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Variety Picks 10 Actors to Watch for 2014

27 August 2014 3:38 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Variety has announced its annual list of 10 Actors to Watch, an honor the publication has been bestowing since 1998.

Past honorees include many future Oscar-winners and nominees such as Adrien Brody, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Patricia Clarkson, Samantha Morton, Lupita Nyong’o, Viola Davis, Michael Shannon, Melissa Leo.

This year’s honorees will be featured in the Oct. 7 issue of Variety and for the third year, several of the honorees will participate in Variety Ten to Watch activities at the Hamptons Film Festival, which runs Oct. 9-13.

This year’s 10 Actors to Watch are:

Kaitlyn Dever, who appeared in “Short Term 12” and will be seen in Jason Reitman’s upcoming “Men, Women and Children” and “Laggies” with Keira Knightley.

Eve Hewson, now appearing in the Steven Soderbergh series “The Knick” and soon to be seen in Steven Spielberg’s untitled cold war thriller.

Dakota Johnson, star of the upcoming »

- Jenelle Riley

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Benedict Cumberbatch to roar as Shere Khan in Andy Serkis's 'Jungle Book'

19 August 2014 2:41 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

As we already documented (see video above), Benedict Cumberbatch is a huge admirer of his "Hobbit" co-star Andy Serkis - and now he's re-teaming up with the man behind Gollum for the latter's directorial debut. The "Sherlock" star is set to voice villainous man-eating tiger Shere Khan in the upcoming Warner Bros. adaptation, which is based on Rudyard Kipling's classic stories, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be a mixture of live-action and performance capture, the latter of which Serkis has become famous for thanks to his work on Peter Jackson's Tolkien films and in Fox's "Planet of the Apes" reboots. The Callie Kloves-scripted project is one of two "Jungle Book" films currently in development; Disney has a live-action/CGI version in the pipeline with Jon Favreau directing, Bill Murray (Baloo), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Christopher Walken (King Louie), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela »

- Chris Eggertsen

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Ambitious RatPac-WB Deal Deserves a Closer Look

13 August 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

I usually nod off when a slate deal is announced (I don’t really care how a studio funds its movies), but the Warner Bros.-RatPac arrangement has piqued my interest.

As negotiations evolved (the basics of the pact were announced in April), it’s clear that the strategy here is more ambitious, the content more diverse, the numbers more exotic (potentially involving as much as $1 billion) — and a filmmaker, not a banker, will be calling the shots. That filmmaker, Brett Ratner, is off to China this week to expand the venture’s involvement in that skyrocketing territory, but before he left, we sat down to discuss the deal’s particulars.

At a time when the flow of Hollywood product is not only shrinking but also suffering from creative atrophy, RatPac clearly deserves scrutiny. It envisions not only co-funding studio features, but also backing midbudget films, documentaries and high-end television miniseries. »

- Peter Bart

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Dakota Johnson Doesn't Want Her Mom to See 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

8 August 2014 7:33 AM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

'Fifty Shades of Grey' is not a family-friendly film, especially when you're the star.

Fifty Shades of Grey is not a family-friendly film, especially when you're the star.

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson's daughter Dakota Johnson takes on the role of the virgin-turned-s&M goddess Anastasia Steele in the erotic film, but despite this family's show-business background, this leading lady isn't too keen on having her mother view the movie.

Watch: Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Is Super Sexual

"I have not seen Fifty Shades of Grey. I don't think I'm going to see it," the 56-year-old  actress admitted to Indiewire, adding that her 24-year-old daughter told her parents, "'You guys cannot come. There's no way.' So we're not going."

She may not see the movie, but Griffith did get a glimpse of the whips and chains. "I did go visit for a couple of days when they were shooting just normal stuff. I »

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'Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass' Begins Filming with James Bobin Directing

4 August 2014 8:46 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.

Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay. Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.

The all-star ensemble »

- Kellvin Chavez

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Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass Kicks Off Production

4 August 2014 8:34 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

At long last, the sequel to Disney’s massively successful, if narratively weak, Alice in Wonderland is starting to roll cameras, with James Bobin replacing Tim Burton in the director’s chair. It took a suprisingly long time for this next chapter of the planned franchise to get off the ground, considering the first film broke $1 billion at the box office, but a press release indicates that filming is now underway.

Officially titled Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, the follow-up finds the original actors returning to their roles, with a bevy of new stars joining both the live-action and voice casts. What the sequel is exactly about is still foggy, but the story is said to “revisit Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.”

Check out the official press release below:

Disney’S “Alice In Wonderland »

- Isaac Feldberg

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Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass Officially Starts Production

4 August 2014 7:01 AM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Disney met with some success in their live-action version of Alice in Wonderland (with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter), and since the film released, talk of a sequel has been on-going.  Now, it's finally moved into production as the cast and crew have gathered together in anticipation of it's May 2016 release.  Disney announced cameras have started rolling with a new cast list confirming both old and new members of the cast coming to the production.  

