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Quvenzhané Wallis Adds Author to Her Résumé

3 October 2017 10:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Wallis: Gk Photography/iamquvenzhane.com

Quvenzhané Wallis holds the record for the youngest-ever Best Actress Oscar nominee, and now she’s making her mark on another medium. The 14-year-old “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Annie” star is now also an author, Page Six reports. She’s releasing two children’s books through Simon and Schuster: “Shai & Emmie Star in Break an Egg,” the story of two best friends at a performing arts school, and “A Night Out with Mama,” a picture book inspired by her epic Oscar night experience.

“Reading is one of my favorite things to do,” she said during a recent appearance. “It’s something I would want everyone to do, especially teenagers my age. I don’t think we read as much as we should.”

Wallis, who reads all types of genres, collaborated on the books with co-author Nancy Ohlin.

“We basically told them our interest or story line, what we wanted the books to be about and how we wanted to get her message out,” explained Qulyndreia Wallis, Quvenzhané’s mother. “Then we found Nancy, who helped fine-tune her thoughts and put it together. From there, we would proof read and make sure it was said in a way she would say it and the books were formed.”

“I really hope that people my age enjoy reading these books,” Wallis added. “I’m excited about experiencing new things and sometimes it gets to the point where I might get a little obsessed with it. But I really enjoy writing and I can’t wait to do more.”

“I just keep doing what I’m doing and don’t ever give up,” Wallis has said. This attitude is part of what inspired her to play Annie in a 2014 reboot of the musical. “If she has goals, she’ll finish them, like me,” the actress explained. “We’re both confident.”

Wallis earned her Oscar nod in 2013 for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” She was just nine years old at the time. Her other credits include “12 Years a Slave” and “Fathers & Daughters.”

Quvenzhané Wallis Adds Author to Her Résumé was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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The 35 Most Anticipated New Music of Fall 2017

22 September 2017 1:47 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

It’s time to revamp those playlists, people!

Whatever your music genre of choice, there are plenty of new options this fall from LPs to tours. While several stars including Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and more have confirmed release dates (See: That New-New, below), that’s not stopping us from putting out some positive vibes for a few albums we are hoping to see sooner rather than later (Wishful Thinking).

Read on for 35 of the latest musical offerings set to hit your earbuds this season.

Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain and More: The Queens of Fall Music

That New-New

The Killers: Wonderful Wonderful

Sept. 22

The Killers return with their fifth studio album, their first since 2012’s Battle Born, featuring the singles “The Man” and “Run for Cover.” 

“I wouldn't feel this excited if the songs weren't true,” lead singer Brandon Flowers told Billboard this summer. “We’ve been hearing a lot of false music out there »

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Peter Rabbit Goes Wild in First Trailer for Live-Action/Animated Film

21 September 2017 1:07 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Everyone’s favorite rambunctious rabbit finds new life as a party animal in the first trailer for the live-action/animated comedy “Peter Rabbit.”

The film stars James Corden as the the titular mischievous bunny whose feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates as they rival for the affections of the animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). The film also stars Sam Neill and features the voices of Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley as his triplets Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.

The trailer shows Peter and his furry friends raiding Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden and trashing his home in a wild party, then frantically dispersing when the farmer returns home unexpectedly. The critter exudes so much charm that even a fox who previously tried to eat him is a welcome party guest.

The movie is based on the character from Beatrix Potter’s children’s book series. Peter Rabbit »

- Matt Fernandez

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The Good News Big Little Lies and Feud Are Telling Us About the Age of Actresses

7 September 2017 3:05 PM, PDT | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

The sixth episode of Feud: Bette and Joan on FX, titled "Hagsploitation," explores the "psycho-biddy," a genre of horror film which depicts a once-glamorous woman becoming senile and frightening as she gets older. After the success of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, producers approach Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) to reunite for the film Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte about a reclusive old Southern belle (Davis) who everyone thinks murdered her married lover decades before. Once again, Davis and Crawford are pitted against each other, but this time, it proves to be too much drama for Crawford and she exits the project, with Olivia de Havilland (Catherine Zeta-Jones) taking over her role. For decades, women of a certain age in Hollywood have graduated from ingenues to grannies seamlessly, with the scary "older" woman in horror films used as a common trope for actresses over the age »

