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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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James Franco Launches Nonprofit Film Studio With Art of Elysium Charity (Exclusive)

10 February 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

One of Hollywood’s enduring mysteries is how James Franco does it all — acting, directing, writing books, teaching university classes, pursuing multiple post-graduate degrees and, occasionally, (rumor has it) sleeping.

Now the multihyphenate star of “Milk” and “127 Hours” has another new venture, a nonprofit film studio that he says combines many of his passions — making films, teaching student filmmakers and benefiting his favorite charity.

Elysium Bandini Studios brings together the Art of Elysium charity with Franco’s Rabbit Bandini production banner to support the film projects of students and professionals, with any proceeds going entirely to Art of Elysium. The 19-year-old charity brings actors and other artists into contact with people in need — from hospitalized children, to the elderly and homeless to, soon, veterans and prisoners. As many as 4,000 artists work with needy clients on projects ranging from essays to poetry to plays, films and art installations.

Franco and producing »

- James Rainey

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Is 'Hail, Caesar!' from Joel and Ethan Coen the first Oscar contender of 2016?

4 February 2016 12:23 PM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Could four-time Oscar champs Joel and Ethan Coen be working their awards magic again? Their new comedy film "Hail, Caesar!" opens nationwide this weekend and could be a contender at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and other awards ceremonies almost a year away. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions The Coen brothers have assembled an all-star cast on screen and behind the scenes for the comedy film set in Hollywood's golden age of the 1950s. Previous Oscar nominee Josh Brolin ("Milk") stars as a studio fixer with plenty of problems to solve over one single day of production. Two-time Oscar winner George Clooney ("Syriana," "Argo") has a supporting role as the popular leading man of a religious epic being shot at the studio. The kidnapping of his character sets many of the plot developments into motion. Based on screentime, those men a...' »

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Top 10 hottest forum posts: Outrage over Oscar snubs present ('Carol') & past (Ellen Burstyn, Mickey Rourke)

3 February 2016 6:12 AM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Even after the recent results at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards have thrown this year's Oscar race into uncertainty, our forum posters are still fuming over snubs past and present. For instance, why was "Carol" left out of the Best Picture lineup this year when "The Kids Are All Right" made the cut in 2010? Was it homophobia or sexism? Both? Neither? -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions That's not all. They're also relitigating some of the most controversial results of the past 15 years. Should Ellen Burstyn ("Requiem for a Dream") really have lost Best Actress to Julia Roberts ("Erin Brockovich") in 2000? Should Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") have defeated Sean Penn ("Milk") in 2008? If not those, what are your biggest outrages of the 21st century so far? Read our posters' comments about those topics and m »

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Oscar mystery: Are we underestimating Tom Hardy ('The Revenant') for Best Supporting Actor?

2 February 2016 6:36 AM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Tom Hardy is nominated as Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars for his riveting performance as the leader of a hunting party who abandons his guide (Leonardo DiCaprio) after a bear attack leaves him for dead. The English actor landed the role after two-time Oscar champ Sean Penn (“Mystic River” 2003, “Milk” 2008) passed on it. According to our exclusive odds, this first-time Oscar nominee sits in fifth place, but we could be underestimating him in this race. Below, the top five ways in which Hardy could pull off an upset on Oscar Sunday (Feb. 28). -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions 22 nominations Hardy headlines the top two nominated films: “The Revenant” (12) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (10). With two films in the Best Picture race Hardy is almost guaranteed for his work to be seen. The Supporting Actor frontrunner, Sylvester Stallone (“Cree »

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Watch: Josh Brolin on His 'Christ-Like' Character in the Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' (Exclusive)

1 February 2016 12:32 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Josh Brolin, like his "Hail, Caesar!" co-star George Clooney, came into his own as a movie star after years of trudging through less than fab B fare. Brolin credits his mid-career turnaround to Robert Rodriguez on "Grindhouse" which led to the Coen brothers and Oscar-winner "No Country for Old Men" and "True Grit." Brolin has been on a roll (with the occasional "Jonah Hex") ever since, shooting Gus Van Sant's "Milk" (landing a supporting actor nom), Oliver Stone's "W" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,"  and Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger." Brolin is a chiseled American actor who boasts that rare combination: dangerous masculinity and sexy vulnerability. He plays both villains and lovers—see Jason Reitman's sexy "Labor Day." He played a cop with a flat top in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice," and 2015 brought strong turns »

- Anne Thompson

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Lego presentation hints at Boba Fett appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

31 January 2016 3:23 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

We already know that Darth Vader is set to feature in this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now it seems that Lego may have revealed another fan favourite Original Trilogy character will appear in the Anthology movie.

