If the script for something you're dying to see leaks online, it's tempting to read it... but you're better off waiting, as Mark explains
In the age of online entertainment journalism, it seems like information about big productions, including spoilers, is generally freer than ever before. The onslaught of casting rumours, set pictures and videos of filming has only led producers to double down and become more secretive about their big projects.
As a proponent of the oft-criticised “Mystery Box” mode of marketing, Jj Abrams would be a prime example. It worked for Super 8, because we knew very little about the film by the time it came out, but infuriated people when he and his team wouldn't admit the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness for months on end, when we all guessed who he’d be playing pretty early on. We’ve »
Good news for Disney this morning as Maleficent has crossed the $600 million mark, becoming the fourth movie in 2014 – and the first non-comic book movie – to do so.
Now in its fifth week of release, Maleficent has taken $205 million domestically and around $400 million in worldwide markets, which also makes this the biggest live-action success of Angelina Jolie’s career. The movie is now out in the majority of the major markets having taken roughly $40 million in China. It opens in Japan this weekend.
From Disney comes Maleficent—the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army »
- Luke Owen
If I had a dollar for every time a critic dismissively claimed “we’ve seen this story before,” I’d be filthy rich living on my own private island – aren’t most Hollywood movies borrowing ideas from elsewhere? Keep your Super 8 comparisons to yourself, because I don’t remember J.J. Abrams’ childhood adventure featuring a fun-loving robot who leads three best friends on a vandalism-filled wild goose chase. Earth To Echo is an alien-themed version of Humpty Dumpty – and a sweet one at that – sporting similarities to classic children’s sci-fi material, only this time around the extraterrestrial star isn’t a Reese’s Pieces munching oddity. Children need films with strong, positive moral backbones, something our little friend Echo shows off by instilling the bonds of friendship while proving anything is possible.
- Matt Donato
Another Star Wars: Episode VII rumor has surfaced that is pretty interesting. The Daily Mail is reporting that Carrie Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, will make an appearance in the movie as a young Princess Leia. If this is true, it means we're going to see some flashback scenes in the highly anticipated film.
Apparently J.J. Abrams picked her for the role because "of their visual similarities." I can see it a little bit, but she has no acting experience. This is all just a rumor right now. We are not reporting this as fact; the Daily Mail is though! This is just another one of those news bits that seems to spark good conversation among fans.
I could see there being a few flashback scenes to help set up the story of what we are going to see happen in the movie. Abrams likes to use flashback scenes in the movies he makes. »
- Joey Paur
Did we break it?
All it took was one week of Star Wars: Episode VII news for me to completely turn around on how I view this production. If you try to form a narrative out of the production so far, all the rumors of infighting and tribulations really make this look like the end, not the pinnacle of Jj Abrams dependability as a blockbuster storyteller.
Somewhere around Alias, he wasn’t the Regarding Henry guy anymore and somewhere around Mi:3 everyone was eating up his storytelling philosophy like the “mystery box.” Then, Super 8 happened and the collective fandom was a bit disappointed in how that movie aped old Amblin movies without successfully planting the heart that made old Amblin films so successful.
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Walt Disney Pictures and LucasFilm have enlisted Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) to both write and direct the two followup installments of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. Deadline reports that Johnson "will take over the core film franchise..from Jj Abrams, who has gotten the space franchise off the ground and is right now helming Episode VII. Johnson confirmed the news via Twitter by way of a video quote from Philip Kaufman's space adventure film The Right Stuff. Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J. J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek) and scripted by Abrams along with Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), is scheduled for theatrical release on December 18th, 2015. John Williams is set to return for the film score »
- Pietro Filipponi
J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII. This is, essentially, the only piece of Star Wars: Episode VII news that is absolutely completely officially confirmed. Everything else — who certain actors are playing, what the movie is titled, why certain screenwriters were hired or fired, precisely what part of Harrison Ford’s body was injured on the set — is open for debate. But the fact that Abrams is directing Episode VII naturally led most people to assume that the reboot kingpin would be sticking around for Episodes VIII and IX, since we live in a world where Marc Webb and »
- Darren Franich
Daniel Craig was set to star in a courtroom drama called The Whole Truth, but unexpectedly had to drop out four days before shooting began. Deadline is now reporting that Keanu Reeves has come in to take his place. This will be quite a different role for Reeves than the kinds of films we're used to seeing him in. Lately he's been doing a lot of genre films dealing mostly with martial arts, which is something he obviously has had a passion for since The Matrix.
The actor will play a defense attorney who "fights to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father." He will join the previously cast Renee Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), and Gabriel Basso (Super 8, Kings of Summer).
