16 items from 2015
London — “House of Cards” executive producer Beau Willimon and Nancy Meyers, who was Oscar nominated for “Private Benjamin,” will be among the speakers in the latest series of lectures by leading screenwriters organized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the British Film Institute.
Other screenwriters featured in the series are U.K. writers Nick Hornby, who was Oscar nominated for “An Education,” and Jimmy McGovern, who created “Cracker,” and Australia’s Andrew Bovell, whose credits include “A Most Wanted Man.” The lectures will run in London between Sept. 23 and Oct. 3.
Now in its sixth year, the series “exists to celebrate screenwriters’ authorial contribution to film, and gives esteemed writers a platform to share highlights and insights from their careers with an audience of film-lovers and their peers,” according to a statement.
- Leo Barraclough
Now that Marvel and Sony have found their Peter Parker, the focus has turned to the aunt who raised him.
Sony and Marvel had no comment on the casting.
While insiders could not say where things stood in the deal-making process, they have added that an offer was made late last week for the Oscar-winning actress to join Tom Holland, who was recently tapped to play the web-slinging superhero.
Marvel and Sony recently hand-picked Holland to play Spider-Man after months of meetings and screen tests with eager young actors, in addition to selecting “Cop Car” helmer Jon Watts to direct the pic.
The studios are still in the process of finding a writer to join Watts in the screenwriting process but insiders explained that the top brass also wanted »
- Justin Kroll
When “House of Cards” premiered on Netflix in February 2013, it not only effectively changed a nation’s viewing habits, turning us all into binge-watchers — but it also marked the television debut of screenwriter Beau Willimon. Known for his plays — “Farragut North” was adapted into the Oscar-nominated “The Ides of March” — Willimon would go on to earn three Emmy noms for “House of Cards” as the series’ creator and executive producer. He’ll receive Variety’s inaugural Creative Impact in TV Writing Award at the Nantucket Film Festival.
What does this award mean to you?
It’s a huge honor to get any sort of award at all. Any time someone gives you a pat on the back and says, “We appreciate what you do,” that’s a great feeling. As far as this festival is concerned, I find it’s great to be recognized in television on par with film because, »
- Debra Birnbaum
Willimon takes home the inaugural award for a body of work that includes his current gig as creator, showrunner and executive producer of “House of Cards,” the political drama that put Netflix’s original content on the map and opened the door for the legions of high-end Svod TV series that followed. He was nommed for an Oscar as co-writer of “The Ides of March,” based on his play “Farragut North.”
Cynthia Littleton, Variety‘s managing editor of TV, will present the award to Willimon as part of the festival’s annual Screenwriters Tribute on June 27. More awardees for the tribute remain to be announced.
- Gordon Cox
Every so often, the stars will align in one particular year for an actor who’ll at last see their movie star status go supernova. In 2011, it was Ryan Gosling’s turn – as Drive, The Ides Of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love. finally tipped him over into superstardom – as well as Michael Fassbender’s, with X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre and Shame bringing the Irish actor to the attention of the moviegoing public at large.
In 2015, it looks as though the year will belong to Tom Hardy. Already an actor of considerable acclaim amongst critics and serious cinema fans, Hardy’s impressive-looking line-up of upcoming projects this year should see his fame hit peak levels, as all the talk of him being “the best actor of his generation” at last reaches the masses.
It’s been coming for a while – Hardy hasn’t really stopped working since he »
- Brogan Morris
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
This month Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, Ryan Gosling's Lost River and Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner see these performers make the dizzying leap from actor to director. But in which of their colleagues' footsteps might they follow?
We take a look at six different categories of actor-turned-directors.
Too handsome to be a supporting actor, and lacking the gravitas of a major star, Ben Affleck looked to be heading towards Kilmer-ville before he released Gone Baby Gone, a dark Dennis Lehane thriller he co-wrote and directed, with brother Casey taking the lead. Follow-up The Town proved solid, but his next effort, Argo, was a surprise Best Picture winner. The fact Affleck didn't receive a Director nomination suggests he's not yet been forgiven for the likes of Gigli, but the forthcoming Lehane adaptation Live By Night should fix that.
