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5 items from 2014

James Marsden Joins HBO’s Westworld

9 August 2014 5:59 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

The casting for HBO’s sci-fi drama pilot, Westworld, continues to move ahead at full steam today, with news that we can now add good ol’ Cyclops to the list, as actor James Marsden has hopped on board.

Just a mere 24 hours after the J.J. Abrams-produced TV adaptation of the 1973 Michael Crichton film announced that a bevy of actors had joined the cast, including Boardwalk Empire‘s Jeffery Wright, it is now known that Marsden will help round out the line-up. The actor will be playing Teddy Flood, a mysterious wanderer with a penchant for guns and gals who’ll find himself on a journey of dark and epic proportions.

HBO is doing a fantastic job of setting up this TV pilot for success with its talented and diversified cast. Jeffery Wright is a veteran character actor who opened the eyes of Hollywood with his scintillating turn as Peoples »

- Dariel Figueroa

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The 101 Best Sports Movies of All Time

20 April 2014 5:00 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

A quarter-century ago, Kevin Costner hit a double-play, following up "Bull Durham" with "Field of Dreams" and becoming king of the sports movie. Twenty-five years later, as "Field of Dreams" marks its 25th anniversary (it was released on April 21, 1989), Costner is back with "Draft Day." The movie's about football, not baseball, and Costner's character plays in the executive suite, not on the field, but his mere presence still offers a reminder of great sports movies past.

And after all, isn't nostalgia a key element of sports movies? "Field of Dreams" makes this explicit -- we long for the sports heroes of our childhood, for a supposed long-gone golden age of our preferred sport, as a way of connecting with our past and bridging the generational divide that separates us as adults from our parents. Sports movies offer more than just the drama of winners and losers, or the journey from dream to achievement, »

- Gary Susman

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Chiwetel Ejiofor on responsibility and the necessity of violence in '12 Years a Slave'

24 February 2014 5:44 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Chiwetel Ejiofor's recent BAFTA win for Best Actor was a sweet victory for the 36-year-old actor, and not just because it came on home turf. Eight years previously, the Londoner scored (and lost) his first BAFTA nod in the Rising Star category. Last Sunday's win, atop a slew of recent honors for his imposing turn as freeman-turned-slave Solomon Northup in "12 Years a Slave" -- including, of course, his first Oscar nomination -- underlined the fact that his star has now risen. Long a promising standout in films as diverse as "Dirty Pretty Things," "Kinky Boots" and "Redbelt," the stage-trained star has now asserted himself as a leading man of formidable presence and intelligence. Ejiofor caught up with us by phone from New Zealand -- where he's currently shooting Craig Zobel's sci-fi project "Z for Zachariah" alongside Chris Pine and Margot Robbie -- to discuss his approach to Steve McQueen's film, »

- Guy Lodge

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Chiwetel Ejiofor joins Hollywood elite

10 January 2014 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

After parallel successes on stage and screen, the Londoner is being lauded as one of the greatest actors of his generation

However good they are, actors always need a defining role to transform them into a film star, and as the kidnap victim Solomon Northup in the Steve McQueen-directed 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor has found his.

Always an impressive performer on screen – certainly since his breakthrough role as a refugee doctor opposite Audrey Tautou in 2002's Dirty Pretty Things – Ejiofor is now on the cusp of joining the global film-acting elite. He has already been the recipient of scores of year-end critics' awards for 12 Years a Slave, as well as Golden Globe and Bafta nominations – and the industry will view it a significant scandal if an Oscar nomination doesn't materialise on 16 January.

Northup is the central figure in McQueen's project to confront the Us with its slavery past. »

- Andrew Pulver

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Tracking Shot: Craig Zobel, Justin Kurzel & Nanni Moretti Shooting in January

1 January 2014 9:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

We wake from our December holiday production break slumber for a production month of January that has some notable American indie productions, foreign films projects worth signaling out. Tracking Shot is sponsored by Production Weekly. German auteur Wim Wenders returns to Montreal for the winter portion of filming on Everything is Fine – the 3D drama stars James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rachel McAdams and Marie-Josee Croze. After distinctly break-out indie offerings in Great World of Sound and Compliance, Craig Zobel is packing his bags for New Zealand. Adapted from the classic novel, Z for Zachariah sees Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried and Chewitel Ejiofor jousting a little during the end of the world. A neighboring production can be found in Australia, David Mamet (his last theatrical release was 08′s Redbelt) is set to unload Blackbird – this is about a grieving granddaughter of a famous special effects artist in Hollywood discovers secrets (plot »

- Eric Lavallee

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