I wasn't all that thrilled with Alice in Wonderland when it released.  Not that it was a bad movie, I just didn't find it all that special or great.  So it's tough to muster up much enthusiasm for this sequel, despite the impressive cast coming back for it.  From the press release: 

Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, »

- feeds@cinelinx.com (Jordan Maison)

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Huge Cast Lines Up For Disney’s Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass

4 August 2014 6:32 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Disney’s Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) will direct.

The Disney movie revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.

Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay.

Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.

The all-star »

- Michelle McCue

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From Depp to Hardy: 9 actors playing notorious real-life gangsters

23 July 2014 8:25 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Johnny Depp was recently photographed in full prosthetics to play real-life Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger in the upcoming movie Black Mass.

The 50-year-old actor was wearing a balding wig cap, fake teeth, a blue open shirt with a gold chain, and a black leather jacket as he shot the film's final scenes in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Benedict Cumberbatch recently joined the cast as Whitey Bulger's brother Billy Bulger, along with Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott, who is reported to be playing FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick.

The Scott Cooper-directed crime drama is due for release in cinemas on September 18, 2015.

Bulger spent 16 years at large and 12 years on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list before he was arrested in June 2011, aged 81. Prosecutors indicted him for 19 murders and he is currently serving two life terms.

Here are 9 other actors morphing into some of the world's most notorious real-life gangsters below: »

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"Black Mass": Johnny Depp Revealed

23 July 2014 2:15 AM, PDT | SneakPeek | See recent SneakPeek news »

Sneak Peek new set images from Lynn, Massachusetts, of an unrecognizable Johnny Depp 'uglied'- up to play killer 'Whitey Bulger' in the new crime thriller "Black Mass", based on the 2001 novel "Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob", by authors Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill:

"...written and directed by Scott Cooper, the new film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Sienna Miller and Dakota Johnson...

"...in an account of the scandal surrounding Boston underworld figure 'James Whitey Bulger and his corrupt ties to FBI agents..."

Warners will release "Black Mass" September 18, 2015.

Click the images to enlarge »

- Michael Stevens

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Corey Stoll Confirms Edgar Wright Cast Him in Ant-man; Talks Reading Both Versions of the Script

21 July 2014 2:22 PM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Actor Corey Stoll has been on a tremendous roll in his career lately, with his work on the Netflix series House of Cards, the horror series The Strain, currently on FX, a guest arc on Season 4 of Showtime’s Homeland, and roles in the White Bulger feature Black Mass, as well as Marvel’s Ant-Man. Even though everything Marvel is always top-secret, when I got some time to chat with the incredibly versatile actor at the FX portion of the TCA Press Tour, I did get some tidbits and wanted to share his enthusiasm for what sounds like it will be a unique film about a scientist (Michael Douglas) who enlists a thief (Paul Rudd) to safeguard his size-changing technology and create a superhero with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength.  Having been cast by original director Edgar Wright, but now also having read the »

- Christina Radish

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Benedict Cumberbatch cracks the code in two trailers for WWII drama 'The Imitation Game'

21 July 2014 11:19 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

I'm very curious to see how The Weinstein Company's Oscar slate pans out. There's a lot of promise but who knows how the variables will come together. The line-up stretches from the high profile (Tim Burton's "Big Eyes") to the somewhat obscure (Saul Dibb's "Suite Française"). Somewhere in between is Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game," which has always struck me as perhaps the most likely to succeed, as it were. The film tells the story of English mathematician Ala Turing, who helped crack the Enigma code during World War II and whose work went a long way toward the personal computer-infested lifestyle you enjoy today. Graham Moore's screenplay caused quite the stir when it hit the industry a few years ago, and indeed, it's a tightly drawn-up character study with a fascinating historical bent, and as well, a major opportunity for Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of Turing. »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Johnny Depp Rocks Out With Aerosmith on Stage in Boston (Video)

18 July 2014 8:26 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Johnny Depp took a break from filming Whitey Bulgar biopic “Black Mass” this week to play a rock star opposite Aerosmith. The 51-year-old actor helped strum Aerosmith's 1974 hit “Train Kept a Rollin'” with Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the band on stage at the Xfinity Center, just outside of Boston. See photos: 19 of Johnny Depp's Most Outrageous Roles This isn't Depp's first rodeo with the arena rock band, either. He jammed with them to the same tune at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2012, and helped joined the group, along with Alice Cooper, cover The Beatles’ “Come Together” at the after-party for. »

- Greg Gilman

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Johnny Depp Rocks Out on 'Train Kept a Rollin' With Aerosmith Onstage in Boston (Video)

18 July 2014 6:50 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Not every actor unwinds from a long day on set with few strums alongside Aerosmith. Photos Johnny Depp's First Trip to China Leave it to Johnny Depp to do the honors, as he joined the rock band onstage at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass., on Wednesday night. Wearing jeans and a black hat, the actor touted an electric guitar for the band's 1974 hit "Train Kept a Rollin'," the same song he played with the band at their August 2012 show at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. Depp is currently filming Black Mass, the Whitey Bulger crime drama from Warner Bros.

