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Comic-Con came and went, and one of the less buzzy films highlighted there was 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Hitman: Agent 47, which finds Rupert Friend, of Showtime’s Homeland, stepping into the title role of a nameless assassin. The trailer screened in San Diego hasn’t yet found its way online, though we did see two action-packed images featuring Friend and co-star Hannah Ware (Shame) hit the web a few days back.
Now, as we wait for the trailer release, some more shots from Hitman: Agent 47 have arrived, revealing the appearance of Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness), who plays the bad guy of the film. We don’t know too much about the plot of this video game adaptation, though it’s a safe bet that Agent 47 and Quinto’s baddie trade blows and bullets over Ware’s mysterious Katia van Dees.
- Isaac Feldberg
Video game adaptations are notoriously tricky to make – and as a result of that, they’re often quite bad. There have been a few decent entries in the action subgenre (Resident Evil comes to mind), but typically, the films are marred by subpar acting and ludicrous plotting. 2007′s Hitman, which starred Timothy Olyphant as the titular assassin, wasn’t one of the worst video game movies, to be sure, but it suffered from an overly convoluted story. It also seems like an unlikely title to make a sequel to – and yet here we are today, with Hitman: Agent 47 on the way from 20th Century Fox.
Whether the studio had good reason to revisit the stealth video game series or not remains to be seen. But early signs for Agent 47 are promising. The flick stars Rupert Friend (Showtime’s Homeland) in the title role and finds Hannah Ware (Starz’s Boss, »
- Isaac Feldberg
On the heels of the 39th edition of the Toronto Int. Film Festival (Sept 4-14), Ifp’s Independent Film Week is where a plethora of fiction, non-fiction and new this year, web-based series from the likes of Desiree Akhavan and Calvin Reeder find future coin. Sectioned off as projects at the very beginning of financing to those that are nearing completion, there happens to be tons of Sundance alumni in the names below. Among those that caught our attention we have Medicine for Melancholy‘s Barry Jenkins’ sophomore feature, produced by Bad Milo!‘s Adele Romanski, Moonlight is about “two Miami boys navigate the temptations of the drug trade and their burgeoning sexuality in this triptych drama about black queer youth”. Concussion‘s Stacie Passon digs into the thriller genre with Strange Things Started Happening. Produced by vet Mary Jane Skalski (Mysterious Skin), this is about “a woman who has »
- Eric Lavallee
He died on the battlefield in 1781, so how can he be standing before police officer Lt. Abbie Mills in the present day? Ichabod Crane can’t afford to be dead: he has too much work to do in the town of Sleepy Hollow, a community that’s assaulted by ancient evils in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow TV series. We recently reported that the show’s first season is hitting Blu-ray and DVD this September, and we now know that the season two premiere will follow soon after.
It was revealed today that season two of Sleepy Hollow will premiere on Monday, September 22nd on Fox, just six days after the first season is released in home media formats on September 16th. A brief teaser video of season two has been unveiled and we have it and the show’s synopsis for you to check out (video courtesy of SpoilerTV!): »
- Derek Anderson
“My name is Ichabod Crane. In 1781, I died on the battlefield. I was saved by a mysterious spell cast upon me by my beloved wife, Katrina.” Ichabod is resurrected in the present-day town of Sleepy Hollow. Known for being home to the spooky story of the headless horseman, Sleepy Hollow is about to become a lot scarier as invasive supernatural evils make their presence known. It’s up to Ichabod and police officer Lt. Abbie Mills to save the community and the world in Sleepy Hollow, the first season of which is being released on Blu-ray and DVD this fall.
Slated for a September 16th release, the complete first season of Sleepy Hollow comes with a heaping handful of special features, including deleted scenes, audio commentaries, and a gag reel. For those unfamiliar with the show, here’s the synopsis:
- Derek Anderson
Fresh off the overwhelming success of X-Men: Days of Future Past and 12 Years a Slave, the first image of Michael Fassbender’s in his latest project, Slow West, has surfaced. The film – which also features The Road’s Kodi Smit-McPhee – was actually shot towards the back end of last year and sees Fassbender team up with director John Maclean, with whom he has previously collaborated on two short films.
For those unfamiliar with Slow West, here’s the official plot synopsis:
Set at the end of the 19th Century, Slow West is an American western filtered through the eyes of European filmmaking. The story centers on 17 year old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has traveled from Scotland to Colorado to be reunited with the woman with whom he is infatuated. He is quickly confronted by the dangers of the frontier and so teams up with a mysterious traveler named Silas »
- Dale Barham
Yesterday the Academy sent out a press release announcing 271 individuals who have been invited to join their hallowed ranks. This happens each and every year and is something very nice to see. I always like finding out which members of the industry are invited to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year, with 271 individuals seen fit for acceptance into their ranks, I sort of wonder if they’ll be able to impact voting in some way and change who and what are nominated for Oscars. You can see the full list of who’s been invited to join at the end of this piece, but a number of names stand out to me and got me thinking about this. Who are some of the folks on the invite list? Well, they include the likes of Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Clark Gregg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lupita Nyong’o, »
- Joey Magidson
The Academy welcomes its new members at an invite only event in September, just as we begin to feel the rumblings of Oscar buzz everywhere.
While not every person nominated for the first time for an Oscar in any given year is invited to join the next year (isn't that weird?) it's common practice that they are. So new names like Lupita Nyong'o, Barkhad Abdi, and more established actors like Sally Hawkins and June Squibb will all be voting for the first time this coming season after walking the red carpets as nominees. That's expected. What's far more interesting is the people invited in any given year that have not been nominated.
