15 items from 2017
Exclusive: UTA has signed Thomas Mann, the up and coming actor who popped in starring roles in Project X and Me and Earl and The Dying Girl. He has also co-starred in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Beautiful Creatures and most recently the Jordan Vogt-Roberts-directed Kong: Skull Island. Mann will next be seen starring in the Nicole Holofcener-directed The Land Of Steady Habits. The actor took meetings with the majors and chose UTA. He continues to be managed by… »
If you've read my work on Daily Dead or listened to my ramblings on the Corpse Club podcast, then you might be aware of my deep love for Dance of the Dead, Gregg Bishop's midnight movie masterpiece that blended prom, zombies, and the music of Pat Benatar (via a great cover) into one of the most memorable rentals I ever enjoyed from Blockbuster. When I saw that Joe Ballarini, the screenwriter of Dance of the Dead, had written a new book (for children and adults) called A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting, I knew that I had to talk with him about it, and I recently had the great pleasure of doing just that.
In addition to A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting—the first in a planned three-book series from Katherine Tegen Books (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)—Ballarini also discussed his plans for the future installments in »
- Derek Anderson
29 August 2017 12:59 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Michael Bacall has thrown a fraud lawsuit at his former attorney and alleges that Jeffrey Shumway is no longer legally entitled to practice law and that a fee agreement must be voided.
Bacall, whose screenplays include 21 Jump Street, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Project X, is suing in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to the complaint filed on Monday, Shumway has acted as Bacall's attorney since 1989 when Bacall was a child actor. The plaintiff had small roles on Small Wonder; Mr. Belvedere; Punky Brewster; Doogie Howser, M.D.; and The Wonder Years.
In the decades since, Bacall has »
- Eriq Gardner
Former CAA agent also worked at Fox, Scott Rudin Productions.
Mark O’Connor is stepping up to head the feature film development and production division of Los Angeles-based independent finance and production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
O’Connor, who has been at Ske since early last year, assumes the duties and responsibilities previously held by Carla Hacken, who left the company last month to form her own production company, Paper Pictures. Hacken will continue to produce select films for Ske.
SKE chairman Sidney Kimmel and SKE president John Penotti made the announcement Thursday. O’Connor, who has been at Ske since early 2016, assumes the duties and responsibilities previously held by Hacken.
Ske scored its biggest critical success last year with “Hell or High Water,” which was nominated for four Academy Awards with Hacken and Julie Yorn receiving the best picture nods. Hacken is producing film and TV under her own banner, Paper Pictures, and will continue to produce select movies for Ske.
Kimmel and Penotti said, “We’re delighted to expand Mark’s oversight and creative responsibilities. He is well-known in our industry as a creative, passionate, and insightful executive. His eye for material and talent distinguish him as one of the most respected »
- Dave McNary
You may not have liked going to school as a kid, but you probably didn’t hate it as much as Edwin. In his opening narration, the eighth-grader, played by an impressive Arman Darbo, refers to his school as the reason he can’t sleep at night, a clique-filled nightmare and a “big shit-pile floating downstream.” At the bottom of that stream, caught in the wake and crashing against the rocks, he and his best friend are trying — and failing — to make it through each day undisturbed.
Read More: Laff 2017: 10 Festival Picks, from ‘My Friend Dahmer’ to ‘Everything Beautiful Is Far Away’
A coming-of-age drama about kids who may never actually come of age, “And Then I Go” reads as a less abrasive “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Vincent Grashaw’s adaptation of Jim Shepard’s 2004 novel “Project X” isn’t about red flags and warning signs so much as the toxic combination of angst, detachment and alienation that makes terrible decisions seem like the only recourse to kids who don’t know — or don’t believe — that the problems they’re facing will one day seem insignificant.
“Kids like you used to get their butts kicked when I was a kid,” Edwin’s kind-but-exhausted principal (Tony Hale, living up to the tradition of comic TV actors going serious for the indies) tells him after one especially sarcastic visit to the office. “They still do,” responds the troubled youth, who’s as quick-witted as he is confused. Cut to: Edwin and his best friend Flake getting their asses kicked by a couple of soccer players.
It takes all of 15 minutes to glean that this film’s narrative trajectory probably isn’t leaning toward reconciliation and catharsis. Edwin doesn’t seem likely to emerge from his adolescent ordeals changed for the better, and his parents (Melanie Lynskey and Justin Long) aren’t going to have an aha moment where they realize how to connect with their son. No, this movie’s arc is signaled by a question Flake asks Edwin: “Wanna see my dad’s guns?”
Rather than try to remake Gus Van Sant’s “Elephant,” as Tim Sutton did in “Dark Night,” Grashaw has crafted an intimate, sympathetic character study. The focus is on Edwin rather than what he may or may not eventually do, which is largely at the behest of his angry bestie. They’re making a list and checking it twice, but it’s clear all along that Flake (real name Roddy) is more committed to the idea than our wayward protagonist. Will they or won’t they?
Read More: As the Los Angeles Film Festival Struggles for Relevancy, a New Director Has Big Ideas For Change
Grashaw keeps us guessing. “And Then I Go” isn’t elegiac or fatalistic, nor is it a dread-filled slog toward an inevitable conclusion. There are glimmers of hope along the way, and a group art project goes surprisingly well — Edwin’s parents suggest taking a trip to the lake they used to visit every summer — and suggestions that the boy will find a way to weather this storm. By the time the end arrives, we’re as surprised as Edwin and Flake want their classmates to be.
“And Then I Go” premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It is currently seeking distribution.