- Megan McLachlan

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Twin Peaks Finale Recap: It's Curtains

3 September 2017 7:03 PM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Before I start my final Twin Peaks recap, let’s get one thing clear: I love Twin Peaks. And I loved this new season. And I loved the finale. I remember one hot June evening back in 1991 when the show suddenly ended on a dramatic cliffhanger and then was (seemingly) gone forever. And people hated that finale! It was so polarizing! And then we all turned against the movie. And yet…

Twenty-five years later, here we are, once again. The fans are divided. Twin Peaks has split them in two. People are either furious, or rapturous. And I am the latter. »

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Baby No. 2 on the Way for Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale

21 August 2017 5:59 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Rose Byrne is pregnant!

The actress, 38, and her longtime boyfriend, Bobby Cannavale, 47, are expecting their second child together.

The Neighbors star confirmed the exciting news in a recent interview with Australia’s Jones magazine.

“I’m a little tired but feeling good,” she said after a photo shoot with her brother, photographer George Byrne. “Everyone was very sweet on set today, and you always get a little bit more attention when you’re pregnant, which is fabulous.”

The couple — who have been dating since 2012 and co-starred in SpyAnnie and Adult Beginners — welcomed their son, Rocco Robin, in February 2016.

Cannavale »

- Melody Chiu and Stephanie Petit

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Megan Dodds Joins ‘Juliet, Naked’; Newcomer Calli Taylor Cast In ‘Double Trouble’

9 August 2017 3:13 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Megan Dodds has been cast in the Jesse Peretz-directed film Juliet, Naked, an adaption to Nick Hornby's bestselling novel. The romantic comedy follows the story of long-suffering Annie (Rose Byrne), her music-obsessed boyfriend Duncan (Chris O'Dowd) and music star Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), the object of Duncan's obsession. Dodds will play Carrie, a fit and still-cool American soccer mom whose past with Tucker has her rushing to his side in a London hospital. Tamara… »

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets movie review: story of a thousand clichés

3 August 2017 4:23 AM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

MaryAnn’s quick take… There is barely an original thought in this wackadoodle sci-fi panto, just a lot of tiresome passé attitudes skidding among bug-eyed-monster set dressing. I’m “biast” (pro): big science fiction fan

I’m “biast” (con): mostly not a fan of Luc Besson

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Boy, Luc Besson sure has me pegged! When I, a woman, think about having adventures in the future in space, I always imagine that I am perfect and brilliant and that whatever journey I needed to take to achieve this superiority to all others around me is so unimportant that it’s not worth mentioning. I dunno, maybe women are born perfect. Maybe Besson just somehow knows that women are not flawed, complicated, messed-up human beings but paragons of light and honor who exist solely to »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' Review: Luc Besson Makes a Sci-Fi Mess

19 July 2017 8:55 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Confession: There are times when I've been loyally in Luc Besson's corner – the visual splendor of Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1990) established him as a master of what the French call Cinéma du Look. And 1994's The Professional – with Jean Reno teaching the assassin's game to a very young Natalie Portman – went deeper, blending style with a nurturing sense of humanity. Plus, there's a lot to be said in favor of both his sci-fi extravaganza The Fifth Element (1997) and last year's next-level ScarJo-evolution whatsit Lucy. »

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Nick Hornby adaptation 'Juliet, Naked' adds new cast

17 July 2017 5:25 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Film starring Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke begins UK shoot.

Four new cast members have been announced for the upcoming Nick Hornby adaptation Juliet, Naked.

Joining Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd in the cast are Azhy Robertson (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, pictured top, far left), Lily Brazier (People Just Do Nothing, middle right), Ayoola Smart (Vera, middle left) and stand-up comedian and Silicon Valley star Jimmy O. Yang (far right).