Here are ten names I want to highlight because they're interesting invitations for one reason or another.
Sean Bobbitt - Cinematographer (12 Years a Slave) - egregiously snubbed last year which might have done it but that's not his only beautifully shot film. »
- NATHANIEL R
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 has announced its list of actors, filmmakers, and others involved in the moviemaking industry that have been invited to join the Academy’s membership. 271 artists made the cut this year, ranging from recent winners and nominees like Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender to more eclectic choices like Rob Riggle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Josh Hutcherson, and even Jason Statham. Chris Rock also finally gets a ballot years after hosting the ceremony, and Clark Gregg will bring some Marvel pedigree into the fold. On the filmmaking side, brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, David Gordon Green, Denis Villeneuve, and Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) join the directors branch, while Dp Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave) has been added to the cinematographers group. Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams (sans hat) are also now Academy members should they accept their invitations. The full list is still disappointingly short on females, »
- Adam Chitwood
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
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
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
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invitations to 271 artists and executives to join the organization. Those who accept will be the only additions to the Academy in 2014. "This year's class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today," says 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." Invitees include last year's Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong'o, Supporting nominees June Squibb, Sally Hawkins, Barkhad Abdi and Michael Fassbender, and more. (In other news, AMPAS recently shook up its Original Song category rules.) The 2014 invitees are: Actors Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips” Clancy Brown – “The Hurricane,” “The Shawshank Redeption” Paul Dano – “12 Years a Slave,” “Prisoners” Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave,” “Shame” Ben Foster – »
- Ryan Lattanzio
How do you follow up the arthouse one-two punch of modern classic Drive and divisive Only God Forgives? If you’re auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, by taking on “a movie with lots of sex,” that’s how. We’ve known that Refn has been planning to make I Walk With The Dead since 2011, but now official confirmation has emerged from the director that the horror thriller will be his next project.
This morning, Refn tweeted out the following, addressing questions of his next big-screen venture:
The silence has been broken my next film will be I Walk With The Dead shooting in La
— Nicolas Winding Refn (@NicolasWR) June 6, 2014
When we spoke with Refn back in 2012, we learned that the director was eying either La or Tokyo as the shooting location for I Walk With The Dead, and now it appears he’s made a choice between the two. Hopefully, the »
- Isaac Feldberg
English ingénue Carey Mulligan broke onto the international stage in 2009 with her Academy Award-nominated turn in An Education. Since then, she's shown a passion for tackling daring dramas, from the sci-fi-infused love triangle tale Never Let Me Go to Steve McQueen's nymphomaniac character study Shame, and Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-violent romance Drive. Now she's giving voice to the early feminist movement with her upcoming drama Suffragette. Collider shares the first still from Suffragette, which shows Carey Mulligan in turn-of-the-century attire, raring for a fight at a "Votes for Women" rally. At her side appears to be Romola Garai, and tucked under that dreadful big hat hides Helena Bonham Carter. Screenwriter Abi Morgan, who has previously adapted history into female-fronted dramas with The Iron Lady and The Invisible Woman, found her inspiration for Suffragette, not in the genteel upper class ladies most often associated with the movement, but with »
How this fall will shake out in terms of the 2015 Oscar race is largely still a mystery, but few films have as much clout behind them heading into the second half of the year as Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette. With its absolutely loaded cast and thrilling, true-history story, Suffragette is basically Oscar bait at its finest. And with An Education‘s Carey Mulligan, Les Miserables‘ Helena Bonham Carter and Nowhere Boy‘s Ann-Marie Duff in the cast, not to mention Meryl Streep, this is shaping up to be one formidable awards contender.
Now, we’ve got our first look at the film, with an image (above) that shows, from left to right, Duff, Mulligan and Bonham Carter’s characters raising their voices as part of a feminist protest. What makes Suffragette particularly interesting is that it doesn’t center on the feminist movement as a whole; rather, it zeroes in »
- Isaac Feldberg
Pathe has released the first Suffragette image and synopsis online. Written by Abi Morgan (Shame) and directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane), the film stars Carey Mulligan as a working-class women's rights activist in the early days of the feminist movement. As the official synopsis points out, the story has the unique perspective of focusing more on working women who were willing to turn to violence as opposed to the usually-depicted genteel, educated activists. Hit the jump to check out the Suffragette image and synopsis. The film also stars Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep. Post-production is currently underway, so we'll see if Suffragette is ready in time for the fall festival circuit, or if it will be released next year. Via Pathe International. Here's the official synopsis for Suffragette: Suffragette is a thrilling drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, »
- Matt Goldberg
Quentin Tarantino, during his Cannes Film Festival press conference (watch it here), mentioned an email chain he was a part of where he and some friends discussed what they believed to be the ten most exciting directors working today. Among those listed he said only David Fincher and Richard Linklater where in everyone's top ten, he wasn't sure why Pedro Almodovar wasn't on everyone's list and he also qualified what he believed it meant for a director to be the "most exciting". Here's how he put it: "I think what that means is, you feel that their best work is still in front of them. That's what makes a filmmaker exciting, that's what makes you anticipate a new movie coming out. Because the new movie could be their best one. From this day on that will be the new barometer from which they're judged. We could be wrong, and their »
- Brad Brevet
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