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- Ashley Lee

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Amber Heard Supports Fiancé Johnny Depp During Surprise Performance With Aerosmith!

17 July 2014 4:48 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Concert date night for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard! Last night at Aerosmith's concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass., Depp surprised fans by joining Steven Tyler and his bandmates on stage during their encore. While his 28-year-old fiancée watched from the audience, the 51-year-old actor grabbed a guitar and helped Aerosmith play "Train Kept a Rollin," their final song of the night, a source tells E! News. According to the eyewitness, fans "went nuts" when Depp popped up on stage to give concert-goers—and Heard—a performance to remember. The star-studded musical moment was made possible by the fact that Depp is currently filming Black Mass, the upcoming movie »

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Johnny Depp Rocks Out with Steven Tyler & Aerosmith in Boston

17 July 2014 3:15 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Johnny Depp is making the rounds on the Boston concert circuit. Just a few weeks after he took the stage to accompany Willie Nelson on guitar, Depp performed with Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith at their show Wednesday night at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. "He played guitar on the encore," one concertgoer told People. Dressed casually in jeans and a black knit cap, Depp strapped on a guitar to play "Train Kept a Rollin" with the band. His fiancée, Amber Heard, was also rumored to be backstage. Depp is in Boston to wrap up filming Black Mass, »

- Megan Johnson

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Johnny Depp Rocks Out with Steven Tyler & Aerosmith in Boston

17 July 2014 3:15 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Johnny Depp is making the rounds on the Boston concert circuit. Just a few weeks after he took the stage to accompany Willie Nelson on guitar, Depp performed with Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith at their show Wednesday night at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. "He played guitar on the encore," one concertgoer told People. Dressed casually in jeans and a black knit cap, Depp strapped on a guitar to play "Train Kept a Rollin" with the band. His fiancée, Amber Heard, was also rumored to be backstage. Depp is in Boston to wrap up filming Black Mass, »

- Megan Johnson

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Martin Scorsese’s Silence May Get Awards-Friendly 2015 Release Date

14 July 2014 1:37 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Somehow, the 2015 Oscar race is already looking almost as promising as this fall’s. David O. Russell will be reteaming with his Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle star Jennifer Lawrence for the biopic JoyAlejandro González Iñárritu will finally unveil his Tom Hardy/Leonardo DiCaprio revenge thriller The Revenant, Steven Spielberg will be in the mix with an untitled Cold War thriller set to star Tom Hanks and Scott Cooper is also set to release his Whitey Bulger pic Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton. Now, we’ve got another exciting addition to the latter half of 2015 – Martin Scorsese’s Silence is being tentatively planned for release next November.

After years in development as one of Scorsese’s dream projects, Silence is finally gearing up to shoot later this year, and Paramount is gunning for U.S. distribution rights. Should Paramount land the movie, as seems likely, »

- Isaac Feldberg

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Is That Really You, Johnny Depp?

12 July 2014 11:15 AM, PDT | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

Thanks to the magic of makeup, Johnny Depp has transformed into a balding and considerably older man! The actor looked barely recognizable while filming scenes with Peter Sarsgaard for Black Mass in Revere, Ma, on Friday. At one point, Johnny flashed a big smile and, in the process, showed off a set of false teeth. Johnny is going all out to portray real-life gang leader Whitey Bulger, who is serving more than two life terms for several crimes, including 11 murders. We first saw Johnny trade his dark features for a lighter complexion in May, when he debuted the new look on the film's set in Boston. Amber Heard is one person who doesn't seem turned off by the temporary changes. In June, Johnny's fiancée gave him a sweet kiss when the two linked up on set. Keep reading to see the actor's latest pictures, and then check out Johnny's weirdest and wackiest movie looks! »

- Nick Maslow

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Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson to headline Forever, Interrupted

12 July 2014 1:36 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

THR reports that Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson will headline another book-to-screen adaptation, Forever, Interrupted. 

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the novel tells the story of Elsie Porter, an average twentysomething who falls head over heels in love with a man named Ben Ross. Within weeks the two have eloped, but their happy ending is cut short when Ben is killed instantly after his bike is hit by a truck nine days after the wedding. Elsie must then face Susan, the mother-in-law she’s never met and who doesn’t even know that Elsie exists.

Johnson will take on the role of Elsie, and the producers could not be more ecstatic about her casting. According to Amy Baer, who runs production house Gidden Media:

“Taylor’s book is exquisitely written and heart-wrenchingly honest. Great romantic drama is so hard to execute, and Taylor nailed it. And Dakota will be exquisite as Elsie, »

- James Garcia

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