced, a number of high-profile projects have already staked November 2015 dates, including Sony's Bond 24 (November 6, 2015), New Line's Friday the 13th reboot (November 13, 2015), Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20, 2015) and Pixar's The Good Dinosaur (November 25, 2015).
Silence, which Martin Scorsese has wanted to make for over a decade, is based on Shusako Endo's novel that follows two Jesuit priests in the 17th Century, who journey to Japan upon learning that their mentor has abandoned the church. They face violence and persecution along their journey in this foreign land. Andrew Garfield stars as one of the priests, with Ken Watanabe portraying his Japanese interpreter. Liam Neeson, Issei Ogata and Adam Driver also star in unspecified roles. »
Garfield will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the Church. When they arrive, they find the local Christian population driven underground by religious persecution.
Neeson will play a priest who landed in Japan over a decade ago and has gone missing.
Variety reported last year that Garfield had signed to star in Scorsese’s long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s book, regarded as his masterpiece.
- Dave McNary
Here's today's latest casting news: Elle Fanning is attached to star in How to Talk to Girls at Parties, a John Cameron Mitchell-directed adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story. Penelope Cruz is in final negotiations to join Louis Letterier's spy comedy, Grimsby, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Kate Lyn Sheil (You're Next) has joined Guy Pearce, Kristen Stewart, and Nicholas Hoult in Drake Doremus' futuristic indie film, Equals. Hit the jump for more on each movie. First up from Heat Vision is word that Fanning will star in How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Nominated for a Hugo Award and winning the Locus Award for Best Short Story, Gaiman's 2006 work tells of two teen boys attending a party in 1970s London. One of them quickly pairs off with a girl, while the other is left to make the best of it and soon finds that the girls are not what they seem. »
- Dave Trumbore
‘I have no desire to operate on my own children’
Dennis Lehane explains why he is against adapting his own books.
Best-selling author, Boston native and screenwriter Dennis Lehane has been accused of a few things in life. For instance there are people convinced this author of hard edged thrillers wrote Mystic Pizza. That late eighties, tissue thin chick flick which helped launch Julia Roberts onto the world stage before Gary Marshall, Richard Gere and a Lotus finished the job. Dennis Lehane wrote Mystic River by the way, just to avoid any confusion.
Then there’s the small issue of his fan mail. Not all of it you understand, just the celebrity stuff he continues to receive for writing The Departed. You see his only problem is William Monahan wrote the book, adapted it into a screenplay and received the Oscar. »
- Gary Collinson
Penny Dreadful is a frightening psychological thriller created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Hugo, Gladiator) and executive produced by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road). [Press Release] Los Angeles, CA – July 7, 2014 – After the thrilling conclusion of its critically-acclaimed first season, the hit Showtime drama series Penny Dreadful will make its Comic-Con debut on Thursday, July 24th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm with a panel session in Ballroom 20 on the first day of the world-famous annual gathering in San Diego. Featured panelists will include series stars Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway and series creator, writer and executive producer John Logan, and will be moderated by Emmy® »
- Pietro Filipponi
The story is described as a supernatural version of Black Hawk Down, following a Special Ops unit who battles otherworldly creatures that have taken over a European city. Emily Mortimer is playing a CIA mission leader, with James Badge Dale playing a researcher who works with her. It seems that the story has been altered slightly, since our February report revealed that these creatures have attacked New York City, although now an unspecified European city will be the target.
Nic Mathieu is making his directorial debut on the project, working from a script by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) and John Gatins (Need for Speed), based on an original story by Ian Fried (Gaslight). Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing for Legendary, with Jillian Share and Guy Riedel serving as executive producers. »
Though her last big screen role was in 2011′s Hugo, Emily Mortimer has been keeping plenty busy on the small screen, starring on two HBO series, The Newsroom and Doll & Em, the latter of which she created and wrote. Now, we’re hearing that the talented actress will be making her way back to the big screen with a starring role in Legendary’s upcoming supernatural military thriller, Spectral.
Mortimer is set to star as a CIA mission leader in the movie, which is described as a supernatural Black Hawk Down and focuses on “a special-ops team that fights supernatural beings that have taken over a European city.” Dale, known for supporting roles in The Grey, Iron Man 3 and World War Z, boarded the project a few months back as a researcher.
It was previously reported that Spectral would find the special-ops team combatting a threat to New York City, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Something's amiss in England. There's a report going around that the next Bond movie, currently untitled but known as Bond 24, is having a bit of early pre-production trouble that may end up delaying the film. The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye, who is reliable with this kind of info, says there's a "polite turmoil" behind-the-scenes at Eon Productions, and subsequently the script is getting reworked before they move forward on production. They're bringing back co-writers Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, who have a long history with the Bond franchise, to rewrite the original script by John Logan, of Skyfall and Oscar nominated for Hugo. We've been covering updates on Bond 24 for the last few years, waiting for it to get into production to follow up the sensational Skyfall. At the moment, Sam Mendes will return to direct, as well as Daniel Craig as Agent 007 and Ralph Fiennes as the new M. »
- Alex Billington
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3, Hugo) has been cast as the voice of Bagheera in Disney’s upcoming The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau (Chef, Iron Man) from a script by Justin Marks, The Jungle Book combines live action and animated filmmaking. Loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name, Disney's The Jungle Book tells the story of a young boy Mowgli who was raised by animals in the jungle including the panther Bagheera and big lovable bear Baloo. When tiger Shere Khan threatens to return to their part of the jungle, the other animals decide that Mowgli must return to the man village in order to ensure his safety. The Jungle Book arrives in theaters in 3D on October 9, 2015. Along with The Jungle Book, Walt Disney Pictures' upcoming production »
- Pietro Filipponi
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