1-20 of 43 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
’80s-set corporate morality tale A Most Violent Year has been earmarked as one to watch more than most. Echoing Sidney Lumet’s urban thrillers of the ’70s, it brings a fresh sensibility to the genre by casting two of American cinema’s true up and comers – Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.
Looking to the past while paving a way to the future, the talent behind the project is writer/director J.C. Chandor. Thn got the chance to sit down and talk turkey with the man himself. Expecting him to be a serious-minded sort, we were surprised to find Chandor open and talkative about his work, giving detailed insights into everything from his leading lady’s fingernails and getting tributed by Jonah Hill, to the elements that inspired the highly-intriguing end result…
Thn: The setting for the film is very specific and gives the story its title. What came first for you, »
- Steve Palace
Oscar nominee Uma Thurman (Nymphomaniac: Vol. I, Kill Bill: Vol 1-2, Pulp Fiction) and Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth (ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” Fox’s “Glee”) are set to star in the comedy The Brits Are Coming, it was announced today by producers Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Jc Chandor (A Most Violent Year, All Is Lost), Robert Ogden Barnum (Margin Call, Lawless), and Will Clevinger (upcoming Life At These Speeds, Maternal Bonds).
In this broad comedy, an eccentric British con-artist couple, Harriet (Thurman) and Peter Fox, flee to Los Angeles to get away from paying a large debt to a notorious gangster after a failed poker game. With the gangster hot on their trail, the pair scheme to win back the money by executing a jewel theft operation involving Peter’s ex-wife and her new husband, Gabriel. Chenoweth will play Gabriel’s pill-popping assistant, »
- Michelle McCue
Bentonville, Arkanasas, a sleepy, tree-lined city that exudes a Norman Rockwell-esque vibe but whose citizenry is primarily made up of Walmart employees, morphed into a professional powerhouse of female filmmakers, artists and media gurus May 5-9 for the first annual Bentonville Film Festival, co-founded by Trevor Drinkwater and Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media and sponsored by Walmart and Coca-Cola.
Bentonville was abuzz with a parade of A-list celebrities, such as helmer Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen,” “Twilight”), Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Rosie O’Donnell, who flocked to the fest to inspire, educate and promote diversity and gender equality in film and TV, and to encourage an increase in the number of women working both in front and behind the camera.
Through a mix of musical events, film screenings (Janet Grillo’s “Jack of the Red Hearts” nabbed the jury award »
- Malina Saval
“What We Do in the Shadows,” a satirical vampire documentary from Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords” fame, sunk its teeth into $462,862 in its first week on-demand, Variety has learned exclusively.
Movie distributors frequently cite electronic sales and cable and digital rentals of their films as evidence that the home entertainment business is recovering from the collapse of the DVD market. However, data about this sector of the business is hard to come by, apart from a few public statements about the big numbers put up by films like “Margin Call” and “Arbitrage.”
With the exception of Radius-twc, the company behind the on-demand breakout “Snowpiercer” which reports on-demand revenue on a weekly basis, most Hollywood players keep those statistics private.
The Orchard, a relatively new indie label that is overseeing the home entertainment release of “What We Do in the Shadows,” would like to change that.
“It’s the right thing to do, »
- Brent Lang
Teaser clip of Herzog’s documentary about the relationship between humans and volcanoes to be screened at Cannes.
London-based Dogwoof has acquired worldwide rights to Werner Herzog’s long-gestating volcano documentary Into The Inferno. A teaser clip of the film, in pre-production, will be screened by Dogwoof to buyers as part of their Cannes Marche promo reel on May 15.
Herzog, whose documentary films include Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams, will explore why, where and how human civilization is inextricably linked with volcanoes. Filmed around the world, Herzog will team up with volcanologist Professor Clive Oppenheimer to tell the story of the relationship between volcanoes, our planet and human society.
Dogwoof head of distribution Oli Harbottle negotiated the deal with André Singer and Richard Melman of Spring Films, the UK co-producer (in association with co-producers Herzog Film and Matter of Fact Media), for Dogwoof to handle the sale of all international rights, excluding Canada »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Taking off the table the only Spanish-language title confirmed to date for Cannes, Arp Selection, one of France’s premier arthouse distributors, has acquired French rights to David Pablos’ “The Chosen Ones” (“Las Elegidas”).
One of 14 Un Certain Regard titles unveiled last Thursday by Thierry Fremaux, “Chosen” is lead-produced by top Mexican production house Canana, founded by Pablo Cruz, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, whose credits include Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” Cary Fukunaga’s “Sin Nombre” and the Luna-directed “Abel” and “Cesar Chavez.”