The project, directed by Jesse Peretz, has started filming on location in London and the south-east coast of the UK.

International sales are being handled by London based sales company Rocket Science.

Byrne plays Annie, who is stuck in long-term relationship with Duncan (O’Dowd) - an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself.

Robertson plays Tucker »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Dicks Before Chicks: The Toxic Romantic Comedy Sub-Genre That Just Won’t Die

14 July 2017 8:58 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.

Sandwiched in between the summer’s biggest blockbuster offerings and superhero tentpoles are a pair of outrageously funny outliers — comedies that, for all their raunchy gags and wild behavior, center squarely on women and their friendships — in the form of “Rough Night” and the upcoming release “Girls Trip.” Although both films lean hard on their comedic trappings, often in the form of booze-fueled bad behavior from their leading ladies, they also both find unexpected heart and charm in their deeper explorations of the relationships between the very different women that populate them.

But even with films like “Rough Night” and “Girls Trip” hitting the multiplex with a welcome dose of girl power, it seems that even this summer isn’t immune from the most tired and toxic of lady-centric comedy tropes: the dicks before chicks sub-genre. »

- Kate Erbland

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Baby Driver movie review: common car-nage

4 July 2017 2:45 PM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

MaryAnn’s quick take… Edgar Wright used to send up cinematic clichés with gusto and with huge humor. Here he just embraces them — and his sullen, unengaging hero — unironically. I’m “biast” (pro): love Edgar Wright’s early work

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Baby Driver is so hot, so cool, so exciting! Well, the opening sequence is, at least, the one bit in the movie that actually feels like Edgar Wright directed it. Fresh-faced getaway driver Baby waits in the car and we do too while a bank heist is happening in the background. Haha! A heist movie that isn’t about the heist at all! This is the driver’s movie, and he’s only about the driving, and nothing else. Except the music. He is also about the music — the classic rock and pop and soul »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Baby Driver movie review: common car-nage

4 July 2017 2:45 PM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

MaryAnn’s quick take… Edgar Wright used to send up cinematic clichés with gusto and with huge humor. Here he just embraces them — and his sullen, unengaging hero — unironically. I’m “biast” (pro): love Edgar Wright’s early work

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Baby Driver is so hot, so cool, so exciting! Well, the opening sequence is, at least, the one bit in the movie that actually feels like Edgar Wright directed it. Fresh-faced getaway driver Baby waits in the car and we do too while a bank heist is happening in the background. Haha! A heist movie that isn’t about the heist at all! This is the driver’s movie, and he’s only about the driving, and nothing else. Except the music. He is also about the music — the classic rock and pop and soul »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Rose Byrne Opens Up About Low-Key Celebrity Life & Working With Partner Bobby Cannavale: 'I Feel Really Lucky'

29 June 2017 7:02 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

It isn't just coincidence that Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale have worked together so much.

In a new interview with Instyle, the 37-year-old actress opens up about collaborating with her partner of five years, and how they've managed to co-star in three different films: 2014's Annie and Adult Beginners, and 2015's Spy.

Watch: Bobby Cannavale Debuts Full Photo of Son Rocco to Celebrate His First Birthday: 'My Beautiful Boy'

"[It's] a little bit [intention and coincidence]. A happy coincidence in some ways, and also, 'Let’s really try to get these parts so we can be together and working,'" Byrne revealed. "We did, like, three projects in a row, and I enjoy collaborating with him."

The usually-private actress also opened up about what she loves most about her boyfriend, with whom she shares a 1-year-old son, Rocco.

"He is one of a kind, man! He’s endlessly interesting and entertaining," she gushed. "When something »

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Hellish Concept Art For Blade Imagines Jamie Foxx As The Famed Vampire Hunter

29 June 2017 11:38 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Not one to rest on his laurels, renown concept artist BossLogic has followed up his striking Captain Britain piece with a new one-sheet that imagines Jamie Foxx (Baby Driver) as Blade, the fan-favorite vampire hunter who has become a point of fixation among Marvel fans ever since the film rights reverted back to the studio – along with Frank Castle/The Punisher – all the way back in 2011.

