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(Clockwise from top left) DJ Yella, Ice Cube, Mc Ren, Dr. Dre, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Aldis Hodge as Mc Ren, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-e, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube and Neil Brown, Jr. as DJ Yella on the set of Straight Outta Compton.
Taking us back to where it all began, the film tells the true story of how these cultural rebels – armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent – stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A.
- Melissa Thompson
Di Loreto will oversee the day-to-day TV development and production for Peter Chernin’s company.
“Dante has consistently delivered inspired television series that capture unique characters and stories,” said Chernin’s head of film and television, Jenno Topping, to whom Di Loreto will report. “He’s a champion of courageous writers and vision. We look forward to getting started with him.”
Di Loreto commented: “Peter and Jenno are two of the most successful and highly regarded producers working today. Their clear vision and unique strategy make Chernin Entertainment the ideal destination for top-tier talent and material in this rapidly evolving industry. I am honored to join their team and look forward to nurturing inventive first-rate programming.”
Aside from his trio of shows with Ryan Murphy, Di Loreto also »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Dante Di Loreto has been named president of Television at Chernin Entertainment, where he’ll oversee development and production for the small screen. Di Loreto comes from WatchWorks Entertainment, a production company he started this year after he and partner Ryan Murphy wrapped on “Glee.” He has also executive produced “American Horror Story” and HBO film “The Normal Heart” with Murphy. “Dante has consistently delivered inspired television series that capture unique characters and stories. He’s a champion of courageous writers and vision. We look forward to getting started with him,” said Jenno Topping, Chernin’s head of Film and Television. »
- Tony Maglio
Blumhouse Productions have crafted a thriving horror fiefdom for themselves over the last half-decade, with nearly 20 films released since 2009’s Paranormal Activity. When not pitching in on the occasional bit of awards fare like Whiplash and The Normal Heart, Blumhouse can be counted on for the same sort of entertainment Hammer Films provided half a century ago: modest to micro-budgeted fright flicks dished out by the barrelful, where one hit can offset a dozen misses. The studio’s latest, The Gift, toys with this reputation in some unexpected ways, and ends up being as enhanced by the Blumhouse style as it is hindered.
Between The Lazarus Effect, Insidious: Chapter 3, Creep, and The Gallows, Paranormal Activity’s popular trappings (supernatural spookery captured via affordable found footage) have been thoroughly reworked by Blumhouse this year alone. Of the company’s 2015 offerings, The Gift is more in the neighborhood of a suburban »
- Sam Woolf
"It's just a game, it's just a game..." Hosted by filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Blumhouse's horror-themed Hellevator will premiere on the Game Show Network this October, and a new promo video teases the scares to come.
"The terrifying new show from Blumhouse, the team that brought the world the “Paranormal Activity”, “Insidious”, “Sinister”, and “The Purge” franchises, dares contestants to survive a series of challenges from the depths of an abandoned warehouse. The new series is expected to premiere later this year, and continues Gsn’s growth into “gamifying” cultural trends, including the successful Skin Wars and soon-to-debut Steampunk’D.
In Hellevator, a team of three friends rides a haunted elevator into various levels of an abandoned warehouse. One player must get out on each floor and conquer a frightening challenge in order to earn money for the team. But if they don’t make it back in time, »
- Derek Anderson
“He trusts his gut more than most actors do.” Finn Wittrock is talking about American Horror Story: Freak Show co-creator Ryan Murphy, who selected him actor to play the sociopath rich brat Dandy Mott after playing a dying AIDS patient in the HBO movie The Normal Heart. The roles couldn’t be different. Ask Wittrock, “How did Murphy know you could go dark?” and the actor is dumbfounded. Murphy also had a similar instinct with actress Sarah Paulson, who started off playing… »
"Brett chose me for the project and then it all fell apart," Bomer said. "It was a very lengthy process to get the role, I think it was over the course of three months because I went in in a cattle call. It sort of evolved from there.
"It was a month of, 'Okay, looks like this is going to happen'. »
If cultural progress for gay rights has tilted toward mainstreaming of characters via network television — with gradual acceptance reflected by a surplus of gay best friends, usually devoid of any onscreen love lives — pay cable emerged as the arena where gays could go for honest and open depictions of their experiences.
