Now that it’s found a new home at Universal Studios, it appears as though the wheels are very much back in motion on Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s as-yet-untitled Steve Jobs film. Recently, we learned that Christian Bale had exited the project — which soon led to Sony dropping the movie altogether — with X-Men star Michael Fassbender stepping up to play the role of the late, great visionary.
And today, we’ve heard via Deadline that Natalie Portman has entered talks to star alongside Fassbender in the film. It’s unclear exactly who the actress will be playing, though given her stature, we assume it’ll be a pretty prominent figure.
Fassbender notwithstanding, this is the first concrete piece of potential casting to emerge following the studio switch. That said, there is still no word on whether Seth Rogen is still in contention to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, »
- Michael Briers
Sony Pictures and Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin have been working on a Steve Jobs biopic for a while. First David Fincher was attached to direct with Christian Bale in talks to star. Then they both dropped out and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) stepped in and cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Jobs. Soon after, DiCaprio dropped out. Boyle re-approached Bale and got him attached. But then Bale dropped out. And then finally Sony dropped out, leaving the project without a studio. But now comes word that Universal Pictures stepped in to continue the biopic and Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past) has become attached to star. Boyle remains as the director. »
The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game is the big kid on the block among this holiday weekend’s batch of newcomers. The title is following in the footsteps of past TWC heavyweights The King’s Speech and The Artist, both of which opened to solid box office numbers and eventually scored Oscars for Best Picture. The distributor is expecting good numbers for Imitation Game over the Thanksgiving frame. IFC Films’ horror pic The Babadook has some good buzz heading into the weekend, though it might show its biggest heft via VOD with its day-and-date rollout. Remote Area Medical is one of those films one hopes everyone will see. Timed perfectly for this time of the year’s focus on thanks and giving, the documentary shows the underbelly of America’s healthcare crisis by way of people who provide free medical services to needy people in pop-up clinics around the country. »
- Brian Brooks
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, the social thriller scripted around the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, has opened to rave reviews in American theatres. Directed by Ravi Kumar and produced by Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment, the film has found an emotional resonance with audiences and critics alike.
We loved it here at Bollyspice saying, “Raajpal Yadav is brilliant in his role as Dilip. Tannishtha Chatterjee is wonderful and is the heart of the film. I cannot give this film a rating, as it is so much more than that. I can only simply say it is important that everyone see this devastating tale, to learn, to know, to feel and to act.” Read more of our rave review here
Martin Tsai of the Los Angeles Times calls the film “a revolutionary cautionary tale” applauding how “Kumar vividly recreates the Bhopal disaster”. Gurinder Chadha, director of much-loved films like Bend It Like Beckham, »
- Stacey Yount
We're covering a lot of ground today with the centerpiece being our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. We also dig into the Bill Cosby controversy for a second, the death of Mike Nichols, Universal's plans for at least three more Fast & Furious movies, Prometheus 2, Zoolander 2, a few of your questions, some games and a few knicks and knacks along the way. Hope you enjoy! If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »
- Brad Brevet
Well, that was unexpected. For weeks now, we’ve been hearing a lot about Aaron Sorkin’s planned film about Apple founder Steve Jobs, from word that Michael Fassbender was being eyed to take the lead role to Sorkin’s comments that the movie is not a biopic in the traditional sense. But now, Sony has taken the unusual step of dropping the project and putting it into turnaround.
Luckily, Deadline is reporting that Universal is already “locking down” the project and giving it the go-ahead, so the movie, which is set to be directed by Slumdog Millionaire helmer Danny Boyle, shouldn’t experience too much of a delay. However, that Sony would simply dump what sounds on paper like an extremely promising film is highly suspect.
Perhaps the unusual structure of the Sorkin-scripted movie is what deterred the studio. Sorkin explained that the film is comprised of three long scenes, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs biopic just underwent a new drastic change. Sony has dropped the film. Thankfully Universal Pictures has expressed strong interest and it looks like the project won't have to suffer a whole lot due to the change.
The film is an adaptation of the bestselling Walter Isaacson biography, and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Danny Boyle is set to direct. Michael Fassbender is the latest actor to be rumored to play Steve Jobs. Previously, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were attached to play the Apple genius. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.