Six years later, and comic book fans remain hopeful that the Daywalker known as Eric Brooks can one day stage a comeback, possibly carving out his own place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the process – as an R-rated feature, perhaps? That’s a proposition that has been presented to head honcho Kevin Feige multiple times in the past – albeit without the R rating – and the producer has consistently stressed that a live-action Blade reboot isn’t off the table.

In fact, earlier this »

- Michael Briers

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Jamie Foxx Hilariously Slams One of His Old Movies While Promoting 'Baby Driver' at Bet Awards

25 June 2017 8:50 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Jamie Foxx is a huge fan of his new film Baby Driver -- but the same can't be said for some of his other recent films.

The star took to the Bet Awards stage on Sunday to introduce a clip from his upcoming action comedy, and he took the opportunity to slam another film he recently worked on.

"I can't wait to tell you about that joint Baby Driver! It's crazy, it's cool, and it ain't a typical film. It brings a thrill ride, so everybody can experience it," Foxx said, smiling. "And it's good too! It ain't like that last joint I had."

Foxx laughed as fans in the audience were somewhat surprised by his off-the-prompter candor, and the 49-year-old actor powered on. "I know, it's tough. It's tough when you still gotta promote it."

"You know it's »

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What Would You Do?

23 June 2017 2:35 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Network: ABC. Episodes: Ongoing (hour). Seasons: Ongoing. TV show dates: January 6, 2009 — present. Series status: Has not been cancelled. Performers include: host John Quiñones. Actors include Yuval David, Diana Henry, Vince August, Jeremy Holm, Traci Hovel, Hassan Goding, Christopher Peuler, Kristin Rose Garofalo, Lorraine Rodriguez-Reyes, Kaira Klueber, Anthony Ippolito, Ben Curtis, Paulina Gerzon, Nicolette Pierini, Ava Giacchi, Aiden Medina, Tyler Hollinger, Pearl Thomas, David Kremenitzer, Michael J. Lyons, Kevin T. Collins, Dawn Yanek, Zach Meliani, and Annie Hall. TV show description: Beginning as a feature in ABC's Primetime newsmagazine series, the What Would You Do? TV show explores how people react to strangers in uncomfortable circumstances. With hidden cameras at the ready, actors play out various scenarios, in front of unwitting bystanders. »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Woody Allen on Donald Trump: "We have chaos in the capital"

23 June 2017 5:15 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

“I still don’t know why he wanted the job.”

Woody Allen’s review of Donald Trump’s presidency so far? 0 stars.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who directed Trump in 1998 comedy Celebrity, has called the Us president’s tenure to date “chaos” during an interview with BBC radio this morning.

The director expressed puzzlement at his fellow New Yorker’s campaign to become president in the first place.

“I still don’t know why he wanted the job. I never felt it was up his alley,” commented Allen, who said that he used to bump into Trump every now and then at sporting and cultural events. »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Why Movies Need Directors Like Phil Lord and Chris Miller More Than Ever

21 June 2017 11:07 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A few days ago, my colleague Owen Gleiberman wrote a scathing essay questioning whether Colin Trevorrow was the right choice to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” suggesting that the “Jurassic World” helmer’s in-between indie, “The Book of Henry,” is such an abomination we have reason to think he could ruin the franchise that has already weathered the likes of Gungans and Ewoks.

It was a tough essay, so much so that I genuinely feared Trevorrow’s job could be in danger. And then a funny thing happened. “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy fired the directors on a completely different “Star Wars” movie, axing Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the Han Solo project. What!?!?

The universe needs directors like Lord and Miller more than ever these days — and not just the “Star Wars” universe, mind you, but the multiverse of cinematic storytelling in general. Lord and Miller represent that rarest of breeds: directors with a fresh and unique vision, backed by the nerve to stand up for what they believe in.