HBO, not surprisingly, was a trailblazer in this area, both in the movie and documentary arena. “And the Band Played On,” in 1993, explored the sad history of indifference toward AIDS, becoming the first prong of what amounted to a trilogy, each spaced by roughly a decade: “Angels in America” in 2003, and “The Normal Heart” last year. Many of the best pay-tv movies devoted to the topic were true stories, telling tales of pain and tragedy, a la Showtime’s “Soldier’s Girl.”
The most memorable series — a form where the audience has more time to bond with characters — generally arrived only this century, »
- Brian Lowry
Few people have had more impact on the modern gay rights movement than Larry Kramer, the combustible Oscar-nominated screenwriter, author and activist who's played a supporting role in every gay milestone of the past 30 years. So when news of the Supreme Court's landmark gay marriage decision broke last Friday, it seemed only natural to give him a call. Kramer, who celebrated his 80th birthday a day before the ruling, is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. He recently finished writing a screenplay that's a sequel to The Normal Heart, his transformative AIDS-era play that was adapted into a
- Maer Roshan
The timing couldn’t be better for HBO’s premiere of the documentary “Larry Kramer In Love & Anger.” Although it bowed at Sundance earlier this year, the commercial debut now follows the landmark Scotus decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. It’s a turn of events that tireless gay rights activist Kramer could only have dreamt of, and adds an extra layer of poignancy to a rather straightforward, if frequently stirring, doc.
In looking back at Kramer’s life and legacy, with a particular focus on his work raising awareness for AIDS victims and the need for research during the ’80s, “Love & Anger” covers much of the same ground already dramatized in Kramer’s autobiographical play “The Normal Heart,” which memorably reached screens on the cabler just a little over a year ago.
That gives the directorial debut of Kramer pal Jean Carlomusto a feeling of “been there, heard that” for »
- Geoff Berkshire
Just when we thought we were done crying. Today, after the historic Supreme Court ruling in which bans on same-sex marriages were ruled unconstitutional, we couldn't help but think of Ryan Murphy, the creative force behind such Lgbt landmark TV moments as Glee, The Normal Heart and The New Normal, and how pop culture truly can bring about more acceptance and tolerance. Because confession: We are diehard TV fans and the idea that TV can help to affect positive change is…just one reason to love it all the more. And feel Good about it. Glee fans know so well that Kurt Hummel's (Chris Colfer) coming out story was life-changing for so many youths, who finally saw a representation of their own struggles and »
Last year I did a big, hour-long sitdown interview with the one and only William Friedkin. And even though we talked about a ton of things, I got one distinct impression from him: he loves the current state of longform TV. We started the interview with him asking me if I'd watched the Fargo series yet, and he kept bringing it and made-for-tv movies like The Normal Heart up as examples of great storytelling in this day and age. Friedkin even told us that TV show versions of at least two of his movies were in the works. The first was Killer Joe, about a Dallas detective who is a hired killer on the side, and the second was To Live and Die in L.A., about reckless Secret Service agents. At the time he told us that if he liked the pilot for the latter project, he may actually direct. »
- Peter Hall
Jonathan Groff has appeared in plenty of projects onscreen and onstage — “Looking,” “The Normal Heart,” “A New Brain” — that may well have helped pave the way for the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage. But in reacting to the news of the ruling, Groff’s thoughts went to the years of activism that led to this moment.
“I didn’t expect to be as genuinely emotional and excited about being an American as I am today,” he said. “I just feel so grateful to all of the activists. I’m benefiting from the decades of turmoil and frustration and work that has been done on my behalf. Now it’s official, and it’s mind-blowing to me.”
With the finale of “Looking” still being written (as a movie that wraps up the HBO series in which Groff starred), the actor feels sure the Supreme Court decision will make its way into the script. »
- Gordon Cox
Three years after Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello reduced even the most discriminating filmgoers to quivering lumps of hormones in Warner Bros.’ hit “Magic Mike,” the Kings of Tampa are back on the bigscreen in “Magic Mike Xxl,” buffed and bronzed and gunning to perform their striptease swansong in the adult entertainment mecca of Myrtle Beach.
Thursday night’s premiere, held at Hollywood’s Tcl Chinese Theatre, was a predictable mix of ogling fans – male and female – and comely celebrities, featuring a dizzying array, even by Hollywood standards, of eye candy on the red carpet, including Tatum, Bomer and Manganiello, all back to reprise their roles.