During a presentation at Nuremberg Toy Fair – where several Rogue One costumes are also on display – The Lego Group unveiled some of its Star Wars plans for 2016, with Rogue One accompanied by an image of what appears to be Slave I, which is of course the ship of the fearsome bounty hunter Boba Fett.

See Also: Rumoured details on Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Now, this is of course far from confirmation that Boba Fett will feature in the movie, but it’s been said there will be a big focus on bounty hunters, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility. »

- Gary Collinson

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Rumoured details on Forest Whitaker’s character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

30 January 2016 8:46 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Earlier this month, the folks at Making Star Wars posted some rumours about Mads Mikkelsen’s role in the upcoming Anthology movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now the site is back with some minor details about Forest Whitaker’s character.

According to the report, Whitaker’s character is said to be a good guy, who could also be a bounty hunter. A battle-hardened veteran, he has lost a leg and has a robot prosthetic, as well as needing a cane to walk. He also wears a cape, while “his costume is a hodgepodge of different things (think of someone you might see at Maz’s castle).”

See Also: Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but it won’t be Hayden Christensen in the suit

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16th 2016, with a cast that includes »

- Gary Collinson

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story costumes go on display in Germany

28 January 2016 3:20 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

There’s a big toy fair happening over in Germany at the moment. The Nuremberg Toy Fair is displaying a bunch of costumes from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and in particular, the ones worn by Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, and Jiang Wen.

Some images of the costumes hit the web via Twitter earlier today, and you can check them out below.

Pictures Of Star Wars: Rogue One Costumes https://t.co/bVS8xKZS32 pic.twitter.com/iGqK0xnmGO

— Lightsabr (@LightsabrNet) January 28, 2016

Some cool Rogue One costume pics! pic.twitter.com/t4O9GvVKie

— Nickth’raw’nuruodo (@Thrawnkill) January 26, 2016

The film is about to wrap production for a December release. The film stars Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (Mississippi Grind), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland »

- Paul Heath

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story costumes on display at Nuremberg Toy Fair

28 January 2016 2:40 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Fans attending the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany are being treated to a glimpse at some of the costumes from this year’s Star Wars anthology movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with Lucasfilm displaying the costumes for Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, and Jiang Wen’s characters. Take a look at some images here…

See Also: Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but it won’t be Hayden Christensen in the suit

Pictures Of Star Wars: Rogue One Costumes https://t.co/bVS8xKZS32 pic.twitter.com/iGqK0xnmGO

— Lightsabr (@LightsabrNet) January 28, 2016

Some cool Rogue One costume pics! pic.twitter.com/t4O9GvVKie

— Nickth'raw'nuruodo (@Thrawnkill) January 26, 2016

See Also: Follow all of our Star Wars coverage here

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16th 2016, with a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything »

- Gary Collinson

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Oscars 2016: Ian McKellen asks why no gay man has ever won Best Actor

26 January 2016 2:38 AM, PST | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

The current diversity debate surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards has squarely settled on the issue of race, thanks to conversations sparked by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Yet, Sir Ian McKellen offered a keen reminder that diversity issues within the awards race are widespread. "No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar. I wonder if that is prejudice or chance," he reflected at a recent BFI event (via The Guardian). McKellen, of course, is openly gay himself; as well as being a committed activist and co-founder of Lgbt charity Stonewall. He further mentioned both occasions he'd carried an acceptance speech to the Academy Awards marked with the words, "I'm proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar"; though he's never been given the opportunity to say those words on stage. His Best Actor nomination for Gods and Monsters in 1998 saw him lose to Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful, »