Related

Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Fired After Clashing With Kathleen Kennedy (Exclusive)

Just look at their track record: After starting their careers as TV writers (they created the MTV cartoon series “Clone High” and wrote for “How I Met Your Mother”), the duo made their feature directorial debut with “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” a wildly imaginative reinvention of a 32-page children’s book that heralded them as bold, outside-the-box comedy storytellers.

Then they made the jump to live-action, bringing their trademark brand of hip, pop-savvy self-awareness to the feature-length “21 Jump Street” remake. Few animation directors have survived the leap from animation to live-action (just consider the likes of “John Carter” and “Monster Trucks”), but Lord and Miller took to the new medium like naturals (technically, they had experience from their TV writing days — and I remember hearing stories that they’d actually taken a break from “Cloudy” to write an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” just so they wouldn’t lose their Writers Guild insurance benefits, but that’s another story about animators don’t enjoy the same protection in this industry).

“21 Jump Street” took the concept of a tired old ’80s TV show — two baby-faced cops go undercover as high-school students — and rebooted it with a playful twist, turning the ludicrous setup into one giant joke. Then came “The Lego Movie,” in which they cracked one of the weirdest assignments in 21st-century filmmaking — bring the popular line of kids toys to life — in a wholly original way, embracing the fact that Legos had spawned an almost cult-like sub-genre of fan films (to capitalize on the trend, the Lego company had even released a “MovieMaker Set” in 2000, complete with stop-motion camera and Steven Spielberg-styled minifigure) to make the ultimate wisecracking meta-movie.

After that string of successes, Lord and Miller had become two of the hottest names in town, able to pick their projects. But like so many directors of their generation — children of the ’70s whose love of cinema had been inspired by George Lucas’ game-changing space opera, what they wanted was to make a “Star Wars” movie. For a moment, that seemed possible, since the producers were hiring indie directors like Rian Johnson (“Brick”) and Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) to helm these tentpoles.

On paper, Lord and Miller’s irreverent sensibility seemed like a perfect match for Han Solo, the franchise’s most sardonic character. One has to assume that it was precisely that take Kathy Kennedy and the “Star Wars” producers wanted when they hired the duo. But this is where modern critics, columnists and the fan community at large fail to understand a fundamental change that is happening at the blockbuster level in Hollywood: These directors are not being chosen to put their personal stamp on these movies. They are being hired to do the opposite, to suppress their identity and act grateful while the producers make all the key creative decisions.

Want to know why Trevorrow was picked to direct “Jurassic World” when his only previous credit was a nifty little sci-fi indie called “Safety Not Guaranteed”? It’s because he plays well with others, willing to follow exec producer Steven Spielberg’s lead when necessary. Going in to the assignment, Trevorrow had no experience directing complicated action sequences or overseeing massive-budget special effects. He didn’t need it, because those aspects of the movie were delegated to seasoned heads of department, while Trevorrow focused on what he does best: handling the interpersonal chemistry between the lead characters. (Personally, I hold Trevorrow responsible for the decision to film Bryce Dallas Howard running in high heels, but not the turducken-like gag where a giant CG monosaur rises up to swallow the pterodactyl that’s eating Bryce’s assistant. Surely someone else oversaw that nearly-all-digital sequence.)

Independent schlock producer Roger Corman memorably observed that in the post-“Jaws,” post-“Star Wars” era, the A movies have become the B movies, and the B movies have become the A movies — which is another way of saying that today, instead of taking risks on smart original movies for grown-up sensibilities (say, tony literary adaptations and films based on acclaimed Broadway plays), the studios are investing most of their resources into comic-book movies and the equivalent of cliffhanger serials (from Tarzan to Indiana Jones).