This isn't the first time Reeves has played an attorney, he also played one in The Devil's Advocate. I really do like Reeves as an actor, »
- Joey Paur
After a couple of months of scrambling to find someone in the wake of Daniel Craig’s abrupt, days-before-production-started departure from the film, the producers behind courtroom drama The Whole Truth have a new leading man. Keanu Reeves will now approach the bench as a defence lawyer.Deadline reports that Reeves has agreed to step in, playing the man employed to defend a teenage client accused of murdering his wealthy father. He’s joining a cast that already includes Renee Zellweger, Belle’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Super 8’s Gabriel Basso.Frozen River director Courtney Hunt can now gear pre-production on the film back up again, aiming to kick off shooting in early July in New Orleans, a switch from the original planned Boston locales. As for Craig, there has been no official statement on why he decided to ditch the film at the eleventh hour, but it might have »
• Maya Rudolph will reunite with her Saturday Night Live alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for Universal’s The Nest. She’ll play a childhood friend of Poehler and Fey’s characters, who are sisters who throw one last blowout in their parents’ up-for-sale house. Greta Lee (Girls) has also joined the cast. She’ll play a woman who gets a “pity invite” to the party. Paula Pell wrote the screenplay, and Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) will direct. [THR; Deadline]
- Lindsey Bahr
In case you didn't hear, Daniel Craig was previously slated to lead a courtroom drama called The Whole Truth from Frozen River director Courtney Hunt. However, back in April, just days before shooting was to begin, Craig pulled out of the project, leaving them without a leading man. Now Deadline reports Keanu Reeves has stepped up to take the lead role as defense attorney who fights to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father. Production is expected to begin in New Orleans next month, but Richard Suckle and Charles Roven of Atlas Entertainment are only executive producing now. More below! Meanwhile, Anthony Bergman from Likely Story and Kevin Frakes from PalmStar Entertainment are now the sole producers, having previously worked with Reeves on the indie Thumbsucker. As for the rest of the cast, Renee Zellweger is still in place along with Belle star Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Super 8 »
- Ethan Anderton
Directed by William Eubank
Whether or not we are alone in the universe is an age old question that has racked the brains of mankind for millennia. Extraterrestrial life has been explored and researched countless times over. We have not received a definite answer to the question of whether aliens exist or not but it seems that motion pictures and other forms of art have attempted to answer that question for us. Science fiction allows us to create creatures and worlds that reach out into deep space. The Signal attempts to continue this eternal quest for knowledge and present alien life in a believable, sometimes scary fashion. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t do a very good job at answering the questions it asks.
- Randall Unger
Exclusive: Two months after star Daniel Craig unexpectedly dropped out of the project just days before filming was set to begin, Courtney Hunt’s courtroom drama The Whole Truth has reset with Keanu Reeves in the lead. Sources close to the project tell me Reeves will now play the role of a defense attorney who fights to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father. Previously cast Renee Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), and Gabriel Basso (Super 8, Kings of Summer) are still in place opposite Reeves in what will mark Hunt’s follow-up to her Oscar-nominated debut Frozen River, directing […] »
Die wanna wanga!
This week's Star Wars phrase that pays is: "Hees torona old Jedai mind trick." (He's using an old Jedi mind trick.)
There's news at the bottom of this, I swear. But First...
I love Star Wars and I love writing/talking about movies on the internet. Back when I was younger, I loved other people’s writing on the internet about Star Wars and other pop-culture landmarks of the time. I have a very distinct memory of wanting access to information about The X-Files, information that we’d now consider “spoilers.” Specifically, the memory involves the episode “Small Potatoes,” a fourth-season comedy episode that shows Mulder and Scully hunting down a man with a tail who can control his skin like a voluntary muscle, giving him Mystique powers (shape shifting). The week before, Fox had teased the episode by showing David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson »
Boasting the dubious distinction of being the first found-footage adventure made for family audiences, “Earth to Echo” reaches for the stars with its gentle sci-fi shenanigans, but the rote result remains decidedly earthbound. Tyro helmer Dave Green wears his ’80s-era Amblin inspirations on his sleeve in this good-hearted “E.T.”-meets-”Chronicle” hybrid, which never quite finds its own voice. A little picture bravely expected to enter the summer wide-release skirmish a few days after the latest “Transformers” installment, “Echo” looks likely to get steamrolled at the box office by more substantial studio product.
Developed and produced by Disney under a cloud of secrecy as the “Untitled Wolf Adventure” back in summer 2012, the relatively low-budget pic was quietly sold to Relativity last year when the Mouse House reportedly didn’t know what to do with it. Those concerns appear to have been well founded, based on the finished product’s likable »
- Geoff Berkshire
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new sci-fi/thriller “The Signal” starring Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent”)!
“The Signal,” which is rated “PG-13” and opens in Chicago on June 13, 2014, also stars Laurence Fishburne, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Jeffrey Grover, Drew Sykes, Lin Shaye and Robert Longstreet from writer and director William Eubank and writer Carlyle Eubank.
To win your free “The Signal” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
Preferably, use your computer to enter rather than your smartphone.
If you must enter on your smartphone, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
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