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- Michael Nordine
Cannes — European film-tv powerhouse Studiocanal has nearly sold out in international at Cannes on its two big new English-language projects: Working Title-produced “Radioactive,” director Marjane Satrapi’s story of the loves, life and lasting importance of Marie Curie; and “The Tracking of a Russian Spy,” produced by The Picture Company and directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”).
In further business, Studiocanal’s two new French productions, the Gilles Lellouch-directed “Sink or Swim” and mainstream comedy “Marry Me, Dude” have proved market breakouts, pre-selling much of the world, a feat for French-language movies.
The robust business on Studiocanal’s Cannes market debutants proves that there is still a global market for high-profile larger upscale movies with pedigree producers. It also underscores something of a late surge in business announcements at Cannes this year, driven by its big sales players, from both the U.S. and Europe – and that much of the »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
But these days, star power alone is not enough for projects being pitched at Cannes as seismic change reshapes the independent business and its markets, led by Europe, the biggest for most U.S. independent films.
“Cast is still important. But while a few years ago it used to be a necessary and sufficient condition of sale, nowadays, if you have the wrong material, cast alone will not get the dog washed,” said Mister Smith Entertainment’s David Garrett.
“It’s the combination of marketable stars, well-honed material and a proven filmmaker which is key to giving buyers the optimum reassurance they need in the current climate,” Garrett added.
Budgets have plunged. Only a decade ago, buyers at Cannes were presented with multiple $100 million projects. Last year, only three or four projects exceeded $40 million. »
- John Hopewell
Though some people may be unaware, there’s an awards ceremony held every year to honor the true heroes behind our favorite films: the marketing team. That’s right, the Golden Trailer Awards hand out statues to those who work tirelessly putting together trailers, commercials and posters for hundreds of releases each and every year. And not just in film, but video games and TV, too. It’s an incredibly comprehensive ceremony as well, with awards for a whopping 116 categories. Yes, 116 – though not all of those are given out on stage.
The nominations for the 18th annual edition, set to go down on June 6th at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, are now in and it seems that Warner Bros. is leading the pack amongst the various studios, scoring an impressive 68 nods in total, 11 of which come from The Lego Batman Movie – the most of any title to be nominated. »
- Mark Cassidy
Paris — Signaling at least part of its Cannes line-up, Vivendi-owned Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film group, will introduce “The Tracking of a Russian Spy,” from Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”), at this year’s Cannes Film Market. Fruit of Studiocanal’s cornerstone U.S. production relationship with The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, production on the title is already announced. What was not so certain was when Studiocanal would initiate its sales campaign.
With more announcements yet to come as the European powerhouse, like so many commonages this year, looks t be gong down to the wire in unveils, Studiocanal’s slate will also introduce to buyers Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim,” Mike Shaerer’s “The Little Witch,” and Tarek Boudali’s “Marry Me, Dude.”
Now firmly established as one of Cannes’ strongest sales slates, offering fully-financed international movies and a pick of French and German movies to risk-averse international distributors, »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Zayn Malik just wants to party.
The "Still Got Time" singer dropped the music video for the Partynextdoor-assisted lead single off his upcoming album, and the theme is clear -- hedonism and debauchery, all in the service of a Project X-style rager.
Excessive drinking, impromptu tattoos and clothes-ditching partygoers are abundant in the super Nsfw new video, which you can watch below.
Looks like one hell of a night!
The dancey, downbeat Calmatic (Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak)-directed video was filmed at Malik's London home in April, and further highlights the divergent paths of the One Direction alum, following Harry Styles' anthemic rock release, "Sign of the Times," earlier this month.
Malik's song also gets even »
Logan Lerman and Olivia Cooke are in final negotiations to topline The Tracking Of A Russian Spy, the thriller based on real events that is being mounted by StudioCanal and The Picture Company. Nima Nourizadeh (American Ultra) is directing the pic based on Mitch Swenson’s memoir. The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, who worked with Nourizadeh on his feature debut Project X, are producing, and a summer shoot is in the works. Ron Halpern and Shana Eddy are… »
Next month, Netflix has a wide variety of films — modern to classic, animated to horror, Oscar winners to new indies — and we’ve picked seven that you should watch once they’re made available on the streaming service, either for the first time or as part of a nostalgic binge. Enjoy.
1. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (available February 1)
The 1993 stop-motion classic directed by Henry Slick and produced by Tim Burton tells the story of Jack Skellington, a resident from Halloween Town who stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town and decides to celebrate the holiday.
2. “The Blair Witch Project” (available February 1)
Directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, the 1999 found footage horror film became one of the most successful indie films of all time when it was released. The movie follows three film students »
- Liz Calvario
The true-life thriller, one that’s set up shop at StudioCanal and The Picture Company, is to be based on Mitch Swenson’s novella of love and espionage and, frankly, the devastating consequences when the two intertwine. Drake Doremus was once attached at the helm, and while he’s now gone, we understand the original, adapted screenplay from Charles Cumming and Chris Salmanpour remains in place.
There’s currently no mention of a release window just yet, but the official pitch teases “a secret romance between Swenson and Katya, a mysterious Russian woman he met in a New York nightclub. She disappeared suddenly after the arrest of 10 Russian Americans who were charged with spying for the Kremlin. Swenson went to »
- Michael Briers
4 January 2017 11:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The true-story thriller is based on Mitch Swenson's novella. The plot centers on a secret romance between Swenson and Katya, a mysterious Russian woman he met in a New York nightclub. She disappeared suddenly after the arrest of 10 Russian-Americans who were charged with spying for the Kremlin. Swenson went to Moscow to uncover who his love really was, leading him down a rabbit hole of intrigue and shadow government operations deep within Russia.
- Rebecca Ford
15 items from 2017
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