To Corman’s equation I would add the following corollary: On today’s tentpoles, the director’s job is to take orders, while producers and other pros are called in to oversee the complicated practical and CG sequences that ultimately define these movies. It’s an extension of the old second-unit model, wherein experienced stunt and action-scene professionals handled the logistics of car chases and exotic location work — except that now, such spectacular sequences are the most important part of effects-driven movies. Meanwhile, the one ingredient the producers can’t fake or figure out on their own is the human drama, which is the reason that directors of Sundance films keep getting handed huge Hollywood movies: to deliver the chemistry that will make audiences care about all those big set pieces.

How times have changed: In the 1980s, the only one who would make a movie like “Fantastic Four” was Corman, which he did for peanuts, whereas two years ago, Fox dumped more than $125 million into the same property. And the director they picked? Josh Trank, whose only previous feature had been the low-budget “Chronicle.” Let’s not forget that Trank ankled his own “Star Wars” spinoff, which I suspect had everything to do with realizing what happens when forced to relinquish control of a project in which he’s listed as the in-title-only director.

Back in the ’60s, a group of French critics writing for Cahiers du Cinéma coined what has come to be known as “the auteur theory,” a relatively quaint idea that the director (as opposed the screenwriter, star or some other creative contributor) is the “author” of a film. In the half-century since, critics everywhere have fallen for this fantastical notion that directors have creative autonomy over the movies they make — when in fact, as often as not, that simply isn’t the case.

The auteur theory makes for a convenient myth, of course, and one that lazy critics have long perpetuated, because it’s much to difficult to give credit where it’s due when confronted with the already-cooked soufflé of a finished movie. Critics aren’t allowed into the kitchen, after all, and though countless chefs (or heads of department, to clarify the metaphor) contribute to any given film production, it’s virtually impossible to identify who was really responsible for the choices that make the film what it is.

How much of “Citizen Kane’s” creative genius can be attributed to cinematographer Gregg Toland? Would “Jaws” or “Star Wars” have been even half as effective without composer John Williams? Did editor Ralph Rosenblum save “Annie Hall”? And most relevant to the discussion at hand: Is it correct to think of “Rebecca” as an Alfred Hitchcock movie (he directed it, after all), or does the result more thoroughly reflect the hand of producer David O. Selznick?

This is all complicated by the fact that an entire class of filmmakers — the so-called “film-school generation” — seized upon the auteur theory, turning it into something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the likes of Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas and so on left their signature on the movies they made. Meanwhile, the Cahiers critics (several of whom went on to become directors, among them Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut) were protected by a uniquely French copyright law dating back to the 18th century, known as the “droit d’auteur,” which entitled them to final cut (a privilege precious few Hollywood directors have).

But these remain the exception, not the rule. In the case of the “Jurassic Park” and “Star Wars” franchises, the director is decidedly not the auteur. To the extent that a single vision forms the creative identity of these films, it’s almost always the producer we should hold responsible. To understand that, we need only look back to the original “Star Wars” sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back,” a movie “directed” by Irvin Kershner, but every bit George Lucas’ brainchild (he reportedly hand-picked Kershner for his strength with character development). The same goes for Richard Marquand on “Return of the Jedi.”

This shouldn’t be a scandalous revelation. It just doesn’t fit with the self-aggrandizing narrative that many directors have chosen for themselves. Yes, the 1989 “Batman” is without question “a Tim Burton movie”: Burton has such an incredibly distinctive aesthetic, and the personality to push it through a system that’s virtually designed to thwart such originality. But when it comes to the incredibly successful “X-Men” franchise, there’s no question that producer (and “Superman” director) Richard Donner deserves as much credit as those first two films’ director, Bryan Singer. Simply put, that franchise owes its personality to both of their involvement.

But when it comes to “Jurassic World,” that movie probably wouldn’t look much different in the hands of someone other than Trevorrow. And the same can almost certainly be said for the “Star Wars” movie he’s been hired to direct, because in both cases, it’s the producers who are steering the ship. When the stakes are this high, it would be downright reckless to give complete autonomy to relatively unproven directors.