A gaggle of male strippers warmed up the press line, gyrating to thumping dance-club music that reverberated throughout Hollywood Boulevard, a routine rife with bare-midriffs, acrobatics and twerking galore. (The strippers continued their act at the premiere’s outdoor after-party, dancing with tipsy guests. »
- Malina Saval
When it was announced in March that Stephen King's classic horror novel Misery was getting the Broadway treatment, Elizabeth Marvel was intended to play the juicy role of number-one fan and number-one torturous motivator Annie Wilkes on stage. Due to House of Cards commitments, however, Marvel has left the project and Laurie Metcalf has joined it in her place.
Variety reports that Laurie Metcalf will play Annie Wilkes in the Misery Broadway play. Widely known for her stellar turn as Jackie Harris on Roseanne in addition to a plethora of other TV and film credits, Metcalf is perhaps best known to horror fans for her intense, unflinching portrayal as Mrs. Loomis in Scream 2.
As Wilkes, Metcalf will inflict pain on author Paul Sheldon, played by Bruce Willis in his Broadway debut. Metcalf is no stranger to the stage, having performed both off Broadway in Domesticated and on Broadway in The Other Place. »
- Derek Anderson
In case you missed "The Lazarus Effect" in theaters, the "Flatliners"-esque horror film is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week. With a budget of only $3.3 million and a worldwide gross of over $36 million, the film is another low-budget success for super-producer Jason Blum, whose wildly-profitable Blumhouse Productions kicked off a new wave of "microbudget" horror beginning with the blockbuster 2007 found footage film "Paranormal Activity." Not only that, but he made impressive inroads beyond "genre" filmmaking with last year's Oscar-winning "Whiplash" (which netted Blum his first Academy Award nomination) and the HBO telefilm "The Normal Heart," which won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie. As "The Lazarus Effect" hits stores and VOD services, I hopped on the phone with Blum for a brief chat about his impressive filmography, horror's bad rap with the critical community, why M. Night Shyamalan's "The Visit" may restore your faith in the once-beloved »
- Chris Eggertsen
Mark Ruffalo spent his twenties drifting through what he estimates as 600 failed auditions, and later quit Hollywood twice – but these days, he seems to have it all figured out. Especially since he was belted by gamma rays. "As an actor, you can do everything," says Ruffalo, 48, who’s following Avengers: Age of Ultron with a role as a bipolar dad in the indie drama Infinitely Polar Bear, opening in theaters today. "I grew up in the theater, and you could do a musical, a comedy, a tragedy. Those kind of »
"Next time use the stairs." The Game Show Network has placed an 8-episode order for Blumhouse's horror-themed game show, Hellevator. Slated to premiere this fall, Hellevator will feature an abandoned warehouse controlled by Jen and Sylvia Soska that's filled with frightening floors designed to scare both contestants and viewers. If participants can navigate the psychological horrors of the warehouse, they could win up to $50,000.
Press Release: "June 18, 2015 – Santa Monica, CA – Gsn, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today that it has greenlit eight episodes of a new horror-themed game show, Hellevator. The terrifying new show from Blumhouse, the team that brought the world the “Paranormal Activity”, “Insidious”, “Sinister”, and “The Purge” franchises, dares contestants to survive a series of challenges from the depths of an abandoned warehouse. The new series is expected to premiere later this year, and continues Gsn’s growth into “gamifying” cultural trends, including »
- Derek Anderson
Jurassic World is shattering box office records across the globe, but what happened to the stars of the movie that kick-started it all? Steven Spielberg's 1993 classic Jurassic Park was flawlessly cast, mixing well-known stars and fresh faces in a perfect blockbuster thrill-ride.
A one-time contender to play James Bond, Neill's early credits include espionage series Reilly: Ace of Spies, Dead Calm and The Hunt for Red October. In the years after Jurassic Park he notched up roles in Event Horizon, The Tudors and Peaky Blinders. Neill »
Jim Parsons says he wasn't exactly living a closeted life, but when a reporter asked him a question and outed him as a gay man, he was relieved. Parsons sat down with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio to discuss all things, from playing God on Broadway in An Act of God to his Emmy-winning work on The Big Bang Theory and his role in HBO's The Normal Heart. Lipton asked Parsons if he was pained living a closeted life, but Parsons said that wasn't the case with him. "I never had a coming out piece, I just didn't mention it," Parsons says in the exclusive clip below. "I took Todd with me to events…and then finally one day while working on Harvey I did a piece with Patrick Healy for »
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