“The Chosen Ones” is co-produced by Paris-based Manny Films, founded by Philippe Gompel, which also co-produced Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor” with Argentina’s Magma Cine, Canana and Brazil’s Bananeira Filmes.
Produced by Cruz and a love story with thriller elements and ethical dilemmas, “The Chosen Ones” turns on 15-year-old, Ulises, »
- John Hopewell
Filmmaker J.C. Chandor is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and dynamic emerging American filmmakers today. Within three films he’s created a voice with distinctive preoccupations but eclectic forms. “Margin Call” is a talky ensemble piece set within the Wall Street collapse, while “All Is Lost,” starring Robert Redford is almost the opposite, an existentialist survival drama set on the high seas featuring one character who barely speaks. His latest project, “A Most Violent Year,” is really a subversion of the gangster film right down to its title. While on the surface, the picture seems like a classic ‘Godfather’-esque crime drama about money, greed, power, the American Dream, and the cost of those pursuits, the film is actually much more nuanced, character-driven effort about the complexities of ambition, how veering off course morally can be quietly minute, and how our self-beliefs can blind us to the truths around us. »
- Rodrigo Perez
One of the best films of 2015, A Most Violent Year was about New York City in its most crime-ridden year of 1981. Oscar Isaac starred as ambitious Colombian immigrant Abel Morales, who began his career as a truck driver for a heating oil biz run by a mobster whose daughter Anna (Jessica Chastain) he eventually married. Abel took over ‘Standard Heating Oil’, and grew it quickly – but too quickly in the eyes of his competitors. As the movie opened, Abel and his attorney (Albert Brooks) are on the verge of a big move – borrowing a million and a half dollars to buy two oil tanks in a prime area of Queens. With 30 days to secure the cash needed to close the deal, it’s a risky investment, but if all goes according to Abel’s plan, he will eventually be able to store and move fuel on a larger scale. But »
- Tom Stockman
Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter’s Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact email@example.com. Building a monopoly Publicity firm 42West has landed a slew of top filmmakers: • David O. Russell, now shooting biopic Joy starring muse Jennifer Lawrence, which could bring his sixth Oscar nomination since 2011 • J.C. Chandor, coming off the acclaimed A Most Violent Year, following All Is Lost the year before and his auspicious 2011 debut, Margin Call • Xavier Dolan, the prodigy behind French-Canadian drama Mommy and now
- Rebecca Sun
The new-media giant stunned Hollywood this week when it plunked down $12 million for worldwide rights to the drama about a child soldier in Africa. It boasts a top-shelf cast that includes Idris Elba and arrives courtesy of director Cary Fukunaga, the auteur behind “Sin Nombre” and the buzzy HBO series “True Detective.”
Netflix stresses that the film would debut in “select” theaters — an important caveat given that its distribution platform will mean some exhibitors won’t show the film. Most major theater chains refuse to screen films that do not honor a 90-day delay between their theatrical debut and their home entertainment premiere. Netflix is partnering with Imax and the Weinstein Company on a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” but most exhibitors are boycotting the film because it does not honor traditional release windows. »
- Brent Lang
“Benaroya Pictures is working quickly to remedy the delay in production on the feature film ‘Wake,’ and we are optimistic we will resume principal photography in approximately 2-3 weeks,” said the company in a statement.
Benaroya’s sales company International Film Trust introduced the project to international buyers at the Berlin Film Festival. CAA is representing U.S. rights.
Willis is portraying a sociopath who returns to his childhood home on a remote island for his brother’s wake. When the island comes under siege, he must save the family that banished him from his ancestral home years ago.
It’s the second time in less than four months »
- Dave McNary
The 2014 RopeofSilicon Movie Awards It's hard to believe I've been doing my own brand of "awards" for seven years now. Perhaps because film awards seem to have grown increasingly irrelevant, but when you watch as many movies as I do per year it is nice to sit back and remember the finer moments of the past year, especially when we're stuck in the doldrums of the early year releases, dealing with the likes of Jupiter Ascending, Taken 3, Blackhat and Seventh Son. So, as we are now only a few weeks away from the 87th Annual Academy Awards, it's time to hand out the 2014 RopeofSilicon Movie Awards, looking back on a year that turned out to be much better than it initially appeared it may be. A hard question I'm trying to answer is just what kind of year in movies was 2014c Like previous years, blockbusters came and went. »
- Brad Brevet
Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (The Boxtrolls, Iron Man 3) has joined the cast of John Pogue’s (The Quiet Ones) action thriller Wake starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard film franchise), and produced by Michael Benaroya (Lawless, Margin Call), Tobin Armbrust (A Walk Among The Tombstones, Begin Again), David Alpert (upcoming American Ultra, AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’) and Chris Cowles (The Numbers Station, Autobahn).