That’s increasingly the case in Hollywood these days. Director Dave Green (who’d made a tiny Amblin-style movie called “Earth to Echo”) went through it on a franchise project produced by Michael Bay. He was tapped to helm “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” only to discover that he had no autonomy. Granted, Green was still wet behind the ears and had no experience with a nine-digit budget or big union crew. But that wasn’t the job, because Bay never expected him to handle everything. Instead, the producer pulled in more experienced professionals to oversee much of the action and visual effects, while Green followed orders and worked his magic with the actors.

You can bet Tom Cruise’s paycheck that the same thing happened on “The Mummy,” in which Alex Kurtzman is listed as director, but the producer-star was reportedly calling most of the shots. How appropriate that a Universal monster movie reboot should be the victim of what amounts to a kind of creative Frankenstein effect.

Likewise, Marvel has had more success (both financially and artistically) forcing directors to conform to an inflexible set of aesthetic guidelines than it did when art-house “auteur” Ang Lee experimented with his own ideas on 2003’s “Hulk.” And though Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón is celebrated for the personal touch he brought to the Harry Potter franchise, it was relatively malleable British TV director David Yates whom writer-producer J.K. Rowling approved to direct four more films in the series.

So where does that leave us with “Star Wars”? On one hand, it’s perfectly understandable that the producers would want Trevorrow to direct Episode IX, since he’s already demonstrated his capacity to play along with the producers. Meanwhile, it’s disheartening — but not altogether surprising — that a directorial duo as gifted as Lord and Miller have been fired from the Han Solo film, since they’ve been known to fight for the creative integrity of their vision.

But it’s a loss to the “Star Wars” world, since Lord and Miller’s previous credits demonstrate the kind of unique take they might have brought to the franchise. Warner Bros. trusted the duo enough on “The Lego Movie” to let them poke fun at Batman — arguably the studio’s most precious IP, previously rendered oh-so-serious in the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Lord and Miller’s minifigure Dark Knight was a brooding egomaniac and the funniest thing about that film, so much so that Warners ran with it, producing a spinoff that stretched the joke to feature length.

Sony Pictures Animation (where Lord and Miller made “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”) was similarly enthusiastic about their input on Spider-Man, greenlighting the pair’s high-attitude idea for an animated movie centered around Miles Morales, the Black Hispanic superhero who took over web-slinging duties after Peter Parker’s death. Though they’re not directing, the script is said to bear their fingerprints — which it seems is exactly what Kennedy and company don’t want on the Han Solo project.

With any luck, Lord and Miller will see the “Star Wars” setback as the opportunity that it is: Rather than being forced to color within the lines of a controlling producer’s vision, they can potentially explore the more individual (dare I say, “auteurist”?) instinct they so clearly possess on a less-protected property. Heck, maybe Sony’s Spider-Man project will be the one to benefit. Or perhaps they’ll be in the enviable position of pitching an original movie. Not all directors have such a strong or clear sense of vision that they can be trusted to exert it over a massive studio tentpole, but Lord and Miller are among the few actively reshaping the comedy landscape. Now is their moment, although as Han Solo would say, “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”

Related stories'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Firing Is Latest in Long Line of Director Exits'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Fired After Clashing With Kathleen Kennedy (Exclusive)'Star Wars' Han Solo Film Loses Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller »

- Peter Debruge

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Cameron Diaz Explains Why She Hasn’t Made a Film Since 2014

12 June 2017 8:38 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Cameron Diaz has not starred in a movie since the 2014 musical “Annie,” and she says there’s a good reason for her disappearance from Hollywood: Two decades of traveling from film set to film set took a toll. “I just went, ‘I can’t really say who I am to myself.’ Which is a hard thing to face up to,” she said at the Goop Wellness Summit on Saturday, according to E! Online. “I felt the need to make myself whole.” As of now, Diaz has no planned projects for 2017. Her other most recent credits include “Sex Tape,” “The Other Woman, »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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