As an actor, Clint Eastwood's flinty »
I’m a huge fan of Ryan Gosling as an actor, frankly considering him to be among the very best of this generation. As such, I was very interesting in his first foray behind the camera, which happens to be the dark fairy tale of sorts Lost River. He’s worked with some top notch directors in the past, so some interesting things had to have rubbed off on him. Well, he wears a number of influences on his sleeve in Lost River, oddly enough including David Lynch in a huge way. His debut film is a divisive one, but it’s a debut that I think suggests a bright future as a filmmaker. Gosling has a who’s who list of directors that he’s worked with in his career so far, including Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson), Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine and »
- Joey Magidson
Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, Lost River, will finally hit a (small) number of theaters, and VOD, on April 10. Gosling's freshman effort debuted at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it was promptly slammed by critics. One of the main complaints? That the film, which Gosling also wrote, feels like a mishmash of styles cribbed from several more-established directors: David Lynch, Terrence Malick, and Gosling's Drive and Only God Forgives director, Nicolas Winding Refn, among them. That may be true, but when I caught the Cannes premiere screening of Lost River, I was struck more by all the elements in the movie that reminded me of elements from other Ryan Gosling movies. Here are a few devices, props, and people from Gosling's past work that pop up in subtle - and not-so-subtle - ways in his first behind-the-camera effort: Detroit Gosling returned to Detroit, where much of his film The Ides of March was shot, »
"The wolves, if they're not already at your door, they're gonna be there very fucking soon." If you though the previous Us trailer and international trailer for Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River were weird, then this new extended trailer for the Cannes selected film is really going to creep you out. For some reason, it's labeled as a featurette, but this is clearly an extended red band trailer with salty language, unnerving peeling of Christina Hendricks' face, Ben Mendelsohn dancing and some gorgeous cinematography. It certainly looks beautiful, but feels like it's trying to be weird for the sake of being weird. Here's the new red band trailer for Ryan Gosling's Lost River from Warner Bros. Pictures: You can still watch the first Us trailer for Lost River right here. Lost River (formerly known as How to Catch a Monster) is written and directed by Ryan Gosling (star of Drive, »
- Ethan Anderton
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Adams is currently in talks for the lead role in fashion designer/film director Tom Ford's sophomore feature Nocturnal Animals, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to play Adams' male counterpart. Further, Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also being sought for key roles in the film, a bit of casting that would reunite Phoenix with Adams, whom he acted opposite in 2013's Her. With Adams, Gyllenhaal, and Phoenix potentially working together in the same film, I'd say that alone makes this worth keeping an eye on, but the fact it is a thriller, my favorite genre of film, piques my interest even more. Add in George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The Ides of March) as producers and you've basically got me stashing away funds for a ticket to the film, which Ford adapted from Austin Wright's 1993 novel "Tony and Susan". Below is the synopsis of Wright's novel, »
- Jordan Benesh
Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling has turned badass, well sort of.
In 2011, after rapping up the George Clooney directed The Ides of March in Detroit, the actor/director felt inspired by the grittiness of city, and stayed to do some R&D work for his upcoming directorial debut in the film Lost River.
Gosling, equipped with a digital camera, lurked around abandon factories snagging any useful footage he could use. On the other hand, the Detroit Police department must not get out to the local movie theater often, because they detained the actor for suspicion of stealing copper. Imagine that.
“I’m not proud that I was arrested, but it did give me one of the central pieces for the main character,” Gosling told The Hollywood Reporter.
He used to be so innocent. At least it wasn’t all for nothing. Ryan actually used some of the footage in the opening scene of the movie. »
- Kyle Hodge
"The only way to break the spell is to bring peace to the surface." After the first peculiar trailer for Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River arrived not too long ago, an international trailer gives us another look at the very strange film. Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Ben Mendelsohn and Saoirse Ronan star in the film that is full of dark fantasy and gorgeous imagery. But it looks like Gosling just may have been trying too hard to make this one work in the end. It feels like the kind of film that sounded good and beautifully artistic on paper but doesn't end up connecting with the audience. Watch? Here's the new international trailer for Ryan Gosling's Lost River from The Film Stage: You can still watch the first Us trailer for Lost River right here. Lost River (formerly known as How to Catch a Monster) is »
- Ethan Anderton
After debuting at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River is heading to theaters and VOD this spring. But if you're more of a mainstream fan of Gosling, this doesn't look like it's going to be something you'll enjoy. Gosling has opted to go with a surreal style for his first time behind the camera, and sadly it seems to be weird just for the sake of being weird. The buzz, or rather lack thereof, from Cannes seems to echo that sentiment. But there's a good cast here with Iain De Caestecker, Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Ben Mendelsohn and Matt Smith starring. Watch! Here's the first trailer for Ryan Gosling's Lost River from Warner Bros. Pictures: Lost River (formerly known as How to Catch a Monster) is written and directed by Ryan Gosling (star of Drive, The Ides of March, Crazy Stupid Love), making his feature directorial debut. »
- Ethan Anderton
“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a fairy tale—but not your average fairy tale. It’s a madcap musical with a princess who has sworn off love, a vulnerable villain, a slightly nutty Sugar Plum Fairy, a tenacious and big-hearted elf, a mischievous imp, and a knight who is no Prince Charming.
“Strange Magic” welcomes an extraordinary roster of voice talent, including Alan Cumming (CBS’ “The Good Wife,” Broadway’s “Cabaret”) as Bog King, Evan Rachel Wood (“The Ides of March“) as feisty fairy Marianne, Elijah Kelley (“Hairspray,” “Lee Daniels’The Butler”) as lovelorn elf Sunny, newcomer Meredith Anne Bull as Marianne’s lovesick sister Dawn, »
- Michelle McCue
There were rumblings just before 2015 rolled in that the directorial debut of Ryan Gosling, the Cannes selected film Lost River, would not get a theatrical release. However, THR reports that the film will get a limited release on the big screen after all, on the same day of the primary release on VOD. However, if you want to see the film in theaters, you need to live in New York City or Los Angeles. The film didn't really get much buzz after premiering at Cannes last year, but surely many are interested to see what Gosling does behind the camera with Christina Hendricks, Matt Smith, Iain De Caestecker and more in the cast. Lost River (formerly known as How to Catch a Monster) is written and directed by Ryan Gosling (star of Drive, The Ides of March, Crazy Stupid Love), making his feature directorial debut. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, »
- Ethan Anderton
16 items from 2015
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