For the most part, projects that undergo lots of changes don't have a very pleasant ending. But this is Steve Jobs we're talking about and Aaron Sorkin, plus Danny Boyle is at the helm. We don't know the reasons for the changes, but we still have high hopes for this biopic. »
- Laura Frances
There's no doubt that Sony Pictures has had some trouble getting the latest Steve Jobs biopic off the ground with David Fincher once in talks to direct, only to fall away and have it land in the hands of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle. Then, things seemed to look up when the leading man that Fincher originally wanted, Christian Bale, circled back around to the project. However, Bale has since left the film as well, with Michael Fassbender being the top contender to take the role, though no deal is in place. But now, it won't be Sony's problem anymore as Deadline reports the studio has dropped the film. Read on! However, the good news is that this doesn't mean the script from The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin will just sit on a shelf. Universal Pictures is already in the midst of locking down a deal to pick up the abandoned project, »
- Ethan Anderton
Nadia Bronson, a longtime figure in the Hollywood movie marketing business via her 24-year run at Universal Pictures’ international operations and later as a key awards-season independent consultant, died Friday in Utah. Bronson had cancer, which had recently returned, and she was in hospice in Utah at the time of her death. She was 67.
Bronson had become a force behind the scenes during awards season, particularly in being hired by studios to court Golden Globe voters.
In her run at Universal, she helped raise the profile of the international markets that are now so vital to the success or failure of Hollywood pics. After joining the studio in 1997, she rose through the ranks and eventually became president of international theatrical marketing and distribution. The list of films she oversaw is an impressive one: Jurassic Park, Out Of Africa, Shakespeare In Love, The Mummy, Gladiator and Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List to name a few. »
- The Deadline Team
The awards season has its usual blend of old traditions, including online predictions, Q&A screenings and parties “in honor of” a film. However, the race is very different from last year, when “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” were declared the front-runners by early September.
With only two months to go in the calendar year, there is no clear leader at this point. Some pundits seem to think this is a failure of the 2014 crop, but in fact, there are four basic scenarios in the Oscar best-pic race, and they rotate. And while this year is unlike 2013, there are a lot of past precedents.
Scenario 1: The best-picture winner gains its stronghold only in retrospect. In 2000, “Gladiator” opened in May and was much admired but nobody was talking about its Oscar chances as best picture. It was only as the year-end films opened and were underwhelming that “Gladiator” looked even better after the fact. »
- Tim Gray
Prior to 2008, Danny Boyle and Darren Aronofsky were far from unknown, but the directors were riding especially high that year thanks to their respective well-received films—“Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Wrestler.” Early in December 2009, just a month before the Oscar nominations were announced, the filmmakers’ shared distributor at the time, Fox Searchlight, had the them sit down to discuss their craft and movies, and now thanks to a reminder from Reddit, you too can sit in on their intimate conversation. Spread over five parts, the conversation topics covered include comparing their directing styles, Boyle’s use of the then-new Silicon Imaging Si–2K camera, getting the rights to “Who Wants To Be Millionaire?,” how Boyle chooses his projects, and some kind words on the performances by Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler.” The discussion originally had seven parts, but the first two installments have either never been »
- Cain Rodriguez
By Anjelica Oswald
This summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was released on Digital HD today and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 2. 20th Century Fox is pushing its cast, including Andy Serkis for his motion-capture performance as ape leader Caesar, for supporting actor nominations, but the film also has a serious shot at a nomination for visual effects. Rise of the Planet of the Apes garnered a nomination for visual effects at the 84th Academy Awards. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which opened Nov. 5, is also a visual effects contender, but it is also a cinematography contender.