- Clarisse Loughrey

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Sundance Film Review: ‘The Free World’

22 January 2016 10:40 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Remember when Boyd Holbrook was just a scrawny young thing? Born and raised in Kentucky, he did some modeling, took acting classes and sent a screenplay off to Gus Van Sant, who gave him a minor role in “Milk,” launching an acting career that’s bound to lead him, sooner or later, to play a blockbuster comic-book character. In the meantime, Holbrook is proving what a capable performer he can be, turning up in indies such as “The Free World,” where it’s hard to believe the tortured soul with the prison-scarred brow, “Deadwood” goatee and haunted eyes was ever a child. Which is the effect writer-director Jason Lew (who wrote Van Sant’s “Restless”) intends with this well-meaning, well-acted but otherwise clumsily executed parable about second chances, whose damaged-goods pairing of Holbrook and Elisabeth Moss ensures at least a small release.

Having packed on considerable heft since last we »

- Peter Debruge

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Rogue One will have “more realistic” alien characters than Star Wars: The Force Awakens

21 January 2016 6:00 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

With Disney pushing a return to more practical-based effects for its Star Wars universe compared to the CG-heavy approach of the prequels, creature designer Neal Scanlan has been talking to MTV about the alien characters set to inhabit Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, stating that director Gareth Edwards has been pushing for more realistic and emotive creatures than we saw in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“In the world of Force Awakens, there was a real mixture of all different kinds, very much like the original Cantina sequence [in A New Hope],” said Scanlan. “Working with Gareth now on Rogue One, he sees these aliens as being much more part of the human [world]. They co-habitate, they work together and so it’s pushed us very much to create characters that are more realistic. They move more realistically, they’re able to emote more than maybe the characters that we did for . So they »

- Gary Collinson

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‘High School Musical’ By the Numbers

20 January 2016 1:22 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

High School Musical” turns 10 years old on Jan. 20, marking the decade-long anniversary for Disney Channel’s record-making hit.

Launching the careers of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and more, the teen musical rom-com spawned two sequels, including a theatrical release for the third film, which brought in over $250 million worldwide at the box office. An additional spinoff, “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure” starring Tisdale, was released straight-to-dvd.

At the time of its premiere on this day in 2006, “High School Musical” marked Disney Channel’s highest-rated telecast with 7.7 million viewers in the states. That record was later broken by the sequel “High School Musical 2,” which brought in 17.3 million viewers in August 2007, topping the original by almost 10 million more viewers, becoming the most-watched TV movie of all time. The film “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” marked the biggest opening day for any musical film at the box office, holding the »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Rumour: Christopher McQuarrie brought in to “save” Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

18 January 2016 3:29 PM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Back in October it was rumoured by that Disney and Lucasfilm had enlisted Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) to polish the script for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The original report claimed that McQuarrie spent a couple of weeks working on the original script by Gary Whitta (After Earth) and Chris Weitz (Cinderella). However, Birth.Movies.Death is now claiming that his involvement was actually much more than that, and that he was brought in early in the shoot to “save” the project as Lucasfilm felt that the script still wasn’t in the right place.

See Also: Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but it won’t be Hayden Christensen in the suit

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16th 2016, with a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Mads Mikkelsen »

- Gary Collinson

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What the Critics’ Choice Awards Can Tell Us About Oscar

18 January 2016 6:00 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

The Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their Critics’ Choice Awards last evening in Los Angeles and is the first awards ceremony since the Academy released their official nominations last Thursday.

Those looking to the Critics’ Choice Awards in hopes of fleshing out their Oscar predictions will notice a few differences between last week’s Golden Globes and Sunday’s awards in the major categories. Most notably is the fact that Spotlight won best picture after being entirely shut out by the HFPA at the Globes.

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Brie Larson (Room) all repeated their Globes success with acting wins, but Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) took home the best supporting actress award in lieu of Kate Winslet’s (Steve Jobs) win the week before.

Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller took home the night’s best director award, »

- Patrick Shanley

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Sean Penn Tells ‘60 Minutes’ He Was ‘Stunned’ By El Chapo Meeting

17 January 2016 4:00 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Millions of people were surprised that actor Sean Penn was able to meet with escaped Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman for an article that would make its way into the pages of Rolling Stone. Sean Penn was one of them.

In an interview with CBS News anchor Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” Sunday evening, the actor told Rose that he assumed Mexican officials were aware of what he was doing, and that the meeting was indeed a risk for Guzman as well as himself. “I was– I was stunned– that– that– that he w– would risk– our trip. I was stunned,” Penn said in the interview, according to a transcript provided by CBS News. “I was baffled by his will to see us,” Penn added later on in the talk.

Guzman was free after escaping one of Mexico’s most secure prisons last July, making Penn’s visit to see him exceedingly dangerous, »

- Brian Steinberg

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Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but it won’t be Hayden Christensen in the suit

15 January 2016 1:39 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

For the past year or so, there’s been rumour and speculation that Darth Vader is set to appear in the upcoming Star Wars anthology movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with Hayden Christensen reportedly in training to reprise his role from the Prequel Trilogy.

Given that the film takes place prior to A New Hope, and deals with the Rebels’ efforts to steal the Death Star plans, it makes sense that Disney would want to incorporate the most iconic villain in the saga. Well, we can confirm that the Dark Lord of the Sith will indeed feature in the movie, although it won’t be Hayden Christensen in the suit, as Disney and Lucasfilm have recast the role.

Making Star Wars have a few more details, with the site reporting that James Earl Jones will return to lend his voice to Vader and that the costume from A New Hope »

- Gary Collinson

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For Sean Penn, Acting Goes Hand-in-Hand With Activism

13 January 2016 3:30 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In the early 1990s, after his brief marriage to Madonna made him tabloid fodder, Sean Penn turned his back on acting to concentrate on directing and writing.

His retirement was short-lived.

The subsequent decades brought Oscar-winning turns in “Mystic River” and “Milk,” along with memorable performances in the likes of “Dead Man Walking” that cemented his reputation as an acting great.

But those early threats of retirement reveal Penn’s long-felt discomfort with being a creature of Hollywood, and point to a contradiction in his public persona. While the entertainment business is part of his DNA, he seems to find his greatest fulfillment far from the klieg lights.

Both sides of Penn were on display last week, when the actor whipped up a media firestorm after his blockbuster interview with Mexican druglord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appeared in Rolling Stone. The piece, a rambling first-person account of his efforts to secure the interview, »

- Brent Lang

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Rumoured plot details for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story concerning Mads Mikkelsen’s character

8 January 2016 2:18 PM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is behind us, expect Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to become the target of rumour-mongering and speculation as we count down towards the release of Lucasfilm’s first Anthology movie this December.

Sure enough, some potential details have surfaced concerning Mads Mikkelsen’s character – thought to be called Galen Marek – and how he’ll fit in with the plot of the Rebellion’s efforts to steal the Death Star plans. Now, it should be noted that these come by way of Making Star Wars, who were pretty reliable when it came to The Force Awakens.

Potential spoilers follow…

According to the site, Galen (if that is his name) is a scientist who took over the Genosian’s Death Star project, becoming a revered member of the Empire having solved a number of technical problems relating to the construction of the battle station. »

- Gary Collinson

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Sean Penn Unmasks ‘The End’ of the Acting Blues (Guest Column)

6 January 2016 3:24 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

From 500 B.C. to 300 B.C., actors of the Greek theatre wore the masks of comedy and tragedy–those that had come to be the representative symbols of the craft of acting, and the expression of the actor. Somewhere along the line, acting found its way more into a profession than expression. Today, those masks represent a union, or more accurately, a guild of actors that work to protect business with little or no focus on the protection of creative expression.

Throughout my own career as an actor, I’ve worked hard to avoid that label; to find projects that I felt I could serve well in their expression. I tried to avoid careerism.  I have had my share of transgressions. Yet overall, my care for the work was such that I sought a body of work that would, within my own limitations, express my generation’s experience.

Now, in my mid-fifties, »

- Sean Penn

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