International Film Trust (Ift) is handling foreign rights to the film, which they are actively selling at the European Film Market. CAA is representing the domestic sales rights.
“Sir Ben is a truly one of a kind talent, with a unique subtlety to his work. He brings characters to life and charges them with emotion and power at just the right moments. He’s a tremendous addition to this cast, I can’t wait to see what he does with Kole, this film’s powerful antagonist, »
- Michelle McCue
When she learns of the potential eruption of a supervolcano in the region, the scientist teams up with her nemesis to avert a global catastrophe.
Herzog wrote the script and will produce with his Queen Of The Desert collaborator and Margin Call producer Michael Benaroya alongside Nina Maag of Construction Film and Canana Films’ Pablo Cruz. CAA represents Us rights.
The producers plan to shoot Salt And Fire on the Bolivian salt flats.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to be endeavouring on another journey with Werner Herzog,” said Benaroya, a backer »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay) email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Clarius Entertainment has acquired Us rights to Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company’s thriller Cell starring John Cusack (upcoming Love & Mercy, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Oscar-nominated Samuel L. Jackson (upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service, Django Unchained).
The film is based on the best-selling apocalyptic novel by Stephen King.
When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”
- Michelle McCue
Get ready stateside filmgoers, because the “phoners” (aka “crazies”) are coming to the Us. Stephen King fans know that the master of macabre doesn’t like using cell phones. His 2006 novel, Cell, is a cautionary tale about what can go wrong by pressing portable phones to our ears and keeping them close at hand in our pockets, and its unflinching subject matter contains flocks of murderous lunatics that would be right at home in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, George A. Romero’s The Crazies, or Simon Clark’s Blood Crazy.
We knew this unique King novel was getting the adaptation treatment, with King co-writing the screenplay and John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles, but we’re now one big step closer to seeing it on the silver screen, as Clarius Entertainment has acquired the Us rights to the movie.
Slated to hit theaters this year, »
- Derek Anderson
Sold by Film Factory, “Ixcanul” world premieres next Saturday in Competition at the Berlin Festival.
Arp Selection’s acquisition marks the first distribution deal to go down on “Ixcanul,” which is raising large expectation after it made the Berlin Competition cut last month, competing with such seasoned directors’ latest as Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert” or Benoit Jacquot’s “Diary of a Chambermaid.”
The fact that Arp Selection has bought “Ixcanul” is noteworthy. Buying mostly from Europe, Arp targets often art films with potentially wider audience appeal: Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” with Robin J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call,” and Paulo Sorrentino’s Sean Penn starrer “This Must Be the Place.” Arp Selection’s biggest recent release was Steven Soderbergh »
- John Hopewell
American Sniper easily led the box office for the third weekend in a row, while the three new wide releases flopped with less than $18 million combined.American Sniper added $30.7 million, which fell just shy of a new record for Super Bowl weekend behind Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1 million). Unfortunately, it was off 53 percent from last weekend, which suggests that the intense interest surrounding the movie has cooled off quite a bit. Still, that $30.7 million ranks 21st all-time among third weekends, and that's with a hand tied behind its back thanks to the Super Bowl.To date, American Sniper has earned $247.8 million, which ranks sixth among 2014 releases. It could still wind up becoming the highest-grossing movie from 2014 ahead of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay*Part 1, though that no longer seems guaranteed.Playing at 2,893 locations, Project Almanac flopped with $8.3 million. That's the second worst debut »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You probably don't need us to tell you that Superbowl weekend has just been and gone in the Us. But maybe you might have missed Ivan Reitman's smart comedy-drama Draft Day. Following Kevin Costner as Sonny, it's a movie that's got a surface of sport, but isn't really about it at all.
I'm from the UK, know next to nothing about American Football, and got to the end understanding all the things I needed to understand.
That's part of the magic trick of this movie. It's a bit like that wonderful movie Margin Call. You don't really know trading and all of that stuff, but you can still get very »
J.C. Chandor, who raced from Margin Call to All Is Lost to A Most Violent Year, has left the director’s chair of the upcoming film Deepwater Horizon. The reason? Our old friend “creative differences,” at least as far as the official knowledge base goes. Now, coming in to replace him, is Peter Berg, whose most […]
- Russ Fischer
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