The nominees are chosen by specific branches of the Academy based on expertise, but voting is done by all the members. Most of the films nominated for cinematography differ from those nominated for visual effects. »
- Anjelica Oswald
First Leonardo DiCaprio was set to star in Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. Then after he dropped out, Christian Bale quickly stepped in to replace him. But a few days ago, it was revealed that Bale dropped out as well. Now comes word that the studio is in early talks with Michael Fassbender to play the Apple co-founder. The biopic is written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). Sorkin previously said that every frame of the movie will include the lead actor and that the story will take place backstage before three of Apple's famous product launches. "The first one being the Mac," he said. "The second one being NeXT, after he had left Apple. And the third one being the iPod." »
Another day, another Steve Jobs casting rumor. As Deadline first reported and the La Times has confirmed, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" thesp Michael Fassbender is in "early talks" to star as the Apple co-founder in Sony's upcoming biopic, which previously flirted with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale for the role (it was reported just yesterday that Bale had turned down the part). With a script by Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") and with Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") signed on to direct (Seth Rogen is also said to be in talks for the role of Jobs' business partner Steve Wozniak), the project certainly has pedigree on its side, but will Fassbender bite? We've certainly been down this road before, but he's an inspired choice and (on paper at least) the film is looking like a megawatt potential awards-season contender that could pay big dividends for the actor down the line. »
- Chris Eggertsen
Maybe I'll be in the minority on this one but I bit the bullet and watched this first trailer for Neill Blomkamp's Chappie and I have to say, I'm not impressed and in fact turned way, way off. The faux sentimentality is practically oozing out of every frame of this thing as Slumdog Millionaire (Dev Patel) makes his very own Wall-e in a world made up of characters from Cloud Atlas with Hugh Jackman playing the robot-hating bad guy. Here's the plot: Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings - some good, some bad - and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there's one thing that makes »
- Brad Brevet
The rumor mill saga continues about the Steve Jobs biopic with new reports that Christian Bale bailing out. Bale had been recently confirmed to play the Apple founder and was praised by the film's screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Sources now say that the Oscar-winning actor "came to the conclusion he was not right for the part and decided to withdraw." The Sony project is being directed by Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") and produced by Scott Rudin, Guymon Casady, and Mark Gordon. The ongoing drama around the movie earlier had David Fincher and Leonardo DiCaprio both attached and then deals falling apart. Other news has the possibility of Seth Rogen playing Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Hollywood Reporter -Break- There are few artists as popular historically as The Beatles, but rapper Jay-z is very close. According to new research using Billboard chart history, the most productive, best-selling musicians are The Beatles with 14 top albums. »
James Franco is a strange bird, and one who defies categorization. He effortlessly balances the careers of an actor, director, screenwriter, artist, musician, novelist, poet, and teacher simultaneously. Honestly, we don’t know where he finds the time. Does he have a Time-Turner or a flux capacitor? That’s got to be it, right?
Time-travel aside, whatever James Franco’s doing – Is he not sleeping? – it’s working, because he’s about to add another hyphen to his already multi-hyphenate name.
James Franco, stage actor.
Making his Broadway debut, Franco joins the cast of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men as George Milton. Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) joins Franco as George’s well-meaning best friend Lennie, a role that garnered O’Dowd a Tony Award nomination.
- Sasha James
Sony Pictures and writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) have been developing a Steve Jobs biopic for a while. At first David Fincher was set to direct, but he eventually dropped out. Then Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) stepped in and cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Jobs. Soon after, however, DiCaprio dropped out, claiming that he's thinking about taking a break from acting. Boyle went out searching for his replacement and ended up with Christian Bale. It was recently confirmed that Bale was officially on board, but now comes word that the actor decided to also drop out. Boyle is now, once again, looking for a replacement. Meanwhile Seth Rogen is in negotiations to join the movie as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. »
Sorry, Aaron Sorkin: Christian Bale won't be playing Steve Jobs after all. Less than two weeks after the "Newsroom" creator indicated to Bloomberg that Bale was on board to play the Apple co-founder in the biopic he wrote for director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"), Variety is reporting that the Oscar winner has turned down the high-profile role after engaging in early talks with Boyle about the part. "We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale," said Sorkin in the Bloomberg interview. "He has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. ...There isn’t a scene or frame that he’s not in, and there’s a tremendous amount of language. So it’s an extremely difficult part and he’s going to crush it." Bale is actually the second actor to »
- Chris Eggertsen
The nominations for the 17th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards have been announced.
'71 leads the nominations with nine nods, including Best British Independent Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
Nominees up for the top prize of Best British Independent Film are '71, Calvary, Mr Turner, Pride and The Imitation Game. Previous winners have included The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and This Is England.
Keira Knightley is up for Best Actress for The Imitation Game, along with Alicia Vikander for Testament of Youth, Cheng Pei Pei for Lilting, Gugu Mbatha-Raw for Belle and Sameena Jabeen Ahmed for Catch Me Daddy. »
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